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PILOTS LIVE TO TELL ABOUT DANGERS IN THE PATTERN
Airplanes converging on final approach can find themselves in precarious spots. On a few occasions they've flown so close, they've gotten stuck together. On May 15, a Piper Cherokee landed on top of a Stinson at Northwest Regional Airport in Roanoke, Texas. The Piper was carrying a flight instructor and a student while only the pilot was aboard the Stinson. The Piper was apparently landing while the Stinson was starting its takeoff, according to press reports. The final approach path is obscured by trees. Luckily, no one was seriously injured. Read more on AOPA Online.
AIRLINES TRY TO TRAMPLE GA WITH SAME OLD NAG
With the current lull in the FAA funding battle, the airlines are grasping at anything to make the same old, inaccurate arguments about user fees. They'll even politicize the Kentucky Derby. In a mass e-mail message dated May 19, Air Transport Association (ATA) President and CEO James May expresses admiration for Big Brown, the thoroughbred that easily loped to victory this year. Unlike Big Brown, the airlines still find themselves stuck at the starting gate, unable to move forward with a user fee agenda that has no legs. Read more on AOPA Online.
CIRRUS OFFERS EMERGENCY RECOVERY SWITCH
Cirrus Design is now offering its top-of-the-line SR22 and turbo models with a panic button. The customized $48,000 Garmin Perspective integrated cockpit option includes a bright blue emergency switch called LVL to return the airplane to straight-and-level flight. The LVL button can recover the aircraft from an attitude of 75 degrees of roll and 50 degrees of pitch, even if they occur simultaneously. Read more on AOPA Online.
CESSNA TRAINING FACILITIES FIRST IN LINE FOR SKYCATCHERS
SkyCatcher customers are discovering that no matter when they wrote a contract on the new light sport airplane from Cessna Aircraft, they aren't first in line. Or even close to first. Cessna Pilot Centers (CPCs) and Cessna Sales Team Authorized Representatives (CSTARs) have always had the inside track to receive the first SkyCatchers. Cessna's John Doman said that the confusion stemmed from Oshkosh when people were ordering airplanes. There was an electronic board where people assumed that they were seeing actual production positions. Read more on AOPA Online.
MOTHER OF TWINS CONQUERS HER FEAR OF FLYING
Every mother with young children is desperate for it—a little "me time" to focus on her own needs. But when Melissa Williams-Brown, mother of 3-year-old twin boys, decided to do something for herself, she was looking for what would become one of the proudest moments of her life. "I wanted to do something that wasn't mainstream. It had to be mentally challenging, and it had to be something that was considered 'hard to do' but yet attainable—especially considering my hectic schedule with the boys," she explained. Read more on AOPA Online.
DIESEL ENGINE CRUNCH HITS DIAMOND
Diamond Aircraft isn't buying the positive spin put out recently by the court-appointed bankruptcy administrator for Thielert Aircraft Engines (TAE). Diamond officials said there is no progress expected until the end of the preliminary insolvency process in July. "Overall, we have the impression that the insolvency administrator is not able to, nor interested in, providing a path forward, which makes current TAE engine operators and owners a priority," Diamond officials said in an update to customers. Read more on AOPA Online.
THIN WALLS ON SUPERIOR CYLINDERS FOCUS OF PROPOSED AD
The FAA is proposing an airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Superior Air Parts cylinders installed on an estimated 8,000 TCM IO-520, TSIO-520, and IO-550 reciprocating engines. Reports of 24 Superior cylinder assemblies with cracks or separation near the exhaust valves prompted the FAA to determine that the cylinder wall was significantly thinner in the areas where the cracks occurred. The problem could lead to the cylinder head's separation, resulting in engine failure, engine damage, or even fire in the engine compartment. Read more on AOPA Online.
FAA PROPOSES AD ON ECi CYLINDERS
Airplanes and helicopters with ECi replacement cylinders on Lycoming 320-, 360-, and 540-series engines would have to have initial and repetitive cylinder inspections if the FAA's proposed airworthiness directive (AD) is adopted. The FAA has categorized the affected cylinders into two groups. Airplane cylinders in Group A would have their time in service (TIS) reduced to 2,000 hours, while helicopter cylinders would be reduced to 1,500 hours TIS. Aircraft cylinders in Group B would have a TIS of 350 hours and need to be replaced after that point. ECi has told AOPA that it has an exchange program in place to mitigate the cost of replacing the cylinders. Comments on the AD are due by July 18. For more information, download the AD.
NEW IFR FLIGHT PLAN FORMS REQUIRED FOR LARGE AIRPORTS
If you plan to file an instrument flight plan and receive a clearance to use RNAV standard instrument departures and standard terminal arrival routes (SIDs/STARs) after June 29, you'll need to use the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) form. "SIDs and STARs typically are associated with the largest air carrier airports," said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "Most AOPA members will not be affected by this change." Read more on AOPA Online.
FREEFLIGHT, JEPPESEN TEAM TO UPDATE OLDER IFR GPS RECEIVERS
Pilots using older IFR GPS receivers may still be able to receive database updates. After Jeppesen's March announcement that it would discontinue database support for some older IFR units, the company has worked with FreeFlight Systems to develop an upgrade and provide continued support for TNL 2000, FreeFlight/Trimble 2101, and 2101 I/O receivers. The receivers' data capabilities will be expanded to 4 MB. A service bulletin is expected this summer, and pilots should be able to send their receivers to FreeFlight for hardware and software upgrades as early as August. The upgrades are currently priced at $475 per receiver. For more information, see the service information letter.
L-3 SMARTDECK RECEIVES FAA CERTIFICATION
L-3 Communications Avionics Systems has received FAA technical standard order (TSO) and supplemental type certificate approval for its SmartDeck integrated flight control and display system. While no original equipment manufacturer (OEM) launch customer for SmartDeck has been named, the STC applies to the Cirrus Design SR22 G2 aircraft, and L-3 plans to offer the product through authorized dealers as a retrofit option. Read more on AOPA Online.
JOY OF FLIGHT: I'M A UFO!
What's your aviation-related goal? Earn a new rating or certificate, buy an airplane, fly accident and incident free? Charlie Lopez's goal was to become a UFO—a United Flying Octogenarian. Watch an Associated Press video interview with Lopez and see the breathtaking views that inspire him to continue flying. Read about his achievement in "I'm a UFO!" Perhaps it's a new goal to add to your list.
THINK YOU CAN FLY THE ECLIPSE 500?
Find out from AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines just what it takes to get ready for the Eclipse 500 type rating course. Haines recently completed upset recovery and hypoxia training at Eclipse—as an owner must do before starting his type rating course. See his "Reporting Points" blog to watch a short video of Haines in aircraft upset recovery training in the L-39 jet trainer.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Safety & Proficiency |
GET MORE FROM A GALLON OF AVGAS
With fuel prices on the rise, pilots can use some creative measures to get the most from a tank of avgas. Learn how to take advantage of the winds, use pressure-pattern flying, cut engine idle times, and more with these eight tips from the experts in AOPA's Pilot Information Center. But don't get too creative, as the AOPA Air Safety Foundation illustrates in the "Hybrid Power" pilot safety announcement.
FAA PROHIBITS PILOTS FROM FLYING WHILE TAKING CHANTIX
Pilots and air traffic controllers who are taking Chantix to stop smoking must discontinue using the medication in order to continue flying or controlling air traffic. The FAA on May 21 announced the withdrawal of Chantix from its allowed medications list. The decision comes after a February alert from the Food and Drug Administration that the medication could have possible severe psychiatric side effects ranging from changes in behavior to suicide. Pilots cannot fly until 72 hours after the last dose of Chantix. The FAA will accept a personal statement from pilots stating that they have discontinued using the medication. The FAA will send a letter to all pilots and controllers who are currently certified to take Chantix under their medical. Find out what medications the FAA allows on AOPA Online.
FSS TIP OF THE WEEK: FIND A LOCAL BRIEFER FAST
Under the old flight service system, it was easy to get in touch with a local preflight briefer if you called from a landline—your call was routed based on your area code. But it didn't work for cell phones. Lockheed Martin's FSS system, however, asks for your state and, depending on where you live, in which division of the state you are located. These divisions are called areas of responsibility. Find out if your state is divided and in which area of responsibility you are located. If you don't want to use voice prompts, simply dial 1 plus your state code after 800/WX-BRIEF. Selecting the right area will put you in touch with a briefer who has local knowledge. For more tips, take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online minicourse.
TOO MUCH TAXI TALK
Too much chatter on the common traffic advisory frequency is a pet peeve for many pilots. So what types of calls can be omitted? Find out why AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg says taxi-out and clear-of-the-runway calls are "overkill" on VFR days.
| Inside AOPA |
DREAM AIRCRAFT ON DISPLAY AT AOPA FLY-IN
If money wasn't a limitation, what aircraft would you buy? A Cessna Mustang, Cirrus SR22, Diamond DA-42, G36 Bonanza, Evektor SportStar? Well, you'll have the chance to see all of these aircraft and more all shined up and on display at AOPA's Fly-In and Open House in Frederick, Md., on Saturday, June 7. Plus you can stock up on pilot supplies in our exhibit area, attend safety seminars, talk to AOPA President Phil Boyer about general aviation issues, and more. Remember to bring a friend. This is the perfect show to introduce the nonflying community to the joys of GA.
SERVICE KEEPS MEMBERS RETURNING TO AOPA INSURANCE AGENCY
It sounds simple: Buy an airplane, get it insured, and fly, fly, fly. But sometimes the reality can be more complex—how much insurance should you buy, and exactly what provisions do you need? When Nina Ortega, a California pilot, ventured into aircraft ownership, she discovered that her needs weren't the only ones she had to consider when buying aircraft insurance. Find out the other considerations on AOPA Online.
STRETCH YOUR DOLLAR WITH AOPA WORLDPOINTS CREDIT CARD
Keeping flying affordable has been part of AOPA's mission since 1939, but it has probably never been more important than today. With fuel prices rising and the economy slowing, pilots are feeling the pressure at the pump—and just about everywhere else. But AOPA has tools that can help. 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: I am a private pilot (ASEL) who is working toward a commercial pilot certificate. For the solo cross-country requirement of FAR 61.129(a)(4)(i), can my wife come along? She is not a pilot.
Answer: Unfortunately, if your wife comes along, you would not be able to log solo flight time and would not meet the requirement. FAR 61.51(d) discusses the logging of solo time and states, "A pilot may log as solo flight time only that flight time when the pilot is the sole occupant of the aircraft." However, you may log this flight as pilot in command, and the cross-country flight time can count toward other commercial requirements. For more information on logging time, read our subject report.
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 |
INSTALLING THE ASPEN
As panel work on AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes airplane progresses, it's time to talk about putting the finishing touches on the Aspen Avionics EFD1000 PFD installation. Since the Archer's unit happens to be the first certified copy ever to be installed, nerves were running high. Tune in to this week's update to see the final product and learn more about what it takes to perform a full panel refurbishment.
| 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.
| Coming Up In 'AOPA Pilot' |
Sit down with AOPA member Harrison Ford for an inside look at his aircraft and passion for aviation; take a ride with Gail "Hal" Halvorsen, better known as the Candy Bomber, in a Remos G-3 600; and learn about a group that is inspiring teens to consider humanitarian aviation careers. It's all in the June issue of AOPA Pilot, which will be in your mailbox soon. Can't read enough about Harrison Ford? Get a behind-the-scenes look in "When Harry met AOPA Pilot."
| Weekend Weather |
| ePilot Calendar |
UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS:
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.
Danville, Va. The Southside Skyfest takes place May 31 and June 1 at Danville Regional (DAN). For more information, contact Marc Adelman, 434/799-5110, or visit the Web site.
Stevens Point, Wis. A fly-in takes place June 1 at Stevens Point Municipal (STE). For more information, contact Phil Branham, 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 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 and in San Jose, Calif., June 28 and 29. 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 at the AOPA Fly-In and Open House, June 7, in Frederick, Md. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.