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This is the September 3, 2010, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' e-newsletter.This is the September 3, 2010, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' e-newsletter.

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 36 — September 3, 2010

Oops: Cops hold Kings at gunpoint
Mystery crash kills three
Sneak Peek: ‘Through the fence’ revisions
Quiz Me: Wind direction


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Sponsored by:


Oops: Cops hold Kings at gunpoint

Feature John and Martha King, owners of King Schools, were detained at gunpoint upon landing at Santa Barbara, Calif., Aug. 28 by police who mistook the Cessna 172 they were piloting for a Cessna 150 that had been stolen eight years earlier. Authorities discovered that the N number was incorrectly listed as stolen when they stopped the very same Cessna 172 in 2009. So how did two respected members of the aviation community end up handcuffed in the back of police cruisers in 2010? See pictures from the incident, watch an AOPA Live® interview with a baffled John King, and find out how the Kings aren’t the first law-abiding pilots to find themselves victims of old intelligence. Read more >>

Photo credit: Robby Barthelmess, Santa Barbara News-Press; Reprinted with permission from the Santa Barbara News-Press.


REMOS Aircraft has reinvented personal aviation, by combining the best features of the LSA class with real-world utility and adventure. Featuring the best of German precision engineering and modern manufacturing in an economical, safe and fun-to-fly aircraft, the REMOS GX is changing what General Aviation means. Come and see the future of aviation at

GA News

BAe Lightning almost ready to fly

The British have invaded Bay St. Louis, Miss. There, a team of British and American engineers and technicians are working to restore a British Aerospace Lightning back to flying condition. If they’re successful, it will be one of only four flying in the world, and the only example in the United States. The Lightning is the last all-British built and designed Mach 2-plus interceptor, and according to the team, is the longest serving aircraft in the history of the Royal Air Force. With a thrust-to-weight ratio of greater than 1:1, the Lightning is like a rocket. Read more >>

Gulfstream’s G650 hits Mach 0.995

Gulfstream Aerospace’s new G650 reached Mach 0.995 in flutter tests, a feat that prompts the company to dub its top-of-the-line airplane the world’s fastest civil aircraft. The speed was attained as part of the G650’s certification flight test program. Gulfstream experimental test pilots Tom Horne and Gary Freeman, along with flight test engineer Bill Osborne, pitched the airplane’s nose down 16 to 18 degrees below the horizon to hit the target speed. Read more >>

Dr. COPTRDream realized: DR COPTR gets new clinic for remote isle

Chesapeake Bay’s remote Tangier Island transformed into a bustling metropolis Aug. 29, with aircraft landing minutes apart. Hundreds gathered outside a two-story building, fanning themselves in the 90-degree heat. As Dr. David Nichols, the island’s miracle worker, walked onto the porch, the throng erupted with applause. Nichols has not only saved lives on the island for three decades but also spearheaded the building of a state-of-the-art medical facility. Island residents turned out to celebrate the grand opening and to pray for another miracle—this time for Nichols, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Read more >>

Sim-ple solution

General aviation’s dirty little secret is that the vast majority of the enthusiastic students who begin flying each year, hoping to become pilots, never get through training. But a promising new tool for boosting the completion rate appears to be taking shape in Austin, Texas, where privately owned Redbird Flight Simulations has created a series of low-cost, high-fidelity training devices that, for the first time, bring full-motion flight simulation to primary flight training. Unlike the multimillion-dollar flight simulators airline and military flight crews have used for years, a top-of-the-line Redbird sim sells for less than $70,000. Read more >>

SimCom awarded Level D rating for Eclipse simulators

The FAA has awarded Level D certification to SimCom’s Eclipse simulators. This comes at a time when SimCom also earned FAA approval for its Eclipse pilot initial, recurrent, differences, and mentor training programs. Eclipse 500 pilots will be able to schedule their SimCom training as early as October 2010, SimCom said. Level D certification is valuable because it requires that simulators have six-degree freedom of motion, which helps faithfully recreate the physical and visual sensations of flying. It’s the highest level of simulation. Read more >>

Hurricane preparednessHurricane preparations include protecting aircraft

As residents along the East Coast brace for the arrival of Hurricane Earl, aircraft owners in affected areas should include their aircraft in emergency preparations. When a hurricane is in the forecast, an aircraft owner’s best option is to move the aircraft far enough outside of the watch area that it will still be safe even if the storm veers off its predicted course. If evacuation isn’t possible, owners can take steps to help protect their property where it is. Read more >>

AD calls for Thielert clutch assembly inspection

The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive for airplanes equipped with certain Thielert engines to prevent engine in-flight shutdown leading to loss of control of the airplane. The AD is based on a similar European directive, which was issued after in-flight shutdown incidents were reported on airplanes with TAE 125 engines. It calls for identifying the serial numbers of clutch assemblies installed on the airplane and replacing them if the serial number matches one of those listed in the Thielert service bulletin. The AD becomes effective Sept. 9. Read more >>

FAA seeks comment on proposed Diamond AD

After receiving several reports of the rear passenger door departing the airplane in flight, the FAA has proposed an airworthiness directive requiring a change to the emergency open doors procedure for Diamond DA40 and DA40F airplanes and a retrofit of the rear passenger door retaining bracket for certain aircraft. The agency estimates that the proposed AD would affect 699 airplanes in the U.S. registry, and that the work required would cost $42.50 per aircraft.  It is requesting comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed AD. The deadline for comments is Oct. 12. Download the proposal >>

Swift fuel to power record attempt

Air racer and airshow performer Smokey Young says he will attempt a closed-course speed record Sept. 11 in Palm Springs, Calif., using Swift fuel, promoted as an alternative to 100LL. Young will use his Formula 1 race plane to beat the current record of 238 mph in the category of aircraft weighing 300 to 500 kilograms (661 to 1,102 pounds). The current record was established in 2004. If successful, it would be the first record in its class to be set with a fuel derived from creating hydrocarbons from biomass. Read more >>

Garmin GTS™ Series: Advanced Traffic Tracking

With the Garmin GTS series of ADS-B enhanced TAS and TCAS I traffic systems, you’ll be able to pinpoint potential threats. ATC-like spoken alerts and onscreen visual cues help keep you safe even in crowded airspace. View the complete lineup.

Flight for the Human Spirit reaches West Coast

Michael Combs and the Flight for the Human Spirit landed in California last week. Combs, who is attempting to fly in or to all 50 states in a Remos GX light sport aircraft, has now flown coast to coast on the journey that began in April. Read more >>

BlogsReporting Points: Nate Foster back home after epic flight

Nate Foster is back home. Foster is the 17-year-old Maryland pilot who departed on a flight from his home state to California on Aug. 23. Flying a 1975 Super Cub that he helped to restore, he was considerably wet behind the ears—he’d taken his checkride the previous Thursday. Read more >>

If you fly a plane you don’t own…

insurance carried by FBOs or owners protects their interests—not necessarily yours. Avemco ® has reduced premiums on Renters insurance for SE aircraft while doubling aircraft damage liability options. Get more for less!


Avgas AOPA Foundation announces ‘A Night for Flight’

The AOPA Foundation will host the inaugural “A Night for Flight” benefit on Saturday, Nov. 13, aboard the historic RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif., during AOPA Aviation Summit. The evening begins with an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and opportunities to bid on fabulous online auction items. Mingle with old and new friends and take in the beautiful Long Beach skyline, all while supporting general aviation. The benefit will help fund critical preservation and improvement initiatives that the AOPA Foundation supports to ensure the future of GA. Watch AOPA Live >>

Avgas endangerment finding not ready for prime time

There is not enough data nor is there a requirement for the Environmental Protection Agency to find that avgas represents an “endangerment” under the Clean Air Act, and careful study is needed before any decision about an alternative to leaded fuel can be reached, a coalition of industry groups told the agency in formal comments Aug. 27. Read about the coalition’s call for more research, and hear from AOPA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association about how the associations are moving forward on the issue. Watch AOPA Live >>

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

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 >

Safety & Proficiency

Mystery crash kills three

Some aircraft accidents make you wonder what the pilot could have been thinking. Others just leave you wondering what happened. A little before 4 p.m. on April 22, 2008, several people fishing in the Toledo Bend Reservoir along the Texas-Louisiana border heard the sound of an airplane engine. They described it to investigators as “cutting out, sputtering, or stalling.” The airplane itself was obscured by clouds until it descended nose-down into the water. The pilot made no apparent attempt to arrest the descent. Read more in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.

Protect your certificate in Webinar on FAA enforcement

No one ever plans to have a bad day … but it happens. Ramp checks, accidents, flying into restricted airspace—all may result in enforcement actions from the FAA. What is the best way to handle the situation? What are your rights? Do you have to comply with the FAA’s requests? Hear answers to these questions and more in a Webinar Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m. Eastern time as Woody Cahall, vice president of AOPA’s Pilot Information Center, and John Yodice, AOPA general counsel, review several enforcement scenarios and their possible outcomes. Sign up online >>

Your opinion counts!

Please click the link below to answer a brief survey about what features you think are most valuable in today’s aircraft. As a thank you for your time, you will be entered to win an iPod Touch. Take the survey >>

ThunderstormsAnother chance to learn about T-storms

If you missed the live Webinar, “Thunderstorms & ATC: What You Need To Know,” here’s your chance to watch the recording and join AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg in a discussion with air traffic control experts. Thunderstorms remain among the deadliest hazards encountered in flight: Over the past 10 years, more than 70 percent of the accidents caused by thunderstorm encounters were fatal. Learn more about ATC radar limitations, making the system work better for you, and essential communications to help you avoid these deadly encounters.This Webinar is sponsored by the Pilot Insurance Center. Watch the Webinar >>

‘Mission: Possible’ helps you avoid close encounters

For many pilots, flying around special-use airspace is an everyday event, and most of the time military and civilian traffic mix remarkably well. But that harmony depends on everyone understanding (and following) the rules. That’s where the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Mission: Possible interactive course comes in. The program covers need-to-know facts about restricted airspace, military operations areas, and military training routes, as well as military lights-out training—a relatively new wrinkle in the see-and-avoid scenario. Do you remember the rules? Find out here >>

BlogsAir Safety eJournal: Not so gentle reminder

It was a really bad day in Beverly, Mass., Aug. 27 when the chief flight instructor of Beverly Flight Center was fatally injured by a propeller. Early reports noted that Michael Costales taxied into the run-up area for Runway 34 in a Piper Warrior with a student on board. He noticed that one of the flight center’s light sport aircraft had an improperly secured canopy and went to assist. Tragically, he tangled with a prop. Read more >>

BlogsHover Power: Low fuel

After studying and writing about helicopter accidents for most of his career, Hover Power editor Tim McAdams still finds one kind of accident hard to believe: fuel exhaustion. Not a situation where something prevents fuel from getting to the engine, but rather when a pilot knows he is low on fuel, keeps flying anyway, and then experiences an in-flight engine shutdown. Some of the reasons pilots give for not stopping for fuel seem bizarre. Read more >>

Your IFR rating in 10 days at your location, IFR finish-up in as little as 3 days!

Professional teachers and our own curriculum. 30 years experience. G1000 and Avidyne Entegra IFR specialists. Put it on your calendar NOW. 800-435-9437,

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars

Sept. 11 and 12

Sacramento, Calif.

Baltimore, Md.

Sept. 18 and 19

Colorado Springs, Colo.

Richmond, Va.

Sept. 25 and 26

Phoenix, Ariz.

Oct. 2 and 3

Windsor, Conn.
Columbia, S.C.


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

Sept. 7

Newton, Mass.

Sept. 8

East Hartford, Conn.

Sept. 9

Morristown, N.J.

Sept. 13

Wichita, Kan.


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

Quieter. Lighter. Smoother

Cirrus SR22T is the new choice in single-engine aircraft. The sky is hardly a limit with this powerful engine, which comes wrapped in the most luxurious of cabins. Find out more at


Calif. legislature sends flight school reg delay to governor

The California Assembly overwhelmingly passed legislation Aug. 31 that would impose a moratorium on costly new flight training regulations in the state. Assembly Bill 1889 would delay the controversial flight school regulations from the California Private Postsecondary Act of 2009 until July 1, 2011, to allow time for the legislature and aviation industry to review the issue and consider alternatives. The Senate had already adopted the bill, which now goes to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Read more >>

A global approach to GA

Little support by the government for “rich people” and their aircraft. A government concerned about terrorist attacks by small aircraft. Airspace dominated by the influential military. An AOPA lobbyist in Washington bemoaning another day at the office? No, Yaron Efrat, president of AOPA-Israel, describing the general aviation situation in his small, young country. “But this will not discourage us!” Efrat rallies. “We will force the issue of understanding the economic, technology, and educational benefits of general aviation.” Read more >>

AOPA member, Adam Epstein, experienced firsthand how the AOPA Aircraft Financing Program makes aircraft financing easy…

and aircraft ownership affordable through Bank of America, N.A. For more information or to have a representative call you to discuss financing, go to

FAA hints at details of upcoming through-the-fence proposal

In a meeting with general aviation advocacy groups, the FAA described the criteria that will be in its soon-to-be-released revision of its policy on residential through-the-fence access at federally funded airports. In 2009, the agency called for the elimination of these operations, in which aircraft based at homes and businesses on private property can access airport taxiways and runways. Because of the early outcry over the proposal, the FAA has worked with pilots, AOPA, and other associations to develop a more thoughtful policy. Read more >>

Land-use measure passes California legislature

California public-use airports would be assured the protection of an airport land-use commission under a bill passed by the state Assembly Aug. 30. Senate Bill 1141 would require airport land-use commissions in each county that has a public-use general aviation airport. AOPA has been working for years to promote this legislation, which could help prevent encroachment and enforce better planning for the land around airports. Now the association has turned its attention to the final hurdle before the legislation can become law: the governor’s desk. 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.

Stay abreast of avgas news with ‘Getting the lead out’

Few issues have as much potential to affect aviation, or are as complex, as the move toward unleaded aviation gasoline. That’s why AOPA is creating AOPA ePilot Special Report: Getting the lead out to help you get a better grasp on the issue. Watch your inbox for the first issue Sept. 8, and you’ll have the opportunity to opt in to get regular updates on government-industry planning, alternative fuels research, and what industry groups are doing to secure a safe, economical, and viable future fuel for general aviation.

Kansas aviation brings $10 billion in economic activity

Aviation in Kansas has an ally in its state legislature; elected officials are working together to ensure that Kansas aviation stays strong. A bipartisan coalition awarded airports 25 grants, totaling $1.3 million, to focus on airport development, airport and pilot safety, and airport maintenance. Additionally, a recent study revealed that airports in Kansas generate more than $2.3 billion in payroll, support more than 47,000 jobs, and create $10.4 billion in economic activity. Read more >>

Enterprise Double Free Upgrade offer:

Enterprise is offering a 2-car class upgrade now through September 20, 2010. The upgrade car class will not appear on your reservation but will be applied at no extra charge upon arrival at the rental counter if a car in the next higher class is available. Click here to learn more.

GA event brings pilots, members of Congress together

Oklahoma pilots talked about user fees, avgas, and more with AOPA President Craig Fuller and AOPA member U.S. Sen. James Inhofe during an Aug. 18 General Aviation Serves America community event at Wiley Post Airport in Oklahoma City. The event, designed to give pilots the opportunity to talk to their public officials about aviation topics that matter most to them, drew more than 100 AOPA members, local officials, airport personnel, and community residents. Read more >>

Pilots share thoughts, concerns with senator

Why is general aviation important to you? An audience of 130 Denver-area pilots and aviation enthusiasts had an opportunity to share their answers with their senator Aug. 30 at a GA Serves America community event at Centennial Airport. AOPA President Craig Fuller and special guest Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) addressed a crowd of AOPA members, local officials, local aviation businesses, and community members and fielded questions about everything from getting more people involved in flying to the Large Aircraft Security Program. Read more >>

AOPA Insurance Agency offers the right coverage at the right price.

We work with A-rated underwriters and offer the most coverage options to fit your needs for the aircraft you own or rent. Call 800-622-AOPA or go online for a free quote.

Albuquerque International Balloon FiestaNew Mexico honors aviation

New Mexico relies on GA for businesses, tourism, aviation training, agricultural applications, and police and fire protection. Gov. Bill Richardson recognized the importance of aviation to his state by proclaiming September 2010 “Aviation and Aerospace Appreciation Month.” The proclamation cites the strong aviation community in New Mexico as well as businesses’ and communities’ dependence on small aircraft. The state has a robust aviation industry, with companies such as Aspen Avionics and Eclipse Aerospace. It also hosts the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, an event that draws pilots from around the world. Read more >>

Hertz offers AOPA members savings of up to 25 percent off and free enrollment in the #1 Club Gold Program.

Plus, you help support general aviation and AOPA with every rental when you mention the AOPA member discount code CDP#10232.

Member Benefits

Sean Tucker's biplaneFor airshow pilot, luck comes to most prepared

Airshow performer Sean D. Tucker is eager to share his passion for aviation. “There’s so many elements to flying”—including pushing personal boundaries and facing fears, he said. “Every time you go flying you get a chance to push those boundaries.” With more than 1,000 airshow performances under his belt, Tucker has made an art of pushing boundaries. He will share stories from his many adventures with attendees at AOPA Aviation Summit Nov. 11 through 13 in Long Beach, Calif. Read more >>

Aircraft financing program offers new lower rates

The AOPA Aircraft Financing Program’s goal is to get pilots into the aircraft of their dreams. To help make aircraft ownership more attainable, the program just lowered its rates to make monthly payments more affordable. Visit the loan calculator page to calculate your monthly payment. This could get you one step closer to realizing your dream of aircraft ownership. Read more >>

As a member of AOPA, receive up to 40% off your next rental at Alamo, now through September 20, 2010.

And, try the self-serve check-in, where you can skip the Alamo counter, check-in at the kiosk and drive away. Click here for more details.

Build points fast: Register for Summit with AOPA credit card

AOPA members who use the WorldPoints credit card earn points that easily convert to cash and gifts. Savvy AOPA members routinely earn a big hunk of cash back on a regular basis, while their purchases benefit AOPA as well. Register for AOPA Aviation Summit now using your WorldPoints card and you’ll be awarded double points for the registration fee. It’s a great way to give your point balance a boost, or to start collecting points by applying for a card. Read more >>

Fly Well: Avoiding cockpit explosions

Why care what Sen. Bob Dole, “Blazing Saddles,” and Albert Einstein have in common? Because it affects 2 to 4 percent of adults, is the thirteenth leading killer, favors seven times more men than women, and commonly occurs at age 55. Back at the movies, Hedley Lamarr in Mel Brooks’ classic was played by Harvey Korman, who died in 2008 from a ruptured aneurysm. The same disease killed Einstein, and necessitated Dole having surgery. 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.


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

PiReps: I hate flight training

He had read those crazy stories from student pilots who took 80, 90, 100 hours to get their certificate. Insanity! What’s the minimum hour requirement for a private pilot certificate? Joe Rejeski had his goal. Read more >>

Membership Forums: Gaining go/no go experience

A new instrument-rated pilot reviews a recent weekend trip, when deteriorating conditions resulted in a five-hour drive the rest of the way home. 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: When is wind information given in reference to true north and when is it given in reference to magnetic north?


Answer: It depends upon whether the wind information is disseminated long-line or locally. FAA Order 7900.5B states that with wind observations transmitted long-line, the wind direction is reported in tens of degrees with reference to true north. For local use, wind direction is reported in tens of degrees with reference to magnetic north. Read more >>


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].



Engage in aviation: Support airport businesses. Find out where you can buy fuel or get a bite to eat at your destination airport.

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