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Permanent D.C. ADIZ a bad precedent for GA
In a final attempt to prevent the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone from becoming permanent, AOPA met with the Office of Management Budget (OMB) on Nov. 10. The OMB, which is reviewing the FAA's proposal to make the airspace permanent, is one of the last hurdles a proposal must clear before being implemented as a final rule. "The Bush administration is set on pushing this rule through," said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. "We're going to fight this until the very end." Read more >>
Eclipse Aviation failed to meet its payroll during the last two weeks, and some angry employees have emptied their desks and left the very light jet pioneer, a local TV station reported Nov. 13. Eclipse spokeswoman Alana McCarraher didn't immediately return inquiries. Eclipse has publicly stated that it needs up to $300 million in new capital to continue production, and company officials said they hoped to have the cash infusion before the end of the year. Other widely published forecasts predicted Eclipse would be forced to seek bankruptcy court protection in next year's first quarter. Read more >>
Aircraft shipments up slightly in first three quarters
Turbine aircraft shipments continued to be strong in the third quarter of 2008, but that strength is expected to erode as a result of the global economic downturn, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. During the first nine months of the year, 2,977 aircraft valued at $18.2 billion were delivered, compared to 2,918 aircraft worth $15.1 billion for the same period in 2007. The growth was driven by jet shipments, which were up 30 percent over last year to 990 units shipped in the first three quarters. Turboprops also saw a nearly 14 percent increase to 341 units shipped. The news was less bright for piston aircraft manufacturers, who saw their shipments drop more than 11 percent to 1,647 units for the first three quarters of 2008, compared to 1,857 the previous year.
D.C. advocacy groups honor Boyer
In honor of AOPA President Phil Boyer's leadership in the GA industry, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and National Air Transportation Association recently presented him with special awards. He received GAMA's Distinguished Service Award on Nov. 1 and NATA's Lifetime Achievement Award on Nov. 11 during the 2008 Aviation Business Roundtable in Washington, D.C. During the roundtable, Boyer shared some positive news, despite the recent economic downturn. "In recent AOPA surveys, GA aircraft owners indicated that they would not be selling their airplanes or seeking partnerships to offset costs," Boyer said. "This is yet another storm, like user fees and product liability, that the GA industry will weather and come out stronger." Read more >>
The FAA has announced that LPV (localizer performance with vertical navigation) approaches now outnumber ILS approaches at airports around the United States, and the agency has committed to publishing 500 such approaches each year until all qualified runways are served. The 1,333 LPV approaches now in service at 833 airports are made possible by satellite-based GPS WAAS technology, which increases GPS accuracy and provides vertical guidance at low altitudes. Read more >>
Cessna trims workforce
Cessna Aircraft has reduced its anticipated business jet deliveries for 2009. Cessna dropped the figure by more than 50 jets as customers defer deliveries, leading to a layoff of more than 500 workers, the Wichita Eagle has reported. Cessna also laid off 165 workers at Bend, Ore., where the company is manufacturing aircraft previously owned by Columbia. Read more >>
Piper to reduce work hours
Piper Aircraft officials have told local news outlets in Vero Beach, Fla., that they plan to introduce a reduced workweek for some of their departments. The company hopes normal attrition and a reduced work schedule will soften the impact on the workforce caused by the current economic uncertainty. Read more >>
TSA extends review period for GA security proposal
The Transportation Security Administration announced Nov. 10 that it would extend the comment period on its controversial Large Aircraft Security Program proposal. Pilots and the aviation industry have until Feb. 27, 2009, to consider the implications of the program and submit comments. AOPA, the National Business Aviation Association, and Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) all requested the extension. Read more >>
Radio listeners grab 100 flights in 60 seconds
Would you believe that a flight school could book 100 introductory flights in 60 seconds? US Flight Academy in Denton, Texas, did just that in conjunction with Dallas radio station KLUV. A special promotion offered discovery flights in light sport aircraft to the station's listeners for $40, half the normal price. Listeners were directed to a special Web page at a specified date and time, and the station’s webmaster confirmed that all 100 flights were booked in less than one minute. Read more >>
Airspace restrictions for UAS a concern
Creating large restricted areas to segregate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) from other air traffic will have negative operational and economic consequences, and it is not the best way to ensure safety, AOPA told the Air Force in formal comments. The comments, filed Nov. 11, were written in response to a plan to create a large complex of restricted areas in northern North Dakota. The plan marks the first time the FAA will consider creating a restricted area solely for the use of UAS. Read more >>
Active pilots invited to participate in traffic symbol study
Pilots are being asked to participate in a study designed to make the symbols used to display ADS-B traffic information easier to understand. Participants will be asked to try to interpret and learn the meanings of several symbols proposed for displaying traffic information in the cockpit. Study findings will be used by the FAA and avionics manufacturers to improve safety. The study is being conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe Center and the MITRE Center for Advanced Aviation System Development. For more information, or to participate, visit the study Web site.
Amphibious floats approved for Husky aircraft
P.K. Floats model PK2250A amphibious floats have been FAA approved for Aviat Husky aircraft, the company announced. The modification adds about 295 pounds and doesn't require the addition of a ventral fin. P.K. Floats has applied for a 200-pound gross weight increase for float-equipped Huskies and expects approval early next year. Each float contains a sealed baggage area. The company also is seeking certification for PK2250A floats on Super Cubs, Top Cubs, Scouts, and other aircraft. P.K. Floats was founded in 1954 and is based in Lincoln, Maine.
Kids to compete at paint scheme design
Build A Plane is sponsoring a youth art competition where kids can compete to create the winning paint scheme for a Glasair Sportsman 2+2. The winner's paint design will be applied to the aircraft, and he or she will receive an Apple iPod Touch. The Glasair was built by four high school students who spent two weeks working with Glasair factory personnel to construct the aircraft. AOPA ePilot reported on the project. For more information, or to enter the competition, visit Build A Plane's Web site. Entries must be postmarked by Jan. 31, 2009.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Approaching his destination on a cross-country training flight, this student was surprised by a "brightly painted red-and-yellow checkered helmet" popping up right in front of him. "It was inside a Pitts of some variety but all I could see was the top of the helmet, moving vertically, not one degree off my heading. And it was moving very slowly at the top of a vertical climb." Read about the encounter in the latest installment of Never Again Online.
Left out in the cold
Those of you in colder climates may be having trouble getting out from under the covers, never mind to the airport, at this chilly time of year. But lest those of you who live under sunnier skies feel too smug, remember that cooler weather brings special challenges, even if snow never falls on your airport. Frost can form on your aircraft's wings, cloud encounters may come with icing, and carburetor ice can catch you unawares. Read more >>
Pilot Safety Announcements hit YouTube
In an effort to reach more pilots with its safety message, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation has created a YouTube page featuring Pilot Safety Announcements. These short, quirky videos take a humorous look at maneuvering flight and fuel awareness. Watch through to the end for a strong message that will make every pilot more safety conscious.
Propeller safety is focus of new quiz
At high power settings, propeller tips can approach the speed of sound. The hazard this presents to anyone who gets too close is obvious. Last week, a woman was injured at Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Md., after she walked into a propeller. AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg discusses the incident and lessons that can be learned in his blog. Test your knowledge of propeller safety with the foundation's latest safety quiz. Then, learn more from a pilot who describes a different propeller accident caused by hand-propping in this Real Pilot Story.
Improve your safety by learning from others
Gain invaluable knowledge about flying safely by learning from the mistakes of others. Using your ePilot personalization preferences, like "piston single-engine" or "turbine," the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Accident Database generates a list of accidents that have been added to the database in the past 30 days. If you haven't personalized your newsletter, select your aircraft preferences from the "types of aircraft" section on the ePilot personalization page.
AOPA EXPO 2008 Wrap
More than 9,500 AOPA Expo attendees took in the sights of San Jose, Calif., last week and learned from more than 60 hours of seminars, shopped in the largest exhibit hall in Expo history, and saw some of the newest aircraft on the market. If you couldn't make it, get a glimpse of what happened through our online coverage. Then, save the date for AOPA Expo 2009 in Tampa, Fla., Nov. 5 through 7.
Aviation-themed gift ideas for pilots
Looking for something useful to give your pilot friends and family members? Check out AOPA's 2008 Holiday Gift Guide. See products that include GPS receivers, leather flight jackets, a fingertip oximeter, sunglasses, headsets, flight simulators, flight bags, and battery caddies (to hold all those spare batteries for your flashlights).
'Tis the season to take advantage of AOPA member benefits
During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it's easy to forget that AOPA membership provides you with discounts and rewards that come in handy at this time of year. So make sure you're aware of all the benefits available to you as you plan your holiday travel and do your shopping. And you can even increase your odds of winning a very special gift that is sure to make your flying experience in the New Year even more exciting and fun. Read more >>
Support air safety with 2009 calendar
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation calendar program is a way to help support free aviation safety programs. Anyone wishing to receive the Air Safety Foundation calendar, which features a different airplane and safety tip each month, may do so by becoming a donor with a gift of $10 or more. For more information, call 800/USA-AOPA.
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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: Chapter 3-5-2 of the Aeronautical Information Manual explains the difference between military training routes (MTRs) that are identified on a sectional by three numbers (i.e. IR302) and four numbers (i.e. VR1007). However, I occasionally see MTRs that are identified by only two numbers. What does it mean when it shows only two numbers (i.e. IR80)?
Answer: There is no difference between an MTR identified by two or three numbers. If an MTR is identified by two- or three-digits, then at least some segment of the MTR is above 1,500 feet agl. Four-digits, however, identify routes at or below 1,500 feet agl. This is discussed in the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide (pages 5 and 6).
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].
Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Update
Glass can get you there
Now that AOPA Expo has wrapped up for 2008, it's time to reflect on what led up to the great event. Flying the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer from AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Md., to San Jose was a test of judgment, stamina, and at times, patience. Read this week's update for lessons learned from such a long cross-country flight.
See the winning photographs from the AOPA Pilot 2008 General Aviation Photography Contest; read about the restoration of a Beech Staggerwing to its original glory; and learn from an off-runway tragedy at Midway Airport. All this and more fill the pages of the December AOPA Pilot. It'll be arriving in mailboxes soon.
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 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