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AOPA PUSHES FOR AFFORDABLE NEW TECHNOLOGY
AOPA President Phil Boyer concluded his two-year term as chairman of the RTCA board of directors at the annual meeting held this week. Because of his volunteer work on behalf of the entire aviation industry, general aviation is now on a more equal footing with the airlines when it comes to setting standards for the new avionics that will be part of air traffic control modernization. "One of my goals as chairman was the affordability of new technology, not only for the airlines but for the owner/operators of general aviation aircraft. We want policies and standards that give us advanced new capabilities without gold plating," said Boyer. Read more on AOPA Online.
AIRPORT EXECS LEARN ABOUT GA ISSUES
General aviation airport managers play an important role in protecting our industry, and AOPA works hard to maintain communication with these key airport personnel. AOPA staff participated in the American Association of Airport Executives General Aviation Issues Conference at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles from May 7 through 9, to discuss the importance of local airport advocacy, airport preservation and security, airspace access, and more. "Having an open dialog with airport operators is critical for general aviation pilots," said Randy Kenagy, AOPA government affairs chief of staff. Read more on AOPA Online.
AOPA STAFF ADDRESSES AIRCRAFT SAFETY
Members of AOPA's government affairs team spent the day in Kansas City, Mo., May 13 talking to members of the Small Airplane Directorate's management staff about critical issues affecting general aviation. Among the topics under discussion was an upcoming advisory circular on aging aircraft. AOPA and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation have been actively involved in educating both pilots and aircraft owners about the realities of an aging general aviation fleet. Read more on AOPA Online.
TOP 3 FUEL-SAVING TECHNIQUES FOR PILOTS
A top concern among AOPA members is the rising cost of avgas. Although alternate fuel sources are being explored all over the world, it will be some time before any of them have a direct impact on general aviation. You can minimize the hit to your wallet by practicing a few simple fuel management techniques. Proper leaning combined with a lower economy cruise setting and a cruise descent profile can result in significant savings. Find out how much you can save on AOPA Online.
NEW REG ON FLIGHT TRAINING DEVICES EXEMPTS MOST GA SCHOOLS
The FAA has created a new section of the federal aviation regulations to cover flight simulation training devices (FSTDs), but it won't affect most general aviation training programs. The new FAR Part 60 deals with the equipment performance standards for FSTDs, consolidating the information now contained in various sections of the FARs and advisory circulars. It also requires operators to implement a mandatory FAA-approved quality assurance program for FSTD training. Read more on AOPA Online.
SHIPMENTS DOWN FOR PISTONS, UP FOR JETS
The general aviation industry's economy is either growing or softening depending on whether you fill up with Jet A or 100LL. Thanks to foreign sales and tax incentives, manufacturers are so far weathering the economic storm. The piston-powered airplane segment has seen a 28-percent decrease in shipments—399 units from 554—when comparing the first quarter of 2008 with the same period last year. Business jets are faring better with a 40.8-percent increase. Read more on AOPA Online.
DIAMOND READY TO LAUNCH ITS OWN DIESEL ENGINE
Diamond Aircraft will announce specific plans by the end of May for the diesel engine it has developed under a consortium of three companies. It will replace the Thielert engine made by a company now in bankruptcy. Read more on AOPA Online.
HOW LONG DID YOUR SMILE LAST?
Remember your first solo? Just the memory of that day, no matter how long ago, probably brings a smile to your face. Relive your first solo as you read about others' experiences in "I think I'm alone now," in the June 2008 AOPA Flight Training. Then, check out our slide show of students on that glorious day, and tell us about your first solo in AOPA Flight Training Associate Editor Jill Tallman's blog.
A SILENT PICTURE SHOW
Each year, Al and Rhonda Tyler host the Region 5 North Soaring Championships in Perry, S.C. This year, more than 75 aircraft and 150 people participated in the weeklong event. Most camped on the airport, enjoying great flying weather and nightly cookouts. Check out the beautiful scene in a slide show by photographer Glenn Holden.
CORRECTION: In the May 9, 2008, ePilot, we incorrectly stated the airspeed of the Cessna CJ4. It has a maximum cruise speed of 435 knots true at 35,000 feet. We regret the error.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Safety & Proficiency |
CESSNAS COLLIDE ON FINAL, SEE AND AVOID THE SAME FATE
On Oct. 10, 2004, a Cessna 152 and a Cessna 172 collided on approach to Cincinnati West Airport in Harrison, Ohio. The two aircraft became locked together in flight at 300 feet agl and spiraled into a gravel pit. Find out what led to the accident and if the pilots and passenger survived in this special report prepared by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
STEER CLEAR OF THE WAKE TURBULENCE TORNADO
You'd probably do everything in your power to avoid flying through a hurricane or tornado. Yet every year some pilots fail to avoid an equally powerful force—wake turbulence vortices. With velocities that can exceed 200 mph, wake turbulence produces forces strong enough to break up a light GA airplane. With that in mind, do you feel confident that you know everything you need to know about how wake turbulence is created—and how to avoid it? Find out by taking the latest Safety Quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Then test your knowledge of other topics with previous Safety Quizzes.
FSS TIP OF THE WEEK: SPELL IT OUT FROM ALPHA TO ZULU
Use the phonetic alphabet to get a more efficient, accurate flight service briefing. According to a pilot and flight service specialist with Lockheed Martin, many pilots fail to use the phonetic alphabet when they contact FSS. All briefers know the phonetic alphabet, so it should be the default when spelling words. For example, when giving an airport's identification, state "Departing Foxtrot Delta Kilo; Frederick, Maryland" instead of "Departing FDK." This simple tweak could help ensure that your flight plan doesn't get misplaced in the system. For more FSS tips, download AOPA's quick reference card, and take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online minicourse, A Pilot's Guide to Flight Service . Report complaints and compliments on the service you received by calling 888/358-7782.
FREAKING ON THE FREQUENCY
Ever tried to get a radio call in on your airport's common traffic advisory frequency on a clear, calm day? At some airports, it might seem impossible. Did you know you can do something about it, though? See what AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg recommends in his latest Air Safety eJournal update, "Freaking on the frequency," and submit your comments on the topic as well.
| Inside AOPA |
SLICK TAKEOFF WINS APRIL 'PHOTO OF THE MONTH'
"The J-3 Cub was taking off at my small base airport in Cypress, Texas, but the background wasn't what I wanted," says this month's winner, Curtis Chapline. Thus he changed things to his satisfaction using computer software. Chapline is not new to the contest. He also won last month's vote, and his "Tower Man" landed him second place in the altered category of last year's finals, published in AOPA Pilot's December 2007 issue. Submit your best photograph online for a chance at cash prizes and to be published in AOPA Pilot. This year's contest runs through Sept. 2, 2008.
BOYER, AOPA EXECS GIVE STATUS CHECK OF GA INDUSTRY AT FLY-IN
Want to know the latest on the FAA funding debate or what AOPA is doing to reduce the cost of flying and boost the pilot population? AOPA's Fly-In and Open House on Saturday, June 7, in Frederick, Md., will be your chance to ask AOPA President Phil Boyer and the association's executive team the tough questions regarding general aviation. Also attend various seminars, like aviation humorist Rod Machado's "Handling In-Flight Emergencies"; take in the dozens of GA aircraft that will be on display, including AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Piper Archer Sweepstakes airplane; and browse through more than 100 aviation exhibits. Make sure you bring a prospective pilot—this show could be the hook to get that person in the left seat. Discover Flying seminars throughout the day will discuss the process of learning to fly.
NEW AOPA FLIGHT PLANNING TOOL IN THE WORKS
Later this year, AOPA members will be able to plan a flight from any computer-Mac or PC-with Internet access. The AOPA Internet Flight Planner, in development now, requires no software downloads and offers more functionality than the current Real-Time Flight Planner. You'll be able to plan your route on an IFR or VFR chart, find fuel prices along your route of flight, display features such as roads, railroad tracks, center boundaries, use AOPA's Airport Directory Online, and more. So, how long do you have to wait to try it out? The AOPA Internet Flight Planner is scheduled to launch at AOPA Expo in San Jose, Calif., Nov. 6 though 8.
HAS THIS HAPPENED TO YOU?
You apply for life insurance from a company luring you with the promise of low premium rates for pilots. Later, you find out that the teaser rates are only available if you exclude the type of flying you do. AOPA knows how important it is to find a reputable insurance company who understands aviation and how it affects the life insurance purchase. The AOPA term life insurance programs underwritten by Minnesota Life have been insuring pilots and paying claims for more than 50 years. The Group and Individual programs are designed to insure virtually all types of flying. Start your search with a quote from the AOPA term life insurance programs. An experienced representative will provide you with a competitive quote to cover the type of flying you do. Call 888/879-2672 or visit 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: What does "SIDA" stand for, and what does it mean to me as a GA pilot?
Answer: "SIDA" stands for security identification display area. A SIDA is "a portion of an airport, specified in the airport security program, in which security measures of TSA Regulation Part 1540 are carried out. This area includes the secured area and may include other areas of the airport." It is typically designated around areas of an airport where airline service is conducted. SIDA areas will usually be marked on the ground and signs posted, prohibiting those who do not hold a SIDA badge from entering into the secure area. There isn't a standard marking for a SIDA, and it becomes incumbent upon a pilot operating into a Part 139/Part 1542 airport (i.e., a commercial service airport) to determine where the SIDA area is by calling ahead and asking or by asking ATC upon arrival.
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 |
THE GLASS TRANSFORMATION BEGINS
It's been a long time coming this year, but work on the instrument panel for AOPA's Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer has finally begun. Penn Avionics in West Chester, Pa., is doing all the panel work, including all new radios, an autopilot, an engine analyzer, and, of course, the Aspen Avionics EFD1000 primary flight display. Check out this week's sweepstakes update to learn what Penn has done so far and what's to come.
| Picture Perfect |
The AOPA Online Gallery allows you to download your favorite aviation images to use for wallpaper or send a personalized e-card. 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:
Columbia, S.C. Thunder at Fort Jackson takes place May 17 at Fort Jackson. For more information, contact Anna Amick, 803/772-2945, or visit the Web site.
Rome, Ga. An American Heroes Aviation and Public Safety Expo takes place May 17 and 18 at Richard B. Russell (RMG). For more information, contact Mike Grier, 404/451-2212, or visit the Web site.
Janesville, Wis. AirFest '08 takes place May 24 and 25 at Southern Wisconsin Regional (JVL). For more information, contact Julia Dacy, 608/754-5405, or visit the Web site.
Columbia, Mo. A Salute to Veterans Airshow takes place May 24 and 25 at Columbia Regional (COU). For more information, contact Mary Posner, 573/449-6520, or visit the Web site.
Ranger, Texas. An annual Memorial Day weekend airshow and fly-in takes place May 24 at Ranger Municipal (F23). For more information, contact Jared Calvert, 254/433-1267.
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 Orlando, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., and Reston, Va., June 7 and 8. Clinics are also scheduled in Phoenix, Minneapolis, and Columbus, Ohio, June 21 and 22. 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 Danville, Va., May 27; and Richmond, Va., May 28. The topic is "Top 5 Mistakes Pilots Make." Seminars are also scheduled at the AOPA Fly-In and Open House, June 7, in Frederick, Md. Topics vary-for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.