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AOPA President Craig Fuller has notified the Board of Trustees of his intent to step down from his position and from the board. He plans to remain in his current role until a successor is ready to assume the position. The board will conduct a national search for his successor. Following the decision to leave AOPA, the succession process was developed by working together, said Chairman of the Board William C. Trimble III. Fuller, who took office Jan. 1, 2009, and is only the fourth president of AOPA since the association’s founding nearly 75 years ago, will assist with the search for a new president and the transition to a new administration. Read more and watch AOPA Live® >>
Top officials offer glimpse of a post-sequester FAA
As the March 1 deadline for averting across-the-board budget cuts neared, government and industry officials weighed in on what the FAA would look like under sequestration. Furloughs, shuttered control towers, slowed NextGen modernization programs, selective repairs of navigation aids, and a “steady ratcheting down” of FAA operations will become the norm if the mandatory budget cuts take effect, said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a briefing of aviation industry representatives. “(W)e are working with our colleagues within the FAA to make sure the agency knows which services are most important to our members,” writes AOPA President Craig Fuller.
Embraer wins light support aircraft contract—again
The U.S. Air Force, acting to award a year-delayed contract to acquire a light attack aircraft for use in Afghanistan, selected Brazilian manufacturer Embraer and its U.S. partner, Sierra Nevada Corp., to supply 20 A-29 Super Tucano turboprops to the military at a total cost of $427 million. Read more >>
Engine out over Old Tampa Bay
Instrument-rated private pilot Anthony Marsh had seconds to choose between a water landing, a bridge, and a causeway. Approaching St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport in the early morning darkness on Feb. 22, Marsh found out firsthand just how lonely a cockpit can be when the engine falls silent, altitude is decaying fast, and there are no good options left. He ditched the Piper Cherokee 180, survived, and told his story in hopes that other pilots who find themselves in a similar situation might also survive, or, better yet, avoid it altogether. Read more >>
Diamond Aircraft lays off most of staff
Diamond Aircraft announced on Feb. 25 that it had laid off most of its staff, saying it needs several weeks to restructure. Work on the company's costly prize project, the D-Jet, has been suspended. Remaining is a support staff needed to fulfill sales of spare parts, provide technical information to owners, and provide airworthiness support. Read more >>
Analyst forecasts bright future for rotorcraft
The rotorcraft segment of general aviation has avoided the turbulence experienced by business jets because civil and military rotorcraft markets often run counter-cyclical to one another, making a more stable sales environment for helicopters. Read more >>
Air museum reopens, minus aviation exhibits
The National Park Service reopened the Pearson Air Museum in Vancouver, Wash., three weeks after the former operator removed most exhibits. AOPA reported Feb. 20 on the National Park Service's termination of The Vancouver Historic Trust's museum-management agreement. A bill is pending in Congress to remove the museum from National Park Service control.
2013 TBM 850 Elite debuts in U.S. market
Daher-Socata unveiled its 2013 TBM 850 Elite turboprop single for U.S. customers Feb. 25 in Boca Raton, Fla., with cockpit enhancements, a GPS-linked emergency locator transmitter, new interior options, and an updated maintenance program. The decision to extend production of the TBM 850 Elite, which can cruise at 320 knots at Flight Level 260, into a second year was "based on the tremendous customer interest" in the aircraft, said Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president of Daher-Socata’s airplane division. Read more >>
Five more aviation apps you can’t live without
This week’s five apps are ones AOPA members said they could not live without—Nav Trainer Pro, MyRadar Pro, PocketFMS EasyVFR, XCSoar, and Aviation W&B Calculator. Read more >>
Plan could ease charitable flight reimbursement rules
The Air Care Alliance, which serves the interests of organizations engaged in public benefit flying, informed its members Feb. 25 that it planned to brief FAA officials on proposals “to reduce the burden on pilots and groups that choose to reimburse for fuel.” Read more >>
Light sport aerobatic biplane to be offered
Renegade Light Sport, relocated to Fort Pierce, Fla., has dropped its offering of the 4-G Polish-built Renegade FK-12 Comet aerobatic light sport aircraft in favor of two new LSA models based on the famous Pitts S-2 airframe. The new models are the single-seat Renegade LS1 and the two-seat LS2. The company cited difficulties with the European manufacturer and its distribution system as reasons for dropping the FK-12. Read more >>
Pilot town halls scheduled for 2013
Will AOPA fly in to an airport near you in 2013? AOPA President Craig Fuller will meet with pilots across the nation and discuss the issues that most directly affect pilots’ freedom to fly in a series of pilot town hall gatherings, kicking off 2013 with an event at Chicago’s DuPage Airport March 21. Read more >>
Tests ‘validate’ CitationJet winglet mod
A Cessna CitationJet equipped with Active Winglets by Sandpoint, Idaho-based Tamarack Aerospace Group has beaten the aircraft’s published climb performance to 41,000 feet by significant margins and confirmed the kit’s potential to save fuel, the company said, citing flight-test data. During a recent 1,100-nautical-mile test flight from Dallas to Jackson Hole, Wyo., a test aircraft saved 800 pounds of fuel over the route by being able to make the flight nonstop under “realistic operating conditions that included a 50-knot headwind,” Tamarack said in a news release. Read more >>
Twenty-One Flyers celebrates sixtieth anniversary
The 60-year-old Twenty-One Flyers flying club, begun as an outpost for Sikorsky Aircraft employees, promotes the cooperative approach among its members, where everyone takes an active role in the management of the club, along with maintenance of the club aircraft. Read more >>
Embry-Riddle campus acquires full-motion simulator
The Daytona Beach, Fla., campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has acquired a Level D full-motion simulator from FlightSafety International. The simulator will be used to train students to prepare for the airline transport pilot certificate. Read more >>
Caribbean Air Rally fosters island GA opportunities, skills
The 2013 Governor General’s Cup 2013 Caribbean Air Rally, April 15 through 26, will give general aviation pilots the chance to visit six islands in the region and test their navigation, flying, and safety skills. Read more >>
PilotPool.com opens a job source for applicants
PilotPool.com, ATP Flight School’s pilot recruitment tool, is now available for all pilots. Read more >>
Doolittle Tokyo Raider dies at 96
Thomas C. Griffin, a navigator on Crew No. 9 during the famed Tokyo Raid on Japan on April 18, 1942, died Feb. 26 at the age of 96. Read more >>
Luscombe pilot plans ‘Day of Silvaire Disobedience’
First it was the Swifts—now it’s the Luscombes. If you fly one of these classic taildraggers, you are invited to team up with other Luscombe pilots around the world on May 19 and take to the skies. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Turbulence detector, high-flying glider
Waco Classic wants you to select the paint scheme for the first Great Lakes biplane the Michigan company is producing. EADS says lidar (light detection and ranging), using pulses of infrared light, can detect turbulence a few hundred feet ahead of an airplane and react to it automatically. An effort is under way to honor the founders of the Civil Air Patrol with the Congressional Gold Medal, and thus all who flew with the CAP during World War II. And a pilot has taken a Pipistrel Taurus motorglider to 22,726 feet above Greece. Get AOPA editors’ perspective on the news in Reporting Points.
Fuller interview, ‘Top Gun’ stunt pilot
Hear AOPA President Craig Fuller discuss his decision to step down. And before he became a commander on the space shuttle, Scott Altman was one of four stunt pilots used in the movie Top Gun. AOPA Live talks with him about that experience. Finally, learn what the sequester could mean for you. AOPA's team of experts talk about what it will mean and what you can do to encourage Congress to fix things. AOPA Live This Week, Feb. 28.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
Remember the training-text diagrams of holding patterns and entries? They carved up the approach airspace into sectors, and showed which entry was appropriate based on the heading on which you approached the fix. Occasionally you can arrive at the holding fix on a boundary between the sectors for the two nondirect entries. If choosing between the teardrop and parallel entry, what do most pilots prefer? Read more >>
Don’t try it at home
The inherent dangers of low-altitude aerobatics to even the most expert pilots ought to be more than enough to dissuade those less skilled or less prepared from giving it a try. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. On Dec. 10, 2011, witnesses near Mojave, Calif., saw a two-seat RV-8 fly low over their campground. The airplane performed several barrel rolls close enough to the ground that one witness recalled noticing that the pilot had gray hair and was wearing a hat. After several rolls, the RV reversed course and began a loop. It failed to pull out in time and hit the ground nose-first, crumpling the fuselage. Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.
Answers for Pilots: Tax time
AOPA’s online publication The Pilot’s Guide to Taxes has recently been reviewed by author, pilot, attorney, and CPA Raymond Speciale for the 2012 tax year. Two sections have some updates—on the “hobby loss rule” and on aircraft depreciation—that may be helpful to you as you work with your tax professional to prepare your IRS documents. Read more >>
Know your ADS-Bs?
TIS-B, FIS-B, UAT, ADS-R: With new technology come new acronyms, and the implementation of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) isn’t excluded. Confused about what this new technology is and what it means to you? Take the Air Safety Institute’s ADS-B for General Aviation: The Basics online course brought to you by FreeFlight Systems, and learn the basics on how it works, who is affected by its implementation, and the benefits of flying with ADS-B. Armed with the right information, you’ll be able to take advantage of the information ADS-B has the potential to give you. Take the course >>
Experience isn’t everything
When Jackie Gilbert, an experienced crop-dusting pilot with more than 20,000 hours, was asked to help a friend ferry a newly purchased Cessna 172 from Syracuse, N.Y., to Knoxville, Tenn., he thought it would be a relatively simple cross-country flight. His optimistic outlook would soon be challenged. Learn more about Gilbert’s flight, and what he could have done to prevent the unexpected outcome, by viewing the Air Safety Institute’s Real Pilot Story: VFR in a Snowstorm. View his story >>
Hover Power: EMS helicopter pilots
Having been an EMS helicopter pilot, blogger Tim McAdams believes it is some of the most demanding flying a civilian pilot can do. Despite the demanding work, pay and benefits for an EMS helicopter pilot are comparatively low. Read more >>
The Federal Communications Commission has revived a plan to ban 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) in a proposal that could cost aircraft owners hundreds of millions of dollars. The FCC proposes to discontinue sales of the older-model ELTs and asks for input on whether to allow those already installed in aircraft to continue to be used. Prohibiting use of 121.5 MHz ELTs would force aircraft owners to discard perfectly functional units and pay to replace them—regardless of what other tracking technology the pilot uses. AOPA urges pilots and aircraft owners to speak out on how a ban would affect them. Read more >>
FAA eases IFR departure rule for RNAV aircraft
The FAA, making an exception to a standing rule, has begun to permit aircraft using satellite navigation to receive clearances and depart under IFR from nontowered airports more than 40 nautical miles from an operating ground-based navigation aid, and without radar monitoring. Read more >>
VFR: Free avgas, Tennessee’s aviation day
During March 2013, Clare Municipal Airport in Clare, Mich., will be offering free avgas to one lucky visitor up to $100. And AOPA Southern Regional Manager Bob Minter gives an inside look at an aviation event at the state Capitol.
AOPA EA+ steps in to help
Should an accident occur while you are traveling, finding treatment can be difficult. Don’t find yourself unaware and unprepared should the unthinkable happen to you while traveling. Enroll in AOPA Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) to gain access to 24-hour emergency and medical assistance. Read more >>
MedXPress questions: How do I report multiple doctor visits?
MedXPress has space for 20 visits, so for many pilots that should provide plenty of real estate. Gary Crump, AOPA’s director of medical certification, provides tips on what to do if you need to list more than 20 visits. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a director, financial planning and analysis; office services supervisor; credit analyst; major gifts officer; director of outreach and events; and .NET applications developer. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.