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July 5, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterJuly 5, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 15, ISSUE 27 — July 5, 2013

Xtreme aerobatics
Little things add up
AOPA logs data on pilot detentions
Quiz me: Parasite drag

AOPA transitioning to new membership database

AOPA is transitioning to a new database and member management system in July. While we have devoted a great deal of staff time to learn the system and new processes, there may be bumps in the road. Read more about the transition >>


Click here for this week's custom content.


Xtreme aerobatics: Fly the beefed-up Super Decathlon

FeatureWith an additional 30 horsepower and new ailerons, you can punch deeper holes in the sky, flying straight up, and roll at 120 degrees per second instead of 90. The new, 210-hp American Champion Xtreme Decathlon—the 180-hp Super Decathlon's bigger sibling—features newly designed ailerons in addition to the Lycoming AEIO-390 engine. AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton K. Marsh flew the Xtreme Decathlon and reports on its handling characteristics. You'll notice two things when you fly this Decathlon: It continues upward farther during a vertical climb, such as when doing a hammerhead maneuver, and it is fast. Read more and watch AOPA Live® >>   

GA News

Cessna TTx enters GA fleet

Cessna TTx enters GA fleetThe Cessna TTx is a piston speedster bearing a closer resemblance to a fighter than a business flier, as AOPA Editor in Chief Thomas B. Haines noted in his flight report. Cessna announced July 1 that the first production TTx aircraft were delivered at the end of June, gleaming brand-new and spotless from the factory in Independence, Kan. The TTx can churn out 238 KTAS under ideal conditions, with a ceiling of 25,000 feet and optional anti-icing system certified for flight into known icing conditions (FIKI). Read more >>   

Cirrus expands factory for new oven

Cirrus Aircraft has expanded its Grand Forks, N.D., factory to make room for an autoclave oven large enough to create the carbon fiber spar of the new Vision SF50 jet, along with legacy models. Read more >>   

Aldrin lends star power to PayPal Galactic

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin used a June 27 PayPal Galactic press conference, webcast live, as a platform to reiterate his own vision for exploring Mars, and beyond. Four decades removed from his walk on the moon, Aldrin pitched his books and his vision for mankind's destiny exploring space, though not forgetting to mention the Internet finance giant's plan to create a "galactic" currency. "I wouldn't be surprised at all to see PayPal Galactic pay for the small things and the big ones," Aldrin said. Read more >>   

Avidyne/Aspen combo approved in Cirrus SR20, SR22

Avidyne's DFC90 autopilot can now be paired with Aspen's EFD1000 PFDs for older Cirrus SR20 and SR22 aircraft, Avidyne officials said. Read more >>   

Air Safety Institute rolls out new online flight instructor refresher course

The Air Safety Institute has launched its new electronic flight instructor refresher course (eFIRC). Building on the success of current safety products, the Air Safety Institute's eFIRC aims to be easy to use, is designed from the ground up with tablet computers in mind, has simple online processing (no trip to the flight standards district office or notary required!), and provides users the engaging content you expect from the Air Safety Institute. Read more >>   

Lam Aviation announces demonstrated performance gains

Lam Aviation announces demonstrated performance gainsSan Francisco-based Lam Aviation announced June 25 a successful test flight of its new aileron, mounted on a new (and smaller) set of wings attached to a Lancair Columbia (now produced by Cessna as the TTx and previously known as the Corvalis). The new aileron design increased performance across the board, the company reported, producing better climb rate, cruise speed, and fuel efficiency; better handling; and increased useful load. The FAA has cleared the company to continue testing. Read more >>   

Airplanes, potato chips: It just takes a taste, school says

Take a couple of shiny, new aerobatic aircraft and match them with enthusiastic, expert instructors, and you might just have a winning combination when it comes to spreading the passion for aviation and recruiting new pilots. "If you get in that airplane and go up with one of my instructors, you're going to fly again," said 5g Aviation CEO Ty Frisby. "It's like you can't just eat one potato chip." Read more >>   

Aircraft Spruce: Pick up your orders at Oshkosh

EAA AirVenture attendees can place their Aircraft Spruce orders online in advance and pick them up at the company's booth on site. Read more >>   

Eagle Air Flying Club: Come fly with us

The Eagle Air Flying Club has two membership levels for pilots wanting to fly basic and high-performance aircraft. Read more >>   

Play time: Five aviation game apps

This July Fourth weekend, take time for fun with these five aviation game apps: Flight Unlimited Las Vegas, X-Plane Airshow, Pocket Planes, Air Wings, and PicaSim: Free flight simulator. Read more >>   

First Build A Plane Glasair completes taxi test

The first of two Experimental aircraft built by high school students over two weeks in Arlington, Wash., had a successful taxi test on June 27. Read more >>   

New Bahamas customs fee catches pilots off guard

General aviation pilots landing or taking off from the Bahamas since July 1 have been surprised to learn they must pay new customs processing fees. Read more >>   

AOPA urges members to participate in FAA's GA survey

AOPA encourages members to participate in the FAA's thirty-fifth annual General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey covering calendar year 2012. The survey is the agency's main source of information on the GA fleet. Read more >>   

Ins and outs of flying club accounting

Participants can get an overview of the best accounting practices for flying clubs in a webinar Tuesday, July 16, at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Ray Speciale, a CPA and aviation attorney, will discuss flying club accounting practices and answer some of the top questions AOPA receives on the topic. Register now >>   

Reporting Points: Strange but true general aviation news

No Jet A fuel at a gas station, a flying bicycle takes off, and the helicopter rescue that wasn't. Read more >>   

Hover Power: Ground effect

Hovering in ground effect results in a condition of improved performance that comes from operating near a firm surface. A helicopter is normally considered to be in ground effect when it is hovering less than one-half of its rotor diameter from the ground. Read more >>   


Vietnam icon keeps history alive

They're an icon of the Vietnam War. Forty years later, Bell UH-1 "Huey" helicopters are keeping history alive and allowing closure for veterans. Also, follow a group of high school students as they build two Glasair Sportsman aircraft. These teens took the kit from parts to taxiing in just two weeks. Check out the new online flight instructor refresher course from the Air Safety Institute. And listen to a special Fourth of July message from AOPA President Craig Fuller. As of publication time, AOPA Live producers were finalizing this week's episode. Check back on the AOPA Live page for the latest edition that will be available July 4.   


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

Little things add up

A light tailwind, an aircraft close to certified maximum gross weight, a high-density-altitude field: Stringing together individually minor impediments can create real problems. On Aug. 14, 2011, a Cessna P210N taxied out to Runway 20 at Burley Municipal Airport in Burley, Idaho, fully loaded with a family, luggage, and fuel. The Centurion used about three-fourths of the 4,092-foot runway to become airborne; then, at an altitude estimated as 75 feet agl, it began a left turn. Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.   

IFR Fix: Taming task saturation

A LOC/DME procedure in Iowa is a good example of an instrument approach with architectural oddities that can take a pilot out of the comfort zone. Read more >>   

Chitty chitty bang bang? Not if you know your engine

As pilots, we spend a lot of time manipulating the forces of flight, but we don't focus as much on what gets us aloft in the first place: our propulsion system. In the Air Safety Institute's Engine and Propeller online course, you'll dig deep under the cowling and get a look at what's going on beyond the firewall. Knowing more precisely what your engine is doing at any given moment can give you precious minutes when it comes to troubleshooting an engine that decides to run a bit rough without your permission. Log in to take the course (Note: this course requires a Flash player) >>   

NTSB recommends changes after near-misses on go-arounds

NTSB recommends changes after near-misses on go-aroundsThe NTSB, citing five incidents where aircraft came within "hazardous proximity" while arriving or departing a major airport, recommended on July 1 that the FAA amend air traffic control procedures to ensure safe separation during go-arounds. The closest of the close calls happened at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport on July 30, 2012: A Spirit Airlines Airbus A319 executing a go-around came within 1,300 feet laterally and 100 feet vertically of a Cessna Citation 510 on short final. Read more >>   

Leading Edge: Fishing on the fishfinder

Seeing another aircraft on a traffic collision avoidance system or other traffic-in-the-cockpit device (also known as the fishfinder) does not constitute visually identifying the other aircraft, emphasizes AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg. He points to a recent incident over Michigan involving a Spirit Airlines Airbus A319 and an aircraft carrying skydivers. Read more >>   

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

July 13 and 14

Jacksonville, Fla.

Newark, N.J.

July 20 and 21

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Memphis, Tenn.

Aug. 3 and 4

Reno, Nev.

Fort Worth, Texas


Aug. 11 and 12

Atlanta, Ga.

Champaign, Ill.

Allentown, Pa.

For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

Can't make it in person? Sign up for the Air Safety Institute's new Online eFIRC.

Aug. 1

Oshkosh, Wis.



Aug. 2

Oshkosh, Wis.


Aug. 3

Oshkosh, Wis.




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


AOPA seeks more data on pilot detentions, inspections

AOPA continues to gather new reports from law-abiding pilots stopped and searched by agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection—well inside the national borders, with no clear reason for the search. AOPA has set up an online form for pilots to report their own experiences, and a handy kneeboard checklist that is now available online and will be published as a tear-out insert in the August issue of AOPA Pilot. Read more and download the checklist >>   

Member Benefits

Advice for completing MedXPress

The FAA Application for Airman Medical Certificate and Student Pilot Certificate (FAA Form 8500-8) online version is one of the most maligned federal applications. Check out these tips to make filling it out easier. Read more >>   

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a new business account manager II, renewal account manager II, aircraft analyst, director of corporate partnerships, marketing specialist, human resources assistant, software test and quality assurance analyst, and AOPA Live editor/graphic artist. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.


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: Financing an airplane

How do you pay for an airplane? 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 an edited question asked by an AOPA member who contacted our aviation services staff through the AOPA Pilot Information Center. Test your knowledge.


Question: What are three types of parasite drag?


Answer: They are form drag, interference drag, and skin friction drag. Form drag is generated by airflow around the shape of the aircraft. Interference drag occurs when two or more airstreams intersect; eddies are created, which restrict smooth airflow. For an example of interference drag, consider airflow over the wing root meeting airflow over the fuselage. Skin friction drag is caused by moving air coming into contact with the surface of an aircraft. Refer to Chapter 4 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge for more information.


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

ePilot Editor:
Benét Wilson

Sarah Brown
Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore
Jill W. Tallman
Warren Morningstar

Alton K. Marsh
Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Ian J. Twombly
Dan Namowitz

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