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TV CREW RAISES SUSPICIONS IN CHICAGO
In a positive display that much has changed in general aviation security since the dark days of 9/11, two Chicago-area AOPA members independently contacted AOPA last week about a potential security concern. Chuck and Patti Blatti, owners of Blatti Aviation (a Part 135 charter company based at Lewis University Airport), and Norman Grant, current owner of the AOPA 1997 Ultimate Arrow Sweepstakes airplane, based at Clow International Airport, were both contacted by a network TV news crew. The crewmembers said they needed an airplane—charter or private—to fly them into O'Hare for the story and wanted a light single or twin. And that's when the red flags went up. Read more about the members' actions and the TV news crew's intentions.
ADIZ INCURSION LEADS TO SECOND INTERCEPT IN TWO WEEKS
The pilot of a Cessna 177RG was escorted out of the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) and to a safe landing at Leesburg Executive Airport after coming within six miles of downtown on March 12. The flight launched from Carroll County Regional Airport in Westminster, Md., and was headed along a southerly course when it strayed into the "no fly" Flight Restricted Zone near the Capitol. It was intercepted by two F-16 fighters and diverted to Leesburg Executive in Leesburg, Va. "I can't say it strongly enough: It is vital that pilots be vigilant and respect the ADIZ boundaries," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. Read more on AOPA Online.
EMERGENCY AD GOES OUT FOR POPULAR FUEL-INJECTION SYSTEMS
Pilots who fly behind engines with certain Precision Airmotive RSA-5 and RSA-10 series fuel injection servos must have their aircraft inspected and repaired by a mechanic before their next flight under an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) issued by the FAA. The March 12 AD affects all newer-model single-engine Cessnas and some Pipers, as well as overhauled and new replacement engines, and engines that have had fuel injection gaskets replaced. Read more on AOPA Online.
FAA ISSUES EMERGENCY AD FOR THIELERT ENGINES
In-flight engine shutdowns have led the FAA to issue an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) for model TAE 125-02-99 engines from Thielert. The shutdowns were the result of cracks in the high-pressure fuel lines caused by excessive vibration. The March 12 AD affects engines with serial numbers from 02-02-1500 through 02-02-2279. The engines are installed on Cessna 172, Diamond DA42, and other aircraft. Before the next flight, owners must install a new high-pressure fuel line and bracket. Special flight permits are allowed for a single VFR flight of up to two hours to the nearest maintenance station.
TWO-LOCK RULE INTRUSIVE, UNNECESSARY, MEMBERS SAY
What do AOPA members think of a proposal mandating two locks for general aviation aircraft? Intrusive, unnecessary, and just plain unacceptable are among their responses, and that's the message AOPA is taking to lawmakers. AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Greg Pecoraro testified March 11 before the Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee in opposition to H.B.2292, which would require two locks on all general aviation aircraft and create criminal penalties for failing to use them. Read more on AOPA Online.
CESSNA SKYCATCHER PROTOTYPE FLIES
Cessna's 162 SkyCatcher prototype flew for the first time on March 8, from Cessna Field to Mid-Continent Airport, both in Wichita, Kan. With test pilot Dale Bleakney at the controls, the one-hour mission consisted of flight maneuvers to assess the stability and controllability of the new design. The flying prototype is the first of three airframes to be built in Wichita, Cessna said. The next Cessna 162 to be built is described as the “first production model,” while the third is slated to be an engineering test article. Read more on AOPA Online.
OAK TREE SNAGS A CESSNA
Take a mountain pilot, move him to the low country, keep him flying close to the ground, throw in a substantial headwind, and limit refueling possibilities, and you've got all the necessary ingredients for a fuel exhaustion accident. That's what happened to Colorado pilot Bill Hix when he flew his 1972 Cessna 177B to Florida on vacation. Hix, who says he is accustomed to flying at altitudes of 7,000 to 9,000 feet around his Colorado home, found himself flying around Florida on Feb. 27 at altitudes closer to 1,000 feet agl because of turbulence higher up. He also found himself facing an estimated 30-knot headwind. See AOPA Online for the full story and a photo of the Cardinal stuck in the oak tree.
CONGRESSMAN TAKES STRONG STANCE ON CUSTOMS PROPOSAL
AOPA member and U.S. Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) is putting pressure on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for a proposal that could have harmful effects on international general aviation flights. Following a Feb. 26 meeting with AOPA, Broun wrote to CBP. "As a pilot, I know that even popular destinations such as locations in the Caribbean have unreliable phone service, let alone Internet access," Broun wrote. The rule would allow pilots to fly to an alternate location where there is service to submit the arrival/departure notification and passenger manifest. "In some cases, this would mean a pilot would have to fly hundreds of miles out of the way in order to comply with this troublingly burdensome requirement."
AOPA WANTS MILITARY TO GIVE UNUSED AIRSPACE BACK TO CIVILIANS
With special-use airspace dotting the country, AOPA seizes every opportunity to have underutilized military airspace returned to civilian use. But those opportunities are rare. Currently, AOPA is requesting the Air Force release its Yankee Two Military Operations Area (MOA) in New Hampshire. The MOA was designed in the 1980s to protect A-10 aircraft flying low-level training missions but is no longer needed because the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) report relocated the A-10s to other parts of the country. The Air Force must first offer the MOA to other units and services before releasing it to the FAA. AOPA is also working to get military airspace released in the Southeast and West.
INDIANA PILOT SETS EFFICIENCY RECORD
Kris Maynard of Indiana has set a record in the new category of World Aeroplane Efficiency by flying his Aviat Husky A1-A over a triangular course of 750 nm. The course's nonstop distance is a set requirement. Using a stock aircraft with a Lycoming O-360 engine and drag-reducing wheelpants, Maynard averaged 3.481 gallons per hour and burned only 32.48 gallons of fuel. The trip took 9 hours and 19 minutes, but Maynard thinks a 15-hour endurance is possible. The record still must be verified by the National Aeronautic Association but will become a world record if approved.
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS DOESN'T KEEP PILOT OUT OF THE LEFT SEAT
It only took a flight along the California coast from Huntington Beach to Santa Barbara in her brother-in-law's Cessna 421 for dinner to hook AOPA member Lissa Klueter on general aviation. But she didn't think she would be able to get a pilot certificate because she has multiple sclerosis (MS). Now Klueter, of Ashburn, Va., is one of only 321 U.S. medically certificated pilots who fall into what the FAA's Aerospace Medical Certification division classifies as Pathology Code 620, which includes MS. Read more on AOPA Online.
THE LUCKY ONE
Did you know AOPA's first Piper Tri-Pacer giveaway was aired live on national television in 1956? AOPA charter member Arthur Godfrey emceed the event from his New York studio, while Doc Hartranft and co-host "Miss Airpower" surprised William J. Meehan with the keys to his new Tri-Pacer at Washington National Airport. Imagine yesteryear's viewers excitedly watching the black-and-white program on their cathode-ray-tube TV sets. Better yet, tune into the historic broadcast yourself through video footage in the AOPA Pilot special fiftieth anniversary digital edition. The video will automatically load on the front page of the article after a few moments.
FAMED ALASKA BUSH PILOT, ELLEN PANEOK, DIES
Alaska aviation pioneer and author Ellen Evak Paneok, who used to chase polar bears off runways in the line of duty—among other exploits—has died. She was 48. Paneok succumbed to hepatitis C on March 2 at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. She was recognized as the first Native woman bush pilot. In her 17 years as a commercial pilot in Alaska, she had ferried everything from dynamite to live wolverines, the U.S. mail, passengers, and medical patients. Read more on AOPA Online.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Safety & Proficiency |
NEVER AGAIN ONLINE: PROPWASH
Pilots learn early that you don't want to taxi a small airplane anywhere near a large, heavy aircraft that is doing an engine runup. The pilot of a Kitfox—a two-seat experimental airplane—thought he was out of harm's way when he decided to taxi 40 feet away from a King Air parked close to the apron. Then the Kitfox's door blew off. Read more in our latest installment of Never Again Online.
TURN THEORY INTO REALITY WITH PRACTICE MANEUVERS
You've reviewed the POH and the FARs. You know your local airspace. You've mentally run through airport procedures, reviewed airport diagrams, and given serious thought to surface operations. But so far most of your spring flying preparation has been about hitting the books. Now it's time to take to the air and turn all that theory into reality. Find out what maneuvers you should practice to sharpen your skills before making that first $100 hamburger flight.
IMPROVE YOUR SAFETY BY LEARNING FROM OTHERS
Gain invaluable knowledge about flying safely by learning from the mistakes of others. Using your ePilot personalization preferences, like "piston single-engine" or "turbine," the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Accident Database generates a list of accidents that have been added to the database in the past 30 days. If you haven't personalized your newsletter, select your aircraft preferences from the "types of aircraft" section on the ePilot personalization page.
| Inside AOPA |
FLOATPLANE TAKES TOP SPOT IN FEBRUARY PHOTO CONTEST
There's something about floatplanes and Alaska that grabs the attention of many pilots. Just look at the quaint scene of a de Havilland Beaver perched on an alpine lake in Misty Fiords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska, which earned AOPA member James Jakubek this month's top spot in the AOPA Pilot General Aviation Photography contest. Go online to see a full-size version of the photograph and view photos of the runners-up. Submit your photograph online to contend for cash prizes and a chance to be published in AOPA Pilot. The contest runs through Sept. 2.
MAKE SURE YOU'RE INSURED BEFORE YOUR FIRST SPRING FLIGHT
Now that spring is here and summer on its way, more pilots will be taking to the skies. The cost of aircraft renter's insurance has been reduced for AOPA members, thanks to the efforts of AOPA and the AOPA Insurance Agency. AOPA members receive a 5-percent discount on new renter's insurance policies, allowing members to obtain a comprehensive policy for as little as $175. Read more on AOPA Online.
AOPA'S BIG YELLOW TENT RETURNS TO SUN 'N FUN
AOPA returns to Sun 'n Fun, April 8 through 13, with fun events, plenty of prizes, and the premiere of the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes airplane. Again this year, the AOPA Big Yellow Tent will be headquarters for weeklong activities. The SurPRIZE squad will give out great prizes each day to randomly chosen people wearing AOPA stickers, which will be available at the Big Yellow Tent. On AOPA Day, Friday, April 11, someone will win a Garmin 496 GPS, propeller locks, and more. Register for the prize drawings at the Big Yellow Tent.
| Quiz Me |
Here's a question asked by an AOPA member who contacted our aviation services staff through the AOPA Pilot Information Center. Test your knowledge.
Question: I am planning a flight to northern Michigan, where I will briefly cross into Canadian airspace but will not be landing in Canada. What is required of me?
Answer: U.S. and Canadian customs permit aircraft to overfly the respective countries and return to the original country of departure without reporting to customs. Overflights that originate and end in the United States require that the pilot file and activate a VFR or IFR flight plan. Pilots should write "Canadian overflight—no landing" in the remarks section of the flight plan. A Mode A and C transponder is currently required by the U.S. government to cross the U.S. border in either direction, inbound or outbound. You must also be in communication with a U.S. ATC agency before crossing the border. Sport pilots are not allowed to conduct this type of overflight operation without prior authorization because the certificate does not meet ICAO and Canadian rules. Interested in more information on international operations? Visit our International Flying section online.
Got a question for our aviation services staff? The AOPA Pilot Information Center is is at your service. Call toll-free 800/872-2672 to speak to a specialist about any general aviation topic. Or e-mail to [email protected]. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to [email protected].
| Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Update |
POWERING UP THE PIPER
The airplane is painted. The interior has been installed. The panel is under way. But what about the engine? That's one key safety feature that can't be overlooked in AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes airplane. Though the Archer's Lycoming O-360 only had 600 hours on it, we wanted to give the owner the best. And that's what we think we got with a recent overhaul. Read more in this week's update on AOPA Online.
| Coming Up in 'AOPA Pilot' |
Fly the high country with the Vantage engine on an American Champion, read lessons learned from A. Scott Crossfield's accident, and ride along with the bush pilots of the Iditarod in the April edition of AOPA Pilot. It'll be in your mailbox within a few weeks.
| Picture Perfect |
The AOPA Online Gallery allows you to download your favorite aviation images to use for wallpaper, send a personalized e-card, and order high-quality prints to be shipped directly to your doorstep. Search the hundreds of fabulous images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online.
| Weekend Weather |
| ePilot Calendar |
UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS:
Punta Gorda, Fla. The Florida Aviation Expo takes place March 15 and 16 at Charlotte County (PGD). For more information, contact Carlos Gray, 239/989-1109, or visit the Web site.
Sellersburg, Ind. The 2008 Indiana Aviation Safety Seminar for Ultralight, Sport, and Experimental Aircraft takes place March 15 at Ivy Tech Community College. For more information, contact David Graves, 812/216-3106, or visit the Web site.
Orono, Maine. The second part of the two-part seminar "Advanced Navigation Equipment and Techniques" takes place March 19 at the University of Maine-Orono. For more information, contact Michael Lessard, 207/422-3015, or visit the Web site.
West Des Moines, Iowa. The 2008 Severe Storms and Doppler Radar Conference takes place March 20 through 22 at the West Des Moines Sheraton. Contact Rodney Donavon, 515/270-4501, or visit the Web Site.
To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic is scheduled in Reston, Va., April 5 and 6. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Rosemont, Ill., and Morristown, N.J., March 31. The topic is "Top 5 Mistakes Pilots Make." There is also a seminar scheduled in Newton, Mass., March 18. The topic is "Technically Advanced Aircraft." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.