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AOPA ePilot - Volume 10, Issue 36AOPA ePilot - Volume 10, Issue 36

Volume 10, Issue 36 • September 5, 2008
In this issue:
Pilots need a clear signal on ELTs
Second Fossett search nearing end
VFR into IMC leads to in-flight breakup

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GA News

PILOTS NEED A CLEAR SIGNAL ON ELTs
U.S. aircraft owners are stuck in the middle, so to speak, of three different stances from the United States, Canada, and Mexico on whether to mandate that aircraft be equipped with 406-MHz ELTs. Currently, the FAA is not planning to mandate the 406-MHz ELT. Canada and Mexico plan to require the unit, although Mexico has agreed to an alternative for U.S.-registered aircraft. AOPA opposes any mandate for the 406-MHz ELT, believing that the option should be left to pilots. The issue is heightened because satellites will stop monitoring 121.5 MHz, on which most ELTs transmit, on Feb. 1, 2009. Read more on AOPA Online.

TSA CALLS ON GA PILOTS TO STOP UNAUTHORIZED AIRCRAFT USE
The prevention of unauthorized aircraft use is an issue at the forefront of concern for the Department of Homeland Security. This week, the Transportation Security Administration released specific recommendations for general aviation pilots and fixed-based operators all designed to prevent the unauthorized use of aircraft. These recommendations include securing aircraft, like using a secondary locking mechanism (hangar, prop lock, throttle lock, etc.), and being alert for and reporting suspicious activity to the TSA’s 866/GA-SECURE hotline. Much like AOPA’s Airport Watch Program, the recommendations center on practical, commonsense security precautions. Read more on AOPA Online.

MCCAIN VP NOMINEE HAS GA CONNECTIONS
Sen. John McCain's choice of running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, has a positive association with general aviation. Her husband is a pilot and an AOPA member. Considering that GA is the primary form of long-distance transportation in the forty-ninth state, it's not surprising that Gov. Palin has taken a stand against user fees. In May 2007, she signed an AOPA-backed resolution in opposition to the FAA's plan for excessive avgas taxes and user fees. Read more on AOPA Online.

TEXAS COURT REFUSES APPEALS IN CRANKSHAFT CASE
A legal battle between Lycoming and Texas-based Interstate Southwest came a step closer to completion—in Texas at least—after the Texas Supreme Court refused to hear two appeals, one from each side. Lycoming sued Interstate five years ago after a series of crankshaft failures, saying the manufacturing at the Navasota, Texas, foundry was at fault. Interstate countersued, winning a $96 million judgment after convincing a jury that it was Lycoming's design that was at fault. In particular, the design included the addition of vanadium to the alloy mix. That award was later reduced in a lower court to attorneys' fees, which came to several million dollars. Read more on AOPA Online.

ECLIPSE REORGANIZES CORPORATE STRUCTURE
A management restructuring is Eclipse Aviation’s latest attempt to solidify the future of the troubled very light jet manufacturer. CEO Roel Pieper says the new divisional structure is another step in the company’s "operational excellence strategy." Read more on AOPA Online.

GEESE NOW FLYING WITH GPS
Wouldn't it be nice if airport birds could be fitted with transmitters so controllers know exactly where they are? Wait a minute, somebody has already done that. Fifteen non-migratory geese at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C., are now wearing personal locators—GPS transmitters that report not only the location of the birds, but their altitude and speed when in the air. Read more on AOPA Online.

SECOND FOSSETT SEARCH NEARING END
A second attempt by friends and fellow explorers to find adventurer Steve Fossett will continue to Sept. 10. Searchers had hoped to find a clue to Fossett's disappearance by Sept. 3, the one-year anniversary after Fossett took off from a Nevada ranch near Yearington, Nev., and failed to return. Fossett disappeared while flying a Bellanca Decathlon south of Reno in west-central Nevada.

DRIFTING ON COURSE: AIRLINE BOOT CAMP
Jeremy King learns how to operate a waffle iron while being grilled on policies and procedures. Welcome to airline pilot boot camp. Read more about his adventures in the second installment of his six-part series on going from a grass-strip mechanic to a regional airline pilot.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

VFR INTO IMC LEADS TO IN-FLIGHT BREAKUP
VFR pilots deprived of visual references in flight can quickly lose control of the aircraft. Ground impact is typically what destroys the airplane in these cases, but sometimes a panicked pilot lost in the soup can push an aircraft literally to the breaking point. On Sept. 4, 2006, the noninstrument-rated pilot of a Cessna 150 flew into IMC near Penhook, Va. The aircraft entered an unusual attitude so extreme that the wings were torn from the airplane in flight. Read more in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. To learn more about the hazards of spatial disorientation, check out the foundation's new accident re-creation minicourse, Accident Case Study: VFR Into IMC .

HURRICANE RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR YOU
Hurricane Gustav reminds us that we are in the midst of the dangerous storm season. That means you need to protect yourself and your aircraft. Does your aircraft insurance company provide hurricane protection coverage? What do you do if you can't fly away? "Simply put, you want to do everything you can to make sure your airplane is immobilized and that there's nothing else loose that could blow into your airplane," said Woody Cahall, AOPA vice president of the Pilot Information Center. Learn more on AOPA Online.

SAFETY OF SECURITY
Securing general aviation aircraft is top of mind among some governmental agencies. Devices like the throttle lock, prop lock, and boot abound. All three of these devices will help deter theft, but are they all equal? Bruce Landsberg discusses the differences in his latest blog entry.

Inside AOPA

REGISTER NOW FOR AOPA EXPO
Advance AOPA Expo registration savings of up to 29 percent will end Oct. 6! Join your fellow aviation enthusiasts for three fun-packed days at AOPA Expo 2008, Nov. 6 through 8, in San Jose, Calif. Register now to obtain special rates for packages that include the exhibit hall, educational seminars, and social events. Daily general sessions and the aircraft display are free and open to the public. When you book your room at an AOPA hotel, you will receive special rates and, upon check-in, a gift bag filled with information on everything San Jose has to offer. Hotel reservations must be made by Oct. 12 in order to ensure special AOPA member rates.

GET A JUMP ON THE HOLIDAYS WITH AVIATION-THEMED CARDS
With Labor Day behind and a hint of fall in the air, the holidays are just around the corner. Get a jump on the season—and show your support for air safety—with aviation-themed holiday cards from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Available in more than two dozen designs, the cards are a perfect way to share your love of flight with family, friends, and future pilots. And a portion of the proceeds helps the foundation provide free safety programs for pilots around the country. To order or view the cards, visit the foundation's Holiday Card Center.

Changing mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.

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: After reading the Aug. 29 Quiz Me about the change to a 30-hour TAF, I am curious to learn more. How will the TAF format look after Nov. 5?

Answer: Because some large airports in the United States are changing to a 30-hour TAF, there will be formatting changes, which will include new date and time abbreviations. The abbreviations for weather phenomena, visibility, wind, and sky conditions will remain the same. A current TAF only provides time of day, but because a 30-hour TAF will stretch into a new day, the new format will include date/time information to identify the forecast periods. For example, the valid date will now be 2418/2524. This means that the TAF is valid from day 24 of the month at 1800Z to day 25 of the month at 2400Z. See the new TAF format and learn how to decode it on the National Weather Service Web site.

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

A FULLY INTEGRATED COCKPIT
What is a fully integrated cockpit? Whatever the answer, most would agree that it must include an autopilot. AOPA's Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer has one of the best—an S-Tec System Fifty Five X. The System Fifty Five X is fully integrated to the Aspen Avionics EFD1000 primary flight display, making the sweeps Archer great for long-distance trips. Learn more in this week's update.

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a Manager of Aviation Security, Associate Project Manager in the Air Safety Foundation, Public Relations Manager, Manager of State Legislative Affairs, and Director of Development. To learn more about these and other career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Picture Perfect

The AOPA Online Gallery allows you to download your favorite aviation images to use for wallpaper, send a personalized e-card, and order high-quality prints to be shipped directly to your doorstep. Search the hundreds of fabulous images in our archives and select your favorites today!

Aviation Events & Weather

Looking for something to do this weekend? Want 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 Phoenix, Ariz., Colorado Springs, Colo., and Sacramento, Calif., Sept. 6 and 7; in Richmond, Va., Sept. 13 and 14; and in Baltimore, Md., and Seattle, Wash., Sept. 20 and 21. 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 Wichita, Kan.; Ypsilanti, Mich.; and Germantown, Tenn., on Sept. 8. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.


This issue of ePilot was created for
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Member Tools:

Editorial Team:

  • ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller
  • Contributors: Nate Ferguson, Warren Morningstar, and Alton Marsh

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