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More than 100 members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 20 urged President Barack Obama to reject user fees as a way to fund the FAA, and instead retain the efficient fuel excise and ticket taxes currently used to fund the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. In supporting documents sent to Congress with the Fiscal Year 2010 budget proposal, the White House indicated its intention to raise billions of dollars through “direct user charges” in the FY 2011 budget. In the letter, 118 members—representing more than a quarter of the entire House of Representatives—told President Obama that the proposal would be a non-starter in the House. Read More >>
In the springtime, when Alaska’s Seward Peninsula has close to 24-hour sunlight, State Sen. Donald Olson heads out in his R22 to herd reindeer. Olson, an air transport pilot with more than 16,000 hours of flight time, has flown for decades in the challenging conditions of western Alaska and even joined an expedition to cross the North Pole in an antique Russian biplane. He knows all too well the risks of flying in the unforgiving landscape of the Alaskan bush: His two brothers and father, as well as several friends, died in aviation accidents. When Olson’s father disappeared on a flight into a blizzard in 1980, he said goodbye to the family one by one via radio transmission. Aviation has permeated all aspects of Olson’s life and taken him to distant places, but wherever his travels have taken him, he always returns home to fulfill a promise. Read more >>
AOPA prevents AD that would have affected 127,000 aircraft
Thanks to the FAA’s willingness to consider industry input early in the airworthiness directive process, AOPA was able to gather data and work with the agency to prevent an AD that would have affected more than half of the aviation fleet. The issue centers around float-type carburetors on 127,000 aircraft. During the past two decades, float-type carburetors have been a contributing or causal factor in accidents. Because of that, the FAA issued an airworthiness concern sheet earlier this year addressing that issue and officially starting the AD process. Because of research conducted by AOPA, the FAA has instead issued a special airworthiness information bulletin that alerts pilots of the potential hazards associated with float-type carburetors. Read more >>
Industry groups unite to correct reg oversight
When the FAA completed a major overhaul of Part 61 regulations this summer, consolidation of the regulations for flight simulator training and testing for additional ratings resulted in some unintentional changes. The National Air Transportation Association, National Business Aviation Association, AOPA, and flight simulator companies met with the FAA recently to correct the oversight. The FAA on Oct. 20 released a correction, Pilot, Flight Instructor, and Pilot School Certification; Correction , addressing the problem. “Because the industry worked together with the FAA, the agency was able to quickly correct the oversight before it impacted those using flight simulators for training,” said Rob Hackman, AOPA senior director of regulatory affairs.
Retrofit G1000s for TBMs
The big news out of last week’s TBM Owners and Pilots Association annual meeting in Tucson, Ariz., focused on a big upgrade for older TBMs. Daher-Socata and Garmin International announced that Garmin’s G1000 avionics suite will be made available for retrofit in TBM 700A and TBM 700B models. The G1000 will be available for retrofit in TBM 700C models “at a later time,” according to a Daher-Socata spokesman. Daher-Socata wants to test C-model owner interest before committing to retrofits. Read more >>
FlightSafety receives additional helicopter approvals
FlightSafety International has received Joint Aviation Authority Type Rating Training Organization approval from the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority for its Bell Helicopter 212/412 and 430 training programs. In addition, the Bell Helicopter 212/412 simulator has been qualified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The Bell Helicopter 430 simulator also has been qualified by the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil and EASA. Read More >>
FAA releases updated guidance for airports
The FAA’s Airport Compliance Manual is receiving a long overdue update. The agency recently released FAA Order 5190.6B, known as the Airport Compliance Manual, which replaces the 1989 edition. With the new updates, the manual, which provides FAA officials and airport sponsors with guidance on how to comply with federal grant assurances and analyze potential assurance violations, totals nearly 700 pages. That’s up from slightly more than 62 in the 1989 version. Read more >>
AOPA Weather makes planning a breeze
AOPA's revamped online weather section is already a valuable part of many members' preflight planning, and the association is working to make it even better. "Just tried the new weather interface.... it was great!" said AOPA member Ron Vandervalk. AOPA continues to improve the interface to better serve your flight planning needs and recently made some changes, including the addition of the "Prog Beta" tab to give you an easier-to-read option for prognostic charts. The new charts provide color-coded, radar-based graphics from weather.aero instead of using the weather symbols in the regular prognostic charts. AOPA also has added new charts to the airmet/sigmet tab, using information provided from aviationweather.gov. Read more >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
AOPA, NBAA to promote use of light business aircraft
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) on Oct. 21 announced an accord that will draw on the strengths of both organizations to support owners and pilots who use their aircraft as effective business tools. As a result of the memorandum of understanding, beginning in 2010, AOPA and NBAA will each host Light Business Aircraft Conferences as part of their annual conventions. Read more >>
Fuller meets business aviation leaders
Noting the vital role that business aviation plays in the nation’s economic recovery, AOPA President Craig Fuller visited the National Business Aviation Association annual convention in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 19. Fuller met with other general aviation industry leaders to discuss the future of business aviation and to see emerging trends. The convention attracts more than 20,000 corporate pilots and exhibitors. Despite the economic situation and the pessimistic mood toward business aviation, NBAA officials said 91 percent of the companies who exhibited last year returned this year. Read more >>
Weathering the storm
Aircraft manufacturers at the National Business Aircraft Association convention are talking about the economy and the wait they expect before good times return. Hawker Beechcraft Chairman and CEO Bill Boisture said 2010 will be a “very difficult year” and estimated that an economic recovery might start in 2012 or later. Honeywell Aerospace’s business aviation outlook projected a sizeable drop in deliveries this year and next; Honeywell said “significant pent-up demand” will improve the outlook by 2011 or 2012. The smaller manufacturer Piaggio Aero, however, seems unaffected by the recession: The yearly delivery rate of 25 to 30 aircraft a year continues, and there is a backlog of 73 aircraft.
AOPA exclusive with Hawker Beechcraft CEO
Hawker Beechcraft Chairman and CEO Bill Boisture talks about the economy, his company, and the future of the Bonanza in this exclusive interview with AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Al Marsh. Watch the video >>
Piper paints optimistic picture for 2010
Piper Aircraft is planning to increase its production by 50 percent over its 2009 level, according to CEO Kevin Gould. In his comments at the National Business Aviation Association convention Oct. 20, Gould said dealer inquiries and other indicators are giving the Vero Beach, Fla., company hope that 2010 will be a better year than 2009. Read more >>
Garmin introduces G3000 touch-screen glass cockpit
Good news for light-jet pilots: Garmin has just introduced the first touch-screen glass cockpit for Part 23 light turbine aircraft. You’ll have far fewer knobs to remember when using the G3000 system. iPhone users will feel right at home. Read more >>
Jeppesen marches toward ‘paperless’ world
Jeppesen outlined a future of paperless cockpits that update ground and air navigation information in flight, yet eliminate extraneous information not relevant to an individual flight. Key components of the plan are coming together. Read more >>
Embraer debuts new Legacy 650
The economy may be wobbly, but Brazilian manufacturer Embraer is undaunted. On Oct. 19 at the National Business Aviation Association’s convention in Orlando, Fla., the company announced it would build yet another executive jet—the large-cabin Legacy 650. Read more >>
In-flight access to e-mail moves downmarket
The days of the airplane being an escape from e-mail may be over. EMS Sky Connect announced its new Forte AirMail service as a low-cost way to allow e-mail access by smartphones and PDAs in even light airplanes. Read more >>
Cessna Citation CJ4 performance numbers up
Cessna Citation CJ4 performance numbers are turning out to be much better than expected in speed, direct-climb altitude, and range. Cessna originally promised a maximum speed of 435 knots true airspeed, but testing shows it is 452. The range was promised as 1,825 nautical miles with two crew and five passengers, but instead it will be 1,963. The aircraft will be capable of a direct climb to 45,000 feet in 28 minutes instead of the promised 43,000 feet during the same time period. Read more >>
More NBAA2009 News:
ga serves america
Flying the friendly skies
Brad Pierce and his family own a restaurant supply and consulting business in Orlando. Between online sales, consulting on new restaurant construction, and supplying national restaurant chains, Pierce is a man on the go. And he says if it weren’t for his Cirrus, he'd spend a lot more time on the road away from his business and his family. On one recent trip, Pierce was scheduled to attend a weeklong meeting in Charleston, S.C. He had lunch with his family, took his time getting to the local airport, and then flew up in his airplane in time to make the first night’s dinner. There, Pierce talked to a number of colleagues who had arisen at 4 a.m. to make it to the dinner on time. Read more >>
Update: Pilot sticks up for GA in hearing
Brad Pierce, subject of “Flying the friendly skies,” got a chance recently to explain to a Senate subcommittee how general aviation is a technological benefit to his business. Read more >>
Lights out: Test your night ops knowledge
The world looks different after sunset—and so do the federal aviation regulations. Keep your night-ops skills sharp, and challenge your knowledge with the latest interactive quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Tackle questions about how your eyes work in the darkness, what the FAA expects from you and your airplane at night, and unusual aerial activity that goes on after nightfall.
Ice: Game over
When it comes to ice or frost, a “try it and see” approach never works: Once you see the effect, it’s too late to recover. “In several fatal accidents this loss of lift and controllability was not apparent until the aircraft climbed out of ground effect; at that time the aircraft began un-commanded roll and/or pitch movements from which the pilot could not recover,” explains the FAA’s recently released Information for Operators Bulletin. Read more >>
Is it time for your aircraft’s checkup?
An annual inspection can replace a 100-hour inspection, but what about the reverse? How often do the ELT, altimeter, and transponder need to be checked? As a pilot, you’ve no doubt memorized the regulations that answer these questions, but you might not be as familiar with progressive inspections. Learn about all of these inspections in AOPA’s Aircraft Inspection subject report. AOPA’s subject reports provide detailed, up-to-date information on specific topics, along with relevant links to articles that have been published in AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training. Subject reports cover everything from airports to weather. Check them out today!
To sim or not to sim? Rate your simulator training experience
Have you used Microsoft Flight Simulator in your flight training? The AOPA Air Safety Foundation is gathering information about pilots' use of Flight Simulator in primary training. Take this survey to let the foundation know how you have used the software package and how effectively it has helped you hone your skills for flight.
Whether you're taking off for a flight over the brilliant fall foliage or just starting to feel relief from the summer heat, chances are you're operating in the "danger zone" for carburetor ice. Carb ice can form over a wide range of outside air temperatures and relative humidities, and icing is most likely to occur when temperatures fall between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the relative humidity is greater than 60 percent. Learn more about the year-round possibility of carb icing in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's new Safety Brief, Combating Carb Ice . The safety brief will help you recognize the symptoms of carb ice, respond properly to its occurrence, and develop a preventive plan to avoid carb ice encounters.
Compost facility won't be built on airport property
The Palo Alto City Council took airport property off the list of potential sites for a compost facility on Oct. 19. The city will look for other suitable sites that will not negatively impact airport operations at California’s Palo Alto Airport. AOPA had alerted the FAA to the proposed compost facility site on four acres of airport property and asked the agency to oppose the plan. The FAA weighed in earlier in October, explaining that locating a garbage composting facility on airport property would violate the airport sponsor’s grant assurance obligations. Read more >>
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit ASN Online.
PEAK EXPERIENCE: AOPA AVIATION SUMMIT
What'll be the fate of 100LL?
As the sole industry using leaded fuel, general aviation is increasingly coming under the microscope because of environmental concerns. A petition already has been filed with the Environmental Protection Agency to limit the use of 100LL. Learn about the petition, the EPA’s response, and actions the GA industry is taking to create a suitable alternative fuel at AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Fla. Read more >>
'Sexy as a sports car': Remaking the GA marketplace
With a sports-car design and a snowboarder attitude, the ICON A5 light sport aircraft invites you to forget what you think you know about the future of general aviation manufacturing. ICON Aircraft CEO Kirk Hawkins is trying to remake the marketplace with an aircraft he says appeals to why pilots start flying in the first place: the sense of freedom and adventure. Join AOPA President Craig Fuller at AOPA Aviation Summit for an interview with Hawkins. Read more >>
Reserve the meetup area at Summit
Want your organization or club to have a voice at AOPA Aviation Summit? Schedule a meetup! This year at Summit, AOPA will host a Meetup area—a 20-by-30 space where clubs, organizations, and businesses can conduct a 30- or 45-minute presentation for Summit attendees and an online audience. Meetups will be streamed live via AOPA’s Web site. For additional information and to request a meetup for your group, please visit the "Request a Meetup" form.
More Summit News:
AOPA Now: Where engine out is not an option
A recent visit to Tucson gave AOPA President Craig Fuller the opportunity to go for a glider flight with the Tucson Soaring Club. Read more >>
Air Safety eJournal: Those who live in grass houses….
Commentary about an accident last week involving a flying club PA-28 aircraft was a reminder that everything pilots do is increasingly in the public eye. Read more >>
Hover Power: Basic autopilots
Even a simple two-axis helicopter autopilot system without a flight director can be complicated. Learn how a basic system uses a series actuator and a parallel actuator to maintain heading or course and altitude or airspeed. Read more >>
Help GA without giving a cent
You can help fund the GA Serves America campaign's efforts to protect our freedom to fly without giving a cent. Contribute points from your AOPA credit card with WorldPoints rewards—just log in to your AOPA WorldPoints credit card account online, select “Cash,” then “Get Started,” and then “Add Account” in the “Donate my Points to GA Serves America” tool bar. Provide an account nickname and your e-mail address, and then confirm and save the account. Click on “Redeem Now” to donate your points to GA Serves America. It’s a step that can make a world of difference in the fight for GA rights. Don’t have the AOPA WorldPoints Rewards Credit Card? Apply today.
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 want to file a flight plan for a flight in my homebuilt experimental aircraft. What type designator do I use?
Answer: The FAA’s Air Traffic Controller’s Handbook (7110.65N) outlines the various aircraft make/model designators. An experimental or homebuilt aircraft that does not have an FAA-designated identifier can use the designators listed in Appendix C: HXA, HXB, or HXC, for aircraft with a cruise speed of 100 knots or less, 100 through 200 knots, or more than 200 knots, respectively.
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 San Diego, Calif., Atlanta, Ga., and Austin, Texas, Nov. 14 and 15; 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 Palmdale, Calif., Oct. 26; San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Lynchburg, Va., Oct. 27; Fresno, Calif., Oct. 28; Concord, Calif., Oct. 29; Tampa, Fla., Nov. 5 and 6; Tampa, Fla., and Pikeville, N.C., Nov. 7; Jamestown, N.C., and Greenville, S.C., Nov. 9; Decatur, Ga., and Smithfield, N.C., Nov. 10; Huntsville, Ala., and Castle Hayne, N.C., Nov. 11; 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