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Nov. 25, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterNov. 25, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 13, ISSUE 47 — November 25, 2011

FanWing: From LSA to heavy lifter?
Spin chute?
Familiar aircraft, more air time
Quiz Me: ‘No Transponder’ waiver


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

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Could FanWing go from LSA to heavy lifter?

Feature Very little of Patrick Peebles’ invention could be called conventional. The FanWing looks like someone has put the blades of a combine harvester behind a helicopter cockpit and forgotten about the rest of the fuselage. That combine harvester, the FanWing propulsion system, is a fan in a wing, making it a thick wing that provides both lift and thrust. It has a fixed wing but can autorotate like a helicopter. It has two engines but they are at either end of the wing. Its inventor is American, but the FanWing has been developed in England and Italy. Its lift efficiency is so good that university studies in the United Kingdom have concluded 100 horsepower could lift 5,732 pounds. Read more >>

Introducing, the best pilot headset ever from Bose.

NEW Bose A20™ Aviation Headset
The A20® Aviation Headset provides significantly greater noise reduction than currently available. It also features an improved level of comfort, clear audio, Bluetooth® connectivity, auxiliary audio input and priority switching. Learn more >

GA News

Industry to demand answers on digital chart charges

AOPA is collaborating with commercial vendors of FAA digital chart products in advance of a Dec. 13 meeting with the agency to learn about its plans to begin charging for its digital products and only provide them to those who have an agreement with the agency's AeroNav Services branch. AOPA and the industry plan to push the FAA for answers on the details of the plan, the agency’s long-term vision for digital publications, and the difference between printed and digital chart product models. Read more >>

Gulfstream G650 gets provisional type certificate

Gulfstream Aerospace has received a provisional type certificate for its Gulfstream G650, clearing the way for the company to begin interior completions. A provisional certification is the first of a two-step certification approach that has been common for 15 years. It aids manufacturers in maintaining development schedules. Read more >>

Pilots should check for ForeFlight Mobile bug

Aviation app developer ForeFlight is urging pilots to check the version of ForeFlight Mobile they are using for a newly discovered bug. If a pilot is using ForeFlight Mobile version 4.2 or later, and downloaded certain data ahead of the Nov. 17 cycle, the company recommends that you open ForeFlight on your iPad or iPhone “and confirm you can view airport information and charts.” ForeFlight Mobile 4.3, which is now available through Apple, fixes the bug. Read more >>

‘Woo-woo buggy’ flights become art

'Woo-woo buggy' flights become art Mary Edna Fraser's swirling, colorful silk batik prints take their inspiration from life—specifically, life observed from 3,000 feet in an Ercoupe above the Georgia coast. Fraser, of Charleston, S.C., has created numerous works with distinctly aerial perspectives, which she describes as a series of narrative landscapes “where realms of earth, sea, and sky converge.” She researches the areas on foot, via boat, and from an airplane, documenting first with a Nikon camera before setting dyes to silk. Her flying platform, the "woo-woo buggy," which has been in her family for three generations, has a history as colorful as her artwork. Read more >>

Hawker Beechcraft dropped from light attack competition

Hawker Beechcraft officials say their Beechcraft AT-6 single-engine turboprop has been excluded from lucrative competition by the U.S. Air Force for a light attack/armed reconnaissance aircraft. The letter gave no explanation, and the Air Force refused a subsequent request from Hawker Beechcraft officials for a debrief on its reasons, Hawker Beechcraft said. The prize sought is a five-year, nearly $1 billion contract. Read more >>

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BlogsReporting Points: Catching the passion to fly

Dave Myers of Garden City, Ga., had never considered flying while working as a carpenter and superviser for a housing development. But when the recession made short work of his career two years ago, he went to Hawaii to visit relatives. A school operating there offered instruction in weight-shift-control trikes. “By the time we leveled off, I was determined to make that my livelihood, whatever it took,” he recalled. He gave away or sold his carpenter tools, sold his house, and soon had enough money to buy a light sport amphibious trike and get his instructor certificate. Read more >>

‘Gathering of Mustangs’ book to debut

'Gathering of Mustangs' book to debut Any pilot who loves to read—and reread—the accounts of heroism and daring of the pilots who flew vintage military aircraft in history’s great engagements is inevitably drawn to stories about the P-51 Mustang and its pilots. Four years ago, 49 living “legends”—men and women who flew the P-51 during World War II—came together for a reunion at Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio. There they were honored at the Gathering of Mustangs and Legends, where some 150,000 spectators had a chance to meet the pilots and hear first-hand accounts of aviation history brought to life. 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 >>

‘Gamera’ human-powered helo flight takes record

A record for human-powered helicopter flight has been certified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale for two flights made by University of Maryland students and Judy Wexler, a lightweight but powerful bicyclist. The students, some of them now graduates, built a machine they dubbed Gamera and set world records earlier this year for flight duration and flight duration with a female pilot. Read more >>

Thousands celebrate Wright glider experiments

Soaring100 event in North Carolina If you heard that 10,000 visitors went to Kill Devil Hills, N.C., to celebrate the accomplishments of the Wright brothers, you’d think it concerned powered flight, right? Orville Wright continued glider experiments until 1911 that are now seen as the beginning of modern soaring flight. In late October, visitors crowded Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head, N.C., and the nearby Wright Brothers National Memorial for hang glider and sailplane flights marking the 100th anniversary of Wright’s record of a flight lasting nine minutes and 45 seconds. Read more >>

FAA to broaden Cessna AD

The FAA has proposed an airworthiness directive adding serial numbers to those covered in an existing AD on Cessna 172R and 172S aircraft, requiring inspections of fuel return line assemblies for chafing. Download the AD >>

2011 ‘AOPA Pilot’ magazine cover poll

What was your favorite cover of AOPA Pilot this year? Take a look at all 12 covers and vote in our poll today. The results will appear in the January 2012 edition of the magazine. Voting ends Nov. 27.

BlogsHover Power: Main rotor vibrations

When a critical component in a helicopter’s main rotor system fails in flight, how much warning, if any, does a pilot get? Cockpit voice recordings from a 1999 crash of a Bell 212 provides some insight as to what the flight crew knew. About one minute, 30 seconds before the accident, the pilot asked the passenger, “Has this vertical (a term used to describe a vibration that moves up and down) just gotten in here or has it been here for a while?” “We haven’t had any verticals at all,” the passenger replied. “We do now,” the pilot said. Read more >>

BlogsReporting Points: Maverick ‘flying dune buggy’ in production

The company I-Tec has delivered four of its Maverick powered parachutes with a driveable dune buggy used as a cockpit. The Maverick is approved as a light sport aircraft, a category that includes powered parachutes. Read more >>


Spin chute?

Spin chute? An aircraft fitted with dozens of strings on its wings, fuselage, and tail demonstrates the disturbed airflow over the aircraft during high angles of attack and spins. Watch what happens to the strings and how a NASA test pilot sits calmly through several spin rotations, including a couple rotations with his hands off the controls. In the end, the pilot uses a special spin chute to stop the rotation. Rich Stowell, master aerobatic instructor and 2006 National CFI of the Year, narrates the maneuver. The clip demonstrates the importance of understanding aerodynamics, a topic recently covered in an Air Safety Institute Webinar. Watch AOPA Live® >>


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

You didn’t get where you are today by standing on the sidelines when opportunity knocks.

And opportunity is knocking right now at Cirrus on the world’s leading personal aircraft. There are incredible time sensitive tax incentives that can offer you up to 100% depreciation in Year I based upon your business use of the aircraft. But you have to act this year, before December 31, 2011 to take advantage of this capital preservation opportunity.

Safety & Proficiency

When the route you file isn't the route you get

If you've flown in the IFR environment for any length of time, you probably know ATC doesn’t always clear you for the route you plan. Regardless of the reason, you and ATC need to be operating from the same playbook. Listen to the latest episode of Ask ATC as an air traffic controller explains why it's important that you and ATC are on the same page when it comes to filing, and flying, your IFR route.

You can't control the weather, but you can report it

If you’ve ever canceled a flight because the weather forecast was a bit outside your comfort range, you probably know the value of accurate weather updates. That’s where pilot reports, or pireps, come in. Pireps are weather observations given by pilots, for pilots, and may be the deciding factor in a go/no-go decision. But they can’t exist without you. Take the Skyspotter: Pireps Made Easy online course from the Air Safety Institute and learn more about what they are, how to get them, and, especially, how to give them.

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Convenience: The 5,500ft runway has 4 approaches, pilot controlled lighting, maintenance and FBO. Fly in 24/7.
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IFR Fix: A miss that’s as good as a mile

“Show me the missed approach point on this instrument approach,” the designated pilot examiner inquires. The applicant’s finger lands on the place where the solid line ends and the upward-curving dotted arrow begins on the approach’s profile view. Is that the only possible missed approach point? Read more and take the poll >>

Ready for the cold? Quiz yourself

Cold Weather Operations quiz from the Air Safety Institute For pilots in much of the country, the coming of winter brings special challenges. From cold-soaked engines to slick runways, wing-bending snow banks, and ice-laden clouds, there are plenty of ways to get in trouble (or cost yourself some serious cash). Are you ready for the complications of cold weather? Find out by taking this week’s Air Safety Institute safety quiz about cold-weather operations, sponsored by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Take the quiz >>

Answers for Pilots: Icing—cold, hard challenge

Each winter, AOPA members call the Pilot Information Center with questions about icing, asking about "known icing." When can I fly, and when am I grounded? The answer depends to an extent on the kind of deicing equipment an aircraft has. Read more >>

Aspen Glass 2K Savings.

Instantly save more than $2000 on Evolution 1500 or 2000 system purchases made before Dec 31. Aspen glass increases situational awareness and reduces pilot workload. Features include: built-in system redundancy, SV, traffic/weather, and seamless integration with your existing radio, nav, and autopilot. Click for details >>

Chilling look at one pilot’s fatal mistakes

No one likes to dwell on the darker side of flying, but there are times when stepping back and looking at what can (and all too often does) go wrong is the best way to avoid similar issues ourselves. Case in point: the fatal 2009 crash of a Piper Seneca II near Huntington, W.Va. The Air Safety Institute’s video re-creation of the accident puts you in the cockpit as a series of poor choices leads to tragedy, and urges you to take a closer look at your own decision-making process. Watch the video >>

BlogsLeading Edge: Tighten up, and thanks

Traffic patterns should be tight. The mantra in the old aircraft AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg flies is to stay within gliding distance of the field in case the engine quits. It never has and probably won’t, but it still seems like good advice. Read more >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Dec. 3 and 4

Denver, Colo.

Orlando, Fla.

Northbrook, Ill.

Jan. 7 and 8

Baltimore, Md.

Ypsilanti, Mich.

Portland, Ore.

San Antonio, Texas

Jan. 14 and 15

Long Beach, Calif.

Jackson, Miss.

Charlotte, N.C.

Jan. 21 and 22

San Jose, Calif.

Bellevue, Wash.


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

Dec. 5

Mesa, Ariz.

Jacksonville, Fla.



Dec. 6

Tucson, Ariz.

Daytona Beach, Fla.

Dec. 7

Tampa, Fla.

Timonium, Md.

Albuquerque, N.M.

Dec. 8

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.




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


Congress grants $12.5 billion for FAA, restores BARR

President Barack Obama on Nov. 18 signed a Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development appropriations bill that provides $12.5 billion in FAA funding for Fiscal Year 2012, makes some reductions in Airport Improvement Program spending levels, and allocates $2 million for unleaded avgas research. The overall increase in FAA appropriations amounted to $137 million over Fiscal Year 2011. A provision of the bill restores the Block Aircraft Registration Request program, which had been drastically curtailed by the FAA effective Aug. 2 in an action under challenge by AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association in federal court. Read more >>

Keep flying: Familiar aircraft, more air time

More than 56,000 aircraft could be eligible for pilots to fly using their driver’s license and medical self-certification if the FAA grants an exemption that AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association are proposing. Read more >>

Serious Savings on Garmin Avionics Upgrades

There’s never been a better time to overhaul your plane’s avionics. Get up to $6,500 cash back by purchasing select flight displays, traffic systems and GTN avionics by January 31. Visit our promotions page to learn more.

Building the FSS of tomorrow

What would a flight briefing from the future look like? Pilots want an interactive briefing experience in which they could view the same information as an FSS specialist. This is just one finding in an AOPA survey to discover what pilots want from flight service. The FAA is working to create a new structure and new priorities for the flight service system by 2015, and AOPA has already begun reaching out to members to share their ideas about the services an updated FSS should provide—and what technologies could best deliver them. Read more >>

Pilot’s Bill of Rights reaches milestone

A bill for fairer treatment and more access to information during FAA enforcement actions, a reformed appeal process, and advisory boards to help improve the notice to airmen and medical certification systems is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill. Sixty co-sponsors have signed on in support of Sen. James Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) Pilot’s Bill of Rights (S. 1335). In addition, Inhofe has been working with Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) to introduce a companion bill in the House of Representatives. Read more >>

Study seeks clearer picture of GA airports

AOPA and other industry groups are working with the FAA as it develops a new classification system for general aviation airports. The agency is conducting a year-long study that seeks new, expanded GA airport categories for use in a national integrated systems plan. Read more >>

GAO report highlights FAA oversight role

GAO report highlights FAA oversight role A new Government Accountability Office report on initial pilot training recommends that the FAA develop ways to measure how well it performs oversight and inspection of flight training institutions and examiners, and develop a better understanding of the “nature and scope” of its discretionary inspections of flight instructors. The 70-page report, conducted at the behest of Congress, examined the role initial pilot training and education may have played in pilot performance. Read more >>

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

Member Benefits

Beat the system with AOPA’s WorldPoints Rewards Credit Card

With some credit card rewards programs, the number of points needed to earn merchandise is laughable. You’ve gathered 20,000 points, and you figure that should be enough to claim some sort of reward. That’s when you find out you need 80,000 points for a simple baseball cap. Not so with AOPA’s WorldPoints Credit Card. Rewards start as low as 2,500 points. Read more >>

AOPA makes holiday shopping easy, affordable

AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts program This holiday season, shop from the comfort of your home and save money through the AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts program, a free AOPA-members-only benefit. AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts offers across-the-board discounts from leading aviation and nonaviation companies. If you’re looking for AOPA merchandise to add to your personal holiday wish list, you’ll it find at the AOPA Store. Read more >>

iPhone, iPod store your airport info

AOPA members with an iPhone or iPod touch can access information about more than 5,300 public-use landing facilities; 7,000 FBOs and aviation-related businesses; and more than 55,000 restaurants, hotels, and transportation services with the AOPA Airports app powered by ForeFlight.

The FAA medical certification process can be a minefield for the unprepared—Don’t go it alone

The AOPA Medical Services Program can provide you with personalized, in-depth assistance from experts who understand pilots, paperwork, and the FAA. Plus, receive access to important tools that can help keep you flying. Enroll today!

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a communications coordinator, manager of flight training programs, online product manager, AOPA Live producer/videojournalist, Web business analyst, associate editor–Web, associate editor–Web/ ePilot, aviation technical specialist, and manager of airspace and modernization. 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: Too basic a question about ownership?

A newly certificated pilot is ready to get into aircraft ownership but doesn’t know where to start. When it comes to looking for an airplane, do you keep in mind the same things you do when buying a car? Share your advice with this new pilot in AOPA’s Forums.


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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.


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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: I’d like to fly my Piper Cub from the United States to a remote area in the Canadian wilderness and back for a fishing trip. However, the airplane isn’t equipped with a transponder. Can I legally take this international trip without a transponder?


Answer: Yes. However, a “No Transponder” waiver must be obtained from the Transportation Security Administration in advance. "No Transponder" waivers authorize VFR operations to, from, and within the airspace of the United States without an operating encoding transponder. "No Transponder" waivers are issued for up to three months and are subject to certain conditions. In addition, Canadian aviation regulations apply when operating in Canadian airspace. If you are operating without a transponder in designated transponder airspace in Canada, you must be communicating with ATC and have permission from them to operate in that airspace. Read up on what you need to know when flying in Canada. Other helpful resources include AOPA’s subject report on flying to Canada and Canadian aviation regulations transponder requirement.


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 Benefit others. Volunteer pilots serve their communities by flying search missions to find lost hikers, transporting sick patients for urgently needed medical care, transporting wounded veterans to visit their loved ones, delivering humanitarian aid following natural disasters, and even bringing rescued pets to loving homes.


AOPA ePilot Team
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