|AOPA Expo News | GA News | Safety & Proficiency | Quiz Me|
Click here to view this week's custom content online
Arriving at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport Nov. 2 for his final AOPA Expo, AOPA President Phil Boyer received a very special honor usually reserved for retiring airline and military pilots—a water cannon salute. The water cannon salute is a tribute to a retiring airline pilot that is sometimes, but not always, done when a captain is on his last flight after a full career and is acting as pilot-in-command of that flight. "This was a special honor we wanted to give to Phil in recognition of his many years of service to AOPA and its members," said Curt Eikerman, operations manager for the airport. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the very first time a water cannon salute has been approved for a general aviation flight. Certainly that is in recognition of Phil's contribution to aviation as a whole." Read more >>
D.C. insiders explain what election results mean for GA
Hundreds of AOPA members kicked off Expo on Nov. 6 with a standing ovation for 18-year AOPA President Phil Boyer as he opened the show's first general session focusing on the recent election. "When I voted on Tuesday, I wrote his name in, and I suspect some of you did as well," Steve Alterman, president of the Cargo Airline Association, said of Boyer, thanking him for nearly two decades of service to general aviation. This Expo marks Boyer's final show as president. Washington, D.C., insiders shared their insight into what the Nov. 4 election results could mean for GA and named some of the GA issues they hoped the Obama administration would address. Read more >>
Lighter than air in America's only Zeppelin
A stunning aerial sight awaits AOPA Expo visitors—a 246-foot long Zeppelin plying the skies of the San Francisco Bay area. The stunningly beautiful and huge white airship made its first commercial flight in the United States on Nov. 5—the first time a Zeppelin has flown over this country in 71 years. AOPA Pilot Editor In Chief Tom Haines was aboard the maiden commercial U.S. flight. Read about the adventure, and see spectacular photos of the Bay area from 1,200 feet agl.
Bright sun, new airplanes
Bright sun, gorgeous weather, and 87 aircraft on display drew a steady stream of AOPA Expo visitors to the aircraft display at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport. Aircraft on display included new light sport aircraft, single-engine pistons, twins, turboprops, very light jets, and a couple of larger jets. Joseph Singerman of Knowlton, Quebec—near Burlington, Vt.—spent some time Thursday morning looking at the Mermaid, an amphibian made in the Czech Republic. Read more >>
The view from the static display
After a long flight to San Jose for AOPA Expo, the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer is sitting proudly as the main feature of the static display. It performed flawlessly over the 2,000-plus mile trip. Visit this week's sweepstakes update to see photos of the journey and check out the view from the static display.
Paul Poberezny first earned a raised eyebrow from retiring AOPA President Phil Boyer when he said, "Phil has become a millionaire since joining AOPA." The EAA founder then said he, too, became a millionaire—because he and Boyer have made millions of friends in general aviation. The quip was just one of the endearing moments Poberezny shared with the many members who attended the opening luncheon, which honored Poberezny for his lifetime of promoting and serving GA. Read more >>
Diamond shows off DA42 L360
Diamond Aircraft's entire line of airplanes is on display at AOPA Expo, but the biggest news is the appearance of its new Lycoming-powered DA42 TwinStar. Unlike the Thielert-powered TAE 2.0-liter turbodiesels in the first production runs of the DA42, the DA42 L360 models will be powered by twin Lycoming IO-360 engines of 180-hp each. This gives the L360 variants of the DA42 some 90 more horsepower than the original TAE-equipped models. Diamond says that the DA42 L360 will be certified by the first quarter of 2009. Read more >>
Cirrus offers synthetic vision on SR20
Cirrus Design will offer its Garmin-based Perspective avionics system in SR20 aircraft. Previously, the integrated avionics suite that includes synthetic vision was only available in high-end SR22 aircraft. Cirrus also will add an infrared "enhanced vision" option in all of its Perspective-equipped aircraft. "Synthetic vision changes the way your mind thinks about flying," said Cirrus co-founder Alan Klapmeier. "It vastly enhances situational awareness and improves safety. You know there's a mountain on your right, so you don't go there." Read more >>
WSI intros new Avidyne datalink wx
WSI Corporation has announced new international weather content for Avidyne's MLB700 and MLX770 datalink receivers. This makes Avidyne's Entegra Max package of weather services one of the most comprehensive in the market. In a Nov. 6 news conference, WSI said that Canadian and Bahamian radar imagery will be added to the SIRIUS satellite feed for the MLB700 broadcast datalink receiver. Read more >>
AOPA honors journalists for fair, insightful GA coverage
AOPA honored three journalists with the Max Karant Journalism Award for their fair, accurate, and insightful coverage of general aviation. The awards were presented during the opening luncheon at Expo on Nov. 6. "Too often we see reporters in the general news media who are pressed by deadlines and who lack an understanding of general aviation provide their audiences with an incomplete or inaccurate portrayal of general aviation, despite the best of intentions," said Karen Gebhart, AOPA executive vice president of communications. "But these three winners really took the time and helped their audiences understand some pretty complex issues." Read more >>
Can't make it to AOPA Expo? We've got you covered. Our team of experienced writers, editors, and photographers is bringing you the latest industry news. If you crave insider tidbits, be sure to check out our blog and special Expo Twitter account.
The nation's vote to elect Sen. Barack Obama as the forty-fourth president of the United States made history. "AOPA congratulates Senator Obama on this historic victory," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We've already begun putting our top general aviation issues in front of Obama, starting with the presidential candidate questionnaire that we sent earlier this fall." AOPA brought issues such as FAA funding, aviation safety, air traffic control modernization, and GA security to the forefront during the campaign season because Obama will be picking new leadership for the Department of Transportation and the Department of Homeland Security. He also will play a key role in selecting the next FAA administrator. Read more >>
Boyer wins NAA Elder Statesman Award
For “his work as a passionate spokesman for and defender of general aviation,” AOPA President Phil Boyer has received a 2008 Wesley L. McDonald Elder Statesman of Aviation Award from the National Aeronautic Association. The award, which was presented at a Nov. 3 ceremony in Arlington, Va., was first established in 1954 to honor Americans, who, by their efforts over a period of years, have made contributions of significant value to aeronautics and have reflected credit upon America and themselves. Previous winners have included Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Scott Crossfield, and Chuck Yeager.
Community saves Maine airport
Biddeford, Maine, residents made their support for their airport loud and clear on Nov. 4. A ballot referendum that would have closed Biddeford Municipal failed, with 82 percent of the votes in favor of keeping airport open. "This was an outstanding response from the community to save its airport," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of local airport advocacy. "AOPA's Airport Support Network volunteer Alan Lyscars and Friends of Biddeford Airport pulled out all the stops to educate the community on the value and importance of the airport." The city put the referendum on the ballot because of noise complaints and allegations that the airport didn't "pay its own way" in the community. Read more >>
New airport is first to open in state in three decades
It's been more than 35 years since Georgia opened a new airport, but that is all about to change. On Nov. 14, Paulding County Regional will open with a 5,500-foot runway and the distinction of being the first public airport ever to open in Paulding County, Ga., northwest of Atlanta. Read more >>
Fossett ordeal ends for family
DNA testing has confirmed that the bone fragments found at the crash site of adventurer Steve Fossett on Oct. 29 are the remains of Fossett. Read more >>
Pilots’ concerns about ADS-B reflected in rulemaking committee report
Emphasizing the need for affordable equipment along with services that deliver good value for general aviation operators, AOPA on Oct. 31 submitted comments formally expressing its support for key recommendations from the FAA’s Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) report on ADS-B. The ARC report echoed several points that AOPA has repeatedly made to the FAA: The cost of ADS-B equipment currently outweighs the proposed benefits to GA pilots; the FAA needs to provide more services to general aviation pilots and airports or remove GA from the mandate to equip for ADS-B; and the FAA should identify ways to reduce the cost of required avionics. Read more>>
Security proposal needs more time for public airing
AOPA, the National Business Aviation Association, and Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) have officially requested that the Transportation Security Administration extend the comment period on its Large Aircraft Security Program proposal by 60 days, until Feb. 27, 2009. "This proposal represents a significant regulatory change in the conduct of private aircraft operations," wrote AOPA and NBAA. Read more >>
Cessna, Mooney slowing production
Few details are available as yet, but both Cessna Aircraft Company and Mooney Aircraft Company have announced a slowdown in production due to a slowing economy. Cessna CEO Jack Pelton said in a letter reported by the "Wichita Business Journal" that orders are slowing worldwide for both Citation business jets and piston-engine aircraft, requiring slower production rates and job eliminations. The company will first reduce the work force through relocations and voluntary measures before making involuntary reductions. There will also be aggressive cost cutting, the newspaper reported. Mooney management, in a letter to state officials, said they were laying off 229 workers with no intention of recalling them. Production on new aircraft is halted temporarily while an excess inventory of aircraft, based mostly at the factory, is sold.
Hawker Beechcraft to lay off 490 workers
Not long after CEO Jim Schuster warned of difficult times ahead, he sent a letter to employees warning that 5 percent of the company's 9,800 employees worldwide would be laid off, according to reports by the Associated Press and The Wichita Eagle. The cuts affect hourly and salaried workers and will be made soon. Read more >>
Pilots get new chance to comment on 51-percent rule
The FAA has reopened the comment period on proposed changes to the so-called 51-percent rule governing amateur-built aircraft, giving pilots and owners until Dec. 15 to file their comments. AOPA previously filed its own comments on the plan, asking the FAA to enforce existing policies rather than creating new rules that could negatively affect homebuilders. Read more >>
Austrian wins Red Bull pylon championship
It might just as well be called the wild bull championship, or the crazy bull championship, because the Red Bull world series of racing combines low-level pylon flying with low-level aerobatics. Hannes Arch is the champion of this year's series of Red Bull races that took place all over the world. The final race was held at Perth, Australia, and like so many of the Red Bull races, it drew a crowd—200,000 people. In previous years American pilots have dominated. Mike Mangold won in 2005 and 2007, while Kirby Chambliss was the champion in 2006. Read more >>
Wolf Aviation Fund grant proposals due
If you have an idea to support or promote general aviation, the Wolf Aviation Fund may be able to help you fund your dream. Each year the fund provides grants for projects that contribute to aviation education, airport outreach, aviation public service work, and aviation research. The deadline for grant proposals is Nov. 15. Information about how to apply and past winners is available on the Wolf Aviation Fund Web site.
New AD allows access panels for Cessna models
A new FAA airworthiness directive will make it easier to conduct repetitive inspections already required on some Cessna (previously Columbia) models. Under the AD, aircraft owners will be allowed the option of installing an access panel to facilitate repetitive inspections of the aileron and elevator linear bearings and control rods already required on LC40-55FG, LC41-550FG, and LC42-550FG models by AD 2007-07-06. Cessna has issued a service bulletin containing procedures for installing the access panels. The new AD becomes effective Dec. 5.
FAA proposes expanding AD for MU-300 and Beech 400
The FAA is seeking comments on plans to expand an existing airworthiness directive (AD) for Beech Model 400, 400A, and MU-300-10 airplanes. The current AD requires installation of an improved adjustment mechanism on the flightcrew seats and replacement of the existing aluminum seat reinforcement assemblies with steel assemblies. The proposed AD would add Raytheon (Mitsubishi) MU-300 airplanes to the list of those affected because of reports of incomplete latching of the existing adjustment mechanism and cracked reinforcement assemblies, which could result in sudden shifting of a flightcrew seat. The deadline to file comments is Dec. 15.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
New TAF format launched
There's a new look to terminal area forecasts (TAFs), which now include a date digit with the start and end times. While TAFs have historically covered a 24-hour period, the new forecasts will extend to 30 hours at some airports to make them more compatible with ICAO requirements. The new 30-hour forecasts will be offered at 32 airports that have been identified as servicing long-haul international flights. But AOPA is working with the FAA Weather Office to expand the new format to all TAFs, making the improved forecasts available to all pilots. For more details about the change, review the key card and take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Quiz on TAFs.
Dark spiral: Pilot loses control during night flight
On the night of Jan. 7, 2005, the noninstrument-rated pilot of a Piper PA-28-181 Archer became disoriented while flying over dark, sparsely populated terrain near Bradley, S.C. As the pilot struggled to maintain control, the aircraft entered a steep, high-speed descent. Read more in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
Winterize your airplane for cold weather flights
Just as you need to bundle up for cold weather, your airplane requires some special care to get it ready for winter flying. If you live in a cold climate, you probably already know about the value of changing to less viscous engine oil or using a preheater to help you get started. But you may not have thought about other items that can affect winter safety. For example, if you live in a snowy climate, it's a good idea to remove your airplane's wheel pants. Snow or ice buildup can lock your wheels, turning a picture perfect touchdown into an impromptu sledding session. Get more tips about winterizing your airplane online, or call the experts in AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA.
If you're planning a trip to an unfamiliar airport, it can be helpful to know what types of accidents have occurred there. Is the airport subject to tricky crosswinds? Perhaps it's in a valley prone to fog that pushes visibility below minimums. Knowing the potential hazards before you arrive is a key part of flight planning, and a recent enhancement to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Accident Database puts that information at your fingertips. A new search field allows pilots to query the database using an airport's three-character identifier. Try the feature today by searching for accidents at your home airport, then use it each time you plan a flight.
Changing mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit the Web site.
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: As an aircraft owner, I am using the FAA Aircraft Registration form (8050-1) to notify the FAA of my change of address. The form mentions a $5 fee. Do I need to pay the $5 if I am only changing my address?
Answer: No, you do not need to send $5 to Aircraft Registration when updating address information. The $5 fee is only required for the issuance of an initial registration certificate—for example, after purchasing a new aircraft. If you don't have an Aircraft Registration form handy, you can download a Change of Address Notification form online. Either form is accepted for an address change.
Got a question for our aviation services staff? The AOPA Pilot Information Center is a service available to all members as part of the annual dues. Call 800/872-2672, or e-mail to [email protected]. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to [email protected].
AOPA CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a Vice President of Membership Marketing, an Aviation Technical Specialist, and a Business Analyst. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
Postcards, AOPA's new online photo gallery, allows you to upload your own aviation photography as well as view, rate, and comment on others' photos. Your favorite aviation images from AOPA Pilot are still available online through this new gallery. Take a look, and submit your own photos!
Aviation Events & Weather
Want something to do this weekend? Wanting to plan an aviation getaway? See our online calendar of events. We've enhanced our calendar so that with one click, you can see all of the events listed in the calendar regions you selected when personalizing ePilot. Now you can browse events listed two weeks to a few months out to make your planning easier. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.
Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in San Diego, Calif., Atlanta, Ga., and Albuquerque, N.M., Nov. 15 and 16; Anchorage, Alaska, Nov. 22 and 23; Denver, Colo., and Chicago, Ill., Dec. 6 and 7; and Orlando, Fla., Dec. 13 and 14. 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 San Jose, Calif., Nov. 7 and 8; Gaithersburg, Md., Nov. 12; Alice, Texas, Nov. 15; Burbank, Calif., and Jacksonville, Fla., Nov. 17.; Ontario, Calif., and Tampa, Fla., Nov. 18; Irvine, Calif., and West Palm Beach, Fla., Nov. 19; and San Diego, Calif., and Orlando, Fla., Nov. 20. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Got news? Contact ePilot. Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].
Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller | Contributors: Warren Morningstar, Alton Marsh