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For many pilots, the prospect of crashing in water is one of the scarier things in aviation. Vancouver, B.C., native Bryan Webster has been there, done that, and says they’re right to be afraid. In the Air Safety Institute’s latest Real Pilot Story, produced with the generous support of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association’s Flight Safety Foundation and Donner Canadian Foundation, he recounts a wild flight as a passenger in a Cessna 150—one that went from “normal” to “unconscious in an inverted, flooded cockpit” in 15 seconds flat. He also shares some of the extensive knowledge he’s amassed while training more than 5,000 people in water egress techniques. Hear the rest of the story, and find out what should be on your mind before your next overwater flight. Watch the video >>
Gulfstream marks G650 milestones
The first Gulfstream G650 has been delivered, and the company has also landed an FAA production certificate for the ultra-long-range jet. Read more >>
Hilton Software releases WingX upgrade
Hilton Software has released version 6.9 of WingX Pro7, with enhancements including SmartTaxi, search-and-rescue grids, and search patterns. The iPad app supports the Dual XGPS170 Bluetooth ADS-B receiver. Read more >>
New Tornado Husky owner shares journeys online
The AOPA Sweepstakes Tougher Than A Tornado Husky begins the new year with a new owner and a new residence: Boise, Idaho. Brian Burnett, an Alaska native and former Super Cub owner, purchased the Tornado Husky from AOPA sweepstakes winner Richard Zahn. Read more >>
Editor’s pick: Top 10 apps for 2012
AOPA e-Newsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson shares the top 10 apps that she reviewed in 2012. Did your favorite app make the list? Read more >>
A memorable year
A jump from the edge of space, a tribute to the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, an up-close look at the world’s smallest jet—AOPA brought you these stories and more in 2012. It was a year of adventure: winter survival in Montana, helicopter skiing in British Columbia, and aerobatics with Sean D. Tucker. And there was no shortage of spectacle. AOPA’s cameras snapped as aircraft lit the Oshkosh night, and photographers took you behind the scenes to the airshow flight line. Take a look back at some of AOPA editors’ favorite photos and stories from 2012. View the slideshow >>
John and Martha King honored for education
King Schools has helped launch thousands of new pilots over the years, and the National Aeronautic Association recently honored founders John and Martha King for their efforts. The NAA in November presented the Frank G. Brewer Trophy for Aviation Education to them “for their passion and dedication in making aviation knowledge more accessible to pilots worldwide by combining elegant technology with clear, fun teaching featuring courseware that simplifies complex concepts for students.” The award is presented each year to recognize significant contributions to aviation education.
A look back at GA travels around the world
In 2012, AOPA staff toured countries working to build a general aviation industry, providing advice to government and industry officials from lessons learned in the United States. AOPA covered international trade shows in order to bring you the latest information in emerging technology and aircraft, and stepped into the shoes of pilots in other countries to see how regulations, flying clubs, and other factors influence their flying. Travel to and learn about flying in the Bahamas, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Germany, China, South Africa, Mexico, and Brazil in this glimpse of GA around the world. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Strange but true
Mexican police are accused of stealing items from an aircraft accident scene, one man tries to merge a 1956 Cessna 310 with a 1987 Toyota Van Wagon on a $500 budget, and more in this week’s “Strange but true general aviation news.” Read more >>
Looking forward to 2013
AOPA Editor in Chief and AOPA Live Anchor Tom Haines and AOPA President Craig Fuller talk about the association’s 2012 experiences and discuss what 2013 may hold for the organization and for general aviation. Watch AOPA Live® >>
AOPA Live This Week: Directors’ cut
Did you miss AOPA Live This Week, the Directors’ Cut 2012? Fly in a B-29 Superfortress with the first woman to solo one, head to New Zealand for an epic flight, and fly in a radical new piston twin in this recap of the year’s best videos. AOPA Live This Week’s next show will air Jan. 10.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
We could probably all agree that a good first step in getting where you’re going is knowing where you are. But at busy, unfamiliar airports, that’s only the beginning. Determining how to get from Point A to Point B can be a challenge. Throw in the pressure not to hold up traffic or look like you’re lost, and it could be a runway incursion waiting to happen. The solution? Ask for directions. In this segment of the Air Safety Institute’s Ask ATC, listen to a controller’s perspective on asking for progressive taxi instructions. Watch the video >>
IFR Fix: What goes around
Two pilots entering holds get questioned by ATC. Neither discussion ends with a quick exchange, leaving both pilots torn between defending themselves and avoiding an airborne argument. How they handled the disputes, in their own words in Aviation Safety Reporting System filings, provides good guidance for other pilots. Read more >>
‘Here be dragons’
Flying under instrument meteorological conditions is more than just the fundamentals of instrument interpretation, cross-checking, and aircraft control. It is also being able to quickly and accurately interpret the symbols and formatting of current IFR charts. Are you up to date with the latest IFR charting knowledge? Learn more and take the Air Safety Institute’s IFR Insights: Charts online course.
Fly Well: Oh, no, vertigo
Vertigo is a false sense of movement, causing confusion, disorientation—and, eventually, incapacitation. According to the FAA, vertigo and spatial disorientation contribute to 15 percent of accidents, typically at night or in instrument meteorological conditions. Read more >>
Staff at AOPA’s Maryland headquarters and nationwide work in meeting rooms, statehouses, and on Capitol Hill to protect pilots’ freedom to fly. In 2012, the association expanded its presence in communities across the country with the creation of seven new, full-time positions working on state and local issues as well as pilot outreach. These new regional managers worked with headquarters staff to defend pilots’ access to airports, promote tax and economic policies that keep the general aviation industry healthy, and keep the skies safe for GA pilots. As the year drew to a close, the regional managers reflected on top issues that affected pilots in their regions. Read more >>
A year of progress on international freedom to fly
Five decades into the fight to extend freedom to fly to every corner of the globe, the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) marked 2012 with collaboration, cooperation, and the promise for more. IAOPA celebrated 50 years of growth—now 71 associations strong, with delegates and the pilots they represent giving general aviation a voice as decisions are made by governments and regulators. Read more >>
Insurance policies overdue for their annual inspection?
As the new year begins, it’s the perfect time to review your insurance policies. A lot can happen in a year and your coverage needs may have changed. Read more >>