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Even for an airplane built for adventure, the Aviat A-1C that the aviation world will soon know as the AOPA 2012 Sweepstakes “Tougher Than a Tornado” Husky has had a tumultuous young life. The newly manufactured aircraft got its registration number on Feb. 14, 2011. In March, Stu Horn, owner of Aviat Aircraft, personally flew the airplane to the Sun ’n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland, Fla., where it became the anchor for the Recreational Aviation Foundation’s public display. Standing tall on oversized Alaskan Bushwheels, the yellow-and-maroon Husky was a big draw. But the youthful Husky—with just 18 hours on its Hobbs meter—was parked squarely at the epicenter of what became an airshow nightmare. On March 31, a tornado ripped through the Sun ’n Fun display area, overturning new airplanes like playthings. N40WY broke loose from its tiedowns, danced in the wind, and was pushed backward into a light pole. Read more >>
CLARIFICATION: In the Aug. 19 issue of AOPA ePilot, we incompletely identified the milestone marked by Patricia Mawuli Nyekodzi’s earning of a pilot certificate. Mawuli Nyekodzi was the first woman to earn Ghana’s private ultralight pilot certificate, a general aviation certificate.
A pilot and a wing walker died in weekend airshow accidents in Kansas City, Mo., and in Harrison County, Mich., and a member of the British Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows flight team died in a crash during an air festival in Bournemouth, England. Aerobatic performer Bryan Jensen died Aug. 20 when his show biplane known as The Beast struck the ground during a maneuver at the Kansas City Air Show. On Aug. 21, wing walker Todd Green was attempting to move from a Stearman biplane to a helicopter when he appeared to lose his grip, falling about 200 feet to the ground. Read more >>
Airshow accidents don’t ‘curb the passion’
To the close-knit community of airshow performers, it’s “like losing a family member” when a fatal accident occurs, said wing walker Jane Wicker. “It’s painful when it happens. It makes you re-evaluate your act and look at additional safety measures,” she said in an interview. “But it really doesn’t curb your passion at all.” Read more >>
Reporting Points: ‘Maple seed’ drone has only one wing
Why fly a two-wing airplane when one will do? Lockheed Martin is using its own funds to develop a hand-launched, or self-launched, one-wing surveillance drone called Samarai that whips itself into a frenzy of flight. So far it has had only test flights, according to Lockheed Martin’s Intelligent Robotics Laboratories. It was discussed at the convention of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International in Washington, D.C.
Pilots urged to relocate aircraft from Hurricane Irene’s path
With hurricane and tropical storm watches issued for much of the East Coast, pilots are encouraged to relocate their aircraft out of Hurricane Irene’s predicted path and impact area. Weather provider WSI Corp. will be posting a daily update on the storm and its projected track. AOPA offers tips for relocating your aircraft or securing it if you decide to stay. If you plan to relocate your aircraft, the AOPA Insurance Agency recommends checking your insurance policy to see if it covers the associated costs.
Hurricane relief flights planned for Bahamas
As Hurricane Irene was making its way toward the East Coast, where it menaced areas not threatened by a hurricane in decades, relief flights were already being planned for the Bahamas, which was taking a direct hit from what was an intensifying Category 3 storm. On the morning of Aug. 25, the nonprofit relief organization Bahamas Habitat had begun mobilizing pilots to conduct relief flights, and was issuing a call for new volunteers, said John Armstrong, chairman and president of the U.S.-based group. Read more >>
Kestrel at work on Meridians
Kestrel Aeroworks has already started to upgrade its first Meridian, which will be used for certification of the Meridian enhancements; a second airframe will become a demonstrator. The upgrade will include the Avidyne installation with a new, more user-friendly panel; the relocation of some switches and circuit breakers; and easier pilot access to the Meridian’s cockpit—the original design favors shorter, thinner aviators. Read more >>
New rule to improve FAA ‘safety culture’
The FAA has enacted a conflict-of-interest rule prohibiting air carriers and some general aviation operators from employing as representatives aviation safety inspectors with oversight roles over their operations for two years after the inspectors leave the agency. The rule, proposed in 2009, was the FAA’s response to concerns about “an overly close relationship” that had developed between Southwest Airlines and inspectors overseeing airline operations, the FAA said in a news release Aug. 19. Read more >>
Crew for a day, ‘fans for life’
Student pilot Dan Mattes stood shoulder to shoulder with the pilot he used to watch competing in the Red Bull Air Races, going through the morning briefing at the Rhode Island National Guard Airshow with the likes of Sean D. Tucker and the Blue Angels. That afternoon, Mattes stood at show center as Mike Goulian performed loops and rolls and pulled 9-G maneuvers, all timed precisely to the beat of the music. For the whole day Mattes and his wife, Joan, were part of the close-knit team that makes Goulian’s performances come together. Read more >>
Stratos jet undergoes wind tunnel tests
A one-fifth-scale model of Stratos Aircraft’s Stratos 714 very light jet has just completed five days of testing in the University of Washington’s Kirsten Wind Tunnel, the company reports. The aluminum model went through 90 test runs designed to evaluate the flow over the airplane’s fuselage, wings, and vertical tail. Data is still being analyzed, but early results “verified” the Stratos jet’s scalloped forward fuselage, Stratos Aircraft said. Read more >>
17-year-old circles the US
Taylor De Ley of Yorba Linda, Calif., may be only 17, but as he starts his college education this week he has already focused on a professional pilot career and completed a 10,492-nautical-mile solo flight to the four corners of the nation. That’s more than most kids his age. He now has 340 total flying hours. He dedicated the flight to giving fellow teens who are “stuck playing video games” a taste of the flying adventure through his reports on Facebook, and through the news reports written about him. Read more >>
National Geographic highlights quest for human flight
We’re obsessed with flight. If an airplane flies overhead, our attention immediately switches from what we were doing to the sky. We’ll even stop and watch geese touch down on a pond. But since we can’t fly like birds, for centuries we’ve tried to find other ways to get as close to personal flight as possible. National Geographic is featuring the quest for personal flight in its September 2011 issue. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Commander Premier to be evicted
Cape Girardeau, Mo., city officials have won the cooperation of a Texas bankruptcy court in evicting Commander Premier Aircraft from its hangar at the Cape Girardeau airport, according to a story in the Southeast Missourian. The company until recently had hoped a Canadian investor could win funds from a European bank to complete the purchase of the company. Read more >>
Print by Sam Lyons joins auction catalog
A print by aviation artist Sam Lyons has joined the growing list of great works, once-in-a-lifetime activities, and other fabulous items up for bid in the AOPA Foundation’s A Night for Flight online auction. Lyons has donated a print of his work Golden Times for the auction that opened Aug. 11 and runs through Sept. 22. It joins an auction catalog offering such opportunities as the chance to have lunch and go flying with pilot and actor Harrison Ford and a day flying with aerobatic legend Sean D. Tucker. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Would you see a film about the Barefoot Bandit?
The news that Colton Harris-Moore, the Barefoot Bandit, has signed a deal with 20th Century Fox to do a film about his life story makes AOPA Associate Editor Jill W. Tallman’s blood pressure shoot up. Would you watch it? Read more >>
Pilots’ group awards $22,000 in scholarships
The National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) Education Fund has awarded $22,000 in scholarships to five students who are pursuing careers in aviation. The recipients were Spencer Conklin, a student at the University of North Dakota; Ethan Coughlin, a student at the University of North Dakota; Jason Goodman, who is completing a flight instructor certificate at a Massachusetts flight school; Michael Turner, a student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; and Michelle Yates, who is pursuing an airline transport pilot certificate at a Florida flight school.
Students claim human-powered chopper record
The National Aeronautic Association has certified the July 13 record for the University of Maryland’s human-powered helicopter called Gamera. It achieved liftoff and hovered for 11.4 seconds, setting U.S. records for flight duration and for flight duration by a female pilot. It was designed and built by graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering and piloted by biology student Judy Wexler. Read more >>
Hover Power: Hot refueling
Many times to save time or a start cycle on a turbine engine, pilots and operators will perform hot refueling, or what is technically called helicopter rapid refueling (HRR). The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) publishes Document 407 titled “Standard for Aircraft Fuel Servicing,” which includes a section on HRR. According to the NFPA, only turbine engine helicopters fueled with Jet A or Jet A-1 fuels shall be permitted to be fueled while an onboard engine is operating. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Trump tightens belt
Here’s proof of the seriousness of the present economic downturn. Donald Trump bought a narrow-body Boeing 757 as his personal airplane, rather than a wide-body. Read more >>
NBAA releases show fly-in procedures
Planning to attend the National Business Aviation Association’s annual convention in Las Vegas Oct. 10 through 12? The association has posted detailed arrival and departure procedures on its website. AOPA will be on hand to cover the show and bring you the latest updates.
Why does AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg feel like he should have his “picture up in the post office”? General aviation safety tops the NTSB’s “Most Wanted” list. In an exclusive AOPA Live® interview, Landsberg and NTSB board members discuss what it’ll take to remove GA from that list. Watch AOPA Live >>
Leading Edge: Meeting the NTSB
The Air Safety Institute has always had a solid working relationship with the NTSB. Earlier this week, the vice chairman of the NTSB, Chris Hart, and member, Dr. Earl Weener, spent the day at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Md., reviewing Air Safety Institute programs and discussing how the groups can enhance an already strong relationship. Read more >>
Best view in the world
Ever wonder what goes on behind the glass up in the cab? This week, The Aviators takes us into the control tower at a major airport. And the controllers say they have the best view in the world. Watch AOPA Live >>
TSA talks Large Aircraft Security Program, TFRs
Transportation Security Administration Acting GA General Manager Kerwin Wilson and AOPA President Craig Fuller talked about GA security during EAA AirVenture. Wilson said the agency reaches out to airports to build relationships and collaborate on security measures. In this AOPA Live segment, Wilson gives Fuller an update on the status of the revised Large Aircraft Security Program proposal and the use of presidential temporary flight restrictions, which are expected to increase as the 2012 presidential campaign season approaches. Watch AOPA Live >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
CORRECTION: In the Aug. 19 issue of AOPA ePilot, we incorrectly identified the recent flight of an all-female crew in a KC-10 as the first of its kind. While rare, the all-female flight was not unprecedented.
AOPA AVIATION SUMMIT
Deadline extended for Summit pre-registration discount
There is still time to pre-register for AOPA Aviation Summit and save up to 25 percent. AOPA’s exclusive pre-registration discount has been extended through Sept. 1. Attending is more affordable than ever before, and prices start as low as $30. During Summit, enjoy the 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. Register now >>
Summit events celebrate naval aviation
AOPA Aviation Summit will offer a variety of opportunities to meet U.S. naval aviators, hear their stories of flight during war and peace, and discover their links to general aviation. Mingle with fellow naval aviators at the Navy Meet-Up session during Airportfest at Hartford-Brainard Airport on Sept. 23 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the main stage. Also on Sept. 23, the theme of the AOPA Luncheon will be “Celebrating 100 Years of U.S. Naval Aviation” from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the Connecticut Convention Center. Read more >>
Emergency survival: Boost your knowledge, skills
In-flight fires, ditching, emergency landings: The thought of facing one of these emergencies can give any pilot pause. Learn techniques for dealing with these and other emergencies during educational seminars at AOPA Aviation Summit, Sept. 22 through 24 in Hartford, Conn. Dr. Ian Blair Fries will discuss how to save your life in an aircraft accident, while airshow performer Mike Goulian will share tips for staying safe in high-risk situations. Read more >>
Safety & Proficiency
As several hundred pilots find out every year, a runway incursion can ruin your whole day. One of the best ways to avoid joining them is to be able to identify (and understand) airport signs and markings at a glance. Ever catch yourself having to stop and ponder while taxiing? Check your knowledge with this week’s Air Safety Institute safety quiz, sponsored by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Take the quiz >>
Can tower handle your request for multiple approaches?
It's quite the conundrum: You and your instructor want to practice several IFR approaches on a VFR day. But the towered airport where you're training gets a little hectic at times. Will the tower be able to handle your requests for multiple approaches, or will they balk at your request due to their workload? Just ask! In this episode of "Ask ATC," we address this issue and how best to prepare, both yourself and the tower, for these requests. Watch AOPA Live >>
Oh, Canada: Plan your northern flight
From the Toronto International Film Festival to whale watching off the east coast, Canada offers a range of experiences for vacationers seeking cooler climes. If you plan on flying to Canada, make sure you have current passports for the pilot and all passengers; the pilot also must have an airman certificate with an English proficient endorsement, current medical certificate, and radio telephone operators permit. Find out more about the requirements to cross the border into Canada in AOPA’s subject report.
Take the guesswork out of risk assessment
As pilots, we make decisions about risk all the time. Most of them are clear-cut, but there will be “gray areas” to contend with—which is why the Air Safety Institute developed an innovative application to help. The Air Safety Institute Flight Risk Evaluator is a two-part online course that first covers the basics of formal risk management, and then lets you input the details of an upcoming flight and get an assessment of the potential risks. Give it a try >>
Reporting Points: ‘That’s easy’—yeah, right
Sometimes, the most well-meaning comments can do more damage than good. And in the aviation world, “That’s easy” can actually discourage students and already certificated pilots instead of pumping them up for that next certificate or rating. Read more >>
An effort to revamp aircraft certification could allow manufacturers of simpler general aviation aircraft to bring models to market more quickly and cheaply. The FAA on Aug. 22 announced that it will convene an aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) to review and make recommendations for rewriting aircraft certification standards. The ARC members will be tasked with determining the best way to move Part 23 certification from weight and propulsion-based standards to aircraft complexity and performance-based standards. The committee also will address recommendations to make it easier to install safety-enhancing equipment in older airplanes. Read more >>
Tell FAA to count sport pilot time toward higher certificates
The FAA is accepting comments on whether flight instruction logged by sport pilot applicants from sport pilot instructors can be counted toward higher pilot certificates. In January, AOPA, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and the National Association of Flight Instructors petitioned the FAA to “permit the instruction time received in pursuit of a sport pilot certificate to be credited toward the instruction requirements of additional certificates and ratings.” Read more >>
FAA: Don’t toss pilot records
In a new “Information for Operators,” the FAA is reminding air carriers and other people who employ pilots to hold on to pilots’ records as the agency sorts out who will need to contribute to the pilot records database mandated in 2010. The FAA also will be sorting out exactly what records will need to be collected. AOPA participated in a rulemaking committee on the database and expects the FAA proposal to be published in 2012. The association maintains that general aviation businesses such as flight schools should not bear the burden of extensive record-keeping. Until the FAA makes a decision, all employers of pilots should keep the records they currently maintain.
Multi-state swing touts GA
AOPA Vice President of Airport Advocacy Bill Dunn visited airports large and small during a 10-day trip to western states in August, meeting with pilots, elected officials, and airport administrators to ensure general aviation’s role in determining the direction of local policies. From Southern California to Idaho, changes in airport operations—and in one case, the continued operation of the airport itself—present challenges calling for a strong GA response. Read more >>
California flight training fix clears state Assembly
A bill that would exempt California fight training organizations from onerous fees and reporting requirements imposed by a 2009 post-secondary education law took a major step toward final passage Aug. 25 with approval by the state Assembly. Senate Bill 619 was then referred back to the Senate, which had passed the measure in May, for adoption of technical corrections. The corrections include an urgency clause that would make the bill effective immediately on its being signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, said AOPA Vice President of Airports and State Advocacy Greg Pecoraro. Read more >>
A must-have for your flight bag
The durable AOPA Flashlight featuring the AOPA wings logo is a great addition to any flight bag. This virtually indestructible flashlight uses shatterproof LEDs that last more than 110,000 hours. Independent switches control three red and three white LEDs so you don’t have to scroll through and ruin your night vision. Read more >>
AOPA World MasterCard offers so much more
If you’ve been a member of AOPA for any amount of time, you know that the AOPA World MasterCard, available to members, gives back in the form of WorldPoints. You earn one WorldPoint for each dollar you spend—and sometimes even more. At a handful of aviation companies such as Sporty’s Pilot Shop, King Schools, Aircraft Spruce and Specialty, select FBOs, and more, you earn double points. These points are then exchanged for cash and merchandise. And unlike other credit cards, there is no annual fee. Read more >>
Your favorite airports, fast
The AOPA Airports application for Apple iPhone and iPod touch gives pilots quick access to airport information on the go. You can save your favorite airports for quick reference, and any airport you view is automatically added to your “Recents” list for easy recall. Powered by ForeFlight, the app is free to AOPA members. Visit the Apple App Store to download this exclusive member benefit to your iPhone or iPod touch 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, aviation technical specialist, staff assistant, and manager of airspace and modernization. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.