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Towering and timeless, the icy peaks of Greenland’s remote west coast rise slowly into view at a distance of more than 150 miles. The sight of land—even harsh, imposing, desolate land—brings welcome relief from crossing over a 450-nautical-mile body of deep, ice-strewn ocean separating northernmost Canada and Greenland. AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman is flying with Adrian Eichhorn in his beautifully restored 1962 Beechcraft V35P Bonanza as part of a group of three Bonanzas that has come to this exotic place for absolutely no practical purpose. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve flown over Greenland in jets at high altitude and wondered how amazing it would be to see this place from the vantage point of my own airplane,” said Eichhorn. “It’s always been my dream to do this trip, and now we’re doing it.” Read more and view a slideshow with photographs available exclusively online.
Whatever happened to “leather-jacket aviation”? Flight instructor Radek Wyrzykowski thinks he knows where it went. He hopes that a new general aviation Internet talk show of which he is co-host will help bring it back. “General aviation used to be about, among other things, the pleasure of being up in the air. A residual benefit was going to other places,” he said. Read more >>
CFII develops spatial disorientation chair
A Maine flight instructor has developed an improved version of a training device that will let pilots safely experience the physical effects of spatial disorientation. Michael Lessard of Sullivan, Maine, received a grant from the Wolf Aviation Fund in 2010 that helped him to create a design for a “vertigo chair” that he says is more lightweight, modular, and portable than those in use today. Read more >>
Pipistrel wins NASA’s Green Flight Challenge
Slovenian lightplane manufacturer Pipistrel has won NASA’s annual Green Flight Challenge with its Taurus G4 aircraft. The competition was held in September at the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, Calif. The Pipistrel team won by meeting the challenge of flying their twin-cockpit, four-seat single-engine aircraft 200 miles in less than two hours, using less than one gallon of fuel per occupant, or the equivalent in electricity. “Two years ago the thought of flying 200 miles at 100 mph in an electric aircraft was pure science fiction,” said Jack W. Langelaan, Pipistrel-USA’s team leader. Read more >>
California helicopter school beats own record
Pilots from the USA Academy of Aviation in Murrieta, Calif., have once again set a record, beating their old time, for a round-trip Robinson R44 helicopter flight from San Diego to Savannah, Ga. The trip occurred in mid-September. The crew of four pilots is awaiting confirmation from the National Aeronautic Association for a time of 58 hours and 23 minutes. Read more >>
Test pilot group honors Sikorsky X2 pilot
Sikorsky Chief Test Pilot Kevin Bredenbeck has received the prestigious Iven C. Kincheloe Award from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots for breaking the unofficial speed record for helicopters in the X2. The X2 was on display during AOPA Aviation Summit in Hartford, Conn., and is now on a victory lap (by truck) around the nation before entering the National Air and Space Museum. Read more >>
NBAA releases air traffic info for convention
Heading to the National Business Aviation Association’s annual convention Oct. 10 through 12 in Las Vegas? The association has released air traffic information regarding special procedures that will be in place through Oct. 13. “Recreational flying VFR in the Las Vegas Basin starting on October 8 will be very challenging and you can expect long delays in getting any clearances to transit the Class B airspace around LAS,” NBAA told AOPA. “Further, there will be a very high volume of IFR jet traffic operating to HND and VGT. Extreme caution is urged.” AOPA will be on hand at the show, providing online coverage of the latest announcements in the business aviation sector.
Legend Clay Lacy to get NBAA award
If you have ever seen a movie with aerial scenes, you may have seen the work of Clay Lacy. Among his many pioneering accomplishments in aviation is the development of aerial camera aircraft for the movie industry. The National Business Aviation Association will honor Lacy Oct. 11 with its Meritorious Service to Aviation Award. Read more >>
ConocoPhillips honored for helping cancer patients
The Corporate Angel Network, a group that coordinates medical travel for cancer patients on corporate aircraft, is honoring ConocoPhillips for flying nearly 6,000 cancer patients to treatment centers since 1983. The organization will present its first Angel of the Year Award to ConocoPhillips on Oct. 11 during the annual National Business Aviation Association convention in Las Vegas. Read more >>
Remanufactured Beechjet 400s get FAA approval
Cleveland-based Nextant Aerospace has received FAA certification for its $3.975 million Nextant 400XT. It comprises a remanufactured airframe from the Beechjet 400A/XP aircraft, Williams FJ44-3AP turbofan engines, Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics, advanced electronics, and rebuilt interiors. All life-limited components are returned to zero-time status, either through replacement or overhaul. Read more >>
Zululog adds Android service
Zululog.com, which offers a free online logbook, announced recently it has released an accompanying Android application. The application, which is also free, allows users to track information on their phone or Android tablet. Although the application is meant to be used in connection with a Zululog.com account, it can be used independently. Read more >>
Sporty’s unveils 2011 Christmas ornament
An aviation decoration is a must on a pilot’s Christmas tree, and nothing helps the season to be jolly like the Sporty’s Annual Christmas ornament. In 2011, aviation’s always awaited arboreal addition arrives in the lovely form of a Beech Staggerwing. The limited-edition ornament of the classic aircraft that first flew in 1932 includes a bright red ribbon for hanging, and is boxed for giving as a gift. The ornament (9833-11A) is available for $24.95 online, or by calling 800/SPORTYS. While you’re shopping, add the 2011 limited edition AOPA Holiday Ornament, a 1940 Waco, to your list. It’s available through the AOPA Store.
AOPA Now: Heaven’s Landing turns 10
During the past three years, AOPA President Craig Fuller has enjoyed getting to know Mike and Holly Ciochetti and learning about Heaven’s Landing. Mike’s vision and Holly’s caring touch have created a beautiful mountain estate airpark in Northeast Georgia. When he learned they were celebrating a tenth anniversary for the airpark, Fuller decided to drop by for lunch. After visiting the airpark and reminiscing over photos, Fuller said, “I couldn’t help but think of how important it is to protect our freedom to fly!” Read more and view photographs of the airpark.
Reporting Points: Aviation across the nation
From discharged batteries to improperly downloaded charts, find out what common mistakes pilots make when using an iPad in the cockpit. AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines and a panel of pilots discuss the iPad, pilot apps, tips for flying with the electronic device, and predictions of how the iPad will integrate with avionics in the future. Watch AOPA Live® >>
Movie pilot looks back on 007 roles, stunt flying
When James Bond emerged from the hangar doors sideways in a Bede BD-5 jet, he had some help from J.W. “Corkey” Fornof. Fornof spoke with AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman about how he got his start in the movie business, preparing for the iconic scene, and flying aircraft such as the hot-rod Grumman Bearcat and the LoPresti Fury. “I roll it every 50 miles—whether it needs it or not,” he said. Watch AOPA Live >>
Exciting future for Cirrus
New Cirrus CEO Dale Klapmeier talks about life under China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (CAIGA), which bought the U.S.-based aircraft manufacturer earlier this year. “Our new owners have the same values, the same interests that we have,” Klapmeier told AOPA Live. He said the new owners are aviation enthusiasts and are investing in aviation for the long haul, specifically looking at ways to expand GA worldwide. They aren’t “flying by the seat of their pants” either, Klapmeier said, adding that CAIGA is looking for what products are next, perhaps beyond the Vision Jet, in between the SR22 and jet, or a trainer. Watch AOPA Live >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
Professional Instrument Courses (PIC), originators of the 10-day instrument-rating course provided at the client’s location for the last 30 years, has added Redbird G1000 TD2 and Elite PI-135 simulators to its training fleet. “Any professional training program uses simulators with their clients,” said PIC Program Director Thomas Seymour. “We’ve found that the G1000 and Garmin 430 simulation of the Redbird and Elite units to be very effective training tools.” Read more >>
What have you done for me lately?
Few of us are brilliant natural aviators, able to rely solely on our own resourcefulness to safely explore the distant corners of the flight envelope. Mortal pilots of ordinary skill learn the virtues of widening their experience gradually. And while lifetime experience is good, recency of experience may be more relevant to any particular flight. About 6:45 p.m. on Nov. 29, 2010, a Beech A36 Bonanza crashed into an open field about 10 miles south of Mobile, Ala., killing the solo private pilot. The flight lasted less than 10 minutes. Find out what went wrong in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.
Is your instrument flying based on a good foundation? Complex procedures require a solid basis in the fundamentals. That means practicing—and not just on clear, calm days. Practice should instill confidence that you can control your aircraft to the standards implied by your rating under the turbulent or gusty conditions you would expect to encounter on a challenging weather flight. You can’t keep up with the demands of course intercepts, nailing altitudes, and anticipating the next step in an instrument approach procedure if your basics are sloppy. Read more >>
Flight beyond alphabet airspace
Are you allowed to fly into a controlled firing area? How about a special flight rules area? If the answer is not immediately apparent it’s time you review the Air Safety Institute’s Know Before You Go: Navigating Today’s Airspace interactive online course. Don’t get caught off guard in the air: Tackle especially tricky airspace operations such as ADIZ, SFRA, MOA, MTR, CFA, TFR, and NSA from the safety of your computer, and qualify for AOPA Accident Forgiveness and FAA Wings. Take the course >>
Do you remember which inspections your aircraft needs, and when? AOPA’s subject report gives information about the basic inspection requirements for aircraft and items that should be checked. Could a progressive inspection plan minimize maintenance down time? Find out more >>
Leading Edge: Dangers of flight tests
Flight testing a new design is much riskier than a routine flight. “This falls into the ‘duh’ category and yet the statistics of extremely high risk flight is lumped into GA’s accident rate,” said AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg, advocating that “GA is a diverse activity and that must be recognized.” Read more >>
LightSquared, the capital venture that is locked in a dispute with the GPS industry over a proposed mobile-satellite network shown to disrupt aviation navigation, “has put regulators on the spot by raising the specter of litigation,” said a senior AOPA executive this week. “Using the ‘L’ word—for lawsuit—or suggesting it in comments to the media is a distraction,” said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA senior vice president of government affairs. “But that tactic does not change the fact that LightSquared wants to build a system that is inappropriate in that portion of the radio spectrum, as tests have repeatedly shown.” Read more >>
No traction for user fees in Senate
The Obama administration's proposal for a $100 user fee on most general aviation flights has proven a tough sell in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered alternatives for funding hiring incentives and economic development, and Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) took the floor to call to defend business aviation against "demonizing." Read more >>
User fees ‘devastating’ to aviation
A $100 fee for commercial and general aviation flights would “stifle” the industry, and is the wrong way to attack the federal deficit, said House aviation subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri (R-Wis.) and ranking Democratic member Jerry Costello (D-Ill.). Aviation already faces high fuel costs and a slow economy, making the imposition of a new fee “devastating,” they wrote to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. In a separate move, the House GA Caucus issued a letter with a similar sentiment, stating that the House has “repeatedly and overwhelmingly” rejected user fees and urged the joint committee to study ways to reduce the federal deficit without damaging the $150 billion aviation industry. Read more >>
Solutions at home could save Idaho taxpayers money
Faced with steepening odds of moving Friedman Memorial Airport 15 miles away from its current location, Hailey, Idaho, city and airport officials are reconsidering plans to do what local pilots had recommended all along—invest in the airport they have. The airport authority has for six years been looking to relocate the airport because the existing field does not meet FAA design standards for operating Class 3 aircraft such as Bombardier Q400 turboprops used there by Horizon Air. Read more >>
GA 'watchdog' won't seek re-election
Longtime general aviation advocate on Capitol Hill Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) announced Oct. 4 that he will not seek re-election in 2012. Costello, a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and ranking member of the aviation subcommittee, said he would complete his current term which ends in January 2013. He also is a member of the House General Aviation Caucus. Read more >>
AOPA China hosts first annual conference
General aviation is growing in China, has acquired significant government support for expansion, and is spreading its wings across the country to a surprising degree, said AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Melissa Rudinger, who attended the AOPA China First Annual Conference and China Low Altitude Economy Summit Sept. 22 and 23 in Beijing. “It is clear that the long-anticipated growth of general aviation in China is now happening, and at a quick pace,” Rudinger said. The country already has a light sport community, 28 flight schools, and 200 general aviation airports. Read more >>
Fly well: ‘Flu well’
As aviation thoughts switch from summer convection to cooler, denser skies, make sure you schedule a trip to the doctor’s office or local market to have your flu shot. Every year somewhere between 5 and 20 percent of Americans get this disease and the more of us who are vaccinated the lower the likelihood of an epidemic. The word “influenza” derives from the Italian meaning “influence” as it was thought that the stars affected our health. Read more >>
AOPA Legal Services Plan not just for violations
You may never have seriously considered joining AOPA’s Legal Services Plan. After all, you’re a careful, precise pilot, and the possibility of your violating the federal aviation regulations may be slim in your mind. Then, too, you are confident about how you would handle a ramp check or other FAA inquiry. That may all be true, but there are other reasons that signing up for AOPA’s Legal Services Plan makes sense. If you’re in the market to buy an airplane, for example, AOPA’s Legal Services Plan can be invaluable. Read more >>
AOPA 2012 ‘Tougher than a Tornado’ Sweepstakes
A Wounded Warrior in the Tornado Husky
The old saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover is especially true for pilots—and prospective pilots. Some who seem retiring on the ground are tigers in the air, while others who are bold and brash on the ground are timid and meek above it. When U.S. Marine Sgt. (retired) Adam Kisielewski came by AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Md., on Oct. 5 for a flight in the AOPA 2012 Sweepstakes Tougher than a Tornado Husky, AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman tried to keep an open mind about what to expect on the upcoming flight. It turns out that Kisielewski, 28, has been through many trials in his young life. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a Web business analyst, donor relations specialist, medical certification assistant, AOPA regional manager, associate editor–Web, associate editor–Web/ ePilot, production assistant–Web, .Net developer, aviation technical specialist, and manager of airspace and modernization. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.