Click here to view this week’s custom content.
Anyone who has ever seen M*A*S*H (the 1970 feature film or the subsequent television series) will instantly recognize one of the stars, a Bell 47 helicopter. The distinctive bug-eyed aircraft with the skeletal-framework fuselage and uncowled engine was designed by Arthur M. Young, a Princeton graduate who convinced Bell Aircraft a month before the attack on Pearl Harbor to sponsor him in building a full-size version of his Model 30 helicopter. In March 1946 a third version of Young’s helicopter, the Bell 47, became the first helicopter certified by the Civil Aeronautics Administration. It was difficult for some fixed-wing pilots of that era to accept the notion that rotor blades served the dual purpose of providing both thrust and lift. Some claimed that helicopters could fly only by “beating the air into submission.” Others said that they looked as though they were “trying to thrash themselves to death.” Read more >>
The FAA has authorized Executive Jet Management, a subsidiary of NetJets Inc., to use the Jeppesen Mobile TC App for the iPad as an alternative to paper aeronautical charts, Jeppesen announced Feb. 11. The charter company and Jeppesen managed a three-month in-flight evaluation before the authorization, with regular engagement from the FAA, Jeppesen said. It added that “(l)essons learned, processes established, and templates developed” during the evaluation and authorization may benefit other companies seeking a similar authorization for use of the iPad. Read more >>
Embraer to open US factory
Brazilian manufacturer Embraer will make a major expansion of its U.S. presence next week, when the company will open its newly-constructed, 90,000-square-foot, $50 million assembly plant at the Melbourne, Fla., airport. The factory will be used for final assembly of Embraer’s Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 business jets and have 200 employees. Read more >>
A run of bad weather—including numerous heavy, wet snowfalls that left several inches of water trapped below the snow and above the frozen surface of New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee—has forced the volunteers who operate an ice runway to declare the season over. “It’s been a horrible year. It hasn’t really been safe for us (to plow on the ice) or for pilots,” said Paul LaRochelle, volunteer manager of the Alton Bay ice airport. Read more >>
When Barbara Drndak was growing up, her family had three ways to travel: “IFR, VFR, and c-a-r.” Her family’s involvement in aviation helped shape her into an aviation business owner, and now, a volunteer airport commissioner protecting Florida’s Vero Beach airport. Serving as a commissioner is a volunteer’s post, but there’s nothing light-duty about the assignment. “If I bother to do this, I want to have an active role,” Drndak said in an interview with AOPA. So don’t show up at a commission meeting unprepared if you plan to take on Drndak. Read more >>
The FAA has pronounced itself satisfied with remedial pilot training taken by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and will not pursue enforcement action against him in the case of landing on a closed runway last October in Port Isabel, Texas. The FAA notified Inhofe, 76, by registered letter that he had provided evidence of “satisfactory completion” of remedial training. The training consisted of four hours of ground instruction and three hours of flight instruction in numerous preflight, planning, and piloting tasks, and aeronautical decision making. Read more >>
Side airbag solution allows bizjets to fill the seats
What’s an extra seat on a business jet worth? A lot. But, until recently, manufacturers could not allow side-facing divan seats next to a bulkhead or pillar to be counted as seats for takeoff and landing. Aviation airbag manufacturer AmSafe Industries and B/E Aerospace have teamed to offer a solution in the form of the industry’s first airbag system designed for side-facing seats. Read more >>
New pilots key to future of aviation
As government and industry leaders discussed how to meet future challenges through innovation at the FAA Aviation Forecast Conference Feb. 15 and 16, AOPA zeroed in on a human factor: What’s aviation without pilots? The FAA released its 20-year forecast during the conference, projecting slow growth of general aviation flight hours through 2031. During a breakout session on GA, AOPA Director of Flight Training Initiatives Jennifer Storm outlined AOPA’s plans to help ensure a brighter future. Storm explained how the association is working to address high student pilot attrition rates and grow the ranks of pilots. Read more >>
What is the optimal flight training experience?
Want a more in-depth look at the results of the Flight Training Student Retention Initiative research? Download the final report from the initiative Web page. You also can find a video of APCO Insight Chairman Mark Benson’s presentation on the findings, hear more about AOPA’s initial plans from Director of Flight Training Initiatives Jennifer Storm, and access publications and other flight training resources.
March AIM to include ‘line up and wait’
The new phraseology “line up and wait” will be included in the edition of the Aeronautical Information Manual to be published March 10, according to the FAA Office of Runway Safety. Just like “taxi into position and hold,” the phrase is used when a takeoff clearance cannot immediately be issued because of traffic or other reasons. Controllers have been issuing the instructions since Sept. 30. Find more information on airport operations in the Air Safety Institute’s Runway Safety online course.
Aviation art/writing contest open to girls, women
Girls and women of all ages are encouraged to enter essays, drawings, and paintings of first flights—actual flights or how the creator imagines a flight would be—in contests sponsored by Women of Aviation Worldwide. Women of Aviation Worldwide Week takes place March 7 to 14. Winners will receive $100 toward a flight lesson or $100 in pilot supplies. For complete entry deadlines and requirements, see the website.
AOPA expanded its reach to aviation enthusiasts in more than 160 countries through AOPA Live®, and it brought its message to influencers in the government through its daily e-mail newsletter, Aviation eBrief. During 2010, AOPA also enjoyed strong support on Capitol Hill, launched the Lifestyles Collection to allow pilots to support their other hobbies through AOPA, and reinforced the AOPA Foundation’s commitment to safety. In this AOPA Live interview, AOPA President Craig Fuller shared how he plans to build on those successes. Watch AOPA Live >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted an early spring, but for most of us there’s still plenty of frosty weather in store. If you’re planning to fly in it, be sure to check out the recorded version of the Air Safety Institute’s “Cold Weather Ops” Webinar on AOPA Live. Hosted by AOPA Foundation president Bruce Landsberg, the program takes a practical look at coping with frigid engines, frosted wings, snowy taxiways, and ice-filled clouds. Watch AOPA Live >>
Back to basics
Getting checked out in an unfamiliar aircraft can be a lot of fun. But pilots should be careful when stepping up to a different aircraft. In a more complicated aircraft, it’s possible to get wrapped up in details—tank selection, optimal leaning technique, emergency gear extension, and the inescapable knobology—to the point of forgetting that this machine might not handle quite like anything you’ve flown before. On Feb. 12, 2009, the pilot of a Beech B95-A55 that he was recently checked out in crashed into trees just west of the North Houston Business Airport near Porter, Texas, killing himself and his passenger. Read more in this special report prepared by the Air Safety Institute.
Flatland flyers listen up! Want an incredible flight experience? Try mountain flying. But before you sign up with a qualified flight instructor for some exhilarating flight training, get prepared with the Air Safety Institute’s interactive Mountain Flying online course. You’ll be able to experiment with the effects of density altitude on aircraft performance and get to see what it’s like to traverse mountains during the daylight and at night. Take the course now >>
The White House on Feb. 14 released a budget that avoided user fees, provided funding to advance NextGen modernization, and set aside money specifically for improvement projects at general aviation airports. “Our initial reading indicates that the president has recognized the need to modernize our aviation system while maintaining critical infrastructure—all funded by a tried-and-true system of excise taxes and general fund contributions. All of us in the general aviation community find this encouraging,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. The president’s budget sets aside $1.24 billion for NextGen modernization, an increase of $370 million over 2010 funding. Read more >>
Fuller talks FAA funding
While the president can propose a budget, Congress decides the final numbers. And it does that through reauthorization bills. The Senate is already working on its version of an FAA reauthorization. The House bill was introduced Feb. 11. In this wide-ranging AOPA Live interview, AOPA President Craig Fuller talked about the difference between the House and Senate on funding the FAA, and the general mood on Capitol Hill toward aviation. Watch AOPA Live >>
While the Environmental Protection Agency studies lead emissions and considers the possibility of standards for general aviation emissions down the road, the agency will ask for comments at every step of the way, the EPA said at the Alaska FAA Industry Council meeting Feb. 9 and reaffirmed at the Alaska Forum on the Environment the following day. As AOPA reported in the Feb. 16 ePilot Special Report: Getting the Lead Out , AOPA Alaska Regional Representative Tom George met with the EPA representatives and gave them a firsthand look at some aircraft that rely on avgas, such as the C-46 and DC-6. Read more >>
Photo certificate proposal lacks safety, security benefits
AOPA has called for the FAA to withdraw its proposal to require all pilots to obtain a photo on their pilot certificate because it adds no safety or security benefit, while adding substantial costs to pilots and the federal government. Before pilots and the federal government incur new costs associated with changes to airman certification, further coordination is needed between industry stakeholders, the FAA, and other government agencies to ensure that any changes provide a true benefit with minimal impact, AOPA said in formal comments submitted Feb. 17. Read more >>
Practice of deleting enforcement action records halted
The FAA has temporarily suspended its policy of expunging certain legal enforcement actions from pilot files while it studies how to comply with a law establishing a database of pilot records to be used by air carriers to check backgrounds of potential hires. Read more >>
FAA needs to quash ‘patchwork’ airspace restrictions
Pilots are already on the lookout for pop-up temporary flight restrictions approved by the FAA, but recent attempts by other government entities, local municipalities, and private land owners to create their own airspace restrictions could create a patchwork of restrictions that would make it impossible for pilots to comply. In December, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposed restricting airspace over certain marine wildlife sanctuaries. More recently, a private landowner in California has sued balloonists and fixed-wing aircraft operators for flying over his olive farm, effectively creating restricted airspace by imposing fear of a suit on pilots. Read more >>
Cleveland Class B to change in April
The FAA has issued its final rule that makes changes to Cleveland, Ohio’s Class B airspace effective April 7. The final rule expands the existing Class B airspace centered on Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport to ensure containment of all published instrument procedures within its limits. It also assures aircraft operating under instrument flight rules are separated from nonparticipating visual flight rules aircraft operating in the vicinity of the Class B airspace area. Read more >>
AOPA, GA associations host House GA Caucus reception
AOPA and 11 other aviation associations hosted a kick-off reception Feb. 15 for new, returning, and prospective members of the House GA Caucus. The caucus and its counterpart in the Senate give members of Congress the opportunity to discuss and learn more about issues affecting a vital but little understood sector of the nation’s transportation system. Read more >>
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.
If you recently purchased an airplane that you are using primarily for business—more than 50 percent of its use is for business—or thinking about improving the business aircraft you own with upgraded equipment or avionics, you’ll be interested to learn about recent changes to the tax law regarding bonus depreciation and Section 179 expensing. AOPA consulted its tax expert, Raymond C. Speciale, Esq., CPA, who is the author of the association’s online resource, The Pilot’s Guide to Taxes. He reviewed the tax guide and added some new information. Check out the highlights.
Help support AOPA's mission with the AOPA Credit Card
Supporting AOPA’s mission to keep general aviation safe, fun, and affordable takes on many forms, from keeping your membership current to your utilization of AOPA Member Products. One notable AOPA member product, the AOPA Credit Card from Bank of America, is critical to the association’s mission. Read more >>
New CATS testing locations make finding one nearby a breeze
CATS, the official testing company of AOPA, has opened new testing centers in Florida, Michigan, Montana, Utah, and Virginia, giving you even more access to state-of-the-art Windows-based software, same day registration and instant test results, and most importantly a professional and distraction-free environment when taking your exam. As an AOPA member, you will receive a $10 discount on all FAA written exams at any CATS testing center. See a listing of the new locations and download your $10-off CATS coupon online.
Prostates, clots and other thoughts
Dr. Jonathan M. Sackier delves deeper into prostate cancer and deep venous thrombosis in this installment from the Medical Services Program newsletter. AOPA members enrolled in the Medical Services Program receive information like this and more in an e-mail newsletter. Enroll in the program today.
AOPA 2011 Crossover Classic Sweepstakes
It took Air Mod in Batavia, Ohio, just a few days to tear out the 2011 Crossover Classic Sweepstakes Cessna 182’s nasty old interior, pull up the floorboards, yank out the seats and side panels, and take a really good look at the aluminum and other structures that have been covered up for some 33 years. This is a hold-your-breath time. So far, all interior inspections have shown the airplane free of corrosion—but none of them involved disassembling the airplane to this degree. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an aviation technical specialist, financial analyst, program specialist—communications, and vice president of new product development and interactive marketing. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.