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Apr. 27, 2012, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterApr. 27, 2012, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 14, ISSUE 17 — April 27, 2012

Akoya luxury amphib to land in US
Fly like a fighter: Sinus block
Become an ambassador for GA
Quiz Me: Sport pilot instrument training


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Click here for this week’s custom content.


Yachting’s LSA: Akoya luxury amphib to land in US

Akoya A sleek amphibious airplane from France that draws design inspiration from the world of high-speed sailing is preparing to make a splash in the United States. Luxury aircraft company Lisa Airplanes is preparing its two-seat, composite Akoya for certification in the United States and Europe, and expects to make its first deliveries stateside in the spring or summer of 2013, the company told AOPA Online. The aircraft uses fin-like hydrofoils to reduce drag on takeoff from water and in the air, and comes equipped with retractable landing gear and skis. While traditional floats work well on water, they increase drag significantly in the air, so company founders looked to the boating industry for insight. Read more >>


GA News

Cessna hires, recalls 150 workers in Wichita

Cessna Aircraft Co. is hiring to keep up with an increase in demand, adding about 150 jobs back to a recession-depleted workforce in Wichita, Kan. The Wichita Eagle reported that the new hires and recalled workers will be assigned to production lines, with additional sales staff also being hired. The job gains still leave Cessna's Wichita employment well below 2008 levels. Read more >>

Flight Design’s CTLS earns EASA certification

Flight Design announced at Aero Friedrichshafen that its CTLS light sport aircraft has earned a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) restricted type certificate for its two-seat CTLS. The type-certificated version of the CTLS will be distributed under the variant name CTLS-ELA and is nearly identical to the CTLS-LSA marketed throughout the world. Read more >>

Many pilots play roles in next chapter of spaceflight

Orion manned spacecraft In his spare time, Chris Johnson is preparing for his instrument rating checkride. By day, he’s managing a NASA project, testing parachutes for the Orion manned spacecraft. Johnson, an AOPA member who just completed his first flight review as a private pilot, is among many pilots working to put America back in the business of manned spaceflight. The Orion crew capsule will break free of low orbit, climbing 3,600 miles above Earth—15 times higher than the International Space Station, the current outer limit of manned spaceflight. Read more >>

Cessna suspends Skycatcher sales in Europe

Cessna Aircraft Co. has temporarily halted Skycatcher sales in Europe, pending certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency, but company officials pledged the two-seater will be sold in Europe though there is no telling when. A French dealership caused a stir with an announcement posted in conjunction with the return of deposits to would-be buyers. Read more >>

Back to a supersonic future

When they lower the boom, we may get the word from a general aviation pilot who directs research that is blazing new trails and solving old riddles in aerodynamics. Peter G. Coen heads up NASA research projects that are moving toward the development of a supersonic bizjet, to be followed by designing a small airliner that might fly by 2025 with a “sonic signature” low enough to permit overland flight, with public acceptance. Read more >>

Injury doesn’t ‘throttle back’ pilot’s drive to fly

Clayton Smeltz When Clayton Smeltz sits in the left seat of his Piper Cherokee 140, he doesn’t have think about the best way to maneuver his wheelchair around obstacles or over uneven terrain. “If you can, imagine just the challenges, mobility wise, that I’m faced with on a daily basis, confined to a wheelchair, having to roll over flat-surfaces-only type of thing, then to be able to race down the runway and shoot yourself into the sky, and suddenly you’re able to rotate in any axis you want and go anywhere you want,” the newly certificated private pilot explained. Read more and watch AOPA Live® >>

Hawker Beechcraft to lay off another 350 in Wichita

Hawker Beechcraft announced another round of layoffs April 23, trimming 350 jobs from its Wichita, Kan., workforce as the venerable airplane maker struggles to emerge from beneath a crushing debt load. The layoffs are the latest in a series of job cuts in recent years, following most recently elimination of 300 jobs in November. Read more >>

Cessna 421C, pilot crash in Gulf of Mexico

New Orleans National Guard pilots kept pace with a stricken Cessna 421 for hours over the Gulf of Mexico April 19 as the pressurized twin made a series of corkscrew circles toward Florida, the unresponsive pilot’s intended destination. Just after noon, about three hours after air traffic controllers lost contact with the pilot and lone occupant, the Cessna made a final descent into the Gulf, landed upright, and soon sank in 1,500 feet of water. There was no sign the pilot survived, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Read more >>

BlogsLeading Edge: Spiral into the Gulf

Recently a Cessna 421C on an IFR flight from Louisiana to Florida failed to respond to a frequency change and began to circle inexplicably. Military aircraft intercepted the target aircraft; the cabin windows were iced or fogged over, indicating a possible pressurization fault. It is exceedingly rare for pilots to become incapacitated because of an unnoticed pressurization fault. If that was the case, though, what would explain the spiraling flight path? Read more >>

Whiteside sets new speed records in ‘Steadfast’

Veteran racing pilot Will Whiteside claimed four new piston speed records during a series of flights April 23 in California, and is now taking aim at the “granddaddy” of aviation performance marks: a 1972 climb from a standing start to 10,000 feet by Lyle Shelton in 91.9 seconds. Read more >>

Drive it, fly it: ‘Flying car’ brings GA to auto show

Terrafugia Transition draws crowd at New York International Auto Show Attendees at the New York International Auto Show flocked to the Terrafugia exhibit five times a day to watch one of the show’s most unusual automobiles stretch its wings. The startup exhibited its Transition street-legal airplane at the show in lieu of attending the traditional general aviation haunt Sun ’n Fun, hoping to reach a wider audience and test the market for the light sport aircraft among nonpilots. The gamble paid off. The aircraft drew international media attention, generated leads on an order of magnitude higher than at a major GA show, and sparked interest in learning to fly. Read more >>

Keep 'em flyingReformatories and history lessons

Flying into Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport, a familiar-looking building comes into view, even though it’s the first time visiting. After a passenger chats with some local pilots, the building’s claim to fame comes to light: It’s the Ohio State Reformatory featured in The Shawshank Redemption. What unusual attractions could you find in your region if you explore new airports this summer? AOPA’s Keep ’em Flying Challenge, which runs through July 31, encourages pilots to get in the air more. You might be surprised what your airplane puts within reach. Read more >>

Looking for a new job? Consider AOPA

For those considering a career in aviation or mulling a job change, you may want to consider working for the association that protects your interests in general aviation. One of AOPA’s greatest benefits is the chance to earn an initial pilot certificate. If you already have a certificate, you are given a yearly supplement to maintain your pilot proficiency. Employees also receive a free AOPA membership. AOPA understands that workers have a life outside of the company, so it offers several options to maintain a good work/life balance. Read more >>

Marine double-amputee now a sport pilot

Adam Kisielewski was feeling the pressure. The former U.S. Marine who had lost his left arm and a portion of his right leg in combat in Iraq was about to take a sport pilot checkride, and the usually cocky 28-year-old was rattled. He had ferried the light sport aircraft, a CTLS, to Northampton, Mass., the morning of April 19, and the solo three-hour cross-country flight had gone flawlessly. But a practice checkride with a local instructor that afternoon had gone poorly. Read more >>

Labor of love: Sugar Valley Airport unveils fire circle

Sugar Valley Airport fire circle Thousands of bricks and many hours of sweat equity went into the construction of a fire circle at Sugar Valley Airport in Mocksville, N.C. The result is a work of art that is meant to be enjoyed by everyone. Dedicated on April 21 at the airport’s spring fly-in, the fire circle has already drawn visiting pilots as well as groups of Boy Scouts and others. Situated a few hundred yards from the runway and overlooking a small lake, the fire circle is a serene and welcoming space. Airport Manager Thomas White said the construction took 7,000 bricks and hundreds of hours of volunteer labor. Read more >>

Tecnam's P2010 takes to the skies

There was cause for celebration in Italy recently. Tecnam's P2010 four-seat, clean-sheet airplane successfully flew for the first time on April 12 in Capua. The P2010 is Tecnam's first entry into the certificated single-engine market in the United States. Read more >>

Eclipse targets 2013 deliveries

Eclipse Aerospace is on track to resume production of the Eclipse 550 twin jet with deliveries beginning in 2013, company officials said April 25. News reports about Eclipse financial backer United Technologies Corp. (UTC) and subsidiary Sikorsky Aircraft Co. had suggested Sikorsky wouldn’t support additional investments in Eclipse. But Eclipse CEO Mason Holland said Sikorsky is providing key personnel, expertise, and financial backing, and the company remains on track to resume Eclipse deliveries next year. Read more >>

NASA, SpaceX postpone launch

NASA and SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies) have delayed by one week the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The unmanned Dragon is now scheduled for a May 7 liftoff, and stands to be the first commercial spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station. Officials said recently that the launch could be delayed by many different factors.

BlogsHover Power: Single rotor blade

One of the more unusual helicopter designs was built in 1940 by Austrian Bruno Nagler. In an effort to reduce weight, he built the first helicopter with a single rotor blade. It was powered by a 40-horsepower engine that was mounted opposite the rotor blade and acted as a counterweight. A drive shaft from the engine passed through the rotor hub and powered two small counter-rotating propellers. Nagler was able to demonstrate hovering flight (inside, with no wind) with a payload as high as 243 pounds. However, the design had several problems. Read more >>

BlogsReporting Points: Tiedowns foil the best, worst of intentions

During a recent lesson, AOPA Online Managing Editor Alyssa Miller and a student discussed the recent news about a California man whose attempt to steal a Cessna 152 was foiled by a tiedown. The man was a former student of the flight school, according to news reports, and reportedly threatened employees with a gun in order to get the keys to the aircraft. Police apprehended him after he shut down the aircraft because he was unable to taxi out of the tiedown spot—the tail was still tied down. Read more >>


Nothing beats the real thing

After practicing maneuvers, emergencies, and landings in full-motion and crosswind simulators, Abraham McIntyre, executive director of Bahamas Methodist Habitat, took the controls of a Cessna 172 for the first time April 23. The big difference? The Cessna 172 was “bumpier” than the simulators. He’s part of an experimental training program at Redbird Flight Simulations in which a group of students completes all training in a simulator before flying an aircraft. McIntyre transitioned to the Cessna 172 after 34 hours of simulator training. He knows the procedures for all of the maneuvers, but now he must get used to the feel of the airplane. The telltale sign that there’s nothing like the real thing? McIntyre’s smile nearly doubled as he talked about flying the Skyhawk. Watch AOPA Live >>


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

Fly like a fighter: Sinus block

No pilot in the Air Force enjoys being placed on DNIF (duties not to include flying) status, but sinus congestion can ground anyone. After being treated and checked, an Air Force pilot was cleared to fly again but experienced severe pain during a formation instrument approach at only 1,000 feet agl. He faced a dilemma: Should he continue to land in spite of the stabbing pain, or transition from close formation in the clouds? Read more >>

IFR Fix: Knowledge is power

A pilot is seeking rainy-day advice from two instrument-rated friends about training for the instrument rating. “The first thing to do is hit the books and nail that test,” says one pilot. “Sorry, I disagree,” says the other. “What’s the rush? You might score better if you get some experience first.” Who’s right? Read more and take the poll >>

We are not alone

Bird strike damage Imagine flying along under clear skies and everything appears normal. Then, in the blink of an eye, it isn’t. Your windshield explodes and suddenly you’re not alone in the cockpit anymore. Bird strikes may not be as rare as you think and they pose a very real risk. Go to the Air Safety Institute’s Bird Strike Safety Spotlight and listen as one pilot recounts his tale of picking up a hawk in flight. Then check out the Safety Brief on bird strikes or AOPA’s subject report to pick up a few tips how to prepare for and avoid a close encounter with a feathered friend.

What can flight service do for you?

Flight service briefers are a great resource to pilots before, during, and after a flight. Whether you want to open a flight plan, check the weather before you depart, or find out just how nasty those clouds ahead of you really are, they can take care of all of it. But there are some finer details you should know about contacting them. Test your knowledge with the Air Safety Institute’s Flight Service safety quiz, underwritten by the AOPA Insurance Agency.

IFR reality check

IFR Insights: Regulations free online course from the Air Safety Institute One last weather update at the FBO confirms conditions at your destination will be well within minimums. But, you’re a bit concerned about a weather system, which is moving into the area faster than forecast. Play it safe and plan an alternate, or …? Sometimes rules may seem black and white, but IFR reality is painted all gray. That’s where the Air Safety Institute’s IFR Insights: Regulations course may help lift the curtain. Interactive decision-making scenarios and real-world guidance on how to interpret weather briefings help you extract the truth about IFR rules and being safe. Take the course >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

April 28 and 29

Boston, Mass.

May 5 and 6

Pensacola, Fla.

Kansas City, Mo.

Houston, Texas

May 19 and 20

Sacramento, Calif.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Albany, N.Y.

June 2 and 3

Phoenix, Ariz.

Orlando, Fla.

Minneapolis, Minn.


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

April 30

Hampton, Va.



May 1

Richmond, Va.


May 2

Danville, Va.



May 2

Blacksburg, Va.



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


Become an ambassador for GA

Oceano Airport As pilots, we need to become ambassadors for general aviation, writes pilot and avid GA promoter Jolie Lucas: If we don’t, who will? The media often portrays the GA pilot population as privileged, elitist, and rich. Most of us know that is simply not the case. We all can do something to help promote GA and serve our communities by creating charitable events at our airports, or adding a charitable element to an existing aviation event. Lucas provides tips on how to spread goodwill to your community and improve GA’s image. Read more >>

Strong start for GA in Transportation appropriations bill

Support for key general aviation initiatives was evident in the $15.9 billion provided for the FAA as part of the Department of Transportation funding bill for fiscal 2013 that was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee last week. The legislation, which next goes before the full Senate, reiterates language that restored the Block Aircraft Registration Request program in 2012; ensures availability and affordability of digital charts; funds contract control towers close to industry-backed levels; and maintains support for research into unleaded aviation fuels. Read more >>

WAAS cited as NextGen success story

The FAA marked a major milestone toward implementing the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) when it published more than 3,000 Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) instrument approaches, said a “snapshot” of progress made public at a Washington, D.C., conference. WAAS and GPS working in tandem are enabling new approaches and greater precision, giving aircraft access to 2,500 runways—sometimes with minimums as low as 200 feet, said the report. Read more >>

GA supporters in Congress seek repeal of fuel fraud provision

Aviation funding loses $50 million a year, and some jet fuel vendors must cope with costly recordkeeping chores as consequences of government efforts to curb fuel-tax avoidance by nonaviation users of diesel fuel, say members of the House General Aviation Caucus. A tax fraud provision in the 2005 highway authorization bill requires vendors of business and general aviation jet fuel to collect the 24.4 cents per gallon federal tax imposed on highway diesel fuel, instead of the 21.9-cent-per-gallon tax on noncommercial jet fuel—and then apply for a refund of the difference. Read more >>

Activist to ASN volunteer

AOPA Now: Taking off and giving thanks When Bob Gibson learned of AOPA’s Airport Support Network (ASN) program, he was already active in supporting his home airport in Clearwater, Fla. When the former volunteer at the airport retired, Gibson immediately stepped up and offered to take on the role, and since then he has helped establish the Clearwater Air Park Improvement Team with three other pilot activists. Find out how he has made a difference at his airport—and how you can too.

AOPA Close to Home

Airway changes, routes planned for Southwest

Kansas online airspace tool receives engineering award

Hangar project confirms Florida airport’s turnaround

Safety cited for NJ runway project

Alaska pilot survey seeks improved flight safety

Lake Hood (Alaska) Airstrip to close during construction

Ohio aviation advocates meet in Columbus

Member Benefits

Rosen visor for Tornado Husky

The winner of the AOPA 2012 Sweepstakes Tougher than a Tornado Husky won’t have to worry about glare or haze. Rosen Sunvisor Systems has provided an optically perfect, swing-out visor that cuts glare and protects the pilot’s eyes like a great pair of sunglasses. Read more >>

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a manager–Pilot Information Center, vice president–Center to Advance the Pilot Community, aviation technical writer, vice president of strategy and philanthropic operations, program manager–products, project manager of online products, director of new market development, and associate editor–Web/ ePilot. 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: Recording in the cockpit

With new technology in the cockpit, one student has a question: How would you feel if you were recorded in the cockpit? This student finds that it’s a great learning tool, but does it have the potential for problems? Share your thoughts >>



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Engage in Aviation

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.


My MembershipMy Membership


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: As a sport pilot instructor, can I provide the instrument instruction required for sport pilot training prior to a solo cross-country flight?


Answer: It depends on whether you are also a private pilot and hold a medical, since you are acting not only as instructor but as safety pilot for the instrument training flights. Here’s the reasoning: According to FAR 61.93(e)(12), a student pilot seeking a sport pilot rating in an aircraft that has a maximum speed in level flight at continuous power of greater than 87 knots must receive training in control and maneuvering solely by reference to instruments. This training must be accomplished using a view-limiting device. The FAA has stated that to accomplish this training FAR 91.109 is controlling; that regulation states the requirements of a safety pilot, which are a private pilot certificate and a medical. So, either a CFI with a medical or a sport pilot instructor with a private pilot certificate and a medical would be required to perform the instrument instruction required.


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].

Keep 'em flying Looking for an excuse to go flying? Take up AOPA’s Keep ’Em Flying Challenge, a new time-bound contest to get you in the air between April 1 and July 31.

AOPA ePilot Team
ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown Contributors: Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore
Jill W. Tallman
Warren Morningstar
Alton K. Marsh

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Ian J. Twombly
Dan Namowitz

Production Team: Melissa Whitehouse
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Lezlie Ramsey
Mitch Mitchell
William Rockenbaugh

Advertise in ePilot:
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