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today’s top stories
AOPA Aviation Summit spotlights aviation powerhouses
They came from statehouses and Capitol Hill, from government offices and industry boardrooms, and from hangars throughout the United States. Pilots and aviation enthusiasts convened at AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Fla., Nov. 5 through 7 to celebrate general aviation and get involved in the future of flying. At the Tampa Convention Center, 7,294 people attended informational forums, checked out the latest in general aviation technology, and heard industry leaders' plans for the future; thousands more watched the festivities and participated online. In addition, members of the Tampa community and pilots from all over streamed into Peter O. Knight Airport for the activities at Airportfest, pushing total attendance at Summit close to 8,000. Read more >>
Members of the Senate have joined together to voice the importance of passing a long-term FAA funding bill (S.1451) before the end of the year. In a letter circulated by AOPA member and pilot Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), 35 senators said the bill would provide much-needed funding for metropolitan and rural airports and for the FAA’s NextGen air traffic control system. Read more >>
Fuller, governors talk airport support
AOPA President Craig Fuller met with a group of Democratic governors Nov. 9 in Philadelphia to encourage the leaders to invest in their states' aviation infrastructure. The governors came together from as far west as Montana and as far east as New Hampshire to discuss critical infrastructure investment, the importance of small airports, and the role of states in supporting the national air transportation system. “The airports that dot the countryside from coast to coast in America are not just isolated fields,” Fuller said, explaining afterward why he reached out to governors to help support general aviaiton. “Each one is part of a national network, and together they add up to the world's best aviation system.” Read more >>
LaHood creates committee for future of aviation
AOPA on Nov. 12 joined stakeholders from across the aviation spectrum at a forum convened by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, at which the secretary announced the creation of the Federal Advisory Committee on the Future of Aviation. “The decision to create this advisory panel is a positive indication that Secretary LaHood and the Department of Transportation are actively seeking stakeholder input in shaping the future of our air transport system,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller, who attended the forum. Read more >>
Mountain flier hit trees, NTSB says
Famed mountain flying instructor and author Sparky Imeson died earlier this year after crashing into trees during low-level flight, according to the final report by the NTSB released Nov. 9. “A witness near the accident site reported observing a high-wing airplane similar to the accident airplane flying about 20 to 30 feet above the ground at a high rate of speed,” the report noted. “The witness stated that the airplane was low enough to startle a herd of elk near the airplane’s flight path.” Read more >>
Pilots strongly urged not to fly Zodiac CH601XL, CH650
In the wake of a Nov. 6 accident involving a Zodiac CH601XL, the FAA issued a special airworthiness information bulletin recommending that before further flight the aircraft be brought into compliance with a safety directive/safety alert from Aircraft Manufacturing & Design, which manufactures the airplanes. AOPA strongly urges pilots not to fly any of the CH601XL or CH650 aircraft in the special light sport, experimental light sport, and experimental amateur-built categories until they have complied with the directive. Read more >>
Hawker Beechcraft to close facility
As announced a month ago, Hawker Beechcraft has moved ahead with a plan to close its Salina, Kan., facility that fabricates wings, spars, and subassemblies. There is no timeline for the closure. There remain 240 employees working in the 13-building complex at Salina. Hawker Beechcraft officials continue formal conversations with the International Association of Machinists to make a viable business case for relocating jobs to Wichita. Read more >>
Cirrus lays off 58 workers
Cirrus Aircraft has told the Duluth News-Tribune that it must lay off 58 workers because of seasonal adjustments in the workforce. The company laid off 32 in Grand Forks, N.D., and 26 in Duluth, Minn. The cuts bring the workforce to 550, compared to 1,300 in mid-2008, the newspaper said. Company spokesman Todd Simmons said Cirrus had been staffed higher than current demand. It is late in the year and Cirrus finds the first quarter of any year is a time of weaker deliveries and demand, Simmons told the newspaper. Read more >>
Commemorative Air Force loses court case
The Commemorative Air Force has lost its appeal of a court decision that returns its rare North American P–82 Twin Mustang to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The Midland, Texas-based group had wanted to restore the aircraft to flying condition. In a judgment filed Nov. 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of the U.S. Air Force. Read more >>
Garmin rebates set to expire
Pilots, here’s your chance to help Santa Claus with his financial doldrums: Ask for that Garmin GNS 430 or 530 this year rather than next. The GPS giant has been offering $500 rebates for GNS 430s and $1,000 rebates for 530s for some time, and those rebates expire at the end of the year. Read more >>
Holiday gifts of the canine kind
We’re not sure the connection, but pilots seem to be dog people even more than, well, regular people are dog people. And just as dogs love to go in the car, they seem to cherish airplane rides too. Being such dog people, pilots need creative holiday gifts for Rover, and a couple of companies are happy to oblige. Read more >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
PEAK EXPERIENCE: AOPA AVIATION SUMMIT
He has flown in formation with boats, motorcycles, cars, and even a horse. He has doubled for Roger Moore and Catherine Zeta-Jones. With three decades of film stunt flying and aerial coordinating under his belt, J.W. “Corkey” Fornof is the authority on aerial film productions. He commits to film the type of precision flying that cannot be replicated by the most sophisticated computer animation. Read more >>
Experts give tips on keeping your medical
Pilots whose medical application is deferred wait in anticipation for a decision from the FAA that can determine their flying future. The wait can be nerve-wracking. The good news, a panel of aeromedical experts told pilots Nov. 7, is that the FAA is continuously working to get more pilots safely in the air. Panelists advised the audience to take an active role in preparing and following through on their medical applications, and not to let concerns about flying interfere with taking care of their health. Read more >>
Listen up out there
During AOPA Aviation Summit, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) held presentations and question-and-answer sessions at the exhibit hall’s “Controller’s Corner.” The Nov. 7 forum, titled “From Takeoff to Touchdown,” emphasized some new procedures, pet peeves, a few reminders, and a review of common goofs. Read some notable samples involving IFR operations at towered airports. For answers to more of your questions, see the AOPA Air Safety Foundation resource “ Ask ATC.”
If you didn’t make it to AOPA Aviation Summit 2009 last week, we’ve compiled the best moments from our extensive video coverage. Watch videos from Summit >>
More Summit News:
GA serves america
Flight binds Pensacola residents, but fees could loosen grip
From aviation maintenance, sales, instruction, and pure entertainment, the act of flying is embedded deep into the very fiber of Pensacola, Fla. Lt. Tony Cowart can’t help but run into someone who is a pilot or a relative or friend of one. It’s no wonder, then, that flying is so much a part of the city’s and the region’s self-image, he said. For that reason, threats to general aviation and the possibilities of paying additional fees alarm Cowart. He is concerned that he will be among those priced out of GA, with the ripple effects harming the livelihoods of area residents—pilot and nonpilot alike—and Pensacola itself. He is worried, he said, that “the very backbone of a region could be irrevocably damaged.” Read more >>
New Year's Day in 1967 was clear and sunny in New York City, but a young future airline pilot and his wife were about to get the scare of their lives while trying to skirt a lowering cloud deck and fog on their way home to Long Island. They dodged tall towers, flew through John F. Kennedy International Airport airspace, and tracked city streets to an airport. Read this 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.
Is your aircraft ready for winter weather?
As temperatures continue to dip across the United States, pilots should start giving their aircraft special care. While it’s best to keep your aircraft in a heated hangar to protect it from the cold, frost, ice, and snow, that’s not always an option. Preheat your aircraft; remove any frost, ice, or snow; and check the control cables, engine breather tube, tire and strut pressure, and all hoses, clamps, hydraulic fittings, and seals. Also inspect the cabin heat system and insulation. For more tips on preparing your aircraft for the winter months, see AOPA’s Winter Flying subject report. If you have specific questions about winterizing your aircraft, contact the specialists in AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672).
Air safety fans unite on Facebook
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has arrived on Facebook. Become a fan to keep up with the latest Air Safety Foundation products, share your thoughts with other fans, and find out about upcoming events and safety seminars. The page brings together links to online courses, safety quizzes, Real Pilot Stories, blogs, Pilot Safety Announcements (PSAs), safety articles, and other resources. Support the foundation and network with other aviation enthusiasts— become a fan today!
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.
Air Safety eJournal: Hypoxic but saved
Lack of oxygen causes brain fade or incapacitation. It happened in October when the pilot of a Cessna 400 mentally dropped out while cruising at FL230. Fortunately his daughter was able to work out a descent plan with ATC and got the aircraft down to a more oxygenated atmosphere. This is the second time this year that controllers have been “hypoxic heroes.” Read more >>
Reporting Points: How to discourage a potential student
Eric Brown of the Tampa, Fla., area has always wanted to fly, so he accumulated the money and went to the nearest airport. He told the school he could afford to fly once a week, and the school told him he had to fly at least two times a week, preferably three. Read more >>
Hover Power: Rotor downwash
It’s unfortunate that students are not taught more about the hazards of a helicopter rotor blast. To protect yourself and your aircraft around an airport or heliport, assume you could be subject to a prop blast or rotor downwash. Read more >>
Give to the AOPA Foundation and get a free calendar
The AOPA Foundation calendar fundraising effort is a great way to help support general aviation and the association's free aviation safety programs and other initiatives. Anyone wishing to receive the AOPA Foundation calendar may do so by becoming a donor with a gift of $10 or more. For more information, call 800/USA-AOPA or go online.
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 a CFI/CFII who provides an occasional flight review for some of my friends. I do not currently hold a medical certificate, but I know this is allowed as long as the person I am flying with can act as pilot in command. A friend of mine lapsed on his IFR currency and needs an instrument proficiency check. Can I do this for him without a medical?
Answer: No. Although FAR 61.23(b) does not require you to hold a medical certificate if you are flight instructing and not acting as pilot in command, FAR 91.109(b) states that no pilot may operate in simulated instrument flight unless the other control seat is occupied by a safety pilot who possesses at least a private pilot certificate with appropriate category and class ratings. Therefore, since you would be acting as a required crewmember, you would be required under 61.23(a)(iv) to hold a current medical certificate.
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 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 Anchorage, Alaska, Albuquerque, N.M., and Reston, Va., Nov. 21 and 22; Denver, Colo., and Orlando, Fla., Dec. 5 and 6; Northbrook, Ill., Dec. 12 and 13; San Jose, Calif., Baltimore, Md., and Detroit, Mich., Jan. 9 and 10. 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 Burbank, Calif., and White Plains, N.Y., Nov. 16; Ontario, Calif., Nov. 17; Costa Mesa, Calif., Nov. 18; San Diego, Calif., Nov. 19; Marietta, Ga., Dec. 1; Birmingham, Ala., Dec. 2; Pensacola, Fla., Dec. 3; West Palm Beach, Fla., Dec. 7; Tampa, Fla., Dec. 8; Towson, Md., Dec. 9. 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: Sarah Brown