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AOPA ePilot Volume 11, Issue 33 — August 14, 2009

In This Issue:
Texas pilot eagerly awaits Summit
Sport pilot interpretation renews debate
Never Again Online: Thunderstorm encounter

GA News   |   Safety & Proficiency   |    Member Benefits   |   Quiz Me



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today's top stories

Texas pilot eagerly awaits Summit

John Couzelis of Little Elm, Texas, can’t wait for AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Fla., this November. An AOPA member since 1991, he last attended an AOPA convention in 1999, when AOPA Expo was in Atlantic City, N.J. “I haven’t had an opportunity to go since,” he said. “My job didn’t allow me to take off.” Couzelis, who is now retired, won an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the event in a drawing he entered at the AOPA tent during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. “I made a point this year to say I really wanted to go to Summit. …” he said. “There are some nice benefits to being retired.” With more time on his hands, Couzelis devotes some of his flying to charity flights. Read more >>

AOPA reaches out to media in wake of N.Y. accident

In the wake of the tragic Aug. 8 accident in the New York Hudson River VFR corridor involving a general aviation airplane and a sightseeing helicopter, AOPA quickly reached out to the media with the facts about the airspace and GA safety. AOPA President Craig Fuller and AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg offered condolences to the families of the victims. Read more >>


Russian Flat: Fuller talks with Montana pilots

AOPA President Craig Fuller met with 50 Montana pilots at the Bozeman, Mont., airport Aug. 5. Discussions ranged from potential airport security procedures to user fees. He also offered support to backcountry airstrips while in the state. The meeting occurred in the pilot shelter at Gallatin Field. Fuller visited the newest airstrip to be built on National Forest Service land, Russian Flat. Acting as hosts for his visit were officials of the Recreational Aviation Foundation, an organization formed by pilots who are passionate about backcountry flying. Read more >>

Arkansas lawmakers support GA industry

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe and Sens. Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln commended the general aviation industry for its contributions to the state economy at The General Aviation Jobs for Arkansas Forum Aug. 12. The forum was organized by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), in partnership with Dassault Falcon and Hawker Beechcraft Corporation. “General aviation is a critical component of Arkansas’ economy, and I want to help this industry continue to flourish in our state,” Pryor said. “It’s an honor to view the first-rate work product built by thousands of Arkansans and to meet these innovators in person.” Read more >>

NTSB calls for sleep apnea screening

The NTSB has recommended that the FAA change the application for an airman medical certificate to request information related to sleep apnea. The NTSB also made other recommendations directed at determining the impact of short-haul, multi-segment flights on pilot fatigue. The NTSB recommendation stems from an incident in 2008, when a Bombardier CL-600-2B19 operated by Mesa Airlines flew past its destination airport, General Lyman Field in Hilo, Hawaii, after both the captain and first officer fell asleep. Read more >>

FAA issues SAIB for Garmin navigational auto-tune issue

The FAA has issued a special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) alerting owners and operators of aircraft equipped with Garmin G1000, Perspective, and Prodigy Integrated Flight Decks installed with GFC 700 autopilots of an issue with the navigational radio auto-tune feature while performing a VOR or ILS approach. “Changes to navigation frequencies that occur between navigation database cycle distributions may cause a mismatch between the automatically tuned LOC/ILS frequency and the frequency shown on the approach chart or applicable notam. In these cases, the mismatched (incorrect) automatically tuned frequency may cause the HSI to automatically slew to the wrong course,” the bulletin states. Read more >>

New lightweight helicopter available in the United States

JSC CB Aerocopter, a European helicopter manufacturer located in Poltava, Ukraine, announced the U.S. availability of its Aerocopter AK1-3 light helicopter. Certified in Europe in 2006, the company claims the two-seat helicopter will initially be offered as a kit. The AK1-3 is powered by a 156-hp Subaru EJ25 four-cylinder, water-cooled, fuel-injected engine. Cruise speed is 100 mph while burning seven to nine gph of 95-octane unleaded fuel. The standard 19.1-gallon fuel tank gives the helicopter a two-hour flight endurance. Read more >>

Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame lands Kershner library

The family of the late William K. “Bill” Kershner has donated his extensive personal library to the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame. Kershner, formerly of Sewanee, Tenn., died in January 2007 at age 77 after a battle with cancer. A Naval aviator, renowned flight instructor, aviation author, and lecturer, Kershner—also known as “the spin doctor” because of his research into spins and dedication to spin training—published five flight manuals and a memoir that, combined, have sold more than 1.2 million copies. Read more >>

Sport pilot interpretation renews debate

Regulations do not permit training from a sport pilot instructor to be applied to meet the dual instruction requirements for a private pilot certificate, a recent letter of interpretation from the FAA chief counsel states. AOPA, EAA, and GAMA continue to object to the rule as it stands and advocate including a change in the FAA's upcoming bundle of modifications to the sport pilot regulations. "The industry has been working with the FAA's Flight Standards Office to bring the rule more in line with the intent of the sport pilot regulations," said AOPA Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs Rob Hackman. Read more >>

Four generations of fliers

Most would argue that the Golden Age of aviation began at the end of World War I, but others like to think it began in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh first flew across the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis. For John Stover, that year marked the beginning of the rest of his life in aviation. A doctor took the Arkansas resident on his first flight. By the end of the flight, Stover’s view on life had changed: He would be an aviator. Read more >>

Pilot plots trip to San Juan on AOPA Internet Flight Planner

It was the fifth of July, and Jay Martin and his wife Joan were on their way to San Juan from Wisconsin in a Van’s RV-8A. It was their first time going to San Juan, and they were looking forward to riding the dismantled tandem bicycle which they had somehow fit into the back of the already cramped kitplane. San Juan is known for its scenic bike trails, and the two didn’t want to come unprepared. Read more >>


CORRECTION: In the Aug. 7 edition of AOPA ePilot, we incorrectly stated the inspection interval for Superior Air Parts cylinders on Continental engines. The FAA upheld the 50-hour inspection interval, even though AOPA and others had requested an extension to a 100-hour interval. We regret the error.


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

ga serves america

Lots of GA-enabled green in Iowa

Jack Oswald sees the future, and it’s corn. And wheat. And sugar. The CEO of San Francisco-based SynGest plans to produce plenty of renewable energy—and profit—from corn cobs, wheat chaffs, sugar cane stocks, wood chips, and other biodegradable materials grown throughout the midwest. Rather than rot, they will be exploited to produce anhydrous ammonia, which in turn will become fuel for the region’s diesel vehicles and harvesting equipment, as well as nitrogen fertilizer for agriculture. “Vital to SynGest’s model,” Oswald said, “is locating the processing facilities—on 20-acre lots—near well-maintained airports in rural sections of each state.” Read more >>

Safety & Proficiency

Never Again Online: Thunderstorm encounter

A clear Midwest afternoon turns cloudy, then stormy, and a new instrument pilot and his passenger get the roller coaster ride of a lifetime. Find out how they and their Cessna 172 get through the experience and what the pilot learns from the harrowing 10-minute ordeal in the latest installment of Never Again Online. Enjoy the lessons you learn from these pilots' first-hand accounts? Listen to more stories in AOPA's Never Again Podcast directory brought to you by the AOPA Insurance Agency.

Control yourself with new nontowered ops quiz

Of the roughly 5,000 public-use airports in the United States, only about 500 have air traffic control towers. That fact, along with a little third-grade math, will help you answer the first question in "Nontowered Airport Ops," the latest interactive safety quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Things get a lot tougher from there, as nine more questions use audio clips and flight sim animation to challenge your knowledge of traffic pattern procedures, radio communication, collision avoidance techniques, and more. Take the quiz >>

New PSA video: A call you don't want to make

Nearly three out of four runway incursions involve general aviation aircraft—and safety isn't the only casualty. Enforcement action due to incursions can cause nightmares for otherwise safe pilots. Think it can't happen to you? Check out "Phone Home," the latest Pilot Safety Announcement (PSA) video from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation and the FAA Office of Runway Safety. When ATC gives you a phone number, you can bet it won't be a pleasant conversation.

Do-it-yourself preventive maintenance projects

Aircraft ownership comes with many expenses, but there are some things you can do to cut costs. Preventive maintenance is a perfect example. AOPA’s Pilot Information Center offers a Preventive Maintenance subject report that lists 32 do-it-yourself tasks. The subject report also provides links to maintenance-related regulations, and articles from AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training. For more tips on saving money, see AOPA Pilot’s Frugal Flier column.

Improve your safety by learning from others

Gain valuable 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.

airport support

Proposed power plant could cause turbulence at French Valley

Exhaust plumes from a proposed power plant 1,685 feet east of Runway 18/38 at French Valley Airport (F70) in Riverside County, Calif., could create turbulence in the traffic pattern and introduce a hazard to aircraft, AOPA told the county Aug. 10. French Valley Energy Partners proposed the 49 megawatt power plant, which, according to its own analysis, would create light turbulence on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern for Runway 18. While the FAA determined that the height of the associated exhaust stack does not create a hazard to navigable airspace, the agency is not required to evaluate the effects of exhaust plumes on navigable airspace. Read more >>


Air Safety eJournal: Horror on the Hudson

Unfortunately, when bad news happens in GA, it can happen in a big way. The collision between a Piper Saratoga and a sightseeing helicopter is tragic in all respects: Loss of life, destruction of aircraft, negative public perception, and grandstanding by various entities with various motives. Read more >>

Hover Power: Anti-torque

Newton’s third law of motion says that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, when a helicopter’s rotor system spins in one direction, the fuselage wants to spin in the opposite direction (since this is a rotational force it is called torque). To prevent this, engineers put a small thrust-producing rotor on a moment arm (the tail boom) to create a rotational force (torque) that is equal, but opposite, to the force trying to spin the fuselage. Its technical name is an anti-torque rotor; however, it is often referred to as a tail rotor. Read more >>

member benefits

AirportFest offers fun for the family at AOPA Aviation Summit

Celebrate general aviation during AirportFest at AOPA’s Aviation Summit, Nov. 5 through 7, at Peter O. Knight Airport in Tampa, Fla. At AirportFest, you’ll be able to see the entire spectrum of GA aircraft, including vintage airplanes, helicopters, light sport aircraft, and more. Plus, we’ll have speakers giving presentations about vintage aircraft. Flight simulators will be on hand to give you some “stick time,” and you also will be able to build and fly model aircraft. Food, music, and events for children will also be available. Don’t miss it— sign up for AOPA Aviation Summit today!

Pilot turns to AOPA Insurance Agency to keep deductible low

William Bittner, of New Jersey, hadn’t filed an insurance claim in the 30 years he had been flying until last year, when the tail of his Cessna 172 was damaged while tied down at his local airport. “Although I had strong evidence of how it happened, no one stepped up to take responsibility,” said Bittner. The AOPA Insurance Agency was there to help cover all the repairs and waive the deductible—a benefit Bittner received with the AOPA Accident Forgiveness and Deductible Waiver Enhancement. It’s easy to qualify by completing the required AOPA Air Safety Foundation online courses and live safety seminars every six months. “This year, my insurance renewal came in over $200 higher than the previous year,” added Bittner. “So I contacted the AOPA Insurance Agency with further documentation of the online courses I completed, and the renewal increase was removed.” For more information, visit the Web site, or call 800/622-AOPA (2672).

GA Awards go to aviation professionals

The General Aviation Awards program honored four aviation professionals for their contributions to aviation, education, and flight safety on July 29 at the "Theater in the Woods" program at EAA AirVenture 2009 in Oshkosh, Wis. AOPA and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation are among the industry sponsors of the awards, which recognize aviation professionals' work in flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and safety. Master CFI Arlynn McMahon of Versailles, Ky.; aviation maintenance technician Alfred "Lucky" Louque of Chatfield, Texas; avionics technician Jerry Stooksbury of Fort Collins, Colo., and FAA Safety Team representative Kent Lewis of Keller, Texas, received the 2009 awards. Applications for the 2010 awards are now being accepted. Visit the FAA Web site for details.

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 just received my sport pilot certificate and would like to move on to my private pilot certificate with an airplane category rating. Can the instruction I received for my sport certificate be counted toward the instruction required for the private pilot certificate?


Answer: Maybe. The aeronautical experience required for the private pilot certificate under FAR 61.109(a) includes 20 hours of flight training by an “authorized instructor”: A light sport instructor is authorized by FAR 61.415 to give training for the sport pilot certificate, but not the private certificate with an airplane category rating. So, if your training was given by a light sport instructor, it would not count toward the private—you would need additional instruction from a certificated flight instructor (CFI). A CFI can provide instruction for both the sport pilot certificate and the private pilot certificate, so if you were trained by a CFI, the instruction received would be counted toward the requirements of the private pilot certificate. The FAA Office of the Chief Council recently released an official letter of interpretation explaining this.


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].

Picture Perfect

AOPA's new online photo gallery allows you to upload your own aviation photography as well as view, rate, and comment on others' photos. Your favorite aviation images from AOPA Pilot are still available online through this new gallery. Take a look, and submit your own photos!


Aviation Events & Weather

Want something to do this weekend? Planning an aviation getaway? See your personalized 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. You can also bookmark the personalized calendar page to check it as often as you want. 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 Reno, Nev., and Allentown, Pa., Aug. 22 and 23; Fort Worth, Texas, Aug. 29 and 30; Phoenix, Ariz., and Sacramento, Calif., Sept. 12 and 13; Baltimore, Md., and Richmond, Va., Sept. 19 and 20; Colorado Springs, Colo., and Seattle, Wash., Sept. 26 and 27.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 Germantown, Tenn., Aug. 31; Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 1; Maryville, Tenn., Sept. 3; Wichita, Kan., and Morristown, N.J., Sept. 14; East Hartford, Conn., and Oklahoma City, Okla, Sept. 15; Rogers, Ark., and Newton, Mass., Sept. 16; Little Rock, Ark., and Manchester, N.H., Sept. 17. 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].

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Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller
Contributors: Jill Tallman, Sarah Brown, Warren Morningstar, Alton Marsh, Dave Hirschman, Tom Horne, and Ian Twombly
Summer Intern: Ethan Cirmo

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