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Today's Top Stories
Information released May 12 about the administration’s budget proposal for the FAA makes clear that the White House seeks a fundamental change in funding our nation’s aviation system. While seeking authority to spend billions of dollars from the general fund for other modes of transportation, the new administration seems determined to radically reduce general fund support for aviation in America. Read more >>
Fuel taxes, general fund contributions should fund FAA
Congress should pass a four-year FAA funding bill based on aviation fuel taxes, ticket taxes, and general fund contributions, AOPA President Craig Fuller said in testimony submitted on May 13 to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The hearing allowed aviation stakeholders to share their views on FAA reauthorization. “The existing financing mechanism has served the nation well, providing a stable and reliable aviation system during good and difficult times over the last 50 years,” Fuller said. Read more >>
Security directive a potential “unfunded mandate”
As more pilots raise objections to a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security directive imposing new requirements on pilots based at air carrier airports, members of the Colorado delegation have taken note and expressed their own objections to the Department of Homeland Security. Security Directive 8F (SD-08F) requires pilots based at air carrier airports to undergo a security threat assessment and receive a security badge in order to continue to have unescorted access to their airports starting June 1. Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. John Salazar of Colorado wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urging the TSA to work with the industry to find a solution that is less burdensome for general aviation and rural airports. Read more >>
AOPA turns 70
May 15 marks a milestone for AOPA—its seventieth anniversary. The association was formed in 1939 because of general aviation’s lack of effective political representation. At the time, GA was called “miscellaneous aviation” in government circles. AOPA helped create legislation that established the Civilian Pilot Training Program, which allowed thousands to earn their pilot certificates in those tough economic times, stimulated GA aircraft sales, and boosted the number of flight operations. The association also secured a reduction in pilot medical examination fees from $10 to $6 and urged the Civil Aeronautics Authority to build more airports to serve GA’s growing needs. Read more and watch a video message from AOPA President Craig Fuller >>
NATA president to chair GA Serves America advisory council
National Air Transportation Association (NATA) President and CEO James K. Coyne will chair the newly formed advisory council for AOPA’s GA Serves America campaign. The council works to ensure that opinion leaders, policymakers, legislators, and the public understand the full scope of general aviation. Coyne said that NATA’s Board of Directors and members are “pleased to support this fantastic initiative.” Through GA Serves America, he added, “we will dispel the myths about our community and promote the significant, meaningful contributions we make to our nation’s economy, supply chain, and, in some regions of the country, even the standard of living.” Read more >>
International pilots’ organization makes case for GA
General aviation serves the world. That was the simple, yet remarkably complex message that Craig Fuller, AOPA president and president of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations, delivered to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s recent meeting in Montreal. The biggest threat facing GA worldwide, Fuller told the gathering, is not the global economic slump. The “greatest challenge facing GA … comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of the value of general aviation, which in turn leads to inappropriate operating and equipment requirements, unreasonable fee structures, and impossible security regulations,” said Fuller. Read more >>
Europe declares support for GA
In an historic acknowledgment of general aviation’s contributions, the European Parliament has adopted a sweeping resolution that sets forth principles to preserve, foster, and promote GA across the continent. The resolution, Agenda for Sustainable Future in General and Business Aviation, is the widest-ranging statement of principles to date for GA in the European Union, where aviation and airspace policies have hurt the GA community. Read more >>
TSA must consult GA stakeholders, says House subcommittee
Key members of the House Homeland Security Committee responded to concerns raised by AOPA and others in the general aviation community by calling for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to increase GA industry participation in security initiatives in a bill passed out of committee May 6. In a markup of a bill authorizing funding for TSA programs, the transportation security and infrastructure protection subcommittee included provisions to increase stakeholder participation with the TSA on security initiatives that affect GA. Read more >>
FAA issues AD for Cessna 150/152 rudder stops
The FAA this week issued an airworthiness directive (AD) that would require certain parts in the Cessna 150 and 152 rudder areas be replaced or a placard installed that prohibits spins and other aerobatic maneuvers. Replacing the parts in order to comply with the AD, which affects 17,000 aircraft, would cost aircraft owners about $500. The AD stems from two fatal accidents in the aircraft, one in Canada and another in the United States. In both cases, the pilots were practicing spins and were unable to recover. Read more >>
Promoters of the Red Bull race series claimed a crowd count of 55,000 in San Diego last weekend as pilots flew a low-level pylon course for points. It was the only time this year that the 15 pilots will race in the United States. Ivanoff Nicolas of France won, remaining in second place for the series standings behind Hannes Arch of Austria. Americans Mike Mangold came in seventh, Kirby Chambliss twelfth, and Mike Goulian fourteenth. The next race is in Windsor, Canada. See a slide show of the race >>
Israeli diplomat does the “wing thing”
A GA pilot for two decades and an AOPA member since 1995, Chuck Kanafi has “converted and validated my way across the globe” on assignments to Zimbabwe, Germany, Eritrea, and now Turkey, where he serves as deputy head of mission at Israel’s embassy in Ankara. Read more >>
Like father, like son
Randall Colthorpe flies Norfolk Southern Railroad executives all over the East Coast. He has been a flight instructor for many years and administers biennial flight reviews. His most recent aviation challenge lies closer to home. In home, actually. Colthorpe is teaching his 17-year-old son Ellis to fly. Read more >>
Jet Pack sets world record
The Go Fast! Jet Pack has started a new category of official world records by flying at 43 mph into a headwind at an airshow in Scotland. No world records existed in the category, so the speed was up to pilot Eric Scott. He flew 68 mph later in the day to break his own record. Read more >>
New high-tech Marine One helicopter criticized
President Barack Obama’s budget calls for the cancellation of the $13 billion presidential helicopter program. Efforts to replace the Sikorsky Marine One helicopters, which the White House has used for 25 years, began after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The new helicopters would give the president better communication capabilities while in the air. However, technical problems have repeatedly forced the program’s restructuring, and in recent months the Pentagon ordered key work halted to reassess the helicopter’s design and necessity. Read more >>
GA pilots to the rescue
Leslie Smith is accustomed to reassuring nervous passengers, having worked 11 years as a flight attendant—but not passengers quite like these. “Glacier,” a two-year-old Husky mix, sat on her lap; a female Labrador retriever mix took the adjoining seat, and a third pooch occupied a crate in the back of a Cessna 210 flown by husband Jerry Smith, a retired Delta Air Lines captain. The flight from Franklin, N.C., to Frederick, Md., was part of a 15-airplane, 28-dog airlift organized by Animal Rescue Flights (ARF), a group formed to transport neglected or abandoned dogs and cats from animal shelters where they face certain destruction to new homes across the country. Read more >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AVIATION CONFERENCE NEWS
Avidyne to deliver worldwide weather
Avidyne will couple its satellite datalink receivers with electronic flightbag displays made by Advanced Data Research Florida to provide graphical weather and text messaging worldwide. The data is distributed through the Avidyne Network Operations Center using the 66-satellite Iridium constellation. Read more >>
Aerion pushes supersonic bizjet plan
Certification of the $80-million Aerion supersonic business jet could occur in 2015 if current development plans and discussions with contractors and governments go well. In the case of the FAA, it’s all about the boom. The FAA’s Office of Aviation Policy, Planning, and Environment plans to call a third hearing soon on the topic of sonic booms over populated areas. Read more >>
Falcon 7X gets new interior
Dassault Falcon unveiled a new cabin design for its 7X long-range business jet at the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE). Dassault and BMW Group DesignworksUSA collaborated on the jet’s interior, whose main features—available as an option for 7X deliveries starting in the first quarter of 2011—include “subtle curves,” “better flow” between the galley and main cabin, and a new lighting system.
Hawker Beechcraft announces deliveries, new service centers
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) reports that it delivered the first G58 Baron and G36 Bonanza airplanes to customers in Europe. Both airplanes feature cockpits using Garmin’s G1000 avionics suite. Brad Hatt, president of Hawker Beechcraft Commercial Aircraft, announced that the company has received an order for HBC’s Premier II business jet from Jordan’s RayaJet and Ayla Aviation Academy. Read more >>
Long-range boost for Learjet 40XR, Global 5000
At the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Bombardier Aerospace announced an extended-range option for the Learjet 40XR. By installing a fuel tank modification, an additional 687 pounds of fuel can be added to the stock airplane. This boosts nonstop range at long-range cruise speed (Mach 0.75) to 1,991 nm—15 percent further than now. Also getting a long-range boost is Bombardier’s Global 5000. Read more >>
Learn new international ops with online course
Before planning any international flight, even a short trip to Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean, make sure you are up to speed on the latest procedures. A requirement to file passenger manifests and flight information online for all international flights goes into effect May 18. Yes, this applies even if you’re flying a Cessna 150 and have only one passenger. The penalty for noncompliance is stiff—$5,000 the first time and $10,000 for subsequent instances. To make sure you don’t have to cancel your plans or get hit with a hefty fine, take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s new interactive course, Understanding eAPIS: A Pilot’s Guide to Online Customs Reporting . Read more >>
In-flight electrical fires are relatively rare, which means many pilots never even think about them. But being prepared could mean the difference between surviving a minor mishap or perishing in a flaming cockpit. How much do you know about your aircraft's electrical system? Test your knowledge of circuit breakers, aircraft wiring, maintenance of aging aircraft, and emergency procedures in the event of an in-flight electrical fire with the latest interactive safety quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Then check out the foundation's "Electrical System Know-How" Safety Hot Spot.
Time to say goodbye: Selling your aircraft
It’s been your beloved companion, and you’ve had a lot of good times together; but things are different now, and you know it will be best for the both of you to part ways. Selling an airplane, whether you’re upgrading or downsizing, is not a simple exercise. First, you have to find a buyer—and right now, that’s no easy feat. Many airplanes are for sale. How do you make yours stand out from the rest? Read more >>
Court rules against Santa Monica’s attempt to ban aircraft
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has set back Santa Monica’s enforcement of an ordinance banning category C and D aircraft from operating at California’s Santa Monica Municipal Airport. In its ruling, the court, based in nearby Pasadena, upheld U.S. District Court Judge George H. Wu’s injunction last year that allowed the FAA to block enforcement of the ordinance. 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, more than 2,000 Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteers work 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, use the Airport Support Network Volunteer Form.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit the ASN Web site.
AOPA Now: Open house at Georgetown
After flying about 30 hours in eight days, AOPA President Craig Fuller welcomed the opportunity to relax and “spend some time at a local airport talking to friends who fly.” Read more >>
Hover Power: Thoughts on EMS safety
Over the past year 28 people have died in EMS (emergency medical services) aircraft crashes. The industry is experiencing one of the worst accident rates in its history. Solving this problem is a complicated issue for sure. Hover Power blogger Tim McAdams shares his thoughts on how this problem can be fixed. Read more >>
Air Safety eJournal: Time in type and travel? Buffalo Q-400
The NTSB held its public hearing this week on Continental Flight 3407 that crashed in Buffalo, N.Y., this winter. There has been much speculation about icing, tail stalls, autopilot weirdness, crew coordination, crew qualification, and training—pretty much everything has been open for discussion. Read more >>
AOPA Aviation Summit to be a pilot’s paradise
Making vacation plans? You will find a pilot’s paradise in Tampa, Fla., at AOPA Aviation Summit from Nov. 5 through 7. Come for Summit and stay for everything Tampa has to offer: fabulous beaches, art museums, and dinner cruises. Extend your stay to Sunday, Nov. 8, and attend a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game. Be sure to plan a visit to the Fantasy of Flight where you can experience the fun and adventure of flight at the world’s greatest aviation attraction. Climb into the cockpits of vintage aircraft, take a ride for yourself, or enjoy the daily airshow where you can see vintage aircraft roar to life. Tampa has something to offer for every member of your family. Make your vacation one the entire family will remember for years to come!
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 an instrument-rated private pilot with airplane single-engine land privileges, and I have a friend who is an instrument-rated private pilot with rotorcraft-helicopter privileges. Can the helicopter pilot serve as my safety pilot if I want to log some instrument approaches in my airplane?
Answer: Your helicopter-pilot friend will not qualify to serve as a safety pilot in your airplane. FAR 91.109(b) requires the safety pilot to hold at least a private pilot certificate with category and class ratings appropriate to the aircraft being flown.
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 Sacramento, Calif., and Kansas City, Mo., May 30 and 31; San Jose, Calif., Charlotte, N.C., and Ashburn, Va., June 6 and 7; 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. 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 Newton, Mass., May 19; Windsor, Conn., May 20; Manchester, N.H., May 21; Oshkosh, Wis., July 29, 30, and 31; Germantown, Tenn., August 31; Nashville, Tenn., September 1; Maryville, Tenn., September 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