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AOPA WORKING ON FUTURE AVGAS
100LL—its rising cost, future availability, and environmental impact—is on the minds of everyone in the aviation industry. AOPA is working to help find a viable fuel replacement that would have a minimal impact on our members and general aviation aircraft. On March 17, AOPA responded to the Environmental Protection Agency's publication of a rulemaking petition to limit lead emissions from general aviation aircraft. The EPA's move stems from a petition from the environmental group Friends of the Earth. Removing lead from avgas without having a suitable alternative would have a catastrophic impact on 30 percent of the GA fleet. Read more on AOPA Online.
THREAT OF AIRCRAFT THEFT HEIGHTENED
Pilots and aircraft owners should follow the tips in AOPA's Airport Watch Program to secure their aircraft. The Aviation Crime Prevention Institute issued an industry alert on March 17 regarding an immediate threat of theft for "King Air models, Caravans, and medium/heavy Cessna cabin-class twins." The increased threat is a result of the Mexican government's crackdown on aircraft used for illegal trafficking, the institute confirmed with U.S. law enforcement. AOPA warns pilots that all aircraft, not just larger airplanes, are subject to theft. Pilots should always lock their aircraft and hangars, close airport security gates, and be vigilant for anyone behaving suspiciously at the airport.
AOPA 'BEST EQUIPPED' TO REPRESENT GA IN WASHINGTON
"Of the different organizations that I see in Washington, let me assure you that there is no organization with more integrity [and that is] better informed, better equipped, and more respected to reach out and inform Congress and government agencies than AOPA," Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) said March 18 before an AOPA Pilot Town Meeting in Charlotte, N.C. Hayes told the more than 300 pilots attending the meeting that when AOPA President Phil Boyer speaks on behalf of GA before Congress, "there is no better." Read more on AOPA Online.
AVIATION OFFICIALS LEARN OF DRAWBACKS TO FAA'S ADS-B PLAN
During the National Association of State Aviation Officials 2008 Washington Legislative Conference from March 16 through 18, AOPA Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Andy Cebula spoke about AOPA's opposition to the FAA's plan to implement ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) nationwide. "We fully support ADS-B as a technology for the future, but we don't like how the FAA is wanting to implement it," Cebula explained to the officials gathered in Washington, D.C. "Aircraft owners will have to spend as much as $8,000 by 2020 for a new piece of equipment to simply continue flying into the same airspace where a Mode C transponder is now required." Read more on AOPA Online.
EVEN HIGH-TECH AIRCRAFT NEED GOOD AIRMANSHIP
Today's technologically advanced aircraft may have sleek designs and information-packed displays, but that doesn't relieve pilots of their main responsibility—flying the airplane. That was the message AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg delivered to the Aero-Club of New England during a March 18 speech. Landsberg told the audience of 300 that there's no substitute for solid training and good airmanship, no matter how sophisticated the aircraft you fly. And he warned that no amount of technology can change basic aviation truths, like the fact that thunderstorms and airplanes don't mix. Read more on AOPA Online.
JEPPESEN TO END UPDATES FOR SOME OLDER IFR GPS RECEIVERS
Jeppesen will stop providing NavData database updates for some older IFR GPS receivers from Trimble and NorthStar in the coming year. The company says it is no longer feasible to continue to trim database information to fit into the 1MB and 2MB Flash Card memory format used by many of these systems. Owners of the units are being notified that updates will stop in March 2009, and they will receive prorated refunds for any time remaining on their database subscriptions. Read more on AOPA Online.
AOPA ASKS FOR MORATORIUM ON FLORIDA USE TAX
Imagine that you recently bought an airplane and you want to take it on vacation, maybe a family trip to sunny Florida. Think again. The state Department of Revenue has recently been charging Florida use tax on any airplane that is brought to the state within six months of being bought if the owner did not pay at least 6-percent sales tax at the time of purchase. AOPA President Phil Boyer has contacted Gov. Charlie Crist, asking him to put a moratorium on the tax until legislators can address the problem, especially with so many pilots about to visit Florida for the annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In. Read more on AOPA Online.
AVIONICS COMPANY CERTIFIES FLIGHT DISPLAY
Startup avionics manufacturer Aspen Avionics has received certification for its glass-panel Evolution Flight Display 1000, the company announced March 14. The EFD1000 is an aftermarket primary flight display (PFD) designed to replace the mechanical "six pack" instruments in a wide variety of general aviation airplanes. The company says it designed the system to be easy to install and upgrade. The EFD1000 is the centerpiece of the glass panel in this year's AOPA Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer. Read more on AOPA Online.
NEW INSTRUMENT COURSE PUTS CHARTS IN PERSPECTIVE
On its own, a chart is just a piece of paper, but integrated into the larger world of procedures and practical situations, a chart becomes a critical tool in a pilot's toolbox. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's new online course IFR Insights: Charts helps pilots get the most from their charts by showing how they fit into the overall profile of an instrument flight. The course takes 60 to 90 minutes to complete and covers NACO and Jeppesen products. In addition to detailed coverage of chart symbology, the course includes a gripping re-creation of a historic chart-related accident, interactive quizzes, and numerous real-world flying tips.
DIAMOND D-JET GETS POWER BOOST
Diamond Aircraft has announced that its single-engine fanjet VLJ—the D-Jet—will be given an engine upgrade. The airplane's original 1,564-pounds-thrust Williams FJ33-4A-15 engine has been dropped from the equipment list in favor of a much more powerful Williams engine—the 1,900-lbst Williams FJ33-4A-19. The new engine means first deliveries will now slip to the second quarter of 2009, according to Diamond. Originally, certification of the D-Jet was expected this year. Read more on AOPA Online.
AVIATION LANDS IN CLASSROOMS
With a little ingenuity, enterprising teachers fit aviation into their math and science curricula—and their students benefit. At Heritage Christian Academy in Fort Collins, Colo., high school students can take a class on fundamentals of flying, which readies them for the FAA private pilot knowledge test, according to an article in The Fort Collins Coloradoan . At Woodbine Middle School in Woodbine, Iowa, sixth grade science teacher Don Groff is using a flight simulator on laptop computers to teach students the principles of aerodynamics. Groff obtained a $3,000 Kiwanis International grant to purchase the simulator and rudder pedals and has invited a local flight instructor to the class, according to an article in the Logan Herald-Observer .
WWII BIPLANE OR CUB? IT'S A MATTER OF DOLLARS AND 'SENSE'
Defining the mission for your aircraft is the obvious first step in the buying process—and one of the easiest to get wrong. "[Pilots buying their] first aircraft probably have an idealized picture in their mind of how they're going to use their airplane," said John Downing, 62, an Atlanta private pilot who has bought and sold nearly 100 airplanes during more than 40 years of general aviation flying. Learn from this veteran aircraft owner how to pick an aircraft that suits your flying needs and how to prevent an abundance or lack of money from steering you away from the airplane that's right for you.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Safety & Proficiency |
WAKE TURBULENCE RIPS AIRCRAFT APART
On June 12, 2006, while on visual approach at Kansas City International Airport in Kansas City, Mo., the pilot of a Piper Saratoga crossed below the flight path of a Boeing 737 that was landing ahead on a parallel runway. The Saratoga encountered wake turbulence so violent that it tore apart the aircraft in flight. Read more in this special report prepared by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
TIPS FOR FACING DOWN FUEL COSTS
With the increasing price of avgas, many pilots are looking for ways to conserve fuel and reduce the cost of flying. "Unfortunately, many of the habits we formed in operating airplanes when fuel was one-quarter or even one-half of what it costs today are not optimal given the current fuel prices," explained Peter A. Bedell in "Facing down fuel costs: How to ease the high price of avgas" in the September 2006 AOPA Pilot. Read Bedell's article for 11 techniques to help you save fuel, plus several products to help reduce fuel costs. Use the AOPA Airport Directory Online to look up FBO fuel prices at airports along your route of flight and plan your fuel stops accordingly.
OXYGEN: A PILOT'S BEST FRIEND AT HIGH ALTITUDES
Could you spot the effects of hypoxia and turn on supplemental oxygen in your unpressurized aircraft before it's too late? Learn about the effects of hypoxia, effective performance time, and the requirements and equipment for supplemental oxygen in AOPA's new subject report, Oxygen Use in Aviation. See just how quickly hypoxia can render you unable to control an aircraft in this short YouTube video of a pilot experiencing controlled hypoxia in an altitude chamber. You'll learn why "four of spades" is his unlucky card. Also read the AOPA Air Safety Foundation article "Hypoxia, poor planning a deadly combination."
| Inside AOPA |
SEE AOPA'S 2008 GET YOUR GLASS ARCHER AT SUN 'N FUN
AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes airplane will be on display at Sun 'n Fun from April 8 through 13. The 1976 Piper Archer has custom paint, a new glass panel, and a new engine. Stop by the Big Yellow Tent to see the airplane that one lucky pilot—it could be you—will win in early 2009.
TELL US YOUR LEARN-TO-FLY STORY
Do you have a fun, unique, and positive experience from when you were learning to fly? We want to hear how exhilarating it was when you left the ground for the first time. To share your learn-to-fly story, send us an e-mail. Your story may even be used on our Web site or in one of our electronic or print publications!
CARRY THE CARD THAT PAYS YOU TO SUPPORT GA
Thousands of AOPA members carry the AOPA WorldPoints credit card from Bank of America. They already know that by carrying and using the card, they earn their choice of rewards, keep AOPA dues low, and keep general aviation strong. But thousands of others still don't know about the card and all it can do. Like many of the credit cards you may have in your wallet, the AOPA WorldPoints credit card gives you reward points with every purchase—rewards you can use for brand-name merchandise, travel with no blackout dates, and cash or gift cards. Read more on AOPA Online.
| Airport Support Network |
JOIN THE AIRPORT SUPPORT NETWORK TODAY
Ensuring the health and vitality of your airport is up to you—residential development and economic and political pressures can restrict your flying. Every day more than 1,900 Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteers are working with AOPA headquarters to help save their airports, but we need more. Below is a link to a list of the airports where an ASN volunteer could make a difference.
To nominate yourself or an associate to be a volunteer, visit http://www.aopa.org/asn/asn-form.html.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit http://www.aopa.org/asn/.
| 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 not instrument current and will need my first instrument proficiency check (IPC). How do I know what must be performed during the IPC?
Answer: The FAA requires that pilots demonstrate specific tasks from the Instrument Rating Practical Test Standards (PTS) during an IPC. Applicants for an IPC must perform the tasks to the standards listed within the grid on page 16 of the PTS. Additionally, the PTS requires that the person giving the check develop scenarios to assess the pilot's aeronautical decision-making and risk management skills. Your currency is only for the category of aircraft in which you complete the approaches and holding procedures. To prepare for an IPC, take some of the IFR-related online courses and safety quizzes from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
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 |
When it comes to components forward of the firewall, the majority of an airplane owner's thoughts are on the engine. But the accessories also play a crucial role in making sure everything is running safely and efficiently. For AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Archer, all the major accessories are new to complement the overhauled O-360-A4M engine. Learn the details in this week's update.
| 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:
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.
Nashua, N.H. The 2008 New England Aviation Safety Expo takes place March 29 at the Eaton-Richmond Center at Daniel Webster College. For more information, contact Karen Goff, 603/879-6807, or visit the Web site.
Macon, Ga. The Cherry Blossom Balloonfest and Airshow takes place March 29 at Macon Downtown (MAC). For more information, call 478/751-7414, or visit the Web site.
Various locations, Kan. The All Kansas Air Tour, a seven-day trek across Kansas, takes place April 1 through 8. For more information, contact Ed Young, 785/296-2553, 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 Clinics are scheduled in Reston, Va., April 5 and 6; and Denver, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City, April 12 and 13. 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; Newton, Mass., April 1; East Windsor, Conn., and Gaithersburg, Md., April 2; and Manchester, N.H., April 3. The topic is "Top 5 Mistakes Pilots Make." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.