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Today's Top Stories
You know where they stand on the war in Iraq, taxes, and healthcare. But do you know where Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain stand on general aviation issues? AOPA gave each campaign the same eight questions that touched on FAA funding, air traffic control, security, and the environment. The results are in. Read more >>
Five flight service stations to close
In a surprise announcement Oct. 15, Lockheed Martin said it will be closing five satellite flight service stations. "We are extraordinarily displeased that the FAA, which is supposed to be managing this contract, did not consult with its 'customers' before allowing this," said AOPA President Phil Boyer, pledging that AOPA would keep the pressure on the FAA to ensure that service to pilots does not degrade because of the closures. Read more >>
Sen. Pat Roberts honored for tireless support of GA
Steadfast, vocal, and passionate support for general aviation are hallmarks of Sen. Pat Roberts' (R-Kan.) service to his state, and AOPA recognized his efforts by presenting him with the prestigious J.B. "Doc" Hartranft Award. AOPA President Phil Boyer made the presentation Oct. 14 in Roberts' home state of Kansas. Boyer noted Roberts' long history as a supporter of GA and his willingness to take bold and unusual steps to protect it, as he has during the fight to prevent user fees, which will begin anew next year. "I've put the Senate on notice that this bill is a top priority for me and I will not stop fighting to ensure that the general aviation community receives its fair shake," Roberts told Boyer. "I'm ready to ride lead once again, but I'll need you all right there with me, riding shotgun." Read more >>
Boyer to receive Engen Trophy
AOPA President Phil Boyer will receive the 2008 Donald D. Engen Aero Club Trophy for Aviation Excellence from the Aero Club of Washington, D.C., on Oct. 27. "I'm deeply honored to receive this award," Boyer said. "I admired Admiral Engen and all of his contributions to aviation. It was an inspiration working side by side with him." The trophy is named for the late Admiral Donald D. Engen, a former head of the FAA and director of the National Air and Space Museum who served as president of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation from 1987 to 1992. Read more >>
Donation keeps students flying
AOPA President Phil Boyer presented a $30,000 check to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) Oct. 9 for the AOPA Career Pathways Scholarship fund. The donation came at a time when hundreds of students reported being unable to get loans because of the current national economic crisis. This marks the tenth year of an alliance between the world's largest aviation organization and one of the world's leading aviation universities. Read more >>
In a move that represents a significant policy change for the FAA, the agency is considering a proposal to create restricted airspace across a vast area of North Dakota, specifically to accommodate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The proposal marks the first time the FAA has considered creating new restricted airspace solely to segregate unmanned aircraft from the rest of the National Airspace System. Previously, the FAA had promised that unmanned aircraft would not be allowed to harm other airspace users. Read more >>
Pilots step up to save Maine airport
Opponents of a Nov. 4 ballot referendum to close a small airport in Biddeford, Maine, have kicked off an aggressive information campaign to help city voters better understand the airport's importance. AOPA partnered with the Friends of Biddeford Airport (FOBA) to urge a "no" vote against a referendum asking Biddeford residents to spend at least $3 million to close Biddeford Municipal Airport. "The goal is simple: To make sure everyone better understands how vital this airport is to the community," said Alan Lyscars, a FOBA member. Read more >>
FAA need for arrest disclosures challenged
AOPA's legal counsel is asking the FAA to justify a new requirement that applicants for a medical certificate disclose arrests in addition to the current requirement to report convictions and administrative actions involving alcohol-related driving offenses. In an Oct. 15 letter to the FAA, AOPA attorney Kathleen Yodice asked the FAA to reconsider its decision to add the word "arrests" to question 18v of the medical application. Read more >>
USAF rules request near Phoenix raises concerns
The U.S. Air Force is asking for a Special Flight Rules Area near Phoenix, but AOPA is objecting to the proposal on the grounds that it would unnecessarily complicate the already busy airspace in the region. The Air Force says the airspace is needed because of numerous near-miss incidents involving civilian and military aircraft. But AOPA points out that the Air Force data to support its claims is old, with no information about near-midairs after 2000. In addition, the Air Force is placing the entire burden for solving the problem on general aviation, refusing to change any of its own procedures. Read more >>
Pilots voice concerns to TSA on security proposal
Senior AOPA leaders joined with other general aviation groups at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on Oct. 15 to share pilots’ concerns over the Large Aircraft Security Program. As reported by AOPA last week, the program proposes significant new security requirements on operators of larger general aviation aircraft. Read more>>
ATP to provide D-Jet training for owners
Airline Transport Professionals will provide initial and recurrent type rating flight training for the Diamond D-Jet, Diamond Aircraft has announced. Because the D-Jet is designed primarily for the owner/pilot market, the type rating training needs to be different than conventional business jet type training, said Diamond Aircraft President Peter Maurer. Read more >>
An amazing Arctic adventure
Seattle pilots Mark Schoening and Doug DeVries, along with their team, recently completed a 10,000-mile, 45-day journey, circumnavigating Canada via the famed Northwest Passage. Flying de Havilland Beavers on straight floats, the team was able to access remote Arctic lakes and film the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding wilderness in search of the perpetually shifting magnetic North Pole. Watch video clips and a slide show on AOPA Online.
Calling all biker pilots
If you've ever wondered why riding a motorcycle, or flying a small airplane, gives you a kick, a new book just may have the answers. Explore the connection between human evolution and psychokinetic thrills with AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne in the latest installment of the " Reporting Points" blog.
Reno from the pylon perspective
Didn't make it to the National Championship Air Races in Reno last month? A unique perspective on the races—second only to that of the race pilots themselves—is from the base of the pylons that mark turn points on the course. Contributor Robert Fisher shares that experience with an audio slide show produced exclusively for AOPA Online. Bill "Tiger" Destefani of Bakersfield, Calif., won the Unlimited Breitling Gold race in his P-51 Mustang Strega, with a speed of 483 miles per hour.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
On Nov. 5, the format for terminal aerodrome forecasts (TAFs) will change to accommodate expanded 30-hour forecasts. Although the new 30-hour TAFs will only be available for 32 large U.S. airports, the coding change, including new date and time abbreviations, will affect all TAFs issued for more than 600 sites nationwide. Are you ready for the change? Learn about the new format here, then test your TAF savvy with the latest Safety Quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
Don't be left in the dark, use AOPA's night flight resources
A night flight in crystal clear VFR conditions can be one of the most exhilarating and beautiful trips you'll ever make. But flying at night also brings unique challenges and risks. Learn more about how to make your night flights safe and enjoyable in the November issue of AOPA Pilot . Then delve deeper into the subject with a night flying subject report from the AOPA Pilot Information Center and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's night VFR Safety Hotspot. As always, you can get your specific questions on night flying, or any other aviation topic, answered by calling the experts in the AOPA Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA.
What could go wrong?
It may seem like having the latest technology makes your cockpit foolproof. But even the best technology can fail. Are you ready to recognize the signs and take action, or will you fall prey to complacency? Share your opinion on AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg's blog.
More than 80 aircraft on display at AOPA Expo
Don't miss your chance to get up close and personal with more than 80 general aviation aircraft at this year's AOPA Expo, set for Nov. 6 through 8 in San Jose, Calif. When you come to Expo, you'll have the opportunity to view light sport aircraft, piston singles and twins, turboprops, very light jets, and more. And you can have all your aircraft questions answered by the people who know, including aircraft manufacturers, modification specialists, avionics manufacturers, and aircraft management companies. If you're planning to fly in, arrival procedures are available online. Register now and explore new horizons at AOPA Expo 2008.
Test your knowledge of FAA violations
Pilots are currently required to comply with more than 700 relevant federal aviation regulations. Violate one, and your certificate is on the line. AOPA's Legal Services Plan invites you to test your knowledge of FAA violations. This short quiz highlights only a tiny portion of the numerous FARs, so no matter if you ace it or struggle through it, the AOPA Legal Services Plan is a must for any pilot. The plan provides you with access to more than 700 aviation panel attorneys who can assist you with everything from airspace incursions to FAA medical certification matters to aircraft purchase or sales agreements. See our case studies to learn how the plan has helped fellow AOPA members.
AIFP volunteer testers sought
In preparation for its launch at Expo 2008, the AOPA Internet Flight Planner (AIFP) is undergoing rigorous testing. AOPA seeks 5,000 member volunteers to participate in a beta test of its new AIFP system. In November, AIFP will replace AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner, bringing improved features and compatibility with both PC and Mac operating systems. For details on becoming an AIFP tester, please visit the Web site.
AOPA Aircraft Title Services can make your aircraft purchase easier
AOPA Aircraft Title Services, provided by AIC Title Service, now offers the finest title, escrow, and document submission services in the industry, whether you are seeking fractional or sole aircraft ownership. Title searches can be ordered online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from around the world. AIC also offers online escrow and document tracking services so that you monitor the transaction in real time. Read more >>
Check out AOPA's Holiday Gift Guide
Looking for an aviation-themed gift for one of your fellow pilots? Trying to drop some hints for gifts that your family could give you? AOPA's Holiday Gift Guide has a sampling of ideas from leather pilot jackets to flight bags to handheld GPS receivers.
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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 the Web site.
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: I let my flight instructor certificate expire many years ago. I am now interested in instructing again—how do I get my flight instructor certificate reinstated?
Answer: FAR 61.199 explains that if your flight instructor certificate has expired, you must pass a practical test for one of the ratings listed on the expired flight instructor certificate. Adding a new rating, for example, adding a multiengine instructor rating, will also renew your flight instructor certificate and all previously held instructor ratings. You can also keep your certificate current through the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online or in-person Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics.
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
The finishing touches
Although major work on AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer has been completed for months, there are always things to work on with an airplane. A few weeks ago, we mentioned that it was at Penn Avionics getting some new software installed. Recently, we came full circle and dropped off the Archer at Oxford Aviation for a week of pampering. Check out this week's update to learn more.
Coming up in AOPA Pilot
In the new issue of AOPA Pilot, learn about the future of avgas and fly with novelist Stephen Coonts as he takes the Cannibal Queen for one last flight. The November issue will be in your mailboxes shortly. For a sneak peek at the stories and interactive features, visit AOPA Pilot Online.
Looking for some really fabulous aviation photography? All the air-to-air photos and beautifully detailed ground images used by AOPA Pilot magazine over the years are yours at the click of a mouse button. Download your favorite images to use for wallpaper or send an e-postcard. For more details, see AOPA Online.
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 Windsor, Conn., Wichita, Kan., and Corpus Christi, Texas, Oct. 18 and 19; Columbia, S.C., Oct. 25 and 26; and Austin, Tex., and Reston, Va., Nov. 1 and 2. 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 Fairbanks, Alaska, Oct. 17; Marietta, Ga., Eugene, Ore., and Blacksburg, Va., Oct. 20; Birmingham, Ala., Portland, Ore., and Danville, Va., Oct. 21; Richmond, Va., and Seattle, Wash., Oct. 22; and Pensacola, Fla., and Hampton, Va., Oct. 23. 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