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Do you fly with a flying club? Tell AOPA about it!
Idaho pilot Les Gropp had six weeks to second-guess his decisions before the world got into the act. Gropp, at the controls of a 1947 Stinson that crashed following a takeoff at high altitude on a hot day, has been seen by a million people, in a video of his ill-fated flight that was posted Aug. 4 by one of the passengers. Gropp, who suffered a broken jaw in the June 30 accident, said a gust of wind lifted him into the air as he was about to abort the ill-fated takeoff. He expects to make a full recovery, and return to the cockpit with a lesson learned. Read more and watch AOPA Live® >>
Leading Edge: Density altitude and the sudden stop
Reflecting on the Idaho accident footage that has become a YouTube sensation, AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg discusses media buzz, the sinister effects of density altitude, and the value of safety feature retrofits. Read more >>
General aviation responds to Texas health crisis
When Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings declared a public health emergency to combat a record outbreak of West Nile virus, a general aviation company based in Bridgewater, Va., mobilized to lead the assault on virus-carrying mosquitoes. Dynamic Aviation of Bridgewater has sent four King Air 90 turboprops to Dallas for 10 days of aerial application missions, said company President Michael A. Stoltzfus. The four aircraft were headed for Dallas Executive Airport where the spraying missions would be staged at night. Read more >>
New X-planes fly with mixed results
A pair of advanced aircraft designs by Boeing, one designed to test noise reduction and a second built for speed, logged one success and one failure in August. The aerospace giant celebrated an Aug. 7 maiden flight of the X-48C, an experimental blended wing body design that could significantly reduce the noise of future airliners. The Aug. 14 test of the hypersonic (Mach 5-plus) cruiser dubbed “Waverider” was all splash and no dash. Read more >>
Army airship makes maiden flight in Lakehurst
For the first time in decades, a U.S. military airship appeared Aug. 7 over Lakehurst, N.J., the storied locale where the nation built its first international airport (for airships), where the Hindenburg met its end, and where the age of U.S. military airships appeared to have ended in the 1960s. The Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle that launched a flight test program with a 90-minute maiden voyage has a very different look than the semi-rigid airships last flown by the U.S. Navy out of Lakehurst in 1962. Read more >>
Aspen Wi-Fi system connects portables to panels
Aspen Avionics has received FAA supplemental type certification of its much anticipated Connected Panel system. Announced a year ago, the system allows a remotely mounted Wi-Fi box produced by Aspen to become a communications conduit between the aircraft’s panel-mount systems and portable devices, such as an iPad or smartphone. AOPA had the chance to do a flight demonstration of Connected Panel recently near Aspen’s Albuquerque, N.M., headquarters. Read more >>
New high school leverages aviation to the max
Imagine a high school that takes Fridays off and includes flight training as part of the curriculum. Ready to sign up? Some 300 Albuquerque students did just that at the new Southwest Aeronautics, Mathematics & Science Academy (SAMS) located at Double Eagle II Airport on the city's northwest side. Read more >>
Recovery signs seen in aircraft deliveries
New airplane deliveries logged during the first six months of 2012 point to “positive signs” for the manufacturing sector, said an industry association. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association said airplane shipments increased 5.9 percent during the first six months of 2012 from the corresponding period in 2011. The $8.2 billion value of airplanes delivered marked a 13.2-percent increase over the year-ago period. Read more >>
Cessna renames turbodiesel 182
The turbocharged, jet-fuel-burning Cessna Skylane unveiled at EAA AirVenture July 23 has been renamed the Turbo Skylane JT-A, the company announced Aug. 10. The aircraft, powered by a 230-horsepower diesel-cycle SMA engine, made its debut under the name Turbo 182 NXT. Cessna said that JT-A “better captures and reflects the innovative features” of the airplane—and that the NXT name was already being used. Nemesis Air Racing Corp. holds a trademark for NXT in reference to an aircraft for competition and general aviation use. Read more >>
New $5,000 scholarship added, applications due Aug. 24
AOPA has added the Jimmie Allen Flying Club Flight Training Scholarship as the fourth award to its Flight Training Scholarship Program. The new scholarship, donated by member Sarah Wilson who pilots the 1929 Jimmie Allen Stearman Speedmail, will award $5,000 to a student pilot working toward an initial sport, recreational, or private pilot certificate. Student pilots must submit their online application and have online recommendation forms completed by Aug. 24 to be considered for one of the scholarships. Winners will be announced at AOPA Aviation Summit Oct. 11 through 13. Learn more about eligibility and the application process online.
Shine light on stellar flight training provider
Think you had the best flight instructor or flight school experience? Are you training with an instructor you admire now? Nominate the school or instructor you believe embodies the best in flight training for the AOPA Flight Training Excellence Awards. A school or instructor that wins an award will exemplify what it means to be a great flight training provider, as defined by the criteria identified in AOPA’s extensive research. The nomination deadline is Aug. 24, and the awards will be given at AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, Calif., in October. Nominate someone today.
Olympic visit not a cover story, this time
Mitchell Flint was a veteran World War II combat pilot freshly graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1948. The state of Israel was fighting for its life, desperately in need of trained pilots. Barred by U.S. law from going to fight for a foreign nation, Flint cooked up a cover story: He was headed to London to see the Olympics, he told U.S. officials. Flint, 89, finally got a chance to make good on that itinerary in 2012. Read more >>
Human-powered helicopter flight sets record
The National Aeronautic Association has certified a duration record for human-powered helicopter flight claimed by a team from the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering for a flight on June 21 in College Park, Md. Read more >>
Trump offers gamblers a Skycatcher
The Trump Taj Mahal Resort Casino is dangling a Cessna Skycatcher as a prize to lure players. Read more >>
Sun 'n Fun, Florida Air Museum consolidate leadership
Sun ’n Fun President John R. “Lites” Leenhouts has assumed leadership of the Florida Air Museum, in an effort to streamline efforts at the two organizations. Read more >>
AOPA Live This Week: Flying high in France, cuts at FAA
Nail your speed and altitude for a precision landing in the French Alps, or else! Delve into the lessons of a viral video as the Air Safety Institute demonstrates the performance-sapping effects of density altitude. Find out how Twitter could help you avoid violating a temporary flight restriction. And what does sequestration mean to pilots? Across-the-board budget cuts could affect your ability to get air traffic control services, file a flight plan, or get modifications to your airplane. All this and more in AOPA Live This Week, Aug. 16.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
The landing rollout isn’t the best time to discover a loss of brakes in an F-15. Find out if this former Air Force pilot was able to get the jet stopped and how he applies the lesson learned to flying his GA aircraft. Read more >>
What is the best time to request flight following?
Do you wait until you’re airborne before asking for flight following? Do you end up searching for the correct frequency while you should be looking for other traffic? Is there an easier way of requesting traffic advisories? If you think you may be bothering the local controllers to ask for flight following to your destination, you may be surprised to hear that you’re not. Listen to the latest Ask ATC segment from the Air Safety Institute and find out the best time to request flight following for your next cross-country. Watch AOPA Live >>
IFR Fix: ‘What’s that down there?’
Established toward the fix, an instrument pilot descends, levels off, and reviews the procedure’s next (and final) leg. So when he checks his progress toward the fix, he is surprised to observe that the CDI remains one dot out. Then the instrument instructor points out the airport below. What evaded the pilot, despite meticulous adherence to procedure and proper setup of the two VORs, was taking time to visualize the aircraft’s current position relative to the intersection, and then confirming it with the No. 2 Nav’s CDI. Do you visualize an approach before flying it? Read more and take the poll >>
Don't look now
Sometimes it’s easy to distinguish individual links in the chain of events leading to an accident, but other wrecks seem to defy explanation. On Oct. 16, 2011, a Cirrus SR22 flew directly into a tower on final approach to Runway 26 of the Danbury, Conn., Municipal Airport. It wasn’t just any tower: The Cirrus hit a hazard beacon installed to warn pilots of a hill under the final approach course. Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.
SID phraseology change delayed
The FAA has delayed its rollout of modified clearances for route transitions, standard instrument departures (SIDs), and RNAV SIDs with speed and altitude restrictions, citing concerns about coordinating briefing material. When the agency rolls out the changes in the future, controllers will use the phraseology “climb via” when clearing flights via procedures with published restrictions.
Load, activate, enter
Did you zoom right through the localizer because you forgot to activate the approach? GPS in the IFR system boosts situational awareness, provides IFR access to more airports, and expands routing options. But it’s not as good as advertised if you’re stuck on the “direct” and “enter” buttons. Whether you’re working on your instrument rating or getting ready for an instrument proficiency check, think outside the box with the Air Safety Institute’s GPS for IFR Operations online course. Learn basic strategies to reduce cockpit workload— enter the course now.
AOPA Aviation Summit
Exhibit hall hub of activity at Summit
Not only can you peruse hundreds of aviation exhibits, test pilot products and gear, and watch new product announcements in the Palms Springs Convention Center exhibit hall during AOPA Aviation Summit, but you can mingle with fellow pilots and learn new techniques and tips to improve your flying at the Learning Pavilion and Interactive Lounge in the show hall. Read more >>
Continue the flying fun with post-Summit Baja trip
Planning to fly to Palm Springs, Calif., for AOPA Aviation Summit Oct. 11 through 13? Continue the fun after it’s over—join other pilots for a post-Summit fly-out down the Baja Peninsula Oct. 14 through 20. Find more information online.
Aviation golf tourney to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters
Enjoy a round of golf with aviation enthusiasts and support Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Desert in the AOPA Foundation Charity Golf Tournament. The greens at the Classic Club golf course in Palm Desert, Calif., will come alive with an 8 a.m. shotgun start for pilots and enthusiasts on Oct. 10—one day before the kickoff of AOPA Aviation Summit. Read more >>
Applicants for airman certificates or ratings, inspection authorizations, and airman medical certificates will soon find a new item in the paperwork for their practical test or medical examination: a Pilot’s Bill of Rights Written Notification of Investigation from the FAA. The notification, which must be acknowledged in writing by the applicant at the time of the application, is among the provisions of an FAA order issued Aug. 8 in response to enactment of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights law. Read more >>
Detroit Class B plan ignores GA’s ideas
AOPA has expressed disappointment that the FAA has made only minimal changes to a proposal to modify and expand Detroit’s Class B airspace despite substantial burdens the plan would impose on general aviation operations. The airspace plan, published in a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register Aug. 14, appears to largely ignore mitigating ideas that AOPA offered in airspace meetings, and later requested in formal comments, the association said. Read more >>
Convention attendees: Join the discussion of GA issues
Will you be attending the Republican National Convention Aug. 27 through 30 or the Democratic National Convention Sept. 4 through 6? AOPA wants to know. AOPA President Craig Fuller and the association’s government affairs team will be present at both conventions, organizing events to demonstrate the importance of aviation and the engagement of the general aviation community. Join the discussion >>
GOP convention prompts Tampa TFR
The FAA is alerting pilots it will issue TFRs in the area of Tampa, Fla., Aug. 26 through 30 in support of the Republican National Convention. A 30-nautical-mile outer ring with a 10-nm inner core and a 3-nm ring will be active at various times throughout the event; operations at Peter O Knight Airport will be prohibited when either is in effect. See the flight advisory for restrictions and effective times.
Flight restrictions seen from possible sanctuary expansion
A federal agency has opened a study of expanding the boundaries of California’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, with possible ramifications for overflights of the area. The study follows the implementation last February of a precedent-setting regulation that gave the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration power to restrict overflights, including a presumption that pilots flying below 1,000 feet msl in the vicinity of the sanctuary have disturbed wildlife. Pilots would be exposed to sanctions including fines. Read more >>
Inspector general critical of FAA NextGen effort
Airline operators are reluctant to spend dollars on further avionics upgrades and concerned about the potential for significant delays realizing the benefits of NextGen—particularly at the nation’s most congested airports. That is among the conclusions of an audit released Aug. 1 by the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General that cited several challenges in keeping NextGen on track. Read more >>
Join the Airport Support Network today
Ensuring the health and vitality of your airport is up to you—incompatible development and economic and political pressures can restrict your flying. Every day, close to 2,500 Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteers work with AOPA headquarters to help save their airports, but we need more. Below is a link to a list of the airports where an ASN volunteer could make a difference.
To nominate yourself or an associate to be a volunteer, visit AOPA Online.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit ASN Online.
ARROW: Checking your registration more important than ever
Is your registration certificate still valid? Checking an aircraft registration certificate is not as simple as it used to be. The FAA has initiated a process of re-issuing all aircraft registration certificates. The new certificates will be valid for only three years, and they will be issued with an expiration date. The next time you check the registration certificate for the aircraft you are about to fly, remember to look a little closer. Does it have an expiration date, or only an “issuance” date? Read more from Pilot Protection Services legal expert Ron Golden.
Fast fix for member’s forgotten form
AOPA member Alberto Guerrero described himself as “desperate” when he called AOPA with a problem: He had forgotten to sign and return the policy form for his non-owned insurance, and feared his flying club wouldn’t let him fly. Within 20 seconds, AOPA staffer Jo Cox had put him at ease. “I was so relieved to get someone on the phone who had a solution to my problem and cared to make my life a little easier,” Guerrero said. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a major gifts officer, accounts payable technician, administrative coordinator, director of new market development, aviation technical generalist, and Web graphic designer. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.