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Mar. 29, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterMar. 29, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 15, ISSUE 13 — March 29, 2013

172 to L-39: The jump to jets
IFR quiz: Cross-country to Crescent City
Safety report looks at loss of control


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Click here for this week's custom content.


172 to L-39: Making the jump to jets

Feature Diving from 17,000 feet, the airspeed increasing to more than three times what the pilot is used to in a Cessna 172, the instinct to pull out of the back side of a 6,000-foot-vertical loop is premature and aggressive. The L-39 Albatros responds to the control inputs with a buffet, warning of an impending stall. Seated far forward of the wings in the L-39, its slender fuselage wrapping around the pilot and bubble canopy offering an unobstructed view of Santa Fe, N.M.'s rapidly rising mountains, the pilot feels as if the jet has disappeared, giving a visual sense of unprotected free-fall. Welcome to jet warbird training, a niche market that attracts pilots of all skill levels from the around the world to the Jet Warbird Training Center to test their mettle. Can you handle it—safely? Read more and watch AOPA Live® >>    

Sequestration: GA in the crosshairs

Schedule for tower closures released

The FAA has released its three-phase schedule for closing federal contract towers. On April 7, 24 contract towers will close, followed by 46 on April 21, and the remaining 79 on May 5. Read more >>    

Pilots wait hours to clear customs, cross border

Pilots trying to clear customs to return to the United States are feeling the effects of sequestration up close and personal—sometimes stuck in their aircraft for hours before being permitted to deplane. Read more >>    

Cities, states fight to keep towers open

The imminent closing of contract control towers nationwide elicited a variety of responses from region to region. Texas announced that its Transportation Commission would hold an emergency meeting to provide authority for state funding of 13 control towers at regional airports. In South Carolina, Beaufort County officials expressed relief that the closing of the control tower at Hilton Head Island Airport, set for May 5, would not happen until after the Heritage Tournament. And lawyers for Spokane, Wash.'s Felts Field have presented the FAA with an emergency request to delay the April 7 shutdown of the airport's contract control tower to provide time for a U.S. Court of Appeals review of the sequester-driven closure order. Read more >>    

AOPA to offer nontowered airport ops refresher

Brush up on nontowered airport operations in a webinar from AOPA and the Air Safety Institute April 4 at 8 p.m. Topics will include VFR operations, the role of unicom, right of way, training at busy airports, IFR operations in VMC and IMC, opening and closing IFR flight plans, and more. Register now >>    

More news

AOPA Now: From the front lines

Tower's closed, what now?

Congressional leaders blast FAA tower closings

'Does that even make any sense?': Media eye tower cuts

Leading Edge: The tower is now really closed

GA News

AOPA: Court decision aids safe transition to unleaded avgas

A U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruling has freed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from having to make an accelerated endangerment finding on emissions from general aviation aircraft. This ruling will help to ensure that efforts to find an unleaded replacement fuel will continue in a manner that will guarantee aviation safety. Read more >>    

Garmin's 'Team X' creates new experimental/LSA avionics

A small team of Garmin engineers working apart from the rest of the avionics staff is about to release its first products—seven in all—aimed at the experimental and light sport markets. Several of the new products are based on Garmin's pioneering G3X, a versatile one-, two-, or three-screen PFD/MFD that offers capabilities similar to a G1000 integrated avionics suite at a far lower price. Garmin also announced a pair of new active traffic alerting systems at the Aircraft Electronics Association convention in Las Vegas. Read more >>    

Aspen's new ADS-B solutions

Aspen Avionics announced a series of new Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) products that bring subscription-free weather and traffic to the company's flagship Evolution PFDs and MFDs. For pilots who want to connect and control their avionics via an iPad or other tablets, Aspen's Connected Panel CG100 adds a feature that allows pilots to display graphical weather from portable ADS-B receivers (such as a Stratus or Garmin GDL-39) on Evolution PFDs and MFDs. Read more >>    

Standby attitude, altitude in a tiny package

Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics has packed attitude, altitude, and airspeed instrumentation into a 2-by-5-inch display, offering backup of critical instruments sized for almost any panel. Read more >>    

Many choices for ADS-B equipage

With about 225,000 aircraft still in need of avionics upgrades to comply with an Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out mandate by 2020, owners are under pressure to make a choice. Read more >>    

Voters choose 16 in best aircraft challenge

The dust has settled on the second round of the AOPA Best Aircraft Showdown and the field is down to 16. Popular general aviation aircraft including the Cessna 172, the Beechcraft Baron, the Cirrus SR22, and the Piper Cherokee Six are among those still in the running. Read more >>    

High-tech winglets introduced for Aerostars

Aerostar Aircraft, holder of the type certificate for all models of the piston twin-engine Aerostar, has introduced high-technology winglets that are compatible with all 601B, 601P, 602P, and 700P models, the company said. Read more >>    

TigerFlight: Georgia pilots band together to inspire

TigerFlight: Georgia pilots band together to inspire A small nonprofit founded by pilots dreams of bringing the joy of flight—and motivation for the future—to children around the country. With brightly painted airplanes and a growing collection of curriculum-based materials, TigerFlight Foundation aims to teach children to be the pilot in command of their lives. The tiger-stripe paint scheme draws the attention of youngsters at airshows and other aviation events. Read more >>    

Wings of Carolina Flying Club: Safe, low-cost flying

The Wings of Carolina Flying Club uses its fleet of 13 aircraft to provide members with safe aeronautical training, low-cost aviation education, inexpensive hourly aircraft rates, and flying fun. Read more >>    

Long trip home: Bill Harrelson lands in USA

Bill Harrelson, a distance-record-setting pilot, is back in the United States after a marathon 27-hour, nonstop flight from the southern tip of South America to Key West, Fla. Harrelson abandoned a double-polar flight after encountering adverse weather at the bottom of the world. Read more >>    

Avidyne closing in on several certifications

Avidyne Corp. expects to certify drop-in replacements for Garmin's 530- and 430-series navigators later this year, along with a new audio panel and Automatic Dependent Surveillance (ADS-B) Out transponder. Read more >>    

Five instrument simulator apps

Growth in smartphone and tablet use has matched an explosion of instrument simulation apps. This week, check out the Holding Pattern Trainer, ILS Trainer, Radionav Sim, Flying the Aspen Evolution, and Navigator—Aviation Instrument Training. Read more >>    

Promise of airplane inspires double liver transplant recipient

Promise of airplane inspires double liver transplant recipient Talk about inspiration—a father inspired his daughter to go through a second harrowing liver transplant by promising to buy her the airplane of her dreams after she made it through the surgery and recovery. Thirty-year-old Julie DeStefano comes from a family of pilots, including herself, her brother, and her father, Dennis. At age 10, she was diagnosed with Budd-Chiari Syndrome, which blocks the liver's veins. In 1995, she received a liver transplant. She did well until she was 28 years old, said her father. Read more >>    

Market report shows $6.3 billion in avionics sales

The Aircraft Electronics Association has logged $6.3 billion in sales for 2012 from 19 leading manufacturers, releasing a first-of-its-kind market report at the organization's Las Vegas convention. The association said that accounts for about 30 to 40 percent of the total market, and is urging the rest of the players to report their sales data and help build awareness among policy makers and the public for the industry's contribution to the economy. Read more >>    

Register for AOPA's webcast on aircraft purchasing

If you are considering an aircraft purchase, you'll want to join AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines and Senior Aviation Technical Specialist Rodney Martz as they discuss what's involved in making the big decision. Hear about what to consider when choosing your aircraft, what red-flag conditions you want to avoid, how to get insurance and financing, and how to estimate your monthly expenses on April 3 at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Register now >>    

Hover Power: Boss weights

The tail rotor on Eurocopter's AS350 AStar helicopter uses weights to generate a centrifugal force to help balance the forces that exist when changing the blades' pitch angle. They're known as boss weights, and exactly how they work is sometimes misunderstood. Read more >>    

Reporting Points: Strange but true general aviation news

An aviation-themed wedding takes off, a crop duster crime is resolved, and an iconic flying club faces an uncertain future. Read more >>    


In the crosshairs

General aviation is under attack in Washington. The federal government seems to be going out of its way to make effects of the sequester land on the backs of pilots. AOPA Live takes a look at what the cuts mean for GA pilots crossing through U.S. Customs. Find out what AOPA is doing to help make sure you don't have to sit for hours in your airplane. AOPA Live This Week, March 29.    


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

IFR quiz: Cross-country to Crescent City

You've decided to fly down to New Orleans, La., for a nice, calm vacation now that all the Mardi Gras festivities have cleared out. The weather for your route reveals it's a great day to log some light IFR for an enjoyable flight along the Gulf coast. The only wrinkle is that your GPS is acting up, which means it's back to basics for this trip. Take the quiz >>    

Don't let the mountain siren lure you

IFR quiz: Cross-country to Crescent City Mountain flying can be a captivating adventure along beautiful valleys, over brilliant mountain lakes, and above sprawling icy-blue and -green glaciers as you climb to cross a mountain saddle or circumnavigate a peak—and once again continue the spectacular journey. But along with their beauty, mountains harbor lurking dangers that can snag a flight in one unforgiving moment. A spate of fatal general aviation accidents taking place in the Wind River Mountains near Riverton, Wyo., underscored the importance for flatlanders to take extra steps before attempting to challenge a mountain ridge. Read more and take the Air Safety Institute's 'Mountain Flying' online course >>    

Forums to advance aviation set at Sun 'n Fun

No doubt you have heard about the Center to Advance the Pilot Community, AOPA's energetic and far-reaching initiative to increase the number of student pilots who go on to earn a pilot certificate, and to reverse the decline in the number of active pilots. So, consider yourself invited to meet the center's team members and participate in four forums that they will present at the thirty-ninth annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-in and Expo, April 9 through 14, at Florida's Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. Read more >>    

IFR Fix: The 'unexpected situation'

What comes to mind on reading the words IFR and stalls? At the instrument pilot's level, the purpose of exploring slow flight, stall entries, and recoveries in various configurations is to "build confidence in a pilot's ability to control the airplane in unexpected situations." Read more >>    

More than just 'roger'

Sequestration has arrived—and that means, at some airports nationwide, that an increased onus is on pilots to communicate clearly and accurately with others. Be the smartest pilot in the airspace by brushing up on the latest terminology and phraseology; take the Air Safety Institute's Say It Right: Mastering Radio Communication online course. Take the course >>    

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

April 6 and 7

Denver, Colo.

Tampa, Fla.

Waltham, Mass.

April 13 and 14

Atlanta, Ga.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Salt Lake City, Utah

April 20 and 21

San Diego, Calif.

Indianapolis, Ind.

Ashburn, Va.

May 4 and 5

Pensacola, Fla.

Kansas City, Mo.

Albany, N.Y.

For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

April 1

Marion, Ky.



April 2

Georgetown, Ky.



April 8

Waltham, Mass.



April 9

East Hartford, Conn.



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


Safety committee's report focuses on loss-of-control accidents

A work group of the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, an FAA/industry panel dedicated to reducing fatal general aviation accidents, has completed its report on loss-of-control accidents in the approach and landing phase of flight, including recommendations for safety improvements. Read more >>    

Last chance to help thwart 121.5 MHz ELT ban

Last chance to help thwart 121.5 MHz ELT ban As the April 1 comment deadline nears on the Federal Communication Commission's plan to ban the certification, manufacture, importation, sale, or use of 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs), AOPA is urging members to weigh in. "The FAA is the primary authority for regulations affecting aviation and in this case is the correct agency to determine the outcome of this issue. The FCC should still defer to the FAA on issues of aviation safety," AOPA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Rob Hackman said. "AOPA won't back down. The 121.5 MHz ELT must remain a viable, affordable option for pilots."

VFR: Experimental winds aloft graphic for Alaska

The Alaska Aviation Weather Unit has unveiled an experimental winds aloft forecast. Give it a try >>    

VFR: Starting a flying club? Need help?

AOPA Great Lakes Regional Manager Bryan Budds recently met a team that has put together a scholarship package for a group interested in forming a flying club. Read more >>    

Member Benefits

Troubling aircraft title issues

Buying or selling an aircraft? Be careful. A pilot purchased an aircraft that was less than a year old, had been used as a demonstrator for 50 hours, and was owned by an aircraft dealership. He didn't get a title search before he purchased it, and nearly 14 years later when he decided to sell it, he did a title search at the buyer's request. The title search showed a dealer financing lien that a bank had recorded with the FAA before he purchased the aircraft. Getting the lien released was not so simple. Read more >>    

Emergency Assistance Plus offers tips for healthy travel

When it comes to planning a trip, most will do their due diligence when creating a budget, selecting a hotel, and deciding which mode of transportation to use. However, one often overlooked aspect is also one of the most important—your health. Emergency Assistance Plus has a few easy tips for healthy travel. Read more >>    

Fly smarter with AOPA FlyQ at Sun 'n Fun

AOPA will provide Sun 'n Fun attendees with a firsthand look at the latest in smart flight planning April 9 through 14 during the fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. The entire AOPA FlyQ digital flight planning suite of products will be on display, with daily in-depth, specialized demonstrations at AOPA's tent. Read more >>    

Costco joins member benefits program

Costco Wholesale is the latest to join AOPA's Lifestyles Member Discounts program, providing members with a new Costco membership offer. From the "Lifestyles & Luxury" section of the Lifestyles Member Discount page, click to print a Costco application and learn about special offers. Just fill out and print the application and take it to a Costco near you to join. Afterward, you will receive an exclusive offer in the mail. Learn more in AOPA's Lifestyles Member Discounts program.    

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an advertising marketing manager; mid-level gift specialist; network support engineer; marketing manager, fundraising and acquisitions; aviation technical specialist; staff assistant/PAC coordinator; president, AOPA Insurance Services; director, financial planning and analysis; office services supervisor; major gifts officer; and director of outreach and events. 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: Airports and FBOs that offer public transportation to cities

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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: When is a procedure turn not required?


Answer: The Aeronautical Information Manual describes a procedure turn as the maneuver prescribed when it is necessary to reverse direction to establish the aircraft inbound on an intermediate or final approach course. There are several circumstances in which a procedure is not required: when the symbol NoPT is shown; when radar vectoring is provided; when a holding pattern is established in lieu of a procedure turn; when conducting a timed approach; or when the procedure turn is not authorized. Read about approaches that do involve procedure turns in this article from Flight Training.


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].

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