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For New Yorkers, the city is home; it’s where they work, shop, play, enjoy friends, raise families. For tourists, New York City is the face of America. It's evident on the streets where 50 youngsters from Japan ask their chaperone where they are going next; where a young woman from Israel haltingly asks for directions to the World Trade Center site—Ground Zero. At the Downtown Manhattan Heliport tourists await their 15- to 20-minute rides. Operators here offer a bird's-eye view of the city that never sleeps, the home of Trump and Giuliani—and, of course, the worst terrorist attack in this century. Before Sept. 11, four heliports in New York City offered sightseeing tours. Today, only the Downtown Manhattan Heliport provides tourists with this activity that’s vigilantly monitored and regulated. Read more and watch AOPA Live® >>
For AOPA staff, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 changed forever the way we conduct the business of protecting, preserving, and promoting general aviation. On that date, staff watched mesmerized and in tears as the events in New York City and the Pentagon unfolded. Then, at 9:40 a.m., the FAA air traffic control systems command center ordered all aircraft in the nation to land. And the skies went silent. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>
Reporting Points: A remarkable tale
Thinking about the 9/11 anniversary, it's hard to grasp the impact that the events of that day have had on so many. Among those whose lives would be severely impacted is Tammy Duckworth, whom AOPA Pilot profiled in March 2010. Read more >>
Betty Skelton, ‘First Lady of Firsts,’ dies
Aerobatic pilot Betty Skelton Erde, known as the “First Lady of Firsts,” died on Aug. 31 at her home in Winter Park, Fla. She was 85. Born in Pensacola, Fla., on June 28, 1926, Skelton played with model airplanes as a child and would watch Stearmans flying overhead from nearby Pensacola Naval Air Station. She soloed (illegally) at age 12, according to a biography provided by the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Among her many aviation accomplishments, Skelton became the first woman to perform an inverted ribbon cut 10 feet from the ground, the Hall of Fame said. Read more >>
Aspen wins FAA approval for Evolution Synthetic Vision
Aspen Avionics has received FAA approval for its long-awaited Evolution Synthetic Vision and expects to add GPS-derived images of nearby terrain to its primary flight and multi-function displays this month. The approval came in the form of a technical standard order and Aspen said an FAA supplemental type certificate is imminent. More than 4,000 Aspen Evolution displays have been installed, and existing customers will be able to add synthetic vision through an Aspen dealer software patch. Read more >>
Documentary on women air racers wins NAHF award
The National Aviation Hall of Fame has chosen filmmaker Heather Taylor as this year’s recipient of the Combs Gates Award in recognition of her documentary on the women who flew in the 1929 National Women’s Air Derby. Taylor produced and directed Breaking Through the Clouds, which tells the story of the 20 pilots who flew from Santa Monica, Calif., to Cleveland, Ohio. The racers included notable names such as Pancho Barnes, Amelia Earhart, Louise Thaden, and Bobbi Trout. Read more >>
Training deals a steal in GA auction
From private or commercial to recurrent training or special ratings, pilots could get a deal on training packages in the AOPA Foundation’s A Night for Flight online auction. All of the leading bids Sept. 8 were below the training packages’ values, which means you could save on training while still supporting efforts to protect and promote general aviation. Training packages include simulators, SimCom recurrent training in a Beech Baron or Cessna 300/400 series aircraft, a seaplane rating, and more. Read more >>
Former Cessna PR chief joins Embraer
Bob Stangarone, who left Cessna Aircraft Co. in mid-August to stay “ahead of change,” is head of Embraer’s North American public relations operations. Embraer is the scariest competitor Cessna has, given the success of Embraer’s Phenom jet. Still, the company is affected by the economic doldrums like everyone else. Embraer is estimated to have had 23 deliveries in the second quarter, compared to 40 for the second quarter of 2010, and eight in the first quarter, compared to 20 for the same period in 2010.
Musician’s flying anthem soars
Singer-songwriter Ansel Brown couldn’t help but put his feelings into music about the family of aviators he acquired when he married Lisa Wixom Brown. The result, When You Fly—an ode to the incredible sights and emotions that pilots experience—has since become an anthem of sorts for the space shuttle program. Brown, a student pilot with just one lesson in his logbook, wrote the song to express the passion for aviation exhibited by his wife and her family. Read more >>
D-Jets flying again
Flight testing of D-Jet prototypes 002 and 003 has resumed, following the grounding of the jets in March. New funding allowed the recall of part of the development team, said Diamond President Peter Maurer. Design work will be completed allowing production to start on conforming aircraft 004. A one-hour flight of D-Jet 003 included testing of aircraft systems and navigation software. The company received financing from an undisclosed source to resume the D-Jet program.
AOPA President Craig Fuller was in Colorado Springs, Colo., Sept. 1 for the eighth annual meeting of the TBM Owners and Pilots Association. More than 250 people, including more than 80 TBM owners, took part. This is a very astute and involved group of pilots, and they were deeply interested in the challenges that will continue to face general aviation through this fall’s budget debate and beyond. Read more >>
Hover Power: Airborne infrared cameras
Aviation blogger Tim McAdams recently flew with the Texas Department of Public Safety in their Dallas-based AS350 helicopter. One of the interesting pieces of equipment they used was a gyro-stabilized forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera. FLIR cameras allow the tactical flight officer to see in total darkness by producing viewable images of invisible infrared energy. The helicopter circled a fight at an apartment complex parking lot. Hearing the helicopter overhead, some of the subjects walked into dark areas between the buildings probably thinking they couldn’t be seen. They were perfectly clear on the FLIR screen. Read more >>
The first business aircraft
Many people consider the Beech Model 17 Staggerwing the first business or corporate aircraft. Designed and built at the height of the Great Depression, it offered an "executive" cabin. It was faster than the airliners of the day with its fully enclosed retractable landing gear. The Aviators found a beautifully restored Model 17 flying in the Canadian Yukon. Watch AOPA Live >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
AOPA AVIATION SUMMIT
Swamp-bound, tornado-battered B-29 gleams like new
From the ashtrays to the .50-caliber guns, the Boeing B-29A Superfortress Jack’s Hack at the New England Air Museum is a meticulous reconstruction of its 1945 self. When a World War II veteran sits down in his old seat and instinctively reaches for a switch—or an astrocompass, or E6B—he’ll find it. Volunteers from the museum rescued the aircraft from an Army boneyard in 1973 and in the intervening years have reversed the effects of time, pigeons, and a tornado. Read more >>
Sporty’s Pilot Shop has developed a new app for AOPA Aviation Summit, to be held in Hartford, Conn., Sept. 22 through 24. Available for the first time ever, the app contains all the information you need to have a meaningful Summit experience. You can register, check the schedule of events, and access maps right from your phone, all at no charge. Read more >>
Flying to Summit?
Hartford-Brainard Airport and Bradley International Airport are hosting fly-in attendees for this year's Summit in Hartford, Conn. Special arrival and departure procedures are in effect for Hartford-Brainard Airport from Wednesday, Sept. 21, through Sunday, Sept. 25. The 2011 Aviation Summit Pilot Information Package contains all the information you'll need to make the trip safely and efficiently. Download the information package.
Safety & Proficiency
There’s no doubt that flying single-pilot IFR is hectic, but you can minimize the stress and improve your safety margin. How well do you maintain a sterile cockpit? Are your charts organized? Do you stay ahead of the airplane, or do you struggle to keep up? The Air Safety Institute’s Single-Pilot IFR online course can help you make sense of a potentially confusing aspect of instrument flying. Take the course >>
Know the hypoxia hazards
Think you don’t have to worry about hypoxia unless you’re pushing 12,500 feet? Think again. Factors such as nutrition, stress, smoking habits, alcohol use, and quality and amount of sleep can all affect your blood’s oxygen saturation. Watch for the symptoms—including increased breathing rate, dizziness, headache, sweating, reduced peripheral vision, fatigue, and a feeling of euphoria—and brush up on your hypoxia knowledge in AOPA’s subject report.
Take the Air Safety Institute’s safety quiz for a spin
You’d never practice stalls on your own. And, during a flight review you dread the moment your CFI asks you to demonstrate a power-on stall. Sounds familiar? Take these steps to really understanding stalls and spins and how to recover from them. It will help alleviate any concerns, even fear, you may have. To get started, take the Air Safety Institute’s safety quiz on stalls and spins; then find a qualified instructor to demonstrate this newly acquired knowledge. The quiz was sponsored by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Take the quiz >>
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.
Leading Edge: It was a tough weekend
Holiday weekends are something to look forward to—usually. Safety professionals cross their fingers and hope for the best. This Labor Day weekend did not help the 2011 general aviation safety statistics. While the details of several fatal accidents won’t be known for months or longer, it’s a good time to reflect on our activity. Read more >>
CORRECTION: In the Sept. 2 issue of AOPA ePilot, we incorrectly identified the number of fatalities from the two aircraft involved in an Aug. 31, 1986, midair collision. Three on board the Archer and 64 on board the DC-9 died in the crash.
With the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks approaching and aviation security in focus, AOPA urged pilots to review steps to take to stay vigilant, keep their aircraft secure, and report any suspicious activity they observe around the airport. On Sept. 3, the Transportation Security Administration issued an advisory in which it said that it continued to monitor reports on potential terrorist threats. Read more >>
TFRs set for NYC, Pennsylvania for 9/11 remembrance events
The FAA has issued notams restricting flight within the New York City Class B airspace and over Pittsburg and Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 11 for President Barack Obama's visits. Smaller restrictions also will be in effect over Shanksville on Sept. 10. AOPA encourages pilots to check notams before flight. For details, see the FAA's website.
Politics trumped safety, Ohio pilots group says
Supporters of the Norwalk-Huron County Airport in northern Ohio said that county officials’ refusal to seek $400,000 in federal airport aid ignores increasingly worsening hazards on the airport’s approaches. A pro-airport organization vowed to continue its efforts to preserve the airport despite years of pressure on officials to close the grant-obligated facility and sell the property to private interests. Read more >>
GPS jamming possible in Western US
GPS signals could be unreliable or unavailable in an area stretching from Oklahoma to California during periods of GPS testing through September and into October. The FAA has issued flight advisories for areas centered on Truth or Consequences and Alamogordo, N.M.
Fit to Fly: Total-body circuit
We all know how important exercise is, but sometimes we just don’t know how to go about doing it or we don’t think that we can fit it into our already packed schedules. AOPA staff member and ACE Certified Personal Trainer Marci D’Alessio has put together a total-body circuit that you can do in less than one hour either at the gym or in your home. Circuit training is a workout routine that combines cardiovascular fitness and resistance training. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>
New AOPA holiday ornament features 1940 Waco
It may still be too early for some to hear the faint sound of jingle bells starting to ring, but not at AOPA. The second in the association’s line of commemorative holiday ornaments features an aircraft that embodies the spirit of aviation, a beautiful 1940 Waco. The Waco, offering its nostalgic glimpse of aviation times gone by, is a selection that is certain to inspire you to share your most cherished aviation memories. Read more >>
Membership brings airports to your phone
AOPA members can have airport services, FBO information, airport diagrams, and more at their fingertips, all for no extra cost. You can download the entire airport database wirelessly and take it with you wherever you go using AOPA Airports apps for Windows Mobile and BlackBerry. The application was developed by Hilton Software, maker of the popular WingX product. Download it today >>
AOPA 2012 Tougher than a Tornado Sweepstakes
Landing a Husky: No! Bad dog!
The AOPA 2012 Tougher than a Tornado Husky is usually obedient and well mannered—but sometimes it strays. Within two feet of the ground on landing, it can become willful and ornery, usually resulting in a firm touchdown and/or bounced landing. A rolled-up newspaper won’t change this dog’s behavior, and neither will a pocket full of dog treats. But the Tornado Husky (like all other Huskies) is certainly capable of smooth and consistent wheel- and three-point landings as long as pilots know the tricks. 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 associate editor–Web, associate editor–Web/ ePilot, production assistant–Web, 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.