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Today's Top Stories
AOPA takes concerns to highest levels at CBS News
After CBS News aired its “Follow the Money” story about federal stimulus money being spent on general aviation airports, AOPA weighed its response options and decided to take its concerns to the highest levels at CBS News. In a letter to the most senior managers at CBS News and the CBS Evening News, AOPA Executive Vice President of Communications Karen Gebhart pointed out several of the inaccuracies in the CBS story. Read more >>
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has named Brian Delauter as acting manager for general aviation. Delauter—a pilot with commercial single- and multiengine land, airline transport pilot, and flight instructor certificates—joined the TSA in 2002 as a stakeholder liaison and most recently served as federal security director at Savannah International Airport, where he was responsible for all TSA activities at nine airports across two states. "As a pilot, Mr. Delauter can draw on his own experience with general aviation to move toward security solutions that work for GA," said AOPA President Craig Fuller. Read more >>
Senate committee approves FAA reauthorization
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on July 21 approved S.1451, an FAA reauthorization bill that would set the course for modernization of the national airspace system and fund the FAA for the next two years. The two-year authorization would focus on accelerating NextGen air traffic control modernization, including new deadlines for the adoption of GPS technology such as ADS-B. Read more >>
Chinese officials visit AOPA, take flight
Eleven delegates from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), their interpreter, and other guests visited AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Md., last week as part of a 12-day trip to research general aviation in the United States. A high point for the group, charged with developing general aviation in China, came when the delegates got to fly in GA airplanes—for many, it was their first opportunity to do so. “It was fantastic,” said Xin Li, an assistant in CAAC’s Reform and Restructuring Office, wearing a wide smile after his flight in the AOPA Let’s Go Flying Sweepstakes Cirrus SR22. Read more >>
AOPA launches new online security section
As general aviation continues to face scrutiny and regulation on the security front, AOPA has created a new online security section that lists the security measures currently in place or in the works for airspace, airports, aircraft, airmen, and international operations. You’ll easily be able to find out which security measures apply to you, your aviation-related business, or your planned flight. You’ll also be able to see what AOPA is doing on each issue to try to ensure that the mandates are not unreasonably burdensome or costly for aircraft owners and pilots.
Owners should give special care to aging aircraft
Passengers aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 2294 were given a rude surprise a few weeks ago when the oxygen masks suddenly dropped from the ceiling. The reason for the masks was a loss of cabin pressure caused by a large hole in the roof of the cabin. The jet landed safely with no injuries, but the incident serves as a reminder that aging airplanes, even those operated to the airlines’ maintenance standards, have special needs that all owners must attend to. AOPA has worked hard in recent years to ensure that the FAA understands those needs and doesn’t impose erroneous or unnecessary airworthiness directives or other mandatory items on owners of these legacy aircraft. Read more >>
Time running out to participate in annual GA survey
How can you help influence the amount of funding allocated for general aviation infrastructure and pilot services? Complete the FAA’s General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey. The survey, which asks for number of hours flown and reasons why you use GA aircraft, is conducted by PA Consulting Group, an independent research firm that has been doing the annual survey for the FAA since 1999, so your individual information will remain confidential. The statistics collected from the survey help determine funding, services, and research and analysis of GA issues. If you received a postcard or letter inviting you to take the survey, be sure to complete it before the Aug. 17 deadline. Don’t wait—take the survey online today! Use your N number to log in.
Aviation Hall of Fame inducts ASF Board of Visitors chair
Russell M. Meyer Jr., chairman of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Board of Visitors and former Cessna chairman and CEO, was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame July 18. Meyer led Cessna for close to three decades, and he has played an active role in promoting and defending general aviation over the course of his career. Read more >>
Heli-Flights for Hope
When Neal Lanning dropped his son Stephen off at Advent Home Learning Center in Calhoun, Tenn., on April 14, 2006, he said it was “quite like being in an accident and the only way out is to gnaw your arm off.” Although sending his son three states away to a Christian school for “at risk” boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder was one of the most difficult decisions he and his wife, Susan, had ever made, the Virginia couple knew that they had no choice once he began threatening them and their three other sons. The center is making a difference in their son’s life, and in an effort to help children with similar problems, Lanning founded the Advanced Helicopter for Youth Foundation. The foundation’s awareness campaign, Heli-Flights for Hope 2009, will lift off on a five-day, six-state tour on Sept. 23 from Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Md. Read more >>
Jubilee brings balloonists, community together
It’s the beauty of hot air balloons that draws mid-Michigan residents to the Jackson Hot Air Jubilee every year. The weekend airshow from July 17 through 19 brought more than 40 balloon pilots together at the Jackson County Airport in Michigan to share their flying experiences with one another and with the community. “It’s a surreal experience,” said Randy Coller, a balloon pilot and longtime participant in the Jackson Hot Air Jubilee. “It's more of a ‘free’ sport in the sense that it is unpredictable … spontaneous and serendipitous. I like that. It teaches patience too.” Read more >>
FAA issues fuel-line AD for Bonanza G36
An airworthiness directive (AD) takes effect July 27 requiring owners of the Hawker Beechcraft Bonanza G36 to have their aircraft inspected for chafing of electrical connectors and the fuel line in the cockpit. Chafing between the wire harness or connectors and the fuel line above the rudder pedals could result in fuel leakage in the cockpit and fire if the wiring arcs through the fuel line. Read more >>
A unique, but unfortunately frequent, flight activity at the Kissimmee Gateway Airport is long-range medical evacuation. Kissimmee Gateway is the closest airport to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., and world-famous attractions like Disney theme parks, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios. Each year, the Orlando/Kissimmee area hosts 47 million visitors, including more than two million international travelers. A small percentage of those visitors become critically ill or experience the onset of a seriously debilitating medical condition during their stay. Enter jet medevac service, an intensive care unit with wings. Read more >>
GA Serves America campaign bringing unity to industry
Some 250 aviation enthusiasts gathered in Charlotte, N.C., on July 20 to show their support for the GA Serves America campaign. The event, hosted by Bob Wilson, owner of Wilson Air Center at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and organized by the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), the association that represents FBOs and other GA businesses, brought together AOPA, NATA, and EAA members for one cause: protecting GA. “It was great to see so many different segments of the aviation community coming together in one place for one purpose—to help protect and promote our freedom to fly,” AOPA President Craig Fuller said of the event. “The diversity of the audience and the aircraft, and the active involvement of members of NATA and EAA along with AOPA, was a great show of strength and unity.” Read more >>
Learjet 85 marks milestones
Bombardier says that its Learjet 85 project is humming right along. “We have completed more than 60 significant program milestones as proof points to our progress,” said Ralph Acs, vice president of the Learjet 85 team. Two proof-of-concept fuselages have been built in Bombardier’s Montreal facilities; the design of the fuselage outside mold has been frozen, and wing development is progressing steadily as a proof-of-concept wing demonstrator is under way. Read more >>
Mistral Engines lays off workers
While keeping a small cadre of key people, Swiss-based Mistral Engines has laid off employees and slowed its operations. Mistral has for several years worked to bring to market a rotary aircraft engine. Read more >>
Turbine Pilot: New Magic
The Garmin G1000 cockpit upgrade to the Piper Meridian represents the third-generation cockpit for the 10-year-old design, but the first that can be called truly integrated. Ride along with AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines as he tests out the Meridian’s G1000 cockpit in this special feature and accompanying video >>
Joy of Flight: Logging memories
Pilots fly for the sheer pleasure of being aloft, for seeing new sights from unusual vantage points, and for the pleasure of visiting new places. We methodically log our flights, both to comply with FAA regulations and to provide a memory resource. We want to recall not only the flight, but also the experiences encountered on those trips. Now, thanks to the efforts of a California-based company, GlobalMotion Media, pilots can use a free application called EveryTrail to create a pictorial trip log. Read more in the latest installment of the Joy of Flight >>
Peggy LoPresti dies in Vero Beach
Peggy LoPresti, wife of the late Roy LoPresti and chairman of the board of LoPresti Speed Merchants and LoPresti Aviation of Vero Beach and Sebastian, Fla., died July 17. She was 79. Born in New Jersey, she lived in Vero Beach for 21 years. Her husband Roy, renowned aircraft designer, preceded her in death. Survivors include her daughter, Amy Walsh of Allen, Texas; sons, Curt, Jim, Roy, and David, all of Vero Beach, Fla.; and 11 grandchildren. The company helped owners to improve the airplanes they have, and is now developing the LoPresti Fury airplane.
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For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
EAA airventure PREVIEW
Sign up for prizes at AOPA’s Big Yellow Tent
During your stay at EAA AirVenture, July 27 through Aug. 2, make sure you swing by AOPA’s Big Yellow Tent to sign up for prizes. We’re giving away a Garmin GPSMAP 496; a Bose Aviation Headset X, courtesy of Bose; an all-expense paid trip for two to watch the filming of The Horsemen’s next video and take a flight in a P-51 Mustang, courtesy of The Horsemen; an all-expense-paid trip for two to AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Fla., this November; an AOPA fly-out to your airport; a cross-country backpack, courtesy of AOPA Aircraft Financing; and a $250 Sporty’s Gift Card, courtesy of the AOPA Insurance Agency. Our grand prize is an all-expense-paid Goodyear Blimp Adventure for two, courtesy of Goodyear.
Bring a potential pilot to EAA AirVenture! Literally acres of airplanes on the show grounds will spark the imagination of anyone who’s ever wanted to take to the skies. EAA AirVenture has an entire exhibit devoted to aspiring pilots, and AOPA and the National Association of Flight Instructors are helping to get them started right. Bring your wannabe pilots to our Let’s Go Flying and AOPA Flight Training booth within the Learn to Fly Discovery Center, located on the southwest corner of AeroShell Square. Pilots in all levels of training are welcome to stop and see what’s new in the world of flight instruction. Read more >>
AirVenture to celebrate humanitarian flying
Are you a pilot who tries to help other people through your flying? Do you participate in medical transports, pet rescues, or search-and-rescue missions? Have you wanted to enhance your personal flying by getting involved in humanitarian efforts? The weeklong “Fly4Life” program at EAA AirVenture will highlight public-benefit aviation and mission-based flight operations. EAA organized the event in partnership with the Air Care Alliance and the International Association of Missionary Aviation, among others, that represent more than 200 organizations. Read more >>
Win a ride with world’s only P-51 Mustang demo team
Visitors to AOPA’s Big Yellow Tent during EAA AirVenture will have an opportunity to win the kind of prize most aviation enthusiasts only dream of: a flight in a P-51 Mustang, thanks to AOPA’s collaboration with The Horsemen—the world’s only P-51 demonstration team. Read more >>
Getting to AirVenture—safely
Planning to fly to Oshkosh next week for EAA AirVenture? Be sure to check out the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's fly-in safety page before you launch. Once you're safely on the ground at KOSH, stop by the foundation's booth in AOPA's Big Yellow Tent for a chance to win a top-of-the-line active noise-reducing Bose Aviation Headset X, courtesy of Bose—something you can put to good use after watching a demo of the brand–new interactive course, Say It Right: Mastering Radio Communication. The foundation's schedule of Oshkosh safety seminars will also be available. Also check out these tips from AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg.
FAA seeks pilot feedback at AirVenture
Do you use the FAA’s Web site? If so, the FAA wants to hear from you. The agency will have a booth in the FAA Safety Center during EAA AirVenture to promote the online services that it offers. FAA officials will conduct usability tests of the current Web site and prototypes of potential new features.
Stay oriented with new animated quiz
In July 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr. succumbed to spatial disorientation in the evening haze off Cape Cod, sending his Piper Saratoga into a tight, high-speed spiral that ended in tragedy. In the decade that's followed, nearly 300 other pilots—some of them instrument rated—have similarly lost their bearings in the soup, and frequently lost their lives. Challenge your knowledge of spatial disorientation with the latest interactive safety quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The quiz uses chilling flight sim animation to illustrate how quickly an accident can develop—and how you can avoid a similar fate.
SBs and ADs: What’s the difference?
AOPA continues to receive calls from members that point out some confusion regarding service bulletins (SBs) and airworthiness directives (ADs). This was illustrated following the recent AD dealing with the potential for Cessna 150/152 rudder assemblies to jam. In a nutshell, SBs, service instructions, and mandatory service letters are issued by manufacturers, and compliance is not mandatory—except in the case of airplanes operated under FAR Part 135, or some aircraft under a progressive maintenance/inspection program. ADs are issued by the FAA, and compliance is required. Read more >>
Ohio lawmakers restore airport funding to budget
The $50.5 billion budget Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland signed on July 17 included funding for the state’s airport grant program, providing money for runway and taxiway maintenance and obstruction removal. In the final two-year budget, the state House and Senate restored nearly three-fourths of the program’s funding—a victory for general aviation, considering that just a month ago the Senate had proposed cutting the entire program over the next two years. Lawmakers were working to create a budget that would address the state’s $3.2 billion deficit. AOPA’s Ohio members and Airport Support Network volunteers played a major role in the effort to get this funding restored. Read more >>
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit ASN Online.
Four Steps to Summit Savings
Registration is open for AOPA Aviation Summit, and it’s time to start planning your trip to Tampa, Fla., for Nov. 5 through 7. AOPA offers a variety of programs that have been designed to help you plan an exciting, budget-friendly experience for the entire family. Just follow our four steps to Summit savings. Then watch a short video of the attractions in the Tampa area.
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 working on becoming a certificated flight instructor, and I will be completing my spin training next week. My aircraft is approved for spins; however, I do not own parachutes. Do I need to have them to complete this training?
Answer: No. Although FAR 91.307(c) states, "Unless each occupant of an aircraft is wearing an approved parachute, no pilot of a civil aircraft carrying any person (other than a crewmember) may execute a maneuver that exceeds a bank of sixty degrees, or a nose up or nose down attitude of thirty degrees relative to the horizon," (91.307)(d) provides the exception that this does not apply to "spins and other flight maneuvers required by the regulations for any certificate or rating when given by an authorized instructor…."
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!
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 Costa Mesa, Calif., Atlanta, Ga., and Champaign, Ill., Aug. 15 and 16; 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. 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