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Calbraith Perry (“Cal”) Rodgers departed Sheepshead Bay in New York on Sept. 17, 1911, with his sights on the West Coast. At the controls of a modified Wright Flyer EX and financed by the maker of the grape soft drink Vin Fiz, the aviator relied on pilotage for navigation and support from a ground crew for making it back into the air during the mishap-ridden journey. The Vin Fiz arrived at the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., Dec. 10. The site of this year’s AOPA Aviation Summit, Long Beach has a rich history of aviation milestones. Notable pilots include Daugherty Field’s barnstorming namesake and “Air Devil” Wesley May. Its location on the Pacific coastline made it a landmark for transcontinental flights—including Rodgers’ journey as well as “Wrong Way” Douglas Corrigan’s nonstop flight to New York in 1938. And Howard Hughes proved to the world that the mammoth “Spruce Goose” could fly over the Long Beach harbor. Read more >>
The Nov. 2 elections dramatically changed the dynamic of Congress, bringing new challenges and opportunities for general aviation. The Republican Party gained seats in the House in this election, and it now controls the majority in the House of Representatives. While the Senate still has a Democratic majority, its numbers also shifted, which will impact its ability to control Senate deliberations. General aviation had made significant strides with the current Congress, and AOPA will work with the new Congress to ensure that legislators and their staff understand the issues important to GA, said Lorraine Howerton, AOPA vice president of legislative affairs. Read more >>
AOPA members elected to Congress
AOPA members in Congress can be a resource on general aviation issues because as pilots and informed aviation enthusiasts, they truly understand the consequences legislation could have on the industry. The 112th Congress will have five more AOPA members added to its ranks. West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III and Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey were elected to the Senate, while Steve Pearce of New Mexico, Charlie Bass of New Hampshire, and Bill Flores of Texas were elected to the House. Read more >>
Certain charitable flights eligible for fuel reimbursement
The FAA has revised its exemption for pilots flying charitable missions for Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic, Airlift Hope of America, and Mercy Medical Airlift to receive reimbursement for fuel used on those flights. The amendments clarify some of the conditions and limitations of the previous exemption. The organizations had applied for and received an exemption, with certain conditions and limitations, in February from 14 CFR 61.113(c), regarding a private pilot’s share of some flight expenses. Read more >>
First electric Cessna 172 scheduled to fly next spring
George Bye of Bye Energy said he plans to fly a 1978 Cessna 172 with an electric hybrid propulsion system sometime next spring. Bye Energy, a subsidiary of Bye Aerospace Inc., is a clean energy solutions integrator for general aviation. The company is headquartered in Englewood, Colo., at Centennial Airport with additional offices at the Arizona State University SkySong Innovation Center in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Albuquerque, N.M. Read more >>
Accompanying astronauts Mike Melvill and Brian Binnie for their groundbreaking flights above the atmosphere on SpaceShipOne was a $2 bill. Now that autographed $2 bill is up for bid in the AOPA Foundation’s A Night for Flight auction to benefit general aviation. Bidders can also compete for a day of aerobatic training with airshow legend Sean D. Tucker at his Tutima Academy of Aviation Safety. For a more down-to-earth experience, they can bid on an insider’s tour of the PBS NewsHour. Read more >>
AD proposed on modified Cessna 402, 414 flap systems
The FAA has proposed an airworthiness directive (AD) on some modified Cessna 402C and 414A twin-engine aircraft, requiring a complete inspection of the flap system, and modification of the flap control system, to avoid possible asymmetrical flap deployment and loss of control. The proposed AD was prompted by a report of a modified Cessna 414A experiencing an asymmetrical flap condition that caused an uncommanded roll when the pilot set the flaps to the approach position. Read more >>
Talkeetna, Alaska—population 800—has turned out in force to support a project in which local high school students will combine classroom learning with hands-on work to refurbish a Piper Cherokee Six. The students are working on the project through the nonprofit education organization Build a Plane. “Once we announced we were going to start a Build a Plane project, we began getting an amazing number of offers” from businesses and residents alike, said Rebecca Fisher, a Talkeetna resident and Alaska Airlines pilot. Read more >>
Landing on closed runway under investigation
The FAA is reviewing an Oct. 21 incident in which Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) allegedly landed on a closed runway at Port Isabel-Cameron County Airport in Port Isabel, Texas, the Tulsa World reported. Inhofe, 75, of Tulsa, has served in the Senate since 1994. He holds a commercial pilot certificate and has been flying more than 50 years. According to news reports, Inhofe had flown to Port Isabel in his twin-engine Cessna 340 and landed on a runway that was marked as out of service. Read more >>
Corporate Angel Network flew 317 cancer patients to treatment facilities in October, the most the organization has ever transported in one month during its almost 30-year history. “This second record in the past three months is remarkable,” said Corporate Angel Network Executive Director Peter Fleiss, referring to the earlier record 307 patients flown in July. “It demonstrates the willingness of business aviation to help cancer patients through the use of this flexible and convenient transportation asset.” Read more >>
Crossover Classic 2011: First flights flawless
Air Plains Services, the engine conversion experts who installed the 300-hp IO-550 in AOPA’s 2011 Crossover Classic sweepstakes airplane, has reached a milestone. The engine’s first five flight hours have been logged, and the engine and EDM-930 engine data management unit both worked flawlessly. Now the airplane is cleared for the trip to AOPA Aviation Summit’s static display at Long Beach/Daugherty Field . Read more >>
Don’t miss the action on AOPA Live
Can’t make it to AOPA Aviation Summit? Don’t miss it! AOPA Live will broadcast interviews and presentations throughout the show. Find out more about the issues of today and dreams for tomorrow—and tune in around 9:45 a.m. Pacific Standard Time Friday, Nov. 12, for the announcement of the winner of AOPA’s 2010 Fun to Fly Sweepstakes Remos GX. See the schedule to find out about other programs, such as “ADS-B: Coming to your cockpit soon” and John King’s “Busted by the database.”
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Peak experience: AOPA aviation summit
Aircraft of all stripes, free family fun at Airportfest
Visitors to Long Beach/Daugherty Field for Airportfest will have a chance to check out a variety of aircraft, from a whisper-quiet glider to the roaring B-29 Fifi—and with live music, guest speakers, and more, the event has something for the whole family. After making its debut in 2009 at AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Fla., Airportfest returns Nov. 11 through 13 in Long Beach, Calif. The free three-day event at the airport will feature more than 70 aircraft on display—not to mention the hundreds of aircraft expected to fly in. Read more >>
Flight training survey results to be announced at Summit
During AOPA Aviation Summit on Nov. 11, AOPA President Craig Fuller, APCO Insight Chairman Mark Benson, and AOPA Director of Public Relations Jennifer Storm will discuss a new and critically important AOPA effort—the flight training student retention initiative. Benson conducted research for the initiative, delving deeper into why approximately 70 to 80 percent of students drop out before earning their certificates. Be one of the first to hear the research results and find out what AOPA is doing to address the looming threat of a declining pilot population. Register for Summit to attend the keynote in person, or tune in to AOPA Live at 9:10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on Nov. 11.
Planning a career in aviation? Plan to come to Summit
Looking to fly for a living? AOPA Aviation Summit 2010 in Long Beach, Calif., Nov. 11 through 13 has opportunities you won't want to miss. Make sure to attend the Nov. 13 forum, "Flying for a Living: Strategies for Getting Hired." The forum will feature a panel discussion with an airline pilot, a regional jet training expert, and a career counselor and résumé expert. Brush up your résumé and bring it, together with your questions, to the Flight Training booth Nov. 13 for free counseling. Read more >>
‘The Aviators’ spreads joy of flight
The Aviators, a new show airing on PBS stations this fall that brings general aviation to a wider audience, is coming to AOPA Aviation Summit. Produced by FourPoints Television, The Aviators was developed, written, and presented by pilots—for pilots and nonpilots alike. “Pilots always enjoy sharing their love of flying with everyone they meet,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “ The Aviators takes that individual passion and shares it with, potentially, hundreds of thousands of people at a time.” Read more >>
Special arrival procedures in effect for Summit
Safety & Proficiency
Throughout flight training we’re warned of the risks of hurrying, but most of us succumb to the temptation at one time or another. Time pressure, real or imagined, leads us to take off with a soft tire or program the GPS while taxiing. Most of the time, things come out all right. Sometimes they don’t. On Sept. 30, 2009, an Avid Catalina amphibian crashed into Inks Lake near Burnet, Texas, killing the solo pilot. Witnesses saw it take off and make a steep climb to about 50 feet agl before starting a left turn. Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.
Do you expect to do any flying around weather in the next few months? If so, now is a good time to check out the Air Safety Institute’s WeatherWise: Precipitation and Icing online course. Along with a refresher on the many dangers of airframe icing, you’ll learn about weather patterns commonly associated with ice, get guidance for making good preflight and in-flight decisions, and learn exit strategies for inadvertent icing encounters. Get started >>
‘Fall back’ Nov. 7
Daylight-saving time ends Nov. 7, so be sure to set your clocks back—and don’t let nighttime’s early arrival catch you aloft with passengers if you’re not night current. If you’re filing a flight plan or checking weather forecasts, remember that the conversion between Zulu and local time will change for most pilots in the United States. Here’s a chart to help you make the adjustments.
With the average general aviation aircraft more than 30 years old, pilots and aircraft owners—even those of newer airplanes—should pay special attention to the maintenance of their airplanes and factors that influence the rate of aging. To learn more, take the Air Safety Institute's Aging Aircraft online course. Manufacturer-specific concerns are addressed in four separate tracks: Beechcraft, Cessna, Mooney, and Piper.
Air Safety eJournal: Delays and tar pits
Delays are a fact in aviation life. Last week’s near hurricane in the upper Midwest made for an interesting trip to Grand Forks, N.D. and back. AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg was presenting a safety seminar on Real World IFR, and it doesn’t get much more realistic than last week’s weather. Read more >>
AOPA is requesting that the FAA withdraw an Oct. 8 letter of interpretation that stated the instrument time logged toward an instrument rating cannot be counted toward the instrument hours required for the commercial certificate. While the letter of interpretation was in reference to a question asking about the helicopter commercial pilot certificate, it could be applied to fixed-wing aircraft as well. “AOPA has begun to receive calls that commercial pilot applicants are being turned away by examiners due to this new interpretation of 61.129,” Kristine Hartzell, AOPA manager of regulatory affairs, wrote to the FAA. Read more >>
It’s been almost one and a half years since pilots started using the Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) for international flights, and Customs and Border Protection officials have decided it’s time to remove the training wheels. The agency had been lenient when it came to minor violations using the system, reaching and educating pilots, but not anymore. Customs has notified AOPA that it will soon issue its first penalty against a pilot. The agency also informed AOPA that it will start issuing penalties on a monthly basis. Read more >>
GAO report cites concerns on FAA certification
A Government Accountability Office review of FAA certification cites industry concerns about variations in the agency’s interpretation of standards for certification. The majority of stakeholders consulted during the review, including AOPA, told the GAO that they or members of their organization had experienced inconsistencies in FAA certification of aircraft, equipment, or new air operators. Aviation groups expressed concern that these inconsistencies have led to costly delays, which can have a disproportionate effect on smaller operators. Read more >>
Jeppesen NavData incorrect for Chicago Class B
Pilots using Jeppesen NavData cycle 1011 should take note that the boundaries displayed for Chicago’s Class B airspace are not correct. The Chicago Class B airspace changed Oct. 21, but the updates were not included. Jeppesen has published an alert that contains the corrected Class B boundaries. According to Jeppesen, the Chicago Class B boundaries should be corrected with NavData cycle 1012, which is scheduled to be released Nov. 18. Read more >>
New England officials learn about airport advocacy
During the 2010 FAA and Massachusetts Airport Management Association Joint Annual Conference, AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Melissa Rudinger spoke to airport managers and federal, state, and local aviation officials about AOPA’s advocacy efforts to protect airports. She also accepted the Vincent A. Scarnaro Legacy Award on behalf of Northeast Regional Representative Craig Dotlo, who was recognized as “a relentless and resourceful advocate for New England airports.” Read more >>
AOPA makes buying holiday gifts for your pilot family and friends easy—and you don’t have to battle the mall crowds. The recently launched AOPA Store lets you shop for all kinds of AOPA merchandise right from your computer. All items in the AOPA Store were selected and tested by pilots for pilots so you are assured quality merchandise. Breeze through your shopping with a quick visit to the AOPA Store. While you’re there, pick up something for yourself as well. Read more >>
Don't feel overwhelmed by paper when buying an airplane
No matter what your paperwork and document needs when you are buying (or selling) an airplane, AOPA’s partner AIC Title Service can help you. What documents are needed and what procedures must be followed can be confusing and frustrating—especially if this is your first airplane purchase. AIC Title Service offers services such as online title searches, an automated escrow service, a digital closing statement, and more. Read more >>
Big winners at NBAA AOPA booth
Congrats to Donald Fox and Susan Green! Both entered drawings at the AOPA booth at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta earlier this month. Ball Watch generously donated an Engineer Master II Aviator Ball watch, and the AOPA Insurance Agency provided a 1:4 scale Harley Davidson-style remote control motorcycle. Fox will receive his new watch, and Green will receive her RC motorcycle in the mail. The AOPA Insurance Agency used the drawing to promote its new motorcycle insurance plans. For more information, call the AOPA Insurance Agency at 800/622-AOPA.
Fly Well: Hernias are like troublesome neighbors
In 1949 Jerry Lewis, Tony Curtis, and Janet Leigh made a short movie titled How to Smuggle a Hernia Across the Border. Why? Who knows? Hernia is the protrusion of an organ through the wall normally containing it. Picture a troublesome neighbor popping through a hole in your backyard fence uninvited. If he borrows the lawnmower without permission, that is equivalent to a complicated hernia. Hernias normally declare their presence with painful bulging worsened by standing, activity, or coughing. Read more >>