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July 12, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterJuly 12, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

AOPA ePilot


VOLUME 15, ISSUE 28 — July 12, 2013


Cell phone call solves lost-com emergencyFeature

When Raymond Cody's electrical system quit during retraction of the landing gear, he couldn't tell whether the gear was up and locked, down, or somewhere in between. All he knew was that the sound the gear was making wasn't right, and seemed to stop too soon. As he was pondering that, the avionics quit. Navigating with an app on his iPad while holding onto the yoke with one hand and flipping pages of a flight guide with the other, Cody searched for a phone number—any number—at the Grand Junction airport. He found one, but turbulence over the mountainous terrain was so bad that he couldn't make out exactly what number he was calling on his cell phone. Transportation Security Administration employee Gene Manzanares answered and assumed his new role of air traffic control intermediary. Read more >>   

GA News

Solar Impulse lands early at JFK after wing tear

Solar Impulse lands early at JFK after wing tear An eight-foot-long tear in the fabric of the lower side of the left wing did not keep Solar Impulse from touching down at its destination July 6, completing a transcontinental journey on solar power alone. The leg from Washington Dulles International Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport took 18 hours and 23 minutes. Pilot and Solar Impulse co-founder and CEO André Borschberg skipped the scheduled portion of the flight that would have taken the all-electric HB-SIA prototype over the Verrazano Bridge toward the Statue of Liberty and landed early, though Solar Impulse engineers determined he was not in danger. Read more >>   

Sporty's sweepstakes winner claims LSA prize

Christopher Boyle recently traveled to Batavia, Ohio, to claim the prize of a Legend Cub as the winner of Sporty's 2013 Aircraft Sweepstakes. Read more >>   

YNG Warriors to Wings Flying Club works to take off

Bob Williams, founder of Ohio's YNG Warriors to Wings Flying Club, wants the club to offer free to low-cost flight training for veterans. Read more >>   

Propeller care: Preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance begins with regular, careful inspections of the propeller. Even small areas of damage, such as nicks and rock dings, can represent stress points that can lead to cracks or corrosion. It pays to be vigilant and attend to small areas of damage before they become big ones. Read more >>   

Competitor to Icon emerges

Competitor to Icon emergesAn amphibious light sport aircraft in the works for many years is moving into the production engineering stage. Independent Aircraft owner John Brown says his all-composite SeaDragon Gen2 has a training, distribution, and service network when deliveries begin. The aircraft is not unlike the Icon A5 aircraft, whose developers are seeking a weight exemption from the FAA. Its early designs were cited by Jane's All the World's Aircraft as being the first composite amphib designed for the LSA category. Read more >>   

Yankee Air Museum fights to save Willow Run Bomber Plant

The Yankee Air Museum is in the final stage of a fundraising campaign it hopes will allow it to make part of the historic Willow Run Bomber Plant its new home. Read more >>   

Five flight training apps

This week, AOPA highlights five flight training apps: Flight Reference, PRO Pilot Maneuvers, Instrument Pilot Checkride, Ground School for Aviation, and Holding Pattern Trainer. Read more >>   

AOPA heading to Oshkosh

Visit the AOPA Tent during EAA AirVenture July 29 through Aug. 4. The tent will be located in booth 193 through 195 outside of Hangar C. Read more >>   

Aviation groups oppose new Bahamas customs fee

AOPA and other aviation groups are urging Bahamas officials to eliminate a new customs fee for inbound aircraft that went into place recently without advance notice. The $50 inbound fee is in addition to an existing $25-per-person tax for all general aviation, noncommercial outbound flights. AOPA has confirmed, however, that there is no new outbound fee, as earlier reports had indicated.

Sweepstakes Logbook: Paint sneak peek

The first coat of the Sweepstakes Debonair's Matterhorn White paint has begun. Take a look >>   


Flying Club Accounting, July 16, 8 p.m. Eastern

Government Searches of GA Aircraft, July 23, 8 p.m. Eastern (PPS participants only)


Customs responds on aircraft searches

AOPA got an answer from Customs and Border Protection regarding searches of general aviation aircraft—and it's not the one you want. The accident involving an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 in San Francisco puts a spotlight on potential safety issues in the landing phase of flight; AOPA Live discusses the importance of a stabilized descent. And fly into Big Bear, Calif., with brothers George and John Kounis of Pilot Getaways magazine. AOPA Live This Week, July 11.   


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

Air Safety Institute materials used for Afghanistan ground school

Army pilots in Afghanistan are keeping their skills sharp through a ground school that uses materials sent by the AOPA Foundation's Air Safety Institute. Read more >>   

Fly like a fighter: Loop recovery

After entering a loop on his second Air Force solo flight, a student waits, and waits, for the horizon to come around. Instead the jet trainer's airspeed drops to nil in a vertical climb. The recovery is a lesson all pilots can apply to their everyday flying. Read more >>   

Do you know where you are? Are you sure?

Do you know where you are? Are you sure? Knowing where you are on the airport seems like a simple task, but its importance cannot be overstated. Confusing airport layouts, poorly lit (or completely unlit) runways or taxiways, and in-cockpit distractions are all factors pilots must be aware of, or disregard at their own peril. In this animated video from the Air Safety Institute, watch as a lack of situational awareness ends with a fatal outcome. Watch the video here >>   

Aircraft: Better with age?

The reality of our world is that virtually no aircraft improves with the passage of time. Harsh climates, repeated use, and much more all take their toll on our aircraft and their longevity. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't fly an older aircraft—you just have to look for the warning signs. Learn more by taking the Air Safety Institute's Aging Aircraft online course. Log in to take the course now.   

IFR Fix: Between SATAN and SCUPP

Without a preferred routing available to study, uncertainty requires that you stand ready to examine the clearance you receive, look it over, and make a prompt decision whether to accept it or decline. Read more >>   

Improve your safety by learning from others

Gain valuable knowledge about flying safely by learning from the mistakes of others. The Air Safety Institute's Accident Database generates a list of accidents that have been added to the database in the past 30 days that may be relevant to you.

Leading Edge: An expensive reminder of the basics

The Asiana Boeing 777 accident at San Francisco has pundits, bloggers, and all manner of experts/pseudo experts speculating on what might have happened. AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg lays out some basic principles of aviation safety that may be salient to this accident. 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.


House committee supports small aircraft revitalization bill

A bill setting an end-of-2015 deadline for the FAA to revamp small-airplane certification rules has won a House committee's support. Read more >>   

FAA releases final ATP certification rule

The FAA has issued the final rule that increases the qualification requirements for first officers. AOPA is concerned that the rule will have a negative effect on Part 61 flight training providers and new student pilot starts. Read more >>   

AOPA Now: House GA Caucus sets new record

The House General Aviation Caucus recently set a new record, with 197 members. "At a time when general aviation seems to be under constant attack from those who don't understand us or just don't care, I'm excited to tell you that there's a growing group of decision makers who are taking action to both understand and protect GA," writes AOPA President Craig Fuller. Read more >>   

New training standards would add safety, relevance

New standards proposed for private pilot and instrument-rating certification would improve training and place all skill and knowledge requirements in one "easily identifiable document" for each, AOPA said in a regulatory filing. Read more >>   

Aviation gains hard-fought tax victory in Pennsylvania

Years of determined advocacy for general aviation have been rewarded in Pennsylvania, where a bill to exempt the sale at retail or use of aircraft parts, services to aircraft, and aircraft components from a 6-percent sales tax has been signed into law. Read more >>   

FAA phasing out direct sales of paper charts

The FAA, in a cost-reduction effort, has discontinued direct-to-the-public subscription sales of paper aeronautical charts and related products. Nonsubscription sales to individuals will end Oct. 1. Current subscriptions will be filled until their expiration dates. Read more >>   

Member Benefits

Five good reasons to say yes to a business aircraft

Small businesses and entrepreneurs can use general aviation aircraft to gain a competitive advantage. AOPA Aviation Finance Co. tells members how. Read more >>   

Documents pilots need to provide for conditions AMEs can issue

Dr. Warren S. Silberman offers pointers on what you need to get your treating physician to provide to you prior to visiting your aviation medical examiner if you have glaucoma, chronic hepatitis C, hypothyroidism, or hypertension. Read more >>   

AOPA Strategic Partner spotlight: Aircraft Spruce & Specialty

AOPA Strategic Partner SpotlightAircraft Spruce is supporting AOPA members by offering periodic special offers and discounts on aircraft parts and pilots supplies, and through sponsorship of AOPA Aviation Summit and the Aircraft Maintenance column on The company also provides financial support that helps AOPA promote, protect, and defend general aviation. Join Aircraft Spruce at EAA AirVenture at booths 1022 through 1029, 4113, 4114, and 476. Visit Aircraft Spruce's website to learn more.   

Two new offers for members

AOPA members can receive $10 off a $50 purchase at and free pilot training software from through two new offers added to the Lifestyles Member Discount program. Log in to take advantage of these offers >>   

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a marketing specialist, member services representative, 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.   

training tips

The why of wingletsTraining Tip

A light sport aircraft taxies by as you are tying down your trainer after the day's flight lesson.


"Notice anything unusual about that airplane?" asks your instructor.


Given the question, you know the answer has to be "yes," so you give the aircraft an extra careful inspection as it rolls past.


"Winglets," the CFI says, pointing to small vertical airfoils at the tips of the airplane's wings.


Why winglets?


Frequently a design element of large jet and turboprop aircraft, winglets—designed to address aerodynamic inefficiencies of the airflow around wingtips—have begun to appear as original equipment or as aftermarket installations on smaller aircraft. The basic idea is that winglets can counteract a loss of lift resulting from the phenomenon of wingtip vortices.


"The high-pressure area on the bottom of an airfoil pushes around the tip to the low-pressure area on the top," explains the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. "This action creates a rotating flow called a tip vortex. The vortex flows behind the airfoil creating a downwash that extends back to the trailing edge of the airfoil. This downwash results in an overall reduction in lift for the affected portion of the airfoil. Manufacturers have developed different methods to counteract this action. Winglets can be added to the tip of an airfoil to reduce this flow. The winglets act as a dam preventing the vortex from forming. Winglets can be on the top or bottom of the airfoil."


Designs have advantages and drawbacks, so designers are further subdividing winglets as either passive or active devices.


"Passive winglets such as those found on airliners and business jets today impart a bending moment to the wing, due to the extra lift they provide at the very tip," explained this October 2012 AOPA Online article. "Either the wing connection to the fuselage must be strengthened, or the winglets must be small enough to avoid extra strain." By contrast, active winglets tested by AOPA are designed to "turn off" the extra lift when wing loads are high.


More benefits were suggested when recent testing of winglets on a Piper Aerostar twin-engine aircraft demonstrated better handling during stalls, and increased safety margins in slow-speed flight.


Winglets are even finding their way into future propeller design for the light sport and experimental aircraft market, striving for the dual benefits of increased efficiency and reduced noise.

training products

New e-book on becoming a pilot released has released a new free e-book, How To Be A Pilot, that walks those interested through the process of getting their pilot certificate, step-by-step. Written by an experienced flight instructor, this book is full of insider tips and techniques to set candidates up for success.

Microsoft releases second edition of flight sim book

Author Bruce Williams has released the second edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator as a Training Aid, a guide for anyone who wants to maximize his or her real or virtual cockpit experience while learning more efficiently with less stress, and having more money left in the bank at checkride time. The book and accompanying CD provide general suggestions, specific advice, and practical tools for making effective use of Microsoft Flight Simulator as an aid to becoming a pilot. The cost is $29.95.


Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.

final exam

Question: What regulation dictates the passenger briefing on airline flights?


Answer: Airlines that run scheduled passenger service operate under Part 121 of the federal aviation regulations. The regulation that specifically outlines what needs to be in this pre-takeoff passenger briefing done by flight attendants is in FAR 121.571. It requires the airline crew to brief passengers on smoking, emergency exit locations, location and use of floatation devices, seat back positions for takeoff and landing, location of survival equipment, and use of oxygen. This explains why airlines have different briefings, but they must contain these same highlighted topics in the briefing.


Got a question for our technical services staff? Email [email protected] or call the Pilot Information Center, 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.


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: Class D Airspace

Question about flying in Class D airspace. 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.

Northeast aviation events

Jul 13 — Stow, Massachusetts. Minute Man Airfield (6B6). Young Eagles Rally.

Jul 14 — East Windsor, Connecticut. Skylark Airpark (7B6). French Toast Breakfast.

Jul 14 — Cortland, New York. Cortland County - Chase Field (N03). Cortland AirFest 2013.


For descriptions of the events in this region, see the online calendar of events.

Eastern aviation events

Jul 13 — Cincinnati, Ohio. Clermont County/Sporty's (I69). Sporty's Saturday Hot Dog Fly-In.

Jul 13 — Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania. New Garden (N57). EAA 240 Pancake Breakfast Fly-in and Young Eagles.

Jul 20 — Port Clinton, Ohio. Erie-Ottawa Regional Airport (PCW). Ice Cream Fly-In Social.

Jul 20 — Cincinnati, Ohio. Clermont County/Sporty's (I69). Sporty's Saturday Hot Dog Fly-In.

Jul 21 — Indiana, Pennsylvania. Jimmy Stewart Airport (KIDI). Jimmy's Canteen.


For descriptions of the events in this region, see the online calendar of events.

Midatlantic aviation events

Jul 13 — Westminster, Maryland. Carroll County (KDMW). First Mid-Atlantic Gathering of RVs.

Jul 14 — Greensboro, North Carolina. Air Harbor Airport (W88). Piedmont Aero Club Summer Membership Drive and BBQ.

Jul 21 — Woodruff, South Carolina. Triple Tree (SC00). South Carolina Breakfast Club.


For descriptions of the events in this region, see the online calendar of events.

Florida aviation events

Jul 13 — Tallahassee, Florida. Tallahassee Regional Airport (KTLH). WINGS Seminar - Safe Navigation of Military Airspace.

Jul 16 — Orlando, Florida. Orlando Sanford Airport (KSFB). IMC Club Meeting.

Jul 20 — New Smyrna Beach, Florida. New Smyrna Beach Municipal (KEVB). Timeless Wings & Wheels Fly-in Breakfast.


For descriptions of the events in this region, see the online calendar of events.

Southeast aviation events

Jul 13 — Bowling Green, Kentucky. Bowling Green/ Warren County Airport (KBWG). Family Aviation Day.


For descriptions of the events in this region, see the online calendar of events.

Great Lakes aviation events

Jul 13 — Friendship, Wisconsin. Adams County Legion Field (63C). Young Eagles Rally.

Jul 13 — Mason, Michigan. Mason Jewett Airport (KTEW). Young Eagles.

Jul 13 — Richmond, Indiana. Richmond Municipal Airport (KRID). Second Saturday Pancake Breakfast.

Jul 13 — Sheridan, Indiana. Sheridan Airport (5I4). Wheels & Wings Fly-In Cruise-In.

Jul 13 — Fort Wayne, Indiana. Smith Field Airport (SMD). EAA Chapter 2 Pancake Breakfast.

Jul 13 — Marshall, Michigan. Brooks Field Airport (KRMY). Airport Movie Night.

Jul 14 — Ray, Michigan. Ray Community Airport (57D). Young Eagles at Ray Airport.

Jul 14 — Middleton, Wisconsin. Middleton Municipal Airport/Morey Field (C29). EAA Chapter 1389 Fly-In Breakfast.

Jul 16 — Madison, Wisconsin. Dane County Truax Field (KMSN). Meeting of IMC Club Madison WI Chapter.

Jul 20 — Washington Island, Wisconsin. Washington Island Airport (2P2). 60th Annual Fly-In White Fish Boil.

Jul 20 — Indianapolis, Indiana. Indianapolis International Airport (IND). Flight1 Community Day Celebration.


For descriptions of the events in this region, see the online calendar of events.

Midwest aviation events

Jul 17 — Maryland Heights, Missouri. Missouri Pilots Assn Gateway Chapter.

Jul 20 — Rushford, Minnesota. Rushford Municipal Airport (55Y). Rushford Days Fly/Drive-In.

Jul 20 — South St. Paul, Minnesota. Fleming Field (KSGS). Seminar - "Stayin' Alive".

Jul 20 — Ottawa, Kansas. Ottawa Municipal (KOWI). Airport Day.


For descriptions of the events in this region, see the online calendar of events.

Southwest aviation events

No events have been submitted for the Southwest region through next weekend. Submit your own in the online calendar of events.

Central aviation events

Jul 13 — Erie, Colorado. Erie (EIK). 5th Annual Spirit of Flight Day .

Jul 13 - Jul 14 — Wayne, Nebraska. Wayne Municipal/Stan Morris Field (KLCG). Wayne Chicken Show Airport Fly-in.


For descriptions of the events in this region, see the online calendar of events.

Western aviation events

No events have been submitted for the Western region through next weekend. Submit your own in the online calendar of events.

California aviation events

Jul 20 — Hanford, California. Hanford Municipal Airport (KHJO). Display Day, Breakfast, & Young Eagles.

Jul 21 — La Verne, California. Brackett Field (POC). Summer Fly In .


For descriptions of the events in this region, see the online calendar of events.

Northwest aviation events

Jul 19 - Jul 20 — Prosser, Washington. Prosser (S40). Prosser Airport Days & Fly In.

Jul 20 — Hillsboro, Oregon. Stark's Twin Oaks Airpark (7S3). 2013 Oregon Air Rally.


For descriptions of the events in this region, see the online calendar of events.

Hawaii aviation events

No events have been submitted for Hawaii through next weekend. Submit your own in the online calendar of events.

Alaska aviation events

No events have been submitted for Alaska through next weekend. Submit your own in the online calendar of events.

My MembershipMy Membership


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: My friend forgot to extend the landing gear before landing which resulted in a gear-up landing. There were no injuries but there is minor damage to the propeller and dents in the lower cowl and fuselage. Do I need to report this to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)?


Answer: The NTSB requires aircraft operators to immediately report all aircraft accidents and certain serious incidents. The operator must determine if the gear-up landing falls into either category. According to the regulation, this is not a serious incident that requires immediate notification. It may be an accident, but that depends on the extent of the damage. The operator must determine if the damage in this event meets the NTSB definition of substantial damage. If unsure if the damage to the aircraft would qualify the event as an accident, it would be wise to seek legal counsel before speaking to the NTSB or FAA.


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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