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Volume 10, Issue 44 — OCTOBER 31, 2008  

In This Issue:
Credit crunch felt by GA manufacturers
Garmin's new portable: Big, capable, costly
California airports ramp up for AOPA Expo

GA News   |   Safety & Proficiency   |   Airport Support   |     Quiz Me


Click here to view this week's custom content online

Today's Top Stories

Boyer dubbed 'giant' in aviation community

The Aero Club of Washington, D.C., on Oct. 27, presented AOPA President Phil Boyer with the 2008 Donald D. Engen Aero Club Trophy for Aviation Excellence, dubbing him a "giant" in the aviation community. The Engen Trophy is named for the late Adm. Donald D. Engen, former head of the FAA and director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. It is given to an individual, team, or organization for achievements in aviation that reaffirm the Wright brother's standard of excellence in aviation. "I'm deeply honored to receive this award," said Boyer. "It's really very special to me. I knew Don Engen as the head of our Air Safety Foundation when we really began our public aviation safety outreach. He was a very personal friend. We flew together many times." Read more >>

Credit crunch felt by GA manufacturers

The most obvious effects of a worldwide credit crunch this past week were reported by Cirrus Design, AAI Acquisition (formerly Adam Aircraft), and Grob. But all general aviation companies are affected. AOPA interviewed some of the major players, including analysts, manufacturers, and associations, for a pulse check on the GA industry. Find out who's cutting back, who's weathering the crisis OK, and who's projected go into bankruptcy next year. Read more >>

AOPA forges closer ties, establishes scholarship at UND

During a Pilot Town Meeting on Oct. 28, AOPA President Phil Boyer established a new $10,000 scholarship at the University of North Dakota's John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. Boyer took steps to strengthen the bond between the association, the school, and its 1,600 aerospace students when he announced a new partnership in which every aerospace student will become a member of AOPA. Read more >>

GA News

FAA releases 2009 Flight Plan

The FAA has released its 2009 Flight Plan, laying out priorities and goals for the coming year, including some requested by AOPA. The association had asked the FAA to actively support preserving and improving America's general aviation airports; increasing all-weather access to GA airports; and finding an unleaded alternative to today's low-lead avgas. The FAA's Flight Plan, released Oct. 28, addressed two of those concerns, but failed to commit on the crucial issue of preserving and improving airports. Read more >>

Cast your vote on Election Day

The upcoming presidential and congressional elections will have a crucial impact on general aviation issues, such as user fees and security. Before you head to the polls on Nov. 4, see where the presidential and congressional candidates stand on GA. For information about a particular member of Congress's position on GA, call AOPA at 800/USA-AOPA.

Garmin's new portable: Big, capable, costly

Garmin's new GPSMAP 696 is bigger, sharper, and more capable than any previous portable aviation GPS—and more expensive. At $3,295 and 3 pounds (including mounting hardware), the tablet-sized Garmin GPSMAP 696 is a whopper. It offers a far larger screen (7 inches diagonal), VFR and IFR charts, satellite weather, extensive flight planning tools, approach plates, SafeTaxi, and AOPA Airport Directory information not available anywhere else. Read more >>

Fly with the new GPSMAP 696 on your knee

What's it like to use the new Garmin GPSMAP 696 in the cockpit—in VFR and IFR conditions? AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman puts it to the test during a 900-mile IFR cross-country in a Bonanza A36, and on a pleasure flight in an open-cockpit biplane. Read more >>

AOPA members speak out about TSA security proposal

Citing the erosion of basic civil liberties, expanded government regulation and intrusion into general aviation, and a drain on economic resources, AOPA members are saying the Transportation Security Administration's proposed Large Aircraft Security Program is unacceptable as is. "A focus on a reasonable level of security for GA is a wise policy initiative, but it must be aimed at addressing a real problem, not a theoretical threat," one member wrote to AOPA. "The administrative and compliance burden (this plan would) place on operators is disproportionate to the threat." Read more >>

Fossett update: New bone fragments, personal items found

Newly discovered bone fragments found at the crash site of adventurer Steve Fossett on Oct. 29 are believed to be human, according to California's Madera County Sheriff John Anderson. The fragments will now be tested for DNA that could link them to Fossett. Testing was inconclusive, or negative, on a series of fragments found in early and mid-October. More personal items believed to belong to Fossett were also found. Read more >>

FAA backs down on new rules for knowledge testing centers

Thanks to intervention from AOPA, the FAA is not going to require knowledge testing center employees to become FAA designees or set mileage requirements between centers. The association strongly opposed a proposed order to make testing center employees become FAA designees because the process would have required days of travel and training for each employee. Read more >>

Tempelhof shuts down

Oct. 31, 2008, will go down as yet another dark day in recent aviation history. That's when Berlin, Germany's historic Tempelhof Airport will cease flight operations. Tempelhof, a city airport much like Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport or Kansas City's Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, is located just minutes from Berlin's downtown. Since last year, its fate has followed a trajectory closer to that of Chicago's erstwhile downtown airport—Meigs Field. Read more >>

Lancair owners form organization for safety, advocacy

A new nonprofit organization for Lancair owners and builders will focus on promoting the safe use of Lancair aircraft and emphasize owner, operator, and builder education and training, according to the group's founders. Read more >>

Aspen Grand Glass Giveaway at Expo

Aspen Avionics will award one lucky AOPA Expo attendee with an EFD1000 Pilot Primary Flight Display (PFD). The giveaway celebrates the production of Aspen's 1,000th Evolution Flight Display system. The Aspen Avionics EFD1000 PFD might sound familiar—that's because the system is also in AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Piper Archer. Each registered Expo attendee will receive a ticket, which can be dropped into the spinning bin at Aspen's booth (1438). AOPA President Phil Boyer and Aspen President and CEO John Uczekaj will choose the winner during a random drawing at 3 p.m. on Nov. 8. Read more >>


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.



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Safety & Proficiency

CFII trades dry erase boards for online aids

When Norm Wolfe of Fort Atkinson, Wis., began teaching instrument ground school at Proficient Flight, he realized that old methods of training just wouldn't do. "The one thing I did not like was the ground school training—a lot of talk and a lot of scribble on a dry erase board," he said. So he began to develop his own lesson plans. But the 19,000-hour former military and airline pilot struggled with the best ways to present some challenging concepts. That was when a friend suggested he check out the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online courses. Read more >>

New safety quiz sheds light on night flying

Sure it's Halloween—and the clocks are about to fall back to standard time—but that's no reason to be afraid of the dark. Flying at night can be a magical experience: The air is typically smooth, and the view can be breathtaking over well-lit terrain. Of course, night flying does require certain skills, especially when ground lights are sparse. The latest AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Quiz will help you prepare for your next night flight. For more night flight resources, check out this subject report. Remember, the switch back to standard time also will change the conversion to Zulu time.

Air Safety Foundation mails 180,000 free course CDs

Most ePilot readers recognize how easy it is to take one of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's free online courses. Just click a link, and you're there. But what about pilots who haven't shared their e-mail addresses with AOPA? In an unprecedented outreach campaign, the foundation this week mailed more than 180,000 free CDs to that very audience. The CDs contain Essential Aerodynamics: Stalls, Spins, and Safety, the foundation's popular interactive course that provides need-to-know concepts for avoiding maneuvering accidents. But you don't need the mailman to help you become a safer pilot—the aerodynamics course is available online anytime.

What part of ‘cloud’ don’t you understand?

VFR pilots flying into clouds is an old story. According to the 2007 Joseph T. Nall Report, 20 single-engine aircraft accidents, most of them fatal, occurred from this type of weather encounter. “Everyone in the business warns against VFR cloud busting, but we don’t know how many successful attempts are made,” writes Bruce Landsberg, AOPA Air Safety Foundation executive director, in his latest blog. “Perhaps the odds on any particular flight are pretty good, which is why some pilots continue to press on. In many cases though, do you ever wonder why the pilot is the only one who can’t see looming disaster?” Read more >>



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Airport Support

UNC moving toward new North Carolina airport

The University of North Carolina is in the process of creating a new airport authority—the first step in building a new airport in Orange County—and AOPA has offered its active support. AOPA has worked diligently for years to preserve the embattled Horace Williams Airport in Chapel Hill, N.C., or develop a replacement airport in Orange County. Recently, the state legislature granted the University of North Carolina system the right to create an airport authority, a necessary first step in developing a replacement airport, should Horace Williams ultimately be closed. Read more >>

Preserve airports proactively, AOPA urges Pennsylvania officials

The best time to save community airports is before they are threatened, and thoughtful land-use policies and zoning rules are the tools for the job, AOPA told members of the Pennsylvania Aviation Council at a recent conference. Read more >>

Protect your airport: Join the Airport Support Network at Expo

With a little time and some support from AOPA, you could boost your airport's presence and popularity in your community. Learn how to become part of AOPA's Airport Support Network on Friday, Nov. 7, at AOPA Expo in San Jose, Calif. Stop by the Marriott's Willow Glen rooms I, II, and III between noon and 5 p.m. to find out how easy it can be to promote, protect, and defend your airport. You also can get more information from AOPA's Government Affairs team, located at booth PS5, throughout the show.


To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit the Web site.


Airports ramp up for AOPA Expo attendees

Organizers at AOPA Expo host airports have spent countless hours preparing for your arrival. Santa Clara County Airports Authority has been instrumental in organizing local FBO resources at Reid-Hillview. At Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International, Atlantic Aviation has scheduled additional staff and resources to accommodate Expo attendees. Atlantic Aviation also will oversee the temporary aircraft parking areas at San Jose International, which will host the majority of aircraft. Parking and overnight fees have been reduced for the temporary parking areas. Rental car arrangements can be made through FBOs at either host airport. Hertz, Avis, and Alamo offer discounts up to 25 percent for AOPA members. For details, read the Expo Travel Information.

Let's Go Flying

Let's Go Flying, AOPA's new initiative that promotes aviation to the public and provides a resource for learning to fly, will be featured at AOPA Expo in San Jose, Calif. Bring interested nonpilots to Expo for free Let's Go Flying sessions on Friday, Nov. 7, at 11 a.m. and Saturday, Nov. 8, at 1:30 p.m. The sessions, led by a certificated flight instructor, will detail the steps involved in learning to fly and highlight the fun and utility of being a pilot. Each adult participant who has never taken an introductory flight lesson will receive a $149 introductory flight lesson rebate. Visit the Let's Go Flying booth, located in the McEnery Convention Center lobby, for on-site Expo registration packets and additional information on Let's Go Flying seminars.

Get a $500 gift card from AOPA Member Products at Expo

Take a short true-or-false quiz and then visit each AOPA Member Products partner booth to see how you did. Once your quiz has been graded, drop it in our entry box located in the Member Products booth, and you’ll be entered to win a $500 gift card. And that’s not all you could win. Stop by our aisle, and you could win prizes such as Sporty’s gift certificates, a Bose or David Clark headset, and ground school DVDs. See us at booths 1026 through 1039.


Aviation-themed holiday gifts

The holidays are right around the corner. If you're looking for gifts for pilots or individuals who'd like to be pilots, look no further than AOPA's Holiday Gift Guide. The Gift Guide features a collection of stylish aviation gear, including leather pilot jackets, aviator sunglasses, flight bags, and more.

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: Now that it is getting dark earlier, I would like to practice some night takeoffs and landings to gain currency and proficiency. I prefer that my CFI comes with me; however, like me, he is not current to carry passengers at night according to FAR 61.57(b). For this situation, is my CFI considered a passenger and therefore cannot accompany me?


Answer: Although neither of you is night current, your CFI can come with you. The FAA does not view this scenario as having a passenger on board. FAA legal counsel has explained, through a letter of interpretation that, "for purposes of section 61.57(b), an authorized instructor providing instruction in an aircraft is not considered a passenger with respect to the person receiving instruction, even where the person receiving the instruction is acting as PIC. The instructor is not a passenger because he is present specifically to train the person receiving instruction. Neither is the person receiving instruction a passenger with respect to the instructor. This training may take place, even though neither pilot has met the 61.57(b) requirements."


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

Go West young man

AOPA Expo is fast approaching, and that means a trek out West with the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer. It's a trip most of us dream about, and in the glass-equipped Archer, we'll be riding first class. Learn about the trip in this week's update.


Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an Aviation Technical Specialist and an AOPA Air Safety Foundation Intern. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Picture Perfect

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.

To submit an event or to search all events in the calendar 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 Austin, Texas, and Reston, Va., Nov. 1 and 2; and San Diego, Calif., Atlanta, Ga., and Albuquerque, N.M., Nov. 15 and 16. 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 Pikeville, N.C., Nov. 1; Flat Rock, N.C., Nov. 3; Thomasville, N.C., Nov. 4; Pinehurst, N.C., Nov. 5 and Gaithersburg, Md., Nov. 12. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.


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Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller | Contributors: Warren Morningstar, Alton Marsh

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