AOPA will be closed on February 18 in observance of Presidents Day. We will reopen at 8:30 a.m. EST on February 19.
Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

March 30, 2012, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterMarch 30, 2012, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter


AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 14, ISSUE 13 — March 30, 2012

New Real Pilot Story: Trapped on top
Cross-controlled in tight formation
Acting FAA chief nominated for full term
Quiz Me: Instruction in a simulator


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>


Click here for this week’s custom content.

Sun ’N Fun NEWS

New Real Pilot Story: Trapped on top

Feature Does the thought of a simultaneous engine failure and control system malfunction keep you awake at night? What about the chance of an electrical failure during an encounter with severe icing? The less paranoid among us generally think of emergencies as one-at-a-time events, but as pilot Jim Lawson discovered, bad things sometimes come in pairs. Imagine yourself as a noncurrent instrument pilot dealing with an unexpected IFR descent—then add the minor detail of a fuel-exhaustion-induced engine failure. How would you cope? Whom would you look to for help? Listen in as a team of ATC specialists mounts a heroic effort to get the overwhelmed pilot on the ground safely in the latest installment of the Air Safety Institute’s Real Pilot Stories series, produced with the generous support of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and underwritten by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Experience the flight >>

Avidyne autopilot interface latest collaboration for Aspen

Aspen Avionics has made collaboration—including with competitors—a key part of its brand and culture. At Sun ’n Fun, the company showcased a slick new autopilot interface with the highly capable Avidyne DFC90 digital autopilot. As a demonstration flight by AOPA Pilot confirmed, the autopilot plays smartly with the Aspen displays and crisply flies a Cirrus SR22 even when the pilot put it to some tough tests, including a 170-knot, 90-degree intercept on an instrument approach. Read more >>

Free cockpit weather on the iPad? Yes, please

Sporty’s Pilot Shop and ForeFlight are making life with your iPad a little sweeter. The two companies worked with Appareo Systems to develop a small, wireless, portable Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) weather receiver and Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) GPS for the iPad. Read more >>

Rotax expects fuel-injected certification soon

Rotax 912 iS fuel-injected engine Officials of Rotax Aircraft Engines expect certification of the new four-cylinder 100-horsepower 912 iS fuel-injected engine in late summer. The engine uses control technology by Rockwell Collins and could result in fuel savings for aircraft operating at 5,000 feet msl and higher. It is expected to cost $4,000 to $5,000 more than the carbureted 100-hp 912S engine. ASTM engine compliance used by light sport aircraft could come as soon as June. For aircraft constantly operating at higher altitudes, fuel savings could amount to 20 percent, the company claimed. Read more >>

More Sun ’n Fun news:

It’s all about the iPad at Sun ’n Fun

Android? iPad? Anywhere Map works on all platforms

Apollo astronaut looks to the future

Piper reaffirms commitment to training market

Charities nominated for lift from Lightspeed

Cessna Corvalis TTX begins production line flow

Aircraft tracking service eases ownership


Check out more news, photos, and video from Sun ’n Fun online.

GA News

Cessna seeks Chinese joint venture

Seems all those rumors at last year’s National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA) convention are beginning to come true. Back then, the buzz was that China was on the march, looking to partner with ailing American general aviation companies. In a press release issued before this year’s Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE), Cessna Aircraft Co. and Aviation Industry Corp. of China said they have signed two documents that will lead to the manufacture and certification of Cessna aircraft in the People’s Republic of China. Read more >>

Cessna signs up with China, again

Tom Haines: The implosion of globalization?

John King: GA’s inscrutable future in China

Iconic Bendix/King poised for comeback

While most pilots could easily identify Garmin as the No. 1 provider of new general aviation avionics, few might realize that Bendix/King is No. 2 in the market. A new management team at the former market leader hopes to capitalize on that position. While Bendix/King was the powerhouse avionics producer in the 1970s, 1980s, and much of the early 1990s, it went quiet after a series of mergers and acquisitions that ultimately led it to being a subsidiary of Honeywell Aerospace. Read more >>

‘Kids Across America’ Oshkosh trips spur aviation interest

With more than 200 school-based airplane projects already under way, and more than 300 on the waiting list, Build A Plane has established roots in schools across the country that promise to bear a fruitful crop of future aviators and aerospace professionals. On March 28 at Sun ’n Fun, AOPA joined forces with the nonprofit education organization to support Kids Across America, a new initiative to help children 18 and under get to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. Read more >>

P-51, DC-3 advance to 'Four on Final’ round

Rotax 912 iS fuel-injected engine Against the P-51 Mustang, the F4U Corsair put up a fight, but could not claim the win; the Douglas DC-3 proved invincible against the popular Beechcraft Bonanza. But the Cessna 182 and de Havilland Beaver battled into the night, and the Piper J-3 Cub and Beech Staggerwing traded leads throughout the day. As the AOPA Favorite Aircraft Challenge enters the home stretch toward the finals on April 1 and 2, March 29 had some of the closest matchups so far in the tournament. Some were too close to call as of AOPA ePilot deadline. Read more >>

Fake advisory circular sent to simulator customers

A document faked to look like an FAA advisory circular sent to Redbird Flight Simulation customers, and possibly others, says that customers must be aware of software licensing agreements and that their simulator may not be valid as a result. Read more >>

New company wants to increase renter pilot access

A team of entrepreneurs is working to solve that age-old dilemma faced by vacationing pilots every day: onerous checkouts when you want to rent an airplane away from home. Rod Rakic, founder of the pilot social networking site myTransponder, is teaming up with other entrepreneurs to develop OpenAirplane, a program to allow pilots who go through a standardized checkout to rent airplanes any time at any FBO in the country that participates in the OpenAirplane project. Read more >>

Cessna employees raise $25,000 for injured vets

Cessna employees raise funds for Veterans Airlift Command You may have seen pictures since late in 2011 of a patriotically decorated Citation Mustang that Cessna Aircraft Co. donated to the Veterans Airlift Command. Its purpose is to bring together injured veterans with their families. When Cessna employees saw the aircraft, designated American Patriot with its paint scheme featuring a heroic character dubbed Patriot Defender, they decided on their own to raise money to expand the Veterans Airlift Command effort. They sold more than 2,000 T-shirts featuring the command and, of course, the Mustang. Read more >>

Hawker Beechcraft prepares to file bankruptcy

Recent stories telling of new financing and debt forbearance for troubled Hawker Beechcraft Corp. appear to have been far too sanguine. In spite of recent relief in the form of $120 million in loans, the situation at Hawker Beechcraft seems to be grim indeed. Reuters and The New York Times have reported that the company is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection in the next several weeks. Read more >>

Foundation dedicates fire circle at Sun ’n Fun

Friendships are forged around campfires, particularly in the backcountry, where pilots seek out pathless woods and scenic vistas. One of the first jobs to be done after securing an aircraft in the midst of natural wonders is lighting a fire, as AOPA President Craig Fuller noted March 27 at Sun ’n Fun, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with friends—Recreational Aviation Foundation President John McKenna, RAF Director and Florida Liaison Tim Clifford, and Sun ’n Fun President and CEO John R. “Lites” Leenhouts. Read more >>

AOPA Foundation’s Hat in the Ring Society to honor GA

To honor achievements in enhancing aviation safety, preserving airports, growing the pilot population, and improving the image of general aviation, the AOPA Foundation is expanding its Hat in the Ring Society to bestow four awards on those in the industry who have made significant strides in each of the categories. The AOPA Foundation will select the winners and confer the awards on Oct. 11 during the Night for Flight gala at AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, Calif. Read more >>

Sennheiser launches 'Live Your Dream' training scholarships

For anyone who has ever dreamed of flying, headset maker Sennheiser wants you to Live Your Dream by applying for one of eight $1,500 scholarships. The Live Your Dream program was started as a way to increase the pilot population, reduce student dropouts, and better connect flight schools and students, said Christian Pulm, Sennheiser’s head of marketing and strategy. Read more >>

Beagle sits out Sun ‘n Fun

Gene Whiddon’s Beagle 206 won’t make it to Sun ’n Fun in Lakeland, Fla., after all. AOPA originally reported that the rare twin, featured in “Britain’s Brawny Beagle” in the March 2012 issue of AOPA Pilot, would be attending the show.

BlogsHover Power: High DA

After about 30 minutes of herding cattle on the morning of Aug. 7, 1998, the pilot of a Hughes 269B helicopter located three cattle that were in a gated adjoining pasture, according to the NTSB. He landed the helicopter in a large mesquite flat near the gate so his passenger could get out and open it. After positioning the helicopter, he attempted a confined-area takeoff. Upon reaching a hover just above the treetops, the pilot felt power was bleeding off so he lowered the nose trying to get airspeed. Read more >>

BlogsReporting Points

Could you put it down for $10,000?Flight planning ’70s style


Roaring airshows, hot new products

Glasair fly-in Excitement was in the air at the Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In and Expo in Lakeland, Fla.—from the joy of getting free cockpit weather on the iPad to the thrill of lifting off in a T-6 Texan. Don’t miss out on the fun: Join AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines and the AOPA Live® team for a special report on some of the events, new product releases, and flying activities from the first two days of the 2012 show. Watch AOPA Live >>

Sun ’n Fun: A week in video

Tornado Husky flies to Sun ’n FunT-6 ride for top scholarSun ’n Fun kickoff


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

Fly like a fighter: Cross-controlled in tight formation

An Air Force student was doing a magnificent job of flying close formation, at night and in the weather, while cross-controlling a T-38 in a slip. When the instructor told him to get his right foot off the rudder, there was no response. Read more >>

IFR Fix: The instrument takeoff

IFR Fix: The instrument takeoff Routine instrument refresher flights usually start like this: Taxi out, run up, take off under VFR. In the climb, the CFII takes control briefly while you don your view-limiting headgear and bid farewell to sunlight. Not today. The mask already has you in its grasp, and you’re not even airborne. Today is your introduction to the instrument takeoff (ITO). Even if you’re a pilot whose personal minimums prohibit departure under low conditions—let alone from a runway you couldn’t land on minutes later if necessary—much learning arises from this simple, exhilarating drill. Read more >>

Accident maps don’t lie

If you’re curious about what snares pilots into preventable accidents, you might want to check out the Air Safety Institute’s interactive accident maps. Why are pilots still running out of fuel? And why are pilots attempting VFR flight into IMC? Because the latter accounts for nearly 90 percent of all fatal accidents, pay attention now. If you happen to be at Sun ’n Fun, check out the AOPA Foundation booth to see how you’d cope in that last scenario.

Fly Well: 10 stupid things

Watch David Letterman’s Late Show and laugh at his top-10 list? Consider “stupid things pilots do to sabotage their medical”: From your eyes and ears to your gut, ignoring a problem can come back to bite you when you arrive at the aviation medical examiner’s office. Like Letterman, let’s count backward from No. 10. Read more >>

Know your surroundings

As spring approaches, more pilots will be taking to the skies for that fly-in breakfast or weekend getaway. But between here and there (wherever that may be) sits our National Airspace System with all its complexities. Make the Know Before You Go: Navigating Today’s Airspace online course from the Air Safety Institute part of your preflight planning and brush up on communication requirements, weather minimums, and more for the airspace you may encounter. And be sure to download the Airspace Flashcards and quiz your fellow pilots as you enjoy those fly-in pancakes!

BlogsLeading Edge: ‘Black swan’ events

Violent weather that damaged dozens of aircraft and temporarily shut down Sun ’n Fun in 2011 may be considered a “black swan” event: a very low-probability, high-consequence event that is almost the perfect definition of an aviation mishap. Black swans are extremely difficult to manage and prepare for. Read more >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

April 14 and 15

Denver, Colo.

Tampa, Fla.

Atlanta, Ga.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Salt Lake City, Utah

April 21 and 22

San Diego, Calif.

Indianapolis, Ind.

Ashburn, Va.


April 28 and 29

Boston, Mass.

May 5 and 6

Pensacola, Fla.

Kansas City, Mo.

Houston, Texas


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

April 9

Madisonville, Ky.

April 10

Milan, Ill.

Morehead, Ky.

Chesterfield, Mo.



April 11

Springfield, Mo.

April 12

Warrensburg, Mo.




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


FAA: Digital chart fee plan still in development

The FAA will not begin imposing fees on third-party providers of digital chart products April 1, as had once been contemplated. The agency announced March 23 that there is no definite timetable to implement a new fee structure. The FAA has been required by law to recover the cost of chart production for many years, and revenue has fallen short. The FAA announced last year that it is developing a plan to generate $5 million in annual revenue from digital chart products. Read more >>

How to be heard: Tips for medical petition comments

If reducing the burden of a third-class medical certificate could benefit you, now is the time to speak up. The FAA has posted a petition for exemption recently filed by AOPA and EAA that if granted would allow pilots to use recurrent education in lieu of a medical certificate for many common recreational general aviation operations. Comments in support of the petition can help strengthen its chances of acceptance by the FAA. Read more >>

Amendment would shed light on FCC process

The House has adopted a Florida representative’s amendment requiring that the Federal Communications Commission be more accountable for how it handles public disclosure requests made under the Freedom of Information Act. In a news release, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart said the need for transparency was exemplified by the year long process under which the FCC handled an application by communications venture LightSquared to run a wireless network using technology shown to interfere with GPS signals. Read more >>

Acting FAA chief nominated for full term

President Barack Obama has nominated Michael Huerta, acting administrator for the FAA, to a full term heading the agency. Huerta was confirmed as the FAA’s deputy administrator in 2010 and stepped into the role of acting administrator after the resignation of Administrator Randy Babbitt. The transportation official has held positions at ports, in the U.S. Department of Transportation, in the private sector, and handling transportation issues for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. Read more >>

Missouri senators, representative join airport dispute

St. Clair Regional Airport in danger of closing AOPA members in Missouri are being urged to let their U.S. senators and a House member know that they could harm the local economy and weaken general aviation in the state by helping the city of St. Clair close its federally funded GA airport. Since 2008, AOPA has actively opposed the city’s efforts to close St. Clair Regional Airport and sell the land to private investors. The municipality’s actions to erode the airport’s viability have included failing to maintain its facilities despite receiving considerable federal airport improvement grant funding for land acquisition and runway resurfacing. Read more >>

Member Benefits

Breathe in, breathe out

Oxygen is necessary at high alititudes Every cell in your body requires oxygen to survive; without it, cells are damaged and die. Folks know that if blood carrying oxygen cannot get through because of partially or totally blocked arteries the organ at the other end is affected. But if the same volume of blood can get through, yet is carrying less oxygen, the same damage can occur. Those of us who ascend to the heights are potentially doing this to our bodies every time we go higher than the observation deck at the Empire State Building. Read more advice from AOPA’s medical counsel, Dr. Jonathan Sackier.

Insider tip for aircraft registration application

Registering an airplane and walking the application through the bureaucracy of the FAA’s Oklahoma City office can appear to be a daunting task, filled with complex ways a registration could be delayed. Clay Healey, owner of AIC Title Service, offered a surprising piece of advice for avoiding processing delays: Fill out the registration application neatly. “If you don’t, you will delay the process from four to six weeks,” he said. “Neatly” means no cross-outs. Read more >>

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a vice president of strategy and philanthropic operations, director of accounting, program manager—products, project manager of online products, director of new market development, manager of regulatory affairs, associate project manager, aviation education program developer, and associate editor–Web/ ePilot. 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: Complacency vs. confidence

Is complacency the “evil stepsister” to confidence? Regardless, confidence can lead to complacency, and the latter has potentially lethal consequences. What can be done to prevent confidence from becoming complacency? Give your opinion >>



Twitter Follow AOPA Online

Facebook Become a fan

RSS feed Subscribe to the RSS feed

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.

My MembershipMy Membership


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: Would an instrument ground instructor be able to perform flight training in an approved simulator?


Answer: The privileges of the instrument ground instructor (IGI) are detailed in FAR 61.125(C). This regulation states that a person who holds an IGI certificate may provide ground training in the aeronautical knowledge areas for issuance of an instrument rating, ground training for an instrument proficiency check, and recommendations for an instrument rating knowledge test. The FAA then defines flight training as training other than ground training that is received from an authorized instructor in an aircraft. So, the IGI would not be authorized to provide flight training in a simulator. The FAA provided a letter of interpretation on this issue.


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].

Keep 'em flying Come to an event in your area, or join the discussion at national and regional events. And bring along someone who’s interested in aviation.

AOPA ePilot Team
ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown Contributors: Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore
Jill W. Tallman
Warren Morningstar
Alton K. Marsh

Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Ian J. Twombly
Dan Namowitz

Production Team: Melissa Whitehouse
Siobhan Byrne
Lezlie Ramsey
Mitch Mitchell
William Rockenbaugh

Advertise in ePilot:
East: Mike Vodarsik, 732/946-0130
Central: Brian Curpier, 607/547-2591
Central: Gary Brennan, 607/547-2591
West: Zane Lewis, 214/789-6094

AOPA Advertising website

Member Tools: Send feedback | ePilot Archive

© 2012 Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association | 421 Aviation Way Frederick, MD 21701 | Phone 800/USA-AOPA | Fax 301/695-2375

Topics: AOPA, Aviation Industry, Events

Related Articles