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JUDGES HEAR AOPA'S CASE AGAINST PHOENIX CLASS B REDESIGN
After the FAA unexpectedly modified the VFR flyway through Phoenix Class B airspace as part of a larger airspace redesign, AOPA filed a lawsuit, claiming that the FAA neglected to follow its own rules for creating and modifying airspace. The association also alleges that the FAA has not adequately addressed the airspace compression caused by the redesign or provided proof that the modifications were even needed. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals heard arguments from both sides. "We're holding the FAA accountable," said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "The FAA can't choose what airspace changes it wants to keep quiet and what changes it will offer for user input." Read more on AOPA Online.
GALVESTON AIRPORT DEMOLISHED BY HURRICANE IKE
Scholes International At Galveston Airport bore the brunt of Hurricane Ike on Sept. 12. The Texas airport, with an elevation of only 6 feet, was hit with a nearly 16-foot storm surge. Even though the airport and Galveston Island remained closed early this week, AOPA Airport Support Network Volunteer George Gould was able to make it back to survey the damage. View a slide show of the damage and find out how other airports in Texas and Louisiana fared on AOPA Online.
ECLIPSE CERTIFICATION PREMATURE, HOUSE COMMITTEE SAYS
Despite a recent determination by an FAA review panel that the certification of the Eclipse Aviation 500 in 2006 was the "right call," the House aviation subcommittee said it disagreed during a Sept. 17 hearing. Both the aircraft type certification and the production certificate were premature, according to a report from the aviation subcommittee of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The production certificate was awarded April 26, 2007, and the type certificate was awarded Sept. 30, 2006 (the last day of the FAA fiscal year), despite warnings of problems with the aircraft that continue today, the subcommittee said in a report. Read more on AOPA Online.
SKYCATCHER PROTOTYPE CRASHES
One of the first Cessna 162 SkyCatcher light sport aircraft prototypes crashed Sept. 18 during a test flight 30 miles southeast of the Cessna Aircraft Company factory in Wichita, Kan. The aircraft crashed near a wooded area, but the pilot landed safely by parachute about 400 yards from where the SkyCatcher crashed, according to a news report by a KAKE television news team. Read more on AOPA Online.
FOREIGN FLIGHT STUDENTS GET ALTERNATIVE TO J-1 VISA
In an effort to allow foreign flight school students to continue flight training in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security said that it will create a new visa category, M, to replace the J-1 visa, which is set to end in June 2010. "AOPA has been pressing for an alternative to the current visa being phased out," said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of security. "As things currently stand, the M visa will have all of the characteristics of the J-1 visa, so our expectation is that the transition should be seamless for students and flight schools." Read more on AOPA Online.
'NO AIRLINE WOULD EVER HIRE ME'
The flight that would so alter Logan Flood's life was supposed to be an unremarkable, early morning cargo run. The trip from Lincoln, Neb., to rural Valentine in a Beech 58 Baron took place every Wednesday morning, and for Silverhawk Aviation flight crews, the delivery of medical supplies meant a 5:30 a.m. departure into the cold, winter darkness for a relatively short 90 minutes of flight pay. But for Flood, then a flight instructor, the trip was another step toward his goal of becoming a corporate or airline pilot. Instead, it ended in disaster and sent Flood to the hospital with burns so severe, he had only a 13 percent chance of survival. Flood battled back and returned to the air. Now, he's an airline pilot. Read his remarkable story online.
PIPER SHOWS OFF PIPERJET IN PAINT
Piper Aircraft this week provided the public with its first official look at the unusual PiperJet. The company's first jet product features a single tail-mounted Williams FJ44-3AP engine, a slender 44-foot-long wing with winglets, and a large cabin with lavatory. The prototype, flying since July 30, utilizes a straight main landing gear system. Read more on AOPA Online.
AOPA HONORED FOR SUPPORT OF PUBLIC BENEFIT FLYING
AOPA President Phil Boyer on Sept. 18 accepted a special award on behalf of the association from the National Aeronautic Association and Air Care Alliance. The groups honored AOPA's longtime support for public benefit flying. The ceremony took place in the U.S. Capitol. "New pilots often ask me, 'What can I do with my license now that I have it?'" said Boyer. "Well this is it. Through groups like Air Care Alliance, use your certificate to help others."
THE NEXT TBM: WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Officials at EADS Socata are still mum about its rumored next airplane, but at least they'll allow that the project has a name. The upcoming design's working name is being called the NTx. The NT stands for "next twin," and the "x" represents a bit of uncertainty. It either stands for a six-seat or eight-seat cabin configuration, or perhaps the design will come in two cabin sizes, the company says. There's obviously more to the project than just its name, but spokesmen aren't willing to go there just yet. The airplane doesn't have a launch date or a firm price target. More information may be revealed at the upcoming National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando, Fla., from Oct. 6 to 8.
HIGH SCHOOLERS REFURBISH PIPER CHEROKEE FOR CHARITY
High school students in Raleigh, N.C., are refurbishing a donated Piper Cherokee so that it can be used in support of housing and disaster relief in the Bahamas. The aircraft was donated to Bahamas Habitat, a Christian nonprofit organization. The students in the Broughton Transportation Academy, part of Needham Broughton High School, will bring the Cherokee to airworthy condition so that it can be flown to Bahamas Habitat's headquarters on the island of Eleuthera. While Bahamas Habitat is supplying all of the funding and parts needed for the project, the organization is looking for donations, including a serviceable Lycoming O-360 engine and exhaust system, a Garmin MX 20 multifunction display, and a Mode-S transponder. For more information, see the Web site.
DRIFTING ON COURSE: HIGH-STAKES COMPUTER GAMES
Two months and a day after starting basic indoctrination for the airlines, Jeremy King finally sat in front of an instrument panel and started doing "pilot stuff." Read about his simulator training in this fourth installment of a six-part series of King's experience going from a grass strip to an airline cockpit.
| Squawk Sheet |
PILOTS' FAILURE TO REMOVE GUST LOCK SPARKS CALL FOR AD
A pilot's lapse in judgment shouldn't be corrected by an airworthiness directive (AD), AOPA has told the FAA. But that's what the agency is trying to do. It recently proposed an AD that would require Viking Air Limited DHC-6 series Twin Otter aircraft to be modified "to ensure downward deflection of the elevators when the control lock is installed and the addition of a control lock warning flag." The AD is the result of two instances in which a DHC-6 took off with the control lock installed. Additionally, a June 2008 accident in Hyannis, Mass., sparked concern because the preliminary accident report indicates that part of the control lock was still installed on the DHC-6. Read more on AOPA Online.
ECi AD AFFECTS 13,000 TITAN CYLINDERS
The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive (AD) for certain ECi Titan cylinders installed on 320-, 360-, and 540-series Lycoming engines. The AD, which affects about 13,000 cylinders, is a result of 45 failures of ECi cylinder head separations. Effective Oct. 20, the cylinder assemblies will need initial and repetitive visual inspections and compression tests to detect cracks at the head-to-barrel interface. Inspections will need to be repeated every 50 hours time in service. Cylinders that are cracked must be replaced. Read more on AOPA Online.
| Safety & Proficiency |
NEW INTERNATIONAL NOTAM HAS MINIMAL IMPACT ON GA
The FAA has issued a new international notam that will go into effect on Oct. 6. The new notam does not affect U.S.-registered aircraft weighing less than 100,309 lbs. Pilots and flight-crewmembers who fly non-U.S.-registered aircraft or U.S.- registered aircraft weighing more than 100,309 lbs can learn more about the changes from AOPA's plain-language explanation of the notam.
BOTCHED LANDING IGNITES INFERNO
More general aviation accidents occur during landing than any other phase of flight. And while these mishaps typically aren't fatal, the potential for disaster is always present. On May 26, 2007, a Columbia 350 (now Cessna) crashed during an aborted landing at Mountain Air Airport in Burnsville, N.C. After approaching the 2,800-foot runway high and fast, the airplane bounced several times and careened into a row of parked aircraft. The impact ignited a large fire that consumed three aircraft, including the Columbia. Read more in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Learn how to avoid a similar accident by attending the foundation's new safety seminar, " Mastering Takeoffs and Landings."
BLIND TO THE SATELLITES
With satellite monitoring of 121.5-MHz ELTs scheduled to end on Feb. 1, 2009, many pilots are wondering whether they should equip with a 406-MHz ELT. The FAA has shown no indication that it will require U.S. aircraft to be equipped with 406-MHz ELTs. AOPA believes pilots should choose which they want to use. To help you through the decision-making process, read Ian J. Twombly's article, " Blind to the Satellites," in the October 2008 AOPA Pilot.
EVER HAD A 'NEVER AGAIN' MOMENT?
Have you ever learned something in an airplane the hard way? Share your hard-won experience with fellow fliers by contributing a "Never Again" story to AOPA Pilot. The popular stories of mistakes made and lessons learned have been a magazine staple for 50 years and more recently on AOPA Online. Send us your stories.
Many pilots believe the notion that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg read a recent Aviation Safety Reporting System report about “a wild and crazy autopilot that went berserk on a Piper Mailbu.” Read about the incident in his latest blog entry.
| Inside AOPA |
AOPA SPONSORS CONFERENCE ON AVIATION, SPACE EDUCATION
As part of its continuing efforts to support the future of general aviation, AOPA is sponsoring the National Coalition for Aviation Education's (NCAE's) 2008 Conference on Aviation and Space Education from Oct. 16 to 18 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va. "AOPA and its members are committed to expanding the pilot population, and to do that, we recognize how important it is for educators to develop and share strategies to include aerospace concepts and issues in today's mainstream curricula," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. The conference, titled "Today's Students: Tomorrow's Aerospace Workforce," will focus on the integration of aviation and space concepts into core curriculum subject areas. As part of its sponsorship, AOPA will present its PATH to Aviation curriculum to more than 2,000 educators.
CAST YOUR VOTE FOR BEST PHOTO OF THE MONTH
It's time to pick your favorite photo of the month in the AOPA Pilot 2008 General Aviation Photography Contest. Go online to select from the 12 best entries chosen by AOPA Pilot staff. Cash prizes totaling $5,000, including a grand prize of $1,000, will be awarded in the annual contest and announced in December. This is the last monthly contest of the year, so get your vote in now.
EXPLORE NEW HORIZONS AT AOPA EXPO 2008
The San Jose McEnery Convention Center will showcase more than 600 exhibits, including cutting-edge avionics, flight gear, equipment, and pilot services, during AOPA Expo 2008 from Nov. 6 through 8. Learn about safety, proficiency, ownership, medical issues, and flying destinations during the 60-plus hours of seminars that will be offered throughout the three days. Then, explore more than 67 aircraft that will be on display, including the newest models from major aircraft manufacturers. Read more on AOPA Online.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT
With the AOPA personal checking account from Bank of America, you'll generate contributions to AOPA when you open a new checking account and each time you make a purchase with your AOPA Check Card—at no additional cost to you. You can also get $50 if you open your new account by Oct. 31. Now your everyday banking can help deliver valuable revenue to AOPA to help fight user fees and support AOPA's daily effort to maintain the safety and freedom of flying. Visit the Web site or your neighborhood Bank of America and use offer code WGSAOPA0908.
| Airport Support Network |
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.
| 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 lost my airworthiness certificate for my Cessna 172. Is there an easy way to get a duplicate?
Answer: You will need to apply for a new airworthiness certificate and must contact your local flight standards district office. When making the appointment with the inspector, you may want to ask what documents he or she will want to see. Typically, the inspector reviews the application for an airworthiness certificate, the maintenance logs, and proof of ownership/registration (i.e., registration card). More information is available on the FAA's 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 |
LEARNING TO FLY THE GLASS
Modern avionics bring new training challenges as pilots who once learned on conventional instruments try to transition to electronic displays. The 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer features the Aspen Avionics EFD1000 primary flight display, a compact new glass display that the winner will have to learn how to use. Come by this week's update to learn more about glass training and the Aspen.
| Coming Up In 'AOPA Pilot' |
Hone your missed approach skills and find out what new avionics are making their way into older airplanes in the October edition of AOPA Pilot. It'll be in your mailboxes shortly. For a sneak peak at the stories and interactive features, visit AOPA Pilot Online.
| 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 Baltimore, Md., and Seattle, Wash., Sept. 20 and 21; and San Jose, Calif., Indianapolis, Ind., and Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 4 and 5. 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 Mesa, Ariz., Eden Prairie, Minn., and San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 22; Tucson, Ariz., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Houston, Texas, Sept. 23; and Bellevue, Neb., Austin, Texas, and El Paso, Texas, Sept. 24. Topics vary-for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.