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today's top stories
Aviation user fees still loom on the White House agenda for 2011, but leaders of the House aviation subcommittee are informing the president that the plan would be rejected in Congress. Congressional Quarterly has reported that Reps. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) and Thomas Petri (R-Wis.), the chairman and ranking member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's aviation subcommittee, are recruiting support for a letter urging the president not to propose user fees in his 2011 budget. The Obama administration budget for fiscal year 2010 calls for the air traffic control system to be paid for by "direct charges levied on users of the system" beginning in 2011. Read more >>
Georgia governor dubs October ‘Aviation Appreciation Month’
Aviation plays a major role in Georgia’s economic and transportation systems, with general aviation airports connecting rural areas of the state, and companies such as Gulfstream Aircraft, Cessna Aircraft Company, Lockheed Martin Aircraft, Delta Air Lines, and Robins Air Force Base employing thousands of residents. At the urging of the Atlanta Aero Club, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue signed a proclamation Oct. 7 honoring aviation’s contributions to the state and naming the month “Aviation Appreciation Month.” Read more >>
Barcelona mayor honors GA efforts at Red Bull air races
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 3 and 4 highlighted the capabilities of small aircraft in a landscape that is sometimes inhospitable to general aviation: Restrictions and high costs of flying challenge pilots’ freedom to fly in many parts of Europe. But the mayor of Barcelona expressed support for GA and the organizations that work to protect it worldwide, presenting the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) with an award at a ceremony Oct. 4. Read more >>
Now that the Red Bull race series has ended after a worldwide tour, Britain’s Paul Bonhomme has emerged with the most points for the season and a claim to the Red Bull Air Race World Championship trophy. The final race for the globetrotting series was in Barcelona before 800,000 spectators. Bonhomme won that race. Read more >>
Certain ground-based approaches critical for pilots
After reviewing the FAA’s proposal to cancel 154 instrument approaches, AOPA is asking the agency to preserve 22 of those and to consider comments from pilots on the necessity of 21 additional approaches. AOPA analyzed each approach and reviewed comments from members on the impact eliminating the approaches would have on instrument operations. The association is opposing the cancellation of approaches that would eliminate IFR access to 16 airports for pilots who fly aircraft not equipped with GPS, distance measuring equipment, or an automatic direction finder. Read more >>
Balloons fill Albuquerque’s sky
Hot air balloons are filling the sky above Albuquerque, N.M., this week during the Thirty-Eighth Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The nine-day event concludes Oct. 11. More than 500 balloons and some 650 pilots have registered for this year’s Balloon Fiesta, representing states as far away as Alaska, North Dakota, New Hampshire, and Florida, and several foreign countries. Flying events are scheduled each morning, beginning around sunrise, with mass ascensions involving hundreds of balloons planned for Saturday and Sunday. Balloon glows—displays of inflated but tethered balloons that begin before twilight and continue until dark—are held in the evenings, weather permitting. Average attendance is 850,000 people over the nine-day period. Read more >>
Pratt and Whitney lays off 250
Just as some in the trade press rushed to report the end of the aerospace slump, Pratt & Whitney Canada laid off 250 employees because of a decline in demand “…with no signs of a recovery in 2010.” The company also is closing its facility in Longueuil, Quebec, by the end of 2010. Read more >>
Airlines facing pilot shortage, flight school leaders say
There is no doubt that airlines are facing a critical pilot shortage in the short term. That was the message that came out of a meeting this week at Delta Connection Academy in Sanford, Fla., attended by leaders of some of the country’s best flight schools, regional airlines, and financial and regulatory agencies. “Are the airlines prepared to admit there will be a pilot shortage?” asked Captain Mark Libretto, a pilot with JetBlue Airlines and graduate of Delta Connection Academy. Libretto, like others, said he believes that airlines must act now to ensure they will be able to hire the caliber of pilots needed in the future. Read more >>
Embraer bizjets: Deliveries below target
Brazilian manufacturer Embraer released its third-quarter 2009 delivery update Oct. 7. In all, the company delivered a total of 57 airplanes in the third quarter. This compares with 48 airplanes in the same quarter of 2008. Of the 57 aircraft, 27 deliveries were of business jets, with 22 Phenom 100s being delivered (41 for the year), plus five Legacy 600s. In late 2008, Embraer anticipated delivering business jets amounting to 120 to 150 Phenom 100s, Legacy 600s, and large-cabin Lineage 1000s in 2009; by February 2009 that number had been trimmed to 100. Embraer will have to crank out a whopping 46 of its three business jets in the remaining three months of 2009 if it is to hold to its projections. Read more >>
American Legend wins amphib certification
The FAA has approved light sport certification of the $159,000 American Legend FloatCub amphibious aircraft. The aircraft is based on a lightweight model of the Legend Cub and is equipped with Baumann Floats. At the Thirty-Sixth Annual International Seaplane Fly-In in Greenville, Maine, last month, the American Legend Amphibious FloatCub took two awards including “Best Take-Off” and the coveted “Cutest Darn Aircraft” award. Read more >>
Emivest delivers its first SJ30
Emivest Aerospace Corporation, current owner of what had been the Sino-Swearingen SJ30 business jet, reports that it has delivered its first airplane. The first Emivest SJ30—serial number 008—went to Harry Mahoney, of Déjà vu Consulting, an international entertainment business. Read more >>
Glasair III sets Reno Sport Class speed record
Reno racer Jeff Lavelle set a new speed record during qualifications at the National Championship Air Races near Reno last month by flying the course at 357.863 mph. Lavelle’s Glasair III is a factory-stock airplane powered by a twin turbocharged Lycoming TIO-540 engine developed by Grant Semanskee of Snohomish, Wash. Read more >>
Help build a storm
After two decades in the dust and the dark, the former Reno racer Tsunami is the subject of a grassroots fundraising campaign to help it fly again. Sharon Sandberg, daughter of Tsunami’s late owner, John Sandberg, is launching a $600,000 fundraising campaign to restore Tsunami to a flyable condition. It first raced at Reno’s National Championship Air Races and Air Show in 1986 and was dubbed the fastest piston-engine airplane in the world. Read more >>
Gulfstream rolls out G250
Gulfstream Aerospace’s new G250, a super midsize business jet with 17 to 35 percent more floor area than any other jet in this category, had its rollout ceremony at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport on Oct. 5. The G250 was announced at the National Business Aviation Association convention in October 2008, and was developed in partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries. Customer deliveries are scheduled for 2011. Read more >>
King Schools to offer Redbird flight simulators
King Schools, the instructional source led by John and Martha King, is offering Redbird Flight Simulations, a newcomer to the flight simulator market. Under the agreement, King Schools will have exclusive marketing, sales, and distribution rights worldwide. The simulators are relatively inexpensive, high-fidelity, full-motion products geared toward the general aviation market. Read more >>
Helicopter flight degree offered at San Juan College
San Juan College will offer helicopter flight training in partnership with Enchantment Helicopters of Albuquerque, N.M., beginning in January 2010. The program will be designed as an Associate of Applied Science degree in helicopter technology. A certificate program will be available as well for previously degreed students. Read more >>
Former students, new owners
The three students first came to Nassau Flyers at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale, N.Y., to train for their private pilot checkrides. This August, they returned to the flight school as its owners. Don Scoca, Don Vogel, and Doug Wohl saw one another in passing at the school before they earned their certificates six years ago, but they did not get to know each other until after they began training for their instrument ratings. They began flying together, bought an airplane together, and this year came together to purchase the flight school where they had been students. Read more >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
ga serves america
Look out below: Researchers use GA to test parachutes
Gary Peek and Dr. Jean Potvin spend nearly every weekend jumping out of airplanes and have become experts in the properties of parachutes—so much so that in 1996 the two launched a program to research parachutes’ design, inflation, drift, and weight capacity, and how strong they need to be when they open. The U.S. military and defense contractors hire the research group to conduct the studies, often implementing the information when planning the drops of supplies to combat troops in Afghanistan. The organization also conducts research to help the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management fight forest fires. Read more >>
An instrument-rated private pilot flying a short trip on a beautifully clear day mistakenly lands at the wrong airport. Find out how an experienced pilot with current charts and modern avionics could make such an embarrassing mistake in 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.
Aircraft co-ownership vs. partnership
Looking for an affordable way to own an aircraft? Consider co-ownership, in which you share the cost and responsibility of owning an aircraft with others. This is different from a partnership, in which those who own the aircraft “carry on as co-owners of a business for profit,” according to the AOPA’s Pilot’s Guide to Co-ownership. Co-ownership can raise a lot of questions, like whether to arrange the ownership as a tenancy in common or as a joint tenancy and how the aircraft will be financed. AOPA’s guide discusses these questions and more. Plus, it includes a sample co-ownership agreement. Check out the guide to see if co-ownership is right for you, and if you have questions call AOPA’s experts at 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672).
Steer clear of other aircraft
Midair collisions, while rare, more often than not occur close to home. More than half of collisions are within five miles of an airport, and 96 percent occur at or below 3,000 feet agl. Get the tools you need to identify potential threats and lessen your risk of an in-flight collision or runway incursion with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's updated Collision Avoidance Safety Advisor. The Safety Advisor provides strategies for steering clear of other aircraft during critical stages of flight when the risk is highest: traffic pattern operations, descents into congested areas, and maneuvering flight activities. But collision avoidance doesn't just start at takeoff—learn how to scan for aircraft and what to keep in mind on the ground and through every stage of flight.
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.
Washington proposes stronger protections for GA airports
The Washington State Department of Commerce has proposed stronger protections for the state's general aviation airports. Strengthening state law to protect GA airports was one of the recommendations handed down in July as part of the Long-term Air Transportation Study for maintaining and improving the state's air transportation system. AOPA advocated for strong wording to ensure that compatible land uses are incorporated around GA airports and has submitted comments in support of the proposed language, which would prohibit incompatible land use around airports. Read more >>
FAA says no to compost site near California airport
The FAA has told Santa Clara County Airports officials that four acres of undeveloped land on the south side of Palo Alto Airport cannot be turned into a garbage composting facility. Doing so would be incompatible with the airport sponsor grant assurance obligations, the FAA wrote to the agency that operates Palo Alto. AOPA has been working with AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Bob Lenox and the Palo Alto Pilots Association to protect the field. AOPA Vice President of Local Airport Advocacy Bill Dunn requested that the FAA review the proposal and weigh in on the issue before it threatened the airport. “The FAA has sent a clear message that it will protect Palo Alto Airport and that locating a garbage composting facility near the field is not permitted,” Dunn said.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit ASN Online.
PEAK EXPERIENCE: AOPA AVIATION SUMMIT
The 'Amelia' movie’s airplane
When Joe Shepherd of Fayetteville, Ga., traded a Cessna 195 for a Lockheed 12A Electra Junior in 1988, he never thought that he’d spend the next 18 years restoring the airplane. He certainly never expected to find himself sweating in its cockpit on a hot summer day, wearing a wig and scarf intended to make him look—from a distance—like Amelia Earhart. Read more >>
Fly in for AOPA Aviation Summit
What better way to arrive at AOPA Aviation Summit—the show that celebrates all general aviation has to offer—than by GA aircraft? Peter O. Knight and Tampa Executive airports will serve as the hosts for pilots flying to Summit. Complimentary round-trip shuttles will run from the two airports to the Tampa Convention Center, where educational forums and a packed exhibit hall will be located. If you’d like a bird’s-eye view of the nearly 100 aircraft that will be on display, fly into Peter O. Knight, home to the AOPA Aviation Summit Airportfest. For more information about arriving by GA, download AOPA’s VFR and IFR fly-in procedures for both airports.
Aviation Summit pre-registration discounts extended
If you’re still trying to work out your schedule to attend AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Fla., Nov. 5 through 7, we’ve given you a little more time. AOPA has extended its deadline for advance-registration rates to Oct. 26. At the advance rate, a one-day exhibits pass costs $25 and includes access to both morning Summit Sessions, an exhibit hall packed with aviation products and gadgets, and all of the aircraft on display at Airportfest at Peter O. Knight Airport. If you attend on Thursday, Nov. 5, that pass also will include admission to our Meet & Mingle evening social event in the Tampa Convention Center exhibit hall. AOPA also offers an exhibits and forums pass, and two- and three-day packages. For package details, prices, and registration information, see AOPA Online.
More AOPA Aviation Summit News:
Air Safety eJournal: Can't get a word in edgewise
We’ve all experienced a CTAF that was so jammed up that it was all but useless. “The frequency was so congested and ‘step ons’ so frequent that I could not acquire situational awareness of the traffic in the area nor could I communicate my intentions,” one pilot wrote in an Aviation Safety Reporting System report. Read more >>
Hover Power: Thoughts on IFR HEMS
Most helicopter EMS programs operate under VFR only. With the high number of weather-related accidents lately, should IFR operations be mandated? Read more >>
AOPA Aircraft Financing program makes buying easier
Thinking of buying an airplane? Ready to upgrade or refinance your existing aircraft? The AOPA Aircraft Financing program, brought to you by Bank of America, is committed to making your purchasing experience as easy as possible. Find more information on the Web site: links to frequently asked questions, 10 tips to aircraft financing for first-time buyers, a loan calculator to assist you in figuring out what loan fits into your monthly budget, and financial information needed after you apply for the aircraft loan. Best of all, you can apply for your loan online. Once you have submitted your application, an associate will contact you the next business day. If you have any questions after reviewing the information online, call 800/62PLANE (800/627-5263).
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 also will 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 unintentionally violated a temporary flight restriction last night. A friend told me that there was a form I can fill out that will leave me immune from any enforcement relating to this. Is that true?
Answer: Not exactly. The program your friend is referring to is the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS). By filling out this form within 10 days of the incident, you should gain protection from any enforcement penalty. If the enforcement action is pursued, the action will appear on your airman record with a note that the penalty was waived for participation in the ASRS program. The purpose of the ASRS program, commonly referred to as the NASA program, is to collect, analyze, and respond to voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident reports in order to lessen the likelihood of aviation accidents. You can read more about the ASRS program in this AOPA subject report.
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 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; San Diego, Calif., Atlanta, Ga., and Austin, Texas, Nov. 14 and 15; Anchorage, Alaska, Albuquerque, N.M., and Reston, Va., Nov. 21 and 22. 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 Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Madison, Wis., Oct. 12; Colorado Springs, Colo., Cohoes, N.Y., and Milwaukee, Wis., Oct. 13; Northglenn, Colo., Gaithersburg, Md., Liverpool, N.Y, and Manitowoc, Wis., Oct. 14; Rochester, N.Y., Oct. 15; Fairbanks, Alaska, Oct. 16 and 17; Eugene, Ore., Oct. 19; Portland, Ore., Oct. 20; Seattle, Wash., Oct. 21; Palmdale, Calif., Oct. 26; San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Lynchburg, Va., Oct. 27; Fresno, Calif., Oct. 28; and Concord, Calif., Oct. 29. 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