Click here for this week's custom content.
The latest edition of the popular CTLS series from Flight Design sports the new fuel-injected Rotax 912iS, the most obvious upgrade, but not the only one. An electrical system enhanced to provide more power for a panel packed with integrated avionics—including an optional integrated autopilot—also sets the CTLSi apart from its carbureted predecessor. The two-seat special light sport aircraft retains flying qualities that have helped Flight Design build a devoted following, with more than 1,800 aircraft flying worldwide. AOPA got an early look at the new arrival, and a chance to put it through its paces. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>
Future of GA sparks debate at Wichita event
Will Wichita, Kan., remain the Air Capital of the World? What kind of a role will diesel or electric aircraft play in GA’s future? A debate among leading aviation editors kicked off the annual On-Air Summit hosted by the Wichita Aero Club on Dec. 12. AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines said pilots flying recreationally may reap the benefits of electric power. Read more >>
Hindenburg theories tested for Discovery Channel
Two official investigations left unanswered questions, and any number of theories persist decades after the Hindenburg erupted in a ball of fire over Lakehurst, N.J., on May 6, 1937. Airship historians and aeronautical engineers collaborated with a television production crew to re-create the disaster at scale for the first time to put the most likely theories to the test. The results of their effort will air Dec. 16 on Discovery Channel. Read more >>
‘Top Gun’ returns—in 3-D
Most pilots remember Top Gun, the 1986 blockbuster directed by Tony Scott that encouraged many people to learn to fly—both in the military and general aviation. Although plans for a Top Gun 2 sequel apparently were abandoned following Scott’s recent death, the original movie has been remastered in 3-D and will return to theaters for a limited six-day engagement in February. Read more >>
J. Lloyd Huck remembered
AOPA and the general aviation community lost a stalwart supporter with the Dec. 4 death of J. Lloyd Huck in State College, Pa. Huck, 90, began his flying career during World War II, and remained an active pilot until just before turning 90 in July. Huck made significant contributions to AOPA. He was an AOPA Foundation Board of Visitors Emeritus, having donated his expertise and energy to the foundation’s effort to improve safety, preserve community airports, build the pilot population, and enhance public perception of GA. Read more >>
AOPA Now: GA loses a friend
AOPA President Craig Fuller reflects on the life of general aviation supporter J. Lloyd Huck. Read more >>
Database helps experimental-aircraft pilots find instructors
The Experimental Aircraft Association wants to help pilots of experimental amateur-built aircraft contact flight instructors who can provide them with additional safety training. EAA has published an online list of instructors authorized by the FAA to offer instruction in experimental aircraft “for purposes of type specific training.” Read more >>
Hawker Beechcraft gets green light to sell jet inventory
A bankruptcy judge has approved Hawker Beechcraft’s request to liquidate an inventory of 20 business jets as the company prepares to emerge from Chapter 11 early next year. The Wichita Eagle reports that the company, which plans to scrap the jet production lines and terminate warranty coverage and support for Hawker 4000 and Premier 1 and 1A business jets, has an inventory of 20 jets valued at $20 million each, including 13 finished aircraft, three in production, and four used models. Hawker 4000 owners attempted to block the sale, citing concern that deep discounts could further undermine the value of the jets already in service.
Wright factory to be preserved
The original factory where the Wright brothers built their first mass-produced aircraft was at risk in 2008 when the then-occupant, a car parts factory, closed. Now the property once used by the Wrights as well as the former General Motors plant has been deeded to a development company. The factory could be part of the Dayton historical tour in a couple of years. Read more >>
Flying 20 Club: An oldie but goodie
Twenty members each put up $20 to buy a J-2 Piper Cub for $400 in 1940, starting the Flying 20 Club, which now has three aircraft and bills by Tach time instead of Hobbs time. Club members pay a $500 initiation fee and dues of $125 a month to fly a 1979 PA-28-236 Dakota, a 1980 PA-28-181 Archer II, and a 2000 PA-28-181 Archer III. Each member has his or her own keys to the airplanes, which are all IFR-equipped. Sound like a sweet deal? Read more >>
‘Hat in the Ring’ invests in aviation’s future
Don Bernard likes to say that submarines and aircraft have a lot in common. The medium in which they operate may differ, but with the right skills and instruments, you can get them where they are going. After his days as a Navy submariner, Bernard embraced aviation, and he decided to throw his hat in the ring to help address the decline in the pilot population and support safety programs. Read more >>
Seaplanes flood the LSA market
Seaplanes are flooding (so to speak) into the light sport aircraft market. In addition to the newly approved SeaRey, two additional aircraft are on the way: the SeaMax M-22, and from Italico Aviation, the FX1. Read more >>
Mechanics reminded to replace their paper certificates
The FAA is reminding airframe and powerplant mechanics that all paper certificates will expire on March 31, 2013. Read more >>
‘Flight Training’ magazine chat’s featured apps
The crew at AOPA’s Flight Training magazine held their monthly chat on Dec. 4. Here’s a review of the apps mentioned in the chat. Read more >>
Reporting Points: 10 things I want for Christmas
Caught up with buying gifts for family and others in her life, AOPA e-Newsletter and Social Media Editor Benét Wilson hadn’t given much thought to what she wanted for Christmas. So when her husband asked, she decided to take a spin through the Aircraft Spruce website and create her wish list. Read more >>
AOPA Live This Week: Most challenging airport
We got 300 nominations, but only one airport can be deemed the most challenging: AOPA Live® reveals which airport earned the honor. And how is the Skycatcher working out as a trainer? Plus, what does the FCC have to say to the FAA about iPads in the cockpit? And AOPA flies the newest light sport aircraft to land on our shores. Watch AOPA Live This Week, Dec. 13.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
Tens of thousands of pilots learned about the insidious effects of stress through the Air Safety Institute’s No Greater Burden, a sobering look at the grave consequences of a relatively small error. The institute’s other popular educational products included a pilot’s first-person account of an unexpected descent through clouds, resources about the dangers of thunderstorms, and more. Read more >>
They are usually right
It is a lot easier to follow the rules—especially in the world of instrument flying—if you know what they are. And in the complex world of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (better known as the federal aviation regulations, FARs, or “the regs”), that world is frequently shifting. Is it not time for a refresher? Take the Air Safety Institute’s IFR Insights: Regulations online course.
IFR Fix: That was close
Between the worsening turbulence and the reprimand from air traffic control for a blown altitude, your demeanor is rapidly decaying from merely harried to flustered and defensive. Find out how to prevent pilot distraction and fixation from creeping in when you're in this high-workload environment. Read more >>
Bahamas flights don’t require 406 MHz ELT
General aviation aircraft may continue to fly to the Bahamas without upgrading to 406 MHz ELTs, Bahamas Civil Aviation announced. Bahamian officials will allow GA aircraft to fly with 121.5 MHz ELTs until Feb. 1, 2015. Find tips for flying to the islands online.
Shine the light on VFR night flight
Once the sun sets and the night sky shimmers with twinkling stars and a brilliant moon, you’re in for a magical and peaceful time aloft. But night VFR flying has some unique challenges and planning should take on another dimension—well beyond your usual VFR daytime flight planning. Sparse ground lights or a pitch-dark moonless night can make your flight more challenging than you expected. Conditions may even resemble IMC and it could be difficult to distinguish landmarks, terrain, and weather. Bolster your knowledge and fly prepared with the Air Safety Institute Night VFR Safety Spotlight.
Leading Edge: Time to spare—go by air!
General aviation doesn’t always work, especially with smaller weather-limited aircraft. But AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg writes that “some of my really serious delays have been on airlines where it took the system a day or two to unsnarl because of the interdependent nature of hub and spoke. I’ve never been delayed more than a day when flying GA (after getting instrument rated and proficient).” Read more >>
A new group of global stakeholders will work on a standards roadmap “that will help transform the way smaller aircraft are manufactured and certified around the world,” standards body ASTM International announced recently. The committee was formed at the request of the industry to support efforts of the FAA’s Part 23 Aviation Rulemaking Committee. ASTM Committee F44 will hold its next meeting Jan. 10 and 11 in Daytona Beach, Fla. Those interested in participating in standards development can find information about joining ASTM online.
VFR: Airport bum of the year award
Murfreesboro Municipal Airport’s “Airport bum of the year” award was conceived to improve relationships and communications between airport users, operators, and city officials. Southern Regional Manager Bob Minter discusses this year’s award. Read more >>
Six tips to get your medical faster
Based on frequent interactions with the FAA’s Aerospace Medical Certification Division, AOPA Director of Medical Certification Gary Crump shares six tips on what you can do to hasten the process of wresting your medical certificate from the FAA. Read more >>
Planning your first international trip? Your itinerary probably doesn’t include the unexpected complications caused by a sudden outbreak of illness. Here are a few things you might expect.
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an events coordinator; AOPA eastern regional manager; .NET applications developer; manager, AOPA Flying Club Network; Web developer (eMedia); and Web graphic designer. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.