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today's top stories
The Transportation Security Administration could have to clear a checkpoint, so to speak, if Congress gets its way. Reps. John Mica (R-Fla.), Tom Petri (R-Wis.), Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.), and Sam Graves (R-Mo.) introduced a bill Sept. 30 that would modify the TSA’s authority to issue security directives (SDs) using emergency procedures. An SD can be issued without notice or public input. In emergency cases, the TSA administrator can issue an SD even without giving notice or the opportunity to comment to the Transportation secretary. Read more >>
Power of GA reaches Senate
If 415,000 passionate, vocal AOPA members and strong associations can make a difference on general aviation issues on Capitol Hill, imagine what a united army of legislators can do to help. The Senate on Sept. 28 formed the General Aviation Caucus to “work with pilots, aircraft owners, the aviation industry, and relevant government agencies to ensure a safe and vibrant environment exists for GA in our country.” Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) will co-chair the caucus. The House formed its GA Caucus in April. Read more >>
Aspen Avionics MFD granted STC
Aspen Avionics announced Sept. 30 that it had received a large approved model list of supplemental type certificates (STCs) for its EFD500 multifunction display, EFD1000 MFD, and EWR50 weather receiver. With the announcement, more than 650 aircraft models are now eligible to install the equipment with an approved STC. The approval is a sign of major progress at the small Albuquerque, N.M.-based manufacturer, which only announced the PFD and MFD two years ago at EAA AirVenture. And the STC approval comes two weeks on the heels of the technical standard order (TSO) approval. Read more >>
U.S. Airways Flight 1549 pilots to lead Young Eagles
Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles, the U.S. Airways Flight 1549 pilots who made the acclaimed emergency landing on the Hudson River in January, have been named co-chairmen of the EAA Young Eagles Program. EAA members have given flights in general aviation aircraft to nearly 1.5 million young people through the Young Eagles Program since it was launched in 1992. Actor and pilot Harrison Ford, who served as chairman of the program for five years, announced his successors in a news conference on Sept. 29. Read more >>
‘USA Today’ stories misleading, congressmen say
Members of Congress have taken exception to USA Today’s Sept. 17 article and Sept. 24 editorial that claimed the federal government was wasting money on general aviation airports through the Airport Improvement Program. In an effort to right the inaccuracies, members of Congress are reaching out to their colleagues to explain the importance of the program. Active pilot and AOPA member Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), General Aviation Caucus co-chairs Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) and Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), and 11 other members of Congress issued a "Dear Colleague" letter Sept. 28 explaining how the program works and where the money goes. Read more >>
TV tough guys save abused dog with GA
What has two wings, four paws, and a dozen tattoos? A new series on the National Geographic Channel has the answer. “Rescue Ink Unleashed” follows Rescue Ink, “a rag-tag group of bikers, tattoo fanatics and street guys, who came together in 2007 with the common goal of ending animal abuse,” according to the show’s Web site. The episode “Bad Reputation,” scheduled to air Friday, Oct. 16, tracks the rescue of a pit bull and the dog’s journey from Kentucky to Long Island, N.Y., with the help of volunteer pilots on flights coordinated by Animal Rescue Flights. Read more >>
LSA industry gets Sirius
A new light sport aircraft (LSA) has entered the U.S. market—the TL-3000 Sirius. The composite high-wing aircraft is manufactured in the Czech Republic by TL-Ultralight, which also produces the low-wing Sting S3 LSA. Powered by a 100-hp Rotax 912 ULS engine and fitted with a ground-adjustable DUC Swirl propeller, the Sirius cruises at 116 knots and burns from 3.8 to 5 gph. The aircraft comes equipped with the standard instrument six-pack, a Garmin GPSMAP 496, a Zaon portable collision avoidance system, and a GreenLine engine monitoring system. Read more >>
Hawker Beechcraft layoffs trigger protest
According to Wichita television station KAKE-TV, Hawker Beechcraft employees staged a protest after the latest round of layoffs. On Sept. 28 Hawker Beechcraft gave 240 employees their 60-day layoff notices. But some workers question the move. Read more >>
Gulfstream’s new top-of-the-line flagship, the G650, rolled out of the Savannah, Ga., factory doors on Sept. 29. The airplane rolled out under its own power, in front of an audience of 7,000 onlookers—including customers, certification authorities, and local dignitaries. The airplane is set for its first flight later this year and is expected to be certified in 2011. First deliveries are planned for 2012. Read more >>
NACO gets new name
The National Aeronautical Charting Office (NACO) will be known under a new name on Oct. 11. The FAA will combine NACO and the National Flight Procedures Office (NFPO) into one organization, the National Aeronautical Navigation Services, or "AeroNav Services." The merger is part of an effort to streamline charting operations; the plan also includes technological improvements and changes in the way charts are distributed. Read more >>
Sport pilot school unveils new hangar at open house
In January 2007, Chesapeake Sport Pilot opened for business with a single light sport airplane and a business located in a trailer at Bay Bridge in Stevensville, Md. Today, Chesapeake Sport Pilot is the largest sport pilot flight school operation in the country, with a fleet of seven aircraft, 17 instructors, and 70 students. And on Sept. 26, the school's owners held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house to christen a brand-new, 6,000-square-foot hangar and office building. Read more >>
New oil platform-finding system for S-92 helicopter
Sikorsky Aircraft has introduced an automated approach system that reduces cockpit workload and allows safer operations under challenging weather and operating conditions for offshore operators. The new oil platform-finding system provides fully coupled and automated approach capability with a higher safety margin than currently available with any other offshore approach procedure. Read more >>
Mexico grants extension to 406-MHz ELT requirement
The Mexican equivalent of the FAA, Direccion General De Aeronautica Civil (DGAC), has granted a six-month extension to the deadline that would have required all aircraft flying in Mexico to be equipped with 406-MHz ELTs by Oct. 1. Pilots now have until April 2, 2010, to equip their aircraft with the device, with a few exceptions. Read more >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
ga serves america
When Buddy Johnson was growing up in the 1960s, Baytown, Texas, consisted of rice and soybean farms as far as he could see. The agricultural landscape remained largely unchanged until 1980, when his dad, R.W., bought 320 acres adjacent to their home and developed it as an airpark: a place where the pilot of every house on the grounds could nearly fall out of bed into his or her airplane. RWJ Airpark features 98 residential lots, more than half accessible to the runways. Jim Kubik, who has lived at the airpark for 15 years, said that for people like him who love aviation, living at an airpark is as understandable as golfers residing near the eighteenth hole or sport fishermen living right at the water’s edge. Read more >>
When your instruments tell conflicting stories, which do you believe—and how do you settle the argument? Two pilots in an American Legend Cub found out the hard way. Read more in this special report prepared by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
Considering selling your aircraft to someone outside the United States? Selling an aircraft to an international buyer requires more work, especially paperwork. And, if you don’t complete all of the paperwork, you could be hit with large fines. Get up to speed on the requirements for exporting your aircraft with this AOPA Pilot Information Center guide. It explains how to get an export certificate of airworthiness, clear customs, use an escrow service, deregister your aircraft, and more. As you work through the process, call the aviation experts in the AOPA Pilot Information Center (800/USA-AOPA). They’ve heard all of the questions before and can help make sure you don’t fall prey to scam artists, as well as guide you through the required steps.
Hudson resources help you fly safely in crowded skies
In the wake of the tragic midair collision over the Hudson River in August, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation is working to give pilots the tools and knowledge to fly safely in crowded skies. Find resources dedicated to best practices for operating in the Hudson River area, proven strategies for steering clear of other aircraft, and future procedures for the Hudson River Class B exclusion zone in Operating Safely in the Hudson Corridor.
PEAK EXPERIENCE: AOPA AVIATION SUMMIT
Pilots with amputated or paralyzed legs have been able to fly for years thanks to hand controls that have been created to move the rudder pedals. The same can’t be said for those who don't have either arm. But that didn’t stop Jessica Cox of Tucson, Ariz., who started taking lessons in an Ercoupe. She became the first sport pilot without arms in 2008. You can hear how Cox overcame the odds during AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Fla., Nov. 5 through 7. Read more >>
Hangar talk humor
Carve time out of your AOPA Aviation Summit schedule to kick back, laugh, and learn how to become a better pilot with aviation humorist Rod Machado. Machado, who has accumulated quirky stories during his decades of teaching people how to fly, will share his insight in “Aviation Humor” on Friday, Nov. 6, from 11 a.m. to noon, in the Tampa Convention Center. Read more >>
More AOPA Aviation Summit News:
Air Safety eJournal: New blood from where?
If we continue on the present course, the number of pilots in the United States with current medical certificates will dip below 600,000. This is down from 800,000 in the early 1980s—not so good! The question is why? Read more >>
Reporting Points: Crazy time in Napa
If you’re a tourist in Napa Valley now, you’re paying $300 to $500 a night and sipping wine in tasting rooms. If you are a winemaker like Ehren Jordan of Failla Wines and Turley Wine Cellars, you are going crazy. Since Jordan was always in motion last week, so were AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh and Chief Photographer Mike Fizer, who were trying to gather material for a story on the importance of his Cessna 340 to wine production. Read more >>
Hover Power: Due diligence
When faced with deteriorating or unexpected bad weather, should an EMS pilot declare an emergency and climb into the clouds? Declaring an emergency does not guarantee a pilot won’t be cited with a violation. The FAA has taken the position that if the emergency is caused by the pilot’s action or inaction, then a violation is appropriate. So how does this affect an EMS pilot’s decision-making process? Read more >>
Show your support for GA
Want everyone to know you’re an AOPA member who supports general aviation? Just sign up for an AOPA checking account. Each time you write a check or use your check card, you can display that you’re a proud pilot and AOPA member. Plus, you’ll be supporting GA with every debit card purchase. As an AOPA partner, Bank of America will return to AOPA a portion of all revenue generated, which will be reinvested to fund our mission to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of GA. You’ll receive features like free online banking with bill pay, mobile banking, and Keep the Change. To open your AOPA checking account, visit your neighborhood Bank of America or go online.
Student pilot gets lift from AOPA Flight Path
A photograph a colleague brought to work one day was enough to prompt Jan Johnson of Portola Valley, Calif., to pursue a lifelong dream of flying. Now, Johnson has help with her training thanks to a cash prize from the AOPA Flight Path Sweepstakes. AOPA established the sweepstakes to encourage more people to start their aviation training—and more importantly, to earn their first pilot certificate. The Flight Path series is a progression of e-mails written by CFIs and pilots that contain educational resources and encouraging tips tailored to 24 different stages of becoming a pilot. Read 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: I will be flying into an airport that is near a National Football League stadium. Are there any temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) regarding these events, and how are they published?
Answer: Many sporting events are covered by what is known as blanket notam 9/5151 (#12). This notam prohibits all air traffic not in contact with ATC and parachute operations from operating within a 3-nautical-mile radius up to and including 3,000 ft agl of many stadiums having a seating capacity of 30,000 or more. This TFR is in effect from one hour before the event up to one hour after the event. These notams are not issued individually, so you must check for sporting events that may be scheduled during your flight. AOPA has developed a helpful list of stadiums affected and schedules to aid in your preflight planning.
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 an AOPA Air Safety Foundation 2010 Spring Intern and an Aviation Technical Writer. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
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 San Jose, Calif., and Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 3 and 4; Wichita, Kan., and Corpus Christi, Texas, Oct. 10 and 11; Columbia, S.C., Oct. 17 and 18; Windsor, Conn., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 24 and 25. 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 Bolingbrook, Ill., Ypsilanti, Mich., and Blacksburg, Va., Oct. 5; Northbrook, Ill., Danville, Ky., Cleveland, Ohio, and Danville, Va., Oct. 6; Rockford, Ill., Henderson, Ky., Whitehall, Ohio, and Richmond, Va., Oct. 7; Peoria, Ill., Indianapolis, Ind., and Hampton, Va., Oct. 8; Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Madison, Wis., Oct. 12. 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