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Jan. 4, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterJan. 4, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 15, ISSUE 1 — January 4, 2013

Looking ahead to 2013
Outsmart your chart
Fuller’s take on Day One in Washington
Quiz Me: Braking action report


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Click here for this week's custom content.


Looking ahead to 2013

Feature This will be a pivotal year for AOPA. AOPA President Craig Fuller and key executives outlined the association's priorities for the year, from addressing user fee proposals in the face of the looming debt crisis to fostering the growth of flying clubs. "For 2013, AOPA has developed priorities that help us advance our freedom to fly: protecting the freedom to fly through our unflagging commitment to advocacy; sharing the freedom to fly by providing information and extending knowledge through our print and electronic media outlets; and building on the freedom to fly by inspiring and engaging the next generation of pilots, while helping today's pilots find cost effective ways to spend more time flying," said Fuller. Read more and watch AOPA Live® >>

GA News

Analysts offer predictions for the new year

Where is the general aviation industry headed in 2013? The industry saw its highs and lows in 2012, including a slow recovery for aircraft sales and new products. Industry analysts weighed in on the economy, the pipeline of professional pilots, and more. Read more >>

Garmin’s GDL 88 approved for Part 23 aircraft

Garmin has received FAA approval to install its GDL 88 series Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast equipment on most FAA Part 23 aircraft. The GDL 88 provides subscription-free weather and traffic and carries a retail price of $3,995. Read more >>

Huerta confirmation welcomed

After months of inaction on the appointment of Michael P. Huerta as FAA administrator, the Senate confirmed the president’s choice in the closing hours of the 112th Congress. Read more >>

Swept-wing theory leads to new King Air prop design

Swept-wing theory leads to new King Air prop design Taking a lesson from swept-wing military airplanes, business aircraft modification company Raisbeck Engineering and Hartzell Propeller have partnered to create a new Beech King Air 200 series propeller that dramatically boosts takeoff and climb performance over stock props. The new Raisbeck/Hartzell Swept Turbofan propeller claims a 1,000-foot reduction in takeoff performance over a 50-foot obstacle compared to stock King Air B200 props. Raisbeck officials say the technology behind the new propellers evolved from aerodynamic swept-wing theory, which allows for measurably lower drag on aircraft wings flying at high subsonic Mach when swept aft. Read more >>

WSI predicts colder-than-normal weather

Weather Services International (WSI) is forecasting that the December-February period will be colder than normal across much of the northern half of the United States, especially the northern Rockies and northern Plains, according to its latest longer-term report. Read more >>

Tax rules that stimulate aircraft purchases extended

Legislation that pulled the nation back, at least for a few weeks, from the brink of the “fiscal cliff” includes some welcome news for aircraft makers and owners: an extension of “bonus depreciation,” along with increased limits on deductible expenses for business-related capital purchases such as aircraft purchases and overhauls. Read more >>

Concord Flying Club: Safe, affordable flying since 1939

When California-based Concord Flying Club was grounded after the attack on Pearl Harbor, members moved the aircraft to another airport where they could continue flying. Decades later, the thriving club has 35 flying members and three aircraft. Read more >>

Get 10 tips to improve your flying club

Pilots can learn tips and tactics to help their flying club reach its full potential in a webinar Jan. 9, the latest in a series hosted by AOPA’s Center to Advance the Pilot Community. Adam Smith, senior vice president of the center, will join other flying club experts to offer the “Top 10 Tips to Improve your Flying Club” at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Register now >>

‘Dracula’ prepares for Franklin’s Flying Circus debut

'Dracula' prepares for Franklin's Flying Circus debut After nine years of work, Kyle Franklin of Franklin’s Flying Circus is unveiling a new aircraft in the fleet, a Demon-1 Biplane named Dracula, just in time for the 2013 airshow season. Franklin finished building Dracula and started the engine on Nov. 16. Franklin and his father started working on Dracula in 2004. “It has a new lightweight propeller by MT that is 80 pounds lighter than the old prop,” Franklin said. “We have the very first direct port, fuel injected 985 Pratt & Whitney engine. We can do more gyroscopic and tumbling maneuvers, plus we still have the smoke, the noise and the look of yesteryear.” Read more >>

AD proposed for Cessna (former Columbia, Lancair) models

The FAA has proposed an airworthiness directive that would require insertion of supplements to the pilot’s operating handbook and maintenance manual for some Cessna Aircraft models originally developed and sold by Columbia and Lancair. The proposed AD pertains to LC40-550FG, LC41-550FG, and LC42-550FG models, following reports that brakes can lock under maximum pressure and cause a severe oscillation known as “wheel walk” that can lead to significant damage. Comments are due by Feb. 4 on the proposed AD, which would require insertions detailing proper braking technique and inspection of the aft fuselage.

BlogsPilots submit favorite apps

Now that this apps-of-the-week column is gaining momentum, AOPA is receiving some good recommendations from its members. This week AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson highlights apps that can be used for flight planning, navigation, and glideslope indications. She’s explored some well-known apps in previous weeks, but these are lesser known products that members say are their favorites. AOPA hasn’t flight tested these but thought you might like to explore some apps used by your fellow pilots. Read more >>

BlogsReporting Points: Strange but true

The Royal Canadian Air Force’s 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron extracted a snowboarder who was stranded in a steep ravine in British Columbia recently. It’s just one of two helicopter rescues recounted in the latest “Strange but true general aviation news.”

BlogsHover Power: CFIT

Pilots can learn a lot from reviewing accident reports. We study the mistakes that led up to a particular accident so as not to repeat them. Yet, several types of preventable accidents occur over and over, including controlled flight into terrain. According to the NTSB, October 2012 was a bad month, with three fatal helicopter CFIT accidents in poor weather. Review the details >>


Best of 2012: Fly the Wright glider, loops with Tucker

The new year has arrived, but it’s not too late to catch up on the best AOPA Live videos of 2012. In AOPA Live This Week, the Directors’ Cut, we take flight in a re-creation of the 1902 Wright glider, dance with Sean D. Tucker as he gives us an aerobatics lesson, and kick back on a lazy river run in an open-cockpit AirCam from Florida to Minneapolis by way of the Mississippi River. Regular episodes of AOPA Live This Week return Jan. 10.


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

No upside to in-flight icing

Read the Air Safety Institute's Aircraft Icing Safety Advisor In-flight icing adds weight to the aircraft, reduces smooth airflow over the wing’s surface, and destroys lift. It increases the power required to fly, and increases your stall speed. In short, there is no upside to in-flight icing. According to the Air Safety Institute’s Aircraft Icing Safety Advisor, “Wind tunnel and flight tests have shown that frost, snow, and ice accumulations (on the leading edge or upper surface of the wing) no thicker or rougher than a piece of coarse sandpaper can reduce lift by 30 percent and increase drag up to 40 percent.” Learn more >>

A little out of the way

The stricter operating rules for Part 135 operations offer little safety benefit when they aren’t followed. On March 30, 2011, an airline transport pilot picked up a client for a flight to the Pike County Airport near Pikeville, Ky. The pilot requested the GPS approach to Runway 9, which has a minimum descent altitude of 1,960 feet msl (506 feet agl). The AWOS showed ceilings of 200 to 300 feet, but an airport employee reported that actual conditions were worse. Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.

IFR Fix: ‘Just an insurance policy’

As New Year’s resolutions go, this one is a lark: Fly two friends to a class reunion in Woodstock, N.Y., in the high-performance single that your FBO has just placed in service. Read more >>

Answers for Pilots: Vision

Answers for Pilots: Vision Like most aspects of our health, we take our vision for granted until something affects it. Pilots’ eyes, unfortunately, are not immune to the effects of aging. Even something as simple as getting new contact lenses could have an impact on airman medical certification if the lenses are tinted, bifocal, or multifocal. Chances are, you also might be dealing with cataracts, glaucoma, or color vision deficiency now or in the future. Find out how these conditions can affect your airman medical certificate. Read more >>

Outsmart your chart

Charts can be complicated to interpret, difficult to read, and sometimes just outright confusing. But the Air Safety Institute’s “Chart Challenge—Live” safety seminar is coming to the rescue. Based on the Air Safety Institute’s popular Chart Challenge online course series, it’s a refresher clinic where you get to put your knowledge to the test. Everything from VFR sectional charts to instrument approach plates is on the table for examination and discussion. It debuts January 2013. Find dates and locations near you.

BlogsLeading Edge: Too complex or slow down?

A bizjet pilot who felt a bit overwhelmed by the complexity of reprogramming arrival or departure procedures filed an Aviation Safety Reporting System report with NASA: “I fly Garmin, Honeywell, and Collins products and the problem is the same for all of them,” the pilot wrote. Read more >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Jan. 5 and 6

San Jose, Calif.

Ypsilanti, Mich.

Portland, Ore.

San Antonio, Texas

Jan. 12 and 13

Long Beach, Calif.

Jackson, Miss.

Charlotte, N.C.


Jan. 19 and 20

Baltimore, Md.

Bellevue, Wash.

Jan. 26 and 27

Knoxville, Tenn.



For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

Jan. 14

Mesa, Ariz.

Reno, Nev.



Jan. 15

Tucson, Ariz.

Sacramento, Calif.


Jan. 16

Milpitas, Calif.

El Paso, Texas

Jan. 17

Santa Rosa, Calif.

Albuquerque, N.M.


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


BlogsAOPA Now: My take on day one in Washington

A Jan. 1 deal on the “fiscal cliff” should prevent the imposition of dramatic budget reductions for the time being, writes AOPA President Craig Fuller. But another large debate is coming in the next few months, and budget reductions will be demanded—some of which could have serious impact at airports and in control towers. Read more >>

FAA puts city’s request to close airport on hold

The FAA has blocked an attempt by a Missouri city to shut down its regional airport, marking a victory in a five-year battle between the city and pilots backed by AOPA. Read more >>

AOPA urges stronger appeals protections

Applying the same rules used in federal court to evidence in administrative appeals of pilot certificate actions was supposed to be among the new protections afforded by the Pilot’s Bill of Rights, but the government’s interpretation of the legislation could nullify meaningful change. Read more >>

Member Benefits

The ABCs of EKGs: Know what your results mean to the FAA

If you require an electrocardiogram for your aviation medical certificate, it is the aviation medical examiner’s responsibility to interpret the EKG and if it is abnormal to have you undergo certain testing and evaluations. Dr. Warren Silberman, former manager of FAA Aerospace Medical Certification, gives ammunition to use on an AME in case the doctor doesn’t do the job properly. Read more >>

Aftermath of Sandy’s wrath

Many AOPA members are still reeling from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Airports and aircraft throughout the superstorm’s path sustained damage, and all the aviation insurers have worked hard to handle the hundreds of reported claims as quickly as possible. Some did so in the midst of experiencing damage to their offices and computer systems. Read more >>

Get ‘AOPA Pilot’ on your iPad, mobile phone

Millions received new iPads, iPad minis, Android tablets, and smartphones over the holidays. Pilots quickly discovered the value of such devices in the cockpit, but the best part about these convenient tablets is their versatility. For pilots, the usefulness continues outside the cockpit, especially for viewing aviation e-books and magazines. AOPA Pilot and Flight Training are among the aviation magazines viewable through an iPad app. Read more >>



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: iPad size

As a pilot, which do you prefer: the iPad or the iPad mini?





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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.


My MembershipMy Membership


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 heard the term “braking action.” What does this mean?


Answer: Air traffic control will issue braking action reports whenever runway conditions are reported as poor or nil, or where rapidly deteriorating runway conditions are present. Braking action reports are normally given by pilots or airport management, so consideration needs to be given to the type of aircraft giving the report. Find more information about this type of report in the Aeronautical Information Manual .


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].

AOPA ePilot Team

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