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Alligators are terrible at walking on land. They’re slow, they waddle, and they swing their heads from side to side. Now, consider the 3,800-pound Republic/STOL-Aircraft UC–1 Twin Bee amphibious multiengine seaplane. Same thing. The Twin Bee is much happier in the air or on water than on land. AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Al Marsh shares what he learned after a one-hour lesson in the aircraft with Jones Brothers and Company Air and Seaplane Adventures in Tavares, Fla. Taxiing the Twin Bee, which will be featured later this year in the movie The Rum Diary, proved to be the most difficult. “I got off the runway and onto the taxiway, but an S turn lay ahead—and I got stuck in it,” Marsh confesses. “Couldn’t turn, and couldn’t proceed without leaving the taxiway.” Find out what it took to get out of the predicament and watch AOPA Live® >>
Three green. Out of five general aviation economic recovery indicators, three—flight activity, corporate profits, and tax policies—are showing positive signs, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association reported Feb. 22 during its State of the Industry address. “We have three greens,” said GAMA Chairman of the Board and Dassault Falcon Jet CEO John Rosanvallon, “and that’s always a good sign in aviation.” Meanwhile, shipments continued to suffer for the third straight year, decreasing 11.4 percent to 2,015 units in 2010. GA billings, however, increased 1.2 percent in 2010 to $19.7 billion, thanks to the business jet market and expanding global markets. Read more >>
Hawker Beechcraft net sales down
Hawker Beechcraft 2010 results show net sales declined $393.8 million from 2009, to $2.8 billion. The company said the decrease resulted from lower business and general aviation deliveries. It reported that it delivered 238 business and general aviation aircraft, compared with 309 during the same period in 2009. The 2009 results included 29 special mission King Air aircraft delivered under the U.S. government’s Project Liberty Phase I program. Read more >>
Piper Aircraft released its 2010 shipment and billing figures Feb. 22, reporting 160 deliveries and $120 million in billings. The company said that it expanded its overall market share in deliveries of piston and turboprop aircraft from 10.5 percent in 2009 to 20.1 percent in 2010. Of Piper’s eight models of aircraft that were shipped in 2010, each saw double-digit numbers, except for the Arrow. The Mirage and Meridian accounted for the most deliveries. Read more >>
Iridium Communications CEO joins AOPA board
AOPA on Feb. 18 announced that Matthew J. Desch, CEO and director of Iridium Communications Inc., has joined the association’s Board of Trustees. The board members, all pilots, oversee AOPA and make sure it is addressing members’ priorities. “We are delighted to have Matthew Desch continue his service to AOPA as a member of the Board of Trustees,” said Chairman William Trimble. “Along with his proven leadership on behalf of AOPA members, he brings insights into technology and aviation to our team.” Read more >>
Air Tractor founder dies
After more than 50 years of designing aerial application airplanes, Leland Snow, founder and president of Air Tractor, Inc., died Feb. 20 at the age of 80. Read more >>
ForeFlight offers georeferenced approach plates
Love ForeFlight Mobile HD for the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad? You now have another reason to fall in love, thanks to a partnership with Seattle Avionics that offers ForeFlight users fully georeferenced approach plates and airport taxi diagrams. The new version, with an upgrade called ForeFlight Pro, is available for download in the Apple iTunes App Store. Read more >>
Dream of flight within reach for scholarship winner
Two years after giving away a Piper Archer II at the event, AOPA President Craig Fuller had another award for a woman at the International Women in Aviation conference Feb. 24: a chance to achieve her dream of flight. Fuller presented the AOPA Student Pilot Scholarship to Krista Crandall of Thornton, Colo., during the opening reception of the conference in Reno, Nev. Read more >>
Aviators, professionals connect in Reno
Few were new to aviation: Many had decades of experience, military honors, and accomplished careers. But not many of the more than 200 attendees at the International Women in Aviation conference’s new member coffee social Feb. 24 had experienced anything quite like the conference before. The new member event, sponsored by AOPA, introduced members to the broad cross section of professionals and enthusiasts represented in Women in Aviation International—from the engineers who design aircraft to the pilots who fly them and the professionals who maintain them. Read more >>
To celebrate Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, March 7 through 13, the aviation community will showcase its female members and welcome newcomers with first flights, contests, and more. “The women of the past cracked the doors open; we intend to open them wide,” said international organizer Mireille Goyer. There are fewer women flying today—approximately 35,000, including those with student pilot certificates—than there were 15 years ago, she said. Read more >>
Marv Golden launches new website
The popular Internet-based pilot shop Marv Golden Pilot Supplies said this week it launched a new website. Marvgolden.com, which claims to be the first pilot shop to sell on the Internet, has been updated with many new features. Read more >>
The makers of MyGripLight said recently that their popular cockpit pen and light holder has been updated to include the option to mount the product with suction cups instead of Velcro. Read more >>
Hover Power: Photo flights and tail rotors
The unique ability of a helicopter to slow down and hover out of ground effect makes it an ideal platform for taking pictures or video. To safely perform these types of flights requires a complete understanding of the issues involved with maneuvering a helicopter at slow speeds. One of these areas is understanding the limitations of different helicopter tail rotors. Read more >>
Flight Training Deputy Editor Ian J. Twombly reviews two inexpensive iPad apps that should be particularly useful for students and flight instructors. Watch AOPA Live >>
Confused about what Congress is doing about getting money to keep the FAA operating? AOPA Live Executive Producer Warren Morningstar gives a flight-level view of the current budget debate. For more in-depth information, watch the interview with AOPA President Craig Fuller. Watch AOPA Live >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
If live ammo and high-speed military training operations aren’t your cup of tea, you might review Mission: Possible, an interactive online course brought to you by the Air Safety Institute, the U.S. Air Force, and the Department of Defense. Video clips and interactive flight-planning scenarios take you beyond special-use airspace definitions. Learn how to avoid accidental formation flight on a military training route and “stealth” aircraft in “lights out” night operations. Mission: Possible qualifies for AOPA Accident Forgiveness and the FAA Wings programs. Take the course >>
Test your airspace knowledge
The ins and outs of airspace are some of the first things you learn as a pilot—but fundamental as the knowledge is, it never hurts to brush up. This week’s Air Safety Institute Safety Quiz covers some of the basics (and not-so-basics) of airspace rules, procedures, and charting. Are you up for the challenge? Find out >>
Flying single-pilot IFR in weather is one of the bigger challenges a pilot can face. The pilot must also serve as navigator, radio operator, systems manager, onboard meteorologist, record keeper, and sometimes, flight attendant. Doing it well requires thorough planning, mastery of aircraft and avionics, solid judgment, concentration, and good multi-tasking skills. Learn more about what it takes for solo pilots to stay safe in “the system” with the Air Safety Institute’s Single Pilot IFR Safety Advisor.
Have you ever faced an FAA enforcement action? No one ever plans to have a bad day, but they do happen. How you deal with the unfortunate event often affects its outcome. Ramps checks, accidents, flying into restricted airspace . . . all may result in actions from the FAA. What is the best way to handle the situation? What are your rights? Do you have to comply with the FAA's requests? Hear answers to these questions and more as AOPA Pilot Information Center Vice President Woody Cahall and AOPA General Counsel John Yodice review several enforcement scenarios and their possible outcomes. Watch AOPA Live >>
Fly Well: On cloud nine
Before your next flight, make sure you—and your passengers—get that “on cloud nine” feeling by doing a little preflight on everyone who boards the aircraft. In his “Fly Well” column in the February 2011 AOPA Pilot, Dr. Jonathan Sackier recommends using the IM SAFE and BEST OF PLANS checklists. Read more >>
Air Safety eJournal: Boggs and Stevens—historical revisit?
AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg reviews the aftermath of two accidents in Alaska—one that killed Rep. Hale Boggs in 1972 and the other that killed Sen. Ted Stevens in 2010. After the 1972 accident, Congress mandated ELTs. In the wake of this recent accident, Congress wants to make sure that the ELTs are properly mounted and maintained. Read more >>
Riverside County, Calif., violated its grant agreements when it forced gliders out of Hemet-Ryan Airport, the FAA ruled Feb. 11. The agency gave the county 30 days to submit a plan for welcoming sailplanes back onto the field. The airport sponsor, the Riverside County Economic Development Agency, announced in 2009 that it would close the glider runway at Hemet-Ryan and prohibit nonmotorized glider departures from Runway 5/23. The Orange County Soaring Association filed a formal complaint with the FAA. Read more >>
NATA supports counting sport-pilot training toward private
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is supporting a petition to the FAA by several general aviation organizations to allow flight training with a sport pilot instructor to count toward the aeronautical experience requirements of higher pilot certificates. AOPA, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and the National Association of Flight Instructors petitioned the FAA to amend FAR Parts 61.99 and 61.109. Read more >>
Alamo offers one-way rentals from $19.95 a day
Attention AOPA members: If you’re driving in Florida, Alamo has a deal you won’t want to miss. One-way rentals on economy through full-size vehicles start at $19.95 a day. By choosing AOPA member products you help general aviation by funding AOPA’s daily efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of GA. Reserve your car today!
AOPA helps Sundowner owner
Seth Jenkins has been a private pilot since 1998. After renting airplanes for a while, he says, “I got tired of it. I wanted to make longer weekend trips so I decided it was time to buy my own airplane.” Read more >>
AOPA 2011 Crossover Classic Sweepstakes
That all-important clock
To be legal when flying under instrument flight rules you need to have an operating clock installed on your instrument panel. It can have an analog presentation with a sweep-second hand, or be a digital clock. This sounds simple enough. But some pilots seem a bit blasé about this. The Crossover Classic’s previous owner had a clock on the panel, all right. But it had given up the ghost long ago. Read more >>
Air Mod—located at Ohio’s Clermont County Airport—has built a reputation on its attention to detail. It all starts with an inspection and cleaning of the interior airframe. A cleanup of any corrosion, dirt, debris, mouse nests, etc., follows, and then there’s a zinc chromate treatment to prevent any further corrosion. “Yikes!” one reader commented after seeing Air Mod’s documentation of trouble spots and corrective actions. “It makes you wonder what your own airplane looks like down deep.” Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an IT department coordinator/help desk, 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.