|GA News | Safety & Proficiency | Member Benefits | Quiz Me|
Click here to view this week's custom content online
Today's Top Stories
Plans for a proposed economic stimulus package will include money for aviation infrastructure, specifically for airport improvements, according to an executive summary of the House Democrats' stimulus legislation released by House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) on Jan. 15. AOPA has strongly encouraged lawmakers to include general aviation in any economic stimulus proposal, raising the issue with President-elect Obama's transition team as far back as November of last year. Read more >>
Aviation infrastructure spending creates jobs, spurs innovation
While Washington lawmakers consider a proposed economic stimulus package, Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) in Greensboro, N.C., provides a real-world example of the jobs, technical training, and innovation that can come from aviation infrastructure investments. The most "concrete" example is a 9,000-foot slab that is scheduled to become Runway 5L/23R late this year. During a recent visit to GSO, AOPA President Craig Fuller told the North Carolina Aerospace Executive Forum that aviation investments should be part of any federal economic stimulus package. Read more >>
Fly in for presidential inauguration
Planning to fly into the Washington, D.C., area for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama? AOPA's home airport, Frederick Municipal, is a convenient fly-in destination for the event. If you do land at Frederick, be sure to stop by the Landmark Aviation reception area to pick up your free gift from AOPA. For more information, see our event planning page.
Inauguration airspace restrictions to affect entire Mid-Atlantic region
Pilots who do travel for the inauguration should be aware that the FAA has issued numerous airspace restrictions for inauguration-related events beginning Jan. 17 and continuing through the inauguration on Jan. 20. Although they will not all be active simultaneously, restrictions are slated for at least three states as well as the District of Columbia and will range in size from narrow corridors to TFRs with a 30-nautical mile radius. Read more >>
TSA plan would hurt new Atlanta reliever airport
Paulding County Regional airport just opened in November, but its promising future as a major general aviation reliever airport for Atlanta Hartsfield could be threatened by the proposed Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP), AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer John F. Bestill Jr. testified last week. The Transportation Security Administration's (TSA's) proposed security program targets aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds—the very aircraft and operators that would likely be attracted to Paulding County Regional, the first jet-capable facility to be built in Georgia in more than 30 years. Read more >>
Effort under way to remove aviation restriction from rescue package
The U.S. House of Representatives has removed a provision requiring the divestiture of private aircraft and imposing limits on future aircraft ownership by businesses receiving federal bailout funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The amendment striking the language from the bill followed concerns from numerous aviation organizations, the the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and lawmakers from aviation-dependent states, including Kansas. Read more >>
Pilots enthusiastic about safety effort at North Las Vegas
Some 400 area pilots, including numerous members of the Clark County Aviation Association, attended a Jan. 14 safety seminar put on by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The seminar, "Safe Skies, Good Neighbors," focused on the special considerations associated with flying at urban airports like North Las Vegas. Topics included noise management, runway safety, emergency procedures, and regulations. North Las Vegas has been under pressure since two fatal accidents in August 2008 brought a barrage of negative publicity to the field. Read more >>
AOPA unveils new look to celebrate seventieth anniversary
AOPA reaches a new milestone this year as the association turns 70, or "seven-zero" in aviation speak. To help celebrate that achievement, AOPA has compiled a short history and unveiled a new look, and logo, that you can expect to see throughout the anniversary year. Despite the new look, AOPA's fundamental mission remains unchanged—to provide its members with representation, education, and information. Read more >>
Super Bowl airspace restrictions published
Airports in the Tampa area are preparing for increased traffic during Super Bowl XLIII week. The FAA has issued a notam establishing temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) in Tampa on Feb. 1 up to 4,000 feet, and traffic management initiatives in the Tampa area from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2. A 30-nm TFR is in effect from 4 p.m. until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 1. This effectively shuts down general aviation between those hours, something that AOPA opposes. Neither area residents nor AOPA officials are happy with the FAA's decision to allow such an impact. Eight airports in the Tampa area are affected by the initiatives, including Lakeland, Fla. Read more on AOPA Online.
FAA proposes to cut weather forecasting stations
The Center Weather Service Forecasting Units (CWSUs) located at the nation's Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCCs) will be no more, if the FAA has its way. In a budget-cutting move, the FAA has proposed firing 39 CWSU meteorologists, closing the CWSU stations at the ARTCCs, and consolidating ATC en route weather advisory positions at two new sites—one in Kansas City, the other at National Center for Environmental Prediction offices in suburban Washington, D.C. Read more >>
Lightning forecasts in the works
The next GOES satellite, dubbed GOES R, and set for launch in 2015, may be capable of predicting the onset of convection and lightning. Researchers are now testing several of the current GOES satellites' eight infrared channels in hopes of developing warning algorithms. GOES R is being designed to automatically send lightning strike data to air traffic control, where the information would be stored and used for warning airports of impending lightning strikes. Read more >>
Cessna solidifies branding of Columbia aircraft
Cessna Aircraft Company, which in 2007 purchased Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Company and renamed its models the Cessna 350 and 400, has completed its branding of the products with final names for the aircraft. The models are renamed the Cessna 350 Corvalis and Cessna 400 Corvalis TT (twin-turbocharged), names inspired by a picturesque Oregon town. Read more >>
Honeywell retrofit update
Honeywell Bendix/King's new KFD 840 primary flight display (PFD) and KSN 770 multifunction display (MFD) are undergoing final stages of flight testing in the company's Cessna 182. Plans are to bring the $16,995 KFD 840 to market in the early second quarter of 2009; the $13,995 KSN 770 should follow in mid-2009. Both units are designed as replacement units for the conventional "six pack" panels in a wide range of FAR Part 23 piston aircraft. Read more >>
Down economy leads to more layoffs for GA manufacturers
The reduction in general aviation aircraft production rates has sparked more layoffs in the new year. Cessna Aircraft Company announced Jan. 12 that it must lay off 2,000 workers because of deferred or canceled business jet orders. That same day, Diamond Aircraft's London, Ontario, facility issued temporary lay-off notices to 180 of its 684 employees. Even harder hit was Cirrus Design. The company on Jan. 9 permanently eliminated 50 positions and continued furloughs for 100 of the 500 workers who were just recalled earlier that week. Even so, company officials say they are "cautiously optimistic" about 2009.
Legend Cub available on skis
Apparently American Legend Aircraft's Cub, a light sport aircraft, just wants to play. Its usual home is on grass or floating on the water. Now, it's going skiing. American Legend Aircraft Company, located in Texas, has offered a $5,995 option to mount TrickAir skis on its aircraft, including the kit Cub models. The skis are manufactured by Trick Air of Weyauwega, Wis., and allow the main wheels to penetrate through the skis. That means you can land on a hard surface as well as grass, ice, and snow. Read more >>
AOPA Internet Flight Planner gets an upgrade
The AOPA-Jeppesen development team has rolled out version 1.2 of the AOPA Internet Flight Planner (AIFP). The upgraded planner now includes more weather options, uses plain language weather briefings as the default setting, and allows you to format your stored routes for transfer to your compatible GPS device. Pilots who fly near the nation's capital will also appreciate the ability to enter alpha-numeric strings in the altitude field of the flight plan form, allowing them to file ADIZ flight plans. AIFP users can expect to see two more upgrades by the end of March. Read more >>
For Jim and Marge Gorman, two passionate, long-time pilots, aviation is a family affair. Three generations of the Gorman family have inherited the passion for flight. Jeff, their son, is a pilot who believes flying is essential to his position as the president and CEO of pump manufacturer Gorman-Rupp. Jeff's sister, Gayle, is a pilot who flies frequently for her career in the airport lighting industry. Jeff's wife is a pilot as is his son. His daughter is even thinking about taking lessons. In Meet the Flying Gormans, the first of a three-part video series, seven members of the Gorman family introduce themselves. Watch the interview from the family's hangar at Mansfield Lahm Airport and learn how the Gorman family turned a love of aviation into an amazing family heirloom. Visit the Let's Go Flying Web site to watch Meet the Flying Gormans.
Plane Fun: Wish Elvis a happy birthday
Elvis Presley would have turned 74 on Jan. 8, and now is a great time to fly into Tupelo, Miss., Elvis' birthplace. Tupelo Regional Airport is served by a 6,500-foot paved runway. Join our intrepid reporters as they visit Tupelo in our new destination portal, Plane Fun.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Trust but verify: Unforecast ice downs Cirrus
In northern latitudes, icing airmets are commonplace from October through April. Because ice is often over-forecast, it's easy to let your guard down in the absence of advisories. On Feb. 6, 2005, a Cirrus SR22 encountered unforecast icing conditions shortly after departing Reno, Nev. The pilot spent as long as 10 minutes in the ice before notifying ATC. The iced-up airplane then entered an uncontrolled dive, during which the pilot activated the ballistic recovery parachute—at an airspeed well above redline. The chute's suspension lines literally shredded under the excessive load. Read more in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
Fatigue would seem one of the easiest hazards for pilots to avoid—but it has proven one of the most difficult. Even multi-crew airliners with mandated rest periods have succumbed to fatigue in accidents over the years. And general aviation pilots face myriad business and personal stresses that can tire us out, mentally and physically, and harm our performance in the cockpit. Get 10 tips to help you avoid becoming a statistic, and check out new resources from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation and the AOPA Pilot Information Center.
Answers for Pilots: Bahamas calling
Have you had enough of winter weather? Perhaps you are thinking of flying to the Bahamas for a balmy break. You know the basic requirements—passports for all, and for you, a pilot certificate, medical certificate, and restricted radiotelephone operators permit. But, do you know what else is needed, where to purchase Customs and Border Protection's (CBP's) user fee decal, or how to file to fly through the ADIZ on your way south? You might want to try CBP's new Electronic Advance Passenger Information System, which pilots may use on a voluntary basis until May 18, when it becomes mandatory. One of its benefits is that it allows you to file passenger manifests for your trip from home before you leave, reducing some required paperwork. Read more >>
CLARIFICATION: In the Jan. 9 edition of AOPA ePilot, we explained the options available for sport pilot. We want to clarify that, in order to qualify for sport pilot, your most recent medical application must not have been denied, suspended, or revoked in order to use a driver's license to medically self-certify that you are fit for flight. For more information, see our Sport Pilot Regulatory Brief.
AOPA to offer seminar, meet volunteers at aviation conference
AOPA will have a significant presence at the upcoming Great Lakes International Aviation Conference in Novi, Mich., with staff members on hand to discuss airport protection, the Airport Support Network program, and local airport issues. On Jan 31., the second day of the two-day event, Jennifer Storm, director of the AOPA Airport Support Network program, will present a seminar on "Proactive protection: Promoting your airport." Also on hand will be Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of local airport advocacy, who will answer questions about local airport issues. Read more >>
Join the Airport Support Network today
Ensuring the health and vitality of your airport is up to you—incompatible development and economic and political pressures can restrict your flying. Every day nearly 2,000 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 Airport Support Network web site.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit the ASN web site.
Commissioning Of USS George H. W. Bush
On Jan. 10, a remarkable event took place in Norfolk, Va. The tenth and final Nimitz Class nuclear aircraft carrier, USS George H.W. Bush, was commissioned. Named for the forty-first President of the United States and a former naval aviator, the event brought together nearly 20,000 people. Numerous AOPA members took the time to stop and visit as did at least one of our AOPA President's Council members. With presidential arrivals and departures and flyovers, it was an aviation event of the first order! See pictures of the event on AOPA President Craig Fuller's blog entry.
Ancient aircraft equals liability?
Ever think the legal system sometimes gets a little wacky? That's what AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg thought when he came across an article about the liability issues surrounding the crash of a 58-year-old seaplane. Read his thoughts and share your own with the latest installation of the Air Safety eJournal blog.
Weather-mecca in Phoenix
It may not be the typical convention crowd, but there's plenty to learn from some 4,000 weather professionals who gathered this week for the eighty-ninth annual convention of the American Meteorological Society. Get the latest on aviation, and space, weather in the newest installment of the "Reporting Points" blog from AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Thomas A. Horne.
AOPA members get free weekend day with Hertz
Hertz is giving you a weekend day completely free. There's no limit on the number of days you need to book to get the free day. You can rent the car for one day and get that day for free. This offer is available now through March 31, 2009. Just include Priority Code 127595 in your reservation for economy through full-size class cars. Simply reserve a car online, or call 800/654-2200. Use your AOPA Discount Code 10232 and save up to 25 percent. Each time you use your AOPA discount code, you are generating valuable revenue to the association, which is reinvested to fund our daily efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of general aviation.
Gift annuity rates to lower
Current economic factors have led the American Council on Gift Annuities to lower the gift annuity rates as of Feb. 1. This means that through Jan. 31 you have an opportunity to lock in the current slightly higher rates and maximize the income you will receive for life. With a simple arrangement that you can complete through the mail, you can make a gift of cash or securities and lock in a rate of income that is fixed and guaranteed for life, providing security for yourself or another beneficiary. Learn more >>
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 am writing a research paper for school. Can you tell me where to find some interesting statistics about the number of pilots in the United States and what certificates they hold?
Answer: AOPA has many interesting statistics on its Web site, including the number of pilots by certificate level. It also has information about airports, aircraft, and general aviation activity. Learn more >>
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 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!
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a Director of Planned Giving, ePublishing Editor, Vice President of Media and Public Relations, Aviation Technical Specialist, and AOPA Air Safety Foundation Summer 2009 Intern. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
Aviation Events & Weather
Want something to do this weekend? Wanting to plan 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 calender 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 San Jose, Calif., and Baltimore, Md., Jan. 24 and 25, and Louisville Ky., Baton Rouge, La., and Las Vegas, Nev., Feb 7 and 8. 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 Raymond, Miss., Jan. 20; Baton Rouge, La., Jan. 21; San Diego, Calif. and Fort Worth, Texas, Jan. 26; Costa Mesa, Calif. and Houston, Texas, Jan. 27; Ontario, Calif and San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 28. 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