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Perhaps you’ve seen it—a Piper Cub lookalike so big you have to use the landing gear as a ladder to reach the cockpit. After 25 years of research and development, hopes, and false starts, designer Byron Root and Sherpa company owner Glen Gordon are finally realizing their dream. Funding from a Chinese investor will support 24 months of certification for the eight-place Sherpa K650T powered by an 890-shaft-horsepower Garrett 331-5 engine, and the six-place 160-mile-per-hour Sherpa K500 powered by a 400-horsepower IO-720 Lycoming engine. Gordon said customers will have to adjust to the slow approach speed of the Sherpa. “We’re going to have a placard in the plane that says, ‘If you are landing at more than 40 miles an hour, you are still flying,’” he said. Read more and watch AOPA Live® >>
Life vests, fast action key to survival in Hudson
The 35-degree-Fahrenheit Hudson River nearly claimed the lives of the pilot and passenger of a Cherokee Six on Jan. 27, in spite of their personal flotation devices. Pilot Deniece De Priester said she had faith they would survive as her stricken airplane glided toward the water as night fell. Even with life jackets keeping De Priester and her passenger, Christopher Smidt, afloat, time was running out. In a follow-up to AOPA’s original report, De Priester said that hypothermia sets in quickly, sapping strength and making it hard to fight the current. Yonkers Police officers launched a rescue boat from downstream. Read more and watch AOPA Live>>
LoPresti Aviation shifts focus, Fury on hold
The LoPresti Fury will not return to the airshow circuit in 2013, following a shift in focus by the company toward lighting products and speed mods. The company, based in Sebastian, Fla., is closing in on a supplemental type certificate for a Cessna Cardinal cowling expected to increase speed by 13 mph. Read more >>
Oil changes: Roll up those sleeves and save some money
One of the best ways to improve the safety of an aircraft is also a great way to save money: owner-performed preventive maintenance. Oil changes are a good place to start. Every oil change is a fresh start for your engine’s internal components, an opportunity to inspect the health of the engine, and a chance to change the oil viscosity to accommodate seasonal temperature changes. A&P mechanic, pilot, and aircraft owner Jeff Simon introduces pilots to this task in the first installment of the series Aircraft Maintenance for the Educated Owner. Read more >>
Aeronautical milestones compete for Collier Trophy
A team that dropped a skydiver from the edge of space and one that is probing the solar system’s earliest epoch are among the nominees for the National Aeronautic Association’s Robert J. Collier Trophy. Seven projects and teams that advanced aviation and aerospace during 2012 are in the running to receive the honor when a new recipient is selected March 11. Recent Collier Trophy recipients include the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for 2011, and the Sikorsky X2 technology demonstrator team for 2010. Read more >>
FAA finalizes Piper cable inspection AD
An estimated 34,000 Piper aircraft in the U.S. registry are now subject to a new inspection requirement, though complying with the airworthiness directive on stabilator cable inspections can be done during the annual. Read more >>
Safety challenge pledged funds to Air Safety Institute
Bad weather across a large part of the country means that many pilots have less time to take to the skies. But AOPA member Shannon Osborne, a member of the North Jersey chapter of The Ninety-Nines, came up with an idea to counter that. Read more >>
Flight Design adds ADS-B to CTLSi
Flight Design has added Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) In and Out capability to its newest offering, the fuel-injected CTLSi. Dynon Avionics supplies the hardware (along with the SkyView avionics package) that allows subscription-free weather and traffic integration via ADS-B. By 2020, the technology will be mandated for aircraft flying in certain airspace, under the current plan for NextGen airspace modernization. The new capability was highlighted at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla., and Flight Design plans to have a presence at Sun ’n Fun.
Center conducting flying club insurance survey
The Center to Advance the Pilot Community is researching flying club insurance, and would like to ask for your time to complete a short survey. The center completed an earlier survey that highlighted insurance as an area of concern, and wants to gather more detailed results on this important topic. Take the survey >>
NC86 Flying Club: Flying as cheaply as possible
The goal of North Carolina’s NC86 Flying Club? To allow its members to fly as cheaply as possible, says Bob Joyner, the club’s treasurer and one of its founders. The club uses monthly dues, a one-time membership buy-in, and low hourly wet rates to achieve its goal. Read more >>
AOPA flying club webinar: Selecting the right aircraft
AOPA’s Center to Advance the Pilot Community is hosting a webinar, Selecting the Right Aircraft, on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The webinar will feature Marc Epner from the Leading Edge Flying Club at Chicago Executive Airport and Adam Smith, AOPA senior vice president of the Center to Advance the Pilot Community, along with other flying club experts. They will cover what should be considered when choosing an aircraft for a flying club. The webinar is free, but you must register. Register here >>
Foreflight improves iPhone interface
Foreflight recently released version 4.8, and among the many changes is an improved user interface for the application's iPhone version. Read more >>
Girls with Wings announces spring 2013 scholarships
Girls with Wings, a nonprofit organization aimed at encouraging girls and young women to reach their full potential in aviation, is accepting applications for its spring 2013 scholarships. The private pilot scholarship to help defray the cost of flight training will provide $1,000 to a female who has soloed but not taken the checkride. A new Dreams Take Flight scholarship, intended to fund preliminary flight training, has no flight prerequisite and will provide $500 for the cost of flight training. The application deadline is midnight on March 31. Find more information online.
AOPA staff pilots share favorite apps
This week, five AOPA staff pilots share some of their favorite aviation-related smartphone and tablet apps. They offer thoughts about LiveATC, AirWX, Aviation Weather, Quickweather by Avilution, and Flight Check. Read more >>
Debonair Sweeps: Bracket attack
Where do you find a replacement alternator bracket for a 50-year-old airplane? Probably not from the manufacturer, which long ago stopped making replacement parts for airplanes that old. No, you have to check the salvage yards. AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne offers a glimpse at the process of fixing up the sweepstakes Debonair, including the search for a bigger, better alternator.
Reporting Points: Strange but true
We report on another miracle on the Hudson, a pair of daring helicopter rescues, and declassified instructions on how to fly the U-2. Read more >>
First look at a heavy hauler; surviving the Hudson
Think of the Sherpa as part Super Cub, part Caravan. The backcountry beast is now aiming for certification, and AOPA Live This Week heads to Oregon for an exclusive look at what’s in store thanks to a new partner in China. General aviation is back in the crosshairs in Washington as the nation braces for sequestration, and the aviation industry is battling back. Also this week, the pilot who made a dead-stick landing in the Hudson recalls her close call on camera, and talks about the keys to survival in frigid water. AOPA Live This Week, Feb. 7 >>
‘AOPA Live This Week’ adds pilot personality Rod Machado
AOPA Live This Week announced Feb. 1 that it will feature a new video series entitled License to Learn, hosted by renowned flight instructor and professional speaker Rod Machado. Read more >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
NTSB chair praises AOPA, ALEA safety efforts
NTSB Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman said AOPA and the Airborne Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission went above and beyond in response to agency recommendations that followed accidents. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>
A 90-minute flight in an F-15 turned into a 10-hour ordeal culminating with a ride home in a 35,000-pound road grader. Find out why the pilot took off into low visibility, wind, and snow. Read more >>
Am I all right for a night flight?
City lights illuminating the night sky, a full moon shining down on broken clouds, or even the outline of an airfield can all be memorable sights to behold when seen from the air at night. Are you prepared to take in these wondrous views, or does the thought of flying at night have you breaking out in a cold sweat? Take the Air Safety Institute’s Night Operations safety quiz >>
Happy heart news
The federal air surgeon has released some good news for pilots recovering from heart problems. The FAA Cardiac Consultant Panel recently met and recommended new guidelines that will ease the burden of returning to flight status following certain cardiac events. The new protocols have been approved by the federal air surgeon, Dr. Fred Tilton; and the Office of Aerospace Medicine in Washington and the Aerospace Medical Certification Division in Oklahoma City are incorporating the new protocols into the specifications. AOPA has reviewed a summary of the changes, and the Pilot Information Center will be updating the online reports as the association receives the details of the changes.
How well do you plan your approach?
Some pilots are intimidated by technology. Others are intimidated by ATC. Still others worry about flying an approach in heavy IMC down to minimums at an unfamiliar airport. But good preparation before the flight can help with that last one. How good are you at planning your approaches before leaving the ground? Do you cover your bases when looking at the approach chart? See how well you plan an IFR approach into Meadows Field in Bakersfield, Calif., with the IFR Chart Challenge: ILS Approach from the Air Safety Institute. Take the challenge >>
IFR Fix: Beating the 24-second clock
Here’s the plan. Fly the ILS RWY 5 approach to Lawrence (Mass.) Municipal Airport via the transition from the BEDDS compass locator. It’s a great workout: Track an NDB bearing, then the localizer, and then the VOR—all within a compact block of airspace, never higher than 2,000 feet, and most important, never below 370 feet. Somewhere inside WOBMU you will become distracted—your right-seater will see to that—and you’ll only have 24 seconds to undistract yourself, or the game is up. 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.
Leading Edge: Time for a new model?
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are transforming higher education by replacing the big lecture hall classes that many of us suffered through with free Web studies. How about a similar model for learning to fly? Read more >>
The Obama Administration’s continuing attempts to raise taxes on business aircraft, which were reiterated in a White House press briefing, are short-sighted and threaten to suppress job creation in a fragile economy, AOPA said. “AOPA is very disappointed in the Obama Administration’s endless attempts to lengthen the depreciation schedule for business aircraft,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “At a time of widespread concern over job creation in this country, we feel it is short-sighted to put further financial burdens on an industry that contributes positively to our nation’s balance of trade, and one that supports highly skilled, good-paying jobs.” Read more >>
‘Aerostats over Washington’ raises safety concerns
A Defense Department plan to test-fly two aerostats—huge helium-filled tethered craft—within Washington, D.C., airspace for security purposes raises flight-safety concerns in the already congested airspace, AOPA said. The association also questioned the cost of establishing the two aerostats, each nearly as long as a football field, in the airspace starting in September for a three-year trial period. The aerostats would be tethered to the ground from cables extending as high as 10,000 feet. Read more >>
IAOPA to hold world assembly in China in 2014
The International Council of the Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) announced Feb. 1 that its next biennial World Assembly will be hosted by AOPA China in 2014. “The selection of China as our World Assembly location highlights just how important the country has become to the growth of general aviation,” said Craig Spence, secretary general of the council and vice president of AOPA operations and international affairs. Read more >>
A common diagnosis: Atrial fibrillation
One of the more commonly seen irregular heart rhythms at the FAA is atrial fibrillation, or A-fib. This irregular heart rhythm prevents the blood in the atria from being adequately pumped out. Dr. Warren Silberman, former manager of FAA Aerospace Medical Certification, discusses what may cause this condition, how it’s often treated, and what you must do before returning to the air with a medical. Read more >>
AOPA Insurance customer uses airplane to carry rescue dogs
Steve Sweeney recently put his pilot certificate to use transporting rescue dogs for the group Wings of Rescue. “I had always thought that once you have a pilot’s license, you have an obligation to share it so we called and volunteered,” he said. Like thousands of other AOPA members, Sweeney depended on AOPA Insurance Services to protect his aircraft. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a credit analyst, major gifts officer, executive assistant, executive assistant, director of outreach and events, .NET applications developer, and member services representative. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.