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Today's Top Stories
The NTSB has determined in a report that adventurer Steve Fossett was most likely killed while trying to escape downdrafts that exceeded the performance of his Bellanca 8KCAB Decathlon. Examination of the site indicated Fossett made a 180-degree turn after radar contact was lost. Read more >>
Flexibility needed on airport ‘through the fence’ access
AOPA has expressed concern over the FAA’s broad-brush approach that would eliminate all existing through-the-fence access at public-use airports. Aircraft operations involving homes and businesses on private property that have access to airport taxiways or runways are called “through the fence” operations. The problem is of particular concern in the Northwest, where the FAA is conducting an inventory of airports that have existing through-the-fence operations and is working with the airport sponsors to eventually eliminate that access. AOPA has written a letter expressing concern and urging greater flexibility in the pending policy. Read more >>
Nation honors pioneering women pilots
President Barack Obama on July 1 signed S.614, a bill to award the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor. The WASP, the first group of women to fly military aircraft for the United States, reported for duty more than three decades before women in the United States were allowed to attend military pilot training with full military status. “The Women Airforce Service Pilots courageously answered their country’s call in a time of need while blazing a trail for the brave women who have given and continue to give so much in service to this nation since,” Obama said. Read more >>
ICON Aircraft receives equity financing
ICON Aircraft has closed another round of equity financing and has enough resources to complete its ongoing flight test program and begin manufacturing its amphibious A5 light sport aircraft, company officials announced. ICON’s A5 has met or exceeded flight test targets, and its first public flight demonstrations are scheduled for EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., between July 27 and Aug. 2. Read more >>
Continental offers lightweight engine
Teledyne Continental Motors has slimmed down its 100-hp O200 engine, renaming it the O200 Lightweight Engine, and is offering it for the light sport aircraft and kit markets. The 199-pound, $21,499 engine is fully certified under FAR 33 regulations. Deliveries start in August. Continental official Mac Little said the engine is different from the one Continental has developed for the Cessna SkyCatcher LSA. Read more >>
GA emissions caps axed from House bill
As proponents of climate change legislation make cutting America's production of greenhouse gases a high priority this year, engine emissions—including those of general aviation aircraft—have come under scrutiny. But the House of Representatives removed a provision from its climate change bill that would have granted new authority to regulate aircraft engine emissions. An early version of the climate change legislation would have given the Environmental Protection Agency administrator the authority to set greenhouse gas emission standards for new aircraft and new aircraft engines, but the section was removed before the bill went to the floor. Read more >>
Sky Arrow builder struggling to revive
Bids to purchase the bankrupt Italian firm that builds the light sport aircraft Sky Arrow, Iniziative Industriali Italiane (3I), could occur as early as this fall or early 2010, but for now the company is living contract to contract. 3I, manufacturer of the high-wing, tandem-seat aircraft, entered bankruptcy May 21, 2008. The company’s assets are worth $6 million. Before declaring bankruptcy, the firm had explored moving manufacturing to the United States. Read more >>
Mr. P-51 dies
The nation’s leading expert on the refurbishment and redesign of the North American P-51 Mustang has died in his Sarasota, Fla., home at the age of 86. David B. Lindsay Jr. is best known to pilots for founding a company that refurbished P-51s for civilian use; however, his primary job was that of a journalist and newspaper publisher in Florida and California, following in the steps of his father and grandfather. Read more >>
Virtual friends will meet, fly cross-country
Randy Lewis met Kendall O’Brien four years ago, and the two have been friends ever since. They’ve shared a lot of aerial adventures, taking turns flying as pilot in command and co-pilot—virtually, that is. Lewis, 18, and O’Brien, 19, live on different sides of the country—one in Wisconsin, the other in California. They’ve been able to share their love of aviation via the multiplayer online mode offered through Microsoft Flight Simulator, which allows users to log onto the Internet and fly together or act as air traffic controllers in a simulated environment. This summer, however, they’ll meet in person and fly together for the first time. Read more >>
NASA developing ocean storm model
NASA announced that it will combine satellite imagery with computer models and artificial intelligence to come up with a system that will be able to warn ocean-going pilots of dangerous thunderstorm-related turbulence. The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., is a partner in the project. The idea is to identify rapidly evolving storms and other potential areas of turbulence. Satellites to be used include NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), Terra, Aqua, and CloudSat satellites. Read more >>
Planning to attend EAA AirVenture 2009 in Oshkosh, Wis., July 27 through Aug. 2? Stop by AOPA’s Big Yellow Tent to meet AOPA President Craig Fuller, inspect AOPA's 2009 Sweepstakes Let's Go Flying Cirrus SR22, and learn more about AOPA’s GA Serves America campaign. We'll see you at the world's largest GA show!
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
A pilot who always considered himself safe and conscientious finds himself shooting an ILS approach to minimums in a mountain valley—without the benefit of approach plates, and no option other than to “land or die trying.” Find out how he got himself and his passenger into such a predicament, and how they got through it, 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.
New eye-opening PSA targets VFR into IMC
In most years, nearly half of all weather-related accidents happen as a result of continued VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Sadly, most of those crashes are fatal. Sadder still: Most are entirely preventable. Addressing such a vexing problem calls for creative outreach—and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation has answered that call with its latest Pilot Safety Announcement (PSA). The brief tongue-in-cheek video targets VFR pilots who don't respond to traditional safety outreach. Watch "Flying Blind," and be sure to share it with those in need of an eye-opener.
Animated safety quiz tackles vertical terrain
Flying through picturesque mountain terrain, you turn a corner only to discover a wall of granite—the abrupt end of a box canyon. Instinctively you add power and pull up, but the airplane is hobbled by the high density altitude. You bank hard left, hoping to reverse course in the tight space. Your heart races. Your airspeed decays. The stall horn wails as the windscreen fills with rocky terrain… Is it a bad dream? No. It's a scene from " Mountain Flying," the latest animated quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. And there are nine more pulse-quickening questions to challenge your skills.
Flying internationally: eAPIS demystified
AOPA Alaska Regional Representative Tom George recently planned a trip across the Canadian border to Dawson City, Yukon. When he filed his Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) reports for departure and return, he ran into a snag: The airport where he planned to return was not listed as a port of entry. And when bad weather kept him from leaving on the scheduled day, he could not modify the departure report and had to re-file—twice. Read more >>
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.
Washington air transportation study goes to governor
The Washington State Aviation Planning Council has recommended that the state establish a statewide, five-year aviation capital investment program backed by grant guarantees and updated annually; provide tax incentives for maintenance and improvements to privately owned, public-use airports; and assess state aviation taxes and fees, identifying funding mechanisms for public aviation infrastructure. The recommendations are part of the council’s just-completed Long-term Air Transportation Study (LATS), sent to the governor July 1. Read more >>
Air Safety eJournal: A really bad week
Every holiday weekend, the potential for accidents increases because more pilots are flying than usual. Last week was no exception: There were 65 accidents, including nine fatal accidents with 12 fatalities. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Controlling your training costs
How do you control the cost of your flight training? Do you try to fly frequently, to maximize retention and minimize repetition? Do you use a simulator—and if so, do you fly one at your flight school or a PC-based flight sim at home? Share what’s worked for you (and what hasn’t) >>
Time to buy
Whether you’re thinking about buying your first airplane or are in the market for a different aircraft, now might be the time to buy. “Pilots can find some good buys on used aircraft in the current economy,” said Woody Cahall, AOPA vice president of aviation services. “Still, buying an aircraft isn’t something you want to take lightly. Our staff can help walk you through the decision-making process of what kind of aircraft is right for you.” If you are thinking about buying an aircraft, start your research with AOPA’s subject report, Tips on Buying Used Aircraft. The subject report includes guidelines for estimating direct operating costs and reserves; resources for aircraft financing; information on a pre-purchase inspection and aircraft title search; a sample aircraft purchase/sales agreement; and tips on insurance, taxes, and aircraft registration. For one-on-one assistance, call AOPA’s experts toll-free at 800/USA-AOPA (800/872-2672).
Do your title search with AOPA Title Services
If you’ve decided now is the time to buy an aircraft, work with AOPA Title Services, provided by AIC Title. You can order your title search online and help ensure a smooth transition to aircraft ownership. Read 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 about to take my instrument checkride, and I know I need to complete one precision approach during the practical test. Does a WAAS LPV approach count for this?
Answer: No. An LPV approach has a vertical glide slope and ILS-like minimums; however, for the purpose of meeting the practical test standards (PTS), an approach with vertical guidance (APV) such as a WAAS LPV may be substituted only for a nonprecision approach. The PTS states "An APV approach shall not be used in lieu of the required precision approach."
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].
2009 LET’S GO FLYING SWEEPSTAKES UPDATE
Sweeps airplane gets new airbag seatbelts
The padded, snug-fitting shoulder straps in the front seats of the AOPA 2009 Sweepstakes Let’s Go Flying SR22 feel much the same as any others—but they contain a hidden and potentially lifesaving technology: airbags. Just as airbags have vastly improved automotive safety in the last 15 years, the technology is moving into general aviation with some very encouraging early results. So far, manufacturer AmSafe counts 11 lives saved by airbags, and that number is likely to grow as the number of airbags in the GA fleet increases. Read more >>
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.
Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn., July 18 and 19; Pittsburgh, Pa., July 25 and 26; Costa Mesa, Calif., Atlanta, Ga., and Champaign, Ill., Aug. 15 and 16. 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 Oshkosh, Wis., July 29, 30, and 31; Germantown, Tenn., Aug. 31; Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 1; Maryville, Tenn., Sept. 3. 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