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It all started when a Midwestern farmer plowed up his corn to pursue a dream. People came. But there was still a cold, hard world out there, and eventually the dream fell into jeopardy. Arthur T. Galt Jr. made a dream come true in 1950 by building an airport in the middle of a field of corn in Wonder Lake, Ill. Galt's airport changed hands, but his dream has endured until the brutal conditions of the current real estate market have put the continued existence of his airport in question. Galt Field is now up for sale for $2.9 million, not bad considering it comes with a renovated farm house, 19 other buildings, FBO, hangars, maintenance shop, and 2,500-gallon fuel facility. Is there enough magic out there in the moonlight to save it? Read more >>
‘Seven minutes of triumph’
It was an instrument approach like no other, billed in advance as “seven minutes of terror” and ending with a triumphant celebration in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory control room in Pasadena, Calif. The NASA Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity was deposited in a gravel field on the red planet, and beamed back the first photos from the surface, marking the end of the most dangerous phase of the mission. Read more >>
Glasair CEO resigns as Chinese owner takes over
Glasair Aviation President and CEO Mikael Via announced his resignation Aug. 6, opting to move on to “other challenges.” The Arlington, Wash., kitplane company was recently purchased by a Chinese industrialist, and plans to certify the Sportsman line. Read more >>
Reconciliation of former combatants inspires, heals
Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Dan Cherry shot down one MiG during his combat tours in Vietnam, and wondered as he watched the parachute deploy (narrowly missing it) what would become of the pilot. Amid the intense tempo of aerial combat, such thoughts were pushed aside until a chance encounter 36 years later with the F-4 Phantom he flew in Vietnam sparked a search. What Cherry found has led to healing and reconciliation for many veterans on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Read more >>
NASA awards $1.1 billion for manned spacecraft development
Three companies have been awarded contracts to continue development of spacecraft able to shuttle astronauts to and from the International Space Station in years to come, with NASA divvying up $1.1 billion in potential awards over the coming two years. Read more >>
Tornado Husky at undisclosed California location
The AOPA Tougher Than A Tornado Sweepstakes Husky is tucked away at an undisclosed location in Southern California and will remain there until being awarded to its winner at AOPA Aviation Summit Oct. 11 through 13 at Palm Springs, Calif. The Husky flew to the West Coast at the conclusion of EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., with a stop at its birthplace, Aviat Aircraft in Afton, Wyo., for its annual inspection. Read more >>
AOPA Now: Land of relentless fun
The residents of the Alpine Airpark in Alpine, Wyo., warmly welcomed AOPA President Craig Fuller and Senior Editor Dave Hirschman, flying two Huskys, to their community, which claims 14 Huskys on the field. Located to the south of Jackson Hole, Wyo., this majestic community sits at the southeast corner of the Palisades Reservoir. Read more >>
Vision of Flight program ‘steps it up’ for youths
Have you ever dreamed of flying? That’s the question Orlando, Fla., businessman Michael McKenzie is asking youngsters ages 14 to 17 in his metro area. He offers a surprisingly accessible answer in the Vision of Flight program. Read more >>
Homegrown effort builds aviation interest
Susanne Stalker flashed a smile as she turned briefly from the job at hand: driving rivets into an airframe being built with high hopes. Stalker, 15, and half a dozen other students were well on the way toward the goal of completing a Zenith CH 750 fuselage. Backed by an equally enthusiastic corps of volunteer mentors and pilots, she and fellow participants in a youth aviation program in Iola, Wis., will one day take to the skies in an airplane they built with their own hands. Read more >>
Groundbreaking sailplane soars at world championships
The Concordia sailplane piloted by Dick Butler, among a team of creators who labored for a decade, led the field on Aug. 7 at the thirty-second World Gliding Championships in Uvalde, Texas. Dozens of pilots and sailplanes from around the world will be crisscrossing the Texas skies through Aug. 19. Read more >>
Hawker Beechcraft lays off 170 in Arkansas
Layoffs continue at Hawker Beechcraft even as negotiations progress with a China businessman on the sale of the company for $1.79 billion. The publication Arkansasbusiness.com reports 170 workers out of 450 at the Little Rock, Ark., plant have received notices that they could be laid off in 60 days. Read more >>
Resuming the Journey: Alaska mountain flying
The two pilots took off in a Cessna 172 from a private 2,200-foot grass strip in Alaska, north of the Arctic Circle, and headed for Wiseman, about 40 miles east. They were going to fly through the mountain passes of the Brooks Range, not over them, using that tried and true navigation: pilotage. The highest peak on the chart was 5,903 feet. Instrument-rated private pilot Kathy Dondzila would be putting to the test the skills she had rebuilt training in Maryland after several years on the ground. Read more >>
Jet owners can finally live like the rest of us
Although most of us watch TV on high-definition displays every night, the passengers of high-end turbines have long suffered with lowly standard definition. Not anymore. Flight Display Systems has introduced a series of products designed around affordable high-definition screens for corporate and personal high-end aircraft. Read more >>
AOPA Now: The early bird …
AOPA President Craig Fuller loves to fly early in the morning, especially in the summer and especially down low. Glimpse the sunrise from his perspective on a recent flight.
Hover Power: Helicopter dollies
Although some helicopters have wheels, most have skid-type landing gear. One of the biggest problems with skids is finding a way to move the helicopter around on the ground easily. Attaching ground handling wheels to the skids works well for a small helicopter like the Robinson R22. However, the wheels of larger turbine helicopters are bigger and not very convenient to carry with the helicopter. Moreover, it normally requires more than one person to maneuver a heavy helicopter on wheels. The helicopter dolly is a common option. Read more >>
AOPA Live This Week: Airport survival, French GA
What can we learn from the French about general aviation? One airport dies but another survives and prospers after the tornado. And building young interests in aviation by building an airplane—all that and more on AOPA Live This Week, Aug. 9.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
The next time you and your favorite instrument instructor head out for a practice session, focus on some basics—and take a noninstrument-rated pilot friend along. It might save your friend’s life someday. With heartbreaking regularity, VFR pilots, often flying high-performance aircraft, continue to tangle with instrument weather despite odds that never improve for that dangerous game. Whether the result is a graveyard spiral from spatial disorientation, or colliding with terrain in a bid to escape weather, pilots keep trying, often with passengers. Read more >>
Instrument challenge: Teterboro
“If I can make it there, I’m gonna make it just about anywhere”: You’d be forgiven if you thought we were talking about Frank Sinatra’s famed “New York, New York” tune. A classic low-pressure system has moved in over the Mid-Atlantic, kicking up the wind and dropping the visibility close to minimums at Teterboro—one of New York’s most active general aviation airports. Operations at Teterboro are as unusual as they are challenging, especially when precision matters most. In all the excitement of operating at Teterboro, do you have what it takes to fly the IFR procedures like a pro? Take the Air Safety Institute’s Instrument Procedures at Teterboro safety quiz, underwritten by AOPA Insurance Services. Take the quiz >>
Back to school: Older student pilots get in the game
Learning to fly isn’t just a young person’s game. If you know someone who has put off a dream of learning to fly, let the prospective pilot know it’s not too late: AOPA’s Older Student Pilots subject report offers guidance for tackling a new challenge later in life.
Are your eyes to the sky while your wheels are on the ground?
You know where you’re going when you take off, but do you know where you’re going on the ground? After all, your flight doesn't begin when your wheels lift off. Nor does it end when they touch down again. The runway and taxi environments require just as much concentration on your part as the aerial portion of your flight, but airport ops can be confusing, and busy runways and taxiways are not places to be complacent. Refresh your knowledge of airport operations with the Air Safety Institute’s Runway Safety online course.
Pilots, controllers to use new SID phraseology
The FAA has modified phraseology used to issue clearances to pilots for route transitions, standard instrument departures (SIDs), and RNAV SIDs that contain speed and altitude restrictions. The changes go into effect Aug. 15. Air traffic controllers will use the phraseology “climb via” when clearing flights via procedures with published restrictions. Read more >>
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: Onboard saviors
Too much technology can be a distraction, but sometimes technology is an improvement over humans. Last week, while approaching AOPA’s home base from the west on an IFR flight plan, AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsburg saw a target pop up on the multifunction display, two miles ahead at 12 o’clock and the same altitude. The controller suddenly advised an immediate left turn; he had already disengaged the autopilot and was rapidly rolling left when the call came. Read more >>
AOPA Aviation Summit
Worldwide adventures, triumph take center stage at Summit
Experience the challenges, adventures, and triumphs of flying around the world—and of a wounded Marine learning to fly—during the Oct. 11 keynote session of AOPA Aviation Summit at 8:30 a.m. in the Palm Springs Convention Center. Former U.S. Marine Sgt. Adam Kisielewski will discuss how he overcame combat injuries to learn how to fly a light sport aircraft. Then, enjoy the tales of AOPA Pilot editors as they relive general aviation trips through Africa, Europe, and Greenland. Read more >>
California Dreamin' Resort Party: Recharge your batteries
Kick back for an evening full of relaxation and fun during the California Dreamin’ Resort Party on Oct. 12 at the Renaissance Pool beside the Palm Springs Convention Center. Unwind, and mingle with friends at this AOPA Aviation Summit event while enjoying poolside views of the Mount San Jacinto Mountains, unique entertainment, music, and delicious cuisine. Rich in history with crystal blue skies, year-round sunshine, stunning landscape, palm-tree-lined streets, and starry nights, Palm Springs is a preferred destination of travelers from all over the world. The social event runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and costs $85; resort attire suggested. Register today.
AOPA commends President Barack Obama for signing into law the Pilot’s Bill of Rights on Aug. 3. The legislation guarantees pilots under investigation by the FAA expanded protection against enforcement actions via access to investigative reports and air traffic control and flight service recordings, and it also requires the FAA to provide the evidence being used as the basis of enforcement at least 30 days in advance of action. Read more >>
FAA halts opposite-direction arrivals, departures
While the FAA continues to investigate a July 31 air traffic control breakdown that put three regional flights inside of regulatory separation requirements (but not, administrators have stressed, on a collision course) at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, the agency has suspended opposite-direction flight procedures at all Part 139 airports. Read more >>
Industry groups call for unleaded avgas funding
Funding of $5.5 million in FY2014 to support a comprehensive unleaded avgas program would allow the FAA to implement key elements of an advisory group’s recent recommendations, industry groups told the FAA and Department of Transportation in early August. General aviation groups requested the funding in letters to FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Read more >>
AOPA Close to Home
Pilot Protection Services health tip: Family tree
On a day when weather or aircraft issues preclude you from flying, take the time to build a family medical tree. Read more from Dr. Jonathan Sackier.
Be the first to know with AOPA Plus
Bringing with it enhanced access and extra-personal service, AOPA Plus is the perfect choice for members looking to get even more from their membership. AOPA Plus members get advanced screenings of Air Safety Institute online courses, among other benefits. Find out more >>
Members get airport info, flight planning for smartphones
AOPA FlyQ for the iPhone offers airport directory information as well as aviation weather and flight planning with auto-routing capabilities—free with your membership. Members with Windows Mobile or BlackBerry devices can still access airport information with AOPA Airports apps powered by WingX.
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.