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For most of us it’s the stuff of nightmares, but for Russ Jeter, the reality of life after an aircraft accident is something to be grappled with every day. The January 2011 mishap that took his son’s life also set Jeter on a quest to understand the mistake he made as a pilot—and help others avoid similar errors. No Greater Burden: Surviving an Aircraft Accident is one result. Produced by the Air Safety Institute, the special half-hour presentation is a sobering look at one pilot’s tragedy, the devastation it wrought, and the lessons all of us can take from it. Watch it here >>
Leading Edge: Accident insights
Most of us don’t think much about the aftermath of an aircraft accident. But the reality is that sometimes bad things happen to good pilots, and it doesn’t have to be a big mistake that will permanently and tragically alter your life. AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg discusses the Air Safety Institute’s candid look at a side of flying we don’t often talk about. Read more >>
Underwater debris field found in Earhart expedition
The latest expedition to recover possible evidence of Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Model 10 Electra has video footage that shows man-made objects in deep water off the uninhabited atoll where she is believed to have landed. The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery said that a review of high-definition underwater video footage taken during its July expedition has revealed “a scattering of man-made objects on the reef slope off the west end of Nikumaroro.” Read more >>
NTSB: Reno crash pilot subjected to 17.3 Gs
The NTSB has not yet reached final conclusions on the fatal 2011 crash at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nev., though a detailed analysis of a spectator’s video just released concludes that P-51 Mustang pilot Jimmy Leeward experienced a sudden acceleration of 17.3 Gs in the final seconds of the flight that took his life—along with 10 spectators on the ground. Read more >>
Concordia the top US glider at world championships
A custom-made glider flown by Dick Butler finished in the top 10 at the Thirty-second World Gliding Championships in Uvalde, Texas—an impressive effort for a team that finished work on a groundbreaking aircraft just in time to compete, and took on the top pilots in a sport long dominated by Europeans. The two-week event, held in the United States for the first time in decades, pushed performance to the limits with only one incident: a midair collision with no loss of life or injury to the pilots involved. Read more >>
Lisa Airplanes in receivership
French aircraft builder Lisa Airplanes, which showcased its luxury amphibious Akoya light sport aircraft at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., in July, has entered court-supervised receivership after investors failed to fulfill a financing commitment, the company said in a news release. Read more >>
Veteran flies veteran on milestone mission
Don Catalano says the best days of his life are when he gets the chance to transport wounded warriors and other patients in his Piper Meridian as a volunteer pilot for Patient Airlift Services. On July 28, when the organization’s flight schedule provided him an opportunity to transport a Marine corporal who had been severely injured in Afghanistan from Boston, Mass., to Baltimore, Md., Catalano—himself a veteran—promptly volunteered. Read more >>
Data, data, who’s got the data?
Worried that Big Brother is watching? Concerned the TSA is snooping through personal data online? Is your medical insurance company sharing data with the FAA? How safe is your data? Aviation enthusiast and doctoral candidate David Scibelli is wondering how much we as a society worry about such things. Read more >>
Sikorsky opens future technologies competition
Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development arm of the Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., has announced its second annual Entrepreneurial Challenge competition. Aimed at identifying and accelerating the development of emerging technologies, the competition is open to any small company with revenue less than $5 million. Read more >>
The upside of upside-down
About 30 pilots gathered at a small New Jersey airport Aug. 17 through 19 to test their skill at spins, loops, rolls—and a few more radical maneuvers—inside a square kilometer of airspace. While the International Aerobatic Club has seen membership decline, thanks in large part to a struggling economy, there is plenty of enthusiasm, dedication, and camaraderie to go around. The club, which sanctions competitions around the country, is working on a strategy to get more pilots involved in a sport that builds confidence in the cockpit. Read more >>
Women’s flight academy to take off in Texas
For the second year in a row, a Texas designated pilot examiner and her band of volunteers will host a weeklong academy aimed at helping women to advance in their flight training. Read more >>
Fuel from plastics to be used on intercontinental flight
Australia stockbroker Jeremy Rowsell hopes to fly a diesel-engine Cessna 182 from Australia to London on “Wings of Waste” using fuel made from plastics that can no longer be recycled. The fuel, which meets spec but has never been tested on an aircraft, will be donated as soon as Rowsell convinces sponsors to support his risky trip. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Tanker exit could heat up fire season
It’s been a brutal wildfire season in the western United States, and fewer large air assets are available for firefighting since Aero Union’s Lockheed P-3 Orion tankers were grounded last year. The company 10 Tanker Air Carrier has modified the Douglas DC-10 for use as an airborne firefighter. The group has invested millions developing, demonstrating, and deploying its technology. But it says that its business model is viable only if it gets an exclusive-use contract from the Forest Service. Read more >>
AOPA Live This Week: Fly the Cessna Turbo 182 JT-A
AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines tests out Cessna's new Turbo Skylane JT-A at the company’s headquarters in Wichita, Kan., bringing you the first look at its performance in the air. Also, learn about the temporary flight restrictions associated with the upcoming Republican and Democratic national conventions, and find out how some students are graduating from high school with an associate’s degree and pilot certificate. All this and more in AOPA Live This Week, Aug. 23.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
There must be a natural law to make sure that if someone writes an IFR training column discussing how to use a VOR cross-radial to nail down an instrument approach fix, a notice to airmen will pop up the next day placing that VOR out of service. That happened right here about three weeks ago. Here’s hoping the notam didn’t spoil anybody’s practice flight. By popping up like that, the notam served a higher purpose: reminding instrument pilots to always read the fine print. Read more >>
Northbound: Flying to Canada
Looking to escape the summer heat lingering in most parts of the continental United States? A trip to cooler climes might be in order. If you’re planning a flight to Canada, be sure you understand how to use Customs and Border Protection’s Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS). As pilot in command, you’ll also need a current passport, pilot certificate with an English proficient endorsement, medical certificate, and restricted radiotelephone operators permit. AOPA’s online resource on flying to Canada can help you make sure you have all the necessities—from survival equipment to paperwork required when traveling with children.
Pressure points of weather
You get the weather—but do you understand it? Do you grasp the big picture? Unless you’re a professional meteorologist it’s sometimes tough to understand the finer nuances of the weather forecast vis-à-vis your flight plan. Why not bolster your preflight repertoire with weather fundamentals found in the Air Safety Institute’s Weather Wise: Air Masses and Fronts course? Terms like isobars, drylines, Coriolis force, and occlusions will have a crystal clear new meaning after you take the course.
Don’t let DA drag you down now
Summer is winding down in most of the country, but let’s not get complacent. Density altitude calculations should remain a high priority in your pre-flight planning, especially if you’re fully loaded and departing from short fields. You’ve likely seen the crash footage of a Stinson losing the battle with density altitude in Idaho. But what exactly does density altitude mean, and why should you pay attention to it? Check just how well you grasp the concept of this invisible killer with the Air Safety Institute’s Density Altitude safety quiz, underwritten by AOPA Insurance Services. Take the quiz >>
AOPA Aviation Summit
Since the first-generation iPad stormed into the consumer market—and general aviation cockpits—in 2010, pilot reactions have been mixed. Many swear by it, while others are more inclined to swear at it. And some are just curious what the tablet can do. Whether neophytes or regular IFR iPad flyers, pilots can learn how better to make the iPad work for them at AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, Calif., Oct. 11 through 13. Seminars range from “iPad 101” to “Advanced iPad: Tips and Tricks for Becoming an Expert.” Read more >>
Discounts for Summit hotel reservations expire Sept. 7
Lock in low prices at luxury hotels and resorts in Palm Springs, Calif., which has invested $200 million in new properties and renovations since AOPA’s last convention there in 2006. During AOPA Aviation Summit, Oct. 11 through 13, enjoy mountain and poolside views; indulge in bright desert colors and relaxed, muted tones; and rest in plush accommodations at any of the 11 AOPA hotels. Prices fit every budget and style, from spa, casino, golf, and trendy spots, to smaller boutique inns and suites. Check out the hotels and their amenities; book by Sept. 7 for advance discount rates.
Harrison Ford on the block for GA at ‘Night for Flight’
With a theme harkening to the golden age of Hollywood, A Night for Flight offers an elegant evening of fine food, entertainment, and a chance for donors to preserve the future of general aviation in the last country on the globe with a vibrant GA community. The Oct. 11 gala hosted by the AOPA Foundation during AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, Calif., also will feature a chance to bid on a flight and lunch with Hollywood legend Harrison Ford—most certainly not the typical $100 hamburger. Read more >>
FAA releases Salt Lake City Class B airspace final rule
A new configuration for Salt Lake City, Utah’s Class B airspace that takes effect Oct. 18 makes some concessions to general aviation but will still present operational challenges—including a higher ceiling and the overall expansion of the airspace—AOPA said. Read more >>
GA an ‘economic powerhouse’ in US, IAOPA tells Chinese
General aviation in the United States is an "economic powerhouse" that offers countries a model as they nurture their emerging aviation sectors, said Craig Spence, secretary general of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations, in a speech in Shenyang, China. China is well positioned to develop its general aviation network, which will flourish if it is built on a foundation of safety and regulatory support, Spence said in remarks to the China Low Altitude Economy Summit on Aug. 23. Read more >>
TFRs set for GOP convention in Tampa
Pilots planning to fly in Florida should familiarize themselves with a flight advisory notifying pilots of temporary flight restrictions that will be in effect Aug. 26 to 30 associated with the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. Read more >>
More time to comment on residential-access policy
Aircraft owners and other pilots now have until Sept. 14 to submit formal comments on the FAA’s policy governing access to general aviation airports from residential property. Read more >>
Comment period extended on repair-station rule
The FAA has granted a 90-day extension requested by AOPA and other organizations to the public comment period on its proposal to amend the regulations governing Part 145 repair stations. Members may comment until Nov.19 on the notice of proposed rulemaking, which would amend regulations for repair stations “by revising the systems of repair station ratings, repair station certification requirements, and the regulations governing repair station providing maintenance for air carriers.” Read more >>
New chief for RTCA NextGen advisory committee
Alaska Air Group Chairman Bill Ayer will become chairman of the RTCA NextGen Advisory Committee in October as the two-year term of the current head, JetBlue President and CEO Dave Barger, comes to an end. The group is a federal advisory committee formed to advise the FAA on policy-level issues facing the aviation community in implementing NextGen—the FAA’s initiative to modernize the air traffic control system. Read more >>
The FAA wants to talk to me … now what?
What should a pilot do when the FAA “wants to talk?” The request for dialogue might come in a letter or a telephone call from an FAA inspector. It could be a controller’s question to you over the radio or a request that you telephone the tower after landing. Whenever the FAA wants to initiate a conversation to explain some incident involving your flying activities, you need to be careful as there can be a lot at risk. Attorney Kathy Yodice gives advice as part of AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a director of legislative affairs, director of media relations, 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.