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This is the August 27, 2010, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterThis is the August 27, 2010, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

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In This Issue:

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 35 — August 27, 2010

Rite of ‘Passage’: Coast to coast
‘Position and hold’ to bite dust
AZ board nixes flight school regs
Quiz Me: Aircraft re-registration


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

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Rite of ‘Passage’: Md. teen flying coast to coast

Feature While across the county students were trudging back to school Aug. 23, 17-year-old Nate Foster launched on the trip of a lifetime. He is flying a 1975 Piper Super Cub from Maryland to California. The trip was inspired by Rinker Buck’s autobiography, “Flight of Passage.” It is the story of two brothers, 15 and 17, who flew across the country in the summer of 1966 in a Piper Cub they had rebuilt themselves. The story resonated with Foster, who is the same age as Kernahan Buck (Rinker Buck’s brother) when he acted as pilot in command of that ‘60s-era journey. And, like the Bucks, he got his hands dirty rehabbing N7469L under the supervision of family friend Andrew McFall, an A&P with hundreds of hours of pipeline patrol experience flown in Super Cubs in Alaska. Read more >>


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GA News

Red Bull pilot dies during airshow training

Spanish race pilot Alejandro (Alex) Maclean, one of the few elite pilots of the Red Bull Air Race, was killed while practicing near Madrid for an airshow. The Red Bull Air Race season ended Aug. 8. His aircraft struck the ground while practicing in an aerobatic box at Casarrubios del Monte Airport in central Spain. The 41-year-old pilot, father of two children ages 7 and 11, was a favorite of many Red Bull Air Race fans. Read more >>

President's position: Building for the future

AOPA has always been a forthright and forward-looking organization. And as AOPA President Craig Fuller looks to the future he is committed to increasing the value AOPA offers. Together we will strengthen the general aviation community, protect airports, grow the pilot population, and advocate for GA at all levels of government. To do all this, and do it well, AOPA needs two things: the continued involvement of members and the money to fund the association’s work. In order to ensure that AOPA can continue to provide the utmost value to members, the association will raise the annual dues to $45 beginning in September. Read more >>

White Knight WhiteKnightTwo gear incident termed ‘minor’

Scaled Composites said in a statement Aug. 19 that the “mechanical problem” with the left gear on that date was a “minor incident.” WhiteKnightTwo was on its thirty-seventh test flight and has flown since December 2008. The aircraft, a carrier for a commercial suborbital air-launched rocket called SpaceShipTwo, was seen in an Aviation Week photo leaning heavily to its left after landing. The spaceship was not aboard. The eight-passenger commercial rocket was carried aboard WhiteKnightTwo on a previous test flight. Read more >>

Chihuahua becoming aerospace center

You’ve seen news stories from time to time about aviation manufacturers who are moving jobs to Mexico. Specifically, many of the jobs go to Chihuahua, Mexico, a booming new center for aerospace where Cessna Aircraft Co. opened a fourth building at its single plant in June. Cessna isn’t alone. Honeywell Aerospace, Labinal, Zodiac, Lockheed Martin, Hawker Beechcraft, SGI ElectroSwitch Corp., FMC Technologies, Capsonic Aerospace, and Cambrian Industries all have facilities there. The state of Chihuahua has 20 percent of Mexico’s aerospace jobs. Read more >>

Embry Riddle to seek Swift fuel approval

The Flight Research Center at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., will submit a certification plan to the FAA in October for use of Swift fuel in a Cessna 172 equipped with a Lycoming IO-360 engine. Both the engine and the aircraft must be approved. The move represents the mid-point of a program to receive a supplemental type certificate (STC) for Swift fuel. Earlier steps involved testing the Swift Enterprises fuel in a Piper Seminole. Read more >>

FAA reports on Swift Fuel endurance data

The FAA recommended Swift Enterprises proceed with further testing of its unleaded aviation gasoline this week after endurance tests produced some encouraging results and identified areas for further research. After 150 hours of testing in a six-cylinder Lycoming engine, the FAA reported that the engine experienced normal levels of engine wear and that combustion, oil, and fuel deposits were light. Read more >>

Skycatcher program moving forward

Delivery delays in the Cessna Skycatcher program appear to be ending. Seven of the two-seat light sport aircraft were in final assembly at one time. They arrive in crates from China and are reassembled and tested by technicians at Yingling Aviation in Wichita, Kan. The firm is one of the reassembly points for the Cessna 162 Skycatcher. The Skycatcher is Cessna's entry in the LSA category and is priced at $112,250. Read more >>

Robinson Helicopter founder retires

Robinson Helicopter President Frank Robinson, who founded the company in 1973, retired Aug. 10. The company’s board of directors elected Kurt Robinson, who joined the company in 1987, as the new president and chairman the same day. According to the company, the 80-year-old had planned to retire in January but wanted to remain at the helm until the Robinson R66 Turbine was complete. FAA certification of the helicopter is “imminent,” the company said. Robinson Helicopter also manufactures the R22 and R44 rotary-wing aircraft.

Helldiver Rescued Helldiver headed to U.S. Navy

Drivers in the southern states may see, in the next few days, a flatbed truck carrying the wreckage of a Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver. It was recovered from the bottom of Lower Otay Reservoir in San Diego County, Calif., and is headed for the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla. The wings remain in a temporary facility owned by the San Diego Air and Space Museum at Gillespie Field in El Cajon, Calif., where mud will be cleaned from the wreckage prior to the Naval Aviation Museum picking it up. Read more >>

Pioneering federal air surgeon left lasting legacy

While his tenure as the FAA federal air surgeon lasted only three years in 1980s, Dr. Frank H. Austin Jr.’s legacy still benefits thousands of pilots who hold medical certificates. Austin, a visionary who saw the FAA’s medical standards as overly conservative and bureaucratic, died June 22 in Arlington, Va., at the age of 86. Read more >>

Mountain State University, ATP offer bachelor’s degree

Students attending West Virginia’s Mountain State University have another degree option to consider. The school is teaming with Airline Transport Professionals (ATP) to offer a Bachelor of Science in airline transport professional pilot operations. Students will receive flight training from ATP while completing Mountain State University’s coursework online.

BlogsReporting Points: Your chance to land on the Edwards lakebed

Have you ever dreamed of landing on the expanse of Rosamond Dry Lakebed at Edwards Air Force Base—or even just flying over the historic site? This may be your chance. The Air Force Flight Test Center will host its first-ever GA fly-in on Oct.1. The center will give 100 civilian pilots the opportunity to fly themselves into Edwards’ airspace—and land on the lakebed—for the 2010 Flight Test Nation Lakebed Fly-in. Read more >>

Flying the same airplane without incident for 12+ months?

You’re entitled to 10% claims free credits your first year with Avemco®—15% your second! Also receive up to 10% off your annual premium with Avemco’s Safety Rewards. Learn more.


Michael "Bulldog" Blair ‘Bulldog’ reflects on recent sport pilot achievement

Few things focus the mind better than an approaching deadline. Writers know this, and apparently, so do Marines. When Sgt. Michael “Bulldog” Blair learned that his flight instructor, AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman, had scheduled his sport pilot checkride 10 days out, he took to the books with vigor. The irrepressible Blair quickly learned to handle the AOPA 2010 Sweepstakes Fun to Fly Remos GX with confidence and aplomb. He passed his checkride with flying colors. Blair shares about being wounded in Iraq and how he learned to fly in AOPA’s Remos in this AOPA Live® video. Blair will be featured at AOPA Aviation Summit, which takes place in Long Beach, Calif., Nov. 11 through 13. For more on Blair, watch AOPA Live >>

AOPA addresses pilot questions in CA events

Pilots in southern California had the opportunity Aug. 20 and 21 to find out more about AOPA’s work on general aviation issues that matter to them—including the effects of costly flight school regulations, the transition to an unleaded avgas, and a potential airspace redesign in the Los Angeles basin. AOPA President Craig Fuller hosted a General Aviation Serves America community event with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) at Oceanside Municipal Airport and a pilot town hall meeting at Long Beach/Daugherty Field. Read more and watch the Oceanside event. Watch AOPA Live >>

‘My heart was just floating up’

When Gao Ying (Laura) moved to the United States in 2008, she didn’t know how to drive. But she quickly mastered the road and didn’t stop there. She started flight training in December 2009 and earned her private pilot certificate in April. In June, she was part of Team Wild Mama, winner of the 2010 Air Race Classic. Find out how Gao found inspiration from an encounter with training notable Martha King at AOPA Aviation Summit and became the first Chinese woman to be on an Air Race Classic winning team. Watch AOPA Live >>

Healthy eating tips with chef Wisniewski

A healthy diet can help extend your flying years. In this interview Steve Wisniewski, executive chef at a hospital group, discusses how sugary drinks can add to your waistline, how aspartame affects your heart, and how an on-site garden may help solve the issues with hospital food. Watch AOPA Live >>

NAFI exec gives tips for students, instructors

Learn about the potential that light sport aircraft bring to the flight training environment and how to pass a checkride in this AOPA Live interview with National Association of Flight Instructors Executive Director Jason Blair. If you like the tips he offers, be sure to check out his forum, “How to pass any checkride,” during AOPA Aviation Summit, Nov. 11 through 13, in Long Beach, Calif. Watch AOPA Live >>

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Introducing: Our best pilot headset ever. NEW A20™ Aviation Headset

The A20™ headset provides significantly greater noise reduction than currently available. It also features improved comfort, clear audio, Bluetooth® connectivity, auxiliary audio input and priority switching. Learn more >

Safety & Proficiency

Line Up ‘Taxi into position and hold’ soon bites the dust

Be prepared for a change in ATC terminology expected to take place on Sept. 30. Instead of the familiar phrase “taxi into position and hold,” the tower controller will issue “line up and wait” instructions to indicate that you may taxi onto the runway and wait for a takeoff clearance. Just like “taxi into position and hold,” the new phrase is used when a takeoff clearance cannot immediately be issued. This change brings the United States in line with standard International Civil Aviation Organization phraseology. Find out more >>

Steer clear of the clag with ‘WeatherWise’ course

It may come as a surprise, but low ceilings and restricted visibilities are aviation’s most lethal weather phenomena. Insidious in nature, they lure unsuspecting pilots farther and farther into deteriorating conditions—until finally there’s no escape. Don’t stumble into the trap: Take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s WeatherWise: Ceiling and Visibility online course and learn to recognize and avoid the conditions that create it. Take the course >>

Your opinion counts!

Please click the link below to answer a brief survey about what features you think are most valuable in today’s aircraft. As a thank you for your time, you will be entered to win an iPod Touch. Take the survey >>

White Knight Flying by the numbers

A safe pilot, you are a big believer in using the POH performance charts, and that is good. But do you really understand what the numbers mean? Here’s something to mull over before you tackle that obstacle at the runway end: If your performance charts tell you it will take 1,310 feet to clear the FAA’s proverbial 50-foot obstacle, how many feet above it will you be when you’ve reached the 1,310-foot distance? Go find out with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s latest safety quiz, “Aircraft Performance”, underwritten by the AOPA Insurance Agency.

Never Again Online: How I spent my 45th birthday

Toby Lynch’s birthday party was held at Ted’s Montana Grill. He’s been told it was a great outing. He spent the afternoon in a soybean field. Lynch went gliding to celebrate his birthday, and at about 4,000 feet agl had enough altitude to do some sightseeing. The next time he looked at his altimeter, he was at 2,100 feet agl, and it was time to find some rising air. Find out what happened next in the Never Again Online Podcast.

Answers for Pilots: Back to school

As the calendar rolls into September, colleges across the country commence fall classes and students turn their attention to their studies. For pilots, basic and advanced flight training and proficiency flights traverse the academic calendar, but if you are looking for career opportunities in the aviation industry, there are a variety of opportunities to add an aviation degree to your list of qualifications. AOPA’s Aviation College Database allows you to choose your field of interest and desired degree and search for colleges that offer just what you’re looking for. Read more >>

BlogsAir Safety eJournal: Clueless and harmless?

Last week significantly more than a few VFR pilots blundered into the presidential TFR over Martha’s Vineyard as the first family was taking vacation. This was even after significant effort was made to lessen the inconvenience to the flying public to accommodate vacation season. One person described a pilot who recently violated a TFR as “clueless and harmless.” The first part of the comment is correct. Read more >>

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Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars

Aug. 28 and 29

Allentown, Pa.

Sept. 11 and 12

Sacramento, Calif.

Baltimore, Md.

Sept. 18 and 19

Colorado Springs, Colo.

Richmond, Va.

Sept. 25 and 26

Phoenix, Ariz.


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

Can’t make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.

Aug. 30

Germantown, Tenn.

Aug. 31

Nashville, Tenn.


Sept. 1

Maryville, Tenn.

Sept. 7

Newton, Mass.


Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

Quieter. Lighter. Smoother

Cirrus SR22T is the new choice in single-engine aircraft. The sky is hardly a limit with this powerful engine, which comes wrapped in the most luxurious of cabins. Find out more at


Flight School Regulation Claim dismissed Arizona board dismisses flight school regulation claim

Part 61 flight schools are not subject to the regulations and fees intended for “private vocational programs,” the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education decided at a meeting Aug. 26. The board considered reinterpreting current Arizona law in a way that would classify Part 61 flight schools as vocational programs, making them subject to regulatory requirements and fees similar to those in a controversial new California law. It decided that the regulations do not apply. AOPA Western Regional Representative Stacy Howard testified before the board. Read more >>

California flight school reg delay clears Senate

A bill that would delay the implementation of costly new requirements for flight schools in California passed the state Senate Aug. 24. Assembly Bill 1889 would delay the flight school regulations from the California Private Postsecondary Act of 2009 until July 1, 2011, to allow time for the legislature and aviation industry to work out a more reasonable solution. AOPA has been communicating with lawmakers about the unintended consequences of the regulations and supporting all the possible legislative vehicles for giving the state time to revisit the law. Read more >>

AOPA member, Adam Epstein, experienced firsthand how the AOPA Aircraft Financing Program makes aircraft financing easy…

and aircraft ownership affordable through Bank of America, N.A. For more information or to have a representative call you to discuss financing, go to

BMW aims to shut down Munich GA airport

German carmaker BMW is making no secret of its desire to eliminate general aviation operations at the Fürstenfeldbruck airport. Fürstenfeldbruck—better known as “Fursty”—once served as a joint US-German NATO fighter/bomber/reconnaissance base in the Cold War but is now a joint-use airport that has a GA flying club. It was also the site of the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes during the Summer Olympics. BMW, a major employer in Bavaria with considerable political clout, wants to use the airport as a test track and close the 9,000-foot-long runway. Read more >>

AOPA advocates for continued seaplane access to Ross Lake

Limiting seaplane access to the northern and southern edges of Ross Lake in northern Washington is too restrictive, AOPA wrote in formal comments to the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS is developing a management philosophy to guide decisions regarding the Ross Lake National Recreation Area for the next two decades. But one portion of the proposal lists several restrictions to seaplane access, including limiting the access to the northern and southern parts of the lake or completely banning access. Read more >>

Unmanned aircraft added to accident reporting requirements

The NTSB will require operators of unmanned aircraft to notify the board of accidents involving the craft effective Oct. 25. The new rule, published Aug. 25 in the Federal Register, requires reporting of accidents involving unmanned aircraft in which a person is killed or seriously injured, or the aircraft has a maximum gross takeoff weight of 300 pounds or greater and sustains substantial damage. AOPA supports the collection of this data so that the industry can better understand the impact of introducing unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System. Read more >>

AOPA Life Insurance—low rates, exclusively for pilots.

Finding quality, affordable insurance to meet your personal needs can be challenging, that’s why AOPA has done the legwork for you and developed a comprehensive offering of products with low rates and great benefits. Call today! 888-785-8376 ext. 8559

Proposed Detroit Class B expansion unjustified

The FAA’s proposal to increase the Detroit Class B airspace ceiling to 10,000 feet msl and expand much of the airspace from 25 nautical miles to 30 nm lacks justification, AOPA wrote in formal comments Aug. 23. The agency has provided no data regarding safety or containment concerns that justify the expansion in these areas. Read more >>

Card access is last hurdle for GA at new Florida airport

The only remaining delay before Panama City, Fla., pilots can move into general aviation facilities at the new Northwest Florida-Panama City Airport is installation of the card access reader for the GA hangar areas, airport officials told AOPA Vice President of Airport Advocacy Bill Dunn during meetings Aug. 18 and 19. Airline service started at the new airport three months ago, but delays in the completion of GA facilities left GA operators languishing at Bay County without instrument approaches, weather services, fuel, or maintenance as they wait to relocate. Read more >>

Revised D.C. SFRA notam takes effect Sept. 1

Two revised notams for the Washington, D.C., Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) go into effect Sept. 1; the changes will have little impact on general aviation. One notam will clarify that all VFR aircraft within 30 nautical miles of DCA fly at or below 180 knots. The other notam provides clarification for approved aircraft operating to and from Andrews Air Force Base and Davison Army Airfield, as well as for aircraft that cannot maintain radio contact with ATC while departing the D.C. Flight Restricted Zone. Find out more in the AOPA Online article “FAA replaces DC SFRA notam.”

GA serves America, from Athens to Capitol Hill

From a battle victory in the war against user fees to the quest to keep flying affordable, AOPA President Craig Fuller and Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) discussed the implications of public policy for pilots at a General Aviation Serves America community event in Athens, Ga., Aug. 18. Fuller and Broun addressed an audience of about 75 at Ben Epps Airport, explaining the importance of having officials in Washington, D.C., who understand and support GA, and discussing issues that face pilots today. Read more >>

Save Up to $3,500 on the Garmin G3X™

Change your perspective with Garmin’s G3X flight display system for experimental/kit planes. Purchase a qualifying G3X system before the end of the year and you could earn up to $3,500 via mail-in rebate. Learn more.

Member Benefits

Michael "Bulldog" Blair Medical Services plan cuts anxiety for AOPA member

A.E. Purcifull, an insurance agent in Frankfort, Ind., says the best part of joining AOPA’s Medical Services Program is, “It took the anxiety out of going in for the medical. I knew going in that I had a good chance of passing it.” Purcifull never lost his medical, but he grounded himself. However, like other pilots facing medical issues, his medical was up for renewal and he was concerned that he could not pass the medical exam. Read more >>

Get to the fun faster with discounts at Alamo

As a member of AOPA, receive up to 40 percent off your next rental at Alamo, now through Sept. 20. And, try the self-serve check-in, where you can skip the Alamo counter, check in at the kiosk, and drive away. All you need is a valid driver’s license and major credit card. Plus, Alamo is offering weekend rentals from $20 a day for AOPA members, now through Sept. 20. Read more >>

The AOPA Legal Services Plan is just like having life, car, or homeowners insurance—

wise protection in case of an unforeseen emergency. And it’s useful even if you aren’t in a jam. Protect yourself with the AOPA Legal Services Plan.

$100 hamburger made easy in AOPA Airports

Finding an on-airport restaurant nearby just got easier. AOPA Airports this week added a “restaurant on field” filter to its advanced search, making it simple to plan a one-tank lunch outing from wherever you are. Start searching >>

FAA re-registration process needs your full attention

For the first time in its history, the FAA is requiring that all aircraft be re-registered. The new registration rules are intended to remedy the inaccuracies of the current voluntary compliance-based system by requiring current information from all aircraft owners and then verifying this information every three years when registration is renewed. To ensure that your aircraft does not slip through the cracks, check the FAA website now and make sure the agency has accurate information regarding your aircraft. If you need assistance with the new re-registration process, please contact AIC Title Service to complete it for you. Read more >>

AOPA Airports offers info on the go

Download AOPA Airports, powered by ForeFlight, to your Apple iPhone or iPod touch to have more than 5,300 public-use landing facilities, 7,000 FBOs and aviation-related businesses, and more than 55,000 restaurants, hotels, and transportation services at your fingertips. Built with the iPhone in mind, the app is free to AOPA members as part of the association’s suite of mobile applications. Visit the Apple App Store to download this exclusive member benefit today.

BlogsFun to Fly 2010 Sweepstakes: What’s next for Fun to Fly?

AOPA’s time with the 2010 Fun to Fly Remos GX is winding down. AOPA Aviation Summit in Long Beach, Calif., will be here before we know it. The little girl has been on a bit of a break since returning from AirVenture in Oshkosh. But she has a few more appearances before Summit, and if you’re in the area AOPA invites you to stop by and see her. Read more >>

FREE Video Tip! — Courses for Beginner to Pro!

Click for a Free Video Training Tip and find a course to achieve your next goal, or to make your flying safer and more rewarding. Not sure? Call us at 800-854-1001 and talk to one of our pilot training advisors.

AOPA Aviation Summit

Hijacking survivor to discuss ‘cockpit courage’

FedEx Capt. Jim Tucker was flying in the right seat of a DC-10 on a cloudless spring day in 1994, when the trajectory of his life was suddenly and violently altered. A suicidal coworker assaulted Tucker and two other crewmembers shortly after departure from Memphis International Airport, attempting to commandeer and crash the jet. Find out from Tucker how the crew fought back and eventually landed, though seriously injured, and how he later returned to the skies as pilot in command of a Luscombe, at AOPA Aviation Summit. Read more >>

Reporters wanted

Want a real inside view of AOPA Aviation Summit 2010 in Long Beach, Calif.? AOPA Live is looking for several experienced TV reporters to help with coverage of the exhibits, Airportfest, and other events. If you have live, on-camera reporting experience, contact Warren Morningstar, executive producer of AOPA Live, for more information.


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!

Picture Perfect

PiReps: The Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum

On the south bank of the Columbia River lies the town of Hood River, Ore. From pattern altitude you can generally see Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier, and Mount Jefferson without squinting. Read more >>


Membership Forums: Ownership costs

A pilot who has recently returned to the air asks about the cost of ownership. Read more >>


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Engage in Aviation

Check out user-submitted events from your region. To include an event or to search all events in the calendar, visit AOPA Online. AOPA does not endorse the events listed below, nor have ePilot editors edited the submissions. AOPA assumes no responsibility for events listed.

My MembershipMy Membership


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 heard that I will have to re-register my aircraft in the FAA’s Aircraft Registry. How does this work?


Answer: The FAA estimates that one third of today’s registered aircraft have inaccurate records. In an effort to update the database, a final rule was published in the Federal Register on July 20. Aircraft registered prior to Oct. 1 will need to re-register over the next three years and renew their registration every three years thereafter. Read more >>


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/USA-AOPA (800/872-2672), or e-mail to [email protected].


Engage in aviation: Stay proficient! Attend a safety seminar near you.

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