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Embraer Executive Jets’ 3,000-nautical-mile Legacy 500 made its first flight Nov. 27, the company announced. The Legacy 500 is the first midsize business jet to use a full fly-by-wire flight control system and feature a six-foot, stand-up cabin with a flat floor. It marks Embraer’s third clean-sheet business jet design since the company set its sights in 2005 on becoming a major player in the market. “This is the aircraft that will move us from industry player to industry leader,” said Embraer Executive Jets President Ernest Edwards in a media release. The fly-by-wire system, which uses onboard computers instead of cables and pulleys to command the flight control surfaces, offers envelope protection based on “hard” and “soft” limits. Read more >>
Improve your FlyQ
With moving maps, approach plates, and more, AOPA’s recently released FlyQ EFB packages powerful features in an easy-to-use iPad app. Radar, satellite, METARs and TAFs, winds aloft, TFRs, and a flight plan can all be overlaid on moving-map displays; synthetic vision in 3-D and highway-in-the-sky boxes are also standard. Users can even plan a flight from any FlyQ device and access it from any other platform—whether computer, smartphone, or iPad. Gift subscriptions are available. Read more >>
Club blends business, social aspects
Frank Gallagher, founder of Florida’s Aero Club Valkaria, decided on a different strategy when he created the flying club in October 2010—incorporate it as a limited liability company in the state. “The benefit of this structure is that one person is in charge,” he said. “It sounds authoritative, but we have no disputes. … Everyone knows the rules and there's an authority figure. Members can just show up and enjoy themselves.” Read more >>
SeaRey approved as a light sport aircraft
Progressive Aerodyne’s SeaRey, offered as a kit for 20 years, will now be available as a factory-built light sport aircraft. Read more >>
Nose artist Jerri Bergen: Cowlings are her canvas
Some artists paint portraits, others prefer landscapes. Jerri Bergen, however, paints noses—of aircraft. Traditionally, nose art was painted on an aircraft mostly by military mechanics and pilots involved in yesteryear’s conflicts. A unique genre that reached its peak during World War II, it is enjoying a revival thanks to artists like Bergen. A former computer information systems manager at McDonnell Douglas, Bergen started Victory Girl nose art studio in 2006 with her twin sister, Terri. View the slideshow >>
Avidyne vs. L-3: Trial date set in avionics patent suit
A federal jury will begin hearing testimony in February as L-3 Avionics Systems presses its case that Avidyne Corp. infringed on a patent with early versions of the EXP5000 primary flight display. Read more >>
New Orleans, FAA expect GA Super Bowl crowd
It's not too soon to start planning that Super Bowl flight. New Orleans is preparing for a crowd, and that goes for airports, too. The FAA has detailed plans for special procedures at several nearby airports, and at least one FBO is planning a party. Read more >>
Space industry gears up crew training
A pilot certificate, second class medical, and mission-specific training could soon put commercial aircraft pilots into orbit, or near-orbit. As the crowded field of established aerospace companies and start-ups vies to produce commercial spacecraft in the next few years, a new career path may be opening for pilot-astronauts. The National AeroSpace Training and Research (NASTAR) Center, a subsidiary of Environmental Tectonics Corp., has added spaceflight training to its aviation programs for both government and commercial operators. Read more >>
Fuel-return line inspections ordered for some Cessna 172s
The FAA has adopted an airworthiness directive requiring owners of some Cessna 172R and 172S airplanes to inspect fuel return line assemblies for chafing. Read more >>
‘Out of Africa’ Gipsy Moth for sale in Paris
If you happen to be in Paris Feb. 6 and 7, drop by the Grand Palais to watch—or participate in—the sale of the same 1929 de Havilland DH60GMW Gipsy Moth flown by the character Denys Finch Hatton, played by Robert Redford opposite Meryl Streep in the 1985 movie Out of Africa. It is expected to be sold for more than $180,000. Read more >>
Help AOPA Foundation protect freedom to fly
If you missed "Giving Tuesday" on Nov. 27, don't worry. You still have time before the end of the year to support pilot safety and protect our freedom to fly by donating to the AOPA Foundation. Your gift to the foundation is 100 percent tax-deductible. Donate today!
A look back: Summit in pictures
Airplanes took to the streets, pilots panned for gold, and acrobats tumbled in Palm Springs, Calif., at AOPA Aviation Summit in October. Take a look at some of the sights that made this year’s Summit a don’t-miss event—and if you did miss it, plan for AOPA Aviation Summit 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas, where you’ll find more new products, educational seminars, and compelling aviation stories. Notable attendees in 2012 included the Rat Pack (sort of), Harrison Ford (really!), and prominent faces from the aviation industry. View the slideshow >>
Deliveries of fuel-injected Rotax engines begin
Deliveries have begun of the single-engine Tecnam P2008 using the new 100-horsepower fuel-injected Rotax 912 iS engine. Read more >>
Debonair Sweeps: No turning back
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has shepherded three AOPA sweepstakes airplanes through their restorations, and there’s something that shocks him each time. It’s seeing the chaos of wires and gaping holes when all the old avionics have been yanked, and then unceremoniously tossed or traded in to the avionics shop for credit against their labor. The point of no return has passed. Read more >>
Readers sent AOPA their favorite radar apps, from animated weather to live traffic displays. Find out what real-time information you could access from your smartphone or tablet. Read more >>
Reporting Points: How would you spend your winnings?
Before the $500 million-plus Powerball jackpot winning numbers were drawn, pilots daydreamed about all the aviation-related things they would do with the payout. What would you do with that kind of money? Read more >>
Reporting Points: The $50 Cherokee
Darrin Carlson bought a 1964 Piper Cherokee 140 in 1993 after noticing it sitting in a scrap area near the Air Museum at Forbes Field in Topeka, Kan. He wrote the owner with an offer to buy it and sent him a check for $50 to cover the cost of processing the paperwork. The owner sent him a sales receipt, and a $50 airplane was his. Read more >>
VFR: What to expect aloft
On a cold winter day in Fairbanks, Alaska, some places were not as cold as others. A temperature inversion held a layer of cold in the valley bottoms, with temperatures as low as minus 26 degrees Fahrenheit. At the same time in the hills behind Fairbanks, the thermometer registered as high as 2 degrees Fahrenheit. Alaska Regional Manager Tom George explains the meteorology behind a photo in the local paper. Read more >>
AOPA Live This Week: Lower-cost aircraft, 'Goose' in real life
New general aviation aircraft that are twice as safe and cost half as much to certify? AOPA, the FAA, and others are hard at work making that a reality. Plus, we talk with Anthony Edwards—"Goose" from Top Gun—about becoming a pilot. And find out how you can save money on your taxes and help AOPA. Watch AOPA Live This Week, Nov. 29.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
Darkness has fallen as the light twin with a 64-knot V SO prepares for an approach at northern Massachusetts’ Fitchburg Municipal Airport, which sits beneath a 1,500-foot overcast with two miles visibility. The plan for the dusk proficiency flight was to fly a published Manchester VOR transition to an NDB-A approach. But delays have sunk that plan: The approach is not authorized at night. Another option is available to the non-RNAV-equipped aircraft: the NDB Rwy 20 approach. Read more >>
Answers for Pilots: Ah, the islands!
Looking for a tropical escape from winter chills? After reviewing these requirements, you’ll be ready for a general aviation flight from the United States to the Bahamas. The 2013 Bahamas & Caribbean Pilot’s Guide is now available for purchase and contains an extra 48 pages of information on flying to the islands. The guide includes attractions and accommodations, personal stories from pilots, photos, and more.
Jack Frost nipping at your … uh oh
Arguably one of the greatest threats to winter flying is airframe icing. It’s subtle, unpredictable, and deadly. But many pilots fail to recognize its presence until it’s too late to correct. How does it affect your aircraft, and how can you tell if you’re taking on ice? Take the Air Safety Institute’s In-flight Icing safety quiz, underwritten by AOPA Insurance Services, today and see how well you recognize the signs of taking on this unwanted weight and drag. Take the quiz >>
Perils lurk in winter clouds
Structural ice can accumulate quickly, decreasing lift and increasing drag to the point where continued flight is impossible. Witness its unrelenting power in the Air Safety Institute's Accident Case Study, which puts you in the lonely cockpit of a Cirrus SR22 as its pilot struggles to escape ice-filled clouds high above the Sierra Nevada. You'll get a gripping look at the perils that lurk in cold winter clouds and an object lesson in the importance of decisive action for pilots who venture into them unprepared. Take the course >>
Always have an escape plan
It is said that, “Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of carelessness, incapacity, or neglect.” That is where a solid foundation in aeronautical decision making is required. See if you have the skills by taking the Air Safety Institute’s Do the Right Thing online course.
Leading Edge: Ice education
The ice-coated Cessna 182 depicted in the Air Safety Institute’s newest Real Pilot Story is sobering. Remember that ice has the potential to nail much larger aircraft than Cessna 182s, and assertiveness with ATC may be needed in working to get out of it. And from now until April, in many parts of the country, we just have to have a viable Plan B. Read more >>
If the cost of a panel-mounted GPS were close to that of a handheld, would you upgrade? If new equipment for certified aircraft cost a fraction more than the experimental version, instead of an order of magnitude, would pilots keep more safety-enhancing tools at their fingertips? The goals of lowering costs and increasing safety are driving a government-industry effort to revise the certification rules for aircraft under Part 23. Pilots could experience the benefits first in the form of more affordable equipment available by supplemental type certificate. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>
Users satisfied with contract towers
The FAA’s contract tower program continues to provide safe, cost-effective air traffic services to general aviation and a wide range of other users, according to a government program audit. The 30-year-old program has enhanced safety for pilots and communities where program airports are located, while operating at cost levels “significantly less” than those of comparable FAA control towers, said the review, conducted by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General. Read more >>
Choosing medications and medical devices
Dr. Warren Silberman, the former manager of FAA Aerospace Medical Certification and a medical expert for AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services, explains how the FAA makes a decision about approving a medication. Read more >>
National Car Rental offers AOPA members speed, choice, value
National Car Rental provides discounts to AOPA members year-round while returning a portion of the rental to support general aviation. AOPA members also can take advantage of complimentary enrollment in National’s award-winning Emerald Club. Read more >>
Real estate deals for members
Douglas Elliman Real Estate is now offering AOPA members and their families an additional benefit on their next real estate transaction, nationwide. Buyers get a free one-year home warranty. Sellers get a 10-percent rebate check on listing side commission. New is a mortgage gift of $150, $300, or $500. Find more information online.
Airport apps free to members
AOPA members can get airport directory information, aviation weather, and flight planning with auto-routing capabilities on iPhone or Android smartphones with FlyQ Pocket, part of the association’s suite of mobile applications. Members with Windows Mobile or BlackBerry devices can still access airport information with AOPA Airports apps powered by WingX. The apps are free with membership.
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); and Web graphic designer. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.