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Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, made infamous in 2003 when he ordered huge trenches dug across Meigs Field in the middle of the night, announced Sept. 7 that he will not seek re-election. Although the airport was closed and turned into a park, AOPA President Craig Fuller has pledged to seek every opportunity to bring back Meigs Field. “More than seven years have passed since Chicago’s Meigs Field was bulldozed under cover of darkness, but the airport has not been forgotten,” Fuller said. Daley announced plans to close the airport in 1994. AOPA led a campaign to save the airport and was one of many plaintiffs to file suits to protect it, but Daley did not back down. On March 30, 2003, heavy equipment dug X-shaped trenches in the runway. Local pilots had to get special permission from the FAA to use the parallel taxiway to take off and relocate. Read more >>
LSA flight into IMC to be prohibited
Proposals under consideration by ASTM committees for light sport aircraft could ban flight in instrument meteorological conditions for future special light sport aircraft until such time as ASTM reaches a consensus on standards for IFR aircraft. The prohibition could come by the end of the year. However, it is important to note that the aircraft could still be used in visual meteorological conditions for IFR flight training. The committee will require consumer notification that the aircraft does not comply with any design standards for operation in IMC. Read more >>
Able Flight graduates to make ‘freedom flight’
Two graduates of a program that helps disabled individuals earn sport pilot certificates are planning a multi-city tour to give back some of what flying has given them. Sean O’Donnell and Heather Schultz will fly a specially adapted Sky Arrow light sport aircraft 1,000 miles beginning in January 2011. They will visit wounded veterans and others to demonstrate that “a disability need not be a barrier to realizing a dream,” according to the Able Flight website. Read more >>
‘Cricket’ electric airplane flies in France
The all-electric Cri-Cri (French for cricket), jointly developed by EADS Innovation Works, Aero Composites Saintonge, and the Green Cri-Cri Association, has flown at Le Bourget airport near Paris. It is claimed to be the first four-motor all-electric aerobatic airplane. All systems performed well and the airplane returned safely after seven minutes, EADS said in a press release. “This aircraft flies very smoothly, much more quietly than a plane with conventional propulsion,” said Didier Esteyne, who piloted the all-electric Cri-Cri. “But we are still at the beginning and have a lot to learn.” Read more >>
Michael Combs and the Flight for the Human Spirit reached two major milestones last week—flying 20,000 nautical miles and crossing the border into Canada. Combs took on a new crewmember to enable him to continue the trip into Canadian airspace. Bob Warner joined the flight to act as pilot in command of the Remos GX. Warner holds private and commercial certificates and is familiar with Canadian airspace. “The storms and weather patterns are different from what I’ve experienced anywhere else throughout this incredible trip,” Combs said. Read more >>
Safety alert issued on Cessna seat stops
Operators of many Cessna single- and twin-engine aircraft have been advised to be on alert for improperly installed, worn, or incorrect seat stops. The defective seat stops could cause the pilot or copilot seats to depart their rails during critical phases of flight such as takeoff or landing. Missing or faulty seat stops have been identified on Cessna models including 150, 152, 172, and 206 aircraft. The seat stops are also installed in Cessna models 303, 336, and 337, as well as all pre-1987 single-engine Cessna models 170, 175, 177, 180, 182, 185, 188, 190, 195, 205, 207, and 210. The FAA recommends that operators ensure inspection of seat stops at scheduled inspection intervals; verify proper location of the seat stops; check that they are not bent, cracked, or worn; and ensure that they are the proper part, as identified in the parts catalog. For more information, download the safety alert.
AOPA’s 2010 Fun to Fly Sweepstakes Remos will join a large assortment of light sport aircraft and manufacturers at the upcoming Midwest LSA Expo. The Expo will take place Sept. 23 through 25 at Mount Vernon Outland Airport. The flight line will include offerings from American Legend, Cubcrafters, Evektor, Flight Design, Gobosh, Jabiru, Just, Piper, Remos, Tecnam, X-Air, and Zenith, among others. You’ll get a chance to see the iCub—a Cub-like LSA that is fitted with an Apple iPad on the instrument panel. Read more >>
The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive requiring a one-time inspection of the flap operating system on all Robert E. Rust Jr. models de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk 21, DHC-1 Chipmunk 22, and DHC-1 Chipmunk 22A airplanes. The target of the inspection is an unapproved latch plate design installation that could cause the uncommanded retraction of the flaps, creating the risk of a stall during a landing approach. A report of the in-service failure of a latch plate not manufactured in accordance with the applicable de Havilland drawing led to the AD. Replacement of the part is required. The FAA estimates that 64 U.S.-registered aircraft will be affected by the AD, at an approximate cost of $255 per aircraft. For more information, download the AD.
AD issued on electric fuel pumps
The FAA issued an airworthiness directive on Sept. 8 requiring the inspection/replacement of electric fuel pumps on Bombardier-Rotax 912 F series and 912 S series reciprocating engines. The FAA determined that excessive fuel pressure could create a deviation in the fuel supply, resulting in engine malfunction or fuel leakage. Engines utilizing the pumps are commonly installed in Diamond aircraft, as well as others, the FAA said. As of the effective date of the AD, owners must remove, and are prohibited from installing, fuel pumps with part numbers 892230, 892232, 892235, 892236, 892540, or 892545, at the next maintenance or within the next 25 hours of engine operation, whichever occurs first. The FAA estimates that 0.5 hours of work will be required for compliance. Required parts will cost about $650. For more information, download the AD.
Let’s Go Flying prize jump-starts training for pinch hitter
A prospective pilot has a jump start on learning to fly with a package of training tools from King Schools, thanks to her husband’s participation in AOPA’s Let’s Go Flying newsletter readership survey. Sam Chiodo, a private pilot with instrument rating, won a King Schools “Best Buy” Combo Flight Course Package. Because he had already completed his training, he asked if he could give the prize to his wife, Kristy Loman Chiodo, who would make good use of it when she started flight training. Read more >>
Pilots N Paws to organize Gulf Coast animal rescue effort
One of the hardest decisions for a pet owner to contemplate is what to do when one can't provide for his four-legged friend. Many Gulf Coast residents had to make this decision after the BP oil spill took away their livelihoods. Pilots N Paws, with the help of AeroPremier Jet Center, is organizing an airlift of abandoned animals in the Gulf Coast region. Starting Sept. 17, Pilots N Paws volunteers will fly to the area and take animals to a number of designated points across the country. Read more >>
Reporting Points: ‘It feels good’
It’s not often that AOPA Director of eMedia Alyssa Miller gets to take someone on his or her first general aviation airplane ride, but when she does, she’s not sure who is more excited—her or the passenger. During Labor Day weekend, she took up her youngest passenger, Sara Moore, a sixth grader in Reedy, W.Va., a rural farming community where she grew up. There were plenty of sick sacks in the pilot-side pouch of the Cessna 172 … just in case. Read more >>
Since its launch at AOPA Aviation Summit 2009, AOPA Live ® has delivered high-impact, compelling aviation videos including interviews with decision makers, product demonstrations, and training tips. Pilots and aviation enthusiasts have watched more than 6,500 hours of AOPA Live. Don’t miss the top videos of the summer.
Ride along with Bill Finnegan and AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman as they put themselves in two different spins, and Finnegan calmly discusses how to recover from each. The two also chat about spins, spin “myth-stakes,” and rumors about spins. Watch AOPA Live >>
EPIC fails: Police arrest John and Martha King
Probably one of the more unnerving weekends of the summer: John and Martha King, owners of King Schools, found themselves on the wrong side of a police service weapon when an airplane registration number mix-up resulted in the couple’s detainment. AOPA Live Executive Producer Warren Morningstar interviews John King on the situation. Watch AOPA Live >>
Flight Training magazine Deputy Editor Ian Twombly demonstrates the proper way to crab or slip for crosswind landings. With the use of Microsoft Flight Simulator, Twombly flies into Frederick Municipal Airport using both methods and discusses the pros and cons of each. Watch AOPA Live >>
ATC changes taxi procedures
AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg sits down with AOPA Live Executive Producer Warren Morningstar to review the new taxi-to procedures that went into effect June 30. Watch AOPA Live >>
Sean D. Tucker at AirVenture 2010
AOPA President Craig Fuller sat down with aerobatic pilot Sean D. Tucker to discuss not only the passion, but the safety and training needed to fly aerobatics. Immerse yourself in the art and action of aerobatic flying. Watch AOPA Live >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
VFR flight planning: It’s all in the details
It’s been a beautiful day and the weather promises to hold into the night. So you decide to finally take your friends on a long-promised $100 hamburger run. A quick check online confirms fuel and waypoint distance calculations for your VFR cross-country route. Armed with an airport/facility directory, plotter, weight and balance calculation, and charts you’re good to go. Or are you? Find out with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s interactive VFR cross-country planning quiz, underwritten by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Take the quiz >>
Next time you pick up an instrument flying manual, look at the table of contents. You’ll find chapters on navigation, approaches, charts, regs, and so on—but what about advice on putting it all together in the real world? The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has two courses that can help. IFR Insights: Charts takes a context-specific look at charts and how to use them in the system, while IFR Insights: Regulations spells out what it takes to stay legal, connecting “by the book” requirements to the often ambiguous world of flight planning, fuel, weather, and ATC.
Have you ever faced an FAA enforcement action? Ramp checks, accidents, or flying into restricted airspace may result in actions from the FAA, and how you deal with the unfortunate event often affects its outcome. What is the best way to handle the situation? Find out in a Webinar Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m. Eastern time as AOPA offers tips for dealing with enforcement actions. AOPA Pilot Information Center Vice President Woody Cahall and John Yodice, AOPA general counsel, will review several scenarios and their possible outcomes. Sign up online >>
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.
Air Safety eJournal: Smoke in the cockpit
A UPS Boeing 747-400 freighter crashed in Dubai last week after attempting at least one and possibly two approaches in VFR conditions. The crew reported smoke in the cockpit and returned to airport of origin. They were aloft for quite a while after declaring the problem as opposed to diverting to some reportedly closer airports. Would a diversion to a closer airport have worked better? It’s too soon to say. Read more >>
It’s not every day that a new backcountry airstrip is declared open for public use. But that’s the good news from Montana’s Russian Flat, a 3,000-foot public landing strip high in the Lewis and Clark National Forest. Here is recreational flying as it was meant to be. Situated at an approximate elevation of 6,400 feet msl, adjacent to a U.S. Forest Service campground, Russian Flat was the newest airport built on National Forest Service land when AOPA President Craig Fuller visited in August 2009, hosted by the Recreational Aviation Foundation. Read more >>
FAA to uphold existing through-the-fence access
The roughly 75 airports nationwide with residential through-the-fence access may continue to offer those operations and remain in compliance with FAA regulations, according to the agency’s new through-the-fence policy released Sept. 9. Airport operators, pilots, and AOPA had weighed in on the issue when the agency proposed to eliminate through-the-fence access in 2009. “This is a major victory for pilots nationwide,” said Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of airports and state advocacy. “…But we still have some work cut out for us.” Read more >>
President Barack Obama announced Sept. 6 that his administration will press for a major investment in the nation’s transportation infrastructure, including at airports and in the Next Generation air transportation system (NextGen). The president made the announcement during a Labor Day speech in Milwaukee, Wis. "We appreciate the recognition in President Obama’s infrastructure announcement of the critical role aviation plays in the nation’s transportation system," said AOPA President Craig Fuller. General aviation is an integral part of that system, he added. Read more >>
Make international travel simpler, AOPA tells DHS
It’s only a two-hour flight from where Neil Mathison hangars his Cessna 180 floatplane in Wisconsin to his cabin to the north, but the Canadian border in between makes routine fishing trips complicated. Mathison files passenger manifests for each outbound and return flight using the Customs and Border Protection’s Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS). Plus, he must file much of the same information when he requests an international “no transponder” waiver from the Transportation Security Administration. AOPA asked the two agencies Sept. 7 to remove the redundancies between their programs. Read more >>
TFR to be over NYC for upcoming U.N. General Assembly
As representatives from countries around the world convene in September for the sixty-fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly, TFRs in the area will restrict access to New York City airspace. The FAA has issued a flight advisory notifying pilots of TFRs for New York City Sept. 14 through Oct. 1. The largest restrictions are expected to be in place from Sept. 22 through Sept. 25. “This TFR has various dates and dimensions associated with it, so careful preflight planning is needed,” said AOPA Manager of Security and Borders Brittney Miculka. Read more >>
AOPA launches new information tool on fuel
For almost 20 years, AOPA and other general aviation associations have actively been involved in the issue of “un-leading” avgas. But this year, the issue took on a new urgency, and a SWAT team of AOPA communications and government relations professionals has focused intently on federal developments that will now likely lead to unleaded avgas in our future. With ePilot Special Report: Getting the Lead Out, AOPA is taking another step toward keeping you informed and involved in a process that will surely impact all of our flying for years to come. Sign up online to receive these updates. Read a message from AOPA President Craig Fuller >>
Who’s who on avgas future: EPA and FAA
The Environmental Protection Agency's request for comments about the issue of lead emissions from aviation fuel acknowledged the difficulties of a potential avgas transition, saying, “Converting in-use aircraft/engines to operate on unleaded aviation gasoline would be a significant logistical challenge, and in some cases a technical challenge as well.” The agency also acknowledged that a joint EPA-FAA effort will be critical if, as expected, engine modifications will need to be developed and certified. Find out which agency is responsible for what in this selection from ePilot Special Report: Getting the Lead Out.
Pilots urged to comment on Powder River changes
General aviation pilots are encouraged to comment on the draft environmental impact statement released by the Air Force on its proposal to expand the Powder River Military Training Complex, affecting airspace over Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota. AOPA staff will attend a series of public hearings to express concerns and recommend modifications, and the association encourages members to attend and share their input. The Air Force seeks to conduct bomber training missions that would include deploying flares and chaff, posing hazards to non-participating VFR aircraft. Read more >>
Does your federal representation support GA?
The last of the 2010 primary elections are approaching, and the next stop for candidates is the mid-term elections on Nov. 2. As general aviation faces threats on all sides, the GA Caucus in the Senate and House can play an important role in educating members of Congress on the value of the industry. The 123 representatives and 31 senators on the caucuses all have a passion for keeping GA alive. To see if your incumbent legislator is part of the GA caucus, check out AOPA’s interactive map.
A fun-filled cruise doesn’t need to break the bank. AOPA Online Travel is offering last-minute cruise deals through Orbitz. Last-minute cruises offer the best of both worlds—the convenience of making a spontaneous getaway, and some of the biggest values for your vacation dollar. All your meals, accommodations, world-class entertainment, and plenty of fun activities are included at sea. Orbitz will always give you a break on your eleventh-hour escape. 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 >>
Keeping you covered: Hurricane preparedness
With hurricane season under way, AOPA members who live near or plan to travel to hurricane-prone areas should have a plan to relocate their aircraft in the event of a storm. While developing a plan, pilots should make sure to check their insurance policy to see if it covers any of the costs of relocating their aircraft. Some policies cover the cost of hiring an evacuation pilot, relocating, and storing an aircraft. Others will reimburse policyholders for relocating their aircraft outside of a hurricane watch or warning area. Find out more in this September 2006 AOPA Pilot article.
You are so sweet, honey!
Ever been called sweet? Honey? That usually makes a person feel good, but if it is urine rather than personality that is the focus of the compliment, well, that is not good news. Diabetes Mellitus is so called because the disease causes sugar to leach out of the blood into the urine. Diabetes originates from the Greek word for “siphon,” and refers to the passage of excessive amounts of urine, and mellitus is Latin for “honey sweet.” Read more in this selection from the AOPA Medical Services Program newsletter. AOPA members enrolled in the Medical Services Program get valuable information like this—and much more—bimonthly.
Membership brings airports to your phone
AOPA members can have airport services, FBO information, airport diagrams, and more at their fingertips, all for no extra cost. As part of AOPA’s collection of mobile applications, AOPA Airports apps for Windows Mobile and BlackBerry are free to members. You can download the entire airport database wirelessly and take it with you wherever you go. The application was developed by Hilton Software, maker of the popular WingX product. Download it today >>
AOPA Aviation Summit
Don't miss AOPA Aviation Summit, Nov. 11 through 13 in Long Beach, Calif., and plan to extend the fun by joining the Fly-out to Baja and Beyond, offered through Caribbean Sky Tours, which departs Long Beach on Nov. 14, and returns to Calexico, Calif., on Nov. 19. Aircraft will stop in Loreto, Cabo San Lucas, and Alamos, Mexico. Details and registration for the fly-out are online.
Land free on Catalina during Summit
Santa Catalina Island is a prime destination for pilots who want to indulge in a bison burger with all the fixings and a famous Killer Cookie at the DC-3 Gifts and Grill Café at the island’s Airport in the Sky. During AOPA Aviation Summit in Long Beach, Calif., AOPA members will enjoy a no-landing-fee weekend Nov. 13 and 14, as long as they show their AOPA membership card. Read more >>