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today's top stories
154 instrument approaches could face chopping block
In its latest round of proposals to cancel instrument approaches, the FAA expanded its scope from slashing NDB approaches at airports that also had RNAV approaches to include cutting VOR and GPS approaches. Of the 154 approaches that the FAA is considering canceling, 64 are VOR approaches and 19 are circling GPS approaches. While AOPA supports the FAA’s efforts to eliminate redundant ground-based procedures and shift its resources to developing more satellite-based GPS-WAAS approaches, the association wants to ensure that necessary approaches are not canceled. In order to do that, AOPA needs to hear from pilots who have local knowledge of these approaches to assess how their elimination would impact instrument access to those airports. Read more >>
Lenny—a small, black Pekingese mix dog—arrived at Murray County Shelter in Chatsworth, Ga., with matted fur and signs of neglect. After a few days at the shelter, he was slated to be on the "kill list." But Lenny was saved when a pilot flew him to a rescue group that nursed him back to health and found him a home in Hamburg, N.Y. Pilots N Paws connects animal shelters and pet rescue groups with volunteer pilots who take animals, like Lenny, to facilities in areas where their chances of adoption are high. This September, the group has set a goal of saving 5,000 animals in a week using general aviation. Pilots N Paws 5000 will take place Sept. 12 through 20 and is designed to raise awareness of the need to transport animals to areas with homes available—and the vital role of GA in accomplishing that goal. Read more >>
Hawker Beechcraft cuts 300 jobs
Hawker Beechcraft executives have eliminated hundreds of jobs, released three vice presidents, adjusted employee benefits, and reduced the salary of CEO Bill Boisture Jr., from $630,000 to $567,000 effective Sept. 7. The moves, including some cutbacks in employee benefits, are part of an additional effort to cut costs in the face of a continued deep recession. The company did not release details of the latest layoffs, but Wichita Eagle reporter Dan Voorhis discovered that documents filed by the company with the state of Kansas show 300 new layoffs. The company is suspending company contributions to employee 401(k) plans and has raised employee contributions to health care premiums for nonunion employees.
Vicki Cruse dies during aerobatic competition
Vicki Cruse, president of the International Aerobatic Club (IAC) and a member of the U.S. Aerobatic Team, died Aug. 22 during a qualifying flight for the Twenty-fifth World Aerobatic Championships in England. The event takes place every two years. Cruse was a four-time member of the U.S. Aerobatic Team and was the national aerobatic champion in the unlimited category in 2007. Read more >>
Chartis waives deductible for parachute deployment damage
The insurance company Chartis will now waive the applicable in-motion deductible on light aviation insurance policies for damage to an aircraft from an emergency in-flight deployment of the recovery parachute, according to a company press release. The waiver, up to a maximum of $1,000, applies to all general aviation aircraft equipped with an aircraft recovery parachute system, including the Cirrus SR20 and SR22. "In the interest of aviation safety, we want to eliminate any chance that a pilot might hesitate in deploying the recovery parachute in an emergency because of insurance or financial implications," said Greg Sterling, vice president and division manager of the Chartis light aviation division. Aircraft owners can contact the division at 800/523-5266 or by e-mail.
Teddy Bear Transport to receive new EC145 helicopter
American Eurocopter will deliver a state-of-the-art EC145 to Cook Children’s Medical Center at a celebration on Aug. 28 at its delivery center, located at the company’s headquarters in Grand Prairie, Texas. The new EC145 will join Teddy Bear Transport services that also include ambulance and fixed-wing airplane transport. The program’s first helicopter entered service in 2004, and the new EC145 will upgrade the fleet and allow Teddy Bear Transport to continue its mission of providing critical care services to the children of Texas and surrounding areas. Read more >>
Chance meeting: Aerial documentary is ‘story of friendship’
Two pilots, on their way home from EAA AirVenture, make an impromptu stop in an alfalfa field in Indiana. The dairy farmer who owns the field comes to investigate. What happens next is a story of friendship that has lasted for a decade. It has evolved into Barnstorming, a 48-minute documentary. A Pitts and a Pietenpol play lead roles, but the filmmakers say the story really is about the people who are drawn together by the aircraft. Read more >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
ga serves america
Aero club helps Air Force do business
In Lt. Col. Stephen Hunter’s nearly four years of service at Florida’s Eglin Air Force Base, he regularly attended out-of-town conferences and meetings. Hunter and his colleagues coordinated those trips with the base’s aero club, signed out airplanes, and flew off, utilizing the club almost like a motor pool for aircraft. According to Hunter, using GA aircraft not only saved time but also money. Read more >>
General aviation helps electrical firm take off
Pete Burgher of Howell, Mich., is a successful businessman whose second career would not have been nearly as successful without the use of his general aviation airplanes. A CPA, Burgher retired after 25 years with an international firm—then, in 1980, he bought Marelco Power Systems, Inc., which manufactures electrical components. “Its business was confined to a very narrow 200-mile radius in central Michigan,” he said. After one of his employees stole a lot of the company’s money, Burgher had to decide what to do about the business. “I began a strategy of geographic diversification, which turned out to be prophetic,” he recalled. His Piper Twin Comanche made it possible. Read more >>
Sometimes the cause of an aircraft accident is obvious. Other times, it takes everything from CSI-style forensics to old-fashioned sleuthing to figure out where things went awry. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's new "What Went Wrong?" safety seminar looks at general aviation accidents through the eyes of the investigator—starting at the scene and working backward to reconnect the shattered links of the accident chain. The free live seminar debuts next week in Tennessee, then tours the country throughout the fall. See the schedule for a location near you >>
Hit the books: Get a new rating
As students of all ages head back to school, why not get in the study groove yourself by studying and training for a new rating or endorsement. You can spend a little or a lot of time depending on what you want to pursue. A tailwheel endorsement or seaplane rating can be added in a weekend getaway of intense flying, while the instrument or multiengine ratings will require more of an investment—in time and money. See AOPA’s Ratings and Endorsements subject report for information about what you can add to your piloting experience.
Never Again Online Podcast: Stress changes everything
An electrical failure on a private pilot’s first trip with his wife brings some tense moments in the sky over a busy California airport. How did the pilot get the Piper Arrow’s landing gear down? Find out in the Never Again Online Podcast. Enjoy the lessons you learn from these pilots? Listen to more stories in AOPA's Never Again Podcast directory brought to you by the AOPA Insurance Agency.
AOPA shows support for Colorado airports
The twenty-fifth anniversary of Front Range Airport in Watkins, Colo., was a chance to celebrate the state aviation community's successes and plan for the future. AOPA attended the airport's anniversary celebration Aug. 19 and took the opportunity to meet with state aviation officials and members of the Colorado aviation community about efforts to protect Colorado airports and the state's aviation system. Read more >>
PEAK EXPERIENCE: AOPA AVIATION SUMMIT
GA association presidents and the CEOs of major aircraft manufacturers are asking you—the GA pilot, aircraft owner, student, and enthusiast—to come to AOPA Aviation Summit. Watch the video >>
Get a glimpse inside the tower
If you’ve got a question for ATC but don’t want to ask over the airwaves, come to AOPA Aviation Summit and put a face to the voice on the radio. Controllers from key facilities in the Tampa area and the Jacksonville Center will be at Summit to answer your questions. Read more >>
Air Safety eJournal: Critical thinking
Pilots often can be very good at handling the aircraft and having knowledge of their aircraft and its systems but make fatal mistakes when it comes to critical thinking. Read more >>
Reporting Points: ‘Closer to heaven’
Aug. 20 was a spankin’ good day for a student solo at Frederick Municipal. Winds nothing to speak of, clear below 12,000, and not too hot—not yet. Density altitude 1,200, but that’s an August morning in Maryland for you. It was also a perfect morning for a 102-year-old Frederick, Md., lady to take her very first airplane flight. Read more >>
Hover Power: Thoughts on the Hudson River midair
AOPA Hover Power blogger Tim McAdams flew a corporate Bell 430 in and out of New York for seven years and prior to that worked for Liberty Helicopters flying tours. “That was 14 years ago, so I didn’t know the pilot or anyone else involved in the recent accident in the Hudson River corridor,” McAdams writes, “However, this accident brought back memories about the airspace congestion in New York.” Read more >>
Let’s Go Flying: Where might the Cirrus show up next?
AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Thomas B. Haines took AOPA’s 2009 Let’s Go Flying Sweepstakes airplane to Lancaster, Pa., for Airport Community Days last weekend. The Cirrus sat proudly on display “between an A-10 Warthog and a Russian Beriev Be-103 low-wing amphibian. We were in good, albeit eclectic company,” Haines writes. Read more >>
Farewell to Airport eDirectory for PC, Palm OS
Effective Oct. 22, AOPA will retire its Airport eDirectory application. The eDirectory, which debuted in 2001, is limited to serving older versions of Microsoft Windows and Palm operating systems. The decision to discontinue the eDirectory followed an examination of member usage over the last two years. Ongoing maintenance costs were disproportionate to the Airport eDirectory’s declining user base. Read more >>
Book your travel through AOPA and support GA
Plan your next vacation through AOPA Online Travel and a portion of the revenue generated will be returned directly to AOPA. Those funds will then be reinvested to fund AOPA’s daily efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of general aviation. In addition to benefiting general aviation, AOPA Online Travel will save you money with great rates on airfare, hotels, and cruises. You can even save on your car rental from Alamo, Avis, Hertz, and Enterprise through special discounts and coupons for free rental days, dollars off, and free upgrades. Booking your travel through AOPA Online Travel is a win for GA and a win for your wallet. Start planning your vacation today!
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 recently ground looped my aircraft, resulting in $30,000 of damage. Do I need to immediately report this to the NTSB?
Answer: Maybe. NTSB 830 requires immediate notification if damage to property, other than the aircraft, is estimated to exceed $25,000 for repair or if the aircraft received substantial damage that would adversely affect its structural strength, performance, or flight characteristics. “Substantial damage,” however, does not include bent fairings or cowling; dented skin; small punctured holes in the skin or fabric; ground damage to rotor or propeller blades; or damage to landing gear, wheels, tires, flaps, engine accessories, brakes, or wingtips. Read the eight other events you have to report immediately.
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].
AOPA's 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.
Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in 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 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].
Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller