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Aug. 31, 2012, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterAug. 31, 2012, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 14, ISSUE 35 — August 31, 2012

Flying Velocity’s V-Twin
UAS, the NAS, and you
FAA setting up data access for pilots
Quiz Me: Canadian-registered aircraft


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Click here for this week's custom content.


Flying Velocity’s V-Twin

Feature It’s the situation every multiengine pilot seeks to avoid: The critical engine has lost power, and the propeller windmills uselessly in the breeze. The good engine is pounding out full power, creating maximum asymmetric thrust. And the nose is held high above the horizon as airspeed rapidly decays. This is the prelude to a loss of control in most twins—but Velocity Aircraft’s new V-Twin is designed to be different. The genesis of the pusher twin took place more than 10 years ago when Duane Swing produced a wooden model of a twin-engine design that resembled a piston version of the Beech Starship. But Swing waited until late 2011 to produce the V-Twin. AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman tested out the aircraft’s performance on a recent demo flight. Read more and watch AOPA Live® >>

GA News

Nation mourns Armstrong

Taking “one small step” on July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong cemented in lunar dust his place in history as the first man to walk on the moon. Armstrong, an avid aviator throughout his life, died Aug. 25 of complications following a cardiovascular procedure, according to his family. He was 82. Read more >>

BlogsBlog: Godspeed, Neil Armstrong

We lost an aviation icon, and perhaps the country’s greatest space hero, with the passing of Neil Armstrong. A statement from Armstrong’s family includes this request of those who want to honor him: “Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.” Read more >>

Android users: FlyQ Pocket app unveiled

AOPA FlyQ now available for Android AOPA has released the Android version of its popular FlyQ smartphone app. FlyQ Pocket, free to AOPA members, provides detailed airport information, aviation weather, and flight planning capability. “Our members have been asking that we release an Android version of the app. We launched the Apple edition of FlyQ Pocket earlier this year and we are pleased to now make it available on another popular platform,” said Chris Ward, AOPA vice president of eMedia. Read more >>

Canada releases details in NTSB-FAA employee midair probe

A controller in the process of radar identifying a Piper Cherokee received a collision alert alarm just before the aircraft collided with a Beechcraft Bonanza May 28, Canada’s Transportation Safety Board said Aug. 22. Read more >>

Reno crash traced to failed screws, untested mods

Modified P-51 'Galloping Ghost' Pilot Jimmy Leeward pushed his highly modified P-51 Galloping Ghost faster than it had ever flown before during the 2011 National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nev., when untested modifications combined with weakened fasteners and high speed caused the elevator trim system to fail, in turn causing a loss of control and crash that claimed the lives of Leeward and 10 spectators, according to the NTSB. Read more >>

Bankruptcy judge denies Hawker Beechcraft bonuses

The top eight Hawker Beechcraft executives got a denial of up to $5.328 million in bonuses and a bit of a tongue lashing from United States Bankruptcy Judge Stuart M. Bernstein. Read more >>

Cessna reclaims title of fastest bizjet

Cessna engineers have found a way to boost the speed of the Citation Ten, the follow-on to the Mach 0.92 Citation X, from Mach 0.92 to Mach 0.935. That beats the Gulfstream G650, once the fastest business jet in the world, which flew at Mach 0.925. Read more >>

Tecnam ignites Paralympics

Tecnam ignites Paralympics While the spotlight on aviation at the 2012 London Olympics was less about the helicopter circling overhead and more about who appeared to jump from it, general aviation was the star of the show at the start of the London 2012 Paralympics opening ceremony in London Aug. 29. Lance Cpl. Dave Rawlins and Tim Orchard, Tecnam dealer for the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Iceland, kicked off the opening ceremony in a tricked-out Tecnam P2006T: LED strip lights lined the airframe and pyrotechnic dispensers were attached to its wingtips. Read more >>

FAA delays Icon weight-increase decision

Earl Lawrence, manager of the FAA’s Small Airplane Directorate, has told Icon Aircraft CEO and Founder Kirk Hawkins that a decision on his request for an exemption to the light sport aircraft weight limit must wait until the end of 2012. Read more >>

‘Wonderful World of Flying’ now online

More than 30 hours of aviation programming are available online through the Wonderful World of Flying. Aviation Media Inc. has moved the series from VHS to DVD to streaming. Read more >>

BlogsHover Power: Wire strikes

Some of the advantages of helicopters are the ability to fly very slow and to land in small unapproved areas. As such, they perform many jobs that increase the risk of hitting a wire. Wire strikes have happened in just about all segments of the helicopter industry. Read more >>

BlogsReporting Points: Terrible turtle to try for prize again

The University of Maryland is pressing on toward its goal of winning the $250,000 Sikorsky Prize with the Gamera II human-powered helicopter. To win, the bicyclist sitting at the center of the 114-foot contraption must stay aloft for 60 seconds, achieve a height of 9.8 feet, and stay inside a circle that is only 11.7 feet in diameter. Read more >>


AOPA Live This Week: Inside the Republican National Convention

AOPA Live This Week, Aug. 30 Go inside the Republican National Convention and join AOPA Live’s Warren Morningstar as he interviews AOPA President Craig Fuller, National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen, and Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) during a reception for general aviation advocates. The reception, sponsored by AOPA, NBAA, and The Hill, is a first for AOPA at the national conventions—with the goal of making sure elected leaders know the importance of GA. While Republican nominee Mitt Romney has not ruled out user fees for aviation, if he were to be elected, Graves said he and other aviation supporters on Capitol Hill will work to ensure the country’s leaders are properly informed and do not impose user fees. AOPA Live This Week, Aug. 30 >>


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

UAS, the NAS, and you

Unmanned Aircraft and the National Airspace System course from Air Safety Institute Do the words “unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)” spike your interest? Then jump on board with the Air Safety Institute’s latest online course, Unmanned Aircraft and the National Airspace System, developed in collaboration with the Department of Defense. Get the scoop directly from the source: Unmanned aircraft system military training operations are expected to increase dramatically by 2015 and unfettered National Airspace System access—as opposed to expanding special-use airspace—would allow military unmanned aircraft system pilots to train and stay proficient. Curious about the implications for general aviation? Explore how manned and unmanned aircraft can safely share the same airspace.

Answers for Pilots: No more paper medical applications

Effective Oct. 1, the FAA will discontinue use of the paper version of FAA Form 8500-8, the form that airmen use to apply for medical certification. Airmen will be required to apply electronically for medical certification, using FAA MedXpress, an online application capturing the same information that was on the paper form 8500-8. Read more >>

IFR Fix: Only partially prepared

A conventional vacuum-driven artificial horizon has its miniature aircraft’s nose on the horizon, and the right wing slightly low. The directional gyro disagrees—its facial motion suggesting a left turn. The tiebreaking turn coordinator maintains a stoic, wings-level neutrality. Three bank instruments, three indications. Which to believe? Read more >>

Fly like a fighter: Mountain flying

Anytime you can fly at an airspeed of 400 knots in an airplane it is a rush. When you do it at 500 feet agl, the thrill is even greater. And when that 500 feet agl includes mountain walls and peaks surrounding your military jet, it turns into an event of a lifetime. Read more >>

ForeFlight introduces runway incursion avoidance feature

Electronic flight bag software maker ForeFlight recently introduced a runway incursion avoidance feature as part of its expanding package of Advisor features. Now when a pilot uses the app while taxiing on an airport, a large box will pop up and warn him of an impending runway cross. Read more >>

Airspace: It’s all around us

You fly in it, around it, through it, or over it every time your wheels lift off. So it’s important to know everything you can about it. We’re talking about airspace here, and the Air Safety Institute has all the resources you need to refresh your memory about our National Airspace System. From the downloadable Airspace Flash Cards to the Know Before You Go online course, the Airspace Safety Spotlight is your one-stop education destination before you even leave the ground.

Feathered friend or fiend?

How would you handle a bird strike? Watch the Air Safety Institute’s Real Pilot Story: Bird Strike, which has you in the cockpit eye-to-eye with a four-pound red-tailed hawk. Find out how the pilot dealt with the ensuing mayhem his uninvited passenger caused. As you listen to the pilot tell his story you’ll take away tips and an understanding of how to prepare and protect against bird encounters, and what to do should an unexpected feathered guest enter your cabin. Watch the video >>

BlogsLeading Edge: Stuff your CFII may not have told you

How well did your instrument training prepare you for your first time as PIC in the soup? AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg tells the story of his first IMC flight—and the lessons he has learned since. Landsberg will give his thoughts on the real world of IFR at AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, Calif., and wants to hear from you: Share a story of something you learned flying in IMC that your instructor may not have told you. Read more >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Sept. 8 and 9

Phoenix, Ariz.

Baltimore, Md.

Bellevue, Wash.

Sept. 22 and 23

Sacramento, Calif.

Colorado Springs, Colo.

Richmond, Va.

Oct. 6 and 7

Indianapolis, Ind.

Corpus Christi, Texas


Oct. 13 and 14

Windsor Locks, Conn.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Nashville, Tenn.


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

Sept. 10

Wichita, Kan.

Ypsilanti, Mich.

Germantown, Tenn.

Sept. 11

Independence, Ohio

Bethany, Okla.

Nashville, Tenn.

Sept. 12

Fayetteville, Ark.

Columbus, Ohio

Maryville, Tenn.

Sept. 13

Little Rock, Ark.

Indianapolis, Ind.



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

AOPA Aviation Summit

Tips to survive life-or-death situations

Safety seminars to be offered at AOPA Aviation Summit A pilot and three passengers walk away after crashing into trees, coming to rest inverted. A pilot and co-pilot ferrying a PA-46T JetProp to Brazil find themselves at the controls of a glider after an engine malfunction 148 nautical miles from land. Pilots have accidents every day, and many, thankfully, are able to walk away. Learning how to manage risks, mitigate in-flight emergencies, prepare for an emergency landing, and exit the aircraft safely can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why AOPA is devoting a track of safety seminars at AOPA Aviation Summit to emergency survival and risk management. Read more >>

Wild weekend with Sean Tucker

It’s your first aerobatic routine, and you’re performing for an audience of one—airshow performer and aerobatic champion Sean D. Tucker. No pressure. Rick King, chief operating officer for technology at Thomson Reuters in Minnesota, won that honor after placing the highest bid for an experience with Tucker through the AOPA Foundation’s 2011 A Night For Flight online auction. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>

Future of flying: How will the election affect GA?

What does the head of the FAA have in mind for your flying future? How has Barack Obama’s presidency affected general aviation—and what would a Mitt Romney presidency mean for pilots? Find out during the Oct. 12 keynote session at AOPA Aviation Summit. Read more >>

Aircraft starting final descent to Summit

Aircraft starting final descent to Summit Aviation enthusiasts dubbed the P-51 Mustang the winner of AOPA’s Favorite Aircraft Challenge this year, so it’s only fitting that it make an appearance at AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, Calif., this October. Along with the P-51, other top-ranked aircraft including the Beechcraft Bonanza, F8F Bearcat, and AT-6 Texan will attend. Plus, AOPA’s 2012 Sweepstakes Tougher Than a Tornado Husky will be front and center. Dozens of aircraft will encircle the Palm Springs Convention Center during Summit, converging after the Parade of Planes from Palm Springs International. Read more >>

Aviation golf tourney canceled

The AOPA Foundation Charity Golf Tournament, originally scheduled for Oct. 10 in Palm Desert, Calif., has been canceled.


FAA setting up data access for pilots

The Pilot’s Bill of Rights, recently signed into law, gives airmen subject to certificate action (including suspension, revocation, approval, and denial) the right to access air traffic and other data used by the FAA in making determinations. Some of that data is collected by third-party contractors, and pilots may need to act quickly to gain access to that data before it is destroyed. Read more >>

Medical petition comment period closing

An extended comment period closes Sept. 14, with thousands of pilots having already made the case for easing the burden of a third-class medical. But AOPA is urging those who haven’t yet expressed their support to submit comments soon. Read more >>

Angle-of-attack awareness key to safety

A recently published FAA advisory circular (AC) offers general aviation an important training tool as the industry strives to reduce the number of fatal loss-of-control accidents. AC No: 120-109, Stall and Stick Pusher Training, focuses on best practices and guidance for training that would produce correct and consistent responses by pilots to unexpected stall warnings, said David Oord, AOPA manager of regulatory affairs. Read more >>

FAA updating air carrier drug, alcohol testing regulations

AOPA filed comments supporting a proposed change that would combine drug and alcohol regulations applied to air carrier and charter operations with the regulations applied to Part 91 air tour operations conducted by the same entities. Read more >>

90-day-old airport hosts first fly-in in China

AOPA-China fly-in It’s not Oshkosh, but the first ever fly-in by AOPA-China in Faku in the Shenyang province had all the passion and enthusiasm for general aviation characteristic of airshows worldwide. Flight exhibitions including the Cessna Skycatcher, helicopters, hot air balloons, powered parachutes, and a Russian aerobatic team known as the Yakovlevs wowed the crowd that had gathered under blue skies with a light wind down the runway. A multimedia presentation—set to a new song released by AOPA-China, “To Fly”—played on jumbo TV screens, showing what it’s like to fly. Read more >>

Survey seeks input on making FAA rules consistent

An aviation rulemaking committee is working on recommendations to make regulatory interpretation more consistent and is seeking feedback from the aviation community. Read more >>

Member Benefits

Flow control and gate holds: Managing kidney stones

It has been a record-breaking hot summer in just about every part of the country, and for many outdoor professions one tip was on everyone’s mind: “Hydrate and hydrate often.” One of the consequences of inadequate regular hydration is an increased risk of forming kidney stones. The FAA considers the presence of a kidney stone to be a “medical deficiency” that requires self-grounding until the stone passes or is otherwise disarmed. Gary Crump of AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services discusses medical certification with kidney stones. 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, aviation technical generalist, and Web graphic designer. 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: Uh oh … burning smell

Despite nav and radio lights working normally, a distinct electrical burning odor is present any time a poster from the AOPA forums turns those systems on. There’s no “pop” of a circuit breaker; where’s the first place you’d look to find this problem? Share your guess >>



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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.


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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: I recently purchased an aircraft registered in Canada. May I fly this aircraft in the United States with an FAA airman certificate?


Answer: FAR 61.3 details the requirements of this type of operation. The FARs allow an FAA-certificated pilot to operate an aircraft that is registered in a foreign country provided the pilot’s certificate is in the pilot’s physical possession and issued under Part 61. This would allow the pilot to operate the Canadian-registered aircraft in domestic airspace.


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].

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