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‘The future of GA is up to each of us,’ Fuller tells pilots
The strength of general aviation is its pilots, and its pilots—together and individually—can do great things if only they become engaged with aviation. That was the message AOPA President Craig Fuller brought to a pilot town hall meeting April 15 at Sun ’n Fun in Lakeland, Fla. Speaking to a crowd of AOPA members and nonmembers alike, Fuller said the future of GA rests in the hands of pilots and that they need to actively participate in defending GA’s interests. “Everywhere I go I meet people who want to help, but they don’t know how,” Fuller said. “Being more engaged can be as simple as staying informed about the issues that affect your flying and as involved as hosting a major public event. But in between are almost infinite opportunities.” Read more >>
Kevin Gould, president and CEO of Piper Aircraft, delivered the first PiperSport light sport aircraft to its new owners at Sun ’n Fun. Gould said the airplane is “an amazing entry-level aircraft that will bring new customers to Piper. It fits perfectly into our overall mission of delivering the very best airplanes.” Over time, he added, the design will encourage customers to step up to more sophisticated and higher-performance aircraft in the Piper product line. Read more >>
Pelton urges response to environmental issues
Cessna Chairman, President, and CEO Jack Pelton urged the general aviation community to be proactive in addressing environmental issues to help guide the debate and possible new regulations. Pelton’s remarks came after accepting the 2010 Lindbergh Award at Sun ’n Fun for contributions toward Lindbergh's concept of balancing technology and nature. “Aviation has established an outstanding track record in reducing its environmental impact as we grow to meet rising demand for transportation around the world,” Pelton said. Read more >>
Sun ’n Fun gets $7.5 million grant for new academy building
Officials from the Sun ’n Fun Fly-In and the Polk County (Florida) school board broke ground on a new $7.5 million building that will house the Central Florida Aerospace Academy. The aviation-oriented high school and career academy is currently located on the Sun ’n Fun campus. Read more >>
Embraer expecting strong jet sales
Despite the recession, Embraer expects strong and growing business jet sales, according to a briefing given during Sun `n Fun in Lakeland, Fla. While sales remain flat this year, a prediction matched by other large airframe manufacturers, sales pick up in 2011, according to the Embraer forecast. Read more >>
Flyvie offers in-flight video recorders
Flyvie, a developer of flight video recording and debriefing systems, now offers high-resolution cameras and viewing options. A soon-to-be-released iPhone application named Flyvie Lite will turn every iPhone 3GS into a personal flight recorder. Read more >>
More Sun ’n Fun News:
Can’t be there in person? Join the fun as it happens on AOPA Live. Tune in for some of the exciting presentations and interviews that you’ll be able to stream live on your computer. Because the schedule is subject to change, please be sure to check back for the most up-to-date information.
Washington nixes proposed aircraft tax hike
After a bruising battle over a proposed aircraft excise tax increase, the Washington state legislature has approved a tax revenue bill—without the controversial tax increase. Lawmakers had proposed a 0.5 percent annual excise tax on aircraft based in the state, an increase that would have created the highest registration rates in the nation for many types of aircraft. AOPA worked with the Washington Pilots Association, the National Business Aviation Association, and other aviation groups in the state to fight the tax from its introduction all the way through a special session called to hash out the details of tax proposals. Read more >>
Tecnam Twin certified by FAA
The P2006T Tecnam Twin has received FAA certification for VFR and analog IFR operations. The aircraft is certified for glass-panel IFR operations in Europe, something expected to be completed by the FAA later this year. Overseas flight schools use the P2006T and other Tecnam models for all ranges of instruction including military and commercial airline applications. A demo P2006T has toured the United States. Prospective customers are looking at the aircraft as a personal aircraft, for surveillance work, and for Part 135 operations.
Cirrus Aircraft Vice President of International Sales Ian Bentley declared that “Cirrus is not going bankrupt; Cirrus was never going bankrupt,” heading off any questions about the company after speculation ran rampant a few weeks ago when Cirrus quarreled publicly with former supplier L-3. Read more >>
Extra shows off new four-seater, 300LT
Extra Aircraft unveiled a new proof-of-concept high-wing four-seater at the AERO show, along with a new aerobatic touring airplane called the 300LT. The proof-of-concept airplane is the TR230 Traveler, and it’s been designed with the help of computational fluid dynamics for optimal short takeoff and landing performance, high payloads, and interior comfort. Read more >>
AOPA evaluates proposed first officer requirements
Offering airline-specific endorsements for commercial pilots serving as a first officer in Part 121 air carrier operations may address concerns about those pilots’ eligibility, training, and qualification without negatively impacting general aviation operations, AOPA told the FAA April 9. The fatal crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 outside of Buffalo, N.Y., in February 2009 sparked questions about whether a commercially rated copilot in Part 121 operations receives adequate training. The FAA requested input on several options for additional requirements. Read more >>
WAAS satellite failure cuts signal to one
One of two satellites providing Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) coverage is experiencing technical issues and will soon discontinue its broadcast. The FAA does not anticipate any immediate impact to service, but the remaining satellite will be the only one broadcasting the WAAS signal in space; WAAS users may experience temporary service outages due to lack of redundant geostationary satellite (GEO) signals if a switch between the primary and backup GEO uplink stations occurs. Read more >>
Help inspire future pilots on May 15
International Learn to Fly Day is aimed at growing the pilot population by doing two things: tearing down the perceived walls at airports, and getting future pilots up in the sky for their first flight. Plan to share your passion for flight May 15. If you want to do your part in ensuring that International Learn to Fly Day is a success, plan to give a first flight or organize an airport event. Read more >>
Flight Design unveils glider tug
Flight Design announced April 9 that a new variant of its CT line of light sport aircraft will be a glider tug. Named the CTLS HL (for high lift), the airplane is now in flight test and will have a turbocharged Rotax 914 engine, feature a wing span 12 percent longer than that of the standard model CT versions, have a larger horizontal stabilizer, and will be offered in the United States as well as Europe. Read more >>
EPA to comment on 100LL
The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to publish an advance notice of proposed rulemaking this month about the environmental impact of leaded avgas. Read more >>
Lawmakers take the flight controls
State lawmakers got a chance to take the controls and fly over the National Mall—virtually—at a Washington, D.C., event hosted by AOPA and other aviation organizations April 8. More than 200 state legislators and staff from across the nation came together for a reception following the National Conference of State Legislatures 2010 Spring Forum to find out more about the excitement, utility, and economic importance of general aviation. Many got a taste of the excitement in a full-motion Redbird flight simulator. Read more >>
AERO signals spring for European pilots
Every April, the AERO Friedrichshafen exhibit marks a rite of spring for European general aviation pilots. Watch a slideshow >>
Partnership offers helicopter degree
Great Lakes Helicopter and Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario, will begin offering a new two-year helicopter degree program in September 2011. Read more >>
Hartzell gets STC for Cessna 210s
Hartzell Propeller Inc. has received FAA approval for a supplemental type certificate that covers new three-blade propellers installed on Cessna’s pressurized P210N (1978-84) and turbocharged T210F-N (1966-84) models. Read more >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
ROAD AND RUNWAY RALLY
Road and Runway Rally wraps up at Sun ’n Fun
After four days of adventure in a Remos GX and a Smart car, Road and Runway Rally teams Orville and Wilbur saved the best for last. The final moments of the rally came down to the light sport aircraft’s low pass over the Smart car to kick off Sun ’n Fun. Read more and view a slide show of the adventure >>
Remos performance put to the test
Wired.com correspondent Jason Paur has flown 35 different aircraft, but he couldn’t wait to get his hands on the Remos GX to test its handling characteristics. Find out what he thought >>
Rally sparks nonpilot’s interest in aviation
MotorWeek’s Steve Chupnick had only flown in a general aviation aircraft once—for 25 minutes—before embarking on the Road and Runway Rally. But Flight Training Deputy Editor Ian Twombly, also a flight instructor, taught Chupnick how to fly during two days of the rally. By the end of their time in the Remos, Chupnick could take off and land with little assistance, and he even received a special gift at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Read more >>
Opening act the experience of a lifetime
What’s it like to kick off an airshow? Sit in the left seat of the Remos GX as it sets up for a low pass at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. Read more >>
More Road and Runway Rally News:
Occasionally pilots fall asleep in flight, but fatigue also can take its toll in less obvious ways—by degrading a pilot’s skills, or slowing thought processes until it’s impossible to stay ahead of the aircraft. About 11 p.m. on March 1, 2009, a Diamond DA40 slammed into the Pacific Ocean off the northern California coast. The airplane was inbound on the RNAV/GPS approach to Runway 14 of the Arcata Airport in rainy, turbulent weather. The commercial pilot and his passenger were killed. Over the next two weeks, about a dozen small pieces of the airframe washed up along 10 miles of beach. Based on their distribution, ocean currents, and radar-track data, the NTSB estimated that the airplane hit the water just outside the final approach fix, where the minimum crossing altitude is 2,100 msl. Read more in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
Answers for Pilots: Aircraft ownership options
Longer days and warmer weather provide welcome opportunities for more flying after work and on the weekends. Perhaps you’ve taken a couple of flights in the past month, and want to schedule a few more only to find the rental aircraft at the FBO booked for the next couple of weeks. Wouldn’t it be great to have an airplane at your disposal whenever you had some time to fly? You might be surprised to learn that there are many ways to own an aircraft. Read more >>
Free Webinar on NextGen: Join AOPA April 21
GPS-based technologies such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) can reach areas radar can’t, and they have the capability to provide pilots with precise traffic, weather, and navigation services. Find out how these technologies will change your flying in a discussion of current technologies and the transition to NextGen April 21. Register for one of two AOPA Webinar sessions: either 3 p.m. or 9 p.m. Eastern time. Call AOPA at 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672) with questions.
Hotspots highlight risky intersections
Unfamiliarity with an airport can be the first link in a chain that leads to a runway incursion. Reviewing taxi diagrams before you start can help you prepare for the twists and turns between taxi and takeoff or touchdown and the ramp, and now you may be able to see exactly where other pilots have gone wrong: AOPA Airports, the association’s new airport directory, features runway “hotspots,” depicting common runway-incursion-prone areas for certain airports. So far, 64 airports show high-alert areas; the AOPA Air Safety Foundation is adding hotspots as it gets the information from the FAA Office of Runway Safety. See an example of the new feature on the Palm Beach International page. Just click on the “Hotspots” tab above the Google map.
Join the Airport Support Network today
Ensuring the health and vitality of your airport is up to you—incompatible development and economic and political pressures can restrict your flying. Every day, more than 2,000 Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteers work with AOPA headquarters to help save their airports, but we need more. Below is a link to a list of the airports where an ASN volunteer could make a difference.
To nominate yourself or an associate to be a volunteer, visit AOPA Online.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit ASN Online.
AOPA Now: Shared insights and experiences at Friedrichshafen
No matter where in the world you fly, you face many of the same challenges. AOPA President Craig Fuller sat down with representatives from AOPA’s counterparts in 33 countries during the AERO show to talk about the future of general aviation. Read more >>
Hover Power: Wind
To a helicopter pilot, a brisk wind can provide a nice performance boost. However, gusty winds can sometimes be tricky to manage. According to the NTSB, during the last 10 years there were 48 helicopter accidents in which the pilot said a gust of wind was a factor. Read more >>
Renting an aircraft? Make sure you’re covered
Now that the spring flying season is in full swing, pilots are spending their free time getting caught up on their flying. If you are renting an aircraft, it’s crucial to understand that you must have renters insurance. Many pilots mistakenly believe that the FBO or other entity that rents the aircraft includes the renter under its insurance. But the FBO protects itself, not you, so before you head down the runway, make sure your insurance protection is in place. Read more >>
Wish you had a better understanding of the regulations when talking to your mechanic or the avionics shop? Aircraft Electronics Association Vice President of Government/Industry Affairs Ric Peri answers your frequently asked questions
Question: Does 135.143(c) require that Part 135 aircraft with operational Mode C transponders installed replace them with Mode S transponders before March 1, 2007?
Answer: No, not until the installed Mode C transponder can no longer be repaired. Under paragraphs (c) of Sec. 121.345 and Sec. 135.143, after Jan. 1, 1992, only Mode S transponders may be newly installed in U.S. registered civil aircraft. Since May 1996, the FAA has regularly granted exemptions to Part 135 operators for this requirement. On Oct. 7, 2005, the FAA issued a policy on the installation of Mode S transponder requirements. This policy announced that the FAA would discontinue issuing exemptions from the Mode S transponder equipment requirements under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations Sec. 121.345(c) and Sec.135.143(c). Read more >>
Submit your own question via e-mail.
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 a sport pilot using my driver’s license in lieu of a medical. I noticed that section 7-1-2 (c)(3) in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) says that you must have a current medical to access the FAA’s Direct User Access Terminal System (DUATS) for a weather briefing. Is this true?
Answer: No. Sport pilots can absolutely enjoy the privileges of an official online weather briefing through providers DTC DUAT and CSC DUATS. Here’s how: Register with DTC DUAT by faxing a copy of your airmen certificate, driver’s license, and a note that explains you are operating as a sport pilot. Contact the DTC DUAT help desk at 800/243-3828 to start the process. You also can register with CSC DUATS by sending an e-mail requesting an “aou” account. Include your name, address, and contact information, and identify yourself as a sport pilot in the message.
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.
Engage with AOPA: AOPA President Craig Fuller will hold a pilot town hall at Hangar One in Scottsdale, Ariz., April 23. During this free event, Fuller and AOPA staff will talk about the state of general aviation and visit with pilots from the region. The meeting will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in 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 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].