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June 7, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterJune 7, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 15, ISSUE 23 — June 07, 2013

Voices in your cockpit
IMC Club concept takes off
Contract towers need 'Dedicated funding'





The people behind the voices in your cockpit

FeatureIf you've ever wondered whether those voices coming from the panel are from real people, the answer, in some cases, is, "yes." Avidyne Corp. Vice President Steve Jacobson found his first voice while waiting in the lunch line. Jacobson, then developing Avidyne's DFC90 autopilot and other panel-mounted products, was in the market for a particular accent, and overheard Charlotte Mason chatting in a particularly British tone—think Mary Poppins. The accent is easily understood, and stands out from other cockpit chatter, important qualities when the message is "Terrain, pull up!" or "Overspeed." Soon, Mason, a finance and accounting specialist, was sitting with a microphone. That is often how it works: Being a cockpit voice is not a job one applies for—those companies that use actual human voices generally work with people close at hand. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>   

GA News

AOPA makes financing easier for members

AOPA launched an expansive new aviation finance company June 3 that will give members greater access to lending options for aircraft purchases and avionics upgrades. The new service, AOPA Aviation Finance Company, LLC (AAF), will offer more flexible financing options through a collection of banks—rather than with just one institution. This will allow AAF to identify the best loan options for members and ultimately deliver competitive terms for each aviation transaction. AAF will not be loaning money directly, but instead be acting as a broker. Read more >>   

Tornadoes, floods beset the heartland

The tornado that struck El Reno, west of Oklahoma City, on May 31 tossed two aircraft outside the destroyed Canadian Valley Technology Center building, and left two others entangled in debris, said Greg Winters, the center's superintendent. Meanwhile, flood waters from heavy rains neared a crest along the Mississippi River near St. Louis, submerging two runways of a general aviation airport north of the city. Read more >>   

Solar Impulse reaches St. Louis on zero fuel

Solar Impulse reaches St. Louis on zero fuelThere was a moment on the flight of the solar-cell- and battery-powered Solar Impulse when Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard thought clouds might rob his aircraft of power. Without sun, the batteries can't be recharged. The concern was short-lived as Piccard and his controllers back in Payerne, Switzerland, realized the solar cells were getting plenty of sun through a high thin overcast. Read more >>   

EAA mobilizes against AirVenture user fees

EAA is calling on pilots for help to prevent user fees from being imposed on EAA AirVenture 2013. EAA Chairman Jack Pelton said imposing such a fee puts "a price tag" on safety. Read more >>   

FAA approves longer service life for Eclipse Jets

A sophisticated welding process used to build Eclipse twin jets extends the airframe life, and the FAA has now approved longer limits. In addition, Eclipse and SimCom Training Centers are offering a new full-motion, Level D simulator for training at SimCom's center in Orlando, Fla. Read more >>   

New Dynon 'SkyView' products

Dynon Avionics has begun shipping a new series of products related to its highly integrated SkyView glass panels. Read more >>   

Mission: Remembrance

Chris Polhemus has flown over the beaches of Normandy on the anniversary of D-Day before, but in 2014 he hopes to return at the controls of a C-47, dropping paratroopers in the early-morning darkness. Read more >>   

New Great Lakes aerobatic biplane unveiled

Waco Classic Aircraft Corp. officially unveiled the first conforming new production Great Lakes 2T-1A-2, an aerobatic biplane. Read more >>   

NASA dirigible hangar at Moffett up for grabs

NASA dirigible hangar at Moffett up for grabsNASA can't afford to operate the private Moffett Federal Field and can't restore the 1,100-foot-long Hangar One that housed dirigibles in the 1930s. It was used to house the reconnaissance dirigible USS Macon, with its associated Sparrowhawk aircraft that literally hooked onto the airship in flight, and the USS Akron. The USS Macon used its 4,500 horsepower to cruise at 85 mph. Both eventually crashed, leaving the building without a mission. The Navy transferred the naval air station to NASA in the 1990s to become part of Ames Research Center. Will a private contractor come to the rescue? Read more >>   

Friends rally to support mechanic's pledge

Friends and strangers are standing behind the helicopter mechanic who took responsibility for the in-flight power loss that nearly caused a helicopter crash. Brant Swigart may yet lose his certificate, and his livelihood, but his honesty and character have sparked a fundraising effort that stretches far and wide. Read more >>   

Stewart wins 2013 Bill Barber Award for Showmanship

Stewart wins 2013 Bill Barber Award for ShowmanshipAerobatic and commercial airline pilot Skip Stewart has become the 28th recipient of World Airshow News' Bill Barber Award for Showmanship. Stewart is known worldwide for his innovative, high-energy airshow performances in his highly modified Pitts biplane. He grabs an audience's attention with his spine-tingling tumbles, ribbon cuts, and knife-edge passes. He also has been an innovator with multi-dimensional theme acts like Tinstix and flying under a jumping motorcycle. Read more >>   

AOPA seeks young pilot to send to France

It could be the perfect two-week getaway: a free trip to France to participate in the Tour Aérien Des Jeunes Pilotes. One American pilot between the ages of 18 and 24 will have the opportunity to fly in an air race in France from July 15 through 28. Read more >>   

Smoke Eagles Flying Club: Good friends, good airplanes

Low-cost flying, a refundable buy-in fee, and dues that cover all fixed operating costs are among the benefits of being a member of the Fullerton, Calif., Smoke Eagles Flying Club. Read more >>   

Charts/maps apps help lessen paper in the cockpit

Looking for some chart or map apps to cut back on paper in the cockpit? Check out these five apps recommended by AOPA members. Read more >>   

Sweepstakes logbook: Stripped!

Sweepstakes logbook: Stripped!To many, the AOPA Sweepstakes Debonair's trip to the paint shop couldn't come soon enough. That old, funky, faded paint job had to go! KD Aviation at the Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, N.Y., stripped off the old paint in a jiffy. The stripper reeks of ammonia but the shop uses eco-friendly materials and procedures. After the stripper is applied, the old paint sort of shrivels up and then dries. The next day, the dried-out flakes of paint are brushed off (if they haven't fallen off already) and swept off the floor into bags for disposal. Read more   

Reporting Points: 5 things you didn't know about Rinker Buck

Jill Tallman, AOPA technical editor, shares five things most pilots don't know about Rinker Buck and Flight of Passage. Read more >>   

Reporting Points: The coolest airplane I've ever seen

FK Lightplanes, one of the top small-aircraft manufacturers in Europe, has designed an FK51 70-percent replica of the famous P-51 Mustang using whimsy, a passion for flying, and a sense of humor. It weighs only 1,000 pounds (a limit for ultralights in Europe), has retractable landing gear, and three very special details. Find out how it makes you feel like you're flying the real thing >>   

Reporting Points: Strange but true general aviation news

Two unique uses for helicopters; going from high to low; and Google can't replace proper government ID. Read more >>   

Hover Power: Gemini ST

Operators of small helicopters who wanted the redundancy of a twin have to make some big trade-offs. The extra weight of the second engine, combining gearbox, extra fuel tanks, and related systems severely limits the airframe's payload. Also, that smaller payload capacity will need to include the weight of more fuel. Doug Daigle came up with an idea that tried to solve this problem. Read more >>   

Register for AOPA webinars

'Storm Week' webinar, June 13, 8 p.m. Eastern

Aircraft maintenance: Keeping the cost down, June 19, 8 p.m. Eastern

AOPA FlyQ EFB tips and tricks, June 20, 8 p.m. Eastern


Toilet paper confetti; new AOPA Aviation Finance Company

Who would have thought chasing toilet paper through the sky has a serious purpose? Find out how to help a pilot overcome timidity behind the controls of an aircraft in this edition of AOPA Live This Week. Plus, learn how the new AOPA Aviation Finance Company makes it easier to get financing for an airplane, avionics, or engine overhaul. Rod Machado shows how to increase your chances of surviving a crash. And, watch part two of the "Top 10 stupid things pilots do to sabotage their medicals." AOPA Live This Week, June 6 >>   


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

IMC Club concept takes off

Just three years after conceiving the idea and only about a year after promoting it significantly, Radek Wyrzykowski welcomed the sixty-fifth chapter of the IMC Club—with three additional clubs coming online in the next few weeks. To date, the founder and president of the group has attended the opening of each of the clubs, but with an aggressive growth plan of 150 chapters and 6,000 paid members in the next three years, Wyrzykowski admits future clubs will open without his presence. Read more >>   

IFR Fix: A distraction you can count on

How many times will you be distracted on your next instrument flight? You can calculate a baseline number of distractions directly from your flight log. Just count the frequency changes you will make along the route, giving special attention to the cluster of frequencies you will use during the approach phase. Read more >>   

'Storm Week' is just around the corner

Storm Week is just around the cornerWatching a thunderstorm mature from your front porch can be beautiful—flying anywhere in the vicinity of one can be ghastly. That's a good reason to engage with the Air Safety Institute and "Storm Week" June 9 through 16. The Air Safety Institute has events planned for each day to help you understand conditions leading up to thunderstorms and how to avoid the furious weather thunderstorms can unleash. Join the Air Safety Institute on Facebook and share your thunderstorm avoidance tips or even scary encounters, and check out the other planned events online.   

Leading Edge: Stormy Week(s)

The thunderstorm season is in full swing, and Oklahoma seems to be ground zero for the really bad ones, although they can occur anywhere, anytime as any pilot knows. For the first time, three storm chasers were lost tracking a big twister in rural Oklahoma. Storm chasing is a fascinating, frustrating, and potentially very dangerous business as the players attempt to get close to funnels, but not too close, to shoot pictures, measure wind speeds/pressure, and create memorable video for public consumption and awe. Read more >>   

Déjà vu

Pilots often look to technology for assistance in avoiding severe weather. Yet improved technology can also increase the temptation to cut things a little too close. On May 31, 2012, an A36 Bonanza broke up in a thunderstorm over Macon, Miss., in an accident that combined elements of two other notable in-flight breakups involving aircraft equipped with in-flight weather. Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.   

Not your dad's FSS

Whether you are a new pilot, or a more seasoned aviator, one of the valued resources available to you is 800/WX-BRIEF, which connects you to a trained cadre of flight service weather briefers from across the nation, armed with the local knowledge and resources to help you fly safe. Learn more about their capabilities by taking the Air Safety Institute's A Pilot's Guide to Flight Service online course. Take the course >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

June 8 and 9

Minneapolis, Minn.

Charlotte, N.C.

Ashburn, Va.

June 22 and 23

Phoenix, Ariz.

Orlando, Fla.


July 13 and 14

Jacksonville, Fla.

Newark, N.J.

July 20 and 21

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Memphis, Tenn.

For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

Aug. 1

Oshkosh, Wis.



Aug. 2

Oshkosh, Wis.



Aug. 3

Oshkosh, Wis.





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


'Dedicated funding' urged for contract towers

With the 149 federal contract control towers that faced sequestration-induced shutdowns spared by Congress until Sept. 30, AOPA and other aviation organizations are working to secure the program's funding in Fiscal Year 2014. Read more >>   

Celebrating a satellite milestone

In 10 years, the FAA has created more than 3,000 approaches utilizing Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) GPS technology, expanding access to small airports. Read more >>   

Consultants seek pilot input on glint/glare survey

Airport planning consultancy Harris, Miller, Miller, and Hansen (HMMH) is asking AOPA members to take a five-minute survey on glint and glare they may have experienced around airports with large solar panel concentrations. An FAA-funded survey is being conducted by HMMH under the Airport Cooperative Research Program's "Guidebook for Energy Facilities' Compatibility with Airports and Airspace Project #02-38." Survey answers are confidential. Learn more on the Airport Cooperative Research Program's website.   

Member Benefits

New version of AOPA FlyQ Pocket app released

AOPA FlyQ Pocket Version 1.1 features a quicker way to search for airports by city and state, allows pilots to file wind-optimized flight plans, and offers weather briefings (graphical and text based) from either CSC DUATS or DTC DUAT. Read more >>   

Tips for selling an aircraft

Tips for selling an aircraftYou've decided to sell your beloved aircraft. But that is only the first step in a process that ends when you hand over the keys to the buyer. To help members with this important decision, AOPA offers many resources, including an online guide to selling an aircraft and a knowledgeable staff of experts in the toll-free Pilot Information Center (800/USA-AOPA). Check out these five tips—ranging from what payment method to ask for to preparing to transfer the aircraft—that will help with the aircraft selling process. Read more >>   

Conditions AMEs can issue: Detailed requirements

Your aviation medical examiner can issue a medical certificate in the office if you have certain conditions. Find out details on what you need to bring with you to the AME should you have arthritis, asthma, or hypothyroidism. Log in to read more >>   

CFIs understand the risks

CFIs train their students to minimize risks and prepare for the future. AOPA recommends instructors carry CFI insurance to minimize their own liability risks. It is wise to understand the CFI insurance that you purchase, as there are significant differences. Some will only cover you while you are in the aircraft. Read more >>   

AOPA Strategic Partner Spotlight: Alamo, Enterprise, National Rental Cars

AOPA Strategic Partner Spotlight: Alamo, Enterprise, National Rental CarsAlamo, Enterprise, and National are supporting AOPA members by offering car rental discounts of up to 25 percent every day and through sponsorship of AOPA Aviation Summit, AOPA Airports, and the Fly-Outs feature in AOPA Pilot.  They also provide financial support that helps AOPA promote, protect, and defend GA. Learn more >>   

Not just for fishing anymore

While originally designed for fishermen in the Florida sun and heat, Eddie Bauer Performance Fishing Shirts are equally adept at protecting pilots from summer's harshest elements. These high-performance shirts, sold with the AOPA insignia in the AOPA Store, offer pilots UPF 50+ protection and a moisture control system that actively moves moisture away from your body to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable with plenty of room for movement. Choose from short and long sleeves, and find more merchandise in the AOPA Store.   

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.   


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: Ferry flights

Is a private pilot allowed to perform ferry flights without getting paid? Weigh in >>



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Engage in Aviation

Check out user-submitted events from your region. 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: While performing a takeoff from a short runway, should I always retract the landing gear immediately after liftoff to reduce drag?


Answer: No. In some airplanes, the landing gear retraction process will cause a momentary increase in drag. Since the process can take several seconds, it may be best to leave the landing gear extended until a positive rate of climb is established. Otherwise, the increase in drag may cause the airplane to settle back onto the surface at a time when most of the useable runway is behind you. For a comparison between fixed and retractable gear airplanes, check out this recent article from AOPA Pilot.


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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