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April 22, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterApril 22, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 13, ISSUE 16 — April 22, 2011

Challenges: Fling-winging it
Test your knowledge of IFR approaches
AOPA slams L.A.’s attack on Santa Monica
Quiz Me: Cold temp altimeter error


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

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Feature Challenges: Fling-winging it

From the high-pitched, powerful whine of a Eurocopter Dauphin launching on a Maryland State Police mission to the frequent dartings of Robinson R22s, helicopters are a big part of life at Maryland’s Frederick Municipal Airport. Fitting themselves neatly into the flow of traffic, they’re like your older teenage brother—you know, the one who drifted in and out at all hours—and you never knew exactly what he was up to, but you sure wanted to find out. AOPA Associate Editor Jill W. Tallman climbed into an R22 and took away a fascinating glimpse into an aspect of flying that is simultaneously alien and familiar. She and an instructor put the aircraft through its paces, including an attempt to hover—a feat helicopter correspondent Tim McAdams describes as trying to balance on top of a basketball. Read more and watch AOPA Live® >>

Introducing, the best pilot headset ever from Bose.

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Flight competition shows versatility of design

In May 1811, a tailor in the town of Ulm, Germany, built a hang glider and tried to fly it across the Danube. He didn’t make it. He crashed into the river and was “scorned and ridiculed,” according to Ulm history. But the tailor—Albrecht Berblinger—lives on in today’s Berblinger Flight Competition, an eco-flying contest of sorts. The competition, sponsored by Ulm, was held this year at Aero in Friedrichshafen, Germany. It included 15 aircraft powered by eco-friendly powerplants—be they solar or electrical. Read more >>

Cirrus wins appeal in 2003 accident

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has overturned a decision by a lower court jury against Cirrus Design in the case of a pilot and his passenger who died in marginal VFR weather in January 2003. In 2009 a state court jury found that Cirrus and the University of North Dakota—which provided training under contract with Cirrus—were liable in the deaths of the pilot and passenger for not training the pilot to avoid accidental flight from VFR weather into instrument meteorological conditions. Read more >>

BlogsAir Safety eJournal: Justice prevails in SR22 mishap

The loss of life was tragic and unnecessary but pilots need to understand that the game is played for keeps, writes AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg in light of the recent appeals court decision regarding a fatal 2003 crash of a Cirrus SR22. The accident follows a common theme of a low-time VFR pilot flying a high performance aircraft into IMC. Read more >>

Pipistrel Taurus Electro G2 LEAP names ‘best electric aircraft’

Erik Lindbergh’s Lindbergh Electric Airplane Prize (LEAP) organization has awarded its annual prize for best electric airplane to the Pipistrel Taurus Electro, a two-seat Slovenian design that uses a retractable 54-horsepower electric motor to enable self-launches to soaring flight. The Electro is a prototype for the Taurus Electro G2, another electrically powered motorglider that will have its first deliveries in June 2011. Read more >>

Smoke oil dangers uncovered after Franklin accident

Some of wing-walker Amanda Franklin’s injuries appear to have been caused by smoke oil, and the International Council of Airshows and her husband Kyle Franklin are encouraging airshow performers to modify aircraft smoke oil systems so that they turn off automatically in case of an engine failure or accident. Read more >>

Diamond DA40 Tundra Star at Aero Friedrichshafen Diamond goes Tundra, reveals new engines

In spite of continuing economic angst in some quarters, Diamond Aircraft keeps moving ahead. Heading the list of new developments announced at Aero was the unveiling of Diamond’s new DA40 TundraStar. The TundaStar is essentially a DA40 with beefed-up landing gear, oversized tires, vortex generators, and Fowler flaps. “This airplane is designed for the Russian market, but it will make a great trainer as well,” Diamond Chairman Christian Dries said. Read more >>

Pilot plans third fundraising flight to conquer ALS

CarolAnn Garratt, the Ocala, Fla., pilot and author who has twice flown around the world in a personal campaign to eradicate Lou Gehrig’s disease, has opened a new chapter in her quest for the cure. Garratt, who flew around the world in 2003 and set a world record for her seven-day, 160-hour effort in 2008, plans to round the earth again in 2011—but not at the hectic pace of her last trip. Read more >>

Mission Aviation Fellowship flies to the Congo Measles, diamonds, Antonovs: Tales of GA in the Congo

When it comes to battling a measles epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garth Pederson plays a key role: pilot. He and two other pilots with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) have been flying staff and medical supplies for Doctors Without Borders since January to combat measles. Now, they average one flight per week to transport staff. MAF helped to deliver about 1,300 pounds of supplies last month, primarily using its Cessna 208B Grand Caravan. Read more >>

Model code of conduct issued for flight instructors

The permanent editorial board that oversees the work of the Aviators Model Code of Conduct has released its newest model code, for flight instructors. “Developed by a team of aviation professionals and drawing upon decades of research and experience, the Code recommends operating practices designed to improve the quality of flight instruction and the safety of flight training operations,” the organization said in an April 18 news release. Read more >>

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

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‘Skydreamers’ exhibition a tribute to flight, exploration

Artists’ perspectives on flight and the perspective that flight lends to art are joined in an exhibition by Stephen White that will appear at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, Calif., April 29 through Sept. 4. Expressions of flight and space exploration, both real and fantasy, are depicted in some 150 works including paintings, posters, and memorabilia drawn primarily from flight and space material in White’s collection. Read more >>

Piper Altaire mock-up Piper mockup hits the road

Piper Aircraft put its Altaire single-engine jet mockup on tour, with hundreds turning out at dealers to check out the large cabin and advanced cockpit. "We're going all over the country this year," Piper Executive Vice President Randy Groom said. For now, the cabin is ground-bound in a semi-trailer. However, Piper executives say the first conforming prototype of the airplane will fly next year with certification and deliveries scheduled for 2014. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>

Adam A500 aircraft to rise again

When Adam Aircraft was sold exactly three years ago, the Russian company that bought it for $10 million said it would build the composite seven-seat A700 business jet, but ignore the six-seat A500 twin piston-engine model. Now, a new owner, Triton Aerospace with offices in Anacortes and Burlington, Wash., has reversed the priorities. But there's a twist. The A500 will emerge as a turboprop. Read more >>

Cessna takes operating loss in first quarter

Low production and delivery levels led to an operating loss at Cessna Aircraft Co. in the first quarter of the year, but brighter times are ahead as volumes recover and the effects of cost-cutting take hold. Revenues were higher, but so were operating losses. Scott Donnelly, chairman and CEO of parent company Textron, called the operational performance at Cessna “disappointing.” Read more >>

Breitling contest features pilot certificate as top prize

So the saying goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. But in the Breitling photo contest, a picture could be worth a private pilot certificate or a flight with the Breitling Jet Team in Dijon, France. The company is hosting a photo contest on its Facebook page for aviation enthusiasts to submit up to five pictures each that capture how much they love aviation. Photos can be submitted through May 17. Read more >>

Coffee with a cause

If you hang around FBOs much, you’ll probably quickly agree with longtime pilot and CFI Rob Riggen that the coffee next to the vending machine with those DayGlo cheese crackers in it has a lot to be desired. About the only thing Riggen likes as much as flying is a good cup of coffee. So he decided to take things into his own hands ... or mug. He started a coffee business that returns a portion of each sale to aviation causes. Read more >>

Garmin GTN series

The next generation of touchscreen avionics is here. Introducing the Garmin GTN series, intuitive GPS/NAV/COMM devices with powerful MFD capabilities. The GTN series has received FAA certification and is now being delivered to Garmin authorized dealers! Learn more at

New ATC scheduling aimed at combating fatigue

The FAA and Department of Transportation announced changes to air traffic controller scheduling April 17 that are intended to give controllers more time to rest between shifts. Under the new scheduling, controllers will have a minimum of nine hours off between shifts, up from eight. The new rules also limit when controllers will be able to swap shifts and require managers to schedule their own shifts to increase coverage in early morning and late night hours. Read more >>

Rally GAActive pilots, robust community: ‘As good as it gets’

With more than 900 members and an exceptional safety record, Southern California’s Plus One Flyers flying club has a recipe for success. AOPA President Craig Fuller joined 300 members of the club at San Diego’s Montgomery Field April 18 to talk about AOPA’s efforts at the national level to keep flying safe, fun, and affordable. Fuller attended the group’s meeting at the Crownair hangar, which also drew John and Martha King of San Diego-based King Schools, and spoke about AOPA’s advocacy, communication, and safety initiatives. Read more >>

Flying the same airplane without incident for 12+ months?

You’re entitled to 10% claims free credits your first year with Avemco—15% your second! Also receive up to 10% off your annual premium with Avemco’s Safety Rewards. Learn more>>


Designer’s tour of the Elektra One

How do you make a lightweight electric aircraft that can cruise for hours? A wing form that lowers induced drag, retractable landing gear for cruise, a fuselage like a sailplane’s, and more contribute to the efficient operation of the Elektra One. The aircraft has a wingspan of only 8.6 meters but a glide ratio of 25. Designer Calin Gologan explained the design decisions that went into making the electric aircraft on AOPA Live at Aero. Watch AOPA Live >>

Yuneec working on four-seat electric airplane

Shanghai-based Yuneec International has carved a wide swath through general aviation’s electric motor market, and the company’s e430 two-seater has won wide acclaim among followers of the electric-power movement. In an interview, Yuneec Chairman Tian Yu said that his company is now working on its e1000—a four-seat design powered by a pair of 45-kilowatt (for a total of about 120 hp) electrical motors mounted in tandem. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>

Tecnam P2012 Traveller Tecnam shows off new offerings

AOPA Live took a look at Tecnam’s three new aircraft at the Aero expo in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Look under the cowling of the new Lycoming-powered two-seater; see the mockup of the P2012, a nine- to eleven-seat twin designed for short-haul flights; and find out more about the four-seat, single-engine P2010. “The 2010 was the airplane missing in our fleet,” said Tecnam Managing Director Paolo Pascale. Watch AOPA Live >>

Global GA, Euro style

Exhibitors from 23 countries and more than 33,000 visitors convened in Friedrichshafen, Germany, for the Aero general aviation expo. Strap your saddle bags to your Savage Bobber and join AOPA Live Executive Producer Warren Morningstar for a tour of the range of aircraft on display: from a Spitfire replica to an autogyro on floats. Watch AOPA Live >>

Flight Design C4 four-seater Flight Design details new four-seater

Light sport aircraft manufacturer Flight Design is branching out into the Part 23 market with the four-seat C4. Company executives talked to AOPA Live at Aero about the aircraft’s roomy cockpit, parachute system, and choice of mogas- or Jet-A-capable engine. There are still some details to work out for the C4, of which deliveries are expected in early 2013, so the company is looking for input from pilots on what they want to see in the new airplane. Watch AOPA Live >>

Wayne Boggs: Air boss

Wayne Boggs is responsible for everything on the ground and in the air during an airshow. Boggs took a quieter moment during Sun ’n Fun to talk with AOPA Live about the art of being an air boss. A lot of preparation and paperwork go into choreographing a show, but ultimately the goal is entertaining the crowd: “It’s show business,” he said. Watch AOPA Live >>


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety: Big South Fork Airpark is one of the safest Airparks in the Country.
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Safety & Proficiency

Test your knowledge of instrument approach procedures

Navigating most instrument approach charts can be as simple as following a recipe; the steps are already in place. But knowing those steps before you fly them is crucial to a successful IFR flight. Test your understanding of instrument approach procedures with the newest Air Safety Institute safety quiz, sponsored by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Take the quiz >>

What’s your GPS aptitude?

While GPS has increasingly become a major part of everyday life and you’re probably accustomed to having the app on your phone or in your car, it can still be a challenge to step into a general aviation cockpit and program a complex flight plan. GPS from the Ground Up is here to help you reach that point at which you can make the equipment do what you need it to. Check out this Air Safety Institute Safety Advisor to get tips on using GPS to the fullest without sacrificing situational awareness, or your focus on flying the airplane.

Air Safety Institute Flight Risk Evaluator Take the guesswork out of risk assessment

As pilots, we make decisions about risk all the time. Some flights are clearly low-risk (think “local jaunt on a calm, clear day”), while others have obvious issues (think “moderate icing in a Piper Cub”). But things aren’t always so clear-cut—which is why the Air Safety Institute developed an innovative online tool to help with the tougher calls. The Air Safety Institute Flight Risk Evaluator lets you input the details of an upcoming flight and get an objective assessment of the potential risks. Try it out before your next flight!

Fly Well: Letters from Japan

All of us were shocked and saddened to see the awful loss of life and widespread destruction from Japan’s earthquake and tsunami and the ensuing nuclear reactor issues. Dr. Jonathan M. Sackier thought it timely to address one medical impact of radiation—thyroid cancer. Radiation harms biological tissues by “ionizing” or damaging cells at the most basic level. When a nuclear reactor has problems of the kind seen in Japan, radioactive materials such as iodine and cesium may leak and enter the atmosphere, water supply, and food chain. Read more >>

GA accidents down in 2010, NTSB reports

The number of general aviation accidents continued to decline in 2010, according to preliminary accident statistics released April 20 by the NTSB. There were a total of 1,435 GA accidents in 2010; 267 were fatal, resulting in 450 fatalities, the NTSB reported. This represents a decrease in total accidents, as well as fatal accidents and fatalities. Read more >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

May 14 and 15

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Pensacola, Fla.


May 21 and 22

Sacramento, Calif.

Kansas City, Mo.

Albany, N.Y.

Houston, Texas

June 4 and 5

Orlando, Fla.

Charlotte, N.C.

Columbus, Ohio

June 11 and 12

San Jose, Calif.

Minneapolis, Minn.


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

April 25

Blacksburg, Va.




April 26

Danville, Va.

April 27

Richmond, Va.



April 28

Morris Plains, N.J.

Hampton, Va.



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


AOPA slams L.A.’s attack on Santa Monica

The Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution April 20 to build support for legislative or administrative action to alter the departure path and close flight schools at Santa Monica Municipal Airport. AOPA weighed in with its opposition, saying that the airport has an “impressive safety record” along with operational limitations that mitigate noise, safety, and environmental concerns. The association also pointed out that the FAA “has essentially held out a blank check to construct additional safety infrastructure,” but the city of Santa Monica has refused. Read more >>

Industry, FAA seek fix for knowledge tests

The FAA, responding to an outpouring of criticism from AOPA and others for unannounced changes to the knowledge testing system, has promised better coordination with the flight training industry on future reforms. Officials of the FAA’s Airman Testing Standards Branch met April 20 with AOPA and other industry participants to address concerns about changes that without notice altered the content of numerous knowledge test question banks, spiking failure rates. Read more >>

EPA: Greenhouse gas emissions dropped in 2009

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions dropped from 2008 to 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) noted in its latest annual greenhouse gas inventory. General aviation continues to account for less than one percent of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion in transportation. AOPA explained that GA greenhouse gas emissions pale in comparison to other transportation sources in response to a 2008 advance notice of proposed rulemaking that describes sources of greenhouse gases, options for reducing emissions, and challenges involved in regulating them. Read more >>

Sky Manor Airport in Pittstown, N.J. Rally GAPilots buy airport

When Sky Manor Airport in Pittstown, N.J., was in financial trouble and up for sale, a group of pilots banded together to save it. They bought the airport in 2008 and set about breathing new life into the property: They resurfaced the runway, fixed the runway lights, and redid the ramp. “None of us have run an airport before, but we’ve all been tenants at airports and all know how we would want to be treated as tenants and how we would want an airport to run as tenants,” said owner-member and managing member Craig Johnston. Watch AOPA Live >>

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.

New terror alert system implemented

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the implementation of the new National Terrorism Advisory System April 20. The system replaces the color-coded threat levels with two types of threat levels: elevated and imminent. Napolitano first informed the public of the new system in January. The alerts will be in transit hubs, airports, and government buildings, according to the DHS. The public also can subscribe to alerts via email, social media, or the DHS website. For more information or to sign up for alerts, see the National Terrorism Advisory System public guide.

AOPA Craig Fuller speaks at Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport Sonoma County, Calif., rallies GA

More than 200 pilots joined AOPA President Craig Fuller and Cirrus Design Vice President of Domestic Sales Jon Dauplaise in a redwood hangar at Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in California to rally general aviation on April 16. The lively give and take with pilots on the issues facing GA reminded Fuller of the “remarkable breadth and depth of understanding” that members of the general aviation community possess, he wrote in his blog about the event. Read more >>

BlogsAOPA Now: Pilots committed to aviation

Wherever AOPA President Craig Fuller goes, he is impressed by the people he meets and their commitment to general aviation. Read more >>

AOPA Aircraft Financing Program offers NEW lower rates

Our goal is to get pilots into the aircraft of their dreams. To help make aircraft ownership more attainable we just lowered our rates to make monthly payments more affordable. For more information, or to have a representative call you to discuss financing, go to

Member Benefits

Aircraft renters: Don’t fly unprotected this spring

Now that spring is here and summer on its way, more and more pilots will be taking to the skies over the next few months. The cost of aircraft renters insurance is affordable for AOPA members, thanks to the efforts of AOPA and the AOPA Insurance Agency. AOPA members will receive a 5-percent discount on renters insurance policies, allowing members to obtain a comprehensive package for just $99 a year. Read more >>

Is your certificate at risk?

In today’s climate for general aviation every flight you take could put you at risk of violating any one of at least 700 relevant federal aviation regulations with which pilots are required to comply. Fortunately, as the thousands of AOPA members enrolled in the Legal Services Plan already know, for as little as $33 per year you can enjoy peace of mind every time you fly knowing that if a federal enforcement procedure is yours, you’ll have the best legal advice and support available anywhere. Enroll today >>

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.

AOPA Aviation Summit registration opens, prices start at $30

AOPA Aviation Summit registration is open, and exclusive new deals make attending more affordable than ever before. Register now and look forward to AOPA’s world-class exhibit hall, more than 60 hours of educational seminars, and exciting aviation social events. Plus, for the first time in the Northeast, you will have an opportunity to dine with famous aviators and interact with them one on one. Please join us in Hartford, Conn., Sept. 22 through 24. Register today to receive special discount pricing (enter priority code U911EP).

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an application support engineer and member services representative. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

You may be an excellent pilot, but are you also experienced handling the FAA?

No matter how good a pilot you are, incidents can happen and even minor infractions can result in serious penalties. Don’t put your certificate at risk. Enroll in the AOPA Legal Services Plan today!


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

AOPA Forums: Fighting hard water spots

Dealing with hard water spots left on your aircraft after washing it can be a real chore. What is your plan for dealing with hard water spots? Wash in sections? Use a de-ionizer? Voice your opinion in this AOPA Forum. 



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Rally GA

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: With changes in temperature, the altimeter will erroneously read higher or lower, but by how much? Is there somewhere I can find this information?


Answer: The Aeronautical Information Manual , section 7-2-3, contains a cold temperature error table. It describes how, as the outside air temperature gets significantly colder than standard, the altimeter can start to exhibit errors. The error causes the altimeter to indicate a higher altitude than actual. The old adage “going from high to low, look out below” applies to flying into an area of lower temperature as well as pressure, reminding pilots about the potential dangers of not accounting for the change in temperature or pressure. The AIM goes on to qualify that “it is the extreme cold difference (from standard) that normally would be of concern to the pilot.” Therefore, if the temperature is significantly lower than standard, the pilot should take altimeter error into account when considering terrain clearance.

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 email to [email protected].

Rally GA Connect online. Follow AOPA on Twitter and through Facebook for the latest updates on AOPA Online—and share us with your friends to help get them interested in aviation.

AOPA ePilot Team
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Warren Morningstar
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