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It sounds like a scene from a sci-fi film: You hear there's traffic on the highway, so you pull your car out of the garage, unfold the electrically powered rotors, and lift off from the driveway. Before you know it, you're zipping along at 200 mph, and at your destination the vehicle lands itself. Terrafugia, the Massachusetts-based company currently flight- and drive-testing its Transition "street-legal airplane," announced May 6 that it has its eye on an even bolder vision down the road: a four-seat, hybrid-power, fly-by-wire, vertical-takeoff-and-land personal automobile. "It’s a concept," said Terrafugia’s Richard Gersh. "And if you’re not ambitious with a concept we don’t feel you should even undertake it." Read more >>
Engine testing delays HondaJet certification
While Honda Aircraft anticipated delivering three to four of its light jets before the end of 2013, company officials now say certification of the HondaJet is delayed until the end of 2014. The delay is one of several over the last couple of years related to issues with the new GE Honda Aero engines powering the HondaJet. Read more >>
Flying Bulls BD-5J crashes in Austria
A pilot with Austria's Flying Bulls team lost his life attempting to execute an emergency landing in the world's smallest jet on May 1. Read more >>
Fly like a fighter: Live to fly another day
With an F-5 locked on his six, an F-15 pilot must decide whether to turn away from a multi-ship dogfight to shake the F-5 or join the fight. Read more >>
Hypersonic flight test a success
A scramjet burning jet fuel pushed a Boeing-made missile dubbed the X-51A Waverider into the hypersonic realm in a May 1 test flight, wrapping up a challenging research effort with success deemed "historic." The X-51A Waverider was designed for the U.S. Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to demonstrate that an engine burning JP-7 jet fuel is capable of sustained hypersonic flight; the air-breathing, hydrocarbon-powered engine logged a new record, with 3.5 minutes flown at Mach 5.1. The test vehicle covered 230 nautical miles in just more than six minutes before splashing into the Pacific Ocean as planned off the Southern California coast. Read more >>
Solar Impulse touches down in Phoenix
Phoenix was the second stop for the solar-powered Solar Impulse aircraft as part of its Across America mission. Read more >>
Electric airplanes? EAS guides the way
Batteries that have a specific energy 45 times that of the one in a typical Cessna or Piper? The Electric Aircraft Symposium VII, April 26 and 27 in Santa Rosa, Calif., illustrated just how far electric aircraft technology has come since the program's inception. Some 25 speakers covered topics ranging from a propeller safety device to sustainability and maintenance. Read more >>
Grants, flight training scholarships, and free AOPA memberships
There are ample reasons to join the AOPA Foundation's new Giving Back program, created to show appreciation for the great work being done through general aviation. Here's a glimpse: The program will award 10 grants of up to $10,000 each to nonprofit groups doing charitable work through GA. In addition, Giving Back hopes to award 10 flight training scholarships, and provide 2,500 free memberships to armed forces personnel and through the AOPA AV8RS program for teens. Join the foundation's Giving Back initiative by donating to the foundation now. Read more >>
FreeFlight lands $7 million FAA contract for ADS-B equipment
FreeFlight Systems of Texas has landed a $7 million deal with the FAA to equip up to 600 Alaskan aircraft with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast equipment, a reward for those who tested the system now at the heart of NextGen. Read more >>
Webinar: Attracting young people to aviation
Candler Field Flying Club of Williamson, Ga., emphasizes attracting young people to aviation; as a result, a high proportion of its membership is under the age of 20. Join the flying club’s founder, Glen Marsh, and AOPA Senior Vice President of the Center to Advance the Pilot Community Adam Smith for a free webinar May 21 at 8:30 p.m. Eastern to learn the secrets to Candler Field Flying Club’s success and what other clubs are doing to attract a new generation of pilots. Register online >>
NASA project provides critical tool for water management
A Twin Otter packed with sensors has begun a three-year quest to measure mountain snowpack with unprecedented precision, gathering data with promise to inform water management decisions affecting 1.5 billion people. The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Twin Otter is flying above the mountain watersheds of California and Colorado at altitudes ranging from 17,500 feet to 22,000 feet as high-precision sensors measure the depth of the snowpack, and the amount of light reflected from it. The missions began in April. Read more >>
Developers offer updates on aviation apps
This week, check out updates on apps that have previously been highlighted on AOPA Online. Updates include Aviation W&B, AviationMap by Avilution, ForeFlight, WingX Pro 7, myWingMan, AOPA FlyQ EFB, Garmin Pilot, and Mobile FliteDeck. Read more >>
On ice in Iqaluit: 'Frustrating' oversight delays world record bid
Wise is the traveler who copies crucial travel documents before setting out on an international trip. But don't forget to remove your passport from the copier. Missing that second item has slowed Jack Wiegand's bid to make a record-breaking solo flight around the world—as he discovered on arrival at his first international port of call at a snowy airport in Canada. Read more >>
Lockheed upgrades search-and-rescue automation for GA
Lockheed Martin Flight Services has updated its computer system to automatically monitor the progress of appropriately equipped general aviation flights, and alert search-and-rescue authorities if that progress halts sooner than planned. Read more >>
New course, old ties for 2013 AirVenture Cup
Organizers of a cross-country air race that is flown just before EAA AirVenture gets under way in Oshkosh, Wis., each summer announced a new race course—and a reconnection with the world's largest gathering of general aviation aircraft and pilots—for 2013. Read more >>
Redesigned AOPA.org to launch soon
AOPA will soon be launching its redesigned website, improving what members already consider the go-to site for all things general aviation. The new site will make it easier to use our flight planning tools, find subject reports and forms, complete online safety training, manage your membership, and get the latest news and updates on the industry and AOPA's initiatives. And it will be just as easy to access information on the site from your mobile phone or tablet as it is from your personal computer. Learn more about the upcoming change >>
Ag aviation association opens 2013 scholarship
Have you ever wanted to be an ag pilot? The National Agriculture Aviation Association is accepting applications for its 2013 scholarship competition, with a goal of bringing new pilots to the profession. Read more >>
Aerobatic pilots Long, Wagstaff collaborate on book project
Aerobatic pilots Air Force Lt. Col. Jill "Raggz" Long and Patty Wagstaff have teamed to create a compilation of humorous stories told by women in aviation. Read more >>
Ready to race? Sport Air Racing League has an event for you
If you've been wanting to take your flying to a more competitive level, the Sport Air Racing League's 2013 season is under way. Read more >>
T-Craft Aero Club: Putting wings on your dreams
An all-Cessna fleet, members as joint owners, two classes of membership, reasonably priced flight training, and the chance to fly into backcounty airstrips and dude ranches are benefits of joining the T-Craft Aero Club, based in Nampa, Idaho. Read more >>
Hover Power: Delta-3
Dissymmetry of lift occurs when a rotor system is flown edge-wise through the air. With helicopters, many times discussions of this phenomenon center on the main rotor system. However, this aerodynamic condition also affects the tail rotor. Just like the main rotor, a tail rotor will equalize lift by flapping. However, most tail rotor flapping takes advantage of the Delta-3 effect. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Strange but true general aviation news
Drugs just don't fly, a test that looked real, and an aircraft blew its top. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Birthday tribute
One of the many instrument approach procedures debuting with the start of the FAA charting cycle May 2 was the BNELE ONE Arrival (RNAV) to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The final waypoint on this standard terminal arrival for airplanes landing to the west on Runway 26 Left or 26 Right is KEAVY, named for Keavy Nenninger, and debuting on what would have been her twenty-seventh birthday. Read more >>
Learn how to roll
AOPA lends its support to legal action against the FAA. Plus, find out how the sequester's grounding of military airshow teams is a mixed bag for their civilian counterparts. And AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman shows you how to pull up until your heels are on the horizon, release the back pressure on the stick, and roll. Check out the new AOPA website, and find out how one aircraft flew more than five times the speed of sound. AOPA Live This Week, May 9.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
ATC has your initial vector for the approach. The controller evenly mentions that previous traffic has diverted to the alternate, where the reported ceiling is a lofty 1,500-foot broken layer. The unspoken question hangs in the air. It's tempting, really tempting, to press onward. Read more >>
Don't pick up hitchhikers
Seaplane pilots care about the environment, especially the waterways they depend upon for their aircraft. But aquatic nuisance species are threatening the health and recreational use of lakes. To help stem the tide of these encroaching pests, the Air Safety Institute, in collaboration with the Seaplane Pilots Association, created a video to help train seaplane pilots on how to properly inspect and clean their aircraft of these aquatic nuisances, and how to avoid them altogether. Log in to watch How to Stop the Spread of Invasive Species by Seaplane, and take the quiz to show you're doing your part to avoid transporting these aquatic hitchhikers. Log in to watch the video >>
Tips on avoiding bird and wildlife strikes
The first pilot ever to be involved in a bird strike is believed to have been Orville Wright. More than 100 years later, birds and other wildlife still pose a threat to aircraft. Although bird and wildlife strikes are for the most part unpredictable, pilots can take some precautions to lower the odds of their occurrence. Find out more in AOPA's subject report.
Asking the 'Amazing Criswell'
Every day, more general aviation aircraft are being equipped with datalink, making it easier than ever for pilots to know the weather ahead of them. But even with this foreknowledge, pilots should still proceed with caution, as this technology is not without its limitations. Take a look at cockpit weather products and how they fit into your decision-making process by taking the Air Safety Institute's IFR Insights: Cockpit Weather online course. Log in to take the course >>
Improve your safety by learning from others
Gain valuable knowledge about flying safely by learning from the mistakes of others. Using your ePilot personalization preferences, like "piston single-engine" or "turbine," the Air Safety Institute's Accident Database generates a list of accidents that have been added to the database in the past 30 days. If you haven't personalized your newsletter, select your aircraft preferences from the "types of aircraft" section on the ePilot personalization page.
Leading Edge: Automating rotating complexity
Helicopters do tremendous jobs in tough situations—like landing on oil platforms, which is how much of the world's petroleum workers get to their job. Sikorsky Aircraft announced recently that it had certified a new system that claims to reduce pilot workload by 60 percent in the critical approach phase to a platform. What will they think of next? Here's one answer >>
General aviation aircraft owners would spend an aggregate $500 million on dated technology under a revived Federal Communications Commission proposal to eliminate emergency locator transmitters that operate on 121.5 MHz, said five U.S. senators, led by Senate GA Caucus member Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), in a letter to the agency's chief. In related news, AOPA member and House General Aviation Caucus Co-Chair Sam Graves (R-Mo.) has weighed in, pressing for answers as to the FAA's planned course of action to protect 121.5 MHz ELTs. Read more >>
Forest Service extends comment deadline on proposed planning rule
AOPA members have more time to comment on a new planning rule from the U.S. Forest Service that would develop, revise, and amend land management plans to include aviation. AOPA, along with the Recreational Aviation Foundation and the Idaho Aviation Association, represented general aviation interests in a series of national planning and regional meetings and advocated for language that would require forest planners to take aviation into account in their planning. Despite that work, the Forest Service draft of the new directives makes no references to recreational aviation or airstrips—and AOPA and the Recreational Aviation Foundation are urging pilots to speak out. Read more >>
Bill would set timeline for aircraft-certification reform
Five members of the U.S. House, citing regulations that they say have been overtaken by technology, are seeking to set a year-end 2015 deadline for the FAA to act on recommendations being developed for less costly—and safer—aircraft certification procedures. Read more >>
FAA process to close control towers flawed, AOPA says
AOPA in a court filing May 6 called the FAA's decision to close 149 contract control towers nationwide "arbitrary, capricious, and fundamentally flawed, leaving the safety and efficiency consequences largely unknown." Read more >>
Airport Support Network marks strategic milestone
AOPA's Airport Support Network (ASN), long the linchpin in the association's local advocacy program, has succeeded in a joint effort with the commonwealth of Virginia to have an ASN volunteer in place at each of the state's 66 public-use airports. AOPA President Craig Fuller honored the work of Virginia Department of Aviation Director Randall Burdette—himself a former ASN volunteer—and the Virginia Department of Aviation staff in helping achieve the strategic goal. Read more >>
Scammers target flight schools, CFIs
AOPA has received notification from flight instructors and the FBI that scammers are once again targeting flight schools and instructors. Read more >>
AOPA advocacy in brief
AOPA's Airport Support Network is growing; find out how you could be the newest volunteer to join the group. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the advocacy win in Indiana that lowered fuel prices there $0.50 per gallon, learn how AOPA is preserving backcountry airstrip access, and find out how AOPA Alaska Regional Manager Tom George is working on Denali overflights. All this and more at a glance in "AOPA advocacy in brief."
Medical application: Medical disability benefits?
A question in the FAA medical application form asks if the applicant has ever had medical disability benefits. If you are receiving compensation for a disability, the FAA wants you to check "yes" to the question and then state the disability in the explanation portion. Be truthful when responding to the question, and obtain the proper documentation to show your AME. And if you have any concerns, contact AOPA first. Read more >>
Would you want to buy the FBO an aircraft?
Most pilots don't realize their obligations when they sign their rental agreements or borrow aircraft from a friend. If an event occurs, you may end up paying for damages out of your wallet. Plus, legal fees could be incurred. Even minor mishaps could cost a lot; common ground incidents can damage wingtips and cost $1,200 or more to repair. That's why AOPA recommends all nonowner pilots have insurance coverage. Renter’s insurance provides liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage when you borrow or rent airplanes, plus legal defense coverage. AOPA provides options so you can build the policy to suit your needs and your wallet. Visit aopainsurance.org/nonowned or call 800/622-AOPA (2672) to learn more.
Aero-Space Reports sponsors aircraft valuation tool
AOPA Strategic Partner Aero-Space Reports, provider of aircraft title search and related services, is now sponsoring an important member benefit: an online aircraft valuation tool. Read more >>
Enterprise Rent-A-Car caters to members' needs at airports
As an AOPA Strategic Partner, Enterprise Rent-A-Car offers support to AOPA members in more ways than just car rental discounts. Members who plan their flight online with AOPA Airports can easily find out if an Enterprise Rent-A-Car location is nearby by looking at the bottom of the airport page. With more than 5,500 locations in North America, Enterprise Rent-A-Car provides service to 3,000 general aviation airports and FBOs. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a human resources assistant, software test and quality assurance analyst, online marketing and content specialist, AOPA Live editor/graphic artist, advertising marketing manager, mid-level gift specialist, aviation technical specialist, staff assistant/PAC coordinator, president of AOPA Insurance Services, major gifts officer, and director of outreach and events. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.