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Fly 75 feet above the ground at 300 knots at the National Championship Air Races in Reno thanks to in-cockpit footage from AOPA Live®. Plus see what changes were made to the races after last year’s fatal accident. One air race pilot recalled her initial concerns that the races may not return to Reno after Jimmy Leeward’s modified P-51 Galloping Ghost crashed into the crowd in 2011, killing Leeward and 10 spectators; others were grateful to "come home" in September to the airfield they had visited annually for so many years for the competition. Pilots detail the changes to the course, tougher aircraft inspections, G-force tolerance training, sterile ramp areas, and more in this behind-the-scenes look at the Reno air races on AOPA Live This Week, Sept. 27.
CORRECTION: In the Sept. 21 issue of AOPA ePilot, we incorrectly described the recent history of piston single aircraft certification. Certification in 2014 would make the Novaer Craft U-Xc one of several clean-sheet production piston single designs introduced to the general aviation market since Cirrus certified the SR20 in 1998.
General aviation pilots may one day soon share taxiways and ramps with spacecraft. The advent of the commercial space age has triggered a competition among states seeking to draw space transport operations, in many cases to existing airports. The FAA on Sept. 25 announced funding for projects in Colorado and Hawaii. To some, the race to build infrastructure that can serve space evokes the early days of aviation. Read more >>
Cessna engineer builds aviation ‘time capsule’
By day, Neal Willford worked as a project engineer on Cessna’s light sport aircraft proof of concept, and then on the Skycatcher. By night, he was working on a footnote in aviation history, building his own Thorp T-211 Sky Scooter, a two-seater that drew Willford’s eye more than a decade ago. Backed by a supportive family, and others in the close-knit community of Wichita, Kan., aviators, Willford recently made his first flight, reporting, “It’s kind of fun to have something a little unique.” Read more >>
Flight Design pitches trans-Atlantic adventure
German light sport aircraft maker Flight Design hopes to entice buyers with a promise of “European Adventure,” with buyers taking delivery of a CTLSi at the factory in 2013 and setting out on a tour. For those with an “extra measure of adventurous spirit,” the company will provide planning support for a trans-Atlantic LSA flight. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean in an LSA is not as farfetched as some might think: Flight Design boasts three successful circumnavigations of the globe to date. Read more >>
AOPA donors learn association’s strategic path
Typical of AOPA Aviation Roundtables, a group of pilots from western states quickly found common ground and friendship as they met in Oregon’s famed Willamette Valley for networking and to hear briefings on the state of aviation. The AOPA supporters and guests homed in on Newberg, Ore., for the weekend event in the shadow of the sprawling Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville. Read more >>
America’s toughest airport?
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Al Marsh is looking for America’s most challenging airports due to design or terrain, but with paved runways. These are airports lots of pilots might visit. Nominate the airport you feel is the most challenging. Results will appear in an upcoming issue of AOPA Pilot.
NAA honors aviation careers of service
The National Aeronautic Association has announced that it will honor well-known aviation educators Martha and John King of King Schools for significant contributions to pilot training at a ceremony Nov. 13, when the organization will also recognize the careers of five distinguished aviation statesmen. Read more >>
AOPA Foundation is award nominee
The AOPA Foundation needs your vote! As a finalist in the 2012 Lightspeed Aviation Foundation’s Pilots’ Choice Awards, the AOPA Foundation, which works to promote safety and growth of the pilot population, is among a select group of nonprofit organization nominees. Place your vote online >>
Combs to complete 50-state odyssey in LSA
A little more than two years after he departed on a months-long mission to land a light sport aircraft in all 50 states, sport pilot Michael Combs will finally be able to check off that final, elusive destination: Hawaii. Read more >>
Hover Power: Slope limits
Since helicopters land in areas that have not been previously approved, the pilot must make some last-minute decisions regarding the landing site. One of these is the slope of the land where the helicopter will be touching down. Read more >>
Watch the Parade of Planes live!
Dozens of general aviation aircraft, ranging from light sport aircraft to business jets, will break free of the airport fence and take to the streets of Palm Springs, Calif., Oct. 10 during the AOPA Aviation Summit Parade of Planes. Watch the action live online as AOPA President Craig Fuller and AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines host the parade, giving you the inside scoop on the aircraft as they taxi. Viewers also can chat through a Facebook feed on the streaming page while watching the parade. Talk to fellow pilots and AOPA staff. It's the next best thing to being there in person. The live stream starts at 10 a.m. Pacific and will be available on the AOPA website as well as a link from the AOPA Live home page.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
AOPA Aviation Summit
The popular print and online “Never Again” and “Real Pilot Stories” series will come to life at AOPA Aviation Summit. During these talks, pilots will share stories of how they pushed boundaries, and important lessons they learned to prevent themselves from getting into dangerous scenarios again. Lessons learned from these real-life scenarios, told in the first person, can help you avoid the same mistakes. If you have a “Never Again” story to tell, send it to AOPA, and you might be selected as a speaker. The talks will take place on the East Lawn beside the Palm Springs Convention Center on Oct. 11 and 12 from 4:30 to 5 p.m.
Answers for Pilots: AOPA flying club initiative
Attendees at AOPA Aviation Summit will be among the first to hear details of a new initiative to support and grow the community of flying clubs. Part of the new AOPA Center to Advance the Pilot Community, the initiative is the result of a year’s worth of research. A seminar at noon Oct. 12 will provide details of the research and resulting data that led up to the launch of the program. Read more >>
AV8RS teen members get free admission to Summit
Teen AOPA AV8RS members can hear tales of rugged Arctic flying from the stars of Flying Wild Alaska, jam with flying musicians, and get advice from instructors about learning to fly—for free—at AOPA Aviation Summit. Read more >>
Go ballistic: Bid on unusual attitude course
On the first flight, you'll watch the world spin in your windscreen in a ballistic roll. By the second, that upside-down view will become familiar during simulated wake turbulence exercises. And by the end of Bedford, Mass.-based Executive Flyers' unusual attitude course, you may emerge with an appetite for aerobatics. Pilots can bid on the course, offered by the Goulian family flight school—as in airshow performer Michael Goulian—in the AOPA Foundation's A Night For Flight online auction. Even if you never turn upside-down again, the course can enhance your skills and increase your confidence—all while reminding you how much fun aviation can be. Read more >>
Stay healthy, keep your certificate
Can pilots fly while using certain antidepressants? When do you need oxygen, and how does your brain chemistry affect gross weight? Answers to these questions, and a little inspiration, are all there to be had at AOPA Aviation Summit, with a daily dose of roundtable talks, seminars, and discussions that can extend your flying career and enhance your safety. Read more >>
Plan your Summit trip on the go with app
Find—and mark—your favorite exhibitors at AOPA Aviation Summit to make sure you stop by and see their aircraft or check out their latest products with the AOPA Aviation Summit 2012 app from Sporty’s, available for download on Android and iOS devices. The app also includes a schedule of events, fly-in information, and transportation details.
Fly in to Summit: Download arrival, departure tips
Planning to fly yourself to AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, Calif.? Special arrival and departure procedures will be in effect Oct. 9 through 15. Check out the information AOPA has compiled to help you plan, arrive, and depart. Everything but a tailwind is at your fingertips. Read more >>
For more information on AOPA Aviation Summit, see the website.
Safety & Proficiency
Do you check the engine’s magnetos for grounding at the end of every flight? North Carolina pilot Bruce Stanfield never had—until after the summer of 2005 when, during a routine hand-propping of his Cessna Cardinal, an ungrounded magneto fired unexpectedly. Hear, in his words, what happened next—and what simple actions may have prevented it. View the Air Safety Institute’s Real Pilot Stories: Propping Accident .
Fly like a fighter: Fill your brain
After a high oil-temperature reading, an experienced F-15 pilot learns you can really never know enough. Read more >>
Lessons from unairworthy aircraft crash
Any mechanical deficiency that keeps an aircraft from being operated as designed deserves respect. Early in the afternoon of Sept. 25, 2011, an experimental Velocity RG crashed into the woods just after taking off from Runway 3 of the Sanford-Lee County Airport in central North Carolina. The solo private pilot was killed and the post-crash fire consumed the airplane. The airplane’s last annual inspection had been completed in March 2008. Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.
IFR Fix: Steeper than you think
The directional gyro is spinning like a pinwheel. The pilot has moved both hands to the yoke to keep the nose of the attitude indicator’s miniature airplane pinned slightly above the horizon. G forces make their presence felt as the assigned heading moves within 30 degrees of the 12-o’clock position. The pilot begins a rollout. “Nice steep turn,” says the CFII in the right seat. In real-world instrument flying, “steep” has a very different meaning. But the maneuver may prove its worth at the most critical time. Read more >>
Checking out on MedXPress as the paper form checks out
On Oct. 1 the paper version of the FAA airman medical application will be retired and all medical applications will now be completed online. Learn how to use the FAA’s MedXPress. Read more >>
Did you know? The most misused term in aviation is the word “Roger.” So, what does it convey? The Air Safety Institute’s Say it Right: Mastering Radio Communication online course, underwritten by Lightspeed Aviation, explains its true meaning, while exploring other misnomers routinely abused by pilots. Learn how to communicate properly and effectively from the cockpit and improve safety when you avoid inappropriate phraseology. Take the course >>
Leading Edge: It’s five o’clock somewhere!
Two pilots were returning from a short, day VFR cross-country when the Cessna 150 they were flying ran out of fuel a few hundred yards short of the destination. “According to the commercial pilot, he was not acting in the capacity of a flight instructor, nor was he acting as pilot in command. He was occupying the right seat,” the NTSB report states. “According to an affidavit submitted by the private pilot, he was not acting as pilot in command.” Read more >>
Bowing to pressure from the Washington and Oregon congressional delegations, aviation groups, and local pilots, the FAA will delay its planned Oct. 1 implementation of an airspace procedure affecting flights using Pearson Field in Vancouver, Wash. The agency also issued a letter to airmen describing the airspace procedure—details that had been urgently sought by AOPA and users of Pearson Field. Read more >>
Pilots voice support for medical petition
The FAA received more than 16,000 comments on the petition by AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association for an exemption that would give pilots who fly recreationally the option of getting a third class medical or instead participating in a recurrent online program that would educate them how better to self-assess their fitness to fly. Read more >>
FAA urged to simplify Philadelphia Class B airspace plan
The FAA has responded positively to some user concerns about the proposed redesign of Class B airspace centered on Philadelphia International Airport, but still must mitigate safety hazards and unnecessary complexity, AOPA said in a regulatory filing. Read more >>
VFR: Spot or Spidertracks in Alaska; last flight of ‘Endeavor’
If your distress call, including your current location, could go straight to flight service and be forwarded to search and rescue, would you want to integrate a device such as Spot or Spidertracks into the flight plan you file? Alaska Regional Manager Tom George discusses a beta test in his state. Central Southwest Regional Manager Yasmina Platt shares details of the space shuttle Endeavor’s transition from an active astronaut-carrier to an awe-inspiring exhibit in this week’s Views From the Regions blog.
AOPA Close to Home
Seeing colors, but not by knockout?
This isn’t an article about boxing and what happens when you get knocked out, but concerns a hereditary or acquired condition known as color vision deficiency. Color vision deficiency is the inability to differentiate between certain colors or, in more severe cases, to be able to see colors at all, also known as “color blindness.” Most individuals with color deficiency can see colors, but have difficulty identifying differences between shades of red and green or, less commonly, blue and yellow, and the deficiency varies from mild to severe. Read more >>
5 ways to recruit new AOPA members
Get involved in AOPA’s “Strength in Numbers” membership drive! With new membership options, it’s easier than ever to tell your fellow pilots, colleagues, friends, and family members about AOPA membership. Find out how. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a director of media relations, major gifts officer, accounts payable technician, aviation technical generalist, and Web graphic designer. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.