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AOPA ePilot Volume 11, Issue 36 — september 4, 2009

In This Issue:
FAA offers safety plan for Hudson River
Pilot crashes seconds after losing control
New look for AOPA Weather

GA News   |   Safety & Proficiency   |    Member Benefits   |   Quiz Me



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today's top stories

FAA offers commonsense action plan for Hudson River

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt on Sept. 2 announced steps the agency will take to enhance safety in the Hudson River Class B exclusion zone—steps AOPA believes are sensible and the most likely to have a favorable effect. The FAA will implement the working group’s eight recommendations, which align closely with those developed independently by the NTSB. AOPA and other aviation groups were given the opportunity to provide input to the working group. “This is a great example of the government and the industry working cooperatively and acting swiftly and decisively to enhance safety,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. Read more >>

Gateway airports for TFRs a step forward

Nearly nine years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the large presidential temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) that were created as a result, a new way of protecting the president while allowing general aviation operations in the same area may be on the horizon. The recent TFR over Martha’s Vineyard for President Barack Obama’s vacation created a gateway airport system and security screening models that allowed GA pilots to operate within the 30-nautical-mile ring and the inner 10-nm-radius no-fly zone. “Our ultimate goal is to eliminate these TFRs,” said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. Read more >>

Aviation Summit: A new look and feel for AOPA Expo

Wondering what’s happened to AOPA Expo? To build on Expo’s ever-expanding popularity, AOPA took a close look at its annual fall event and gave it a major overhaul to take it to the next level. This year, we’re reaching for the summit—AOPA Aviation Summit. In many ways, AOPA Aviation Summit will be similar to the Expo you’ve been familiar with for more than a decade: an exhibit hall filled with hundreds of pilot products, dozens of educational seminars, and a state-of-the art aircraft display. But that’s just a fraction of AOPA Aviation Summit. Read more >>


FAA wants to change training for private, advanced ratings

Student pilots could have the option of simultaneously applying for the private pilot certificate and instrument rating. Pilots going for their commercial certificate would need 10 hours of advanced instrument training instead of 10 hours of training in a complex aircraft. And those who fly single pilot in turbojets would need an annual pilot-in-command proficiency check. These are just a few of the changes to flight training that the FAA is proposing. Read more >>

U.S. soars in world aerobatic competition

The U.S. team rallied after the death of teammate Vicki Cruse in the opening round of the Twenty-fifth Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Aerobatic Championships and took third place in team standings, defeating Great Britain, Spain, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Switzerland. The team paid tribute to Cruse on the final day of the competition, Aug. 29, by flying a missing-man formation. Read more >>

‘Sharing a brain cell’

Chu Lee is fully deaf. He doesn’t read lips. His flight instructor, Dominick Moyer, doesn’t know sign language. But the two have a natural communication style that allows them to work together seemingly effortlessly in the cockpit. A quick thumbs-up, a nod, a note, or a finger point translates flawlessly into a takeoff, heading change, slip, or other maneuver. “We have a system, like a body language system, and when he makes a certain movement, I know how to adjust. It’s like we’re sharing a brain cell on that one. We can really read each other’s minds,” said Lee, who is training at Frederick Municipal Airport in central Maryland. Read more and watch a video of the two interacting in flight >>

Premier II on hold until economy improves

Echoing a prediction on the economy first heard from Cessna Aircraft Chairman, President, and CEO Jack Pelton in July, Hawker Beechcraft Chairman and CEO Bill Boisture says he will hold the entry into service of the Premier II by more than two years until the economy improves in 2012 or 2013. Pelton chose a similar time in predicting recovery from the current economic recession. “The Premier II program continues to progress, with HBC remaining focused on making its commitment for first prototype flight to take place in December 2009. The company will continue to evaluate the best timing for the Premier II entry into service, but expects this to now occur in late 2012 or early 2013,” Boisture said. Read more >>

Maryland pilot to take part in Pilots N Paws 5000

With a little extra time and a Cirrus SR22, John Jorgenson brought new life to a dog. Jorgenson, a Maryland pilot who adopted his own rescue dog this spring, helped another dog find a home in August when he volunteered to fly a Papillon rescued from a puppy mill in Ohio to an owner in Pennsylvania. He found out about the need for the flight on the Pilots N Paws Web site, and now he plans to carry another dog to safety as part of Pilots N Paws 5000, an effort to save 5,000 animals in a week in September. "I like to fly, and I thought there's … good value in flying for someone else," Jorgenson said. Read more >>

Seattle insurance firm tops competitor’s Cirrus offer

A Seattle-based insurance firm, London Aviation Underwriters, has one-upped a competitor by waiving the entire deductible for Cirrus SR20 and SR22 pilots who deploy the parachute to save their lives. Parachute deployment usually results in a total loss of the airplane, although the occupants in most cases escape injury. If the aircraft is destroyed, a London Aviation official said, it is common for deductibles to be waived by insurance. The new offer simply formalizes that situation. Read more >>

B-25D 'Grumpy' retraces WWII flight path

The route across Canada and the North Atlantic that World War II ferry pilots used to supply the Allies with aircraft and supplies is active once again: A B-25D Mitchell restored to airworthy condition in Duxford, England, is retracing the North Atlantic Air Ferry Route to arrive at its new home in Everett, Wash. Read more >>

Sikorsky boosts prize in human-powered helicopter contest

In 1980 the American Helicopter Society (AHS) created the Sikorsky contest, naming it in honor of legendary helicopter pioneer Igor Sikorsky. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. had originally pledged $20,000 in prize money for whoever could win the competition by achieving the engineering feat of building the first human-powered helicopter. The company recently raised the prize pledge to $250,000. Read more >>

LSA flight to promote blind judo

A California pilot has set out on a journey around the United States in a weight-shift controlled light sport aircraft to promote an organization that introduces the sport of judo to the blind and visually impaired. Imre Kabai, a computer engineer, said his whole family is involved in judo, and he learned about the Blind Judo Foundation while his children were training in the dojo of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic judo coach Willy Cahill, co-founder of the foundation. Read more >>


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

ga serves america

GA across the nation

AOPA is taking the GA Serves America campaign across the nation, from Appalachia to the Pacific Northwest. AOPA Vice President of Airports and State Advocacy Greg Pecoraro told pilots and aviation professionals at conferences in Kentucky and Oregon last week about AOPA's efforts to educate decision makers and the public about the value of GA and how they can participate. Read more >>

Nebraska practice flies pathologists to outlying hospitals

With the help of general aviation, Nebraska medical professionals can conduct a day’s worth of business in the time that it would take them to travel to hospitals by automobile. Read more >>

Volunteers give Redlands police an eye in the sky

A Cessna 172 purchased with forfeited drug money is usually the first responder to police emergencies in Redlands, Calif., 80 miles east of Los Angeles. The 1967, 180-hp aircraft is piloted entirely by nearly 30 volunteers, although a police tactical flight officer is assigned to manage its operation and communicate with officers on the ground. Read more >>

Safety & Proficiency

Safety Pilot: Truth in performance

Don’t believe everything you read. Section 5 in the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA)-format pilot operating handbook (POH) is where the takeoff and landing distances, time to climb, fuel burn, and most other performance numbers reside. Most pilots, after spending a few hours with an aircraft, invest little time with the POH because they’ve learned the machine’s ways. But there’s a nasty little secret that most pilots can recite but perhaps don’t fully understand the ramifications. Read more >>

Pilot crashes seconds after losing control in IMC

In aviation, little things matter. Tossing a couple of extra bags in back can make an airplane unstable and tricky to control. Inattention at the wrong time can turn an unexpected event into a full-blown emergency—or keep a pilot from recognizing an emergency in time to respond. On Aug. 28, 2006, the pilot of a Cirrus SR22 lost control of the airplane during a cruise climb in instrument meteorological conditions. Just 41 seconds later, it crashed into a retention pond, having fallen some 3,000 feet. Read what happened in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.

Never Again Online Podcast: A blustery day in Poncé

Find out what happens when a pilot snags a banner with the aircraft’s right main landing gear instead of the hook in this Never Again Online Podcast. Enjoy the lessons you learn from these pilots? Listen to more stories in AOPA's Never Again Podcast directory brought to you by the AOPA Insurance Agency.

airport support

New chapter opens for New Jersey airport

At a time when some airports are struggling to stay open and Americans are scaling back spending, Peter Weidhorn decided to buck the trend. He bought an airport. Eagles Nest Airport in West Creek, N.J., has served the area for 20 years, but Weidhorn said the airport has been little-used and has not been seen as a benefit to the area. He bought it with plans to develop it as an asset to the community and to preserve general aviation for generations to come. Read more >>


Walk through the accident investigation process

Ever wonder how the NTSB uncovers all of the factors that led to a fatal accident? Put on your investigative hat at AOPA Aviation Summit, Nov. 5 through 7, in Tampa, Fla., and work through the accident investigation process in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s “What Went Wrong?” safety seminar. Read more >>

What’s up with WAAS?

GPS-WAAS approaches outnumber ILS approaches. Learn practical tips for flying GPS and WAAS approaches from 2008 National CFI of the Year Max Trescott at AOPA Aviation Summit. Read more >>


Let’s Go Flying: College Park Airport’s first 100 years

Only 33 nautical miles away from AOPA’s headquarters, College Park Airport’s (CGS) 100th Anniversary AirFair was the nearest event for AOPA’s 2009 Sweepstakes Let’s Go Flying Cirrus SR22. The Aug. 29 event was the first centennial of any airport anywhere, as College Park in suburban Washington, D.C., is the world’s oldest continuously operating airport. And airport supporters outdid themselves with the unveiling of an exact re-creation of the Wright brothers’ 1909 Flyer, the airplane that launched fixed-wing military aviation in the United States. Read more >>

Air Safety eJournal: Bits, bytes, and weirdness

As many pilots gain exposure and flight hours with high tech flight decks, AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg writes that we need to be “reminded of the need to still retain some of that ‘pilot stuff.’” Read more >>

Reporting Points: An airplane for a clunker?

In the 1970s, a California Ford dealer (still in business today) offered a Flying Pinto that had only one problem—it wasn’t fully developed yet. Later a wing came off the car in flight, killing the pilot and the inventor, but another Pinto prepped to fly remains with the dealer. Read more >>

HoverPower: Loss of tail rotor thrust

In a conventional tail rotor system, a complete loss of tail rotor thrust can happen from an internal drive system failure or if an object contacts the tail rotor and damages the blades or gearbox. A complete loss of thrust from a drive failure is the easier of the two emergencies for the pilot to handle. Read more >>

member benefits

New look for AOPA Weather

In order to better serve your flight planning needs, AOPA has revamped its online weather section, making it easier for you to switch among weather maps, request an official weather briefing, and get sigmet and airmet data, which we pull from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. All maps are accessible through a single page now, so you can quickly switch which geographic area or weather chart you are viewing. If you have a DUAT or DUATS account, you can request an official weather briefing (just as you would through AOPA's Internet Flight Planner). We also provide plain-language translations of textual weather as well as definitions of the abbreviations used in METARs and TAFs. Check out the new weather feature today!

Alamo offers weekend savings to AOPA members

Planning a weekend getaway? Rent your car from Alamo for as little as $20 per weekend day. AOPA members can take advantage of this special offer until Oct. 31. Plus, you can get the special weekend rate starting as early as 9 a.m. on Thursdays. Make your reservation online for a weekend road trip today, or call 800/462-5266 and mention contract ID 7015015. As with all member products, renting your car from Alamo supports AOPA by generating revenue, which is reinvested to fund our advocacy efforts and keep your membership dues low.

Quiz Me

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 purchasing a Piper J-3 Cub. I previously owned a Decathlon, which I flew solo in the 1980s. My friend claims that I cannot be pilot in command (PIC) in the Cub until I have a tailwheel endorsement from an instructor. Is this true?


Answer: In your case, no. FAR 61.31(i) does require pilots to receive training and an endorsement of proficiency in a tailwheel airplane by an authorized instructor before acting as PIC. However, there is an exception, which applies to you, that states the training and the endorsement are not required if the pilot has logged PIC time in a tailwheel airplane before April 15, 1991.


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].

Picture Perfect

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.

To submit an event or to search all events in the calendar visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Phoenix, Ariz., and Sacramento, Calif., Sept. 12 and 13; Baltimore, Md., and Richmond, Va., Sept. 19 and 20; Colorado Springs, Colo., and Seattle, Wash., Sept. 26 and 27. 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 Wichita, Kan., and Morristown, N.J., Sept. 14; East Hartford, Conn., and Oklahoma City, Okla, Sept. 15; Rogers, Ark., and Newton, Mass., Sept. 16; Little Rock, Ark., and Manchester, N.H., Sept. 17. 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].

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Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller
Contributors: Jill Tallman, Sarah Brown, Warren Morningstar, Alton Marsh, Dave Hirschman, Tom Horne, and Ian Twombly

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