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Dec. 24, 2010, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterDec. 24, 2010, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 52 — December 24, 2010

Veterans’ flight-training assistance
No tower? No problem
Terrafugia design exemptions supported
Quiz Me: Carbon monoxide


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

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Veterans’ flight-training assistance clears Congress

Feature Veterans could receive new financial aid for flight training under a bill that has received overwhelming votes of approval in the House and Senate. The bill, S.3447 the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2010, passed the House Dec. 16 on a 409-3 vote. It broadens provisions of 2008 legislation by allowing veterans to pursue educational programs including flight training, certificate programs, apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and correspondence training. Qualified military personnel who have served three years on active duty since Sept. 11, 2001, will be eligible for educational funding previously available only for programs at institutions of higher learning. “This is great news across several fronts,” said AOPA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Lorraine Howerton. Read more >>

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 >


New flight planner aims to counter patent concerns

Flight planning company Seattle Avionics and DTC DUAT have teamed up to offer pilots concerned about the future of their favorite flight planner a new option. Pilot concerns regarding flight planning stem from FlightPrep’s recent moves to enforce a patent it was provided a year ago by the U.S. Patent Office for certain online flight planning functions. The FlightPrep patent does not apply to application-based flight planners, which conduct flight planning operations and placing of the planned route over maps using data stored on an individual’s computer. Read more >>

State incentive keeps Hawker Beechcraft in Wichita

Hawker Beechcraft Corp. has reached an agreement with Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson that will keep current product lines in Wichita and retain at least 4,000 jobs over the next 10 years. The agreement includes a $40 million incentive package. The package includes $10 million over three years for tuition reimbursement and training as part of the State of Kansas Investments in Lifelong Learning. Hawker Beechcraft will also receive $10 million in the first year, followed by $5 million each year for the next four years for other expenses related to the project. Read more >>

Czech airplane is newest LSA

The DirectFly Alto airplane from the Czech Republic is the latest light sport aircraft to receive approval for the U.S. market. It will be distributed by Corbi Air in Salem, Ohio, and is aimed at flight schools. Flight schools will find the fly-away price to be about $112,000 depending on options chosen. Owner-pilots can purchase an upgrade package including wheelpants and luxury leather seats as well as upgraded avionics, and can expect to pay between $115,000 and $120,000 with such options. Read more >>

Cessna continues cost-cutting measures

Cessna Aircraft Co. is reorganizing its workflow, taking some work back from subcontractors and sending other tasks to suppliers in Wichita and Mexico. The work includes large airframe structure assemblies. “Cessna will begin to move Citation structural assembly work from Avcorp to other suppliers in Wichita and Mexico and its own facility in Independence, Kansas, as part of the company’s ongoing cost-reduction, productivity, and quality improvement efforts,” Cessna spokesman Doug Oliver said in an e-mail to AOPA Pilot. Read more >>

Wright B Flyer replica ‘New’ Wright B model flying

A one-of-a-kind airplane designed to showcase Dayton, Ohio’s aviation heritage around the world has made brief hops off the ground and is ready for a formal flight test program next spring. It was built by an all-volunteer group. Since October, volunteer test pilots have put Wright B Flyer No. 002 through a series of low- and high-speed taxi tests at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport, where Wright B Flyer Inc. has its hangar and museum. Pilots also have made 76 brief hops in which the airplane rose several feet into the air but remained above the runway. Read more >>

Jet on a float joins holiday boat parade

When air charter and fractional ownership company Sky Limo of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., wanted to do something community-minded for the holidays, participating in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino’s Winterfest Boat Parade offered a perfect opportunity. How does an aviation company participate in a boat parade? By putting an airplane on a boat, of course. In this case, the airplane was a 48-foot-long, eight-passenger Sabre 60 business jet. The boat was a barge, with the pairing producing a most unusual float for the boat parade. Read more >>

First flight for FAA-conforming HondaJet

Honda Aircraft Co. successfully completed the first flight of its FAA-conforming HondaJet, the company announced. The first flight of the test aircraft took place Dec. 20 at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C., and lasted 51 minutes. Honda plans to produce several aircraft for its ongoing FAA certification program, and the first customer deliveries are planned for late 2012. Honda is also nearing completion on a 266,000-square-foot production facility in Greensboro where it will manufacture the twin-engine, $4.5 million business jets. Read more >>

Harrison Ford receives Wright Brothers Memorial trophy Harrison Ford receives aviation's highest award

Aviation bestowed its highest award, the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, on pilot, actor, humanitarian, and AOPA member Harrison Ford on Dec. 17, exactly 107 years after the Ohio brothers changed history on the sand dunes of North Carolina when their Wright Flyer took off on the world's first ever powered, controlled flight. The trophy is awarded annually to a "living American for significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States." "Well, I fit the criteria on two parts. I'm living and I'm an American," Ford quipped to an audience of 900 at the black tie dinner in Washington, D.C. Read more >>

GA manufacturing to get boost from tax bill passage

President Barack Obama’s signing of bipartisan tax legislation enacted measures “critical to the recovery of the general aviation manufacturing industry,” said the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). “This bill will help provide the certainty and incentives our manufacturers need to start growing again by encouraging investment and creating demand,” said GAMA President Pete Bunce after Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 on Dec. 17. Read more >>

262 female flights at Oshawa airport 262 girls, women fly at Oshawa airport in 2010

As a Dec. 31 deadline approached for an airport to earn recognition from the Centennial of Women Pilots as the “Most Female-Pilot-Friendly Airport in the World,” Oshawa, Ontario, reclaimed top honors from Renton, Wash., by giving 262 introductory flights so far this year. Renton pilots have given 184 flights. Kpong Field in Ghana has given 97 flights. Oshawa accomplished its top-flight performance by introducing 118 girls and women to flying on Dec. 18. Two weeks earlier, Renton had established a one-day record for “most girls and women introduced to flying in one day and one location.” Read more >>

BlogsAOPA Now: A different kind of benefit

Everyone who flies for business must keep returning to the value equation—how much does using general aviation aircraft save us time or money, increase our efficiency or reach, or generate new opportunities. But this time of year it’s also nice to remember that the general aviation community can, and does, do a lot of good in the world. Read more >>

BlogsFlight Training: The best and worst of 2010

With 2011 fast approaching, Flight Training Associate Editor Jill W. Tallman looked back at flight training’s best and worst for 2010. In this unscientific overview, the high point was the recent passage of a bill containing new financial aid for veterans’ flight training. The nadir? When flight training familiar faces John and Martha King were erroneously detained and handcuffed at Santa Barbara after the Cessna 172 they were flying was incorrectly tagged as a stolen airplane. Read more >>

Record the Correct ATIS Information Every Time With iATIS™—Now Only $2.99

iATIS™ is a revolutionary new app for recording up to 14 key data points on your iPad or iPhone. It not only displays the relationship between the wind and active runway, but calculates the cross-wind component automatically and warns of a tailwind situation. Available now from iTunes—search iATIS, or through Available soon for Android. No mobile device? … visit for a hard copy. 5% of proceeds will be donated to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.


2011 Crossover Classic prebuy inspection Crossover Classic: Prebuy inspection

Now re-engined with an additional 70 horsepower and undergoing an avionics overhaul, AOPA’s 2011 Crossover Classic Sweepstakes Cessna 182 is on its way to becoming a new airplane. But AOPA didn’t settle on just any old airplane for the makeover. Sweepstakes manager Tom Horne scoured the countryside for a candidate for this year’s project—a corrosion-free airframe with complete logbooks—before deciding on the 1974 Cessna 182P that will go home with one lucky winner in September. Find out what prepurchase inspector Don Sebastian looked for in the prebuy inspection. Watch AOPA Live >>


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

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Safety & Proficiency

How much do you know about flight service?

Everybody knows 800/WX-BRIEF… but do you know which flight service frequency to try if you can’t find a local outlet on your chart? Have you ever heard of TIBS, and do you know what it is? And what’s with the letter “R” after certain flight service frequencies on sectional charts? Test yourself on these questions and more with the Air Safety Institute’s Flight Service safety quiz.

flying in cold weather Answers for Pilots: Winter flying

Winter has much of the country in its frigid grip, bringing with it the challenges of cold-weather flying. If you don’t have a hangar, preflighting the aircraft may be far more time-consuming than in the other three seasons as you face defrosting the airframe, preheating the engine, and shivering through the preflight checklist. The AOPA Pilot Information Center’s Kathy Dondzila recalls spending several predawn winter mornings during flight training rubbing frost off the wings in biting wind and finger-numbing temperatures until her flight instructor had mercy and suggested that they turn the airplane to face the rising sun and go inside for a cup of coffee. Read more >>

No tower? No problem

If you are based at a tower-controlled airport, consider what to expect when visiting an airport without one. For example, how do you announce your intentions so that everyone understands your plan before you enter the traffic pattern? Some airports have part-time towers: You may arrive talking to ATC, but what happens when you depart after the tower is closed? And VFR pilots prepare: Know how local instrument approaches fit in the nontower environment. Check out the Air Safety Institute’s Operations at Nontowered Airports Safety Advisor to brush up before you go. Download it now >>

Avoid incidents on the ground

Have you ever made a mistake while taxiing? If so, you’re hardly alone. Getting to and from the runway sounds simple, but there’s plenty that can go wrong, and it’s important to stay alert and understand the rules. How well do you know runway signs? Are you up to speed on the new rules for taxi clearances, or the phraseology that replaced “position and hold”? If not, it’s a great time to take the Air Safety Institute’s revamped Runway Safety online course. Get started >>

BlogsAir Safety eJournal: A passion for flight

AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg had the privilege of attending the Wright Memorial Trophy Dinner to honor Harrison Ford as the sixty-third recipient of one of aviation’s highest honors. The prior honoree list is impressive, with the likes of Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, astronauts, senators, and other airline, industry, and engineering greats. No actors have been previously honored. With the possible exception of Jimmy Stewart, even though many in the entertainment business fly, few have been as passionate or outspoken about general aviation as Ford. Read more >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Jan. 8 and 9

Long Beach, Calif.

San Antonio, Texas

Jan. 15 and 16

Jackson, Miss.

Portland, Ore.

Jan. 22 and 23

Baltimore, Md.

Detroit, Mich.

Charlotte, N.C.

Jan. 29 and 30

San Jose, Calif.

Sevierville, Tenn.

Bellevue, Wash.


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

Jan. 10

Mesa, Ariz.

Reno, Nev.

Jan. 11

Tucson, Ariz..

Sacramento, Calif.

Jan. 12

Milpitas, Calif.


Jan. 13

Santa Rosa, Calif.




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


User fee ‘pause,’ caucus growth marked 2010 on Capitol Hill

A “pause” in any movement toward aviation user fees, additional action on a long-term FAA bill, and an interest in avgas research and development made 2010 a productive year for AOPA on Capitol Hill. President Barack Obama’s 2011 budget announcement was awaited with anticipation, as early budget briefs had suggested a return of “direct charges levied on users of the system”—that is, user fees—to the debate. But after that trial balloon drifted into view with the administration’s 2010 budget, aviation supporters, including more than 100 members of Congress, made it clear that such a policy would be a “non-starter.” Read more >>

FAA clarifies commercial-pilot instrument requirements

On Dec. 17, the FAA issued a formal response to AOPA’s request for clarification on a letter of interpretation (LOI) that stated that hours used to obtain the instrument rating would not count toward the commercial certificate. “In the response, the FAA confirmed that as long as the training is documented properly, the instrument training received in pursuit of an instrument rating may be counted toward the commercial certificate,” said Kristine Hartzell, AOPA manager of regulatory affairs. AOPA has reviewed the FAA’s clarification and urges instrument pilot applicants and flight instructors to be sure that instrument training is clearly logged. 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.

Crimped access, closure bids threatened airports in 2010

The year 2010 will be remembered as one in which pilots were called upon to fend off a variety of tax increases, access constraints, and potential hazards in the vicinity of their airports. Trying economic times didn’t help matters—and in many places, it took concerted efforts by AOPA and local pilot groups to achieve their goals over local political resistance. From encroachment to outright closure, individual airports found themselves in a combative spotlight. In other cases, proposed changes to national aviation policy threatened to cast a cloud over many airports at a time. Read more >>

Short-term FAA bill pushes reauthorization to 2011

Congress has passed a measure that would extend FAA programs through March 2011. This is the seventeenth short-term extension since the last FAA reauthorization expired in 2007; the most recent one runs through the end of this year. The new short-term bill extends programs into the new Congress. “The new dynamics in Congress could produce a completely different bill—which is why it’s important to share the value of general aviation to America with new members of Congress and to recruit new members for the GA caucuses,” said AOPA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Lorraine Howerton. Read more >>

AOPA Aircraft Financing Program offers NEW lower rates

Our goal is to get pilots into the aircraft of their dreams. To help make aircraft ownership more attainable, we just lowered our rates to make monthly payments more affordable. For more information, or to have a representative call you to discuss financing, go to

Terrafugia roadable aircraft Terrafugia petition for design exemptions supported

AOPA has submitted comments supporting a petition by Terrafugia Inc. seeking a temporary exemption from several federal motor vehicle safety standards requirements for its Transition roadable aircraft or “flying car.” In a Dec. 15 letter to the Department of Transportation, AOPA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Rob Hackman expressed AOPA’s support for Terrafugia’s assertion that the exemption was justified because the Transition would contribute to the safety of flight in general aviation aircraft and advance development of both light-weight, fuel-efficient automobile and light aircraft technology. Read more >>

Member Benefits

AOPA offers iPhone, iPod touch app

AOPA members with an iPhone or iPod touch can access information about 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 with AOPA Airports, powered by ForeFlight. Visit Apple’s App Store to download this exclusive member benefit.

BlogsAOPA Insider: ’Twas the night before Christmas

In the spirit of the holidays, AOPA’s marketing staff paid tribute to the classic Christmas poem by adapting it to reflect what’s going on at the association this time of year. 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 2011 Crossover Classic Sweepstakes

2011 Crossover Classic avionics upgrade Avionics on track

The Crossover Classic Cessna 182 is getting an avionics overhaul at Advantage Avionics, a shop located at the Chino, Calif., airport. While almost all of the new avionics components are at Advantage, the panel still is in its gutted stage. The work these days is focused on installing the many antennas and airframe-mounted components that will serve the Garmin G500, the Garmin GTS800 traffic advisory system, the Cobham/S-TEC System Fifty-Five X autopilot and flight control system, and the new comm radios. “The panel work comes last,” said Advantage’s Mark Krueger. “We have a lot of boxes still to install, but we’re closing in on the last of them.” Read more >>

‘Canoe’ wheel pants out, K2U pants in

Several readers have remarked on the Crossover Classic’s wheel pants. These pants, sometimes called “canoe” pants, were installed on older Cessna 182s—but midway through the 1974 model year Cessna replaced them with more modern-looking designs. Obviously, AOPA’s sweepstakes 182 came out early in the 1974 production run, because it has the early-style wheel fairings. Seems that you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. Read more >>

Stay healthy, fly longer!

Enroll in the AOPA Medical Services Program and gain access to numerous resources designed to keep you in the air. Plus, receive assistance from our Medical Certification Specialists for FAA-related medical issues.


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

Membership Forums: Aircraft partnership problem

A pilot and his CFI go in on a partnership for a Piper Tomahawk. After six months, the CFI hasn't paid anything toward costs, but offers to sell his share for $1,000. What should the pilot do? 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.

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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’ve heard that occurrences of carbon monoxide poisoning happen more frequently during the winter months. Why is that and how would I recognize the symptoms?


Answer: Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, colorless, and odorless gas contained in exhaust fumes. Many light aircraft funnel outside air through a shroud over the exhaust manifold and send that heated air into the cabin. It is possible for exhaust fumes to escape through manifold cracks and seals. Even a small quantity of this poisonous gas over a period of time can have potentially fatal results. Common warning signs include headache, drowsiness, or dizziness. If you experience any of these symptoms it is recommended that you turn off the heater, open air vents, and land as soon as practical. It is prudent to be familiar with your aircraft’s heating system and to do a thorough preflight inspection to check for cracks in the exhaust pipe.

Read about a pilot’s real story in Never Again Online: Carbon monoxide encounter.

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].

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AOPA ePilot Team
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Jill W. Tallman
Warren Morningstar
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