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Becoming ‘a species with wings’
Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega and the globe-spanning Douglas World Cruiser Chicago are among the newly restored aircraft on display in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's "Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery," which opened Nov. 19. The redesigned gallery tells the story of the 1920s and 1930s, when aviators pushed the technological and social limits of flight. It highlights early 20th-century pioneers such as the Tuskegee Airmen, Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and rocket inventor Robert Goddard—and aims to inspire a new generation of aviation pioneers with early-childhood educational programming. “Every one of these objects represents compelling human stories,” said Associate Director for Collections and Curatorial Affairs Peter Jakab in a press preview Nov. 16. Read more >>
Peak experience: AOPA aviation summit
Concern over general aviation’s future is nothing new, but futurist John L. Petersen linked technological leaps with aviation in 2020 and beyond in the Nov. 13 keynote speech at AOPA Aviation Summit. Petersen said a future “all-electric world” is now being foreshadowed in GA by the appearance of the first electrically powered airplanes and estimated that by 2045 computers will have one billion times the intelligence of all human intelligence today. Read more >>
AOPA Awards Show honors GA advocates
From advancing general aviation at the state level or protecting community airports to hosting a private pilot ground school in a war zone, the recipients of this year’s most prestigious AOPA awards have gone above and beyond the call of promoting GA.
The AOPA Foundation’s first ever online auction closed Nov. 13 after raising more than $250,000 that will be used to support the organization’s major initiatives. Foundation President Bruce Landsberg made the announcement at a fundraising dinner aboard the Queen Mary hotel. The former cruise ship is permanently docked in California’s Long Beach Harbor, near where AOPA held its Aviation Summit over the previous three days. The highest priced item in the auction was a new Classic Aircraft Waco YMF-5D. Read more >>
Lightspeed Foundation presents cash awards
One of the highlights of the AOPA Foundation’s first ever A Night for Flight fundraising dinner at Aviation Summit was a presentation by Lightspeed Aviation Foundation President Allan Schrader. Pilots who purchase a headset from Lightspeed Aviation can designate a portion of their purchase to be directed to a charitable aviation organization. Many pilots over the last year designated the AOPA Foundation as the recipient. Read more >>
Bulldog gets his shirttail
For the first time in its history, AOPA trained a student pilot in its sweepstakes airplane. But not just any pilot and not just any aircraft. Marine Sgt. Michael Blair, a wounded warrior from the war in Iraq, trained for his sport pilot certificate in the 2010 Fun to Fly Sweepstakes Remos GX light sport aircraft. Read more >>
Celebrated author, veteran flight instructor, and former TWA captain Barry Schiff has been forced to turn around after takeoff because of an engine failure twice in his flying life. As a young flight instructor in 1956, Schiff was with a student in a Stinson when the engine quit. He elected to turn around to make the runway even though conventional instruction says to land straight ahead. Schiff explained his controversial decision and how other pilots can prepare to make the call at AOPA Aviation Summit. Read more >>
How do AOPA staff photographers Mike Fizer and Chris Rose capture those breathtaking shots that grace the cover and pages of AOPA Pilot and Flight Training magazines? The two shared tips on equipment, digital photography, lighting, and image manipulation in their forum “AOPA and the art of aviation photography,” Nov. 13. They also covered how to take panel and interior shots, ground shots, and air-to-air shots. Fizer and Rose not only discussed the type of cameras and lenses to use but also the equipment needed to keep the camera stable. Read more >>
More news from AOPA Aviation Summit:
Mike Mangold says Red Bull competition airplanes are the most maneuverable that the world champion air race pilot has ever flown. “Red Bull racers can pull 15 Gs and not come apart,” he said, adding that flying in Red Bull—at high speed and low altitude—“goes against all that we learn in general aviation.” Mangold, whose day job is flying for American Airlines, now races jets at Reno, where traffic is a challenge he didn’t have before. “You have wake turbulence issues and separation issues,” he explained. Reno’s “a lot like going around a go-cart track with your buddies, but it’s at 500 miles per hour.” Watch AOPA Live >>
Making the case for ADS-B
As the FAA undertakes modernizing the air transportation system, FAA Director of Surveillance and Broadcast Services Vincent Capezzuto is responsible for developing the business case for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). In this interview, he explained that the technology can provide greater coverage than the current radar footprint. “What people don’t realize is that ADS-B is above the radar, below the radar, outside of the radar,” he said. But how much will this technology cost? Capezzuto and AOPA President Craig Fuller discussed efforts to show the technology’s benefits and drive down the cost. Watch AOPA Live >>
It’s a hit! The Aviators, airing on PBS this fall, is delivering the thrill of flying to viewers across the country. At last—a television show for everyone who has ever gazed skyward, from seasoned pilots to armchair enthusiasts. Executive producer Anthony Nalli joined AOPA Live host MayCay Beeler for this interview at AOPA Aviation Summit. The Aviators has soared beyond Nalli’s expectations, with 51-percent market saturation. If viewers have a complaint, it’s that the half-hour show flies by too fast. Nalli’s solution: Tune in again next week! Watch AOPA Live >>
Steps forward on avgas
General aviation manufacturers aren’t just focused on the production line—they’re also committed to keeping the legacy fleet in service, said General Aviation Manufacturers Association President Pete Bunce in an interview with AOPA President Craig Fuller at AOPA Aviation Summit. That means finding an alternative to 100LL that will work in aircraft flying today. Bunce and Fuller discussed developments from this year, including the opening of communication with owners’ groups and a first step toward the development of standards for an “ultra low-lead” avgas. Watch AOPA Live >>
Pilots pick Lightspeed Aviation Foundation grant recipients
Throughout the year, pilots have been voting on the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation website for nonprofit organizations they felt should receive a $10,000 grant. The grants, provided by Lightspeed Aviation, were presented on AOPA Live Nov. 13 to Angel Flight Southeast, the Civil Air Patrol, JAARS, Mission Aviation Fellowship, and The Ninety-Nines. Watch AOPA Live >>
Production of the Hawker 400 XP light business jet is suspended for the next two years due to the economy. Bill Boisture, the CEO of Hawker Beechcraft, said the market will remain depressed for 12 to 24 months. Read more >>
Gulfstream expands plant in Savannah
Gulfstream Aerospace is starting a $500 million, seven-year expansion of its Savannah, Ga., facilities that will add 1,000 jobs to its workforce of 5,500 employees. The business jet industry is in the trough of a recession, but an upturn is coming over the next decade, said Gulfstream President Joe Lombardo. “We are already beginning to see signs of a modest recovery,” he said. Read more >>
Tecnam’s P2006T twin-engine airplane has received certification from the FAA. There is one aircraft in the country and it will now be delivered from Virginia, where a dealer is located, to a flight school and dealer in Watsonville, Calif. The FAA action clears the way for customers in the United States to purchase and operate the aircraft. Twin Rotax engines power the $449,900 airplane (price includes a $25,000 delivery fee from Italy). “We see the Tecnam P2006T Next-Generation twin as a real game changer,” said Phil Solomon, CEO of Tecnam North America. Read more >>
ATP offers solution to 1,500-hour quandary
ATP Flight School thinks it has the solution to the problems aspiring airline pilots will face beginning in three years when they will be required to have 1,500 hours to get a job. ATP and Mountain State University have teamed up to offer a college degree and flight training at any of ATP’s 22 nationwide locations. ATP said its program offers students a competitive advantage because instead of roughly 250 hours of experience they might receive by graduation at a standard university, they expect graduates to have approximately 1,500 hours by the time they finish the degree program at ATP. Read more >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
Some things do get better, and in recent years, general aviation’s fuel-management record has been one of them. But an average of six airplanes a month are still lost to the most avoidable of all GA accidents—many less than 10 miles from an airport. On June 23, 2009, a fixed-gear Piper PA28-180 attempted a forced landing in a cornfield just west of Sanborn, Iowa. The landing gear left tracks through the corn stalks for about 100 feet before the nose gear dropped into a ditch and the airplane flipped over. Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.
Every year, low ceilings and reduced visibility kill more pilots than all other weather phenomena combined—but it doesn’t have to be that way. The Air Safety Institute’s online course Accident Case Study: VFR into IMC uses actual ATC audio to re-create the events that led to a fatal 2006 crash near Heber City, Utah. Take the course, watch the links of the accident chain as they form, and avoid sharing the pilot’s fate. Get started >>
AOPA, EAA Webinar to answer medical questions
Got a question about getting your medical—or getting it back? Medical certification experts from AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association will address audience questions in a Webinar Tuesday, Nov. 23, at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Gary Crump, AOPA director of medical certification services, and Dr. Greg Pinnell, EAA Aeromedical Advisory Council member and senior aviation medical examiner, will discuss the special issuance process and how to minimize certification delays. Register online >>
Breathless, overhyped “exposés” of supposed general aviation security problems are less common in the news these days, but the fact remains that our facilities and aircraft are still very much in the public eye. Would you know who to call if you saw suspicious activity at your airport? Do you know how to make your airplane harder to steal? Take the Air Safety Institute’s GA security safety quiz and find out.
Air Safety eJournal: No runs, no hits, no errors
Whenever there is a big aviation event, it’s great that we have lots of pilots flying into an airport—but the collision potential, both in the air and on the ground, goes up. AOPA just concluded a very successful Summit in Long Beach with 1,101 aircraft flying into Long Beach/Daugherty Field. There were about 2,600 operations during the three-day period with no significant problems. It speaks well of all who participated and of our friends in ATC. Read more >>
The FAA has issued a proposal that would require all pilots and student pilots to transition to a pilot certificate with a photograph over a five-year period. Congress mandated that the FAA start issuing improved, tamper-resistant pilot certificates that include a photo ID and biometric capabilities as part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, which became law in late 2004. The proposal, slated for publication in the Federal Register Nov. 19, is intended to meet that law’s requirements. AOPA is currently reviewing the document to evaluate the potential effects and if the proposal fulfills the intent of the law. Read more >>
Residential development opposed near Arizona airport
City officials in Chandler, Ariz., could avoid incompatible land development near the Chandler Municipal Airport by denying a plan to build 15 homes on property within 1,200 feet of the airport’s terminal building. AOPA is calling on the city’s planning and zoning board to deny a rezoning extension needed to keep the 13-acre development plan alive. The original zoning change, approved three years ago, is set to expire because the proposed project has not gone forward. Read more >>
Nothing shows the big picture of a proposed flight like a VFR wall planning chart. Starting in February 2011, pilots will be able to purchase a VFR wall planning chart that was designed by the FAA’s AeroNav Products team with aviators’ suggestions in mind. The new chart will measure 59 by 36 inches and feature VFR data including airports, Class B airspace areas, special-use airspace, and topographic data. Its size, contents, and availability unfolded also make it perfect for hanging on the wall in flight schools and FBOs. Read more >>
Charlotte Class B revisions to take effect Jan. 13
The FAA has published the final rule enacting modifications to the Class B airspace around Charlotte/Douglas International Airport effective Jan. 13, 2011. The modifications mainly affect airspace north and south of the airport, facilitating arrivals and departures. Following up on comments on the airspace reconfiguration earlier in the process, AOPA continues to call for the FAA to demonstrate its commitment to the use of T-routes, which were designed to help GPS-equipped IFR general aviation aircraft traffic transition through Class B and C airspace. In the Charlotte area, users have not realized the benefit of T-routes. Read more >>
Briefings offered on Great Falls, Mont., wind turbine plan
AOPA is encouraging users of the Great Falls (Mont.) International Airport to contact officials for a briefing on proposed wind turbine construction at the airport. The Montana Air National Guard is proposing to install one 133-foot-tall wind turbine, possibly to be followed by as many as eight more, to comply with federal legislation requiring that not less than 7.5 percent of the electricity used by federal agencies come from renewable energy sources by fiscal year 2013. Read more >>
Join the Airport Support Network today
Ensuring the health and vitality of your airport is up to you—incompatible development and economic and political pressures can restrict your flying. Every day, more than 2,000 Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteers work with AOPA headquarters to help save their airports, but we need more. Below is a link to a list of the airports where an ASN volunteer could make a difference.
To nominate yourself or an associate to be a volunteer, visit AOPA Online.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit ASN Online.
Take the stress out of holiday shopping
Holiday shopping is one of those tasks that weighs heavily on our minds at this time of year. And nothing can turn even the cheeriest among us to a downright Grinch quite like a trip to the mall—especially on the most dreaded of all holiday shopping days, “Black Friday”! Why not let AOPA help you put some joy back into finding that perfect gift for your loved ones? For the first time ever, AOPA is offering two new ways for you to shop with ease in the comfort of your own home through the AOPA Holiday Store powered by Amazon and the AOPA Lifestyles Collection. Read more >>
Incentives, low interest rates make 2010 a time to buy
The extension of bonus depreciation, which allows a business to depreciate 50 percent of the cost of a capital asset within the year the purchase is made, gives businesses incentive to purchase an aircraft and reap the benefits of ownership before the end of 2010. An additional benefit, for both personal and business-use aircraft purchases, is the current low interest rates on financing new or used aircraft, along with the lowest purchase prices on used aircraft in a decade. Visit the AOPA Aircraft Financing Program for information on financing an aircraft. Read more >>
Holiday cruise deals support GA
Thanksgiving, December holidays, and New Year's ... they'll all be here before you know it. This year, why not celebrate at sea aboard some of the world's coolest cruise ships? Unbeatable value and the world's most dazzling destinations are all right within reach. With 21 departure ports conveniently located along U.S. shores, you're likely just a short flight or drive from the holiday cruise of your dreams. Plus, a portion of all the revenue generated is returned to AOPA, which allows the association to continue its efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of general aviation. Book your vacation today >>
There’s still time to order your AOPA holiday cards. Choose from more than 30 designs, including 15 new images, as well as many of your all-time favorites. View all selections at the Holiday Card Center website or call 800/308-4285. Each purchase comes with two free gifts and supports the organization’s mission to improve general aviation safety. Free imprinting of your personal message inside the cards is also offered with purchase of three or more boxes. Also available this year: year-round aviation-themed note cards, holiday jigsaw puzzles, and keepsake photo-framed ornaments—ready for your favorite 2010 photo!
Help for certification with gastrointestinal disorders
It's common for holiday foods and festivities to lead to some indigestion, but more serious gastrointestinal disorders go beyond the ill effects of a second helping of Thanksgiving turkey. Fortunately, the FAA allows medical certification for many common gastrointestinal diagnoses that can be documented as stable and well controlled. AOPA provides information and advice to members in its gastrointestinal disorders subject report. Find out about symptoms, treatments, and how to get certified to fly if you suffer from a gastrointestinal disorder.