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Wounded Warriors lift off with Vandy-1
With the two Paris Jets tucked just below a P-51 and two L-39s at their wingtips, the Vandy-1 formation maneuvered at 240 knots over central Maryland, providing thrills to four deserving veterans. The rides came courtesy of the Wounded Warrior Project, a charitable organization that sponsors outreach programs for veterans injured in the line of duty. “It reminded me of the gun-camera footage from World War II,” said Sgt. Jason Grabill, 45, a former U.S. Marine who was serving at the Pentagon on 9/11. Grabill rode along in the P-51 Mustang, Glamorous Gal. “Except this was real, and it was in color.” Read More >>
PLB brings speedy rescue to pilot trapped in trees
A Pennsylvania pilot is crediting his personal locator beacon with his rescue only two hours after his glider crashed in rugged mountains near Altoona, Pa., May 9. “The fact that I’m here talking to you is pretty amazing,” said Les Dutka of Pittsburgh, who flies powered airplanes and gliders. He was flying lower and lower, without finding lift, and had not dropped his water ballast—which increases stall speed. “Within an instant, the thing snapped out from under me, and the next thing I knew I was upside down on the forest floor.” Read more >>
Maybe we are, and maybe we aren’t—but it would be just like us if we were. That seems to be the answer this week from Hawker Beechcraft officials when asked to confirm reports that they are developing a single-engine turboprop. The company last flirted with the idea of a single-engine turboprop from 1982 to 1984 when it put a turboprop engine on the front of a Beech Baron, fastened Bonanza wings to it, and called it the Beechcraft 38P Lightning. Read more >>
Continental to offer Jet A engine
Teledyne Continental Motors says it will have a four-cylinder engine powered by Jet A fuel, commonly referred to as a diesel engine, on the market in 2012. That engine will range from 180 to 250 horsepower. Read more >>
Paraglider pilot photographs Empty Quarter
Paraglider pilot and freelance author and photographer George Steinmetz captured the Empty Quarter, one of the most remote deserts on Earth that includes portions of Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, flying at 30 mph. The Empty Quarter has been crossed only a handful of times, according to the photographer’s website. Steinmetz photographs from a paraglider comprised of the paraglider wing, a back-pack mounted motor, and a single-seat harness that ties the three pieces together. Read more >>
International Learn to Fly Day receives support on Hill…
General aviation is a small community looking to expand its worldwide pilot population by tearing down perceived walls at airports, and getting future pilots up in the sky for their first flight. International Learn to Fly Day on May 15 will serve as a major stepping stone for that mission, and the House of Representatives has added its support. Read more >>
…Canadian pilot group reaches kids one flight at a time
It may be the first International Learn to Fly Day, but it’s the twenty-eighth annual event for one group of Canadian pilots who provide introductory rides to local Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations. Flight 28, a chapter of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association at Burlington Airpark outside of Toronto, will host up to 100 participants May 15 for its annual Big Brothers Big Sisters airlift. Read more >>
HondaJet deliveries slip to 2012
The HondaJet’s anticipated late-2011 delivery has slipped to the fall of 2012. The flight of the first aircraft that conforms to the production model has slipped from this summer to November 2010. The delay was required by a slippage in the delivery date for certain major components. “We anticipate receiving the first conforming, flight-worthy engines from GE Honda Aero Engines in the third quarter of 2010, with the safety of flight certification from GE Honda to follow shortly after engine delivery,” said Stephen Keeney, senior manager for corporate affairs. Read more >>
Glimpse innovations from across the pond
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne takes a look at hybrid and electric engines, a hydrogen-powered trike, an inflatable wing, and more at AERO Friedrichshafen, Europe’s largest all-general aviation show. Watch AOPA Live >>
GA around the globe
What are the big issues in European general aviation? Visit with AOPA President Craig Fuller and representatives from Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations from the United Kingdom and Germany for an overview. Watch AOPA Live >>
Ford visit to Capitol Hill sparks interest in GA
Actor and GA Serves America spokesman Harrison Ford’s visit with members of the House and Senate General Aviation Caucuses April 27 sparked interest in the industry among those on the Hill. Ford had a captive audience—26 members of Congress, three senators, 92 congressional staff, and 53 others from federal agencies and industry groups—to explain the benefits of GA. AOPA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Lorraine Howerton talks about the impact of Ford’s appearance. Watch AOPA Live >>
Cessna’s Pelton to represent GA on federal advisory committee
Cessna Aircraft Co. Chairman, President, and CEO Jack Pelton has been named by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to the department's Future of Aviation advisory committee. Read more >>
2010 another tough year for manufacturers
You know it’s a recession when the best news available is that worldwide aircraft deliveries are declining more slowly than last year. That’s the case with first-quarter aircraft delivery totals issued by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). GAMA members reported 390 aircraft deliveries from January through March, including piston-engine aircraft, turboprops, and business jets. That’s down 69 aircraft compared to the first quarter of 2009. Read more >>
Joint Senate, House resolution honors GA efforts in Haiti
After the Jan. 12 earthquake that rocked Haiti, general aviation pilots in the United States were in a unique position to provide aid, and they rose to the occasion. GA made more than 4,500 relief flights in the first 30 days after the earthquake, providing transportation for medical and disaster relief personnel, according to a concurrent resolution honoring GA for its contribution to the relief efforts. Read more >>
Fly an airship!
If you’ve got $3,000, you’ve got an airship—at least for half an hour. Airship Ventures of California operates the only Zeppelin in the United States and is now offering a two-day course that puts you in the pilot’s seat. While aloft you’ll explore the sights of Los Angeles while experiencing the differences between aerostatic and aerodynamic lift. The Zeppelin boasts luxury features like oversized windows, an onboard restroom with a view, and a rear loveseat with a panoramic window. Read more >>
Chevron stops marketing avgas at 200 locations
Chevron’s General Aviation division will withdraw from marketing Chevron and Texaco branded aviation fuels in 27 states. The company said the states are beyond Chevron’s refinery distribution system. The Chevron statement concludes that the actions “have no impact on product supply. Aviation customers should not experience any impact as a result of this transition.” Read more >>
Find low fuel prices through AOPA Airports
Homebuilt pilot collects 100 speed records
Steve Wood, editor of av8magazine.com, reached 100 world records in his homebuilt GlaStar in April. He reached the milestone by setting 11 records (still awaiting verification) on one nonstop flight from Daytona Beach, Fla., to Nassau, Bahamas, and return on an IFR flight plan. Read more >>
Flight for the Human Spirit touches down at Oshkosh
Sport pilot Michael Combs stopped in several cities and towns in the Midwest last week as he pressed on in the Flight for the Human Spirit. But one stop—Oshkosh, Wis., home to EAA AirVenture—was particularly meaningful. “There’s something about being there that stirs the soul of every pilot at heart,” Combs said. “When I lined up for my final approach on Runway Nine (at Wittman Regional), I couldn’t help but smile.” Read more >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
A pleasant summer flight from Memphis to Savannah, Tenn., turns into a nightmare with unanticipated fog, an instrument approach—and subsequent missed approach—exhausts the fuel on a Cessna 340. Find out what happens in the latest Never Again Online podcast, brought to you by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Listen to more stories in AOPA's Never Again Podcast directory.
Don’t get caught running on empty
Fuel management accidents are among the most preventable in general aviation, yet they happen once a week on average. Do you know when you can trust your fuel gauges, or how to ensure refueling doesn’t result in fuel contamination? Test your knowledge in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s “ Fuel Awareness” quiz. The foundation’s safety quizzes, underwritten by the AOPA Insurance Agency, are now part of the AOPA Accident Forgiveness program.
Questions about your medical? Free Webinar gives tips
Errors on the airman medical certification application can result in a lot of problems. Find out what you need to know to do it right the first time, and how to correct a mistake, in a Webinar Wednesday, May 19, at 9 p.m. Eastern time. Get tips from Gary Crump, AOPA director of medical certification; Dr. Bruce Chien, senior aviation medical examiner; and Talbot Martin, pilot and attorney with Yodice Associates. Register for the Webinar online. Call AOPA at 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672) with questions.
Coming soon: New taxi procedures
Are you up to speed on your ATC terminology? There are some new clearances to start learning. Beginning June 30, air traffic controllers will be required to issue specific runway crossing instructions for each runway to be crossed. Controllers will no longer use the familiar “taxi to Runway XX” phraseology. Read more >>
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.
Airports that adopted the voluntary security measures of AOPA’s Airport Watch saw a steep decline in crime the year after the program’s launch, a study of Pennsylvania general aviation airports has found. According to the study, crimes against property dropped from 30 to three at adopter airports; non-adopter airports saw an increase from 45 to 88. Crimes against aircraft dropped from 29 to two at adopter airports but increased from four to 13 at airports that did not adopt Airport Watch recommendations. Read more >>
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit ASN Online.
Air Safety eJournal: What about ‘cloud’ isn’t clear?
Certain VFR-into-IMC mishaps perhaps should not be called accidents in the technical sense of the word. Webster’s dictionary defines accident as “an unforeseen or unplanned event.” Read more >>
Reporting Points: Two pilots, please!
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Thomas A. Horne went to Simcom-Orlando this week to take a Pilatus PC-12 NG transition course, and drank from the fire hose of information about Honeywell’s Apex avionics suite. As the procedures became familiar, he still thought two pilots might be best: one to fly, the other to work the avionics. Read more >>
Fun to Fly 2010 Sweepstakes: Trials and tribulations
Darren Hook saw a Remos at a mall in Lewisville, Texas, and decided to get going on a sport pilot certificate. He was all set to complete his checkride recently when he got a call from the flight school: the school’s LSA had been involved in a landing accident. Now Hook has to wait until another LSA can be obtained. So close, and yet so far! But he’s not taking this as a sign from the heavens that it wasn’t meant to be. Read more >>
Hover Power: Disc loading
Disc loading is defined as the ratio of a helicopter’s gross weight to its rotor system’s disc area. A large disc area allows the rotor system to work with more air, creating a higher efficiency in a hover. A smaller rotor system compromises hover efficiency for speed and size. Read more >>
Hertz offers AOPA members exclusive savings
As an AOPA member, renting your next vehicle from Hertz not only gives you up to 25 percent off and free enrollment in the #1 Club Gold Program, but also gives you up to $30 off your weekend rental! Save $10 per day, up to $30 off a weekend rental when PC# 144336 is included in your reservation of an economy or higher class car. The offer is valid for pickup through June 13. A portion of all revenue generated will be returned to AOPA and reinvested to support the association’s daily efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of general aviation. Reserve your car today: Click on the “Quote It” button, and your AOPA CDP# 10232 will automatically be applied to your reservation.
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: What is the FAA’s definition of a traffic pattern’s upwind leg?
Answer: According to the Aeronautical Information Manual (4-3-2), the upwind leg is “a flight path parallel to the landing runway in the same direction of landing.” The Airplane Flying Handbook (7-3) says the upwind leg is “the transitional part of the traffic pattern when on the final approach and a go-around is initiated and climb attitude is established.” The term upwind leg is commonly confused with the official definition of “departure leg.” The departure leg is “the flight path which begins after takeoff and continues straight ahead along the extended runway centerline” (see AIM 4-3-2).
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 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 Palo Alto, Calif., May 20; Oshkosh, Wis., July 28, 29, and 30; Germantown, Tenn., Aug., 30; Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 31; and Maryville, Tenn., Sept. 1. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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