Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

May 04, 2012, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterMay 04, 2012, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 14, ISSUE 18 — May 4, 2012

Electric flight awakening?
IFR Fix: The way it WAAS
Opposition halts bid to ground warbirds
Quiz Me: Placard requirements


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Click here for this week’s custom content.


Electric flight awakening?

Feature Wheel motors and silent propellers drive aircraft skyward from 400-foot runways in the future envisioned by the CAFE Foundation, and major corporations are taking note. A symposium April 27 and 28 on the latest advances in electric aircraft technology drew representatives from industry giants including Boeing and Siemens, along with researchers and innovators from nine nations, according to CAFE Foundation President Brien Seeley. “The world is awakening to the possibilities of electric flight as a serious potential market,” Seeley said. New battery technology announced at the symposium held in Santa Rosa, Calif., will soon extend the range of current electric aircraft five- to tenfold. “That will end the range anxiety, and transform surface vehicles as well as air vehicles,” Seeley said. Read more >>

GA News

Hawker Beechcraft files for bankruptcy

Hawker Beechcraft filed for federal bankruptcy protection May 3, simultaneously announcing plans to continue operation under new ownership. The Wichita, Kan., aircraft maker entered a “pre-arranged” bankruptcy proceeding, with agreements in place to exchange debt—the company owes about $2.5 billion, according to recent filings and a news release—for equity in the company. Read more >>

Piper reports strong first-quarter sales

Boosted by stronger-than-expected international sales, Piper Aircraft logged a 20-percent increase in revenue for the first quarter of 2012, compared to the same period a year ago. CEO Simon Caldecott said in a company news release that the data represents a “good start” to the year, and “it also continues an upward trend in first quarter results for the past three years.” Piper has bucked an overall trend, tallying sales increases in an industry still struggling to recover from the economic collapse that began in 2008. Read more >>

Jetman makes Rio de Janeiro flight

Jetman makes Rio de Janeiro flight Yves Rossy checked another scenic ride off the to-do list, darting past Christ the Redeemer at speeds topping 180 mph with four tiny turbines and a small, rigid wing strapped to his back—along with a parachute. For Rossy, it was the latest feat in a series of remarkable flights. He remains, according to a news release, the only person in the world to fly with a jet-powered rigid wing, controlled with a throttle and the movement of his body. Rossy started building his flying wing in 1993. Read more >>

New post at AOPA to lead effort to boost pilot population

As the pilot population continues to dwindle, AOPA and others in the industry are working together on numerous fronts to help reverse that trend and ensure a vibrant future for general aviation. To support its efforts, AOPA is searching for a leader to head the association's new center that focuses on advancing the pilot community. Read more >>

Boeing 727 crashed on purpose for science, television

Boeing 727 crashed on purpose for TV It was the ultimate “don’t try this at home” aviation moment: The pilot of a Boeing 727 put the aircraft on a collision course with a remote stretch of Mexico’s Sonoran Desert, and then jumped clear and opened a parachute. The intentional crash of the jetliner was the first of its kind since NASA conducted a similar test in 1984 to assess the efficacy of fuel additives intended to reduce post-crash fires. This time, according to a Discovery Channel announcement, more sophisticated cameras captured a host of angles, and new instruments captured data expected to advance aviation safety research. It also promises to make good television. Read more >>

Donated Baron to fly familiar route for Bahamas Habitat

Air Journey President Thierry Pouille was flying so much to keep up with demand for his aviation tours that the family aircraft sat idle on the ramp. Rather than see the Baron E55 twin decline, Pouille donated N63JL to Bahamas Habitat. Read more >>

China to produce Caravan for in-country sales

In the latest step of Cessna’s partnership with Aviation Industry Corporation of China, the manufacturer announced May 3 that the foundation is being laid for final assembly of Caravans to take place in the People’s Republic of China. Those aircraft would then be sold and supported within the country. Read more >>

Clouds, rain dampen attendance at Va. Festival of Flight

RV-1 at Virginia Regional Festival of Flight Overcast skies conspired with a threat of rain in the forecast to keep crowds at Suffolk Executive Airport small on April 28 for the opening day of the fifteenth annual Virginia Regional Festival of Flight. While the anticipated rain showers held off until midafternoon, the forecast was more optimistic for the event’s second and final day. A centerpiece of this year’s event was the RV-1—a Stits Playboy modified by Richard VanGrunsven that went on to launch the popular RV line of kitbuilt aircraft. Also on hand at Suffolk was a Douglas AC-47 gunship operated by the American Flight Museum of Topeka, Kan. Read more >>

Spar cap crack reports prompt call for C210 inspections

Cessna is calling for initial and recurring visual inspections of 210, P210, and T210 wings following recent reports of spar cap cracks in Australia. The company issued Service Letter SEL-57-01 April 27 providing instructions for visual inspections of the lower main spar caps. The FAA is reviewing information from reported cases and is considering options to proceed, including a possible airworthiness directive issued as a final rule. Read more >>

Brightline introduces new line of flight bags

Apparently the folks who run Brightline Bags thought the company’s bag with dozens of pockets didn’t offer pilots enough choice because they’ve come out with a Chinese takeout menu of choice with a new line called the Flex System. Now, in addition to the core bag, buyers can choose from five interchangeable modules, a different front and rear cap, and four interchangeable external pockets. Read more >>


Real teens, real-world challenge

Teens compete in Real World Design Challenge finals More than 100 teens from around the United States and U.S. territories gathered at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md., to compete in the national finals of the Real World Design Challenge. The contest had the high school students design a light sport aircraft. The program is a public-private partnership between the federal government and aerospace companies. Engineers served as mentors to the youth, who used professional software to design and test the LSAs. The goal of the program is to encourage more young people to seek education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Watch AOPA Live® >>

Student in experimental training program solos

Could training in full-motion flight simulators ease pre-solo jitters? Abraham McIntyre, part of a group of students in an experimental training program to complete flight training in a simulator before transitioning to a Cessna 172, soloed recently. While he admits to being a little nervous, he says the feeling of being alone in the aircraft didn’t faze him. Practicing solo in full-motion flight simulators at Redbird Skyport in Texas helped prepare him for the big day in the Skyhawk, he says. The private pilot checkride is on the horizon for McIntyre, executive director of Bahamas Methodist Habitat, who plans to return to the islands to fly missions. Watch AOPA Live >>


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

Over and under

Whether student or certificated pilot, the aviator who’s overconfident but underskilled tends to come nose-to-nose with uncompromising reality. On May 27, 2011, a Brantly B-2B helicopter lifted off from the Hayfork airport in the mountains of northern California. Its owner, a 120-hour student pilot, planned to fly solo to Weaverville, some 17 nautical miles to the northeast over rugged terrain. The Weaverville airport was reporting winds gusting to 22 knots. Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.

Give a pirep, get a pirep

Eager to receive pilot reports (pireps) of actual weather aloft, but loath to provide one because you’re worried about how to put it in the proper order? Here’s the remedy: Take the Air Safety Institute’s SkySpotter: Pireps Made Easy online course. Hands-on practice wipes away any anxiety about how to estimate and report weather conditions such as visibility, precipitation, clouds, turbulence, and ice. Next time you hear “pilot reports are appreciated” you can affirm you will, guilt-free. Go ahead, give a pirep today!

IFR Fix: The way it WAAS

IFR Fix: The way it WAAS Once upon a time, the up-and-coming technology known as the microwave landing system (MLS) was going to change the way aircraft got through instrument meteorological conditions. It was going to replace the ILS. Sound familiar? If you remember “curved approaches,” then you likely know the rest of the story: that the forecast rise of MLS approaches never actually came to pass. And that satellite-based navigation has produced GPS approaches, and something called WAAS is making it possible for WAAS-capable aircraft to fly some approaches down to minimums rivaling an ILS. Read more >>

NTSB: GA accident rate declines in 2011

A slight increase in general aviation accidents coupled with a larger increase in hours flown (based on FAA projections) add up to a modest decline in the 2011 accident rate, according to NTSB data released April 27. Read more >>

BlogsLeading Edge: GA accident rates down—and Yogi wisdom

Baseball legend Yogi Berra is the malapropism king of the world and purveyor of some primary truths. It seems appropriate to misquote Yogi in looking at the latest general aviation accident numbers: There’s the sense of “déjà vu all over again.” Read more >>

Don’t be a fuel fool

Fuel Management Safety Spotlight “The pilot and two passengers were en route to their destination when the airplane’s engine surged. … (The pilot) was unable to restart the engine,” the NTSB report notes. The culprit? An FAA inspection found approximately one gallon of fuel in the wings. In the United States alone, on average, more than three accidents per week result from fuel exhaustion, starvation, or contamination. A scary thought, isn’t it? So what can you do about it? Check out the Air Safety Institute’s Fuel Management Safety Spotlight and see how easy it is to prevent this from happening. The spotlight provides publications and courses to help you manage fuel wisely.

Fly Well: News you can use

AOPA’s medical consultant Jonathan Sackier attempts to provide sensible steps to mitigate health risks in his “Fly Well” articles, which focus on issues that might impair or shorten your life and, importantly, time flying. This type of “news you can use” will play an important role in a new development: the AOPA Pilot Protection Services. Read more >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

May 5 and 6

Pensacola, Fla.

Kansas City, Mo.

Houston, Texas

May 19 and 20

Sacramento, Calif.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Albany, N.Y.

June 2 and 3

Phoenix, Ariz.

Orlando, Fla.

Minneapolis, Minn.

June 9 and 10

San Jose, Calif.

Charlotte, N.C.


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

May 7

Garden City, N.Y.



May 8

Poughkeepsie, N.Y.


May 9

Cohoes, N.Y.



May 10

Brockport, N.Y.



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


Administration to pursue aviation ‘surcharge’

The Obama administration defended its fiscal 2013 budget proposal for a surcharge of $100 per flight, insisting to general aviation supporters in Congress that user fees would generate $10 billion over 10 years and spread costs “more equitably.” The administration put forth its user fee rationale in a letter from Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Jeffrey D. Zients to GA Caucus Co-Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.). The letter came as a response to a letter opposing user fees, signed by 195 Members of Congress. Read more >>

Groundswell of opposition halts bid to ground warbirds

B-29 Superfortress 'Fifi' The nation’s airworthy warbirds have survived, for now, another attempt to knock them out of the sky. Warbird operators and enthusiasts bombarded lawmakers with calls and letters as word spread of a proposed amendment to defense legislation that would have grounded vintage military aircraft by banning the transfer of military aircraft to civilian operators who planned to fly them. Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), who worked with many organizations to rally opposition to the amendment, said the apparent reversal of support for it is unlikely to be the last battle to keep history alive. Read more >>

Politician’s bid to close Pa. airport growing costly

Pennsylvania’s Allentown Queen City Municipal Airport is federally obligated to remain open in perpetuity and boasts an annual economic impact of $10.5 million. So, how could it face the threat of closure? Read more >>

Updated online media guide helps you protect GA’s image

AOPA releases updated online media guide With the explosion of online and cable outlets and a constant 24/7 news cycle, the media are desperately seeking juicy news stories to “feed the beast,” as reporters call it. General aviation is always an attractive target, especially when it comes to local airports. Topics including pilot training, airspace restrictions, airport security, and accidents or incidents are especially interesting to reporters, but most of them do not have experience covering aviation as a regular beat. If reporters approach you, it is important to understand how the media work. Read more >>

Tougher, brighter stock coming to FAA charts

The FAA is taking aim at the tattered edges of well-worn charts with an upgrade to the paper used for VFR charts. FAA sectionals, terminal area charts, and world aeronautical charts will be printed on more durable, tear- and water-resistant stock starting May 31. Read more >>

AOPA voices concerns about proposed ATP requirement

Proposed rules that would significantly increase airline pilot training requirements—and cost—could force many would-be pilots to abandon aviation careers, exacerbating shortages that threaten the future of general aviation and commercial air travel alike. That was among a detailed list of concerns voiced by AOPA, among others, in response to a proposed FAA regulation, mandated in broad strokes by Congress, that would require airline first officers to hold airline transport pilot certificates. Read more >>

Government luxury tax on private aircraft reversed

The Italian Senate and House have passed a measure that repealed a luxury tax on owners or operators of private aircraft who spend more than 48 hours in the country. Italy’s president, Giorgio Napolitano, signed the measure, making it official. Read more >>

IAOPA generates significant resolutions at World Assembly

The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) recently held its biennial World Assembly in Stellenbosch, South Africa, to discuss current and emerging challenges confronting the world's general aviation community. Attendees included leaders of IAOPA’s 70 worldwide affiliates. Read more >>

AOPA Close to Home

G-8 Summit to add extra TFR to DC area

TFR to shut down Chicago airspace for NATO Summit

Study: Aviation ‘critical’ to Washington state economy

FAA seeks comments on Iowa military plan

Aviation funding bill passes Michigan House

Member Benefits

We’ve got your back

AOPA launches Pilot Protection Services The launch of AOPA’s new Pilot Protection Services May 1 marks another important milestone in AOPA’s efforts to protect your freedom to fly. AOPA’s Legal Services Plan and Medical Services Program were designed to protect you if you encountered problems that threatened your pilot or medical certificate. But neither addressed another very important concern: How can you best avoid these problems in the first place? Pilot Protection Services helps you take more control over your flying future. Read more >>

Two new discounts for AOPA members

As the AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts Program enters its seventh month, two more companies have stepped forward to provide valuable discounts to AOPA members. New offers, provided as a free, core membership benefit available to all AOPA members, include 20 percent off Pilot Chews and free shipping on orders more than $50, and a $30 discount from FAST (Flight and Aircraft Services Tracking) following a 60-day free trial. Read more >>

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a registration, housing, and meeting planner; vice president–Center to Advance the Pilot Community; aviation technical writer; vice president of strategy and philanthropic operations; program manager–products; project manager of online products; director of new market development; 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: What does hypoxia feel like?

While it may manifest itself in different ways for different people, hypoxia is a dangerous medical emergency. Head to AOPA’s medical matters forum to share your insights, or learn about this potentially deadly physiological phenomenon.



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: What placards are required to be displayed in my 1969 Cessna 172?


Answer: Aircraft placard requirements are detailed in the aircraft's type certificate data sheet. This information can be found on the FAA website listed by make and model. According to FAR 91.9, an airman must comply with the operating limitations of the aircraft, which would include the aircraft manual, markings, and placards required by the original type certificate. You can search for the placard requirements for your aircraft online.


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 Get the word out. The challenges that face GA today—onerous security regulations, pressure to close airports, and the notion that small aircraft are toys for the rich—are all being driven by a misperception and a misunderstanding of the industry. In order to overcome these challenges, pilots need to seize every opportunity to let the public know the facts about GA.

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, AOPA Products and Services, Advocacy

Related Articles