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The sense of being powerless in an aircraft is terrifying. Pilots are trained to control the airplane and correct dangerous situations that arise. But in this developed, low-speed ground loop demonstration, the pilot is powerless. Applying full right rudder during the uncontrolled left turn yields no results. Brakes are no help. All she can do is hang on while the forces push her toward the side of her seat and wait for the Super Decathlon to come to a stop on its own. If the Decathlon were going any faster, “the wing would tip and hit the ground, and you’d end up with an expensive repair bill,” said Ron Rapp, a mentor flight instructor at 5G Aviation in Southern California. That demo starts off the transition training for a nosewheel pilot with a healthy dose of respect for safely taxiing, taking off, and landing a tailwheel airplane—along with a hint of fear of failing to do so. Read more >>
Listen up: Garmin releases new nav/com radios
Garmin is replacing its decade-old line of nav/com radios with more powerful models that add features and comply with coming European regulations that require 8.33 kHz frequency spacing. The new GTR (a transceiver) and GNC (a nav/com) replace the popular SL40 and SL30 models—but they’re not slide-in replacements since the new models are slightly taller. Read more >>
2013 Cirrus SR22 boasts 200-pound payload gain
Cirrus Aircraft rolled out a fifth generation of the SR22 and SR22T single-engine aircraft featuring a 200-pound payload increase, more ice protection, and enhanced avionics and communications integration. Read more >>
Argus TRAQPak: Flight activity flat in 2012
Flight activity for December 2012 fell 2 percent year over year, while activity for all of 2012 versus 2011 rose only 0.3 percent, according to new data released by Argus TRAQPak. Activity in the Part 91 market increased 1.2 percent from 2011 to 2012, while fractionals were hardest hit with a 6-percent decline in activity from 2011. Read more >>
Response, lessons learned from sheriff in glider arrest
Law enforcement officers who arrested a glider pilot for flying legally in airspace over a nuclear power plant were not familiar with operations of that type of aircraft, and some made mistaken assumptions about the airspace over the plant, the sheriff told AOPA after the incident drew criticism from pilots. The sheriff defended the department’s initial response but admitted that parts of the incident had been handled poorly. AOPA continues national advocacy efforts on behalf of pilots who are concerned they could be subject to a similar ordeal. Read more >>
Remembering aviation great Fred Cabanas
A mischievous smile, boundless enthusiasm, and a “type-A-plus character” made Fred Cabanas the kind of person those who met him never forget. Cabanas died Jan. 15 in Cozumel, Mexico, when the aircraft he was flying while giving a ride to a TV personality crashed. The passenger also was killed in the accident. Cabanas performed airshows internationally in the Pitts Special S-2C; Hawker Sea Fury; North American T-28, T-6, and P-51 Mustang; Waco; and J-3 Cub. He also competed in the Reno Air Races multiple years, winning Rookie of the Year in 2005. Read more >>
Aviator kept remarkable airplane alive
Keith Hinshaw worked harder than anyone to keep the BD-5 alive through the lean years following the demise of Bede Aircraft Inc. If not for Hinshaw, who died Jan. 4, the remarkable single-seater that has wowed airshow crowds and earned a place in James Bond’s arsenal might well be no more than a museum piece today. Read more >>
Nextant Aerospace names new president
Cleveland-based aircraft remanufacturer Nextant Aerospace has hired former Hawker Beechcraft executive Sean McGeough as its new president. McGeough, who oversaw Hawker Beechcraft Corp.’s international operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific, was tapped to help Nextant grow in the global business aviation market. “I’ve been following Nextant for some time. Although I lived overseas, I was intrigued by how (founder and CEO) Ken (Ricci) got this program started and how it’s progressed in such a short time,” said McGeough. Read more >>
Flying club survival tips
The North Texas Flying Club, formed in May 1999, has structured itself to swell and shrink along with the economy as a way to ensure its survival. The club can shed aircraft without having to sell them in a down economy and can accommodate a range of members from a few dozen to 200. Read more >>
Apps of the week: Submissions from the developers
Pilots are some of the most resourceful people on the planet. If there’s a way to make the flying process easier, pilots will find it. And with the explosion of smartphone and tablet apps, there seems to be a solution for almost every task. This week AOPA takes a look at five apps sent in by their developers. These are not endorsements of any app. Read more >>
Sporty’s announces instrument training app
Sporty’s Complete Instrument Training course, available in online and DVD formats, is now a dedicated app for iOS devices. Read more >>
Netflix revolutionized the home movie business model when it offered consumers the ability to rent an unlimited number of movies a month, but only hold a certain amount at a time. Now Surf Air is hoping to do the same with private aviation. Read more >>
Avidyne earns European approval for DFC90 autopilot
Avidyne Corp. has secured European regulatory approval to install the DFC90 autopilot in 16 models of the Cessna 182 series, interfaced with the Evolution Pro Primary Flight Display by Aspen Avionics. The FAA granted an equivalent supplemental type certificate in 2012 for the DFC90, which incorporates safety features including envelope protection and automated one-touch recovery to straight and level. Avidyne hopes to secure FAA approval this year for its own servos; installations to date match the DFC90 with S-TEC servos.
Charitable IRA rollover revived by new tax law
There’s still time to make a tax-deductible donation for 2012. If you are over 70 ½, thanks to the IRA Charitable Rollover extension, you are eligible to make an IRA charitable rollover to public charities like the AOPA Foundation. If you qualify and are looking for a way to give back to general aviation, you can still make a 2012 IRA Rollover contribution during January 2013. By making a charitable donation through your IRA, you can be proud knowing that you are supporting America's freedom to fly and building a legacy for the future of general aviation. If you or your advisor would like to receive IRA gift information, please contact Stephanie Kenyon at 301/695-2088 or by email.
New Orleans airspace, airport affected by Super Bowl
Planning to fly to New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII—or even to be flying in that area the afternoon of the event? The FAA has notified pilots of airspace restrictions that will be in effect Feb. 3 over the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and a parking reservation system for aircraft at New Orleans Lakefront Airport Feb. 1 through 4. Pilots are urged to check notams frequently for possible changes to flight restrictions.
Debonair Sweeps: New N number
The sweepstakes Debonair’s N number was OK, but AOPA wanted to put a little more spark in it. Find out who picked the winning number, and the significance of N75YR. Read more >>
Hover Power: Ramjet-powered helicopters
Early helicopter engineers were looking for ways to increase power available and decrease weight. Placing the propulsion system on the tips of the rotor blades eliminated the need for a power-consuming anti-torque rotor (tail rotor) and a heavy transmission. The ramjet launched a major effort to build a successful rotor-tip-driven helicopter. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Strange but true
A 21-year-old student pilot made the landing of a lifetime after a wheel fell off his Piper Cherokee just after takeoff at Australia’s Mangalore Airport, reports the Herald Sun. Find out more in “Strange but true general aviation news.”
AOPA Live This Week: New gadgets, new airplanes
The aviation world is up in arms over the mistreatment of a glider pilot—get the latest on the reaction in this installment of AOPA Live This Week. Turn night into day with AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines as he flies the infrared Max-Viz 600 system in a Cessna 182; fly a new taildragger from Tecnam; and learn about the quest to fly across the United States without fuel. Finally, watch a tribute to the late legend Fred Cabanas. AOPA Live This Week, Jan. 17 >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
IFR Fix: ‘Deleted since last cycle’
A question that stirred up much debate among instrument pilot readers is now academic. Readers who pondered whether a “NoPT” notation on an instrument approach procedure to Kingston-Ulster Airport in New York was valid or erroneous will now find that the IAP has been “deleted since last cycle.” Does that mean that the debate over the note must end? It remains good ground school (that is, academic) fodder. And judging from the responses to the Jan. 8 poll question, many pilots gave its consideration a good effort. Read more >>
All at once
Don’t depend on rules of thumb or intuition about what ought to be safer. On Feb. 29, 2012, a tower controller at the busy Melbourne, Fla., airport asked the pilot of a Cirrus SR22 on a tight right base to Runway 9R if he saw the SR20 on a one-mile final and instructed him to “cut it in tight.” According to witness reports, the aircraft began an abrupt left turn, entered an accelerated stall, and spun into the ground, killing all three on board. The NTSB took the unusual step of citing the controller’s earlier incomplete instructions as a contributing factor in the accident. Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.
The LOC/DME BC-B approach into Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport is scenic and exhilarating. With nearby terrain rising as high as 9,500 feet msl and a final approach descent angle close to 6 degrees, you can bet this circling approach procedure will keep your ride exciting from the initial approach fix all the way to touchdown. Speaking of the transition from the initial approach fix to touchdown—can you use glideslope indications as an aid on this approach? Find out if you are you ready to fly Rogue. Take the quiz >>
Fly Well: Avoid crud
Remember old-fashioned bicycle tires? If a weak spot developed, the inner tube bulged out. Doctors’ $100 word for that is diverticulum, and troublesome colonic “tics” is diverticulosis. Read more >>
‘Keep calm, and fly the airplane!’
When private pilot Manny Kanal took off in a turbocharged Columbia 400 on the night of Aug. 31, 2008, the last thing he expected was a loss of engine power. Experience this harrowing true story from his perspective and learn how he handled the emergency, and how ATC successfully aided him through the ordeal. View the Air Safety Institute’s Real Pilot Story: Engine Failure at Night .
Leading Edge: Singling out young pilots (and old)
A column citing judgment errors in two accidents involving younger pilots prompted a question: Why draw attention to such things when the aviation business was doing everything it could to attract young people? Read more >>
New Mexico hailstorm highlights tax effect
Repairs are still under way after an October hailstorm damaged nearly every aircraft at Los Alamos Airport in New Mexico, where a state tax has driven maintenance facilities and aircraft owners out of state. The steady climb in the state’s gross receipts tax applied to aircraft parts, labor, and other services such as flight instruction has prompted businesses (and aviation jobs) to set up or expand operations in the many states that have repealed or reduced similar taxes. Read more >>
On a sectional, it can catch the eye: Greater Green River Intergalactic Spaceport is the official name of a 5,800-foot landing strip in southwest Wyoming that is ripe for alien invasion. Meanwhile, local officials are studying the feasibility of adding avgas and other services with an eye on drawing terrestrial traffic in the name of economic development. Read more >>
Proposed grant terms would exceed statute, FAA told
The FAA should withdraw a proposed revision of airport improvement grant terms that would require many airports accepting federal dollars to identify and mitigate wildlife hazards as a condition of receiving the funding, AOPA said in a regulatory filing. Read more >>
Join the Airport Support Network today
Ensuring the health and vitality of your airport is up to you—incompatible development and economic and political pressures can restrict your flying. Every day, close to 2,500 Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteers work with AOPA headquarters to help save their airports, but we need more. Below is a link to a list of the airports where an ASN volunteer could make a difference.
To nominate yourself or an associate to be a volunteer, visit AOPA Online.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit ASN Online.
VFR: Texas mayor writes to Obama
Addison, Texas, Mayor Todd Meier recently sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing his concern over the president's repeated negative remarks regarding general aviation, as well as his opposition to the administration's proposed user fee. Read more >>
Prepare a winning case for FAA medical team’s review
Get insider tips from Dr. Warren Silberman, former manager of FAA Aerospace Medical Certification, on preparing your medical packet for the FAA’s review so that you can get your case approved and medical certificate in hand sooner, and with less hassle. Read more >>
Mobile apps offer preflight, in-flight info
AOPA's suite of digital flight planning products puts robust flight planning capability, airport directory information, and aviation weather in pilots' hands. AOPA FlyQ Pocket delivers aviation weather, essential airport information, flight planning with smart auto-routing capabilities, and more to iPhone and Android smartphones for free as part of AOPA membership. Flight plans from the smartphone app can be synced with AOPA FlyQ EFB, a powerful flight planning and electronic flight bag application for iPads offered to members at a discount through the AOPA website. Members with Windows Mobile or BlackBerry devices can access airport information with AOPA Airports apps powered by WingX.
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an Eastern regional manager, annual fund specialist, major gifts officer, executive assistant-AOPA Holdings, 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.