Click here for this week’s custom content.
A distant whir quickly grows to a roar as a red and blue Aztec buzzes the Cat Island coastline after takeoff, its two 250-horsepower Lycoming IO-540 engines at full power. All conversation stops; necks crane skyward to follow the Aztec's path. No one grumbles about the interruption. That Aztec is one of the Bahamians' sources of hope—and survival. It's a signal that the Bahamas Habitat pilot just dropped off food, water, and construction tools at the Arthur's Town Airfield. In addition to Cat Island, Cupid's Cay on Eleuthera Island was demolished. "We need help, we really need help," said Diana Demeritte. Her tiny abode, overlooking the Caribbean's turquoise waters from a 10- to 20-foot rocky ledge, filled with water waist deep from the storm. She had only two gallons of drinking water and some food. Read more and view a slideshow of the damage >>
Inside Bahamas Habitat’s mobile command center
What is usually the Banyan Air Service Coconut Palm Conference Room is now the nerve center for all of the Bahamas Habitat relief operations at Fort Lauderdale Executive, where they’ve coordinated more than 50 volunteers. The room, with its bare walls, a table, and chairs, is transformed into a place where pilots, dispatchers, ground support crew, and shoppers converge. Four people are holding it all together. Read more >>
Helicopters—both military and civilian—are proving critical to relief operations in Vermont and upstate New York as the region struggles to recover from devastating flooding spawned by Hurricane Irene, which was downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved through the northeastern states Aug. 28 and 29. The flooding washed out bridges and roadways, causing damage that could take weeks or months to repair and isolating communities. Read more >>
East Coast GA operations normalize after Irene
When Mike Freed locked up his business at the Ocean City, Md., airport the afternoon of Aug. 26, Hurricane Irene was on the doorstep and the town was under an evacuation order. Freed placed Ocean Aviation’s aircraft in the hangar, turned out the lights, and hoped for the best. He monitored conditions remotely via the automated surface observing system (ASOS) as winds to 50 knots blasted the field. Then, at about 8 p.m., the ASOS failed. Fast forward to Tuesday morning. Freed answered the phone at Ocean Aviation. “We did well, thank you,” he told AOPA. Read more >>
Aerial chase nabs Arkansas burglary suspects
David Hudson has seen it all working the scenes of car wrecks and other emergencies on his job as a medevac helicopter pilot. But a flight that started as a pleasure outing in a borrowed Cessna 172 now rates as "the wildest experience I've ever had," he said. Local police are calling the flight Aug. 23 the "eye in the sky" that helped them apprehend two burglary suspects. And a first-time passenger aboard the Cessna is glad that he asked Hudson to point out his Craighead County, Ark., home from the air. Read more >>
Jet training is this family's tradition
Dominick and Adam Ruscitti have found their niche as flight instructors. Creating an opportunity from Dominick’s retirement and Adam’s furlough from their jobs as airline pilots, the father and son team from Illinois saw a chance to focus on some specialized aspects of their experience—and launched a venture of their own. The most fun part of their work might be when they get to bestow their trademark tribute on a student at the end of a flight course: “Congratulations, jet captain.” Read more >>
LoPresti introduces 'NeverFlat' tire
Calling it the first of its kind, LoPresti Aviation Engineering announced recently an aircraft tire the company says will never go flat. Called the NeverFlat Lifesaver, the tire has a band of carbon fiber imbedded in the tire. CEO Rj Siegel said, “It's just about impossible to puncture this tire and even if you could it still wouldn’t go flat.” Read more >>
National flight school accreditation program launched
The Flight School Association of North America, or FSANA, announced recently the introduction of its national flight school accreditation program. The program is intended to give those schools that go through the process a means of showing their financial strength and safety record compared to the competition. The accreditation process includes a self-evaluation, an on-site visit performed by volunteer inspectors, and a hearing of an accreditation commission in which the applicant must be present. Read more >>
Ride in a ‘Tin Goose’
This is not your average airliner. EAA’s 1929 Ford Tri-Motor 4-AT-E has had careers as a barnstormer, aerial applicator, and fire fighter. At next year’s EAA AirVenture, it will take the winning bidder in the AOPA Foundation’s A Night for Flight auction—and eight friends—for a ride through the pages of history. The Tri-Motor, commonly known as the “Tin Goose,” was Ford’s flying counterpart to the Model T “Tin Lizzie.” Every seat has a window—a plus for the lucky eight friends who will join the winning bidder at Oshkosh, Wis. Read more >>
Denali Scout certified
The FAA on Aug. 24 approved the installation by American Champion Aircraft of a 210-horsepower Lycoming IO-390 engine on the Scout, which is now a 180-horsepower airplane. The Scout is the first certificated airplane to use the engine, following its success in the Experimental market. Both the 180- and 210-horsepower models will be offered.
Company tailors visual inspection technology to aircraft
Harry Rittenour and Shep Whitcomb hope that the visual inspection devices developed by their company will do for GA aircraft care what they do in automotive, plumbing, and construction applications: create efficiency and reduce costs. Their strategy is to learn what aircraft mechanics need from inspection devices, and then design accessories or modifications for their units that do the job. Perceptron Inc. of Plymouth, Mich., provides specialized measurement and inspection solutions through business units focused on industrial and commercial applications. Read more >>
Reporting Points: It’s over when it’s over
Not every company had a bad second quarter in the recent aircraft delivery report by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, but most companies saw a decline in deliveries. If piston aircraft are the canaries in the coal mine, is the aviation economy once again on its death bed? AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Al Marsh predicts neither doom nor salvation. Read more >>
Midwest LSA Expo set for Sept. 9 through 11
The third annual Midwest LSA Expo will take place Sept. 9 through Sept. 11 at Mount Vernon Outland Airport in Mount Vernon, Ill. This year’s event will feature more than 40 light sport aircraft on a static display and an expanded array of seminars, according to organizer Chris Collins. New to the show this year are Soar Free (Pipistrel) and Thunderbird Aviation, of Ray, Mich., which manufactures kits for SNS-8 and SNS-9 hiperlight aircraft. Read more >>
Frasca announces new CEO
John Frasca is the new CEO of flight simulator manufacturer Frasca International, the company announced. Frasca takes over for his father, Rudy Frasca. John served most recently as vice president of operations. Read more >>
AOPA China fly-in postponed after Beijing helo crash
A fatal crash of a helicopter from the Beijing City Police Department’s newly formed airborne unit has led to the postponement of AOPA China’s scheduled helicopter fly-in, AOPA China announced. The fly-in had been scheduled for Sept. 22 to 24 to coincide with the organization’s first general aviation Summit, which will proceed as scheduled. Read more >>
Reporting Points: New Cub on the scene
The American Legend Aircraft Company’s Super Legend will be delivered in the first quarter of 2012. The 115-horsepower Super Legend has the same power-to-weight ratio as a 150-horsepower Piper Super Cub, yet it remains in the light sport aircraft category. Read more >>
Top Gun dreams
There are many pilots who secretly dream of being Maverick. Sadly, there just aren't many F-14 Tomcats out there to buy. But there is a military jet that you can get your hands on: the Aero L-29 Delfin, which served as the standard jet trainer for the Warsaw Pact nations in the 1960s. This week, The Aviators shows us what it's like to own and fly an L-29. Watch AOPA Live >>
Still time to vote for Lightspeed grants
Twenty worthy aviation charities are vying for $10,000 grants from the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation, and your vote can help determine which organizations will receive a grant. AOPA Live is highlighting the finalists, including the association’s own philanthropic arm, the AOPA Foundation. Take a look at this and other videos to find out more about the finalists, and cast your vote online.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
AOPA AVIATION SUMMIT
World's fastest helo headed to Summit
Sikorsky's record-setting high-speed X2 demonstrator defied conventional wisdom, reaching a speed of 250 knots true airspeed in level flight. The counter-rotating coaxial rotor helicopter will soon take its place in history at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. But first, it will be on display at AOPA Aviation Summit. Get a glimpse of the machine in flight, and find out how the whole project started with a conversation in the hallway. Watch AOPA Live >>
AOPA Member Pavilion at Summit is a must-see
AOPA Aviation Summit 2011, general aviation’s premier event, will take place in Hartford, Conn., from Sept. 22 through 24 at the Connecticut Convention Center and at Hartford-Brainard Airport, the location of this year’s Airportfest. Enjoy hundreds of exhibits; attend keynote addresses, AOPA Live, and product demonstrations; and interact with fellow members all within the exhibit hall. Read more >>
Discount deadline extended to Sept. 9
To accommodate those affected by Hurricane Irene, AOPA has extended the AOPA Aviation Summit pre-registration discount through Sept. 9. We hope that this extension affords those still dealing with massive cleanup efforts and loss of power the opportunity to register for Summit without the burden of additional costs. Featuring a world class exhibit hall, more than 60 hours of educational seminars, and exciting aviation social events, AOPA Aviation Summit provides a firsthand look at all that AOPA does on behalf of general aviation and its members. Those wishing to register may do so online or by phone at 800/872-2672.
Safety & Proficiency
The human body has a remarkable capacity to repair itself when damaged. Unfortunately, airplanes don’t. Shortly before 4 a.m. on Dec. 18, 2008, a Beech Model 36 Bonanza crashed onto a golf course in Louisville, Ky., killing the solo pilot. A few weeks before the accident, he had asked a mechanic at Louisville about an apparent oil-pressure problem. Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.
Brush up on your IFR chart reading skills
IFR charts pack a lot of information into a small space, and it’s important to know what it all means. Instrument flying demands a high degree of focus on many tasks at once, and IMC is no place to be figuring out what your chart is trying to tell you. If you haven’t flown with them in a while, they can be intimidating. Refresh your knowledge of approach charts, enroute charts, SIDs, and more with the IFR Insights: Charts online course from the Air Safety Institute.
Many Cessna 172 pilots would be thrilled with the opportunity to fly a Beechcraft King Air 200. But that’s not how it happened for Doug White when he was forced to take over the flight controls after the pilot became incapacitated. Without “King Air School” under his belt, how was he supposed to fly and land this powerful twin-engine airplane safely? Ride along on this Air Safety Institute’s Real Pilot Story as White describes the terrifying ordeal in Pinch Hitting a King Air .
Leading Edge: GA missionaries
We know that general aviation aircraft are a valuable business tool: Even critics often take advantage of their efficiency, security, and the flexibility to travel where and when needed. But remember that the dream of flight is almost universal. Most people start on the path with just the dream. Maybe we shouldn’t fill their heads with all the practical reasons to fly. Is it time to promote the personal growth that comes from becoming a pilot? Read more >>
Reporting Points: Putting deadly August to bed
August marked the anniversary of two remarkable aircraft accidents, the effects of which we feel on every flight, even 25 years later. On Aug. 31, 1986, a Piper Archer and an Aeromexico DC-9 collided over the community of Cerritos, Calif., killing all 64 on the airliner and the three occupants of the Archer. What we learned about collision avoidance from Cerritos pales compared to what we learned about microbursts from the Delta Air Lines accident at Dallas-Fort Worth International a year earlier on Aug. 2, 1985. Read more >>
AOPA, NBAA formally file court brief to preserve BARR
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) filed their opening brief in court Aug. 29 to challenge the government’s decision to severely limit the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program. In their briefing, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the associations argue that the FAA’s revisions to the BARR program are unlawful and should be invalidated. Read more >>
FAA adopts final pilot certification rule
The FAA has enacted a pilot and flight school certification rule that permits concurrent applications for a private pilot certificate and instrument rating, and allows counting dual cross-country instructional flight time toward eligibility requirements for concurrent training. A proposal to eliminate the requirement for single-engine commercial pilot applicants to fly 10 hours in a complex aircraft and replace it with 10 hours of advanced instrument training was dropped from the final rule. The FAA said it might revisit the commercial-pilot certification issue in a future rulemaking effort. Read more >>
C150 rudder stop AD revised (pdf)
A Cessna 150/152 airworthiness directive requiring “a placard prohibiting spins and other acrobatic maneuvers in the airplane or replacing the rudder stop” has been updated to modify the rudder stop kit because people have “reported difficulty in obtaining full rudder travel with the existing modification kit.” Download the AD >>
California training fix heads to governor
A bill that would exempt California flight training businesses from onerous fees and reporting requirements imposed by a 2009 law took a major step toward enactment Aug. 30 with approval by the state Senate. It now goes on to Gov. Jerry Brown. Read more >>
AOPA Now: South Dakota rallies GA
For a rural state like South Dakota, general aviation means successful farming, business growth, and access to the wider world. Sen. John Thune and Gov. Dennis Daugaard took time out Aug. 31 to recognize the value of GA in their home state—and AOPA President Craig Fuller was pleased to be a part of this exciting Rally GA event. Events like these are so important, Fuller writes, because they bring together elected leaders and voters to talk about what GA means to real people—whether they fly or not. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Another user-fee horror story
If you live in New Zealand, you’ve been asked since Aug. 1 to pay $100 per year for weather briefings from private companies. That’s because the New Zealand government cut off funding to private briefing services. Read more >>
Enjoy a free weekend day rental
Receive your first day free on a three-day weekend rental at the airport when you include PC# 159784 in your reservation of any vehicle type. The offer is valid for pickup Aug. 15 through Oct. 31. Reserve your car today. A portion of all revenue generated will be returned to AOPA and reinvested to support the association’s daily efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of general aviation.
Fly Well: Amazons (and how not to be one)
“Mythical female warriors who excised their right breast to better draw a bow”: This definition for “Amazon” resonates with the dreaded word mastectomy. How can one avoid removing a breast? By avoiding breast cancer. In cancer, deviant cells multiply and behave badly causing breast distortion and destruction, traveling around the body, landing and starting new colonies (metastases) in armpit lymph nodes, bones, brain, lungs, liver, and skin. Although statistics reveal one in eight women may acquire breast cancer, risk is not uniform. Read more >>
AOPA 2012 Sweepstakes ‘Tougher Than a Tornado’ Husky
While most of the East Coast was battened down for Hurricane Irene, the AOPA 2012 Sweepstakes "Tougher Than a Tornado" Husky went flying. As soon as the storm cleared on Aug. 28, AOPA staff pushed the airplane out of the hangar to record some video of how the airplane handles in winds (and crosswinds). The answer: remarkably well. "The Tornado Husky always seems eager to fly—but add a 20-knot headwind and the airplane practically leaps off the ground," said AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman. Watch AOPA Live >>
Extreme weather magnet?
The AOPA 2012 Sweepstakes “Tougher Than a Tornado” Husky got its nickname by surviving the Sun ’n Fun tornado on March 31. But the airplane seems to attract extreme weather conditions wherever it goes. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an associate editor–Web, associate editor–Web ePilot, application support engineer, .Net developer, aviation technical specialist, and manager of airspace and modernization. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.