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Nov. 23, 2012, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterNov. 23, 2012, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 14, ISSUE 47 — November 23, 2012

James Bond jet takes on military mission
Fly like a fighter: Blown tire
‘A paperwork exercise’
Quiz Me: Change of address


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Click here for this week's custom content.


James Bond jet takes on U.S. Air Force mission

Feature The same little jet that whisked James Bond away from the bad guys (through the open doors of a hangar) in the 1983 film Octopussy is now being called on to make America safer—in real life. The BD-5J, brainchild of James R. Bede and Paul Griffin, has earned its share of fame and infamy. Bob Bishop, an original Bede Aircraft test pilot who went on to fly the BD-5J for nine years with the Coors Light Silver Bullets, is now putting the microjet to work improving air defenses against a weapon that the BD-5 closely resembles: a cruise missile. He and a hand-picked crew of pilots have been conducting a series of don’t-try-this-at-home missions: for example, flying fast and low toward Washington, D.C., in an airplane designed for stealth. Read more and watch AOPA Live® >>

GA News

Last flying B-29 grounded by engine trouble

The Commemorative Air Force is seeking donations to replace a bad engine on the B-29 Superfortress Fifi, the last airworthy (pending repairs) B-29 left in the world. The CAF announced that it will cost more than $250,000 to replace the bad engine (and secure a spare), and donations are needed to make that possible. Read more >>

Aero-Space Reports signs on as strategic partner

AOPA has signed a new strategic partner agreement with Aero-Space Reports Inc., one of the leading aircraft title and escrow services providers in the nation. The Oklahoma City–based company becomes AOPA’s third strategic partner. Read more >>

FAA: No new flight plan requirements for GA ops

Any operator who used FAA domestic flight plans prior to Nov. 15 should still be able to do so, according to an FAA official, who cleared up confusion that surrounded a Nov. 15 update to the International Civil Aviation Organization flight plan format. Read more >>


CORRECTION: In the Nov. 16 issue of AOPA ePilot, we incorrectly described how updated FAA guidance on flight plan filing requirements affects operators. According to the FAA, operators may continue to use the flight plan format they used prior to the updated guidance.

Get a universal checkout in Cessnas

AOPA Now: Taking off and giving thanks Get checked out in one make and model Cessna at a Cessna Pilot Center, and that checkout can count for participating Cessna Pilot Centers in other locations through OpenAirplane, a company that offers a universal checkout. The partnership with OpenAirplane grants pilots access to a diverse fleet with a nationwide footprint without the expense and hassles normally associated with renting away from their home field. OpenAirplane will launch later this year. Read more >>

Leading Edge Flying Club: ‘Great planes, great people’

Wheeling, Ill.-based Leading Edge Flying Club was born after a local flight school refused to see the benefits of local pilots trying to create a group, which would include monthly dues, a social component, and a reduction in rates. Today the club has 75 members. Read more >>

Aviation adventures included on Extreme Bucket List website

Steve Conklin, a former bobsledder, has leveraged his relationships in sports to create an Extreme Bucket List that includes aviation adventures such as flying with the Red Baron Squadron and the Blue Angels—within 24 hours of each other. Read more >>

BlogsApp roulette

After throwing a list of apps into an online randomizer, AOPA’s Benét J. Wilson takes a look at the top five that the program spat out. You might be surprised by what surfaced. Read more >>

California Zeppelin grounded by economic storms

AOPA Now: Taking off and giving thanks The only way you’ll get to experience a ride in a monster Zeppelin NT (new technology) is to travel to Friedrichshafen, Germany, and call Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei for tickets. Airship Ventures, operating one of the craft in the San Francisco area, ceased operations suddenly on Nov. 14. The monster ship faces deportation to Germany—in pieces. The company has launched a Twitter and Facebook campaign to find a sponsor, using the hashtag #saveeureka. Read more >>


Pilots are optional in Firebird

One of the last designs fully supervised by Burt Rutan before his retirement from Scaled Composites has reached the production level, and pilots are optional. Northrop Grumman, the parent company for Scaled Composites since 2007, has named the surveillance aircraft Firebird. It can carry two pilots—or not. Read more >>

Embry-Riddle to test GA pilot performance

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will launch a grant-funded effort to test the performance of general aviation pilots flying simulated GPS approaches down to 200 feet. Instrument-rated pilots will be recruited in 2013 to fly low approaches to short runways, with researchers evaluating their performance. Read more >>

China reveals plans for long-range bizjet

China has been striving for years to produce home-grown aircraft, but the results have not yet wowed the world market. In the view of one analyst, the latest announcement from Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) shows no signs of departing that pattern. Read more >>

BlogsReporting Points: ‘The Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen’

A modern-day barnstormer has resurrected a kids’ flying club tied to a radio adventure show called The Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen. Read more >>

Learjet 85 wing arrives in Wichita

A wing assembly for the first Learjet 85 flight test aircraft has arrived in Wichita, where final assembly will begin soon. A second test flight aircraft is not far behind. Read more >>

BlogsReporting Points: Strange but true

A helicopter pilot was cited for harassing wildlife after hunters witnessed him flying low over a group of elk several times near Grand Junction, Colo. Find out more strange but true general aviation news.


AOPA Live This Week: Low and slow over the Everglades

Join up in low-and-slow formation over the Everglades at an AirCam fly-in, and get an unmatched view of the “river of grass” from above. Also find out how a new partnership with the aircraft title and escrow services business Aero-Space Reports will support AOPA’s mission and members. Check out AOPA Live This Week, Nov. 22.


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

Fly like a fighter: Blown tire

A slight yaw to the right was the only indication of a larger problem during a formation touchdown in a T-38. Find out how quick action saved the day. Read more >>

Handling practice approaches at a towered field

ATC’s primary role is keeping instrument flight rules traffic separated from each other and from VFR traffic. But just where do practice instrument approaches fall into that mix? Practicing approaches at a towered field requires a bit more foresight, and communication, than at nontowered airports. Check out the Ask ATC segment where a controller discusses how best to let controllers know what you’re planning when you head out to polish your approaches before the instrument checkride. Watch Ask ATC >>

IFR Fix: Circle game

IFR Fix: Circle game What’s the most important altitude depicted on an instrument approach plate? Approach minimums are a snap choice. Missed-approach altitudes also regularly get votes. Here’s an alternative proposition: The most important altitude on an approach plate is one you may never use, or even bother to look at—but do, because when you need to know, the minimum safe altitude (MSA) is one of the few things you will know for sure about your situation. Read more >>

More than just holiday heartburn

Worried about medical certification with ulcers, reflux, or other gastrointestinal issues? The FAA allows certification for many common gastrointestinal diagnoses that can be documented as stable and well controlled. AOPA provides information and advice to members in its gastrointestinal disorders subject report. Find out about symptoms, treatments, and how to get certified to fly if you suffer from a gastrointestinal disorder.

Young at heart, but …

Aging Gracefully, Flying Safely online course from the Air Safety Institute What are the potential effects of aging on airmanship? How do pilots adjust to age-related changes? The Air Safety Institute brought together several pilots who have worked successfully through the process of understanding how aging is affecting them. The online course Aging Gracefully—Flying Safely provides great insight on how pilots can enjoy flying longer and also when to consider slowing down. Listen to the group, learn how to stay sharp, and download handy exercise tips.

A chilling sight

Unlike a butterfly, aircraft can typically fly with little to no difficulty in rainy conditions. However, new limiting factors, like temperature and the need to avoid icing, start to have a greater impact on a flight’s safety. Do you know what to look for in these conditions? Learn more by taking the Air Safety Institute’s WeatherWise: Precipitation and Icing online course.

BlogsLeading Edge: Over the river and through the woods

If you’re flying by general aviation this week, remember that there is no place you have to be. While it may be disappointing if you miss the turkey dinner, there will be other turkey dinners, and besides—leftovers are always good. Take a lesson from these NTSB reports.

BlogsHover Power: Flight controls and passengers

Pilots should consider the risks when allowing a passenger access to the flight controls. Consider the February 2010 accident that killed the occupants of a Eurocopter EC135 in Arizona. Read more >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Dec. 1 and 2

Denver, Colo.

Orlando, Fla.

Northbrook, Ill.

Jan. 5 and 6

San Jose, Calif.

Ypsilanti, Mich.

Portland, Ore.

San Antonio, Texas

Jan. 12 and 13

Long Beach, Calif.

Jackson, Miss.

Charlotte, N.C.

Jan. 19 and 20

Baltimore, Md.

Bellevue, Wash.


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

Dec. 3

Tampa, Fla.




Dec. 4

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Baton Rouge, La.


Dec. 5

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Raymond, Miss.


Jan. 14

Reno, Nev.

Mesa, Ariz.


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


Repair station rule mostly ‘a paperwork exercise’

AOPA cannot support the FAA’s proposed rule to amend the regulation of Part 145 repair stations because mostly it adds up to “a paperwork exercise” and a burden to 5,000 aviation businesses, the association said in a regulatory filing. Read more >>

BlogsVFR: Your help needed; pilots report on Mat-Su airspace

In this week’s Views From the Regions blog, AOPA Alaska Regional Manager Tom George encourages pilots to participate in one survey and gives the results of another. Data from the FAA’s annual general aviation survey is immensely valuable when it comes to arguing for keeping aviation infrastructure we still use, and knowing when it might be OK to let go of things we no longer need— particularly in Alaska, he writes. Plus, an AOPA survey looks into methods pilots use to avoid a midair collision in the Mat-Su Valley region.

Member Benefits

The name game

Being added to a friend’s policy as a “named pilot” is a great thing. It specifically approves you to fly that person’s airplane without voiding his or her coverage. However, being a named pilot does not automatically also name you as an “additional insured” on the policy. Read more >>

Holiday shopping: AOPA offers pilot products, discounts

From stunning aviation photographs to deals on aircraft parts and supplies, AOPA makes shopping for the pilot on your list easy this holiday season. The association offers products that broadcast pilots’ love of aviation and facilitate their flying—and members can get exclusive deals on pilot supplies and more from aviation and nonaviation companies. Read more >>

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; marketing coordinator; .NET applications developer; production assistant–Web; member services representative; manager, AOPA Flying Club Network; Web developer (eMedia); major gifts officer; 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: Rules of thumb

CFIs give students some of their best rules of thumb. What are some of yours? Share your thoughts >>







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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.


Nov. 29 – Dec. 2. Key Largo, FL. Vintage Weekend. History Flight Inc. will bring the North American B-25H Mitchell Barbie III to Ocean Reef Club during Vintage Weekend. The event, held at the private club in the Florida Keys, will showcase classic and antique yachts, aircraft, and automobiles.

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: I recently moved. How do I update my address with the FAA?


Answer: The FAA allows 30 days for pilots to report a change of address. If notification does not occur in that timeframe, the airman may not exercise the privileges of his or her certificate. There are a few ways to update your address: You can do it on the FAA’s website, print and mail in a form ( downloadable from the FAA’s website), or send in a signed written request that includes your name, date of birth, certificate number, and your new address to Federal Aviation Administration, Airmen Certification Branch, AFS-760, P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0082.


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 Write a letter to the editor. Because most people perceive general aviation mainly through media coverage, errors or bias in the media create problems for all of us in aviation. However, you can help set the record straight—and educate reporters—by writing an informed letter to the editor.


AOPA ePilot Team

ePilot Editor:
Sarah Brown

Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore
Benét Wilson
Jill W. Tallman
Warren Morningstar

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Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Ian J. Twombly
Dan Namowitz

Production Team:
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Lezlie Ramsey
Mitch Mitchell

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Topics: AOPA, Flying Club, Aviation Industry

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