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today’s top stories
Students protest decision to ground DWC flight program
Braving pouring rain and a cold wind in New Hampshire, 40 students and alumni turned out March 30 to protest the decision to ground the Daniel Webster College (DWC) flight operations major. The protest was the latest in a series of public displays of support for the program, and comes a week after DWC’s owner, ITT Educational Services, made its intent to close the program publicly known. Read more >>
Calling it “Total Eclipse,” meaning it has all the features originally promised by the former owners, the new owners of Eclipse have rolled out a factory refurbishment program. The Total Eclipse program marks the completion of the final design of the original EA500 aircraft. In September 2009, Eclipse Aerospace Inc. embarked on a mission to finish the design and promised capabilities of the breakthrough Eclipse 500. The EA500 jet now includes FIKI (flight into known icing) and a GPS-coupled autopilot. Read more >>
FAA makes corrections to sport pilot rule
The FAA has issued corrections to its rule regarding the certification of aircraft and airmen for light sport aircraft operation. The rule, and corrections, went into effect April 2. The agency has removed the requirement for an individual to receive a make and model endorsement to operate various aircraft within a specific set of LSA. This allows pilots who receive one endorsement for a specific set of aircraft to fly all aircraft within that set. Read more >>
Piper names new executive
Randy Groom, a general aviation executive and former president of Beechcraft, has joined Piper Aircraft as executive vice president of sales, marketing, and customer service to continue building and expanding Piper’s market share. Groom comes to Piper from Groom Aviation LLC—a company he founded and that has worked with a wide variety of GA businesses. “Randy knows the business from both sides of the aisle,” said Piper President and CEO Kevin J. Gould. “As a seasoned corporate executive and a professional with extensive dealership experience, he has the breadth of knowledge and experience that are vital to Piper’s growth strategy.” Read more >>
Cessna lays off 95 at Independence
Under plans announced in 2009, 95 workers were laid off at the Cessna Aircraft plant in Independence, Kan. Cessna produces the Skyhawk, Skylane, Stationair, Corvalis, Corvalis TT, and Citation Mustang at the facility located southeast of Wichita. There were no new layoff warnings made to state officials, since the layoffs were part of plans issued in 2009. The only new layoffs in the Wichita area for March came from Boeing, which laid off 25 workers. Read more >>
CARE extends reach to Haiti
The call to action that launches a corporate aircraft—or a fleet of them—on potentially lifesaving flights to or from earthquake-ravaged Haiti usually comes in the form of a simple text message from CARE (Corporate Aviation Responding in Emergencies). The volunteer network co-founded by Robin Eissler in Austin, Texas, directed 1,500 volunteers to Haiti in the first 30 days after a devastating earthquake struck on Jan. 12, and individuals and corporations are still providing airplanes and crews today—all at their own expense. Donated flights to and from the Caribbean island are valued at more than $6 million in direct operating costs, but their worth in terms of lives saved, relationships built, and goodwill is incalculable. Read more >>
Customs issues eAPIS wakeup call to noncompliant pilots
The rules for filing notices through the electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) when traveling to or from foreign countries have been in effect for almost a year. Now, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is reminding noncompliant pilots that they could face thousands of dollars in penalties. CBP has notified AOPA that it has begun issuing “noncompliance notices” to pilots who do not file both the notice of departure and notice of arrival with CBP. The noncompliance notices do not carry a fine, but they warn that not filing passenger manifests according to CBP guidelines could incur a penalty of $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for each subsequent violation. Read more >>
Ehren Jordan is on the move. Jordan, the manager and winemaker for Turley Wine Cellars near St. Helena, Calif., and producer of his own brand of wine, divides his time between three facilities—two in Napa Valley and one 200 nautical miles to the south. Jump into Jordan’s 1981 Cessna 340A for a flight to the dry farm vineyard at Paso Robles in an AOPA Live video, and read how that “bay tour” flight past the Golden Gate Bridge to the rolling hills of Paso Robles helps keep the business running. Watch the video >>
Gulfstream’s second super mid-size G250—serial No. 002—has just completed its first flight. Gulfstream Aerospace reports that the test flight lasted one hour, 57 minutes, and the airplane reached 195 knots and flew as high as 20,000 feet. The first test article—serial No. 001—has amassed more than 70 flight hours since its first flight in December 2009, and has already reached its maximum certified speed and altitude: Mach 0.85 and 45,000 feet. Read more >>
Value of GA spans borders, oceans
Aviation regulations and technology crafted in Europe have a way of making their way across the pond. So when the world meets to discuss general aviation in Friedrichshafen, Germany, AOPA will be there. As the world’s largest civil aviation organization, AOPA is going to the AERO Friedrichshafen trade fair April 8 through 11 to engage with international GA leaders about the future of the industry. AOPA President Craig Fuller, also president of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations, will speak at a meeting of industry leaders and a press luncheon, as well as meet with manufacturers and members of IAOPA. Read more >>
FAA issues recommendations for homebuilt Lancairs
The FAA on March 25 issued an information for operators update for experimental Lancair and other amateur-built aircraft that have high wing loading and stall speeds greater than 61 knots. The alert stems from a “large and disproportionate number of fatal accidents for their fleet size.” Most of the accidents are a result of inadvertent stall/spins at slow airspeeds, low to the ground. The agency attributes the higher accident rate to pilots’ lack of awareness of the handling characteristics and the fact that each amateur-built aircraft has its own unique flight handling characteristics. Read more >>
Albany event highlights importance of GA
Facing budget deficits, lawmakers often consider dipping into aviation funds or taxing aircraft for a quick fix. But AOPA and local aviation groups are meeting face-to-face with legislators to explain the importance of investing in aviation for the long term. New York’s budget woes are as serious as any other state’s—the legislature recently approved an emergency spending measure to keep government running without a budget in place—but a New York Aviation Management Association legislative day in Albany March 23 gave aviation advocates an opportunity to meet with legislators about the benefits of investing in airports and drawing aviation industry into the state. Read more >>
Airshow star Greg Poe helping kids
Greg Poe is using his position as an airshow star, and a personal tragedy in 2002, to help kids stay off drugs. At the same time, he is introducing youngsters to aviation. As a result of the drug-related death of his son, Ryan, in 2002, Poe started the Ryan J. Poe Foundation. The foundation supports his Elevate Your Life Program under which he talks to school children in the areas where he performs. The goal is to make presentations to 10,000 kids and offer scholarships in the future to Space Camp or to an aeronautical school. Read more >>
Eclipse gets IS&S panel enhancements
Eclipse Aerospace’s EA500 very light jet has been approved for installation of electronic charts and XM WX Satellite Weather. Innovative Solutions & Support of Exton, Pa., announced that it has earned FAA supplemental-type-certificate approval to install its Class 3 electronic chart and datalink weather upgrade to the EA500’s Avio NG integrated cockpit system. Read more >>
Ready ... set ... rally!
The Fun to Fly Remos is waiting in its hangar, poised for action. The Smart car has gone to be outfitted with designs that are sure to turn heads along I-95. It’s almost time for the Road and Runway Rally. The rally—a dash from Frederick, Md., to Lakeland, Fla.—starts April 10 and will take four intrepid contestants down the eastern United States for a grand arrival at Sun ’n Fun April 13. They’ll stop at airports along the way for wacky competitions and to show off the small but very capable machines that carry them: a Remos GX light sport aircraft and a Smart fortwo car. With brand-new team names to build team spirit, they’re ramping up for the fun. Meet the contestants >>
Bombardier Aerospace reports fourth quarter results
Bombardier Aerospace reports reasonably good results for the fourth quarter of the company’s fiscal year that ended Jan. 31, and for the full year, considering that it has weathered a severe economic downturn. Revenues totaled $9.4 billion compared to $10 billion last fiscal year. Read more >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
sun 'n fun
Popular seminars offered at Sun ‘n Fun
Heading to Sun ‘n Fun April 13 through 18? Don’t miss out on the numerous educational and safety seminars offered at the show. Aviation humorist Rod Machado will lead informational and entertaining seminars at 10 a.m. on April 15, 16, and 17 at the AOPA Pavilion. The Air Safety Foundation will present “What Went Wrong?” at 10 a.m. on April 15 and “10 Things Other Pilots Do Wrong” at 11:30 a.m. on April 16 and 17. Also, AOPA President Craig Fuller will discuss what pilots can do to get engaged in aviation at 6:30 p.m. on April 15. For more information on forums and workshops, see the Sun ‘n Fun Web site.
AOPA Live: Bringing Sun ‘n Fun to your computer
AOPA will be bring a slice of Sun ‘n Fun home to you: On April 15, 16, and 17, AOPA Live will broadcast interviews with aviation performers, industry leaders, and more live from Lakeland, Fla. On Thursday, April 15, find out what’s new at this year’s show from Sun ‘n Fun President John Burton and Chairman of the Board Bill Eickhoff, and find out how the AOPA Road and Runway Rally contestants fared on their journey from Maryland to Florida. On AOPA Day, Friday, April 16, join a discussion about medical certification issues, get safety tips from AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg, find out from AOPA President Craig Fuller how to engage in aviation, learn about the Seaplane Pilots Association from President Jim McManus, and watch an interview with the Vandy-1 airshow performers. Saturday, April 17, will feature special appearances by Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Jeff Skiles, co-pilot of the Airbus that successfully ditched on the Hudson River.
Plan your arrival
If you plan to fly in to Sun ’n Fun, be sure to thoroughly review the arrival NOTAM. Download the NOTAM >>
Pilots returning to the air after a long time off do well to spend some time getting their flying muscles back into shape and their heads back in the game—and be realistic about whether this would best be done under professional supervision. On Feb. 1, 2009, a 1974 Mooney M20C crashed near Elbert, Colo., killing the solo pilot. The airplane had departed from Centennial Airport not long before the accident, and its radar track depicted a series of “back and forth” maneuvers that took it southeast of the airport. The last radar hit showed it in a gentle right turn at about 1,300 feet agl at a groundspeed of 50 knots. Read more in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
Safety Spotlight shines through the clouds
Whether you’re brushing up for an instrument proficiency check, studying for a checkride, or looking for advice on how to keep from inadvertently flying into instrument meteorological conditions, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation safety spotlight on instrument flight rules has courses, quizzes, presentations, and publications relevant to your next flight, all gathered in one convenient place. Learn about everything from weather systems to the regulations—and listen to one Real Pilot Story of how a pilot with clouds above, clouds below, and thunderstorms on either side lost her vacuum pump and landed safely.
Airworthiness: Safe and legal
It’s flyable. But is it airworthy? Aircraft owners might be surprised to find that there are multiple violations for flying an aircraft that is not airworthy. “The condition of the aircraft is important but not the only factor in determining airworthiness,” said Woody Cahall, AOPA vice president of the Pilot Information Center. “If you are an aircraft owner or operator, remember to review the logbooks. Ensure that the proper inspections, repairs, and airworthiness directives have been completed and logged, and the logbooks contain a statement that approved the aircraft for return to service.” As pilot in command, you’re responsible for determining the airworthiness of the aircraft prior to flight, so learn more in AOPA’s aircraft airworthiness subject report.
TSA recommends AOPA security training
The Transportation Security Administration has begun directing flight instructors and flight school employees to AOPA's GA Security online course for initial and yearly recurrent security awareness training. The TSA’s 12-page PDF document for the training, “The Recurrent Security Awareness Training Module,” is many years old and could be confusing, and so the agency has started replacing its recurrent training information with a link to the more engaging online course. Read more >>
Officials talk protecting airports, through-the-fence access
When a town makes decisions about its airport—whether to repave a runway, or how to restrict residential development close to the field—it often looks to state aviation officials for advice. AOPA met with those officials March 28 at the Washington, D.C., conference of the National Association of State Aviation Officials. Read more >>
Airport Compliance Manual update moves forward
The FAA’s overhaul of the Airport Compliance Manual, its first major update since 1989, expands the manual from more than 60 pages to nearly 700 pages. The new manual provides detailed information on how airport sponsors and regional FAA offices can enforce and comply with grant obligations that come with accepting federal funding or land for an airport. AOPA reviewed the updates and submitted comments March 31, reminding the FAA of the importance of protecting airports, pilots’ right to self fuel and maintain aircraft, and having residential through-the-fence access to airports. The association reiterated its opposition to the FAA’s increasingly restrictive policies on through-the-fence operations.
Air Safety eJournal: ATC Angels
There are times when the title may seem questionable, especially when the controller’s reality and the pilot's are different. But one can't help but be impressed with the talent and commitment many controllers have shown under extreme pressure when lives are hanging in the balance. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Are most fog-related accidents fatal?
Aircraft accidents in fog are fatal roughly three-fourths of the time. David Kenny, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation researcher for accident statistics, discusses why more fatalities occur in aircraft on IFR flight plans than in those in VFR flight plans. Read more >>
Fun to Fly 2010 Sweepstakes: It’s an airplane
After getting checked out in the Fun to Fly Remos to prepare for the Road and Runway Rally April 10 through 13, guest blogger Ian J. Twombly takes issue with those who dismiss light sport aircraft as toys, fat ultralights, or unrealistic as traveling airplanes and trainers. Read more >>
Hover Power: Aircranes
While some helicopters are designed for speed, others are built simply to lift a lot of weight. Perhaps the best example is the Erickson S64 Aircrane. Read more >>
Is your certificate at risk?
Spring is here, and for many pilots that means less time on the ground and more time in the air. Unfortunately in today’s climate for general aviation, any flight you take could put you at risk of violating any one of at least 700 relevant federal aviation regulations with which pilots are required to comply. Fortunately, for as little as $33 per year you can enjoy peace of mind every time you fly knowing that if you face a federal enforcement procedure you’ll have the best legal advice and support available anywhere. Read more >>
New version of AOPA Airports for BlackBerry released
The just-released version 2.0 of AOPA Airports for BlackBerry phones features a significant addition to the application—DUATS VFR filing capability. DUATS filing is a convenient enhancement that allows users to store and retrieve flight plans for quick and easy repeat filing at a later date. Other noteworthy upgrades to AOPA Airports 2.0 include more detailed runway information, plus the addition of information on runway lighting, visual glidescope lighting, glidescope angle, and runway surface type and condition. Read more >>
Hertz offers special savings to AOPA members
As an AOPA member, renting your next vehicle from Hertz not only gives you up to 25 percent off and free enrollment in the #1 Club Gold Program, but also will grant you special bonus savings. Save up to $35 off a weekly or weekend rental at the airport when PC#142564 is included in your reservation of an economy or higher class car. Plus, a portion of all revenue generated will be returned to AOPA and reinvested to support the association’s daily efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of general aviation. The offer is valid for pickup through May 31, 2010. Reserve your car today.
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 aspiring toward a professional pilot career. Is there any way that I can log the time I was afforded in the cockpit of an advanced aircraft (like a jet or turboprop)? I have a commercial certificate with an AMEL rating.
Answer: If the aircraft requires a type rating you would not be able to officially log the time unless 1) the pilot in command is a flight instructor providing you with dual instruction, or 2) you are an employee of an air carrier (Part 121 or 135, for example) and the PIC is an ATP providing you with training specific to the operation. If the PIC is neither, you can always include this time in your logbook to show a future employer that you have had some valuable exposure to an advanced aircraft that requires a type rating. This time is logged, but not counted toward your total time (including PIC, SIC, etc.). If the aircraft is single-pilot certified and does not require a type rating, you may log the time as PIC if you are the sole manipulator of the controls. If you are just riding along and helping from the right seat, you will only be able to “note” the time in your logbook as described above. Read more in the AOPA subject report on logbooks and logging time.
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 in your region to 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., Cincinnati, Ohio, and Ashburn, Va., April 10 and 11; Denver, Colo., Boston, Mass., and Salt Lake City, Utah, April 17 and 18; Tampa, Fla., Atlanta, Ga., and Indianapolis, Ind., April 24 and 25; Sacramento, Calif., May 1 and 2; Pensacola, Fla., and Houston, Texas, May 15 and 16; Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Kansas City, Mo., and Albany, N.Y., May 22 and 23. 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 Clayton, Mo., and Pittsburgh, Pa., April 5; Springfield, Mo., and New Cumberland, Pa., April 6; Allentown, Pa., April 7; King of Prussia, Pa., April 8; Lynchburg, Va., April 13; Chavies, Ky., April 14; Lakeland, Fla., April 15; Lakeland, Fla., April 16; West Lafayette, Ind., and Timonium, Md., April 21; Blacksburg, Va., April 26; Danville, Va., April 27; Morris Plains, N.J., and Richmond, Va., April 28; Hampton, Va., April 29; Morganton, N.C., May 1; Jamestown, N.C., and Poughkeepsie, N.Y., May 3; Smithfield, N.C., and Cohoes, N.Y., May 4; New Bern, N.C., and Rochester, N.Y., May 5; Newton, Mass., and Madison, Wis., May 10; Windsor Locks, Conn., and Milwaukee, Wis., May 11; Manitowoc, Wis., May 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].