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Quick, what’s the reciprocal of 235 degrees? What's the short-field landing procedure for the aircraft you usually fly IFR? Do you consider a 2,556-foot runway “short”? How about 2,000 feet? What does any of that have to do with instrument flying? Not much, normally. But it’s all relevant today, because you are taking a proficiency flight to the serene country airfield in Chester, Conn. The VOR-A approach to Chester possesses some noteworthy characteristics. For one, the approach employs the “holding pattern in lieu of” any procedure turn. For another, you notice the possibility that you could be flying part of your course reversal over water. Read more >>
FreeFlight box offers subscription-free weather
FreeFlight announced its Xplorer subscription-free weather product at EAA AirVenture. Xplorer receives ADS-B’s weather signal and transmits it to the iPad for weather on either FreeFlight’s native application or on WingX, and soon other applications. Xplorer differs from most boxes in that it’s installed in the airplane. Read more >>
Cygnus connects iPad, sims
Redbird and King Schools have worked together to develop a device that connects a simulator and the iPad. Called Cygnus, the setup fools the iPad into thinking it’s in the air, allowing for full functionality of moving map applications. Users connect the iPad to the simulator directly through a cable or wirelessly via Bluetooth. Read more >>
AeroShell, Soucy, Leff light the Oshkosh night sky
It must have been an interesting conversation, the first time an airshow pilot approached the FAA seeking a waiver to perform aerobatics in front of a huge crowd in an aircraft loaded with pyrotechnics. The fruits of such an effort were on display July 28 at EAA AirVenture, as pilots lit the night sky and dazzled the crowd. A slideshow offers a peek at performances also captured on video for the Aug. 2 edition of AOPA Live This Week. View the slideshow >>
Minnesota pilot wins $10,000 in spot landing contest
A Minnesota pilot took home $10,000—in one-dollar bills—on July 28 after he had the best score in a spot landing contest held at Grand Forks International Airport, Grand Forks, N.D. Hans Estby of Hayfield, Minn., beat 39 other pilots by landing seven feet from a target in his Cessna 150. Read more >>
Wings over West Africa: Opportunity, inspiration in the air
Kpong Airfield in Ghana is much different from the market, said 17-year-old Lydia Wetsi. It’s cleaner, for one: Wetsi helps make sure of that during her FOD walks, when she removes foreign object debris such as stones or dead animals and tamps down termite mounds that spring up on the runway. The student at Aviation and Technology Academy is learning to build and fly airplanes in a program that has transformed her thinking—about the disability that once kept her out of school but now can’t keep her out of the sky, and about sanitation and health practices that could have prevented it. Read more >>
Hawker Beechcraft executive bonuses challenged
Bankrupt aircraft manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft Inc. has encountered resistance from a federal trustee and a labor union over its plan to award $5.3 million in bonuses to eight senior executives as the company works through a Chapter 11 restructuring process initiated in May. Read more >>
AOPA joined by Cessna, Build A Plane for AV8RS launch
United in a desire to protect the future of general aviation, AOPA, Cessna Aircraft, and Build A Plane joined forces at EAA AirVenture to celebrate the successful conclusion of two campaigns and the launch of another—all geared toward inspiring pilots of tomorrow. AOPA President Craig Fuller announced a fresh set of scholarships—$2,000 for Build A Plane to support flight training for teens—during a party thrown to celebrate the launch of AV8RS, AOPA’s new youth membership program. Read more >>
AOPA Now: Teens get their first taste of GA with AV8RS
Thousands of young people dream of taking to the skies, whether for fun or a career, and AOPA is supporting those dreams with its new AV8RS teen membership. AOPA President Craig Fuller is really excited about the program. Read more >>
Dirty laundry, shiny props
It’s a given that at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., you’ll see airplanes. But what pilots put on those airplanes and what they do with their aircraft—from landing on a pickup truck to heart-pumping aerobatic routines—are part of the excitement of attending the show. More than 500,000 attendees from 71 countries and 10,000 aircraft took part in the weeklong event. Check out these highlights and see how one aircraft is literally helping to air some dirty laundry. View the slideshow >>
Kestrel turboprop project soldiers on
A yearlong effort by engineers and designers at Kestrel Aircraft has paid off in the form of a new cabin mockup that defines the future for the beefy single-engine turboprop. COO Steve Serfling reports that the aerodynamic shape of the aircraft is frozen, including the wing, tail, window placement, and door positions and sizes. Tweaks continue to the cowling shape. Read more >>
‘Flying Wild Alaska’ pilots bring adventure to Summit
You’ve watched them fly through severe turbulence and battle fierce winds, deal with airsick passengers, and squeeze million-dollar aircraft into a hangar with mere inches to spare to prevent a severe case of hangar rash during the cold Alaskan winter months. John Ponts, Luke Hickerson, and Doug Stewart—featured pilots on Discovery Channel’s Flying Wild Alaska—will be available during AOPA Aviation Summit to answer questions. Read more >>
Auction raises $2.3 million for Young Eagles
A dinner and auction honoring America’s greatest generation raised $2.3 million for EAA’s Young Eagles program. The annual Gathering of Eagles auction featured dozens of items sold during a silent auction and 14 sold during a live auction at the dinner, which included some 1,000 guests. The gala gathering was hosted by EAA President Rod Hightower, with frequent appearances by aviation legends; World War II veterans such as R.A. “Bob” Hoover garnered the most attention. The highlight of the auction was a custom-built Ford Mustang themed about the Tuskegee Airmen. Read more >>
Sun 'n Fun plans new dates, many improvements for 2013
Grass will be mowed instead of burned, the show will launch in April instead of late March, and organizers pledge the 2013 edition of Sun ’n Fun will be more accessible and easier to navigate. Read more >>
Cross-country air race draws 40 aircraft
Weather challenges changed the course but did not dampen enthusiasm as 40 aircraft participated in the 2012 Airventure Cup air race, flown July 22 between Mitchell, S.D., and Waupaca, Wis. Read more >>
Sensenich expanding experimental, LSA propeller line
Sensenich is developing new propellers for the light sport aircraft and experimental markets, developing composite models with ground-adjustable pitch for larger engines. The company also has plans to roll out a quieter propeller with “winglet” tips. Read more >>
Goodyear zeppelin will retain iconic moniker
The Goodyear blimp is among the most recognizable aircraft in the world, and steeped in decades of tradition. With the Ohio tire and rubber company preparing to replace its fleet of blimps with semi-rigid Zeppelin NT airships, pilots can look forward to greater control and ease of operation, while spectators will spy a larger, sleeker shape in the skies above. The only thing that won’t change is use of the word “blimp.” Technically correct? Shh … Read more >>
AOPA Now: Huskies to Wyoming
AOPA President Craig Fuller and AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman headed west after EAA AirVenture in two Aviat Huskies. They flew along the Missouri River near Pierre, S.D., before stopping in Alpine, Wyo., and then taking the Tougher than a Tornado Sweepstakes Husky to the Afton, Wyo., Aviat factory for its annual. Read more >>
Reporting Points: China to Oshkosh, Husky view, a toast
In the Reporting Points blog this week, Senior Editor Al Marsh reflects on Chinese officials’ presence at EAA AirVenture. Technical Editor Mike Collins discovers an aviation connection in an unlikely place. And Marsh shows what his iPhone can do with an image of the Tougher than a Tornado Husky.
AOPA Live This Week: AirVenture wrap
Take a flight in the Goodyear blimp, enjoy fireworks over Oshkosh, Wis., learn how AOPA is reaching out to engage teenagers in aviation, and find out what’s being done to bring fairness back to pilots. All this and more on AOPA Live This Week, Aug. 2.
Camping under wing, connected cockpit
What’s it like to wake up under your wing at AirVenture? Hundreds of pilots fly in and pitch camp in the North 40. Sometimes it can be a little damp, but coffee helps them cope. Also, Aspen Connected Cockpit’s communication with an iPad and the Jeppesen Integrated Database lets you do your flight planning on an iPad and upload it seamlessly to Aspen MFDs and Garmin GPS. And what does it take to have your classic aircraft judged a champion? Experience EAA AirVenture with AOPA Live This Week Special Edition, July 27.
Behind the scenes at the AirVenture flight line
It takes hundreds of volunteers to keep aircraft moving safely on the grounds of Wittman Field. Get up close and personal with aircraft on the flight line. Also, take a look at some of the surprisingly low-cost boxes that will allow you to receive free weather data in your cockpit in the AOPA Live This Week Special Edition, July 28.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
The F-15 can burn through an amazing amount of fuel in a short amount of time. In the dense air at sea level with maximum afterburner selected and at high speed, the total fuel flow can be more than 23,000 gallons per hour, or 385 gallons per minute. Read more >>
Nighttime VFR into IMC proves deadly
Some of the events that destroy aircraft and their occupants couldn't have been foreseen. But far more often, they're the predictable result of choices made by pilots who must have known they were asking for trouble. Why? About 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 9, 2011, a Piper PA-28-235 Dakota took off from Guymon, Okla., bound for Goldsby. At the time of departure the ceiling at Guymon was 600 feet overcast; visibility was 10 miles, but the temperature and dew points were just one degree apart and both were below freezing. It was dark. Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.
ASRS reports sought for safety studies
NASA has asked general aviation pilots to participate in two special studies it is conducting with the FAA based on data collected through the Aviation Safety Reporting System. One study seeks information from pilots about incidents that occurred while they were using weather or aeronautical information services via datalink in the cockpit. The other gathers data for examining wake vortex encounter events. Read more >>
Navigating the airspace maze
Are you a bit rusty when it comes to airspace etiquette? Then it may be time to rediscover the rules of the sky with the Air Safety Institute’s Know Before You Go: Navigating Today’s Airspace online course. Refresh your chart knowledge and grasp the fine print about temporary flight restriction areas with tips, animations, and interactive quizzes that will help keep you safe and alert. Download the Air Safety Institute’s Airspace Flash Cards as a handy companion on the go. Course completion qualifies for AOPA Accident Forgiveness and the FAA Wings program.
Fly Well: Memory loss
On May 14, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson waited, amid large crowds, for the Curtis Jenny engine to start for the inaugural airmail flight. And waited. Mechanics checked. And then they remembered to check the fuel tank. It was empty. Neglecting to fuel, pull a chock, or remove a gust lock is usually poor discipline rather than dementia. Forgetting flight procedures or your call sign may suggest failing memory. Diseases or damage to discrete areas of the brain affect different types of memory acquisition, storage, retention, and recovery. Read more >>
Fuel for thought
Unless you fly a glider, you’ll need to feed your aircraft’s engine fuel—from startup to shutdown. But it’s not just important to provide the engine fuel, it’s also critical to pump the correct grade. Learn how to avoid problems associated with misfueling and recognize the situations that can lead to a misfueling scenario with the Air Safety Institute’s Misfueling safety brief.
Leading Edge: ‘It’s the economy, stupid’
This was a core campaign slogan developed by one of former President Bill Clinton’s advisers, James Carville. The same could apply to general aviation. As many of us have noted, the manufacturers haven’t been selling very many aircraft lately, particularly at the low end. Many of today’s newly manufactured machines are nice, but they are beyond the reach of middle-class and upper-middle-class folks unless they are prepared to make major lifestyle concessions. Read more >>
When the fiscal year ends Sept. 30, leadership in Congress has indicated there should be no threat of a government shutdown under a six-month funding deal reached by House and Senate leadership. “While this is good news, it does nothing to prevent sequestration from taking effect in 2013,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. Read more >>
Senate committee backs Huerta nomination
On July 31 the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved the nomination of FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta for a five-year term as chief of the agency. His nomination must still be approved by the full Senate. Huerta’s nomination was approved by the committee on a voice vote. Read more >>
Congressmen expect long fight over user fees
General aviation faces a life-or-death struggle in years to come, as the White House and Congress lock horns over user fees. House GA Caucus Co-Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) said there is no end in sight to the White House push to extract dollars from pilots—piston or otherwise—and the stakes are high. “It would destroy general aviation, absolutely destroy it,” Graves said of the bid to raise general fund dollars that most recently took the form of a $100-per-flight fee for turbine aircraft using air traffic control services. “We’re committed to fighting.” Read more >>
EPA defends action on leaded avgas
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defended its course of action on leaded avgas in July, filing a motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit designed to push the agency toward proposing emissions standards for lead from general aviation aircraft. The suit alleged that the EPA had unreasonably delayed responding to a 2006 petition by environmental group Friends of the Earth. Read more >>
FAA proposes changes to Philadelphia Class B airspace
A proposed revision of Class B airspace associated with Philadelphia International Airport addresses some concerns for general aviation, but could still be significantly improved and made less complex, AOPA said. Pilots are urged to review the FAA’s proposed airspace plan that was published in the Federal Register on July 31, and submit comments by Oct. 1. Read more >>
Broad support for medical petition at AirVenture
Of the many attendees who took a survey at the AOPA Tent at AirVenture, 94 percent said they supported an effort by AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association to allow pilots to fly recreationally under certain conditions by completing an online medical awareness course, performing self-assessment before every flight, and using their driver’s license in lieu of a third class medical. Read more >>
Insurance Services changes improve service, coverage
AOPA Insurance Services has made major changes to bring customers much higher levels of service and significantly improved coverage for their aviation and life insurance needs—all under one roof. Included as a part of these broader protection and service offerings is EA+, the world-class traveler's assistance program that has proven to be extremely valuable to AOPA members. Read more >>
Drugs—the legal kind
Pilots are often asking why a given drug their regular doctor has prescribed does not appear on AOPA's list of “approved” medications. Well, here is the truth of the matter, from Pilot Protection Services medical expert Dr. Warren Silberman: The FAA does not give its approval of an FDA-approved medication until the drug has been available for one year. Read more >>
Don't sign your life away
This story does not have a happy ending. It is a true tale of what can happen when you decide you’ll agree to sign anything to fly the airplane of your dreams. A seasoned pilot found himself with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly a 1970s-era jet-powered military training aircraft. Without calling his insurance broker or attorney for a quick opinion, the pilot signed an agreement stating that the pilot would be responsible for any damage to the aircraft and any liability arising from his flight. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an aviation technical generalist, Web graphic designer, and e-newsletter and social media editor. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.