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Large red letters on the terminal building still read “U.S. Naval Air Station,” but as of June 4, the rechristened Brunswick Executive Airport in Maine officially welcomed civilian pilots. And pilots arrived in droves. There were 294 aircraft, including single- and multiengine, powered parachutes, a hot air balloon, helicopters, and jets. The site officially opened for civilian use in April, marking the first time since World War II that civilian pilots can land at the Brunswick Executive Airport. Organizers hope that the June fly-in will become an annual event. Pilots and members of the community wandered the expansive flight line, admiring some amphibious aircraft. They also took the opportunity to climb inside a Kestrel, the single-engine, six-seat composite turboprop that will be built at the airport. Read more >>
General aviation’s situation during 2010 was very much like flying in mountain wave conditions: We experienced both exhilarating updrafts and the occasional big downdraft, and we had to remain keenly alert for rising terrain—as well as changes in the weather. And AOPA is poised to take advantage of the updrafts along this mountainous course. AOPA President Craig Fuller writes about the association’s efforts to tackle some of the big challenges facing us, like the declining pilot population, the future of avgas, and what NextGen should look like. Read more >>
Business IFR traffic up, but not by much
Aviation intelligence monitor Argus International reports that overall IFR turbine business aircraft arrivals and departures for May 2011 were above those recorded for the previous month. Compared to April, turboprops took the lead with May activity levels 5.4 percent higher, followed by mid-sized cabin jets with an increase of 2.7 percent. Next in line were small-cabin jets with a May increase of 2.5 percent over April, followed by large-cabin jets with a 1.8-percent increase. Read more >>
When National Weather Service meteorologists in Louisville, Ky., wanted to enhance the damage surveys they conduct after severe storms strike, they reached out to general aviation pilots for help. An informal collaboration is taking hold. And the resulting product shows enough promise that in October the meteorologists will give a presentation before the National Weather Association’s annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala., on how aviation helps them use the team approach to rating tornadoes and assessing severe weather in the Ohio Valley. Read more >>
Recommendations target effective pilot training
The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) is recommending six projects for action to reduce fatal aircraft accidents, increase student pilot starts, and keep those trainees flying until their goals have been achieved. The recommendations—mostly achievable without regulatory revision—headline the preliminary report that has emerged from the 2011 Pilot Training Reform Symposium that SAFE hosted on May 4 and 5 in Atlanta, Ga., attended by 148 industry leaders and educators. Read more >>
Reporting Points: How realistic should turnback practice be?
Last month, AOPA Online Managing Editor Alyssa J. Miller practiced Barry Schiff’s maneuver for the “impossible turn” at altitude on AOPA Live®. As expected, many pilots wrote in offering their own advice. The most common suggestion was to make the turns in the practice maneuver more realistic. Some pilots suggested practicing at altitude over a straight road to simulate a runway. So Miller went up with her instructor again and tried both scenarios. Read more >>
Old Rhinebeck, N.Y.: Last century’s flight line
The Sopwith Camel rolls out onto the grass near the flight line. A crew of four is on hand for the diminutive airplane; when the man on the propeller swings the eight-foot blade, all seven cylinders spin right along with the prop. This scene and the ensuing flight of an authentic World War I-era biplane are among the spectacles every weekend at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Dutchess County, N.Y. Learn tips for flying there in this selection from Pilot Getaways magazine, available for a limited time on AOPA Online. Check out more Pilot Getaways destinations and exclusive member discount pricing in this special offer.
Forbes Custom, AOPA offer bizav resources
If time is money, then a corporate aircraft is one of a businessperson’s most valuable tools. AOPA has teamed with Forbes Custom Solutions to show America’s business leaders the value of general aviation to their businesses and the nation’s economy. Forbes Custom has created ForbesBusinessAviation.com, a website for which AOPA is providing content. Visitors can calculate how much time and money they could save by flying in a business jet, read news from around the Web, and research aircraft. AOPA Online has added a special landing page for business aviation news. Read more >>
CAP honored with World Peace Prize
In December 2011 the Civil Air Patrol will celebrate 70 years of service saving lives, providing aerospace education, and introducing young people to aviation through its cadet programs. The anniversary year also will be marked by a major award to be presented this June, when the CAP will be honored with a World Peace Prize by a missionary organization that has been recognizing contributions to the cause of peace since 1989. Read more >>
Hover Power: Hard landings
The recent media coverage of the damaged military helicopter left at the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed has piqued questions about what causes a hard landing. Due to the sensitive nature of military operations, just what caused the hard landing in Pakistan might never be known for sure, but here are a few of the common causes. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Sully’s ride takes last ride
The US Airways Airbus A320 that Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger ditched successfully in the Hudson River Jan. 15, 2009—when both engines failed after ingesting a flock of Canada geese—is making its last journey. And this time, it’s a road trip. Read more >>
Admit it. You've thought it every time you've boarded a commercial airliner. What if the pilots became incapacitated and they asked you, the only other certificated pilot on board, to get everybody down safely. Could you do it? This week, The Aviators looks to answer that question. Watch AOPA Live >>
NextGen: Find out what’s in it for you
GPS units, once the exclusive domain of the military, have become staples of the general aviation cockpit. Now the entire air transportation system is in the midst of a shift to satellite-based technology. How can pilots prepare for NextGen? Garmin International’s Bill Stone talked to AOPA about the promise of technologies such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast and the costs and rewards of NextGen. Watch AOPA Live >>
Voting for good
Here's one time when your vote really does count. In fact, it's worth at least $10,000. This year, the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation will be making grants to five aviation charities. And pilot votes determine which charities get the money. All this month, AOPA Live will be featuring videos profiling the 20 finalists for the 2011 awards. This week: Angel Flight Central and the Helicopter Foundation International. Learn about all the finalists, and then vote. The winners will be announced on AOPA Live at AOPA Aviation Summit Sept. 22 through 24 in Hartford, Conn.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
We’ve all heard of the “big sky theory,” and avoiding midair collisions is pretty high on most pilots’ to-do lists, but that doesn’t keep roughly 20 airplanes a year from swapping paint—often with disastrous consequences. Do you ever catch yourself getting complacent about collision avoidance? Avoid separation anxiety and put your knowledge to the test with the latest Air Safety Institute safety quiz, sponsored by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Take the quiz >>
Take the keys with ownership Webinar
If you’re shopping for an aircraft, one decision looms large: What is the right aircraft for you? Find out what questions you should ask before you make the big decision, and find answers to some of your own questions in this recorded Webinar. Experts from AOPA’s Pilot Information Center, Bank of America, the AOPA Insurance Agency, and AIC Title Services walk you through what you need to know about purchasing an aircraft, from financing to closing the deal.
Navigation and communication shouldn’t start once your wheels leave the ground, nor should they end when you touch down. Paying attention to each of those tasks while still in the airport environment is a crucial step in avoiding incursions and mishaps on the ground. Brush up on your knowledge of the airport environment with the Air Safety Institute’s Runway Safety online course. Take the course >>
Runway incursions down in 2010
The FAA reported June 6 that the number of serious runway incursions, which includes those in which a collision was narrowly avoided and those in which there was a significant potential for collision, dropped by more than 90 percent from fiscal year 2000 through fiscal year 2010. A total of 67 A and B runway incursions were recorded in 2000, while 2010 had only 6. “The entire aviation community can be credited with the remarkable success achieved in runway safety,” the FAA fact sheet said.
Improve your safety by learning from others
Gain valuable knowledge about flying safely by learning from the mistakes of others. Using your ePilot personalization preferences, like "piston single-engine" or "turbine," the Air Safety Institute's Accident Database generates a list of accidents that have been added to the database in the past 30 days. If you haven't personalized your newsletter, select your aircraft preferences from the "types of aircraft" section on the ePilot personalization page.
Air Safety eJournal: How much for a CFI?
AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg posed a question on the Air Safety Institute’s Facebook page recently asking how much a CFI should be paid. The answers were fascinating. Find out what people suggested, and weigh in. Read more >>
Six association presidents have requested that the Transportation Security Administration work with general aviation on ways to reduce business losses sustained under airspace restrictions during presidential travel. In a June 2 letter to TSA Administrator John S. Pistole, the association leaders called for a joint effort to minimize the effects of temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) that have been imposed—sometimes to a radius of 30 nautical miles from airports used during the president’s travel. The letter offered examples of aviation businesses suffering extensive revenue losses while their operations were curtailed because of the TFRs. Read more >>
Privacy fight bound for court?
The National Business Aviation Association, AOPA, and the Experimental Aircraft Association announced June 6 that they will mount a legal challenge to the decision by the Department of Transportation to dismantle the Block Aircraft Registration Request program. The three associations will seek an injunction to prevent the decision from taking effect and will ask the courts to invalidate the new policy altogether. Read more >>
With reports surfacing that LightSquared’s proposed broadband communications network negatively interferes with GPS, 66 members of Congress weighed in June 7, saying that the “FCC has recklessly fast-tracked the waiver process without undertaking appropriate review procedures.” In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the members of Congress requested that the FAA “only approve LightSquared’s waiver if it can be indisputably proven that there will be no GPS interference.” They also acknowledged the commission’s call for a working group to investigate and report on the issue by June 15. Read more >>
AOPA has several concerns about the FAA’s proposed airworthiness directive (AD) for Cessna twin-engine aircraft. The FAA published a notice June 3 proposing an AD on Cessna 310, 320, 340, 401, 402, 411, 414, and 421 twins, requiring the installation of a placard prohibiting flight into known icing conditions. The AD also would require installing a placard that increases published speed on approach 17 mph (15 knots) in case of an inadvertent encounter with icing. Read more >>
Historical designation opposed for Cape May airport
Assigning a historical designation to almost the entire Cape May, N.J., airport—including runways and taxiways—does not meet necessary criteria, would stall airport improvements, and should be denied, AOPA said in a filing with state historical preservation officials. In a June 2 letter to New Jersey’s Historic Preservation Office, AOPA supported the position of Cape May County, N.J., the airport’s sponsor under the Airport Improvement Program, and the Delaware River and Bay Authority, the airport’s lessee and operator, opposing a historical designation officials are considering for the airport. Read more >>
Hartford pilots look back at tax battle, forward to Summit
Surrounded by warbirds and other aircraft, Connecticut pilots got an inside look at local advocacy and the upcoming AOPA Aviation Summit at a pilot town hall meeting June 2. AOPA President Craig Fuller addressed the crowd of about 130 at the New England Air Museum about the September event and recent efforts to stop two potentially damaging budget proposals in Connecticut. Attendees at the Cirrus-sponsored event got a chance to check out the exhibits after hours, from a J-3 Cub to a range of heavy-duty Sikorsky creations. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>
Hurricane preparedness: Keeping you covered
With hurricane season under way, AOPA members who live and/or plan to travel in hurricane-prone areas should have a plan to relocate their aircraft in the event of a storm. While developing your plan, check your insurance policy to see if it covers any costs for relocating your aircraft. Some policies cover the cost of hiring an evacuation pilot and relocating and storing an aircraft. Others will reimburse policyholders for relocating their aircraft outside of a hurricane watch or warning area. Read more >>
Membership brings airports to your phone
AOPA members can have airport services, FBO information, airport diagrams, and more at their fingertips, all for no extra cost. AOPA Airports apps for Windows Mobile and BlackBerry are free to members. The application was developed by Hilton Software, maker of the popular WingX product. Download it today >>
AOPA 2011 Crossover Classic Sweepstakes
It seems that everybody is of the same mind when it comes to the Crossover Classic: The unwavering thread is something to the effect that, “It’s mine. Just send it to me at the KXYZ airport.” But wait! No one can have it yet! That’s because we’re still making some final tweaks. The last changes will be completed before EAA AirVenture. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an application support engineer and applications engineer. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.