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PILOT SENTENCED TO JAIL FOR LYING ON MEDICAL APPLICATION
Ronald Crews was sentenced on March 20 to 16 months in federal prison and two years of supervised release after pleading guilty in 2007 to four counts of making false statements to a federal agency, according to the District of Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's Office. Crews had lied to the FAA about his diabetes and dependence on insulin injections. The charges resulted from an investigation into a February 2002 incident in which a passenger, who happened to be a student pilot, landed the Cessna 402 Crews was flying for an air taxi flight after he suffered a diabetic seizure. "While this type of incident is extremely rare, it is a strong warning to all pilots," said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. Read more about the incident on AOPA Online.
FIGHT TO SAVE MAINE AIRPORT TAKES OFF
With the fate of Biddeford Municipal Airport in Biddeford, Maine, in the hands of city residents, AOPA has kicked off an all-out campaign to educate the residents and save the airport. In an open letter from AOPA President Phil Boyer published in the weekly Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier on March 27, city residents learned just how important the airport is to their community. "As you consider the discussion of a voter referendum on keeping or closing the airport, it's important to have the facts about general aviation, Biddeford Airport, and why both are important to you," Boyer wrote. Read more on AOPA Online.
PREVENT GOVERNMENT REGULATION—LOCK UP AND LOOK OUT
State and local governments remain interested in security at GA airports, even though the federal government and the aviation community have taken steps to ensure the pilot population and aircraft are secure. The Pennsylvania legislature is considering a bill that would require two locks on all aircraft and institute criminal penalties for failing to use them. On March 26, AOPA traveled to Harrisburg, Pa., to urge lawmakers not to try to fix what isn't broken. "AOPA is constantly on guard to protect members from unreasonable security requirements, but for the GA community to be successful, pilots need to take steps on their own," said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. Read more on AOPA Online.
FAA ISSUES AD FOR AVIDYNE PRIMARY FLIGHT DISPLAYS
After several reports that certain Avidyne primary flight displays (PFDs) were displaying incorrect altitude and airspeed information, which could lead to airspeed or altitude mismanagement, spatial disorientation, controlled flight into terrain, or inadequate air traffic separation, the FAA has issued an airworthiness directive (AD). The AD affects popular Cirrus and Piper aircraft, among others. Pilots are prohibited from flying in instrument conditions if the aircraft is not equipped with a backup or standby altimeter or attitude and airspeed indicator, according to the AD. Read more on AOPA Online.
NEW 'eJOURNAL' A SOURCE OF RELIABLE SAFETY INFO
Get the straight talk on general aviation safety from AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg in his new Safety eJournal . "As the most experienced, trusted source in aviation safety, our goal is to keep you better informed and more knowledgeable about flying safely in light aircraft," Landsberg explained. The Safety eJournal touches on safety-of-flight issues, procedures, techniques, judgment, and more. The first two installments, "Goose, It's time to buzz the tower" and "Seeking pleasure and avoiding pain," focus on maneuvering flight and special-use airspace.
PILOTS, OFFICIALS GET NEW TOOL FOR PROTECTING AIRPORTS
Careful planning is the best way to prevent problems for airports, but understanding the planning process can be challenging for even the most seasoned airport advocate. Now AOPA's Airport Support Network, in partnership with the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), is offering a tool to make getting involved easier. AOPA presented its new handbook, Participating in the Planning Process: A Guide for Airport Advocates , March 17 during NASAO's annual legislative conference in Washington, D.C. Read more on AOPA Online.
NEWS SPLASH: WELCOME BACK SEAPLANES
Good news for seaplane pilots. The Bureau of Reclamation intends to return seaplane access to more than 400 lakes in 17 western states. Thanks to the efforts of AOPA, the Seaplane Pilots Association, and local pilot groups and state aviation agencies, the bureau has agreed to change a rule that should eliminate the seaplane prohibition on its lakes. The issue arose when the bureau in 2006 revised a federal rule, which had unintended consequences. Read more on AOPA Online.
GARMIN OFFERS BUDGET MODEL OF POPULAR HANDHELD GPS
Garmin's new handheld GPSMAP 495 is a budget version of the company's top-of-the-line 496. The 495 is Garmin's first new handheld aviation GPS since 2006, and it has the same look, feel, and external dimensions as the 496. It also carries some of the same popular software including SafeTaxi airport diagrams and AOPA's Airport Directory database. The two features the 495 lacks compared to its pricier big brother are XM Satellite Radio that provides weather displays and a built-in automotive database. Read more on AOPA Online.
DIAMOND TWIN STAR GOOD TO GO IN ICE
Diamond Aircraft's DA42 Twin Star is now certified for flight into known icing conditions. The turbodiesel twin-engine airplane uses TKS "weeping wing" technology, a $63,000 option on the $532,675 airplane. The deicing system weighs 55 pounds. The airplane already was approved by European officials for icing conditions. The nod from the FAA allows U.S. owners to get more utility from their airplanes. Owners who already have the TKS option need to swing by a Diamond service center and have the deicing system checked, new placards installed, and the airplane flight manual updated.
LANCAIR EVOLUTION TAKES MAIDEN FLIGHT
The first flight of Lancair International's Evolution kit plane took place March 21 at the company's Redmond, Ore., home base, company officials announced. The four-seat, pressurized turboprop is designed for a top speed of 385 mph, a stall speed of 61 mph, a climb rate that exceeds 4,000 feet per minute, and a range of more than 1,000 nautical miles. Read more on AOPA Online.
HELICOPTERS BRING LIFT TO EASTER EGG HUNTS
Churches and communities across the country turned to general aviation to add some excitement to their Easter egg hunts last weekend. As many as 40,000 plastic eggs were dropped at some of the events, including one in Yuma, Ariz. "I want to see the eggs come out of the helicopter!" spectator Marie Gribble told the The Sun . After the eggs were tossed overboard, thousands of children were turned loose to comb the field for the goody-filled eggs. Get a bird's-eye view of the egg drop in Canton, Ga., in this short YouTube video.
JOY OF FLIGHT: HIGH OVER THE VALLEY ISLE
If you had $405 to spend on a 1.6-hour sightseeing flight, what would be your ultimate tour? Steven Greenberg took his brother, who wondered why Steven enjoys flying, on a flight around Hawaii and over the crater of Haleakala Volcano. "I told him that my philosophy was that whatever you can see you own a small part of...and seeing this jewel in the middle of the Pacific made us billionaires," he recalls in "High over the Valley Isle" in the latest installment of the "Joy of Flight." To submit a story about general aviation adventures, send us an e-mail. Past articles are available online.
FIND YOUR PERFECT FIT FROM THE LEFT SEAT
If possible, fly the kind of airplane you're considering before you buy—and go beyond a sales demonstration ride. If you intend to buy a Cessna 182 and fly it to a vacation home 400 miles away, make that trip in a rented, borrowed, or shared Cessna 182 to find out what the travel times and expenses are like. Dr. Jeff Justis, a retired orthopedic surgeon who has used a variety of single- and multiengine airplanes for extensive business and pleasure flights over more than 50 years of general aviation flying, shares his logic for buying an aircraft. Find out how he bought a Taylorcraft for $350 and then moved up over the years to a turbocharged Aztec.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Safety & Proficiency |
SAFETY PILOT LANDMARK ACCIDENTS: ALWAYS ANOTHER DAWN
Many in the aviation community were stunned at the news of A. Scott Crossfield's death on April 19, 2006, after the in-flight break up of his Cessna 210 in a thunderstorm. "A reaction by a number of pilots was, 'If it can happen to someone like Crossfield, it can certainly happen to me,'" writes Bruce Landsberg, AOPA Air Safety Foundation executive director, in his April 2008 AOPA Pilot column analyzing Crossfield's accident. A thunderstorm avoidance quick reference card was inserted into your April issue as a resource to carry in the cockpit. You can also download the card from the foundation's thunderstorm awareness resources page online or call 800/USA-AOPA to request a free insert.
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF NONTOWERED AIRPORT OPS
Operations at nontowered airports aren't uncontrolled, they're pilot-controlled. Everyone needs to follow the rules and be alert, courteous, and professional. Test your knowledge of nontowered airport ops with the latest Safety Quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The quiz covers standard and nonstandard pattern entries, self-announce procedures, and the common radio phrase that the AIM says shouldn't be used under any circumstances. Learn more about nontowered operations by reading the recently updated Safety Advisor. When you're done, check out the foundation's other Safety Quizzes.
| Inside AOPA |
STOP BY THE BIG YELLOW TENT ON AOPA DAY AT SUN 'N FUN
Help AOPA President Phil Boyer kick off AOPA Day the night before at his Sun 'n Fun Pilot Town Meeting on Thursday, April 10. You'll learn about the latest issues facing general aviation and what AOPA is doing to preserve GA as we know it. Then, stop by AOPA's Big Yellow Tent on AOPA Day, Friday, April 11, to talk with Boyer informally at 10 a.m. Stick around the tent to hear from AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines, AOPA Director of Medical Certification Gary Crump, and AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg. Also make sure you sign up at the tent that day for a chance to win a handheld Garmin 496, prop locks, and more. AOPA members get a $5 discount off the admission price on AOPA Day.
MINIMIZE A NEW AIRCRAFT'S IMPACT ON YOUR INSURANCE COSTS
Before you start shopping for an aircraft, talk to an aviation specialist broker. An experienced broker will be able to advise you what various underwriters will require for minimum pilot qualifications, provide you with common checkout requirements, and give you an estimate of annual insurance costs for various types of aircraft. While you may have the monetary resources to move from a Skyhawk to a Baron 58, without the proper ratings, flight time, and training, you may find that insurance is cost-prohibitive or even impossible to obtain. The time to find this out is now, not after you've entered into a sales agreement. Read more on AOPA Online.
| 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: Last weekend I flew with a friend in his Liberty. The aircraft had a throttle but no mixture. He said this is because the aircraft is equipped with a FADEC. Can you explain why that means the airplane does not need a mixture control?
Answer: Full authority digital engine control (FADEC) incorporates the throttle, mixture, and propeller control into one pilot-controlled lever and eliminates the use of carburetors and magnetos. The FADEC system has three main components. The first are fuel injector nozzles specifically designed to match the fuel flow to the actual airflow entering the engine. The second component is a small computer that monitors the exact state of the engine and its environment (a second computer is installed for redundancy). This data is downloadable and particularly helpful to mechanics. Third are small computers that manage each cylinder and compute fuel and spark timing necessary to precisely control the combustion process. The many benefits of the FADEC system include increased efficiency, lower fuel burn, and a reduction in pilot workload.
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 |
AIRFRAME ENHANCEMENTS FOR YOU
Though AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes project has focused on the engine, paint, and interior, much more goes in to making a great airplane. We want the winner to have not only a great looking airplane, but also one that is safe and in good general condition as well. With that in mind, we've added new wheels, brakes, speed modifications, and other enhancements to the airframe. Check out this week's update for the full details.
| 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:
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.
Ames, Iowa. The annual Ames/Iowa State University Fly-in Breakfast takes place April 5 at Ames Airport (AMW). For more information, contact Kendall Craven, 507/272-4323, 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; Manchester, N.H., April 3; and Lakeland, Fla., April 12. The topic is "Top 5 Mistakes Pilots Make." There are also Safety Seminars scheduled in Lakeland, Fla., April 10 and 11. The topic is "Thunderstorms & ATC." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.