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Jan. 11, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterJan. 11, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 15, ISSUE 2 — January 11, 2013

Secret 'no-fly zone'?
Life in the airways
FCC addresses 121.5 MHz ELTs
Quiz Me: Radar service terminated


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Click here for this week's custom content.


Secret no-fly zone? Pilot arrested, fights back

Feature A swarm of law enforcement vehicles awaited Robin Fleming as he landed his sailplane at South Carolina's Hartsville Regional Airport on July 26, 2012. A witness described squad cars chasing the nonpowered aircraft down the runway, lights flashing, and recalled that one officer stated, “We were going to shoot him down.” Why? Fleming had flown over the H.B. Robinson Nuclear Generating Station at an altitude of 1,518 feet msl—by his estimates, some 1,000 feet over the power plant's dome—on his way to search for lift at nearby Lake Robinson. No airspace restrictions were printed on sectional charts; no notam marked the area off-limits. Yet Fleming spent the night awake in a cell with 11 other inmates, and was charged with breach of peace. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>

GA News

New infared system turns night into day

With the NTSB keeping general aviation on its Top 10 list for 2013, the industry is looking for any opportunity to improve GA safety. Cessna Aircraft’s Jan. 7 announcement that the Astronics Max-Viz enhanced vision systems are now available on the 172, 182, and 206 models gives pilots one more tool to improve safety. Read more >>

Blair resigns from NAFI

Jason Blair, executive director of the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI), resigned his position effective Jan. 7, citing financial challenges being faced by the organization. Read more >>

Airport name honors former Tuskegee Airman

California’s Oceanside City Council has renamed Oceanside Municipal Airport to honor former Tuskegee Airman Bob Maxwell for his efforts to save the facility from closure in 2006. The facility will now be known as Bob Maxwell Field. Read more >>

Seeking simplicity

Smartplane avionics software concept A California software engineer and pilot hopes to broaden the appeal of general aviation by making avionics “smarter,” simpler, and easier to understand and use. Stéphane Fymat has started a company called Smartplane Inc. to develop a software solution to information overload in the cockpit. The goal is to make the cockpit displays sensitive to context. “All the information the pilot needs, and only the information the pilot needs, should be fused and assembled,” Fymat said. The system he is building also would automate—and simplify—common navigational tasks. Read more >>

NASA funds ‘green’ aviation technology partnerships

NASA has selected eight promising green aviation technology projects to test in real-world conditions, with the goal of making future aviation more efficient and quieter, and reducing environmental impact. Selected projects include reduced-noise flaps and gear, high-efficiency engines and components, and new composite materials that increase strength while reducing weight. Read more >>

BlogsApp of the week: Charts and maps

This week AOPA takes a look at five charts and maps apps recommended by AOPA members, including SkyChartsPro, AeroFlare, Aeronautical Charts, ZephyrCharts, and Anywhere Map. Read more >>

Lexington Flying Club targets low-cost flying, education

Lexington Flying Club The Lexington Flying Club, formed at Kentucky’s Blue Grass Airport in 1953, strives to offer its members low-cost flying, safety training, and continuing pilot education, according to President Mike Proctor. The club, which operates as a nonprofit, currently has 116 members; 90 are active dues payers and 26 are inactive. The fleet comprises one Cessna 152, two Cessna 172s, a Piper Archer, and a Diamond DA40, plus another Cessna 172 on leaseback, Proctor said. The club has two levels of membership: Cessna-only or all airplanes, he added. Read more >>

Fly like a fighter: IFR in the cockpit

In the blink of an eye, everything in the cockpit of the T-38 fogged up. Accelerating through 80 knots, an instructor and his student were faced with a dilemma: conduct a high-speed abort into the grass, or continue the takeoff, flying blind? Read more >>

Cessna Grand Caravan EX lands type certificate

The latest edition of Cessna’s Grand Caravan, the EX, for “Extra,” has been awarded an FAA type certificate and has outperformed the company’s expectations. Cessna announced Jan. 10 that the Grand Caravan EX, powered by the new Pratt & Whitney PT6A-140, tops the Grand Caravan’s rate of climb by 38 percent, almost twice the 20-percent increase initially expected. Read more >>

BlogsDebonair Sweeps: Enter the iPad

iPad mania has made its mark on general aviation—and now on the Debonair Sweepstakes. Avionics installer Santa Fe Aero Services has made a special panel insert for an iPad mini. Read more >>

BlogsReporting Points: EAA confirms Jetman negotiations

EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski has confirmed that negotiations are in progress to have Yves Rossy, the Swiss pilot who flies with a wing on his back, perform during EAA AirVenture 2013. Read more >>

First down: FAA notes airspace, airport rules for Super Bowl

The FAA has issued advisories to inform pilots of required aircraft reservations at Lakefront Airport in New Orleans and temporary flight restrictions that will be in effect in connection with Super Bowl XLVII, which will be played Feb. 3. Read more >>

BlogsReporting Points: Strange but true

A pilot flying over his Florida home caught a thief in the act and contacted authorities while he followed the truck, according to news reports. Find out about this incident and more in “Strange but true general aviation news.”


AOPA Live This Week: Pilot arrested for flying

ALTW Local police threaten to shoot down a glider pilot, force him to land, and lock him up: Could it happen to you? The United States just avoided driving off the fiscal cliff, but could something bad still happen to general aviation? And find out which light sport aircraft comes straight from the heart. All this and more on AOPA Live This Week, Jan. 10 >>


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

FAA upgrades safety website

The FAA has added new features to for 2013, including a feature that allows new users to register automatically when attending a safety seminar in person. On request, the system will create a new user account and email the login information. The changes, detailed here, also include enhanced search options to find upcoming seminars and events by zip code, upgrades to make navigating the site easier, and upgrades that fix some browser problems for users of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

Did you resolve to add a rating or endorsement in 2013? It's not too late to set your sights on a new kind of flying. Whether you want to start flying taildraggers or complex aircraft, AOPA has a resource that can help you sort out the requirements. Check out the subject report on ratings and endorsements for more information.

‘The way of the future’

Many pilots’ knowledge of GPS usage is limited to the “Direct To” button, leaving so much untapped potential. Are you getting the most out of your GPS in VFR conditions? See what you have been missing by taking the Air Safety Institute’s GPS for VFR Operations online course.

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.

Home by another way: Life in the airways

Ask ATC: IFR Routes No matter how well they plan their IFR flight, experienced pilots understand the route they filed may not be the route they fly. And they are ready to deal with whatever is thrown their way. Listen to this episode of the Air Safety Institute’s Ask ATC as a tower controller discusses the awareness pilots need to have when filing and flying an IFR route. Don’t get too attached to a particular route of flight. Watch Ask ATC >>

BlogsLeading Edge: Cars and airplanes of the future

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is the launching place of new gadgets. Could some of the safety improvements being contemplated for cars be put into aircraft? Read more >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

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.


Feb. 9 and 10

Melbourne, Fla.

Louisville, Ky.

Nashua, N.H.


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.


FCC takes measured approach to 121.5 MHz ELTs

FCC takes measured approach to 121.5 MHz ELTs The FCC has opted to ask questions and gather more comments before taking further action on 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs). AOPA has joined others in the aviation community making a case against outlawing the 121.5 MHz ELT and mandating an upgrade to 406 MHz devices, noting both the high cost of upgrades and the growing availability—and use—of alternatives including personal GPS beacons and other technologies that offer similar benefits at significantly lower cost. Read more >>

Atlanta's Class B airspace changes take effect March 7

A new configuration of the Class B airspace in Atlanta, Ga., that takes effect March 7 will mitigate many of the concerns expressed by general aviation pilots during the airspace redesign process, AOPA said. Read more >>

BlogsVFR: Tennessee’s new Cleveland Regional Airport opening

After 40 years of searching for a resolution to Bradley County’s badly constrained Hardwick Field, a new airport will hold its grand opening Jan. 25. Read more >>

Member Benefits

Support AOPA Foundation, get membership for life

Have you ever considered AOPA’s Life Membership? Through a one-time donation to the AOPA Foundation of $2,500, you can get a lifetime membership in AOPA, a $2,000 tax deduction, a framed certificate, a lapel pin, and a special membership card. 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: Logbook corrections

What is the best way to make logbook corrections? 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: What does it mean when ATC says “radar service terminated”?


Answer: It means you are no longer receiving radar service and traffic separation from air traffic control. The majority of the time this expression is used by the controller after you have canceled your IFR flight plan or VFR flight following. This phrase also is used when you are in between the current controller’s radar and another controller’s radar. Typically you will remain in radar contact with a new controller despite the previous controller’s statement of “radar service terminated.” When the new controller says “radar contact” you are officially receiving radar service. See Aeronautical Information Manual sections 5-3-2 and 5-5-3 for details.


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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