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Most general aviation pilots would love to fly an average of 220 hours a year. Flying that much for a decade would be a dream come true. Bob Gannon did all that, but he upped the ante, flying 2,200 hours in 10 years, and making 1,200 landings in 155 different countries, on every continent. He became an “earthrounder.” Twice. And his trek required roughly 300 hours airborne over oceans, hand-flying an elderly single-engine Cessna 182 whose most sophisticated avionics was an ancient GPS for which you can’t even get batteries anymore. He says he’d do it that way again. This January, Gannon, 60, returned home to San Diego’s Gillespie Field, having completed two circumnavigations of the globe, in opposite directions. Read more >>
Gobosh Aviation, which imports the all-metal Polish Aero AT-4 under the name Gobosh (the letters of the name stand for “Go Big or Stay Home”), has been sold to three Denver-area investors. The Gobosh ranks sixteenth in sales in the U.S. light sport aircraft (LSA) market, with 26 sold through December 2010. The AT-4 is the LSA version of the Aero AT-3 aircraft sold in Europe. Read more >>
‘Miracle’ solo: Flight 1549 passenger is the PIC
On a freezing day in January 2009, Clay Presley stood on the wing of an Airbus A320 that had been ditched in New York’s Hudson River, waiting for boats to rescue him and the other 154 passengers and crew on US Airways Flight 1549. Two years and 10 days later, Presley soloed a Cessna 172SP at Rock Hill Airport in Rock Hill, S.C. The following day Presley boarded an international flight to Frankfurt, Germany, for a business trip. Before he left U.S. soil, he told AOPA he was excited about his solo and about eventually getting a private pilot certificate. “My experience on Flight 1549 was partially the catalyst for taking lessons,” he said. Read more >>
Hartzell intros new props for Aztecs
Hartzell Propeller Inc. has announced a new, two-blade Top Prop propeller conversion kit for Piper’s PA-23-250 Aztec twin-engine airplane. The new propellers have 77-inch diameters and blade-mounted counterweights to provide redundant assistance to the propeller pitch control and feathering system. The Aztec’s standard system relies heavily on an air charge for controlling pitch and feathering, Hartzell says. Read more >>
Textron, the parent company to Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter, released fourth quarter 2010 results and predicted improvement in sales for 2011. Bell continued to do better than Cessna, but demand for commercial business jets has increased. Textron Chairman and CEO Scott C. Donnelly said in a conference call Jan. 26 that officials were disappointed during the first nine months of 2010 that forecast improvement was not taking place. However, 2010 had a big finish. Read more >>
Boeing’s Lee to receive Stinson Trophy
The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) has chosen Nelda K. Lee of The Boeing Company to receive the 2010 Katherine and Marjorie Stinson Award. The award recognizes a living woman for an outstanding and enduring contribution; a meritorious flight; or a singular technical development in the field of aviation, aeronautics, space, or related sciences. As a “role model and pioneer female aerospace test engineer,” Lee has inspired men and women to seek careers in aviation, the NAA said. Read more >>
Scholarships for FBO workers offered
Employees at FBOs interested in aviation and science careers are encouraged to apply for scholarships from the Patrick Marzitelli Science and Aviation Fund. Two scholarships of $3,000 each will be awarded annually, one for flight training and another for science education. Applicants must be high school students or graduates with grade point averages of 2.5 or above and perform some kind of community or volunteer service. The scholarships are named for Patrick Marzitelli, a 17-year-old student in Minnesota who died in an on-the-job accident in 2010 while working at an FBO. He was an enthusiastic aviation and science student at the time of his death. Candidates for the scholarship can apply through the foundation’s website.
‘Pilot’ stories come to life in digital edition
Vote on the quirkiest airport in the United States, fly through Canada on an arctic adventure, and see what it’s like to loop and roll your way to becoming a better pilot. The interactive polls and video content are embedded in the new digital edition of AOPA Pilot . Watch the videos and take the polls and quizzes right from the story page. With all of the new features of the digital edition, you might want to consider switching your print copy or adding the digital version as an extra. But don’t worry, the print magazine isn’t going anywhere. Learn more about the digital edition from these frequently asked questions, and decide if switching to digital is right for you. Switch or add today >>
Reporting Points: The meaning of aviation
This is not feel-good, warm-and-fuzzy commentary about the philosophical meaning of aviation. Nope, this is about how mean aviation has become. AOPA Media Editor in Chief Tom Haines has been in the media business in one way or another for 27 years, 25 covering general aviation. Somewhere along the way, pilots have become as mean-spirited and spiteful as the rest of the population, he says. Haines expounds upon his Waypoints column from the February 2011 issue of AOPA Pilot. Read more >>
The strength of the congressional general aviation caucus—which provides a venue for members of Congress to learn more about GA—helped the industry resist a White House user fee proposal and onerous regulations. Now, with close to 100 newly elected members in the House, leaders of the House GA Caucus are rebuilding the caucus—and AOPA members can help. As they take over leadership of the caucus, new co-chairs Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and John Barrow (D-Ga.) are recruiting members. Watch AOPA Live® >>
Fuller: Sport pilots ‘a very special community’
The aviation community is, in many ways, depending on light sport aircraft to attract and retain pilots, AOPA President Craig Fuller said Jan. 20 during a speech at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla. Fuller said he is convinced not only that sport aviation will grow, but that it must grow. As more and more AOPA members become interested in light sport aircraft, he said, the association will continue to strengthen its ties with the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association. Watch AOPA Live >>
AOPA Now: LSA excitement
The folks at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla., are excited about their aircraft, and having spent some time checking out the show AOPA President Craig Fuller can really understand their enthusiasm. There were dozens of light sport aircraft on display to meet any sport pilot’s needs. Whether you want a high-tech cockpit or you want to skip the gadgets and just enjoy exercising your stick-and-rudder skills, there’s an LSA for you. Read more >>
Six years after the creation of the light sport category, more than 100 models have come onto the market. But what can you get for less than $70,000? Dan Johnson, chairman of the board and president of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, talked to AOPA Live about cost, the marketplace, and opportunities for growth of the light sport aircraft industry. “The truth is, this is a worldwide phenomenon,” he said. Watch AOPA Live >>
Skycatcher: How does it compare to the Cessna 152?
Many pilots have learned to fly, or at least taken a lesson or two, in the Cessna 152. So how does Cessna’s Skycatcher light sport aircraft compare? In a few decades, will the Skycatcher be a primary trainer? So far, 13 Skycatchers have been delivered to 12 Cessna Pilot Centers, and 30 aircraft are now flying in the United State. But, Cessna predicts that it will deliver 150 Skycatchers in 2011. Watch AOPA Live >>
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Safety & Proficiency
An instrument rating significantly expands your flying realm, but IFR privileges also carry with them increased responsibilities and meticulous flight preparations. A review of the federal aviation regulations reveals stringent requirements for pilot currency and proficiency and chapters devoted to IFR minimums—alternates, fuel, weather, equipment, and the list goes on. Be prepared! Review the regs and take this latest Air Safety Institute quiz before launching IFR. Take the quiz >>
Winter storms across the country may keep you on the ground more than you’d like this season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay proficient. Simulators and flight training devices are cost-effective tools for learning how an aircraft handles in different scenarios, and for keeping your skills sharp when you can’t count on good weather. Find out about the four major types of ground-based aviation training devices and how you can make the most of wintry days in AOPA’s Flight Training Devices and Desktop Simulators subject report.
Befriend the Air Safety Institute on Facebook
Did you know the Air Safety Institute has its own brand-new Facebook page? This page replaces the former AOPA Air Safety Foundation Facebook page, so join Air Safety Institute fans today and plug into safety seminars, online courses, quizzes, Real Pilot Stories, Accident Case Studies, blogs, and more. Would you consider helping the institute’s “cause to keep flying affordable, safe, and accessible”? Click the “Causes” tab and the AOPA Foundation link to make a tax-deductible donation. And share this cause with your Facebook friends. Have fun writing on the wall. Become a fan today >>
Another winter storm moved up the East Coast as January came to a close. But in the Bahamas, warm waters from the Gulf Stream make for temperatures in the 70s this time of year. Even light general aviation aircraft can reach the Bahamas from the Florida coast. The island chain boasts 2,200 miles of coastline for the winter-weary pilot. And plenty of resources are available to help smooth the process of flying into the country. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>
RNAV approaches 101
Whether you’re new to RNAV approaches or puzzled by LPV and LNAV/VNAV visibility minimums often being higher than LNAV-only approaches, the Air Safety Institute’s IFR Chart Challenge: RNAV Approach course can help. GPS receiver operations tips and a quick approach chart refresher will guide you during the RNAV (GPS) X Runway 1 approach into Jackson Hole, Wyo. RNAV approaches aren’t difficult—just different from non GPS-based approaches. Take the challenge >>
Air Safety eJournal: GA should stand proud
The recent medical transfer of wounded congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords by two general aviation aircraft perfectly illustrates the use of our nation's air transportation system. As good a job as the carriers do, transporting the gravely injured congresswoman was not something they could have done well. And flights like last week’s transport happen hundreds of times a week. There are tens of thousands of charity flights annually for almost unlimited humanitarian purposes. Read more >>
More than a quarter of the House urged President Barack Obama not to include aviation user fees in his 2012 budget in a letter Jan. 21. The letter, signed by 116 members of Congress, expressed support for the current system of funding for the FAA and said that inclusion of user fees in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget “would be a step backward in our efforts to modernize our air traffic control system and fund FAA operations.” Read more >>
House committee makes long-term FAA funding a priority
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is wasting no time in the 112th Congress in addressing the need for a long-term FAA funding bill. During its first meeting of the session Jan. 26, the committee, chaired by Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), approved rules and an oversight plan that emphasizes its dedication to passing a long-term FAA reauthorization bill that will be enacted into law. The oversight plan states that the aviation subcommittee “will pursue a long-term reauthorization bill that will result in job creation, and reformed and streamlined FAA programs and processes.” Read more >>
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has denied a petition from Santa Monica, Calif., to review the FAA’s decision that the city could not ban certain jet traffic at Santa Monica Airport. The FAA had stopped the city from going forward with an ordinance to ban Category C and D aircraft (such as Gulfstreams and some Citations and Challengers) from operating at the airport and ruled that it had no authority for the ban. The appeals court upheld the FAA decision. Read more >>
FAA proposes guidelines for marking meteorological towers
AOPA is supporting an FAA proposal to set guidelines for the marking and lighting of proliferating meteorological evaluation towers (METs). The FAA recommends adopting guidelines for METs that currently apply to other structures including “the alternate bands of aviation orange and white paint for skeletal framework of storage tanks and similar structures, and towers that have cables attached.” Read more >>
Fla. restricted airspace plan needs modifications
AOPA is recommending four modifications to an FAA proposal for Pinecastle restricted areas north of Florida’s Orlando International Airport. These modifications could help mitigate the adverse effects of the plan on hundreds of general aviation pilots, AOPA said in formal comments submitted Jan. 25. Pilots are urged to submit comments by Feb. 7. If approved as drafted, the proposal would eliminate general aviation transit corridors through the complex, essentially creating a 42-nautical-mile wall of restricted airspace separating east and west Florida. Read more >>
Stall warning systems on pre-2000 aircraft may not activate at the onset of a stall in icing conditions, the FAA told pilots Jan. 24 in a special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB). The SAIB results from a study of nonfatal icing-related incidents dating back 25 years, in which the FAA found evidence of stall events during flight in icing conditions when the pilot or passenger said the warning system did not activate. In some of the accidents, pilots experienced a “shudder” or buffet but did not recognize it as an impending wing stall. Read more >>
FCC: Bandwidth expansion must not interfere with GPS
A communications network operator whose plan to expand its use of the radio spectrum triggered concerns about interference with GPS signals must not proceed until it assures GPS users and regulators that no conflict exists. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an order Jan. 26 imposing compliance requirements on mobile-satellite services network operator LightSquared as a condition of authorizing its use of bandwidth close to the frequencies used for GPS. Read more >>
How do two powerful federal regulators, the EPA and FAA, approach the transition of the general aviation piston fleet to unleaded avgas? To put it simply, the EPA is responsible for what comes out of the exhaust stack; the FAA is responsible for what goes into the fuel tank. The latest ePilot Special Report: Getting the Lead Out explores how the EPA and FAA are working in sync, and how companies are progressing toward an unleaded fuel specification. To receive these updates on the avgas issue, subscribe online.
NC town planners vote down apt. complex next to airport
The municipal planning board in Southern Pines, N.C., has declined to approve a proposed 232-unit apartment complex that would have been located about 3,500 feet from the runway at the Moore County Airport. The planning board voted 4-2 to withhold approval of the so-called Tyler’s Ridge at Sandhills development during a meeting Jan. 20 at which six AOPA members spoke in opposition to the plan. AOPA members and Airport Support Network volunteer Colin Webster rallied the local aviation community to participate in the development plan’s public review. Read more >>
The massive FAA project to re-register all U.S. aircraft is under way. In fact, the program is in its third month, and if your airplane was registered in the month of March in any year you have until the end of January to apply for re-registration. The procedure is simple—you can apply online and spend $5. Sounds easy, and it may be, but some may need assistance with this new process. If you need assistance, let a professional firm such as AIC Title Service track and manage the process for you. Read more >>
From Florida to Fresno—and in between: Save up to $40
Save $10 per day, up to $40 on your weekly or weekend rental at the airport when you include PC#151034 in your reservation of an Economy or higher class car. This offer is valid for pickup now through Feb. 13. Reserve your car today. 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.
Find an AME using AOPA’s database
If it’s almost time for your visit to the aviation medical examiner, find one in your area using AOPA’s database. Members can search for AMEs by name, city, or radius. You can even find out a doctor’s pilot credentials and whether he or she is a senior AME. Search now >>
Your favorite airports, on the go
The AOPA Airports application for Apple iPhone and iPod touch gives pilots quick access to airport information on the go. Powered by ForeFlight, the app is free to AOPA members as part of the association’s suite of mobile applications. Visit the Apple App Store to download this exclusive member benefit.
AOPA 2011 Crossover Classic Sweepstakes
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne arrived at Advantage Avionics as the Crossover Classic’s panel was getting its final touches. The installation staff was plugging in the Cessna 182’s V-speeds, aligning the attitude and heading reference system (AHRS), and plugging some pitot-static leaks. Seems the last pitot-static inspection left a lot to be desired. The leaks in the pitot-static system reached a level worth 1,400 fpm! Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an aviation education program developer, business analyst, financial analyst, IT project architect, program specialist—communications, and vice president of new product development and interactive marketing. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.