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Today's Top Stories
Senators reflect pilots’ dissatisfaction with security directive
Because of the sudden implementation of a Transportation Security Administration security directive (SD-08G), many pilots and airport personnel are struggling to adjust to the requirements. Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) wrote to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, expressing pilots' concerns. Read more >>
Getting positive attention for the General Aviation Serves America message is no easy task when the news is saturated with the nation’s economic woes, AOPA President Craig Fuller told participants in the National Air Transportation Association Air Charter Summit and FBO Leadership Conference. But GA is full of positive, engaging stories that can and must be told in communities nationwide. “We need to tell a compelling story,” Fuller told the audience of about 100. “The story we have to tell is how thousands and thousands of people use GA every day.” Read more >>
EPA proposal exempts piston aircraft from greenhouse gas reporting
Despite a proposed rule that would expand required emissions reporting from some commercial and general aviation jets and turboprops, the EPA is excluding GA piston aircraft from the list of vehicles that would be required to make such reports. And AOPA is working to keep it that way. Read more >>
Sport pilot instruction rules need clarification
Can your sport pilot training time, when given by a sport pilot instructor, be applied toward the requirements for a private pilot certificate? If you are looking in current regulations, the answer isn’t clear. Three aviation organizations have sought the FAA’s written clarification of the rules. AOPA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and the Experimental Aircraft Association jointly signed a letter asking that the FAA clarify that training received from a sport pilot instructor can be applied to the hours required for a private pilot certificate. Read more >>
Bass steps down at Piper
James K. Bass will step down June 26 as Piper Aircraft president and CEO, and be replaced by two senior executives. Kevin J. Gould, currently vice president of operations, will become CEO, while John Becker, currently vice president of engineering, will become president. The move comes five weeks after Piper Aircraft was sold by Maryland-based American Capital to Singapore-based Imprimis. Bass was hired by American Capital to turn Piper around and prepare it for sale. Read more >>
Center Weather Service Units closure debate heats up
The FAA is moving ahead with plans to chop 20 Center Weather Service Units (CWSUs) from Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCCs) around the nation. CWSUs consist of on-site meteorologists who advise air traffic controllers of adverse weather in the areas covered by each ARTCC. “It is important that pilots and controllers have the most accurate and up-to-date weather information,” said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs, “and the outcome of any proposed change should ensure that service remains.” Read more >>
Congress congratulates AOPA on turning 70
The U.S. House of Representatives on June 9 passed a resolution congratulating AOPA on reaching its seventieth anniversary, and commending the association for seven decades of work on behalf of America’s general aviation pilots and aircraft owners. Read more >>
GA receives bipartisan support in House
Before passing the Transportation Security Administration Authorization Act (H.R.2200) on June 4, members of Congress took to the House floor to express concern that the TSA hasn’t understood GA’s value and is pursuing regulations that could cripple the industry. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) said the theme of “greater stakeholder participation” runs throughout the authorization bill. “General aviation, in particular, gets a great deal of attention in this bill,” he said, because the agency has until recently displayed a lack of understanding of the uniqueness of GA. Read more >>
Pilot uses GA to sell spinal implants to hospitals, clients
On any given day, Mike Montgomery may fly 300 miles to 400 miles to sell spinal implants to hospitals and clients in Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. This may not be too much of a stretch for fixed-wing pilots, but for Montgomery and his Robinson R44 helicopter, it’s about as far as he cares to go. Still, he manages to log an astounding 750,000 miles per year. Read more >>
A lifelong love of flying starts with a single flight. On June 13, thousands of kids will get a chance to fly as part of EAA's sixteenth annual International Young Eagles Day. The Young Eagles program provides free flights to young aviation enthusiasts, many of whom have never flown before. International Young Eagles Day is the most active flying day for the year-round program, which has flown nearly 1.5 million young people since 1992. Read more >>
Weather Underground features TDWR
Weather Underground, a comprehensive weather Web site known for its high-quality, interactive Doppler radar imagery, has just added imagery from all 45 of the nation’s Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) stations to its offerings. Read more >>
AV8OR gets fuel, airport info
Bendix/King by Honeywell reports that its AV8OR handheld GPS navigation unit is now available with fuel price and airport information from Airguide Publications’ “Flight Guide.” Restaurant, hotel, taxi, and discount information is included as part of the package, which sells for a $99 annual fee. The upgrade is accessed via Internet, along with daily fuel price information updates. For more information, see the Web site.
Sun sets on Biplane Expo
The curtain closed on the National Biplane Association’s twenty-third and last Biplane Expo on June 6 at Oklahoma’s Bartlesville Municipal Airport, better known locally as Frank Phillips Field. A total of 114 biplanes were on hand for the event’s finale, as well as 241 other aircraft, said Charlie Harris, the association’s chairman. He estimated that 4,100 to 4,600 people attended the event. Airplanes flew to Bartlesville from as far away as Oregon, California, and Michigan for the event, which attracted a mix of long-time and first-time visitors. Read more >>
Plane Fun: A gateway to early American lore
Tucked away from civilization, in a valley between two humble ridges, a small Pennsylvania town has aged well, much like the Appalachians. Bedford has a past steeped in history, lore, and legend. Located 100 miles from Harrisburg and 120 miles from Pittsburgh, Bedford is isolated enough that it retains much of its original architecture and small-town atmosphere. Antique stores and old-style shops line the streets, vineyards are nestled among the hills, farmers markets pop up on weekends, and war reenactments are staged several times a year. Read more >>
Freedom to Fly: Take a friend for a flight
As an AOPA member, you are the best ambassador for general aviation. You're at every airport in the country and are in a unique position to help GA at the local level. One of the best ways to win more friends for GA is to take people flying! An orientation flight is the quickest way to demonstrate the excitement and discipline of GA. Careful planning on your part will ensure that the person you fly will leave with a newfound respect for flying. Read more >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online
A steady spray of avgas pouring onto a Long-EZ pilot’s pants leg while he was flying over a remote, foggy area convinced him to land on the first patch of concrete he could find. Unfortunately, the hard surface just happened to be on the guarded grounds of a rural prison. Read more 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 quiz helps you see the light
Airports easily navigated by day can become a bewildering array of lights after the sun goes down. If it's been a while since your last VFR night flight, take " Airport Lighting: VFR," the latest safety quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The interactive questions feature flight simulator animation and illuminating graphics.
Avoid that rundown feeling with new PSA video
Sometimes it's complacency. Sometimes it’s distraction. Or maybe it’s being unfamiliar with the airport. Whatever the reason, general aviation pilots commit potentially disastrous (category A or B) runway incursions once every month, on average. Now the AOPA Air Safety Foundation and the FAA's Office of Runway Safety have teamed up and taken aim at the problem in dramatic fashion: The foundation's latest Pilot Safety Announcement (PSA), a brief video modeled after public service announcements, puts you in the cockpit for a ride you won't soon forget. Check out the new PSA today.
Density altitude: One of summer’s challenges
Density altitude is something all pilots learn during flight training, but it’s likely not something you account for year-round. As the temperature creeps up during the summer months, don’t overlook density altitude’s effect on your aircraft’s performance. If not anticipated, its effects on a flight can be perplexing and detrimental; it can even cause accidents. 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.
Pennsylvania Gov. invests in airports to boost economy
Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell this month announced the investment of close to $3 million for airport improvements in the state. While some states are responding to budget shortfalls this year by considering deep cuts in their transportation funding, Pennsylvania is making investments in its air transportation infrastructure to promote economic growth. According to a press release from the governor’s office, nearly 290,000 people are employed in the aviation field statewide, representing about 5 percent of the workforce. “Airports are important assets that can attract new business and create jobs,” Rendell said. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Virgin Galactic a blast closer to space
Virgin Galactic has passed an important milestone in its quest to blast tourists into suborbital space. Read more >>
Let’s Go Flying: Air-to-air photo shoot in a Pitts
“Let’s Go Flying” blogger Steve Tupper recently caught a ride in a Pitts S-2C with Billy Werth of Grayout Aerosports during the Indianapolis Air Show. Read more >>
Air Safety eJournal: Get me to the hockey game on time
If you’ve been keeping up with the legal trials of Cirrus, you’ll know that they just had a major verdict go against them by a Minnesota jury regarding a fatal accident in an SR22. Read more >>
Hover Power: Speed limits, Part 2
How exactly does flapping change a rotor blade’s angle of attack? That was a great question, and readers provided many good explanations. To fully understand, you should know the difference between pitch angle and angle of attack. Read more >>
Charting your path to success
Pop quiz: How many pilots who begin flight training end up with their pilot certificate? The answer is startlingly low: around 30 percent. To help stop the flood of flight school dropouts, AOPA created the Flight Path program, a personal tracking system that offers users resources and information to keep them informed and engaged throughout training. Best of all, anyone who tracks his or her progress through the site is automatically entered for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship. The first scholarship winners were recently announced: Michael Schwab of Largo, Fla., John Riggs of Beatrice, Neb., Bryan Fletcher of Highland, Calif., and Terry Russell of Wayland, Mich., are now $1,000 closer to finishing their flight training, thanks to Flight Path.
Be part of the Aviation Summit excitement
Don’t miss AOPA’s first-ever Aviation Summit, Nov. 5 through 7 in Tampa, Fla. Aviation Summit represents an evolution of AOPA Expo, offering new events, opportunities, and social gatherings, in addition to everything you’ve come to expect from an AOPA event, including hot air balloons, jets, safety seminars, avionics, flight gear, and travel destinations. You’ll have many opportunities to talk with friends, make new ones, and indulge in “hangar talk” to pick up exciting tips and skills from fellow pilots. Aviation Summit also will offer groundbreaking policy discussions where you can voice your opinion and influence the future of aviation. Learn more >>
Carry the card that pays you to support GA
Thousands of AOPA members carry the AOPA WorldPoints credit card from Bank of America. They already know that by carrying and using the card, they earn a choice of rewards, keep AOPA dues low, and strengthen general aviation. Thousands of others still don’t know about the card and all it can do. 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: What is the difference between an RNAV approach and a GPS approach? I was under the impression that GPS is a type of area navigation (RNAV) and that one instrument approach chart would be used for GPS as well as other types of RNAV approaches.
Answer: Early, stand-alone GPS approaches were labeled as such, but newer procedures are identified with RNAV in the heading, recognizing the fact that some more sophisticated aircraft are equipped with flight management systems (FMS) in which GPS may be only one of several navigation sensors. As of 2006, stand-alone GPS approaches were identified as RNAV (GPS). Over the next several years, the FAA will slowly adopt a single terminology, renaming all GPS approaches as RNAV. For more information, read the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Safety Advisor, GPS From the Ground Up , or take the foundation’s free interactive course, GPS for IFR Operations .
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 career opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a Director of Airspace and Modernization, Aviation Technical Specialist, and 2009 Fall Intern for the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
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 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