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Imagine it is 1944. Four radial engines growl as your giant Pan American Boeing 314 flying boat makes its way from San Francisco to Hawaii. Twelve crew members are required for the 16-hour flight—18.5 hours if the winds are bad. You’re the first officer—or, at least, one of them. Somewhere below the flight deck an admiral relaxes in deluxe quarters, waiting for an elegant meal. There are no passenger seats on this cargo flight for the Naval Air Transport Service, but quarters for the crew are plush. Tonight’s flight is cargo but sometimes there are emergency evacuations from Pacific Islands as a result of the war. A.J. Leftwich, known better as Jack or “Lefty,” piloted such flights from 1942 to 1945. Read more >>
A de Havilland DHC-3T crashed Aug. 9 near Dillingham, Alaska, killing former Sen. Ted Stevens. EADS North America CEO and former NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe and his son, Kevin, were onboard and survived the accident. “Senator Stevens demonstrated a profound understanding of the value of general aviation to Alaska and to the nation. He was quick to point out GA’s unique ability to connect isolated communities across Alaska’s vast distances, deliver vital resources and services, and generate economic value for businesses of all sizes,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “He consistently advocated for the freedom to fly, and was quick to share his knowledge with others less familiar with GA. His outspoken leadership on this issue will be sorely missed.” Read more >>
Former Boeing chief is Icon advisor
Former Boeing CEO Phil Condit has joined the board of advisors for light sport aircraft manufacturer Icon Aircraft as it continues development of a two-seat seaplane. Condit suddenly resigned from Boeing in 2003 after seven years as CEO. “The Icon A5 is an exceptional aircraft,” Condit said in a statement. “What first got my attention with Icon was the brilliant engineering I saw in the A5.” Read more >>
When Walter Extra designed the sleek aerobatic aircraft that bear his name, he knew that they were destined to become mainstays at international competitions and airshows around the world. What Extra didn’t anticipate, however, is that most of the ever more powerful, nimble, and swift airplanes made for the rigors of aerobatic competition would never be used for their intended purpose. Instead, owners fill them with an array of digital, IFR-capable avionics, including autopilots; fly recreationally; and seldom—if ever—enter aerobatic contests or perform at airshows. Now, after years of seeing owners, particularly U.S. owners, load their airplanes with high-end avionics and make long cross-country flights, Extra has designed a new aircraft, the Extra 330 LT, to match the way most pilots actually fly his airplanes. AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman gives you a first look at the new airplane. Read more >>
New runway, terminal to greet equestrian guests
Visitors arriving by general aviation to the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky., Sept. 25 through Oct. 10 will be greeted at Blue Grass Airport by a new crosswind runway and a new GA terminal. This is the first time that the games—which take place every four years and comprise the world championships for eight equestrian sports—have been held in the United States. Read more >>
Brit wins shortened Red Bull season
Paul Bonhomme won the 2010 Red Bull Air Race season, earning the most points during an international series that was shortened by two races. American Kirby Chambliss took fourth place while Mike Goulian came in ninth. Hannes Arch of Austria was second in the overall standings while Nigel Lamb was third. Read more >>
Tennessee educator wins Crossfield award
Orientation flights—more than 4,100 of them over the past 19 years—have earned national recognition for a flight instructor and retired Air Force lieutenant colonel. Bill Powley, of Unicoi, Tenn., conducted most of those flights himself, flying a rented Cessna 172, and initially paid all the costs out of his own pocket. Read more >>
Honeywell’s new FMS 6.1 software upgrade has been approved by the FAA for installation in approximately 600 older business jets, including the Falcon 900B, Hawker 800XP, and Challenger 601. The FAA’s technical standard order (TSO) allows the software to be installed in airplanes having Honeywell’s FMZ-2000 flight management system (FMS). Other candidate airplanes using the FMZ-2000 are Bombardier’s Global Express, Gulfstream’s G-IV and G-V, the Falcon 900EX, Cessna’s Citation X, and Embraer’s Legacy 600/650 airplanes. Read more >>
Helicopter career seminar set for late October
Heli Success is hosting a helicopter job fair and career seminar on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 in Las Vegas. The fair will feature a number of different companies who are looking for helicopter pilots on site, as well as two days worth of seminars intended for those in helicopter career schools or helicopter flight instructors. Topics include networking, what it’s like to work in various parts of the industry, career survival, resume preparation, and more. The cost starts at $150.
Hover Power: T-bar cyclic
In 1978 Frank Robinson was granted a patent for a T-bar cyclic flight control system in a helicopter. His concept was a departure from the conventional helicopter flight control design where the cyclic control came up between the pilot’s legs. During the last 30 years the T-bar cyclic in Robinson helicopters has generated a lot of comments. Read more >>
Sean D. Tucker starts out at 4,000 feet, pitches up, and does about 15 snap rolls on his way down. He dives to 350 feet and starts tumbling through the sky. “Then I’m in,” Tucker tells AOPA President Craig Fuller in this AOPA Live interview. ”And I’ve made a presence. The sound of the airplane’s going, ‘Woa woa woa,’ the crowd’s going, “What’s this guy doing up there? This guy is out of control.’ But you want to appear to be out of control. Airshow flying is about precision.” Watch dramatic footage of Tucker performing from inside the cockpit; then hear him describe what drives him to fly and learn about the extreme G forces Tucker pulls to captivate audiences. Can’t get enough? Come to AOPA Aviation Summit, Nov. 11 through 13, in Long Beach, Calif., where Tucker will be a featured speaker.
‘The world is still good’
More than 900 private pilots in 45 states serve the wounded veterans who have fought for our country through the Veterans Airlift Command, transporting them and their families to be with one another and assist in the healing process. “It kind of reminds you that the world is still good, you know, not everybody’s trying to blow you up, not everyone’s trying to kill you. There’s still good left in it,” says Christopher Lawrence, 3rd Assault Amphibian Bravo Company, 1st Marine Division. Learn more about the program in this video and AOPA Live segment with Veterans Airlift Command founder Walter Fricke. Watch AOPA Live >>
What sparked racing legend Carroll Shelby’s interest first, the automobile or airplane? Find out in this AOPA Live interview with Shelby, owner and founder of Shelby American and the Carroll Shelby Foundation. Recalling his first flight—in a Ford Trimotor at the age of 7 no less—Shelby says, “I didn’t realize then that I’d have a lifetime relationship with Ford.” Watch AOPA Live >>
Bahamas Habitat takes you behind the scenes in Haiti
General aviation pilots jumped at the opportunity to use their aircraft to help transport medical personnel and needed supplies to Haiti in the wake of the devastating January 2010 earthquake. Bahamas Habitat played a vital role in the efforts and shared dramatic footage of GA pilots in action with AOPA. Watch AOPA Live >>
FlightPrep brings charts to iPad
Pilots can download all the charts they need for a Part 91 flight from coast to coast right to their iPad with FlightPrep’s iCharts for iPad. Although the FAA recommends redundancy of charts, pilots are legal to use the iCharts for navigation. AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines and FlightPrep Director of Operations Ross Neher discuss the development of iChart for iPad and the cost savings it can offer. Watch AOPA Live >>
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Safety & Proficiency
You wouldn’t willingly fly through a tornado, would you? Then, beware of an equally powerful force lurking around airports—wake turbulence generated by larger aircraft and heavy jets. Test your understanding of wingtip vortex paths and danger zones for arriving and departing airplanes. What would you do if you suspect the onset of wake turbulence on final approach? Take this safety quiz, underwritten by the AOPA Insurance Agency, Inc.
Get an insight with IFR charts online course
To be a safe, capable IFR pilot, you need a solid understanding of instrument charts. And the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s “IFR Insights: Charts” online course provides just that. With many practical tips on how to use the various instrument charts in the IFR world, from departure procedures to instrument approaches, this course will get you up to speed on flying with NACO and Jeppesen products. What you don’t know can hurt you, so don’t wait. Take the course >>
Answers for Pilots: Aircraft buyer's market
There are signs that the challenging economic conditions have stabilized and a recovery has begun, and the aviation industry seems to be following that trend. While aircraft owners have watched the value of their aircraft drop over the past few years—making it a good idea to hold on to their investments for a while—the resulting buyer’s market has offered remarkably low aircraft prices for those wanting to purchase. Read more >>
Be a superstar in safety seminars nationwide
Have you ever had a harrowing close call in an airplane from which others can learn? If the answer is “Yes,” you need to send us the details and we'll consider interviewing you for an upcoming Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminar series that will tour the nation. Your compelling story must be a true account of a good flight gone bad and offer seminar attendees important lessons learned. Share your story with other pilots in the country.
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.
Air Safety eJournal: The glass is half full
After two weeks of high profile accidents, AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg looks at the accident statistics and provides a point of reference for why pilots continue to fly. Read more >>
Calif. flight schools closer to reprieve on costly reg
Flight schools in California could get a stay from the California Private Postsecondary Act of 2009, a law that has had unintended consequences. Assembly Bill 1140 passed the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee by a vote of 6 to 1 Aug. 9. The bill would give flight schools 12 months to comply with the postsecondary act. The bill still faces significant legislative hurdles, however, and will need a fiscal analysis. It could require another hearing from the Appropriations Committee or be sent directly to the California Senate floor for a vote. Read more >>
eAPIS enhancements let users save, reuse manifests
Customs and Border Protection announced enhancements to its Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) on Aug. 10. Pilots can now save up to 10 manifests indefinitely, and eAPIS will automatically save the latest five manifests for 30 days. The functionality is designed to allow pilots to modify their manifests to submit the return leg of a trip, submit future trips to the same destination or with the same people on board, and update previously submitted manifests. Read more >>
GA experts join state leaders at W.Va. conference
Experts from all sectors of general aviation joined state leaders Aug. 10 at the West Virginia Aviation Conference to discuss critical issues affecting aviation statewide. AOPA Vice President of Airports and State Advocacy Greg Pecoraro discussed the many ways states can encourage or damage the aviation industry through taxation, airport policies, and access restrictions. Read more >>
T-routes to increase airspace efficiency in central U.S.
Lower minimums and more direct routing will benefit pilots flying IFR-GPS-equipped aircraft in Nebraska and South Dakota. The FAA has proposed to establish five new area navigation (RNAV) ,or T-routes, in an area that has no airways. “Currently, pilots must either fly VFR or file an IFR flight plan at a much higher altitude, which creates icing concerns in the winter, to ensure radar coverage,” said Tom Kramer, AOPA manager of air traffic services. “This proposal will provide safer, more efficient routing options.” AOPA has advocated for T-routes since 2000 and recently sent formal comments to the FAA expressing its support for the routes in Nebraska and South Dakota. For more information on T-routes, see AOPA’s issue brief.
FAA to establish 10-day TFR over Martha’s Vineyard
The FAA has released a flight advisory notifying pilots that it will establish a temporary flight restriction over Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., from Aug. 19 through 29 for President Barack Obama’s vacation in the area. Designated gateway airports will allow pilots who have applied for a waiver 72 hours in advance of their flight to clear security screening and fly into or from Martha’s Vineyard Airport at the center of the 30-nautical-mile-radius TFR. AOPA continues to work to become a part of the TFR working group to advocate for stakeholder input and better access for general aviation pilots.
AOPA debit card helps support GA with every swipe
The AOPA debit card from Bank of America comes with many benefits for both you and general aviation. For you, programs like Keep the Change make building your savings a snap. On top of that, you can earn up to 20 percent cash back at top participating online retailers with the Add It Up program. Plus, a portion of the revenue generated as a result of using your debit card is returned to AOPA. It is reinvested to fund the association’s daily efforts to help maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of GA. If you don’t already have an AOPA debit card, join the thousands of AOPA members already showing their support. Learn more >>
Heart disease in the United States affects more than 81 million people and is one of the most prevalent illnesses affecting Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 630,000 people die each year from some form of heart disease, with 425,000 of those deaths coming from coronary artery disease, or, in doctor speak, atherosclerosis. There is some good news, though, because there has been about a 13 percent decline in cardiovascular disease deaths between 1996 and 2006. Read more in this selection from the AOPA Medical Services Program newsletter. AOPA members enrolled in the Medical Services Program get valuable information like this—and much more—bimonthly.
AOPA Airports: Mobile directory for busy pilots
Download AOPA Airports to your Blackberry or Windows Mobile device to have airport, FBO, and services information, and airport diagrams right at your fingertips. Provided by Hilton Software, LLC and AOPA, AOPA Airports allows members to one-touch dial telephone numbers. The directory can be downloaded and updated directly through your smart phone. Try it out today!
Add up the discounts for AOPA Aviation Summit
Long Beach, Calif., will be home base to attendees, exhibitors, and guests of AOPA Aviation Summit Nov. 11 through 13. But before you pack that bag, here are some tips and information designed to help you, your friends, and your family enjoy this aviation wonderland to the fullest and take advantage of special savings. Learn more >>
Don’t miss the excitement in Summit’s exhibit hall
One of the more unusual exhibits at AOPA Aviation Summit in the Long Beach Convention Center is the “airplane that drives”—the Terrafugia Transition. The concept-to-reality design will be on display for you to view up close. But there’s more. The exhibit hall also will feature a Women’s Wing, Controller’s Corner, and Internet Café where you can network with other pilots and air traffic controllers. Read more >>