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The perfect pilot gift—Ask a friend or relative to renew your AOPA membership for you for 2010! You’ll need to provide your membership number and this link.
today’s top stories
Remos Aircraft announced Dec. 10 that it has received a significant capital infusion from its investors that will strengthen the company going into 2010. The German manufacturer of light sport aircraft, a privately held company, had filed a proceeding known as a “notice of insolvency” earlier this month. The action was necessary because of a German law that requires businesses to notify the courts of possible financial problems and pertained only to the company’s manufacturing arm, based in Pasewalk. With the infusion of capital, that notice has been withdrawn. Read more >>
Fuller appointed to aviation technical boards
AOPA President Craig Fuller has been appointed to the board of directors and policy board of an organization charged with developing recommendations to lead American aviation into the future. Fuller will continue AOPA’s longstanding involvement in air transportation system modernization by filling the association’s spot on the boards of RTCA, a private, not-for-profit corporation that develops recommendations regarding communications, navigation, surveillance, and air traffic management system issues. Read more >>
Long-term FAA bill likely deferred to 2010
The House on Dec. 8 passed another three-month funding extension for the FAA. The FAA has been operating under temporary extensions since its last long-term authorization expired in 2007. The current extension is due to expire Dec. 31. The House passed a three-year reauthorization in May, but the Senate has yet to pass a long-term bill. Read more >>
White House names nominee for FAA deputy administrator
President Barack Obama announced Dec. 7 that he plans to nominate transportation policy consultant Michael P. Huerta for the position of deputy administrator of the FAA. Huerta currently has a firm that advises clients on transportation policy, technology, and financing. Until April 2009, he was president of the transportation solutions group of a technology services provider supporting transportation agencies across the world. He has held senior positions in the Department of Transportation and city agencies. Read more >>
The spacecraft that may be the vehicle for the first commercial “spaceline” for suborbital space tourism flights was unveiled Dec. 7 in Mojave, Calif. SpaceShipTwo is the sequel to Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipOne, which completed the world’s first manned private space flights in 2004. The joint venture between Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites has a goal of launching daily space tourism flights—for tourists able to shell out $200,000 or more per flight. Read more >>
TLC to feature sport pilot without arms Dec. 13
She impressed attendees of AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Fla., this November with a demonstration of the type of “out of the shoe” thinking it takes to become the first sport pilot without arms. Now, inspirational speaker Jessica Cox will reach a national audience when she is featured on the hour-long special “ Born Without Arms” on TLC, Sunday, Dec. 13, at 10 p.m. Eastern time. The show will document the day-to-day struggles and artistic and professional achievements of three individuals born without arms. Check your local listings to watch more of Cox’s inspiring story.
AOPA donates to Embry-Riddle scholarship fund
AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg presented a $30,000 check to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Dec. 3 on behalf of the association for the AOPA Career Pathways Scholarship fund. The scholarship fund is part of a longstanding alliance between the world's largest aviation organization and one of the world's leading aviation universities. Each year, the association contributes 10 percent of the AOPA member dues paid by ERAU alumni to the university's endowed scholarship fund. The association has provided a total of $264,640 in scholarship funds to ERAU since 1997. Read more >>
83-year-old student pilot solos
Anne Osmer finds that sometimes life in a retirement community can be a little too quiet. That may be why she took up flying, she says: “It sure isn’t boring.” She had never thought of learning to fly until just a few years ago when a friend took her up in his ultralight and later in a Cessna. The 83-year-old soloed a Diamond DA20 on Dec. 1 at Rutherford County-Marchman Field in Rutherfordton, N.C. Read more >>
Senate committee discusses GA security
Members of the Senate Commerce Committee discussed general aviation security and how to incorporate industry input into security regulations during a Dec. 2 hearing about post-9/11 transportation security challenges. Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) expressed his views on GA security during the hearing, indicating in his written statement that he remains “deeply concerned about the state of aviation security, especially general aviation security and air cargo security.” Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) made it a point to discuss GA security as well, cautioning against overregulation of the industry. Read more >>
Kids in South Carolina to get exposure to aviation in high school
High school students in Horry County, S.C., may soon get the chance to experience flight training or airframe and powerplant training, thanks to a joint resolution by the county council and school board. AOPA member Al Allen, a county councilman since 2001, helped start the initiative in order to make use of existing airport facilities and give high school kids in the area exposure to aviation. Read more >>
Beechcraft, Santa spread cheer to military families
Santa Claus will trade his sleigh next week for a Premier IA and travel to 10 military facilities across the United States to spread holiday cheer. The jet will carry Santa and an elf to visit veterans and their families at medical facilities and military bases from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to Naval Medical Center in San Diego, Calif., Dec. 14 through 18. Hawker Beechcraft Corporation is providing the jet for the flight, which is in support of Santa’s Traveling Workshop Foundation. Follow the flight on the company’s Web site.
Thunderbirds return to Lakeland
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will return to next year’s Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In and Expo. The show takes place April 13 to 18 in Lakeland, Fla. The Thunderbirds plan to arrive during the second half of the six-day event. Read more >>
Cessna to phase out Georgia plant
Cessna will phase out its one plant in Columbus, Ga., during the next two years, moving the work to Independence, Kan., and Mexico. The phase-out begins in mid-2010. Read more >>
Deadline approaches for Wolf Aviation Fund grants
If you have an idea to support or promote general aviation, the Wolf Aviation Fund may be able to help you fund your dream. According to the foundation’s Web site, your proposal must fit into one of the following categories: developing public policy and airports; networking and mutual support; development and alternative resources; communications, media, and community relations; general aviation technology, safety, and noise; improving public understanding and perception; and aviation and space education. The deadline for grant proposals is Dec. 15. Information about how to apply and past winners is available on the Web site.
Garmin wins collision avoidance approval
Soon there will be few aircraft in the sky that are not approved for one of Garmin’s anti-collision devices. Garmin International says the FAA has granted an approved model list supplemental type certificate for Garmin’s traffic avoidance system and traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) I traffic systems, the GTS 800, GTS 820 and GTS 850. The approval includes approximately 580 different aircraft makes and models, and Garmin expects to add additional aircraft in 2010. Read more >>
Fly over Cuba, chill in the Caymans
Looking for a getaway to kick off the new year? Caribbean Flying Adventures is hoping pilots will want to migrate south to warmer weather. The company is planning its fourth fly-in in cooperation with the Cayman Ministry of Tourism from Jan. 15 through 19, 2010. Pilots who participate will fly about 330 nautical miles, fly over Cuba, and visit different airports. For more information, visit the Web site.
American homebuilt headed for China
China is benefitting from American aviation companies at all levels. Chinese citizen XueQiang Si is building a Sportsman 2+2 at Glasair’s Two Weeks To Taxi program. XueQiang Si, who will base his airplane in the city of Laiwu in China’s Shandong Province, said that he believes his Sportsman will be the first experimental category aircraft to fly in the People’s Republic of China. Read more >>
Folding electric bike solves pilot ground transport issues
A new folding, electric bicycle promises convenient ground transportation for pilots, all in a 54-pound package—and a tax credit to boot. The Wildfire 20-inch bike can be ridden like a conventional bicycle. Or flip the switch on the handlebar to the “assist” mode and the bike’s electric motor kicks in to help propel it while you pedal. Or for an even less-strenuous workout, flip to the “auto” setting and let the electric motor do all the work, propelling you along at a comfortably brisk speed. Read more >>
Were you affected by the TCM cylinder recall?
Teledyne Continental Motors plans to wrap up its cylinder recall by the end of the month, because full warranty coverage ends Dec. 31. There’s still time to qualify for the full warranty coverage if you were affected by recall MSB09-1B. Read more >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
GA serves america
Flying for the public good
In 43 years in the Air Force, Gene Hartman served across the United States and in Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Taiwan before retiring as a colonel. It was a career he said he “enjoyed very much,” but Hartman would go on to find fulfillment, too, in the missions he flew on the home front for the Civil Air Patrol following Hurricane Katrina. Read more >>
GA is foundation for L-3 Avionics
When it comes to the value of general aviation, some companies see the light. Watch Jay LaFoy, president of L-3 Avionics Systems, talk about the importance of GA and his company’s efforts to help the industry get healthy in an interview from AOPA Aviation Summit.
A private pilot’s attempt to do a good deed for a friend’s family by spreading their deceased relative’s ashes over their ranch gets complicated when a swirling wind spreads the ashes throughout the aircraft cockpit. Find out how the pilot dealt with this bewildering situation 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.
Take family along for the flight
A holiday vacation could be the perfect chance to save time on travel and share your love of flying by taking the whole family along in your airplane. But an extra bumpy ride or poor communication aloft could mean that on the next flight you’ll be flying solo. So keep your passengers comfortable: The AOPA Pilot Information Center subject report Flying with Family addresses the challenges of flying with your family, from common dilemmas such as how to develop a spouse’s interest in flying to special circumstances such as flying when you or a passenger is pregnant. Nonpilots who spend time in the copilot seat may be more comfortable in light aircraft after taking the “Pinch Hitter” AOPA Air Safety Foundation online course. For more information about flying with family, including tips on hearing protection for children and flying with pets, see “ Let’s all go!” from the November issue of AOPA Pilot.
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.
Open flight school, open airport
Looking to expand your flight school to a second location? Why not open an airport? It seems like a crazy prospect, but that’s just what the owners of North Andover Flight Academy in Lawrence, Mass., did recently. They leased the privately owned, public-use Maxson Field in Alexandria Bay, N.Y., and have reopened it with a flight school, maintenance shop, and fuel for transients. Read more >>
Air Safety eJournal: The 'impossible' turn?
Last week the AOPA Air Safety Foundation posted a new “ Real Pilot Story: The Impossible Turn.” Most will know this as an attempt to return to the airport during an engine failure right after takeoff. Read more >>
Fun 2 Fly 2010 Sweepstakes: Checkout done!
Winter in the mid-Atlantic doesn’t usually set in until January. Case in point: Friday’s 1.4 hours in the Remos was conducted in 50-degree temperatures. Read more >>
Aviation-themed holiday gifts
The holidays are right around the corner. If you're looking for gifts for pilots, check out AOPA's Holiday Gift Guide to find aviation gear and gadgets, including leather pilot jackets, flight bags, simulator software, and more. For the nonpilot on your list, share the gift of flying with an introductory flight at a nearby flight school. And help that pilot-to-be learn what flying is all about—and get inspired for the journey—by pointing him or her to the free resources available through AOPA’s Let’s Go Flying! Web site.
Throw your hat in the ring
The AOPA Hat in the Ring Society is committed to providing funding for safety courses, airport preservation, and more—all for the betterment of general aviation and the freedom to fly. Today, you have an opportunity to do your part to support GA by making a tax-deductible gift that will be increased by 25 percent thanks to a matching grant from the Gates Frontiers Fund. The AOPA Foundation will receive a 1-4 match on all new and renewing donor gifts of $1,000 or more. Renew or become a participant in the AOPA Hat in the Ring Society today.
Hit the slopes with AOPA Online Travel
If you’re planning to hit the slopes this season, book your trip early and ski your way to savings of up to 35 percent with the AOPA Online Travel program. Cruise the slopes at Breckenridge, experience the powder at Crested Butte, and hit the aprés-ski scene at Aspen. Explore special, early-season ski deals across the Rockies and beyond. When you book your travel through AOPA Online Travel, Orbitz will return a portion of its revenue to AOPA, helping to fund the association’s daily advocacy efforts to keep general aviation strong. Book your trip >>
Women’s shirt added to AOPA insignia collection
A new women’s IZOD pima cool shirt has been added to the AOPA Merchandise Collection, just in time for the holidays. Available in a variety of colors, the shirt features the classic AOPA logo and is made of a moisture-release cotton/polyester blend to ensure comfort. Other quality items in the collection, ranging from the classic AOPA pilot cap to the AOPA Zulu time watch, allow you to show the world you’re a pilot and a general aviation supporter. Each purchase generates revenue that is returned to AOPA and reinvested to help fund the association’s daily efforts to maintain the safety and freedom of GA. Don’t forget to use your AOPA WorldPoints Rewards credit card and earn double points. Shop the collection >>
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: At my last medical exam my paperwork was deferred to the FAA for a final decision. It has been over three months and I have not heard back from the FAA. Can AOPA help me find out the status of my medical application?
Answer: By enrolling in AOPA's new Medical Services Program you have the option of giving our experienced medical certification specialists authorization to inquire with the FAA on your behalf regarding the status of your medical application. Our medical certification specialists work routinely with the FAA and are experienced with this sometimes complicated process. This is only one of the many benefits of this exciting new program. You can read all about the Medical Services Program in a recent column from AOPA President Craig Fuller.
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 Baltimore, Md., and Detroit, Mich., Jan. 9 and 10; Costa Mesa, Calif., Jackson, Miss., and Charlotte, N.C., Jan. 16 and 17; San Antonio, Texas, and Seattle, Wash., Jan. 23 and 24; Rochester, N.Y., Portland, Ore., and Sevierville, Tenn., Jan. 30 and 31. 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., and Reno, Nev., Jan. 11; Tucson, Ariz., and Sacramento, Calif., Jan. 12; Milpitas, Calif., Jan. 13; Santa Rosa, Calif., Jan. 14; San Diego, Calif., Jan. 25; Costa Mesa, Calif., Jan. 26; Ontario, Calif., Jan. 27; Burbank, Calif., Jan. 28; Little Rock, Ark., Feb. 1. 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: Sarah Brown