Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

July 29, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterJuly 29, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter


AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 13, ISSUE 30 — July 29, 2011

BiPod: Rutan’s flying car
Mega-electric Taurus G4 debuts
Aspen marries mobile devices, avionics
Lessons from Bob Hoover


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Sponsored by:

Click here to see this week's custom content.


EAA AirVenture 2011

BiPod: Has Rutan solved flying car conundrum?

Feature Design legend Burt Rutan discusses his latest creation, the BiPod, with a 31.8-foot wingspan, twin-boom fuselages, and pusher propellers driven by six-pound, 20-horsepower electric motors. “We know how to build airplanes,” Rutan said at EAA AirVenture. “That’s easy. But a flying car? Most of those designs can barely fly. So we wanted to see if we could build a hybrid-powered model that would be a good airplane—one that could fly over the Rockies and have good range.” The BiPod should take off and land within 400 feet, cruise as fast as 197 mph at 12,000 feet, and fly as far as 760 miles at an economy power setting. Ground includes a range of 35 miles in the city or 820 miles on highways using electric power only; a motorcycle engine also can be used to augment the electric power. So far, ground effect flights have been conducted, with takeoff power provided by the propellers and the wheel motors. Read more >>

Bose® A20® Aviation Headset

The best we’ve ever made
Bose was the first to introduce active noise reducing headsets to aviation more than 20 years ago, forever changing the way pilots fly. Today, we continue to set the standard with the Bose A20 Aviation Headset. The headset provides acclaimed noise reduction, with a comfortable fit and the clear audio you expect from Bose. It also features Bluetooth® connectivity, an auxiliary audio input and priority switching. Learn more >


Tom Poberezny retires as EAA chairman

EAA Chairman Tom Poberezny is retiring from the association effective Aug. 1, Poberezny and EAA announced July 26 at EAA AirVenture. Poberezny, 64, became president of the association in 1989, when he assumed the role after his father and the organization’s founder, Paul, retired from day-to-day involvement; he has served as chairman since 2009. The announcement came a year to the day after EAA announced that Poberezny was handing over the reins as CEO and president of the association to Rod Hightower. Read more >>

BRS tests electronic trigger for parachute

With the flip of a switch, pilots could electronically deploy an airframe parachute in case of an emergency. BRS Aerospace already has tested electronically fired rockets. The trick is the trigger switch’s location. The company is still studying where to put the switch, which must be accessible but not in a position to be fired accidentally. Read more >>

Mega-electric Taurus G4 debuts

Pipistrel Taurus G4 electric airplane Pipistrel’s Taurus G4, a 3,245-pound, four-seat airplane powered by a single 200-horsepower electric motor, is commanding attention at EAA AirVenture. The one-off, not-for-production airplane is specifically designed to compete in the CAFE Green Flight Challenge and is capable of “more than 100 mph,” according to Pipistrel engineer Tine Tomazic. The G4’s batteries weigh in at a whopping 1,100 pounds. Read more >>

LAMA pushes for international LSA standards

Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA) President Dan Johnson on July 27 said the light sport aircraft category is poised for growth and is laying the groundwork for worldwide acceptance of manufacturing standards. LSAs are certified according to consensus ASTM standards; LAMA is pushing for international acceptance of ASTM rather than individual and often repetitive examinations from regulators in each country where these aircraft are sold and flown. He said European countries as well as Brazil and Australia have accepted, or are near to accepting, ASTM for LSAs. Read more >>

Snap brings aerobatics to LSA market

Dallair Snap LSA The single-seat Snap, powered by a 130-horsepower engine based on the Rotax 912, has a roll rate of about 300 degrees per second. The airplane, built by Italian company Dallair and distributed in the United States by SportAir, has a steel tube frame, metal wings, carbon-fiber fuselage, two-blade MT Propeller, and a fabric-covered belly and control surfaces. Its V NE speed is 180, and its top cruise and stall speeds will conform to the light sport aircraft limits of 120 knots and 45 knots respectively. Read more >>

Your IFR rating in 10 days at your location … IFR finish-up in as little as 3 days!

Professional teachers, specialized curriculum. IFR specialists for 30+ years. Whether flying G1000, Avidyne Entegra, Aspen, Cirrus Perspective or analog instruments, our instructors have the experience. Put “Instrument Rated” on your calendar NOW. 800-435-9437. Already Rated, but rusty? Our IFR Safety Course will get you current and make you a safer pilot.

Kestrel's Klapmeier tackles Piper Meridian

He helped co-found Cirrus and he's leading Kestrel Aircraft to bring a single-engine turboprop to market. Now, Alan Klapmeier has created a new company division, Kestrel Aeroworks, to take on the Piper Meridian and make it more "user friendly." The division will install the Avidyne Release 9 panel in older Piper Meridian and Cirrus aircraft. Although he didn’t provide specific examples, Klapmeier said he has been flying an older Meridian recently and found several comfort and convenience factors missing. Placement of switches and other components can be improved, and he will use his experience in making the Cirrus cockpit and interior more functional to improve the Meridian’s interior. Read more >>

GA industry news icon Dave Sclair dies

General aviation lost an aviation media pioneer July 26 with the death of Dave Sclair, former publisher of General Aviation News. Sclair and his wife, Mary Lou, were industry icons at aviation events nationwide since the 1970s. Sclair was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer earlier this year. "Dave Sclair embodied so much of what's best about the general aviation community,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “He was passionate about flying, and he shared that passion with everyone he met. He will be sorely missed." Read more >>

Flying the same airplane without incident for 12+ months?

You’re entitled to 10% claims free credits your first year with Avemco—15% your second! Also receive up to 10% off your annual premium with Avemco’s Safety Rewards. Learn more >>

NAFI reaffirms relationship with AOPA

The National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) held its annual EAA AirVenture breakfast on July 28, during which the association reaffirmed its close relationship with AOPA. NAFI Chairman Ken Hoffman spoke at length about the long relationship between NAFI and AOPA, and how that relationship has helped to solidify NAFI’s future. Executive Director Jason Blair also mentioned the important work the groups do together, but stressed that NAFI’s position is strong representing flight instructors. Read more >>

Salute to centennial of naval aviation

View a slideshow from 'NAS Oshkosh' display The largest collection of airworthy U.S. naval aircraft, ranging from meticulous restorations and replicas to today’s modern airplanes and helicopters, is being featured at EAA AirVenture on ConocoPhillips Plaza and at a special parking area dubbed “NAS Oshkosh.” More than 25 specially painted aircraft are scheduled to appear at AirVenture, including two T-45 Goshawks painted in yellow-winged, pre-World War II tactical aircraft schemes, an S-3B Viking wearing the same colors as Navy aircraft that fought in the World War II Battle of Midway, and an HH-60H Seahawk helicopter painted like the aircraft of Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron Three (HAL-3) from the Vietnam era. Read more and view a slide show >>

F-35 earns sea legs

The Navy’s newest fighter, the Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, has completed its first steam catapult launch just as naval aviation celebrates its 100th anniversary. Read more >>

HAI, helo operators embraced at AirVenture

Helicopter operators and prospective pilots: Welcome to AirVenture. The Helicopter Association International (HAI) set up a large display, with a second-floor airshow viewing area, at the show and plans to expand in the future. For years, helicopter owners have told HAI and EAA that they felt underserved at the show, according to HAI President Matt Zuccaro. Read more >>

Leenhouts named new Sun 'n Fun president

John R. Leenhouts, a retired naval aviator, active general aviation pilot, and antique-aircraft owner, has been named president of Sun ’n Fun Fly-In Inc. The organization sponsors the annual Sun ’n Fun International Fly-in and Expo in Lakeland, Fla. “With his incredibly diverse aviation background, business acumen, and extensive philanthropic work, John is an outstanding choice to lead the Sun ’n Fun organization. All of us at AOPA are excited to work with him and the entire Sun ’n Fun organization in 2012 and beyond,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. Read more >>

Blackhawk STC boosts Caravan’s power

After 35,000 man-hours plus 210 flight test hours, which included 115 spins, Blackhawk Modifications Inc. completed the XP42A conversion, which swaps out the Caravan’s stock 600- or 675-shp PT6A engine and replaces it with a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-42A engine of 850 shp. Blackhawk also conducted successful icing tests using ice shapes and flights in natural icing conditions, accumulating as much as five inches on the airplane. The result is a hefty boost in the Caravan’s performance. Read more >>

‘IMC Club 2.0’ offers Pilot Workshops training

IMC Club International, an instrument proficiency organization with chapters nationwide, announced July 26 an agreement to use Pilot Workshops scenario-based training modules at chapter meetings. Calling the new structure “IMC Club 2.0,” the Norwood, Mass.-based organization said that all members will have access to some of Pilot Workshops’ IFR Mastery workshops monthly at the club’s meetings. Read more >>

Cirrus lands China training deal

Cirrus SR20 Cirrus Aircraft is reaping the benefits of a rapidly expanding general aviation market in China. Just weeks after completing its merger with China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA), Cirrus announced it has landed a deal to supply the Civil Aviation Flight University of China with trainers for its fleet. The deal closely follows an announcement that the company will sell 25 SR20 aircraft to the U.S. Air Force Academy for training; Cirrus CEO Brent Wouters said in an EAA AirVenture news conference July 25 that the company is putting more resources into tapping growth markets, particularly the fleet and institutional markets. Read more >>

Rally GAPilots rise to Georgia Air Challenge

Almost 250 pilots have risen to the Georgia Air Challenge, which is offering registered participants who fly at least three hours and visit three Georgia airports a chance to win prizes and have a lot of fun between now and Aug. 13. The challenge has been more than a fun excuse to fly. Pilots are telling the organizers that the event has been a great reason to get airborne and meet recency-of-experience requirements. One couple doubled down on the idea. Read more >>

University of Illinois aviation program to close

The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois voted 6-2 on July 21 to close a noted aviation program that has been turning out pilots for the airlines, industry, and government since 1946. The university’s Institute of Aviation will shut down at the end of the 2013-2014 academic year. However, Institute of Aviation Interim Director Tom W. Emanuel expressed hope that the institute might re-emerge, possibly in partnership with a community college as a “bridge program” that would offer credits at both academic levels. “We’re still fighting. We’re not giving up on this,” said Emanuel, noting that program graduates work for airlines, the FAA, and corporations such as Mitre and Boeing, where they use their human-factors education and aviation knowledge to design cockpits. Read more >>

BlogsHover Power: Torsion-tension straps

The mass of a spinning rotor blade produces a strong force that pulls the blade away from the hub. It is known as centrifugal force and the greater the rpm or the higher the blade’s mass, the stronger the force. For helicopter engineers this presents a challenge. Read more >>

Mobile Highlights

Aspen marries mobile devices, avionics

Use your tablet computer to communicate with the avionics in your aircraft to synchronize flight plans, tune radios, record flight and engine data, log flight time, and plan maintenance. Aspen’s Connected Panel includes hardware, software, and applications that allow two-way, wireless communication between tablet computers and certified avionics. It is built to an open architecture standard that will accommodate future applications for Apple and Android products. Read more >>

Jeppesen iPad app offers charts, flight planning

Jeppesen announced July 28 the availability of a new iPad application that incorporates all of its en route charts and terminal approach plates. Called Mobile FliteDeck, the application allows for worldwide charts in just a few gigabytes of data on the iPad. In addition to full charting capability, the application has a basic flight planner that overlays a route onto the chart. Read more >>

Sennheiser, offer iPad app

Sennheiser and have joined forces to develop a new Apple iPad application for flight planning. The app, introduced during EAA AirVenture, allows pilots to download flights planned in’s Flight Wizard and take them, via iPad, into the cockpit. Read more >>

WingX adds synthetic vision for iPad

Synthetic vision is now a reality on the iPad. WingX recently announced that it has added the computer-generated view out the window to its offerings. The technology wraps the app’s terrain, airport, and obstacle databases into a powerful piece of situational awareness. Read more >>

G1000 data now available from AvConnect

Whether you ask it to or not, the aircraft you are flying with a Garmin G1000 is capturing more than 70 points of data every second of your flight. Although that data has always been available to analyze, getting to it has been difficult. Now AvConnect has a service to help. The service takes the data, digests it, and puts it into an easy-access customer account. Read more >>

METARs, TAFs on demand

Finally, Twitter has a purpose. AVTweets is a new company offering METARs on demand via Twitter. Tweets are listed as the airport’s ICAO identifier with “awos” on the end. For example, New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport would be “KTEBawos.” Each time the report updates, the service sends out a tweet, which could include sending it to a smartphone. Read more >>

More News:

Eclipse Jet cleared to 41,000 feet, again

Piper’s Altaire, Seminole LX debut at Oshkosh

Lycoming focused on four-cylinder, noncertified markets

Socata to decide on SPn by year-end

Aviation conference to seek change

AvMap offers new portable GPS unit

New book chronicles history of DC-3

Electronic ignition for Lycoming four-cylinder Cessnas

LoPresti, DeltaHawk to give SR20 new engine, cowl

Oshkosh in brief

The Aviators Season Two premieres … Lightspeed launches Zulu.2 headset … WingX gets ADS-B traffic, weather … Wathen Foundation offers A&P training … Redbird launches aircraft-specific sims. Get the scoop on these and more >>

Save this summer with Garmin rebates

Now’s a great time to upgrade your aircraft. Purchase a G500 or G600 system and get $1,000 cash back when you also purchase a GTN. Or get $1000 to $3,250 back on qualifying purchases with a Garmin traffic system. Learn more.


‘Just don’t make it mad’

Rep. Sam Graves' T-6 If airplanes could talk, everyone would pull up a chair to hear stories from Missouri Congressman Sam Graves’ North American T-6. It once belonged to famed fighter ace Günther Rall, a gift from the U.S. Air Force, Graves told AOPA Live®, pointing out the aviator’s signature on the aircraft. Graves said he enjoys performing a “good old 2G loop” in the last T-6 ever built. He just has one word of caution for flying the slightly swept-wing aircraft: “Just don’t make it mad.” Watch AOPA Live >>

Around the world in a Cessna 182

At how many different airports have you landed? States? How about countries? This week The Aviators profiles a Cessna 182 pilot who has touched down in all 50 states, all Canadian provinces, and 155 different countries. Watch AOPA Live >>

AOPA Live highlights best of AirVenture

Whether you are at EAA AirVenture, home, or work, you can enjoy some of the highlights of the show through AOPA Live. AOPA will interview the leaders of several general aviation associations, offer Air Safety Institute safety seminars, and discuss the latest news on Capitol Hill, including the new user fee threat and the recently introduced Pilot’s Bill of Rights. Aviation enthusiasts attending the show can watch interviews and in-person seminars at the AOPA Live stage in the AOPA tent located west of Hangar C. Others can watch the AOPA Live stream online. See the full schedule >>

‘Spirit of Tuskegee’ soars across country

'Spirit of Tuskegee' flies from Calif. to Washington, D.C. When Air Force Capt. Matthew Quy bought a wrecked PT-13 Stearman, he had no idea of the piece of history he would one day restore. The aircraft, appropriately dubbed Spirit of Tuskegee, served as a trainer in the 1940s for the Tuskegee Airmen at Moton Field in Alabama. Quy restored the aircraft and is on a month-long journey to fly from California to Washington, D.C., where he will turn the aircraft over to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Throughout this endeavor, 35 Tuskegee Airmen have signed the aircraft and seven have gone for a flight, piloting the biplane is if they’ve never missed a beat. Watch AOPA Live >>


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

The Limited Commemorative Edition SR22T

We’re celebrating ten years of the history-making SR22 with this tiny, ten aircraft fleet to fly above all we have accomplished in the last decade. If you’d like to own a piece of history, call before the last are claimed—866/380.0887.

Safety & Proficiency

Lessons from the master, Bob Hoover

“Know your capabilities, and those of the airplane, and don’t exceed either one.” That’s the advice of famed war hero, test pilot, and airshow performer Bob Hoover, who recounted landing a North American F-86 Sabre after the control stick became detached from the ailerons and elevator. Read more >>

BlogsReporting Points: Friends celebrate Hoover

What started out as a dinner and party with a few friends of famed aviator R.A. “Bob” Hoover several years ago has turned into an annual shindig that is a veritable who’s who of aviation. This year’s “Bill, Bob, Lou and Mike’s Annual Oshkosh Fireside P**s Up” attracted hundreds to fete Hoover. Read more >>

Get more from datalink weather: Course debuts

For generations of pilots, a lack of accurate, up-to-date weather information was one of the major challenges of cross-country flying. Then, seemingly overnight, datalink weather came along and changed everything—except the weather. Thunderstorms, icing, and low ceilings are as dangerous as ever, and even though in-cockpit weather has made things better, it's still possible to get in way over your head. The Air Safety Institute's newest course, IFR Insights: Cockpit Weather, is meant to help pilots avoid that fate. Part online course, part video, and part interactive scenario, it aims straight for the things you need to know in the real world. Find out >>

Study targets pilots who use in-cockpit weather

The Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) and FAA are seeking feedback from pilots who have used meteorological or aeronautical information services via datalink applications for research on incidents that occurred while using that information. If you’ve experienced an incident using in-cockpit weather—and to become a participant in the study— submit an ASRS report. “ASRS will contact pilots who report incidents where weather data was a factor and request their voluntary participation in completing a web-based supplemental question set. All identifying information will be removed prior to any ASRS research data being provided to the FAA,” the group assured pilots.

Pilots, controllers can chat in person at AirVenture

ASK ATC online series Have you ever wanted the chance to sit down with an air traffic controller and ask him or her about specific procedures, or just anything ATC related? If you're attending EAA AirVenture this week, you can! Each day the Air Safety Institute, in partnership with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), is hosting a controller to answer your questions. Stop by the AOPA tent and chat today! If you aren’t at AirVenture, check out the Ask ATC online series for answers to some common questions.

Get in the know: It’s in the ‘Nall’

Pop quiz: Are accidents more survivable in airplanes or helicopters? Are more landing crack-ups blamed on crosswinds or stalls? Has engine failure or fuel mismanagement put more airplanes into the trees? If you don’t know the answers, you might want to look at the 2010 Joseph T. Nall Report , the industry’s most comprehensive review of general aviation safety data. It summarizes 10-year trends and provides a detailed description of 2009’s accidents in helicopters, light airplanes, and homebuilts. Learning from other pilots’ mistakes can improve your ability to evaluate and manage risk.

Aspen Avionics Rebate—Power Your Panel.

Aspen celebrates Air Show season with a $1000 consumer rebate on the versatile and flexible Evolution Flight Display system—the industry’s best value in EFIS technology. Click for details…

‘Contact tower … good day …’

If you’re gripping the yoke a bit tighter at the mere thought of landing at a busy towered airport, maybe now is a good time to review the Air Safety Institute’s Operations at Towered Airports Safety Advisor. Perhaps you’re worried about misunderstanding complex runway signage or how to obtain a taxi clearance at a Class B airport. Know what to expect: Review required clearances and ATC instructions you might hear. And learn how to communicate and navigate busy terminal environments.

Stretch your wings with new ratings, endorsements

Whether it's your favorite seaplane, tailwheel, complex, or high-performance airplane that you hope to fly someday as pilot in command, the FAA requires training and testing, or an endorsement by an authorized instructor, to have an additional category, class, or operating privilege added to your credentials. Find out what kind of training you need in this subject report.

Ramp holds hazards for the careless

Air Safety Institute Ramp Operations safety brief Spinning propellers, jet exhaust blast, fuel trucks, and pedestrians coexist on the ramp—and inattention or carelessness in that busy environment can have harsh consequences. Find out about common ramp hazards, from ungrounded magnetos and inexperienced hand-propping to litter and cigarettes, in the Air Safety Institute’s Ramp Operations safety brief.

BlogsLeading Edge: Bad actors

In all walks of life there are some real jerks. On the highways or around airports they cause a disproportionate amount of grief. Sign language between pilots is not as effective in the air as on the highways and usually doesn’t change the behavior anyway except to make it worse. AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg recalls a friend’s story of a rogue-pilot problem at a small country airstrip. Read more >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

August 6 and 7

Atlanta, Ga.

Fort Worth, Texas

August 13 and 14

Long Beach, Calif.

Allentown, Pa.


August 20 and 21

Champaign, Ill.

Reno, Nev.

September 10 and 11

Phoenix, Ariz.

Bellevue, Wash.



For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

Can’t make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.

September 12

Wichita, Kan.

Germantown, Tenn.

Houston, Texas

September 13

Bethany, Okla.

Nashville, Tenn.

San Antonio, Texas

September 14

Fayetteville, Ark.

Marysville, Tenn.

Austin, Texas

September 15

Little Rock, Ark.



Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

FREE Video Tip! — Courses for Beginner to Pro!

Click for a Free Video Training Tip and find a course to achieve your next goal, or to make your flying safer and more rewarding. Not sure? Call us at 800-854-1001 and talk to one of our pilot training advisors.


Aviation group leaders unite, explore troubling issues

What affects one segment of the aviation industry ultimately affects everyone involved in aviation, be they business jet owners, helicopter pilots, or airport operators, the leaders of the industry associations said July 27 in a roundtable discussion at EAA AirVenture. “We are, in fact, all part of the general aviation community, and anything that affects one segment affects us all,” said Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association. Bolen was joined by AOPA President Craig Fuller and the heads of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, National Air Transportation Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, and Helicopter Association International. The organizations have joined together to fight the issues that threaten aviation, and the group leaders agreed that a united front has helped them to gain a stronger voice on Capitol Hill. Read more >>

Russian delegation sees GA in action—Alaska style

Russian aviation officials visit Alaska Russian aviation officials researching how to establish general aviation in the newly opened expanse of their country’s airspace spent a week experiencing GA in action in Alaska. The visit was part of an emerging partnership aimed at developing the infrastructure for civilian aviation in Russia, where just last November the lower altitudes were relinquished from military control—and where basic concepts such as airports without control towers remain novel. The visitors experienced GA for themselves, flying to four airports in GA aircraft—including a Pilatus PC-12 turboprop, Cessna 180s, a Cessna 182, and an Aviat Husky—piloted by members of the Alaska Airmen’s Association. The group flew into remote areas and was even transported by a boat and trailer for a half-mile. Read more >>

GA access to airspace on an upswing

Thanks to an attentive ear from the FAA and pilots’ and AOPA’s advocacy efforts, general aviation access to airspace is growing. When considering airspace changes, the FAA publishes proposals for comment and hosts meetings to gather input from the community, which increases the odds of a finished product that maintains GA access and controls the type of operations that necessitated a change. This week, AOPA is highlighting ongoing efforts in Palm Beach, Fla., and Seattle, along with the airspace change from controlled to uncontrolled at the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station, which AOPA believes should become a GA airport.

Palm Beach airspace changes benefit GA

Seattle Class B footprint could shrink

Willow Grove, Pa., airspace now uncontrolled (pdf)


Summit highlights include hundreds of exhibits, 70 educational seminars, interactive breakout sessions and more than 100 aircraft on display at Airportfest. Join us for all the excitement in Hartford, Connecticut September 22-24!

Member Benefits

Member Products indispensable in preserving freedom to fly

AOPA's ability to provide a strong voice for general aviation depends on its members. Member engagement is vital to the association’s mission to protect GA, and purchasing AOPA Member Products plays a significant role in supporting that effort. A significant portion of financial support for AOPA’s mission is directly attributed to Member Products. Funding from AOPA Member Products has provided the means necessary for AOPA’s government affairs division to fight and win important GA issues for members—and all pilots. Read more >>

Aircraft ownership is for ‘average Joes’ too

Jeff Hancock doesn’t think there is anything particularly noteworthy about himself. “I’m not rich and don’t live a lavish lifestyle. I don’t have a ton of hours and bumpy landings are still common practice for me,” he said. That’s why he was surprised when he decided to purchase an airplane to augment his business activities. Read more >>

You may be an excellent pilot, but are you also experienced handling the FAA?

No matter how good a pilot you are, incidents can happen and even minor infractions can result in serious penalties. Don't put your certificate at risk. Enroll in the AOPA Legal Services Plan today!

AOPA 2011 Crossover Classic Sweepstakes

AOPA members at AirVenture eye Crossover Classic

AOPA 2011 Crossover Classic Cessna 182 Pilots have been following the Crossover Classic Cessna 182’s transformation over the past year, and now many are getting a chance to inspect the finished product. It’s on display at EAA AirVenture right outside AOPA’s tent. Everyone is telling AOPA editors manning the aircraft this week just where they can deliver it in September when the winner is announced. Make sure you’re entered for a chance to win the aircraft and find out how to get more entries—the sweesptakes closes on July 31. See the official rules.

AOPA Aircraft Financing Program offers NEW lower rates

Our goal is to get pilots into the aircraft of their dreams. To help make aircraft ownership more attainable we just lowered our rates to make monthly payments more affordable. For more information, or to have a representative call you to discuss financing, go to

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an application support engineer, Dot Net developer, and electronic advertising manager. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.


Picture Perfect

AOPA’s online photo gallery allows you to upload your own aviation photography as well as view, rate, and comment on others’ photos. Your favorite aviation images from AOPA Pilot are still available online through this new gallery. Take a look, and submit your own photos!

Picture Perfect

Forums: Mnemonics for students

Aviation is full of plans, charts, and procedures. To help us remember what we need to do and when to do it, we create mnemonic devices. Think back to your flight training, or sitting around hangars or FBOs with other pilots; do you have an acronym or abbreviation that helps you remember a part of your flight or flight prep? Share them in this forum thread >>



Twitter Follow AOPA Online

Facebook Become a fan

RSS feed Subscribe to the RSS feed

Rally GA

Check out user-submitted events from your region. To include an event or to search all events in the calendar, visit AOPA Online. AOPA does not endorse the events listed below, nor have ePilot editors edited the submissions. AOPA assumes no responsibility for events listed.

My MembershipMy Membership


Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member who contacted our aviation services staff through the AOPA Pilot Information Center. Test your knowledge.


Question: During a recent landing at a towered airport, I heard the controller issue the instruction “cleared for the option” as opposed to “cleared to land.” What does the “option” mean?


Answer: The option approach is a type of clearance that allows a variety of actions to occur once the aircraft is near the runway environment. If an aircraft is cleared only to land, and then the pilot elects to go around, the tower controller may be surprised. The option clearance allows the pilot to do a touch and go, low approach, missed approach, stop and go, or a full-stop landing. The pilot may perform any of those five actions without further request or clearance from the tower. Requesting the option when contacting the tower for landing may be beneficial, for instance, if the pilot is not certain that a landing can be assured, or when performing practice instrument approaches that can terminate in a landing or a missed approach at the pilot’s discretion. The option also is a popular tool for flight instructors to use when teaching a student to land, so that a go-around has been authorized prior to landing. Check out the Aeronautical Information Manual , Section 4-3-22 “Option Approach” for more information.


Got a question for our aviation services staff? The AOPA Pilot Information Center is a service available to all members as part of the annual dues. Call 800/USA-AOPA (800/872-2672), or email to [email protected].

AOPA Insurance Agency offers the right coverage at the right price

We work with A-rated underwriters and offer the most coverage options to fit your needs for the aircraft you own or rent. Call 800-622-AOPA or go online for a free quote.

Rally GA Attend an event. Taking part in an event is a great way to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.


AOPA ePilot Team
ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown Contributors: Alyssa Miller
Jill W. Tallman
Warren Morningstar
Alton K. Marsh

Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Ian J. Twombly
Dan Namowitz

Production Team: Melissa Whitehouse
Lezlie Ramsey
Mitch Mitchell
William Rockenbaugh

Advertise in ePilot:
East: Mike Vodarsik, 732/946-0130
Central: Brian Curpier, 607/547-2591
Central: Gary Brennan, 607/547-2591
West: Zane Lewis, 214/789-6094

AOPA Advertising website

Member Tools: Send feedback | ePilot Archive

© 2011 Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association | 421 Aviation Way Frederick, MD 21701 | Phone 800/USA-AOPA | Fax 301/695-2375

Related Articles