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Oct. 7, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterOct. 7, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 13, ISSUE 40 — October 7, 2011

Flying the vast frozen Arctic
IFR fix: Benchmarking the basics
LightSquared plays the lawsuit card
Quiz Me: Climbs and descents


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

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Flying the vast frozen Arctic

Feature 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.

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GA News

‘Plane Talk’ show puts GA on the air

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

Pipistrel Taurus G4 aircraft 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 >>

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

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Test pilot group honors Sikorsky X2 pilot

The Sikorsky X2 was on display at AOPA Aviation Summit 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 >>

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 >>

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

Nextant 400XT 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, 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 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.

BlogsAOPA Now: Heaven’s Landing turns 10

AOPA President Craig Fuller celebrates Heaven's Landing airpark's 10th anniversary 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.

BlogsReporting Points: Aviation across the nation

Fly air combat or learn aerobatics while at NBAACubs gathering in TennesseeF-35 makes first vertical carrier landing.


Avoid ‘boneheaded pilot’ mistakes with the iPad

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

View an interview with new Cirrus CEO Dale Klapmeier 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

PIC courses add Garmin simulation

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.

IFR fix: Benchmarking the basics

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

Know Before You Go: Navigating Today's Airspace course from the Air Safety Institute 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 >>

Aircraft checkup

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 >>

BlogsLeading 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 >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Oct. 8 and 9

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Indianapolis, Ind.

Oct. 15 and 16

Windsor, Conn.

Wichita, Kan.

Columbia, S.C.

Oct. 29 and 30

Corpus Christi, Texas


Nov. 5 and 6

Atlanta, Ga.




For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

Oct. 10

Garden City, N.Y.

Oct. 11

Colorado Springs, Colo.

Poughkeepsie, N.Y.


Oct. 12

Denver, Colo.

West Lafayette, Ind.

Cohoes, N.Y.

Oct. 13

Milan, Ill.

Brockport, N.Y.


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

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LightSquared plays the lawsuit card

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

User fees 'devastating' to aviation 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 >>

Try Garmin Pilot My-Cast for iPad free for 30 days

Garmin Pilot My-Cast® brings extensive aviation weather, flight planning, charts, navigation and electronic flight bag capabilities to mobile devices. Try it free for 30 days from the iTunes® App Store, or visit our website to learn 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 >>

The Road Calls, and So Do the Savings

When you’re ready to go, Enterprise makes it easy with great cars and great deals. Take advantage of your AOPA membership and enjoy a discount on our everyday low rates. Click here to learn more.

Member Benefits

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 >>

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.


AOPA 2012 ‘Tougher than a Tornado’ Sweepstakes

A Wounded Warrior in the Tornado Husky

U.S. Marine Sgt. (ret.) Adam Kisielewski in the front seat of the 'Tougher than a 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 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.

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.


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: Instructor woes

Remember your flight training: Was there a time your CFI became impatient or frustrated with your questions? What about with things that took longer for you to learn? Give your tips and advice to a member feeling these woes on the AOPA 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’ve started my instrument training, and I am receiving conflicting information regarding climbs and descents. I’m confused because I’m practicing both constant-rate and constant-airspeed climbs and descents, but in the real world, what will ATC actually expect or require?


Answer: The Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) Section 4-4-10, “Adherence to Clearance,” gives information about ATC instructions regarding climbs and descents. Three main types of climb or descent clearances may be issued. The first type is a standard clearance to a new altitude, which asks that the pilot initiate the climb or descent promptly and maintain a vertical speed that is optimum for the aircraft being flown, until within 1,000 feet of the target altitude. At that point, the pilot should try to keep the vertical speed between 500 and 1,500 feet per minute until reaching the new desired altitude. The second type of climb or descent clearance includes the language “at pilot’s discretion.” In this case, the pilot can initiate the altitude change whenever he or she chooses, and at any rate. The caveat is that the pilot may not return to an altitude that has already been vacated—meaning that he or she may not descend once a climb is initiated, and vice versa. The third type of instruction involves a descent issued along with a crossing restriction related to a fix (e.g. a VOR or an intersection), which allows pilots to descend however they see fit, provided that they descend in time to cross the specified fix at the assigned altitude. You can find more information in “Flying Smart: Aviation Speak.”


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 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

Rally GA Back pro-GA candidates. The AOPA Political Action Committee (PAC) provides AOPA members with a means of supporting pro-GA lawmakers and political candidates. When you make a contribution through the AOPA PAC, your money is pooled with contributions from other pilots and aircraft owners nationwide, meaning that each dollar you give carries far more weight than if you contributed on your own.

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