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Today's Top Stories
Two of the nation’s largest aviation associations, AOPA and EAA, will be collaborating on issues and programs that protect, support, and grow general aviation as the result of a June 3 working session at the EAA Aviation Center in Oshkosh, Wis. EAA Chairman and President Tom Poberezny and AOPA President Craig Fuller, along with senior staff from each organization, met to discuss how they can work more closely to support GA. They agreed to a collaborative, three-pronged commitment to protect GA interests, promote GA safety, and grow the GA community in the United States. “This is a logical collaboration that makes sense for the greater good of general aviation,” Fuller said. Read more >>
Celebrate your freedom to fly
This year, celebrate July 4 by taking wing! For 233 years, America has led the world in defining and defending individual freedoms. Our unwavering commitment to these ideals has brought us rewards unimagined by the generations who passed them on. Among them is the ultimate expression of freedom—flight. Today, more than 500,000 Americans from all walks of life fly, continuing the tradition of inspiration and innovation that only freedom brings. On that holiday weekend, plan a flight to celebrate your freedoms, and share it with a friend or colleague who may not yet wholly value what general aviation has brought our nation over the past century.
House passes TSA authorization, tells agency to consult GA
The House of Representatives on June 4 passed the Transportation Security Administration Authorization Act (H.R.2200). AOPA supported the bill, which sends a strong message to the TSA to increase general aviation industry participation on security initiatives. H.R.2200, the first comprehensive roadmap for the TSA to pass the House since the creation of the agency in 2001, authorizes TSA programs and funding levels for the next two years. It includes provisions to create a general aviation security working group to ensure that the agency consults stakeholders before imposing security initiatives and to establish a grant program for $10 million in security improvements at GA airports. Read more >>
Congress passes amendment to limit security directives
As pilots at commercial-service airports across the country adapted to new security requirements this week, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) led an effort in Congress to revise the standard for when the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) can use emergency procedures to issue regulations or security devices. Security Directive 8F, later clarified in Security Directive 8G, raised concerns among pilots about its potential effects on general aviation and a lack of input from GA stakeholders. Mica, along with Reps. Tom Petri (R-Wis.), Sam Graves (R-Mo.), and Vern Ehlers (R-Mich.), introduced an amendment to the TSA Authorization Act (H.R. 2200) that would reinforce that security directives should only be used to respond to emergencies and immediate threats, not as an alternative to the normal regulatory process. The amendment passed in the House along with H.R.2200 on June 4. Read more >>
Cirrus increases production rate
Cirrus Design will ramp up production over the next several weeks to eight aircraft a week and call back 50 workers, thanks to growth in new aircraft orders over the past four months, the company has announced. The used aircraft division, Cirrus Certified, is also seeing increased sales activity, with used aircraft inventory levels “…showing increasing signs of stabilization,” according to a company press release. Read more >>
Lancair Evolution to test Lycoming FADEC
The Lancair kitplane known as Evolution, a blazingly fast form of transportation, first flew last year with a turbine engine, but now it’s flown with a piston engine. The piston-powered Evolution flew for the first time in June and will become the demonstration platform for Lycoming’s iE2 series of muscle piston engines once it completes 10 hours of flight. It needs 10 hours not because it’s a new airplane, but because it must complete an aerodynamic profile before the iE2 can be mounted on the airframe. The engine is run by a computer, and these tests are telling the computer exactly how the airplane performs. Data is transmitted from the Lancair electronically for Lycoming engineers to view. Read more >>
Biplanes converge on Bartlesville for final Expo
Airplanes were arriving in Bartlesville, Okla., under clearing skies on June 3 from as far away as Michigan and California for the twenty-third annual—and final—Biplane Expo. The National Biplane Association’s grand finale ends June 6 in the northeastern Oklahoma city. “This has been one of the most successful, most unique, and most coveted fly-ins anywhere in the country,” association chairman Charlie Harris told volunteers assembled at Bartlesville Municipal Airport on Wednesday evening. Because of poor weather and the rising cost of operating aircraft, however, the Biplane Expo drew 58 biplanes in 2007 and only 31 last year. Last fall the association’s board came to an emotionally difficult decision, voting to discontinue its aviation activities. Read more >>
Protect GA—keep flying, AOPA tells Idaho pilots
In the face of threats to general aviation such as onerous security regulations and proposals that could drive up the cost of flying, what’s a pilot to do? Keep flying, AOPA Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Andy Cebula told a group of Idaho pilots recently. In a panel discussion at the Rocky Mountain West Aviation Expo in Boise, Idaho, Cebula told pilots the best way to secure the future of GA is to continue to exercise the special freedom to take to the skies, whether for business or recreation. Read more >>
Terrafugia’s proof-of-concept aircraft is retiring after a successful 28-flight career. The next step is an eight-month design phase of a “beta prototype” flying car, expected to be ready in late 2010. A second, pre-production flying model will be followed by the production vehicle. Deliveries to customers are to start in 2011. The proof-of-concept vehicle—using heavier, off-the-shelf systems and components—flew the last 21 of its flights in less than a week during the final of four test trials. It flew at 150 feet to 200 feet, staying above the runway on all flights. Read more >>
Honeywell unveils KFD 840
Honeywell’s Bendix/King general aviation avionics division gave the press a first look at the company’s new primary flight display, the KFD 840. The $16,995, 8.4-inch diagonal active liquid crystal matrix flat screen lets customers do away with the conventional six-pack of flight instruments common in the vast majority of older GA airplanes. Designed specifically for retrofit installation in FAR Part 23 piston-powered airplanes under 6,000 pounds, the KFD 840 has a number of attractive features. Read more >>
FAA extends special training rule for Robinson copters
The FAA has announced it will continue to require special flight training for Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters. The agency first put in place a special federal aviation regulation (SFAR) to address the unique aerodynamic and design features of the helicopters in 1995, after the helicopters had more fatal accidents due to "main rotor/airframe contact than other piston-powered helicopters." There have been no such accidents over the past few years. The latest extension of the SFAR was set to expire June 30, 2009; a new rule extends it indefinitely.
DTC has forecast animations
DTC DUAT has added a new series of forecast animations to its list of continental United States weather products. These products cover a nine-hour period and use colors and shading to indicate various levels of anticipated conditions. The products include satellite graphics of forecast cloud cover, Nexrad precipitation levels, thunderstorm echo tops, surface visibility, icing, and upper level (from 18,000 to 39,000 feet msl) turbulence. Read more >>
Ultralight to fly under new owner and name
Wichita, Kan.-based aviation enthusiast and entrepreneur James Wiebe and his wife, Kathy, have acquired the production rights to a previously designed aircraft, the Kitfox Lite, and formed a new business entity, Belite Aircraft, to market it. The airplane will incorporate stronger, lighter carbon fiber components to meet FAA Part 103 Ultralight Vehicle weight requirements of 254 pounds or less. Read more >>
‘Flying’ magazine sold to Bonnier Corp.
Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. has sold five of its magazines, including Flying, to Bonnier Corp., a company with offices in New York and Florida. The magazine staff will move to the Two Park Avenue, New York, office of Bonnier in the next 60 to 90 days. Other magazines sold by Hachette Filipacchi include Popular Photography, American Photo, Boating, and Sound & Vision. Only the staff of Boating will move to Florida, where it will join other boating magazines already owned by Bonnier. Bonnier has nearly 50 publications with the latest acquisitions, including Popular Science, Field & Stream, and Scuba Diving. A spokesman said there will be no change in direction for the magazines purchased.
Honeybees bring flight school unexpected buzz
After a long flight in the hot sun, it may be nice to cool off and rest at the local flight center—and that’s what about 10,000 bees did at a Massachusetts airport recently. The swarm of honeybees landed on the wing of a flight school’s Piper Warrior at Beverly Municipal Airport and later found a shady spot on its underside. A local bee expert removed the bees with a special vacuum and transported them to where they could produce honey. “I’d never seen anything like it,” said Arne Nordeide, the owner of Beverly Flight Center. He said that beekeeper Al Wilkins told him that in the sunny and windy conditions that day, the bees “just got tired and decided to take a little break.”
‘AOPA Pilot’ feature: Aerial photography
You’ll see two of these photos in AOPA Pilot, but if two are good, why not 10 pictures? Two award-winning aerial photographers took a break from commercial work to capture some fine art photos from their Cessna aircraft. Enjoy the work of California pilot/photographer David Sievert and San Antonio pilot/photographer Kevin Butts. See the slide show >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online
A little fear can be a good thing, but when fear turns to panic, tragedy often ensues. On June 8, 2006, a CFI-in-training and his instructor were killed when they failed to recover from an intentional spin. The student reportedly had a history of impulsive and panicked behavior during stressful situations, including locking his grip on the yoke and refusing to give up control of the airplane. Wrestling the controls from the jittery, 230-pound student would have been a tough task for his 100-pound female spin instructor. Read more—and watch a video demonstration of a 15-rotation spin and recovery—in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
New resource answers your ATC questions
From newly minted aviators to seasoned veterans, most pilots have questions about air traffic control. When speaking to ATC, should you use local or Zulu time? What is “standard separation”? If you make a mistake, such as busting airspace or an altitude, what really happens? The AOPA Air Safety Foundation put these and other common questions directly to controllers—who provided no-nonsense, real-world answers for pilots. The result is a valuable new Web resource, Ask ATC, developed by the foundation in cooperation with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. Question categories include VFR, IFR, and more. An interactive feature allows you to submit queries of your own.
Thunderstorms: A deadly weather condition
The Air France Airbus that crashed earlier this week may have been a victim of one of aviation’s most dangerous weather conditions. Flight 447 was known to have been flying through heavy thunderstorms and turbulence when it disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean en route to Paris from Brazil. While thunderstorms may not have been the sole cause, they may have triggered a cascading series of factors that led to the accident. Nobody wants to fly into thunderstorms. But, unless you understand the nature of the beast—the atmospheric conditions that produce thunderstorms—you could put yourself in a dangerous situation. Read more >>
DeKalb-Peachtree celebrates its fiftieth with style
DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in Atlanta, Ga., opened its expansive doors for Good Neighbor Day on May 30 to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. Several thousand residents joined aviation buffs and airshow performers to help celebrate the airport’s history and share the importance of general aviation with its community. Airshow performers teamed up for a three-hour high-octane aviation journey over the airport’s expansive ramps and taxiways. Read more and see a slide show by David Tulis >>
Air Safety eJournal: It’s not the regulation, it’s the execution
AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg talks about Continental flight 3407, the Q-400 (Dash 8 derivative) that crashed in Buffalo this past winter. Congress is calling for a review of all commercial airline pilot training and certification programs; however, Landsberg thinks the problem may lie in administration of regulations, not the regulations themselves. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Congratulations, Deanna!
Deanna Flemings, the subject of AOPA’s “Why We Fly” for the July 2009 issue of AOPA Flight Training, is a student pilot no longer. She passed her private pilot check ride just as the issue went to press. Deanna’s first passenger was her mom. Her next two checkpoints: high school graduation and the U.S. Air Force Academy! Read more >>
Let’s Go Flying: Mountain flying in France
Watch a video of beautiful French scenery as a pilot flies a French Jodel into Altiport de Méribel (LFKX) in France. The Jodel is one of the most popular training aircraft used in French flying clubs. It’s large, sturdy low-wing design allows it to carry nearly its own weight. Read more >>
AOPA Legal Services Plan reaches major milestone
One out of every four AOPA members is now a participant in the association’s Legal Services Plan. That’s more than 100,000 members! The record number of participants is a testament to just how vital the Legal Services Plan is to AOPA members—and for good reason. In today’s climate, one misstep could cost you not only thousands of dollars in fines, but also your certificate. And that’s one risk a hundred thousand AOPA members aren’t willing to take. Isn’t it time you joined them? Enroll in the Legal Services Plan today!
New features added to AOPA Internet Flight Planner
Since its launch in late November of 2008, the AOPA Internet Flight Planner (AIFP) has made a splash in the general aviation community. Now, you can enjoy several new flight planning features, including Profile View, which shows pilots a vertical representation of their flight plan and the airspace they are set to encounter. Additionally, there is now the option to overlay higher jet airways above 16,000 feet on the navigation chart. To temporarily alleviate user difficulty, users can now print the Nav Log in a more easily visible layout format. Intentions to permanently revamp the Nav Log are set for later this year. AIFP can be accessed by any machine with an Internet connection, regardless of platform.
Thousands of pilots unaware they are flying without insurance
AOPA research has shown that most pilots mistakenly believe they are covered by the FBO’s insurance policy when they rent an aircraft. “The FBO carries insurance to protect its interests, not yours, and many pilots are surprised when they get the repair bills after an incident,” said Brenda Jennings, AOPA Insurance Agency general manager. “Even a minor ‘fender bender’ can be costly.” The AOPA Insurance Agency offers affordable rates plus 10-percent renewal discounts for pilots who keep their records clean. To learn more about renters insurance or get a free quote, visit the AOPA Insurance Agency online or call 800/622-AOPA. Read more >>
Match set for President’s Council challenge
The Gates Frontiers Fund has generously agreed to a $1 for $4 match for new AOPA President’s Council memberships. For each new person formally pledging to become an AOPA President’s Council member, the Gates Frontier Fund Challenge incentive will contribute $12,500 in support of general aviation. Thanks to this generous commitment, the AOPA Foundation has an opportunity to receive $500,000, in additional funding, by the end of 2011. In order to take full advantage of this offer, 40 new members must enroll in GA’s most prestigious philanthropic cadre. 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: In the next year or so, I am planning to purchase my first airplane. How do I reserve a specific N number?
Answer: To reserve a specific N number, you can go online to the FAA’s Web site or send your request the FAA with a check for $10. You also can use AOPA’s AIC Title Service, which costs $65. AIC Title will help you find an available number, start the reservation paperwork, and often cut about two weeks off the reservation process. You will have to renew your N number reservation each year until you have placed it on your aircraft. Visit the FAA Aircraft Registry to search N number availability.
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
Coast-to-coast-to-coast in the Let’s Go Flying SR22
The Let’s Go Flying SR22 is tucked back in its hangar at Frederick, Md., after a coast-to-coast-to-coast journey that showed general aviation’s exciting new possibilities from the Chesapeake Bay to the Golden Gate and back again. The two-week odyssey spanned the Appalachians, Great Lakes, Northern Plains, Rocky Mountains, Wasatch, the Sierra-Nevada, the scorching Southwest, and the soggy Southeast. The airplane got an exterior makeover in Middleton, Wis.; was on display at Watsonville, Calif., on the Monterey Bay; and stopped in Memphis, Tenn., on the banks of the Mississippi River. The cross-country portion of the trip included eight takeoffs and landings, six time zones, and about 34 total flight hours. Read more >>
AOPA career opportunities
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 Phoenix, Ariz., and Minneapolis, Minn., June 13 and 14; Orlando, Fla., and Columbus, Ohio, June 27 and 28; Newark, N.J., July 11 and 12; Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn., July 18 and 19; Pittsburgh, Pa., July 25 and 26. 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