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Oct. 12, 2012, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterOct. 12, 2012, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 14, ISSUE 41 — October 12, 2012

Van’s offers factory-built RV-12
New volunteer pilots course debuts
certification rule changes gain traction
Quiz Me: Reexamination


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Click here for this week's custom content.


Van’s offers factory-built RV-12

Feature Aurora, Ore., kitplane manufacturer Van’s Aircraft jumped into the factory-built market with the announcement Oct. 11 that it will produce a special light sport RV-12. The company announced at AOPA Aviation Summit that it will work with Synergy Air of Eugene, Ore., a company that currently offers builder assistance programs, to manufacture an initial production run of 12 special light sport aircraft (S-LSAs), offered as “Signature Edition” models for an introductory price of $115,000. The company expects to offer a standard model at $105,000. Offering a factory-built aircraft is a departure for the company, which has close to 7,900 experimental aircraft in its line of RVs flying today. Read more and watch AOPA Live® >>

AOPA Aviation Summit

Ultimate hangar chat: Wild world adventures

France. New Zealand. South Africa. Pilots have vicariously visited these picturesque locations and flown the airways in those countries through the pages of AOPA Pilot. The editors shared tales of aviation safaris, flying in the French Alps, and breathtaking views of New Zealand during the Oct. 11 keynote at AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, Calif. Read more >>

Sneak Peek: Bendix/King’s MyWingMan EFB

Bendix/King/s MyWingMan EFB Bendix/King is hoping to become the pilot's go-to wingman with its new iPad app: the MyWingMan electronic flight bag. In addition to offering synthetic vision, Bendix/King is touting SmartRoute and SmartAltitude. Just select the departure and destination airports, whether you’ll be flying VFR or IFR, and if fuel efficiency is a goal, and the app will select the best route. With SmartAltitude, the program will display winds aloft and show the pilot how flight time will change at each altitude. Once an altitude is selected, it will automatically update the flight plan. Read more >>

AOPA Photo Gallery launches

AOPA is launching magnificent aviation photography through the AOPA Photo Gallery at the association’s Aviation Summit. The online gallery will feature the best photos from the AOPA photography team. Read more >>

SmartDeck avionics chosen for new Cobalt Co50

Esterline CMC Electronics' SmartDeck integrated avionics suite has been chosen as the standard for Cobalt Aircraft's new Co50 Valkyrie single-engine aircraft. The Co50 is a five-seat, all-composite aircraft that features a canard and split vertical stabilizers, along with a pusher engine configuration. Read more >>

AOPA Foundation names ‘Hat in the Ring’ award winners

The AOPA Foundation has recognized four members of its Hat in the Ring Society for their efforts to promote and grow general aviation. Hat in the Ring members commit to donating $1,000 a year to support AOPA Foundation initiatives to teach safety, preserve airports, grow the pilot population, and uphold general aviation’s image. Read more >>

Clock ticking on auction bids

Pilots can get aviation gear, travel packages, unique experiences, and more—all while supporting general aviation—by bidding in the AOPA Foundation's 2012 A Night for Flight auction. Items up for bid include everything from training packages to an autographed Back to the Future framed movie poster. Could a Tecnam taildragger be yours? Bidding closes Saturday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. Eastern time, so don't forget to  place your bids.

More Summit news significantly upgrades mobile capability

FreeFlight announces new technologies, approvals

MyGoFlight offers new products at AOPA Aviation Summit

PS Engineering offers free installation


GA News

NTSB faults Gulfstream for G650 test crash

The test flight crew got no warning of the impending stall before control was lost and four people died in the April 2, 2011, crash of a Gulfstream G650 during certification testing in Roswell, N.M., according to NTSB investigators who reported their findings Oct. 10. The board faulted Gulfstream for pressing forward with the test program without a full understanding of two previous incidents that nearly produced the same result. Read more >>

Fire and water: Pilot, passenger rescued in Gulf

Smoke and flames filled the cockpit at 11,000 feet, leaving Theodore Wright seconds to act. A roughly two-minute emergency descent and successful ditching in the Gulf of Mexico on Sept. 20, and the subsequent rescue by a Coast Guard helicopter, have made Wright a media darling, along with his passenger. Wright, undaunted by the loss of his Beechcraft Baron, said he is searching for a new airplane. Read more >>

Legacy 500 poised for first flight

Embraer Legacy 500 As the overall business jet market faces an upcoming decade of “slow growth” or “continued crisis,” Embraer Executive Jets is taking aim at new segments of the market, preparing for the first flight of its Legacy 500 midsize business jet this quarter. The Brazilian aircraft manufacturer gave journalists a first look at the newly painted jet at the company’s São José dos Campos, Brazil, headquarters Oct. 5. The airplane will offer fly-by-wire flight controls and a six-foot stand-up cabin with a flat floor, features that Embraer hopes will entice customers away from other offerings in the midsize market. Read more >>

ATP takes over ASU flight training program

Airline Transport Professionals has found a new partner in Arizona State University, collaborating with the university to offer a degree program. Read more >>

SpaceX delivers the goods to International Space Station

SpaceX resupplies International Space Station Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), the upstart in a space race against Boeing and other companies seeking a piece of the space transportation market (including cargo and manned missions under separate NASA programs), logged its second successful union with the International Space Station Oct. 10. The resupply mission is the first of 12 SpaceX deliveries to be made under a $1.6 billion NASA contract, and follows a groundbreaking demonstration flight in May. Read more >>

Missing men, a mythic triangle made for television

On April 20, 1980, a Greensboro, N.C., pharmacist called home from the Bahamas and reported he had one more stop to make before flying home in a Cessna 310. Steve Harrison’s family never heard from him again. Thirty years later, a television crew hired an expert aviator—and AOPA member—to join the search for the missing airplane, and, perhaps, shed light on an enduring mystery: the legend of the Bermuda Triangle. The results of their search will air Oct. 14 on the Discovery Channel. Read more >>

Record-setting jump attempt delayed

Felix Baumgartner's attempt to become the first human to go supersonic in a space suit, along with setting a new free fall altitude record from 120,000 feet, was called off Oct. 9, a last-minute decision forced by gusty New Mexico winds. The Red Bull Stratos team had begun to inflate a giant helium balloon, with Baumgartner suited up and in the capsule, when the clock was stopped. The balloon was damaged, but a backup is available for another attempt now scheduled for Oct. 14, weather permitting.

Tecnam offers limited-time free autopilot upgrade on P2006T

Tecnam North America has unveiled plans to offer a free autopilot upgrade on its P2006T twin aircraft. The P2006T is a four-seat twin-engine aircraft with two 100-horsepower Rotax 912S engines. The S-Tec 55X upgrade is valued at $35,000. The upgrade will be given to the next 10 P2006Ts ordered or on those aircraft ordered by the end of November, whichever comes first.

Redbird names Pelton to board, announces partners

Former chairman and CEO of Cessna Aircraft Co. Jack Pelton has been named to Redbird’s board of directors, and ForeFlight has been added as a new partner. Read more >>

MGL adds Sandia transponder to glass cockpit systems

MGL Avionics is a name you probably haven't heard before, but will soon get to know it better if you are in the light sport, kitbuilt, or experimental market. The company, selling in the United States through an exclusive dealer in Torrance, Calif., has added the Sandia Aerospace STX-165R remote Mode C transponder to its four flight instrument systems. Read more >>

Pennsylvania flying club celebrates eightieth year

The Reading Aero Club, based at Reading Regional Airport in Pennsylvania, will celebrate its eightieth anniversary Oct. 20. The club is among the oldest continuously operating flying clubs in the United States. The 44 members currently share a Piper Cherokee 180 and a Cessna 172SP. The club has owned 34 aircraft over the years. Olin Marth, the club president, said the financial system is one secret to the club’s longevity: “We track our operating costs real time, both fixed and variable, and know when we must adjust our cost to fly or dues to match current conditions.” Admission is free, trophies will be awarded for cars and airplanes, and free birthday cake will be available for all.

BlogsReporting Points: Strange but true

A pilot records everything on an iPad while his airplane goes down in the Gulf of Mexico, a driver thinks he hears an airplane crash and reports it to a local sheriff, and much more from Benét Wilson.

BlogsHover Power: Slope landings

Not every surface a helicopter lands on is perfectly level. Helicopter pilots need to know how to perform a slope landing. The first step is to bring the helicopter to a stabilized hover into the wind and ensure the ground is stable. Read more >>

BlogsReporting Points: Heading to the most challenging airport

AOPA members nominated 270 airports as the most challenging in the country, and AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton K. Marsh picked just one for a story. On the way there via the airlines, he contemplated the advantages of flying yourself. Read more >>


Sweepstakes Husky surprises Florida pilot

Sweepstakes Husky surprises Fla. pilot Florida pilot Richard Zahn thought he was checking out a King Air that a friend was considering purchasing. Instead, when he arrived at Pompano Beach Airport, AOPA President Craig Fuller surprised Zahn with the news that he had won the AOPA Sweepstakes Tougher Than A Tornado Husky. Zahn said that he had been enamored with the rugged, backcountry Husky design and particularly its exceptional capabilities as a floatplane. In fact, he had been researching Huskys, checking them out in classified ads, and was about to make an offer on a used one when he learned that the Tornado Husky was his. Watch the surprise giveaway >>


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

New volunteer pilots course debuts

Public Beneft Flying course from Air Safety Institute Have you ever thought about using your flying skills to help others by becoming a volunteer pilot? Learn what it takes with the Air Safety Institute’s Public Benefit Flying: Balancing Safety and Compassion online course. Flight profiles and interactive decision-making scenarios quickly help you understand how volunteer flying demands professionalism and responsibility—far beyond that of a leisurely personal flight. Elevate your flying to a new, highly rewarding experience. The course was produced with the generous support of Welles Murphey Jr., the Air Care Alliance and affiliated volunteer pilot groups, and the AOPA Foundation. Take the course >>

Do you leave yourself an out?

Good decision making starts on the ground—after all, it is really about avoiding the circumstances that lead to the really tough choices. And it is not easy to do. Do you keep options open to you? Read about the situations other pilots have faced, and their decisions. Visit the Air Safety Institute’s Aeronautical Decision Making Safety Spotlight.

Fly like a fighter: Nighttime challenges, rewards

Starry nights are a reward for pilots who are night current, but night flying also presents unique demands. In this F-15 pilot’s case: a night refueling mission in the clouds. Read more >>

IFR Fix: No alternate needed

It was to be a routine flight, destination Las Vegas, where the weather was VFR, if somewhat windy. But multiple microburst alerts caused the aircraft to divert to another airport and declare an emergency. What led to the emergency declaration? Read more >>

Fly Well: Fighting the flu

As fall arrives, the pleasures beckon: convection-free skies, crackling fires, warming stews, and holidays. And colds and flu. Which are the same thing, right? Not at all—and distinguishing the two is important. The common cold is the most frequent source of human illness and is caused by infection with one of more than 200 virus types. Influenza, or the flu, is both a disease and the name of the virus family responsible. Flu is sometimes a mild illness indistinguishable from a cold, but it may be severe or even fatal. Read more >>

Improve your safety by learning from others

Gain valuable knowledge about flying safely by learning from the mistakes of others. Using your ePilot personalization preferences, like “piston single-engine” or “turbine,” the Air Safety Institute’s Accident Database generates a list of accidents that have been added to the database in the past 30 days. If you haven’t personalized your newsletter, select your aircraft preferences from the “types of aircraft” section on the ePilot personalization page.

BlogsLeading Edge: 50 ways to leave your lover

There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are far fewer to leave your aircraft. Many of us give the required passenger briefing on general aviation flights perfunctory attention, but maybe there's good reason not to be so hasty. Read more >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Oct. 13 and 14

Windsor Locks, Conn.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Nashville, Tenn.

Oct. 20 and 21

Columbia, S.C.


Oct. 27 and 28

San Jose, Calif.

Wichita, Kan.

Nov. 3 and 4

Anchorage, Alaska

Atlanta, Ga.

Austin, Texas


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

Oct. 13

Palm Springs, Calif.



Oct. 15

Bolingbrook, Ill

Garden City, N.Y.

Oct. 16

Marietta, Ga.

Northbrook, Ill.

Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Oct. 17

Birmingham, Ala.

Rockford, Ill.

Cohoes, N.Y.


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


Life-saving revisions to certification rules gain traction

Streamlining and standardizing certification rules could cut the cost of general aviation aircraft certification—and retrofits—in half, while dramatically increasing safety by enabling an infusion of modern technology into GA cockpits. That rationale is driving the work of a rulemaking committee assembled by the FAA to examine Part 23 of the federal aviation regulations, and has the participation of regulators from around the world. Plans are now on track to implement uniform standards, sooner than many might have expected. Read more >>

Voter’s Guide shows lawmakers’ positions on aviation

From user fees and the FAA reauthorization bill to the Pilot’s Bill of Rights, House and Senate members have cast votes or spoken out on a wide variety of issues critical to general aviation over the past two years. Now, with the click of a mouse, AOPA members can use an expanded and revised tool to determine where their representatives and senators stood on the issues that matter to GA. Read more >>

Surveys seen as source of safety facts

Aircraft owners still have time to participate in a general aviation activity survey used by the FAA to develop policies, allocate resources, and make decisions about safety. Members who were contacted about the survey by mail are urged to take part in the online survey known as General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey by Nov.30. Read more >>

Detroit Class B airspace revision burdens GA

The FAA’s proposed redesign of Class B airspace in Detroit makes some concessions to user feedback, but retains basic features that would impose major burdens and add risk for many general aviation operations, AOPA said in a regulatory filing. Read more >>

GAO calls for more GA reporting in interest of safety

The Government Accountability Office, following its most recent study of general aviation accident trends, has called on the FAA to collect more data on aircraft hours flown and pilot training. The methods proposed—requiring reports on hours flown by aircraft during annual inspections and requiring pilots to report hours flown and recurrent training—may not produce the desired benefits. Read more >>

Member Benefits

The Big C: Medical certification of prostate or breast cancer

It is bad enough having to deal with the Big C, cancer. The last thing one needs after a cancer diagnosis is having to deal with another “C”—medical certification. This is an area where having AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services watching your back is hugely helpful. Dr. Warren Silberman, the former manager of FAA Aerospace Medical Certification, offers insight into how the FAA views the particular treatments for prostate and breast cancer, and what you can expect when you present medical records to the agency. Read more >>

Select the term life insurance that best fits your needs

AOPA has such a diverse membership that there is not one insurance program that is best for all members. That’s why the association offers three distinct options when it comes to securing term life insurance to provide for your family’s needs if something happens to you. Read more >>

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a strategy and financial analyst, executive assistant, director of media relations, 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: Pattern entry

A pilot was taught to enter the pattern on the “45 to upwind” when coming from the opposite side of the runway from the regular pattern. Does any FAA guidance reference this? Weigh in >>




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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.


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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 received a letter from the FAA stating that I needed to schedule a reexamination. Does the FAA have the authority to do this?


Answer: The Federal Aviation Act authorizes the FAA to conduct what is termed a “709 ride” on the basis of reasonable grounds. Reasonable grounds could be any circumstance that leads to questions on the airman’s qualifications to hold a certificate. These questions could arise from an accident or FAR violations. So, the FAA would have the authority to reexamine an airman, and the airman must comply or face enforcement action. Find more information 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].

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