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today’s top stories
‘It’s just a mess’
As Nashville residents return to their homes and offices to clean up from the recent flooding, tenants at Cornelia Fort Airpark headed to the airport May 6—not to assess the damage, but to figure out how to pick up and start over. “It’s a loss that’s going to be hard to recover from, but we’re gonna try,” said Bill Colbert Jr., who joined the family business of running the privately owned, public-use airport 19 years ago after he retired from the military. Read more >>
Lycoming to appeal $89 million award
An attorney for Lycoming Engines said the company will appeal an $88.7 million jury verdict in a Philadelphia court regarding a 1999 crash of a Piper Cherokee Six at North Lima, Ohio. “Lycoming is disappointed with the verdict, particularly given that the National Transportation Safety Board in its investigation of this accident found that the accident and the regrettable loss of life had absolutely nothing to do with Lycoming’s engine,” said attorney James Robinson. Read more >>
Air Safety Foundation courses receive distance learning honor
For pilots looking to increase their aeronautical knowledge or refresh their decision-making skills, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation is the place to turn. The foundation’s free innovative online safety courses were honored by the United States Distance Learning Association May 4 with the Platinum level Best Practices Award for Distance Learning Programming. Read more >>
FAA decision a ray of light for airparks
A recent FAA decision to allow residential through-the-fence access to continue at Independence State Airport in Independence, Ore., indicates the agency may be adopting a more flexible stance toward residential access to federally funded airports. Read more >>
Florida use-tax exemption headed to governor’s desk
After several years with the dark cloud of the Florida use tax looming over the general aviation industry, it appears that skies are finally clearing in the Sunshine State. The Florida Senate passed House Bill 173 on April 30 to exempt visiting out-of-state aircraft from the state’s use tax. Hear from AOPA Vice President of Airports and State Advocacy Greg Pecoraro about what the exemption means for pilots visiting Florida. Watch AOPA Live >>
How will the iPad change the GA cockpit?
It’s not the first tablet computer to make its way into the cockpit, but the iPad brings the technology of electronic flight bags within reach of a much broader swath of general aviation pilots. ForeFlight, the provider of one of two AOPA Airports mobile applications, redesigned its flight planning iPhone app with the iPad’s larger screen and capabilities in mind, and released ForeFlight Mobile HD the day the first iPads shipped. Read more >>
Gulfstream G650 reaches near speed of sound
Gulfstream Aerospace trumped Cessna Aircraft May 2 by achieving a speed of Mach 0.925 during a test flight of its G650, just slightly above the Mach 0.92 cruise speed of the Citation X. Read more >>
Pilots can learn a lesson from the thwarted Times Square bombing attempt in New York City. “The threat is still out there,” said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of operations and international affairs. “There are people who still want to do harm to the country.” But more importantly, alert and informed citizens can blunt the threat. Watch AOPA Live >>
Learn to fly: Start here
Take just one new person out to the airport for a day. It could tip the scales for someone who has thought about learning to fly but was never quite sure where to start. Hear from EAA’s Ron Wagner about how his organization plans to take the concept and turn it into a worldwide phenomenon May 15 with International Learn to Fly Day. Watch AOPA Live >>
New Eclipse offers customers upgrade options
While quiet for the last seven months, officials at the new Eclipse Aerospace Inc. have been busy breathing new life into the Eclipse 500 twinjet project that launched the light jet phenomenon. Co-founders Mike Press and Mason Holland have found new rounds of funding to begin upgrading the existing fleet of 260 airplanes after buying the company out of Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the fall of 2009. Read more >>
The FAA has completed the final steps needed to move forward with requiring Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out in cockpits by 2020. The implementation of ADS-B in Juneau, Alaska, was the last step before the FAA is expected to issue its final rule setting a deadline for ADS-B Out in all airspace where a transponder is required today. Read more >>
Florida schools team to offer flight training to veterans
The Florida Institute of Technology and Bristow Academy have teamed to add helicopter flight training to the university’s aviation program. The two programs are targeting military veterans eligible for educational support through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Read more >>
Flight for the Human Spirit lands in Wisconsin
Sport pilot Michael Combs arrived in Reedsburg, Wis., May 6 as the Flight for the Human Spirit concludes its fourth week. Combs, flying a Remos GX, has completed 10 flight days on his months-long itinerary. Since launching April 8, he has flown from his starting point in Salina, Kan., throughout New England to the Midwest. Read more >>
Adventure by Remos
A rented Remos GX light sport aircraft proved an ideal way to access the isolated community of Shelter Cove, Calif., located 24 miles of hairpin turns off U.S. Route 101. Read about AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh’s trip to “the hidden jewel of California’s north coast,” and hear how area children used to chase livestock inland off the airstrip to make way for arriving airplanes. Watch AOPA Live >>
Is the worst over? Opinions vary
A range of views surfaced at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland, concerning the future for business aviation manufacturers. Read more >>
‘Chart Clinic’ author honored
Retired Jeppesen senior vice president Jim Terpstra, who wrote “Chart Clinic” for AOPA Pilot for several years, has received the Pioneer Award from the Airline Avionics Institute. Read more >>
New Hawker Beechcraft airplanes get medical kits
At the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition May 4 through 6 in Geneva, Switzerland, Hawker Beechcraft Corp. announced that all new HBC airplanes will be delivered with FAA-approved Part 135 medical kits. Read more >>
Hawker Beechcraft reveals first-quarter financials
The financial situation may be slowly improving for troubled Hawker Beechcraft Acquisition Company (HBAC). Compared to the first quarter of 2009, the company reported higher sales and reduced operating losses. Net sales for the three months ending March 28, were $568.2 million, an increase of $30.6 million over first-quarter 2009 sales. The hero was Hawker Beech’s T6A Texan II JPATS trainer, with $61.6 million worth of sales in a U.S. government contract. Counteracting that was the continued slippage in the company’s business and general aviation segment, with a $32.8 million sales decline. HBAC delivered only 34 business and GA airplanes in the first quarter of 2010; in the same period in 2009, 57 were delivered.
Flying Circus to add museum
Even if you don’t live in Virginia or an adjoining state, you may have heard of The Flying Circus Aerodrome. It will soon have its own museum. Charlie Kulp—also known as “The Flying Farmer” and Flying Circus founder—will emerge from retirement to fly one last special show. Now a nonprofit foundation, the Circus is hosting the performance as a kickoff fundraiser to begin construction of a new hangar to become the museum’s home. Read more >>
Swiss pilots begin global trek in LSAs
Two Swiss airline pilots launched April 30 on an around-the-world journey, each flying a modified Flight Design CTLS light sport aircraft. Yannick Bovier and Francisco Agullo left Sion, Switzerland, on the first leg of a tour that will take them 27,500 miles through 18 countries and across five continents and two oceans. Read more >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Warmer, damper regions of the country get an especially heavy dose of convective activity in the summertime. Thunderstorms should scarcely come as a surprise—even without a warm front passing through a mass of moist, unstable air. That was the situation on July 29, 2008, when a Piper Apache broke up at 9,800 msl near Highlands, N.C., killing both on board. Read more in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
Free AOPA Webinar to cover medical certification May 19
Many pilots make mistakes on the airman medical certification application, especially in the section on medical history. Errors on this legal document can result in a lot of problems. Get AOPA’s tips on doing it right the first time, and what to do to correct a mistake. Join Gary Crump, AOPA director of medical certification; Dr. Bruce Chien, senior aviation medical examiner; and Talbot Martin, pilot and attorney with Yodice Associates, on Wednesday, May 19, at 9 p.m. Eastern time. Register for the Webinar online. Call AOPA at 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672) with questions.
Track your progress, earn credit for safety quizzes
Enjoy testing your knowledge with safety quizzes from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation? Now you can track your quiz completions, along with your progress in the foundation’s online courses, in your AOPA Air Safety Foundation transcript. Your transcript also offers links to reprint certificates of completion. The quizzes, underwritten by the AOPA Insurance Agency, are now part of the AOPA Accident Forgiveness program. Quiz-takers are now required to log in before taking a quiz, and if you take three quizzes every six months, you’ll be eligible for accident forgiveness.
Liability protection could open grass strips to public
Private airfields in Tennessee could get the protection they need to open to the public, a move that AOPA hopes many other states will follow. A bill to provide liability protection to private airfield owners is awaiting Gov. Phil Bredesen’s signature. “The fun of flying is no better than at a small grass strip,” said AOPA Southeast Regional Representative Bob Minter. “I think a lot of these airfield owners would love to let their fields be used as a catalyst to interest young children in flying.” Read more >>
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit ASN Online.
AOPA Now: Innovations in Albuquerque
Aspen’s Evolution Flight Display glass cockpit system and the Eclipse 500 are evidence that general aviation companies continue to move forward and innovate despite tough economic conditions. AOPA President Craig Fuller got a first-hand look at the products of these two GA companies, whose actions speak volumes about the industry’s resilience and optimism for the future, during a visit to Albuquerque, N.M. Read more >>
Air Safety eJournal: Old and bold
AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg looks at factors—including a falsified medical application and a dangerous anti-authority attitude—that led to an accident involving an 86-year-old pilot illegally giving sight-seeing rides at a charity event. The pilot apparently stalled a Cessna 206 on short final with five paying passengers aboard. There were no survivors. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Jungle flying with JAARS
Deep in the heart of the Carolinas, JAARS is transforming Waxhaw, N.C., just south of Charlotte, into a remote jungle location. Read more >>
Fun to Fly 2010 Sweepstakes: Wing-folding 101
Whenever AOPA takes the Fun to Fly Remos GX to a show, people are always intrigued to learn that you can fold the airplane’s wings. Flight Training Associate Editor Jill W. Tallman says it looks kind of like a grasshopper. Read more >>
AOPA comes to the rescue for member’s medical
After AOPA member George Jordan received radiation treatments for prostate cancer, he was able to keep flying as long as he provided proper medical documentation. It wasn’t until two years later that a problem with his medical certificate appeared. He didn’t lose his medical, but the FAA wasn’t renewing it: He was effectively grounded. But Jordan’s 1946 Stinson 108 was itching to fly, so he contacted AOPA’s Medical Certification Center and signed up for AOPA’s Medical Services Program for $37 a year. Read more >>
Buying a used aircraft? You need title insurance
Clay Healey, owner of AIC Title Service, pulls no punches when it comes to the need of an aircraft buyer to have title insurance. In fact, according to Healey, you’d be foolish to buy an airplane without it. Healey points out that most pilots wouldn’t consider buying a home without title insurance in place and yet many aircraft cost as much as a pilot’s home. In short, he says, “Title insurance covers your fanny.” Read more >>
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 do not hold a current medical certificate. Are there any aircraft that I can legally fly?
Answer: Yes, under 14 CFR 61.23 you can fly a balloon or glider (including certified motor gliders) as long as you are properly rated on your pilot certificate. You can also fly light sport aircraft if you hold a current driver’s license and have not been denied on your most recent application for a medical certificate, nor had your most recent medical certificate suspended or revoked. In both cases you must comply with 14 CFR 61.53, which prohibits flying with a known medical deficiency. Read AOPA’s page on LSAs and sport pilot certification, and see EAA’s list of special light sport aircraft (S-LSAs) including gliders.
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 Pensacola, Fla., and Houston, Texas, May 15 and 16; Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Kansas City, Mo., and Albany, N.Y., May 22 and 23; Phoenix, Ariz., Orlando, Fla., and Minneapolis, Minn., June 5 and 6; Columbus, Ohio, and Ashburn, Va., June 12 and 13; San Jose, Calif., and Charlotte, N.C., June 26 and 27. 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 Newton, Mass., and Madison, Wis., May 10; Windsor Locks, Conn., and Milwaukee, Wis., May 11; Manitowoc, Wis., May 12; Palo Alto, Calif., May 20. 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].