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today’s top stories
NextGen funding would spur jobs
As President Barack Obama and Congress continue to look for ways to accelerate job growth in a tough economic climate, civil aviation and travel associations are touting NextGen funding as an answer. In a Nov. 23 letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Ranking Member John Mica (R-Fla.), 19 associations, including AOPA, explained that funding for NextGen would “provide a platform for domestic job creation.” Read more >>
Longtime GA advocate Edward Stimpson dies
Edward W. Stimpson, one of the founders of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and a dedicated general aviation advocate, died Nov. 25 following an extended illness. Stimpson spent his entire career championing GA and played an important role in winning product liability reform, an effort that led to the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994. President Bill Clinton later appointed him the U.S. ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization, where he served from 1999 to 2004. “Ed was truly one of the greatest GA advocates of all time,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “He firmly believed in the value and utility of general aviation, and he dedicated his life to promoting, protecting, and preserving GA. His loss will be keenly felt throughout the aviation community.” Read more >>
Who’s afraid of the FRZ? Flight school opens at Potomac Airfield
A struggling economy and a location within the Washington, D.C., Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) would deter many people from launching a new flight school, but not Tim Poole of White Plains, Md. Poole and his wife, Karen, opened GT Aviation at Potomac Airfield in Friendly, Md., in mid-October. “There’s a huge pilot population here,” Poole said. “There’s an equally large opportunity for new pilots in the same area. Potomac is literally the closest GA airport to downtown Washington, D.C.” It’s also one of the “Maryland Three” airports within the FRZ. Read more >>
He may be the governor of Georgia now, but a few decades ago Sonny Perdue was commuting home from veterinary school in a J-5 Cub, watching out for oncoming traffic and power lines as he landed on Georgia Highway 96. He recalls fondly his first lessons near the family farm, fixing up the “jalopy” J-5 with his veterinary school roommate, and later using his Bellanca Super Viking to defy the electoral odds in the governor's race. “That was our jalopy,” Perdue said. “On weekends we’d go and patch that J-5 and fix it up.” Read more >>
Sweeps winner lands at New York Center
AOPA’s 2008 Get Your Glass Piper Archer sweepstakes winner Karoline Amodeo recently landed a spot with New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, covering one of the center’s two oceanic areas. While you won’t be able to see Amodeo during her shifts at the center, you might be able to catch up with her at her second job at SheltAir Aviation Services, a fixed-base operator at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, N.Y. “I wanted to keep one foot in the general aviation door because I do love private aviation, but don’t get to deal with it much anymore,” Amodeo wrote in an e-mail update to AOPA. Read more >>
Summit goes global through AOPA Live
When aviation leaders met in Tampa, Fla., for AOPA Aviation Summit this month, the world was watching. For the first time ever, pilots who couldn't make it to Summit in person this year had a chance to join the festivities as they happened, live online—and viewers tuned in from Germany to China to hear about the future of general aviation. AOPA Live broadcast key events, including morning sessions and interviews with aviation leaders and officials about the subjects that matter most to pilots, and recordings of this special programming are available online. So far viewers from 100 countries have watched the videos. Don't hesitate to send the link to a friend—wherever he or she may be—who might enjoy the programs.
Sky’s the limit for pilot without arms
Jessica Cox, who overcame the odds to become the first sport pilot without arms, demonstrates how she puts on her headset and talks about fastening the four-point harness in the Ercoupe she flies. Watch AOPA Live >>
Climb inside the 1960s jet that still holds speed and altitude records today as Brian Shul talks about how he “started out at 200 knots in T-28s and graduated to 2,000 knots in the SR-71.” The aircraft had no GPS and no radar, and flew like “an F-4 with three bags of gas.” Yet pilots could read a nametag of someone on the ground while flying Mach 3 at 80,000 feet. Watch AOPA Live >>
Making of an aerobatic champion
Airshow performer Patty Wagstaff shares how she got her start in aviation and talks about one of her early experiences as a passenger in a chartered general aviation airplane that crashed off the end of a runway in Alaska. Watch AOPA Live >>
Fast and low: Demands of ag flying
For 30-year ag pilot Dennie Stokes, flying 10 to 12 hours at low levels in a turbine-powered Thrush (with no autopilot) over the Mississippi Delta area is all in a day’s work. He talks about making 83 takeoffs and landings in a day and the transition of the aerial application industry from working with human flaggers who marked the fields for spraying to using precision GPS coordinates. Watch AOPA Live >>
Couple elopes at Summit
After a seven-hour engagement, Glenn Plymate and Irene Bolam exchange vows on the tarmac at Peter O. Knight Airport in front of the Lockheed 12A Electra Junior that played a role in the movie Amelia—a fitting setting for the couple, who met because of a mutual interest in the legendary aviatrix. Watch AOPA Live >>
Author of ‘Above’ book series dies
Although he was not a pilot, Robert Cameron, 98, undoubtedly kept the dream of flight alive in those considering pilot training. His 15 coffee table books in the “Above” series published over 40 years sold three million copies. He died Nov. 10. Read more >>
Bahamas students present special chocks to Fuller
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation gave away special hand-painted chocks designed by students from the Out Islands of the Bahamas to pilots attending Summit. And they gave a special set to AOPA President Craig Fuller. Various Out Island high schools participated in a creative design contest through the Junior Achievers Program, and four winners were awarded a trip to Tampa to attend Summit. Watch AOPA Live >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
GA serves america
Pilots honor veterans for service to country
About 1,000 pilots have flown close to 870,000 miles for the Veterans Airlift Command since founder Walter Fricke, a Vietnam veteran, created the organization in 2006. Fricke spent six months in the hospital after being medevaced out of Vietnam in 1968. He thought of his own experience when he decided to coordinate transportation for those wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I knew then that aircraft owners and pilots understand the freedom in a unique way,” Fricke said after accepting AOPA’s most prestigious award, the Lawrence P. Sharples Award. “We have slipped the surly bonds and we understand the freedom, and we appreciate those who defend our freedom, in ways that are unique.” Watch AOPA Live >>
Stick up for GA
Now is the time to stand up and fight for general aviation. “If we do away with general aviation as we know it today, God help us, we’ll never be able to get it back,” West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III tells pilots during the GA Serves America Rally at AOPA Aviation Summit. Watch AOPA Live >>
Pilots give four-legged friends a lift
Pilots with a soft spot for animals, dogs in particular, have been using their aircraft to transport abandoned animals to their new adoptive families. Watch AOPA Live >>
GA keeps Miracle Gro going
The Chairman and CEO of Scotts Miracle Gro, Jim Hagedorn, explains how his company couldn’t function without general aviation. Watch AOPA Live >>
Accident Case Study: Airframe icing
A 500-hour instrument-rated pilot opted to leave Reno, Nev., for Oakland, Calif., during the Super Bowl on Feb. 6, 2005, to try to beat weather that was forecast to move into the area. The pilot, who was flying a Cirrus SR22 with weeping wing technology, flew into unforecast icing conditions. By the time he notified air traffic control of the situation, it was too late. He pulled the aircraft’s ballistic parachute, but it separated from the aircraft because it was deployed above the system’s maximum airspeed. Learn from this analysis of the accident, complete with flight simulation video and actual audio from the pilot’s flight briefing and ATC radio communications.
Take the mystery out of night illusions
They’re not magic. Night illusions can be downright tragic to pilots who are unaware or unprepared. Learn about autokinesis, false horizons, and landing illusions in this Night Flying subject report. The report also includes an overview of night VFR weather minimums, fuel requirements, and recent experience requirements; as well as links to related articles from AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training.
Oops: Avoiding runway incursions
What happened that led the pilots of an international flight to land on a taxiway instead of a runway at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport? AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg discusses the incident with FAA Director of Runway Safety Wes Timmons. The two also review serious general aviation runway incursions and discuss runway safety tips and pilot training with Jason Blair, the executive director of the National Association of Flight Instructors. Watch AOPA Live >>
Know the signs?
Last year, two-thirds of the 951 runway incursions were the result of pilot deviations, according to the FAA Office of Runway Safety, and almost 80 percent of those pilot deviation incursions involved general aviation pilots. Ensure you don’t become a statistic—test your knowledge of airport signage and taxi procedures with this AOPA Air Safety Foundation safety quiz.
The pilot of a Beechcraft King Air 200 becomes incapacitated, leaving a passenger—a pilot who has never flown anything larger than a Cessna 172—to take the controls and get his family to the ground safely. A three-year-old accidentally opens the door at 10,000 feet. A snake slithers out of the instrument panel on a routine flight. Listen to pilots tell their own stories of how a good flight turned bad, how they made it down, and what they learned along the way in Real Pilot Story presentations from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
NTSB opens up about accident investigation
Get a glimpse into the NTSB’s review of the fatal August Hudson River corridor accident and three accidents involving pilots who volunteered to transport patients to get medical treatment. Watch AOPA Live >>
Air Safety eJournal: Turkey of a pattern
This Thanksgiving, AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg is thankful that a maneuver he witnessed last weekend at a very busy non-towered airport didn’t end in tragedy. Read more >>
Fun 2 Fly 2010 Sweepstakes: Creating a scene at the airport
The way it flies, the name should be light “sporty” aircraft: An AOPA staff member saw Senior Editor Dave Hirschman completing his final takeoff during his checkout ride in the AOPA Sweepstakes Remos and asked if he was doing a high-performance demonstration. Keep up with the Remos online to find answers on oil, great news about preflight actions, and word that a service bulletin is on the way.
Reporting Points: Skywriters and banner-towers, meet your competition
A company at a German trade show figured out how to tie banner ads on flies and released them at the show. No carbon emissions! Just lots of really tired flies. Read more >>
Hover Power: Copter ILS
In the mid-1990s Copter ILS approaches began showing up in the New York area. They came from an interpretation by the FAA’s Eastern Region of the Part 97 U.S. terminal instrument procedures (TERPS) that granted helicopters lower minimums. The prevailing thought was that because of a helicopter’s unique maneuvering capabilities the craft could safely operate with lower minimums. Read more >>
‘Tis the season to shop AOPA Insignia Merchandise
Whether you’re shopping for the pilot on your list or looking to treat yourself to something special this holiday season, the AOPA Insignia Merchandise Collection offers a wide variety of quality merchandise featuring the classic AOPA logo. From the timeless appeal of an AOPA pilot cap to the modern styling and durability of the AOPA Leading Edge Jacket, you’re sure to find the perfect gift. And if you decide to keep it for yourself instead, you’ll still be giving a very important gift: the gift of support to general aviation. Each purchase you make helps generate revenue that is returned to AOPA and reinvested to help fund our daily efforts to maintain the safety and freedom of general aviation. Be sure to use your AOPA WorldPoints Rewards credit card and reward yourself with double points. Shop the AOPA Insignia Merchandise Collection today!
Gift of appreciated securities helps support future of aviation
As the year comes to a close, many pilots are reflecting on what they are thankful for and looking for ways to give back to general aviation. Let the AOPA Foundation help you protect your freedom to fly and do a preflight for preparing your 2009 tax return. It is possible to increase your support of GA's future and even increase your tax deduction this year though a gift of appreciated securities. Other benefits, beyond preserving aviation's future for generations to come, include avoiding capital-gain tax on any appreciation. Please contact AOPA’s gift planning consultant Diana Roberts at 800/955-9115 or e-mail the office.
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 planning a flight and it appears I will have to go around a busy Class B airspace unless I overfly it. If I do overfly it, are there any requirements to make contact with the controlling agency?
Answer: There are no requirements to contact the controlling agency for the Class B airspace you wish to overfly. However, keep in mind that the airspace is usually quite busy. You might want to consider contacting ATC and requesting flight following. This will give you a better picture of where other aircraft are and will also allow ATC to advise you of any known traffic conflicts. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation interactive course Know Before You Go can help you brush up on the requirements of different airspaces.
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