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Patricia Mawuli Nyekodzi was 19 years old when she saw the airplanes flying low overhead. She was cutting trees in the bush of her home country, Ghana; the aircraft piqued her interest but frightened her. Why were they chasing her? She hid, but the image of those aircraft stayed with her. Mawuli Nyekodzi set out to the nearby Kpong Airfield one day to ask why the airplanes had been chasing her. They weren’t, the workers at the airfield told her; they were practicing touch-and-goes. Now able to get a good look at the airplanes on the field, Mawuli Nyekodzi knew she wanted to be around them somehow. She had to prove her mettle digging up tree stumps and cutting grass by hand, but on her twenty-first birthday Mawuli Nyekodzi became the first woman to earn Ghana’s national pilot certificate. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>
SimCom Training Centers of Orlando, Fla., will acquire 14 simulators and training programs from FlightSafety International in a deal the company says responds to the current economic climate and the future needs of general aviation. Transfers of equipment associated with the acquisition, which AOPA reported was in the works July 20, is expected by year's end. After completion of the deal, SimCom will operate 59 simulators in five U.S. training centers, and in Kirmington, United Kingdom. Read more >>
Kitfox flies Lycoming-powered S7
Kitfox Aircraft said it has become one of the first manufacturers to fly one of its aircraft powered by Lycoming's new O-233 engine, a 115-horsepower powerplant with a Champion electronic ignition system designed for the light sport market. The Lycoming powered a Kitfox S7 Super Sport during test and performance-gathering flights. After about 20 hours of local flying, the aircraft flew from the Kitfox base in Homedale, Idaho, to EAA AirVenture 2011 in Oshkosh, Wis., where the aircraft was displayed in front of Lycoming's tent, said a Kitfox spokesman. Read more >>
Get a new Skyhawk, golf with Ken Griffey Jr.
The list of items up for bid in the AOPA Foundation's A Night for Flight online auction continues to grow. Just added: an opportunity to purchase a brand-new Cessna 172 Skyhawk SP at a substantial discount, and a chance for two to play a round of golf and then have dinner with baseball legend Ken Griffey Jr. and Cirrus Aircraft President and CEO Brent Wouters. The 2011 Cessna 172 Skyhawk SP up for bid has approximately 90 total demo hours and features Garmin G1000 avionics. Bidding opens more than $30,000 lower than the basic list price. Read more >>
Couple nurtures GA’s next generation
The looks on the faces of Richard Largent’s young passengers tell him how to prepare them for introductory flights in his Cessna 172. “They’re doing something without their parents. For a lot of them, it’s a big step,” he said. Sometimes he opens with a magic trick: He’ll make a butterfly disappear. Experience has given Largent the touch for providing fun intro flights and exchanging lepidoptera for smiles. He has given rides to more than 1,000 youngsters under the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles program. Largent is part of an aviation-promoting team with his wife, Ginny. Read more >>
'Gucci Girls' fly Air Force tanker
It took lots of arranging, since there is only one female Boeing KC-10 flight engineer in the U.S. Air Force, but for one mission an all-female crew operated an aerial refueling tanker above the Middle East. For this special event, they wore shoulder patches that read, “Gucci Girls; Unmanned KC-10 Flight.” The crew took pleasure in telling fuel-hungry combat crews they were approaching an “unmanned” refueling tanker. The daylong effort was the first of its kind, although KC-10 pilot 1st Lt. Jen Carter said it was more about boosting morale than setting a precedent. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Bob Stangarone resigns from Cessna
Saying he wants to stay ahead of change, "…to make things happen rather than wonder what happened," Bob Stangarone has resigned as vice president of communications at Cessna Aircraft. Stangarone was, as Aviation Week noted, popular with the media who cover Cessna for his straight, fast, and honest answers. Read more >>
Sonex kit maker flies single-engine jet
Sonex Aircraft, the Wisconsin-based kit aircraft manufacturer, has flown a single-engine jet model called the SubSonex. Bob Carlton, who uses a jet-powered glider in his airshow act, flew the SubSonex for 14 minutes at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis. The flight concentrated on low-speed maneuvers including stalls. “It’s an exciting day for Sonex,” said SubSonex designer and Sonex Aircraft President John Monnett. “We have a test flight plan to expand the envelope of the aircraft, and we'll see where the project takes us from here.” Read more >>
The GIFT that kept on giving
Mary Latimer wasn't sure how many women would be interested in an intensive, all-female flight training camp. But the response to an AOPA article about the event—which Latimer had dubbed Girls In Flight Training, or GIFT—was overwhelming. Eventually, 18 women from all around the country traveled to Vernon, Texas, in July. The result: two new private pilots, two solos, and four successful knowledge tests. Read more >>
Upgraded Hawker 800 wins FAA approval
The FAA has awarded a supplemental type certificate to equip the Hawker 800XPR with Honeywell TFE731-50R engines and factory winglets. The work will be done by factory-owned Hawker Beechcraft Services facilities. The first customer delivery is expected in September. Read more >>
No new impact from revised Lycoming AD
An update to an existing airworthiness directive for certain Lycoming engines would correct the start date of affected engine models listed in a previous AD but does not add any new serial numbers affected from the original list. The original AD requires replacing certain crankshafts and contains the correct serial numbers for affected engines. Download the AD >>
Reporting Points: How Jeppesen is transitioning to digital
With its new Mobile FliteDeck iPad app, you might think Jeppesen has only recently begun a strategy to move away from paper charts, but you would be wrong. During a recent visit to Jeppesen headquarters in Denver, AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines was once again reminded of a strategy put in place a decade ago by the company's leadership to transition away from paper. Read more >>
Pole to pole in a Queen Air
More people have walked on the moon than have set a record flying around the world, pole to pole. But two pilots are going to attempt to do so in a Queen Air while raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Watch AOPA Live >>
Extreme makeover: Skymaster
Earlier this year the ABC television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition told missionary Joe Hurston it was not only rebuilding his house, it was refurbishing the Cessna Skymaster that he uses to deliver water purification pumps to Haiti. It's not quite done yet. For an update on the "little donkey," here is AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Al Marsh with Hurston at this year's EAA AirVenture. Watch AOPA Live >>
Tips, procedures for flying into 10-day TFR
How do you fly into Martha’s Vineyard during the 10-day TFR for the president’s stay on the island? Very carefully. AOPA Live offers tips and procedures for entering the airspace via gateway airports, screening procedures, and squawk-and-talk requirements while you’re in the TFR. Find out how to get cleared to fly into and out of the area and a potential gateway-airport “gotcha.” As the 2012 campaign heats up, VIP TFRs are likely to pop up more frequently, so all pilots should check notams before each flight. Watch AOPA Live >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
AOPA AVIATION SUMMIT
P-51, Eclipse set to descend on Summit
The famed World War II fighter P-51 Mustang commands attention—from pilots and nonpilots alike—wherever it makes an entrance. This year, the Commemorative Air Force will take a restored P-51 to Hartford-Brainard Airport for AOPA Aviation Summit, Sept. 22 through Sept. 24. It’s part of the Red Tail Project, a flying tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen. Meanwhile, a modern aircraft with a story of its own—the Eclipse 500 jet—will be on display at the Connecticut Convention Center. Read more >>
Aircraft ownership: Within your reach?
Used aircraft prices are coming down. Now could be the perfect opportunity to explore whether switching from renting to owning is right for you. What's the right aircraft for your mission? How much can you afford? Is co-ownership a better option? Learn about the process and get advice from experts during seminars at AOPA Aviation Summit. Read more >>
AOPA Aviation Summit offers ultimate way to 'Rally GA'
These are exciting times for the aviation community: Pilots are coming together, collaborating, and coming up with new ideas on how to strengthen and preserve general aviation for future generations. This year at AOPA Aviation Summit the association hopes to build on that excitement. A variety of speakers including FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, EAA President Rod Hightower, and the AOPA leadership team will all be on hand each day to deliver keynotes and discuss a variety of topics, from growing the pilot population to NextGen and user fees. Read more >>
Book before Aug. 22, save on Summit
AOPA members can save up to 25 percent on AOPA Aviation Summit by registering before Aug. 22. Book now before these great deals expire.
Safety & Proficiency
Any reasonable interest in safety demands that the pilot be absolutely certain of a few essential items. On the morning of Aug. 14, 2010, a Taylorcraft BC12-D crashed into the woods in southern Maine. The right wing hit a tree trunk about 50 feet above the ground, after which the nose dropped. Half a dozen witnesses heard the engine sputter to a stop before the airplane dropped out of sight. Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.
Don't miss datalink Webinars next Wednesday
The Air Safety Institute’s acclaimed series of live Webinars continues next week with “Flying safely with cockpit weather.” Join AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg and NEXRAD datalink expert Dr. David A. Strahle on Wednesday, Aug. 24, at 3 and 8 p.m. Eastern time (12 and 5 p.m. Pacific) for a must-see discussion of how you can use cockpit weather technology to complete more trips and minimize your weather risks. Register online >>
Answers for Pilots: Aircraft airworthiness
Airworthiness involves a whole lot more than a thorough preflight. Many pilots rarely, if ever, look at the aircraft’s logbooks, but rely solely on maintenance facilities to perform required inspections and repairs and sign off the work properly. But whether the pilot realizes it or not, the pilot in command is responsible for determining that the aircraft is, in fact, airworthy. So, what exactly is airworthiness? Read more in the latest “ Answers for Pilots”; then, learn how to keep older aircraft in good shape in the Air Safety Institute’s Aging Aircraft online course.
The weather you are experiencing at any given moment is more often than not the result of a larger weather system. But do you know what the current weather is telling you about what's to come? Take a look at weather from a little larger perspective than what you see now with the WeatherWise: Air Masses and Fronts online course from the Air Safety Institute. Take the course >>
Leading Edge: Aircraft theft = media attention
Stealing aircraft is an unusual line of work and somewhat dangerous. Not since the Barefoot Bandit crashed a perfectly good Cessna 400 into the waters off the Bahamas have we had this much activity—fortunately. Just this week, however, someone stole a Piper Saratoga from Horace Williams Airport in Chapel Hill, N.C. Like the “Bandit,” however, the thief was not quite up on the rudiments of flying more complex aircraft. Read more >>
'Gateway to a good time'
Just hearing the names of Montana backcountry strips may make the urge irresistible to go up into your attic and pull down the camping gear: "How many people get to say that they are 'on final to Bullwhacker'?" asked Recreational Aviation Foundation President John McKenna. The rugged quiet, unspoiled vastness, and opportunities to take a day hike, camp overnight, and possibly spot a world-class bighorn sheep, stake pilots' claim to the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. Most pilots probably don't know how close they came to losing it all. Read more >>
The failure of communications venture LightSquared to face up to its proposed wireless network’s GPS-jamming threat to aviation safety is “baffling and unacceptable,” said AOPA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) in a regulatory filing Aug. 15. LightSquared ducked the safety-of-flight question in its most recent statements, but aviation industry participants worldwide have spoken up about the dangers posed by the planned network that was conditionally approved in January by a Federal Communications Commission bureau, the associations said. Read more >>
FAA won't ground your iPad
Users of iPads and other tablet computers in the cockpit can breathe a sigh of relief: A proposed advisory circular (AC) that could have limited general aviation operators' use of those devices was not intended to do so, the FAA assured AOPA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. The agency said it is making revisions to the AC, "Guidelines for the Certification, Airworthiness, and Operational Use of Electronic Flight Bags EFB," to clarify that it is only applicable for Part 135 and 121 operators, not pilots operating under Part 91. Read more >>
Rolling TFR marks start of election campaign
President Barack Obama’s three-day, three-state bus tour in the Midwest earlier this week brought with it a complex, “rolling” temporary flight restriction. AOPA urged the FAA to apply commonsense enforcement to the complicated TFR and encourages members to report any problems or violations resulting from this moving TFR. Pilots should be prepared for additional complex TFRs to be ordered on short notice as campaigning becomes active in advance of the 2012 presidential election.
DOT, EPA urged to intervene in avgas case
U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) and 14 other members of the House GA Caucus have requested federal intervention in a California lawsuit that pits an environmental group against avgas sellers and distributors and could potentially disrupt the orderly transition to an unleaded aviation fuel. The California businesses could face civil penalties under the California Proposition 65 proceedings. 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.
Enhanced AOPA Legal Services Plan now offered
AOPA’s popular Legal Services Plan has long been available to members as a way of helping pilots protect and defend their aviation rights on an individual basis. The original plan isn’t changing, but it has been enhanced and a more comprehensive version called Legal Services Plan Plus is now offered. So what’s the Plus? Legal Services Plan Plus is the highest level of coverage available. Read more >>
Save $50 on a weekly rental at the airport
Save $50 on a weekly rental at participating Hertz airport locations when you include PC# 160285 in your reservation of an economy through full-size vehicle or small SUV. Plus, a portion of all revenue generated will be returned to AOPA and reinvested to support the association’s daily efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of general aviation. This offer is valid for vehicle pickup through Sept. 30. Reserve your car today.
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an application support engineer, .Net developer, electronic advertising manager, staff assistant, and manager of airspace and modernization. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.