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You’ve heard the candidates talk about foreign policy, the economy, and more. Do you know where they stand on general aviation? With the general election just around the corner, AOPA Pilot posed GA-related questions to President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Find out what the candidates have to say about issues ranging from user fees to airport improvements. Plus, learn how current members of Congress sided on important GA issues in AOPA's online tool that records their actions on bills and letters. Many factors will influence the votes you cast in the November elections. Consider this information about GA as you make your decisions.
Hightower out at EAA
In a surprise move, Experimental Aircraft Association President and CEO Rod Hightower stepped down on Oct. 22 and newly elevated EAA Chairman Jack Pelton agreed to run the 175,000-member organization on an interim basis. “All of us at AOPA were saddened to learn of Rod Hightower’s resignation as president of EAA,” AOPA President Craig Fuller said. “During his tenure AOPA and EAA enjoyed an unprecedented level of collaboration that has served members of both organizations well.” Read more >>
EAA chairman: Only change is at the top
Jack Pelton, the new chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association, said the departure of CEO Rod Hightower will not change the organization's mission or priorities. Pelton spoke with AOPA Editor in Chief Thomas B. Haines on AOPA Live This Week, vowing that “we’re still committed to making sure this organization supports all aviation enthusiasts.” Read more and watch AOPA Live® >>
Digital fuel sender now certified
Goodbye outdated and unreliable fuel level sender, hello modern and accurate digital version. CIES Corp., maker of a new device that sends fuel level information to the panel through a digital mechanism, says it has earned technical standard order approval from the FAA. Read more >>
Popular ‘Pilot’ features now in e-book
Two of AOPA Pilot’s most popular features—“Never Again” and “Safety Pilot Landmark Accidents”—are being turned into e-books. Read more >>
Piper reports uptick in revenue, deliveries
Piper Aircraft delivered 40 aircraft during the third quarter, an increase of half a dozen airframes over the same period in 2011. Driven by sales of the M-class cabin aircraft, the company based in Vero Beach, Fla., is showing gains in the year-to-date comparison as well. Read more >>
Redbird: Simulation in training works
By using full-motion flight simulators, one school is cutting flight time in airplanes to 38 hours for private pilot applicants. Redbird Skyport’s Roger Sharp laid out the progress of what the company calls a “flight training laboratory” during Redbird’s second annual Migration Flight Training Industry and Design Conference. Read more >>
FAA tightening LSA inspection rules
FAA and designated inspectors are now required to notify FAA headquarters when a new light sport aircraft make or model is presented for approval. The notification is to allow the FAA’s aircraft certification group, called AIR-200, to determine if an aircraft conformity inspection is required. Renegade Light Sport owner Christopher “Doc” Bailey said he has $450,000 worth of LSAs, paid for by customers, waiting for FAA approval. He’s worried that he’ll have to start refunding the money if he is delayed much longer. Read more >>
Bendix/King’s myWingMan EFB hits App Store
Find the best route and altitude for your flight from your wingman—Bendix/King’s new myWingMan electronic flight bag for the iPad, which was previewed at AOPA Aviation Summit and recently released in the Apple App Store. The app features SmartRoute and SmartAltitude functionality, geo-referenced charts and taxi diagrams, moving map, synthetic vision, weather, navigation logs, flight planning, weather briefing, flight plan filing, and more. A one-year VFR subscription costs $99; IFR costs $149.
Learning from the G650 test flight crash
In an effort to help prevent future accidents such as the 2011 Gulfstream G650 fatal crash, the NTSB is recommending the company commission an audit by independent experts to assess test program safety and distribute the lessons learned from implementing a flight test safety program. Read more >>
FlightSafety founder leaves training legacy
Growing up in rural Kentucky, Albert Lee Ueltschi became fascinated with aviation at a young age, spurred by Charles Lindbergh’s trans-Atlantic flight. Ueltschi, 95, died Oct. 18 and left his own lasting legacy on the aviation industry. Read more >>
Swift owners plan ‘Day of Domination’ on Nov. 4
If you own a Globe/Temco Swift, plan to join your fellow Swift pilots on Nov. 4 in a mass international fly-out to celebrate the legacy of the low-wing, retractable-gear aircraft. Despite its somewhat ominous name, “World Domination: The Day of the Swift” is simply an attempt to allow Swift pilots around the world to participate in a friendly event. The goal of the event is to get any Swift owner at any location into the air for any amount of time, to see how many Swifts can be flown in the skies around the world on the same day, AOPA member and Swift owner Perry Sisson said. Read more >>
Alliance brings ‘STEM’ education to deaf learners
The advancement of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at dedicated schools for deaf students, and in mainstream programs for deaf and partially deaf learners, is the goal of a joint project of Fly To Learn and the Deaf Pilots Association, the organizations announced in a news release. Read more >>
Matching grant packs a punch for safety, more
AOPA Foundation supporter Bennett Dorrance has issued a challenge to supporters to match his $60,000 contribution to the foundation dollar for dollar by the end of 2012. Find out how you can make a difference.
The sweeps Debonair: Sign of a trend?
Now that AOPA’s Debonair sweepstakes is under way, AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne reflects on previous owners of AOPA’s sweepstakes airplanes. These recent sellers of older airplanes were deeply involved in general aviation flying, and emotional about parting with their beloved airplanes. In each case it took years for the owner to come to the decision to sell—but keeping the airplane proved to be too much expense for too little flying. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Flying club’s fall foliage campaign
What better way to entice people to become a pilot than to show them some of the spectacular views from the air? One flying club started a social media campaign with a video of the fall foliage in Wisconsin in hopes of encouraging people to learn to fly. Read more and see the video >>
Reporting Points: Strange but true
Ultimate Fighting Champion Stephen Bonnar had a problem—he had to be in Rio de Janeiro for a championship, but his wife was in Las Vegas about to deliver their first child. UFC founder Dana White came to the rescue, offering Bonnar a ride home in his Bombardier Global Express. Catch up on strange but true general aviation news.
AOPA Live This Week: EAA shakeup, ticket to ride
Get details on a major shakeup at the top of the Experimental Aircraft Association from the man who has taken the reins. Also, find out how a deal to sell Hawker Beechcraft to a Chinese company fell through, but Beechcraft kept the money. If you feel like your piston aircraft gets second-class treatment on the ramp, take note: One common FBO says that’s changing. And Mike Melvill, the first commercial astronaut, explains why you should book a ticket to space for “the most exciting ride you’ll ever do in your whole life.” Watch AOPA Live This Week, Oct. 25 >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
Fly like a fighter: Zero airspeed
Three minutes after scrambling for a training mission, an F-15 pilot is on the runway, afterburners lit. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot notices his airspeed indicator is reading zero instead of the anticipated 120 knots. Read more >>
Here’s a wing design you may not have seen before. The leading edge protrudes two inches above the top wing surface, and this radical ridge runs rearward roughly a foot. Similar mods grace the tail. Care to pilot the test flight? Read more >>
Instrument procedures: The magenta approach into AOPA
You’re looking forward to visiting AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Md., but the weather has its own agenda and has decided not to share the runway with all general aviation pilots. Good thing you have an instrument rating, are current and proficient, and fly behind an IFR-approved GPS system. With the weather currently IMC, how prepared are you to fly the GPS approach to minimums at FDK? Take the quiz >>
Enjoy the dark side
Night flying has both benefit and beauty—there is usually less air traffic to contend with, and a clear night offers beautiful star-studded skies above and twinkling towns below. However, the limitations that darkness puts on human vision, along with the effects of pilot fatigue at day’s end, raise the risk of night flying. Read more >>
As fall gives way to winter, the lower temperatures found are frequently connected with lower ceilings and reduced visibilities. But even though circumstances may be legally VFR, is it still a good idea to make or continue your flight? Learn about the conditions that lead to these situations, how to find them easily, and how to avoid them by taking the Air Safety Institute’s WeatherWise: Ceiling and Visibility online course.
A point of no return
Faulty decision making can paint a pilot into a corner from where there is not much hope of a safe return. This chilling story has you ride along with the pilot and his five passengers in a Piper Seneca II as the weather deteriorates en route. The Air Safety Institute’s Accident Case Study: Cross-Country Crisis uses actual ATC audio and dramatic re-creations, and is interspersed with scene analysis and safety tips to decipher where things went from bad to worse. Please share the video with others who may also benefit from lessons learned.
Hover Power: Running landings
Helicopter pilots use a running landing when there might not be enough available power to hover. This maneuver is typically used at high gross weight, at high density altitude, and for some emergency procedures involving the tail rotor. Read more >>
Leading Edge: First, do no harm
It happens all over the country with little fanfare: Pilots offer their aircraft to transport people in need of medical attention, move animals to new homes, carry wounded and aging veterans, or conduct environmental assessment flights. The vast majority of the time everything works as it should, but occasionally there will be a mishap or worse, a fatal accident. Read more >>
The National Transportation Safety Board has published a final rule amending its Rules of Practice in Air Safety Proceedings—the cases in which it considers appeals of FAA enforcement actions against pilots. The FAA actions can include emergency determinations leading to the immediate revocation or suspension of an airman certificate. In a separate action, the NTSB published an interim rule for reviewing FAA certificate actions in keeping with provisions of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights. Read more >>
Not so fast, Motel 6
AOPA is challenging a California town’s approval of a construction project that would build a Motel 6 partially located in a runway safety zone. Read more >>
VFR: 'The Bishop’s Boys'
What was the world like when the Wright brothers made the first sustained, powered flight? How did they succeed where better funded efforts had failed? AOPA Alaska Regional Manager Tom George discusses how The Bishop’s Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright answers those questions and transports the reader back to the decades before and after the introduction of powered flight. Read more >>
AOPA Close to Home
EA+ helps ill woman get home from Mexico
Many people are surprised at how costly a medical emergency can be, especially out of the country. That’s why programs such as AOPA Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) are so vitally important. Recently, EA+ was notified that a woman was hospitalized in Mexico with a serious diagnosis, one that the attending physicians were not qualified to handle. EA+’s assistance coordinators and the EA+ medical director began working with the hospital to gather all of the necessary medical information. Read more >>
Special issuance authorization update
For pilots who have a special issuance authorization, if you missed the announcement this summer, you are no longer required to carry your authorization letter with you when you fly. Learn more in the latest installment from AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services.
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a member services representative; manager, AOPA Flying Club Network; marketing production specialist; contract administrator; accounts receivable/payable technician, Web developer (eMedia); strategy and financial analyst; director of media relations; major gifts officer; and Web graphic designer. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.