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AOPA ePilot - Volume 10, Issue 37AOPA ePilot - Volume 10, Issue 37

Volume 10, Issue 37 • September 12, 2008
In this issue:
GA security: What's changed since 9/11
Civil Air Patrol on hurricane duty
Celebrate GA with Boyer at AOPA Expo

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GA News

GA SECURITY: WHAT'S CHANGED SINCE 9/11
In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy, general aviation security was immediately thrust into scrutiny. AOPA, the pilot community, and the federal government implemented numerous security measures in response, even though GA had no role in the events that morning. "AOPA and the pilot community have worked hard during the past seven years to increase GA security," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "GA is more secure, in large part, because the pilot community has a vested interest in protecting their aircraft and airports." See where GA security stands.

FATAL ACCIDENTS IN NORTH LAS VEGAS SPARK PUBLIC OUTREACH
Within a one-week period, two fatal accidents occurred near North Las Vegas Airport, sparking concern among the public about aviation safety. AOPA and the Air Safety Foundation reached out to a shocked community in an effort to present the facts about GA and its safety record. On Aug. 22, a Velocity experimental aircraft crashed into a house near the airport, killing the pilot and two people on the ground. Then, on Aug. 28, a Piper Navajo crashed into a yard, burning two homes. The pilot was killed, but those in the houses survived. "Fatal general aviation accidents are very low, and it is rare that anyone on the ground is injured or killed when an aircraft crashes," said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Read more on AOPA Online.

AOPA GOES TO BAT FOR SMALL KNOWLEDGE TESTING CENTERS
AOPA is continuing to put pressure on the FAA to reinstate knowledge test privileges at certain CATS and LaserGrade testing facilities across the country. The FAA had made a policy change that revoked the privileges at roughly 160 centers because they gave fewer than 25 tests last year. The policy also stated that testing centers had to be a certain distance apart. In a follow-up letter to the FAA, AOPA requested that the agency immediately reinstate all testing centers that have asked for reconsideration or have appealed the cancellation of their testing privileges under the new 100-mile distance requirement. Read more on AOPA Online.

BOYER TO RECEIVE NBAA AWARD FOR SERVICE TO GA
NBAA will honor AOPA President Phil Boyer with its prestigious Meritorious Service to Aviation Award during NBAA's annual convention next month. "Phil Boyer is among the most respected, knowledgeable, and effective figures in the history of general aviation," said Ed Bolen, NBAA president and CEO. "Phil's contributions have greatly benefited us all, and we thank him for his many years of leadership and service." Boyer will be recognized for his "tremendously effective advocacy and promotion of general aviation" during his 18 years in AOPA's left seat. NBAA made particular note of his tenacious leadership of the fight against GA user fees. The award will be presented during NBAA's sixty-first Annual Meeting and Convention, from Oct. 6 through 8 in Orlando, Fla.

AIRPORT PRESERVATION A TOP PRIORITY FOR AOPA
A recent meeting of the AOPA Airport Support Network Board of Advisors focused on the 10-year-old organization's future with working groups on recruiting and retaining volunteers, encouraging advocacy, and the use of social networking. The Sept. 6 meeting placed special emphasis on new strategies for finding and retaining volunteers. "Airport Support Network volunteers are our eyes and ears at nearly 2,000 airports nationwide," said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. "But we need more members to help protect the nation's airports. We want to see a volunteer at every public-use airport in the country." Visit AOPA Online to find out if your airport has an ASN volunteer and learn how you can help.

CIVIL AIR PATROL ON HURRICANE DUTY
Even as Hurricane Ike takes aim at the Texas coast, Civil Air Patrol members are using Cessna 172s and 182s to assess damage from Hurricane Gustav. Through Monday, the CAP's Louisiana Wing had flown 42 sorties and more than 83 flight hours. The FAA has begun issuing notams for those hurricane relief efforts. Gustav struck the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts as a Category 2 hurricane last week. Read more on AOPA Online.

S.C. FLIGHT SCHOOL CLOSES
The North American Institute of Aviation (NAIA) located in Conway/Horry County Airport, S.C., has ceased flight training "temporarily," according to the school. Arrangements, pending U.S. State Department approval, have been made for nearly 30 students from Sweden, Norway, and Finland to attend the Pelican Flight Training Center in Pembroke Pines (Miami area), Fla. If the State Department approves the transfer of the students, Pelican will also take the 20 leased Cessna 172s and 152s once used by NAIA. Read more on AOPA Online.

COMMEMORATIVE AIR FORCE CLASHES WITH AIR FORCE OVER F-82
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF), based in Midland, Texas, is appealing a court decision giving ownership of a rare North American F-82—sometimes called the Twin Mustang but actually a new design—to the Air Force. The CAF claimed that the Air Force first donated the aircraft in 1966 with provisions for its eventual return, then in 1968 gave permission to fly the airplane and referred to it as an official donation to the CAF, with no provisions for its return. The Air Force issued a "transfer certificate" to the CAF as well. Read more on AOPA Online.

MEXICAN GOVERNMENT NOW PROVIDING VFR CHARTS
Now is a great time to fly to Mexico. The country has just released new VFR charts, which show topography, airport information (location, elevation, and runway length), navaids (location, type, and frequency), and restricted or prohibited airspace. These charts, based on the world aeronautical chart (WAC) scale, were developed directly by Mexico's aviation and charting departments to provide pilots with information that is far more accurate and up to date than what was previously available with other charts. Read more on AOPA Online.

DRIFTING ON COURSE: KNOW THINE LIMITATIONS
This week Jeremy King becomes a sponge, soaking up airline knowledge in the third installment of his six-part series about going from a grass strip to an airline cockpit.

MISSOURI PILOT WINS SPORTY’S SWEEPSTAKES
AOPA member Jeff Hux received a voice mail on Sept. 10 that any pilot would appreciate. The call from Mike Wolf, president of Sporty’s Pilot Shop, told Hux that he is the provisional winner of the 2008 Sporty’s Sweepstakes. The prize is a new Cessna 172SP with a Garmin G1000 cockpit and Bose headsets. Hux, a farmer in Sikeston, Mo., must sign a release and provide a copy of his pilot certificate before he will be awarded the airplane. Read more on AOPA Online.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

NEVER AGAIN ONLINE: GAS PAINS IN A CESSNA 182
Fuel contamination can cause a rough-running, or worse, silent engine, as this pilot learned on a cross-country flight. Read what went wrong in the latest installment of Never Again Online.

FOOTBALL SEASON KICKS OFF WITH STADIUM TFRs
With football season now under way, pilots need to be mindful of temporary flight restrictions around stadiums. The FAA's blanket notam prohibits aircraft and parachute operations at and below 3,000 feet within three nautical miles of large stadiums. The TFRs go into effect an hour before and extend until an hour after the scheduled events. To help pilots avoid the TFRs, AOPA has compiled a list of the NFL stadiums. You can also find information about the locations of other sporting events.

NEW QUIZ HIGHLIGHTS THE HAZARDS OF SPATIAL DISORIENTATION
We humans are VFR-only creatures. The senses we use to maintain our balance and know "which end is up" are completely unreliable when our bodies are in motion without visual reference to the world around us. Spatial disorientation can set in rapidly and has claimed the lives of both instrument- and noninstrument-rated pilots alike. Test your knowledge of the hazards with the latest quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. To see how spatial disorientation can contribute to a fatal GA accident-and learn how the crash could have been prevented-check out the foundation's new accident re-creation minicourse, Accident Case Study: VFR Into IMC .

SPEAK UP
Last week, AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg flew through the remnants of Hurricane Gustav in an aircraft equipped with weather datalink. Still, he called ATC to inquire what precipitation the controller saw. "The response was, 'There's precip all along your route to destination.' While accurate, it provided no real information, and there was no mention of the shower," Landsberg writes in his latest blog entry. But working with a different controller on the return flight, he received much more information. Read about his trip, and the variability of ATC services online.

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.

Inside AOPA

CELEBRATE GA WITH BOYER AT AOPA EXPO
AOPA Expo is the place to see the newest aircraft on the market, buy the latest pilot gear (this year features the largest exhibit hall ever), learn from educational seminars, and find out what your association is doing to protect GA. "Each year Expo gets better and better," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "And since this will be my last Expo as AOPA's leader, I'm really looking forward to the special events and meeting with members one last time as president." Register in advance to join Boyer at AOPA Expo in San Jose from Nov. 6 through 8 and save up to 29 percent on admission.

PROTECT YOUR FAMILY
Protecting your family's financial future is the most important investment you can make. AOPA members can purchase up to $200,000 of Aviation AD&D coverage, and that's guaranteed. No medical exam is necessary, and there are no health questions asked. As an AOPA member, you already qualify for this essential coverage. Coping with an unexpected loss is difficult; make sure your family has financial peace of mind. As the wife of one AOPA member put it, the $100,000 AD&D policy her husband had purchased "was another sign of his love and protection of her and their children." Take the time to assess your family's needs, and purchase your AD&D policy today.

AOPA INSURANCE AGENCY CELEBRATES 15 YEARS OF SERVICE
"In order to address our members' ongoing need for quality aviation insurance services, 15 years ago AOPA made the decision to create an aviation insurance agency that its members would own,” said AOPA President Phil Boyer. “Rather than the traditional model of endorsing an agency or underwriter and simply receiving a small royalty, AOPA members (along with our partner, Aon Risk Services) now have an equity interest in the largest light aircraft insurance agency in the world, a successful business founded on their support, whose profit helps fund ongoing AOPA projects such as Airport Watch, Airport Support Network, Let’s Go Flying, and other efforts that depend so heavily on AOPA Certified Member Products.” Learn more on AOPA Online.

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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: I hear the terms all the time, but can you please explain the difference between controlled and uncontrolled airspace?

Answer: Within the United States, airspace is classified as either controlled or uncontrolled. Controlled airspace, a generic term that covers Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace, has defined dimensions. Within controlled airspace, ATC services will be provided to all pilots operating IFR. The services are also provided by request to pilots operating VFR. Class G airspace is defined as uncontrolled airspace and will characteristically have lower cloud clearance and flight visibility requirements than controlled airspace. Uncontrolled airspace will typically afford extra freedom, for example being able to practice takeoffs and landings under weather conditions rendering airports in controlled airspace unavailable. But along with that freedom comes risks posed by the generally lower visibility and cloud separation standards that apply. For more information, check out the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's interactive course, Know Before You Go: Navigating Today's Airspace .

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

RIGGING IT UP RIGHT
Aircraft rigging is a skill shrouded in mystery, even though most airplanes in the fleet are in need of an adjustment. We first noticed the need for an adjustment on the Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer on a long cross-country. A few weeks ago we had it fixed. See this week's sweepstakes update to learn how, and find out what it's done to the aircraft's performance.

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 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 Morristown, N.J., and Reno, Nev., Sept. 15; East Windsor, Conn., and Boise, Idaho, Sept. 16; Milpitas, Cal., Marlborough, Mass., and Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 17; Grand Forks, N.D., and Manchester, N.H., Sept. 18. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.


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Editorial Team:

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

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