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today’s top stories
Hudson River rules in effect
The New York City Hudson River Class B exclusion zone became a special flight rules area (SFRA) Nov. 19. While this may change how some pilots operate in the area, the airspace will remain open for general aviation pilots to get a bird’s-eye view of the famous skyline and Statue of Liberty. AOPA had advocated for GA pilots’ continued access to the airspace while it participated on the New York Hudson River Task Force. The SFRA incorporates the group’s recommendations as well as input from pilots who participated in an AOPA Air Safety Foundation safety seminar that took place shortly after the fatal August accident between a helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft that thrust the corridor into the national spotlight. Read more >>
Lockheed Martin has announced that effective Feb. 1, 2010, it will implement another round of flight service station consolidations. The company cites a staffing and workload analysis, along with continued improvements in flight service system technology and efficiency, as the basis for the consolidation. Because of these continued improvements, the company does not anticipate any impact on service to pilots. “AOPA has served as a strong customer advocate for pilots since the FAA announced it was contracting out flight service and subsequently awarded the contract to Lockheed Martin in 2005,” said AOPA Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs Rob Hackman. “We will continue to closely monitor flight service performance as the system continues to transition.” Read more >>
‘Do no harm,’ industry leaders tell Congress
First, do no harm. The Republican leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and aviation subcommittee hosted a roundtable of aviation industry leaders Nov. 17 to discuss what measures Congress can take to assist the struggling industry. The message from a spectrum of aviation organizations was that lawmakers should resist calls for excessive taxes, fees, or regulations on the industry while it is trying to recover from the current economic situation and look to the future. Read more >>
FAA needs to provide continuous traffic uplink
AOPA on Nov. 10 requested that the FAA make traffic information continuously available for all aircraft equipped with Automatic Dependant Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) “in” technology. ADS-B is a key component of the FAA’s plan for transitioning to satellite-based surveillance and navigation in the NextGen air transportation system. Currently, traffic and weather information are broadcast to an aircraft using the ADS-B datalink only when the aircraft transmits ADS-B information. With a minor configuration change, pilots equipped with receive-only Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) systems would have immediate access to the safety and efficiency of Traffic Information Service-Broadcast (TIS-B). Read more >>
UAS not ready for civilian airspace, FAA says
FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt has told the Aerospace Industries Association during a speech in Phoenix that unmanned aerial systems (UAS) aren’t ready for “seamless or routine use” in the civilian airspace system. Babbitt’s speech confirmed AOPA’s stance that UAS must be able to “sense and avoid” other aircraft and noted two committees that the association is participating in to oversee how the vehicles will fit into the national airspace system. “The issue here stateside is safety, and it is rule number one for everyone in the NAS,” Babbitt told the audience. “And being able to see-and-avoid is a fundamental part of that rule.” Read more >>
Emergency AD issued for TCM lifters
The FAA has issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) for all Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) 240-, 360-, 470-, 520-, and 550-series reciprocating engines, effective immediately. Read more >>
Unmanned CarterCopter could join the military
A company with a long history in developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will license a fixed- and rotary-wing hybrid UAV technology from Carter Aviation Technologies. Carter and AAI Corporation, a Textron company, are evaluating a turbine engine, 7,250-pound UAV with a useful load of 4,750 pounds. The craft uses a helicopter rotor for takeoff and landing, and wings with a pusher prop to achieve high-speed cruise flight. Read more >>
TSA proposes security program for repair stations
FAA-certificated repair stations, whether in the United States or abroad, would have some new security measures to follow if a proposal by the Transportation Security Administration goes into effect. The proposal would impact 4,227 repair stations in the United States, 3,000 of which are not located on an airport, and another 694 repair facilities abroad. These facilities would have to implement security procedures and infrastructure such as access controls to the facility or aircraft; means to identify those who should have access to the facility; procedures for challenging unauthorized people who are trying to get access; a security awareness training program; and more. Read more >>
F2F means Fun 2 Fly, and you’ll see a lot of that phrase over the next year. As all of you who were at AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa know, AOPA is giving away a Remos light sport aircraft (LSA) in 2010. Read the new blog reporting the good, the bad, and the ugly of owning and taking care of our Remos while you are waiting to win. So far, we’ve conquered a fuel leak, learned to love removing the cowling, and crossed Chesapeake Bay on a beautiful day to have routine maintenance done at Chesapeake Sport Pilot. We’re having a great time with your Remos.
Lawmakers target airline laptop distractions
In response to a recent airline incident where laptop use may have contributed to pilot distraction, lawmakers have introduced legislation that would ban certain electronic devices from airline cockpits. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee’s aviation subcommittee, introduced a bill this month to prohibit the use of personal wireless communications devices and laptop computers by the flight crew—except for flight-related purposes—during Part 121 air carrier operations. Read more >>
A CJ4 is born
Cessna rolled the first production Citation CJ4 off the company’s Wichita, Kan., assembly line Nov. 17. The $8.7 million, 451-knot, 1,963-nm eight-seater features wings with a moderate sweep and twin Williams FJ44-4A engines of 3,400 lbs thrust apiece. Maximum operating altitude is 45,000 feet. The CJ4 is a stretched version of the CJ3. Read more >>
King Air 350ER crosses the pond, nonstop
Hawker Beechcraft Corp. said one of its modified King Air 350ER (extended range) turboprop twins made a nonstop trans-Atlantic crossing. The airplane was one of four ordered by the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence that will be used as part of the future Military Flying Training System program. The airplane flew from Wichita, Kan., to St. John’s, Newfoundland, refueled, and then flew on to Bournemouth International Airport. Read more >>
Lycoming offers more power for Mooneys
Lycoming Engines has come up with a program that lets owners of certain Mooneys swap out their Lycoming IO-360 engines for a new Lycoming IO-390-A3A6. Eligible airplanes include Mooneys in the M20E, M20F, and M20J series. The FAA already has granted Lycoming the type and production certificate for the new engine, followed by a supplemental type certificate (STC) that allows its installation in the Mooneys. Read more >>
AgustaWestland AW159 helicopter completes maiden flight
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, announced that the first AW159 multi-role military helicopter successfully completed its maiden flight at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil, U.K., facility with chief test pilot Donald Maclaine at the controls. The aircraft completed a range of general handling checks during the flight and performed as expected. It will be joined by two more aircraft in 2010 to complete the flight testing of the AW159 and the wide range of equipment the aircraft will carry. Read more >>
Power Flow tuned exhaust soon available on Bonanzas
Power Flow recently announced its plans to develop a tuned exhaust system for the Beechcraft Bonanza. The system marks the first time Power Flow has developed an exhaust for a six-cylinder engine. Once released, the company plans to offer supplemental type certificates for the IO-470, IO-520, and IO-550 engines. Read more >>
Penn Yan offers discounts
Penn Yan Aero, a leader in engine overhauls, is offering discounted pricing on its Superhawk 180 horsepower supplemental type certificate (STC) conversion. The STC covers Cessna 172s with Lycoming O-320-E2D, -H2AD, and -D2J engines. Customers who have Penn Yan overhaul their current O-320 will receive the 180-hp conversion, a new Sensenich propeller, a Power Flow tuned exhaust, and an Airwolf remote mount oil filter. Read more >>
U.S. Navy receives new helicopters
The Navy has received its first H-72A rotary-wing aircraft, which is based on the same platform as the Army’s UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopter. Both airframes are military versions of Eurocopter’s civilian EC145 helicopter and are manufactured at American Eurocopter’s facility in Columbus, Miss. Read more >>
San Diego museum inducts honorees
The San Diego Air and Space Museum will induct another class of aviation legends into its hall of fame Nov. 21. Included are astronaut Sally Ride; airshow performer Sean Tucker; Clay Lacy, founder of Clay Lacy Aviation; Lockheed Brothers Skunk Works; the Blue Angels; pilot and screen star Cliff Robertson; the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP); and Frank Robinson, founder of Robinson Helicopter Company. Read more >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
GA serves america
Saving lives and trees by air
Norman Anderson recalls fondly the special functions he performed at the start of his aviation career, in Page, Ariz. From 1969 to 1974, he worked for Page Aviation, which contracted with the Agriculture Department’s Forest Service and the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management to help workers fight fires on federal land. “These little fires might smolder for days before they’d burst into big fires,” he said. “… It might be hard for trucks to see the smoldering—like a small wisp, like a backyard barbecue. They’d be in the forest, but couldn’t see the fire. We’d see it from the air.” Read more >>
Time pressures are a fact of life, but the pre-takeoff checklist isn’t a place to shave seconds. Rushing to beat a clearance void time or make up for earlier delays increases the risk of forgetting something—maybe something crucial. Just before 10 a.m. on June 18, 2008, the pilot of a DHC-6 Twin Otter contacted ATC at Barnstable Municipal Airport in Hyannis, Mass., to request a taxi clearance. At 10 a.m. sharp, the airplane was cleared for takeoff. The flight lasted less than a minute. Read more >>
Answers for Pilots: AOPA Medical Services Program
Pilots are a hearty breed, but even the heartiest among us can sometimes be grounded for medical issues. That’s why AOPA has created the AOPA Medical Services Program. This new effort has been designed to help pilots stay healthy, keep their medical certificates, and extend their flying years. The AOPA Medical Services Program has two levels, essential and comprehensive. 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, visit AOPA Online.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit ASN Online.
Wish you had a better understanding of the regulations when talking to your mechanic or the avionics shop? Aircraft Electronics Association Vice President of Government/Industry Affairs Ric Peri answers your frequently asked questions
Question: What is a standard part?
Answer: FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 21-29B defines a standard part as “(a) part manufactured in complete compliance with an established industry or U.S. government specification which includes design, manufacturing, test and acceptance criteria, and uniform identification requirements; or for a type of part which the Administrator has found demonstrates conformity based solely on meeting performance criteria, is in complete compliance with an established industry or U.S. Government specification which contains performance criteria, test and acceptance criteria, and uniform identification requirements. The specification must include all information necessary to produce and conform the part, and be published so that any party may manufacture the part.” Read more >>
Submit your own question via e-mail.
AOPA Now: AOPA Live and the best of Summit
Air Safety eJournal: Do not fly Zenair CH601XL and CH650!
The Zenair CH601XL and CH650 S-LSA and E-LSA have suffered an alarming number of in-flight breakups, the latest occurring this month. Read more >>
Hover Power: Lyn Burks
Lyn Burks has a passion for the helicopter industry. Burks holds ATP/CFII helicopter certificates with nearly 6,000 hours of flying experience. His Web site, JustHelicopters.com, has become an industry icon. Read more >>
Share the gift of flight with aviation-themed holiday cards
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's aviation holiday cards are now available. Choose from various designs. Imprinting is available, and you will also receive return address labels and decorative seals. Each box has 25 cards, and a portion of the proceeds from each box sold will help the foundation's mission of improving general aviation safety. To view the cards or to place an order, visit the Web site or call 800/308-4285.
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 flying to the Bahamas for the holidays and will not be returning until early January. Do I need an annual customs decal for 2009 and 2010?
Answer: No, you will not need a Customs decal for both 2009 and 2010. The United States Customs user fee decal is valid for a single calendar year and is required to be valid upon your entry to the United States. Since you are returning to the United States in January 2010, you will only need a 2010 decal. You can read more about the requirements of flying to international destinations such as the Bahamas online. And learn more about using the Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) for Customs reporting when you travel abroad in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation course “ Understanding eAPIS.”
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 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 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