After canceling his scheduled May 6 flight over Grand Canyon West because of a lack of time to train, Yves Rossy, known as Jetman, made the flight later that weekend, according to sponsor Breitling. He jumped from a helicopter at 8,000 feet and reached 190 mph during his eight-minute flight above the canyon, Breitling said. Jetman’s plans to overfly the canyon near the Grand Canyon West Skywalk had been reported in the media, but an FAA official said that the agency was not contacted about the flight by Jetman’s team. The agency reached out to Jetman in an April 28 letter that outlined all of the requirements he needed to meet to complete the flight. The FAA said it worked with the Experimental Aircraft Association and Jetman’s representatives to provide the needed approval the morning of the first planned flight. Watch the flight >>
If you doubt the existence of natural-born pilots, Jacob Barson of Allentown, Pa., is likely to change your mind. He won a spot landing contest on May 7, beating out eight other seasoned pilots. He’s a student pilot. And he’s 14. Not only did he come in first, but Jacob also drew the No. 1 position for the contest, held at Allentown Queen City Municipal Airport. He had to be the first one to test wind speed and direction as he conducted a power-off landing. Read more >>
New three-blade prop approved for Barons
Beechcraft Baron 55 owners who have been waiting for a three-blade Top Prop can rejoice. Hartzell said it has received supplemental type certificate approval for its propeller on the venerable twin. Hartzell says the new propeller features aluminum alloy blades that provide increased ground clearance, less noise, and better speed. Read more >>
The unspoiled beaches, rustic resorts, and clear blue water of the Bahamas do not disappoint. But what sets the small island nation apart from many other destinations is the friendliness of the people. General aviation pilots can enjoy access to the more remote and laid-back Out Islands, where the pace is slower and people don’t lock their doors at night. 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.
Flight Guide iEFB goes georeferenced
Airguide Publications said recently that its popular Flight Guide iEFB iPad application now features georeferenced approach plates and airport diagrams. Like similar services before it, Flight Guide iEFB has partnered with Seattle Avionics for the service. What this means for users is that an airplane symbol representing their current position will show up on approach plates and more than 5,000 airport diagrams in real time. Read more >>
Piston models making a comeback
Piston engine sales in the first quarter of 2011 did just what aerospace analyst Brian Foley said they would do. They went up—by 22 deliveries compared to the first quarter of 2010. Foley said piston sales will continue to improve throughout the year and will be “up smartly” by year-end. Piston engine sales were the first to enter the recession in 2007 and are now the first to emerge, Foley said, commenting on new shipment numbers released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Read more >>
Two wounded veterans who won scholarships for general aviation flight training made their first flights as students May 6 at Manassas Regional/Harry P. Davis Field in Virginia. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime for me,” said Eli Tice, 20, of Charlestown, W.Va., a U.S. Marine who lost his right leg and severely damaged his right arm last year in Afghanistan. Tice has been hiking and scuba diving since his injuries, and he said he’s adjusting well to the “new normal” of a prosthetic leg and injured arm. Read more >>
Alabama airshow to aid tornado victims
Pilots in Alabama are rallying to help their tornado-ravaged state. The first Wings Over Cullman airshow, scheduled for May 21 at Folsom Field in Cullman, Ala., was in doubt following the devastating storms—until city and county officials decided May 4 to go on with the show, and to use the event to help storm victims. Read more >>
ForeFlight issues Mobile HD version 4
Version 4 of ForeFlight Mobile HD is available for download from the Apple iTunes store. According to a company representative, the new version focuses on six key features: airspace and airport/facility directory (A/FD) data, instrument approach plate organization and productivity, map interaction, improvements in the navigation log, personal waypoints, and performance. The most noticeable additions to the airport pages are the A/FD data and chart legend information (special-use airspace and so on), and the ability to organize charts. Read more >>
CitationAir has asked all 85 pilots furloughed in 2009 to return to work. Travel is picking up, but that doesn’t mean the economic downturn is over. Not all the CitationAir pilots invited back could do so. CitationAir offers, depending on the level you choose, on-demand travel within 12 hours, or fractional and full ownership transportation. In 2009, the company said it was going to “right-size” the business by cutting it to 307 pilots. Read more >>
Hawker Beechcraft on path out of recession
Financial numbers were down as expected in the first quarter of 2011, yet Hawker Beechcraft has successful military sales to cushion the recession and several reasons for optimism. Still, don’t expect the company to bounce back to its pre-recession size. “We continue to transform our business and are making great strides in becoming a smaller, more agile company,” said Hawker Beechcraft Chairman and CEO Bill Boisture. Read more >>
Piper first-quarter billings up 40 percent
Piper Aircraft reports billings of $26.16 million during the first quarter of 2011, a 40-percent gain over the first quarter of 2010. While Piper sold only two of its flagship Meridians in the first quarter of 2010, it delivered seven in the most recent quarter. The Meridian costs $2.07 million. Read more >>
Beyerdynamic introduces HS 800
Beyerdynamic recently introduced its newest high-end noise canceling headset, the HS 800. According to the company, advances in feedback and feed forward technology make this headset its best yet. At 11 ounces and fitted with viscoelastic ear pads covered in leather, the headset is no doubt comfortable. But according to Beyerdynamic, it’s the integration of a digital feedback filter that greatly improves performance. Read more >>
Several companies are building electrically powered airplanes and motorgliders. However, the high power-to-weight requirement for hovering makes building an electrically powered helicopter a difficult challenge. Even so, Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development organization of Sikorsky Aircraft, introduced “Project Firefly,” an all-electric helicopter technology demonstrator. In building the demonstrator, the Innovations team replaced the S-300C’s Lycoming 190-horsepower, four-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor and two battery packs located on each side of the pilot producing about 370 volts. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Nordam sues Cessna over contract loss
A judge has denied an injunction sought by the Nordam Group to prevent Cessna Aircraft Co. from awarding the contract for cabinetry used in the Citation CJ4 to a lower-priced competitor. Ken Lackey, chairman of the board of Nordam, told AOPA Pilot that he felt he had won the contract for the life of the CJ4 program, and is suing Cessna for breach of contract. Read more >>
If you missed The Aviators on your local PBS station, here's your chance to see some spectacular aviation video. AOPA Live® is offering selections from season one of the TV show, with a new segments posted each week. This week, The Aviators takes a look at AOPA. Upcoming segments will include “Can a nonpilot land an airliner?” a flight in the Tiger Moth, and affordable helicopters.
Diamond Aircraft is offering a “stealth” version of its DA42 twin with special features for aerial surveillance and airborne sensing. Special paint and modified mufflers make the aircraft harder to spot and hear. The DA42 MPP (Multi-Purpose Platform) can loiter for more than 12 hours without refueling and can operate in all weather conditions. AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne flew the DA42 MPP recently in Germany, and shows some of its features in this video. Watch AOPA Live >>
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Safety & Proficiency
Although we spend a lot of time training for them, real-world emergencies are rare enough that it’s hardly surprising pilots sometimes get complacent. But emergencies don’t always happen to “other pilots,” and mental preparation can make a big difference when things start to go downhill. Don’t take the head-in-the-sand approach: Put your emergency procedures knowledge to the test with the Air Safety Institute’s latest safety quiz, sponsored by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Take the quiz >>
Fly yourself, enjoy your stay
Michigan's Mackinac Island bans most motor vehicles, with one notable exception: airplanes. Find out about this and other distinctive destinations in AOPA’s Flying Vacations Webinar May 18, at 3 and 9 p.m. Eastern time. AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines and staff from Pilot Getaways and Air Journey will highlight aviation-friendly locations and provide tips on flying in safely, whether you’ll be island-hopping to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, or getting away to Gaston’s White River Resort in Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains. Space is limited, so sign up today.
As we head into the busier flying season, it's more important than ever to know where to go for the information you need. Flight service offers more than just a place to open and close flight plans and can be a source of a lot of pertinent information in one place. Take the Air Safety Institute’s A Pilot's Guide to Flight Service online course to find out what they can do for you and how to get their attention.
Building a better flight training experience
What can aviation educators do to make flight training a better product—one that is more likely to succeed for its customers while turning out good aviation citizens? An energetic quest for answers, spurred by the sharing of insights among professionals in the aviation education industry, marked the 2011 Pilot Training Reform Symposium May 4 and 5 in Atlanta. AOPA Director of Flight Training Initiatives Jennifer Storm and Air Safety Institute Chief Flight Instructor JJ Greenway participated in industry panels and led discussions about improving the flight training experience. Read more >>
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 certification do we need?
The financial turkeys are coming home to roost as the country deals with budget deficits as far as the eye can see. So government is scaling back in nonessential areas. But what’s “nonessential”? Where do some of the FAA’s certification costs come into play? Read more >>
Pilots will have to use alternative procedures to check notices to airmen (notams) for several hours on May 28 when the FAA notam servers are taken off-line during a relocation of the system’s operations base. The FAA will reposition the servers that run the notam system from Herndon, Va., to FAA facilities in Oklahoma City, Okla., in a changeover associated with the move of the FAA’s air traffic command center. The servers will be unable to upload any new notam information for several hours during the switch, the FAA said. Read more >>
‘Save GPS’ effort focused on Congress
An effort under way across industries and government to protect GPS signals from interference by other bandwidth users is now focused on the U.S. Congress. The Coalition to Save Our GPS, of which AOPA is an active member, is urging members of the House and Senate to register their concerns with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about the risk of signal interference or degradation that GPS could face from mobile network operator LightSquared’s plan to expand into bandwidth adjacent to that used by GPS. Read more >>
Mobile network to undergo GPS interference tests
With tests starting soon to determine whether a mobile network’s expanded use of bandwidth would pose a threat to GPS signals, AOPA is urging any pilots who experience problems with GPS reception near the test sites to notify the FAA and the association promptly of the impact on their flights. The FAA has issued two flight advisories in connection with the testing of LightSquared’s mobile broadband network in Nevada May 16 through 27. Read more >>
Disaster simulation to include GA response
Harnessing the tremendous support resources that general aviation can provide in times of crisis will be one component of a planned disaster exercise to be run by the Department of Homeland Security May 13 through 17. As part of the National Level Exercise, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on May 16 will run a simulation in which GA pilots respond to requests for aid after a mock earthquake along the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which touches eight states in the central United States. Read more >>
GA manager to leave TSA
Brian Delauter, who brought a pilot’s perspective to the Transportation Security Administration Office of General Aviation, will leave his post as general manager for GA effective May 23, the agency confirmed May 10. The TSA and GA pilots had been at odds over some of the agency’s GA security measures when Delauter took his current position in 2009; he used his knowledge of GA culture to inform policy decisions at the TSA and improve the agency’s strained relationship with pilots. Read more >>
French aviation chief gets taste of American GA
Patrick Gandil just couldn’t pass up the chance to fly in America. The inspector general of the French Civil Aviation Authority joined AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg for a flight over the Maryland countryside May 5 during a trip to the Washington, D.C., area. A passionate general aviation pilot, Gandil used the opportunity to get some flying experience in the aviation system that has inspired him to work on developing a French instrument rating tailored to private pilots. Read more >>
The May 2011 revision of a set of Transportation Security Administration guidelines for commercial airport operators includes a new appendix dedicated to general aviation operations. AOPA was instrumental in having the GA content added as Appendix D of the TSA’s revised Recommended Security Guidelines for Airport Planning, Design and Construction. The document is applicable to airports with scheduled passenger airline service under Transportation Security Regulation Part 1542. Read more >>
GA group addresses threat to CA avgas retailers, suppliers
The Oakland, Calif.-based Center for Environmental Health (CEH) announced May 10 that it intends to sue 50 fuel retailers and suppliers (including subsidiaries and affiliates). The group claims that the retailers and suppliers are violating California’s drinking water and toxic enforcement law, based on the suppliers’ distribution of aviation gasoline, which contains a lead additive. The aviation members of the General Aviation Avgas Coalition are exploring all options for supporting the named fuel retailers and suppliers. Read more >>
Sporty’s Academy engages FAA on test policies
As discussions proceeded between the aviation industry and regulators on the impact of unannounced alterations to the knowledge testing system, a major flight training institution joined in the call for the FAA to change course. In an April 25 letter to the FAA, Sporty’s Academy Inc. stated its belief that the agency, though professing to support in-depth understanding of knowledge test subjects in concept, pursues practices that encourage applicants to use rote learning and memorization methods to pass tests. Read more >>
Beloved yet beleaguered airports such as Pennsylvania’s Queen City Allentown Municipal are threatened by competing interests, and the only way to protect them is to get involved, AOPA President Craig Fuller said May 7. “We’re very much aligned with you in this fight,” Fuller told a group of pilots at a Rally GA event at the Lehigh Valley airport. Its location has made it a target of developers for years. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>
Fit to Fly: Simple tips to add to your daily routine
When starting a new diet and exercise program, it's important to make small changes at first rather than going all out in the beginning. Each week, try adding one of these five mini-tweaks to your daily routine. Within a month you'll have adopted several good-for-you habits that will stick. Helpful advice like this and more are available through a bi-monthly email newsletter to members enrolled in the AOPA Medical Services Program.
Sony breach: Another blow to your security
More than 77 million Sony PlayStation Network customers are now victims of a corporate breach. Names, birthdates, credit card information, and addresses (including email) were illegally obtained by a computer hacker, which forced the company to take down its service. This is just the latest in a long list of corporate breaches putting the identities of millions at risk. AOPA understands that even the best systems available could be compromised. That’s why the association has partnered with LifeLock. Read more >>
Membership brings airports to your phone
AOPA members can have airport services, FBO information, airport diagrams, and more at their fingertips using AOPA Airports apps for Windows Mobile and BlackBerry. This free member benefit was developed by Hilton Software, maker of the popular WingX product. Download it today >>
AOPA 2011 Crossover Classic Sweepstakes
Within an hour of its arrival at Air Mod interior shop in Batavia, Ohio, the Crossover Classic Sweepstakes Cessna 182’s cabin was stripped of carpet, seats, sidewalls, and headliners. A few minutes after that, and most of those funky interior components were in the trash bin. From here on, it was tabula rasa, as Air Mod started with a fresh slate and began implementing a much-needed, entirely new interior design concept. Air Mod owner Dennis Wolter explained his emphasis on corrosion and the shop’s transformation of the inside of the Crossover Classic. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an application support engineer and member services representative. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.