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May 24, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterMay 24, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 15, ISSUE 21 — May 24, 2013

FAA plan for AirVenture ATC user fees
Huerta calls on aviators to take care
GA searches: CBP has little to say


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Click here to view this week's custom content.


Mechanic takes responsibility for Honolulu emergency

FeatureThere was no sign of trouble before the Robinson R-22 Beta lost power 3,000 feet over Honolulu, and pilot Julia Link had seconds to act. Her successful autorotation and emergency landing earned praise, and so, too, did the mechanic's decision to take responsibility. While there was no loss of life or serious injury, Brant Swigart said coming forward, even at risk of legal consequences and the suspension or revocation of his A&P certificate, was the only way he could sleep. "Whatever pressure I'd be under is really nothing compared to the mental pressure I was putting myself under once I realized this was our fault," Swigart told AOPA in a telephone interview. "It should have been fatal." Link made sure it was not. Read more and watch a report of the accident >>   


Pilatus unveils PC-24

Pilatus unveils PC-24 Calling it a "super versatile jet," Pilatus on May 21 introduced its new, $8.9 million PC-24 twinjet at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva. The airplane, which is still in the prototype stage, is set to roll out of the Pilatus factory in Stans, Switzerland, in the third quarter of 2014. The PC-24 will be powered by two 3,400-pounds-static-thrust Williams FJ44-4A engines, which should enable max cruise speeds of approximately 425 knots, Pilatus said. Read more >>   

Bombardier announces Challenger 350

The Challenger 350 expands the Bombardier Aerospace bizjet line with creature comfort and 3,200-nautical-mile range with eight passengers. The Montreal airplane maker launched the new model in conjunction with NetJets, which will add custom touches as it incorporates the new offering in its fleet. Read more >>   

Boeing puts BBJ 3 on display at EBACE

A Boeing 737-900ER customized for opulent private travel and dubbed the Boeing Business Jet 3 was displayed for the first time in Geneva. Customized with an interior by Jet Aviation in Basel, Switzerland, the BBJ 3 features a lower cabin altitude than its airline counterpart, and is set up to carry 38 passengers and eight crew, with room in the hold for 230 pieces of luggage. Read more >>   

HondaJet CEO confident in light jet market

While challenged by engine flight test problems and a struggling economy, the president and CEO of Honda Aircraft remains optimistic that his light jet will be the right airplane at the right time. In an exclusive interview with AOPA from the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva, Michimasa Fujino acknowledged the world economy is quite different than when the proof-of-concept HondaJet first flew in December 2003. But the first flight May 16 of the fifth conforming airplane is "a big milestone for us and a first flight is emotional for us too," he said. Read more >>   

GA News

Tornado devastates Oklahoma, CAP steps in to help

Tornado devastates Oklahoma, CAP steps in to help Civil Air Patrol wings based in Oklahoma and Kansas deployed air and ground teams, more than 100 volunteers in all, to assist Oklahoma and federal officials with damage assessment. The CAP conducted several flights over the tornado's path, photographing the destruction, while ground teams went block by block, documenting destruction of homes. "The damage is difficult to see and process," said Maj. Sam Ory, CAP ground team leader for the initial response. "Before you get here and witness it, you really can't imagine a storm causing this destruction." Read more >>   

FAA's plan for AirVenture ATC user fees 'troubling'

AOPA on May 22 denounced an FAA plan to charge the Experimental Aircraft Association for the travel costs, per diem expenses, and overtime pay of the air traffic controllers it deploys to staff EAA AirVenture. "This is extremely troubling news," said AOPA President Craig Fuller. "We've warned that the Obama administration wants to hit general aviation with user fees, and that's exactly what it's doing to the EAA and AirVenture." Read more >>   

Phoenix company plans to offer aviation autogas

Phoenix-based Airworthy AutoGas has announced plans to produce and distribute a high-purity, low vapor pressure, ethanol-free, 93AKI, premium unleaded auto gasoline this fall. Mark Ellery, the company's director of business development, noted that as much as 80 percent of GA aircraft do not need a high octane fuel. But that 80 percent only consume around 30 percent of the available fuel, which is 30 percent of the current aviation gasoline market, he added. These percentages highlight why this fuel is not a replacement for avgas, said Rob Hackman, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. Read more >>   

Icon seeks FAA answer by May 31

Kirk Hawkins, CEO and founder of Icon Aircraft, has asked the FAA to issue a final decision by May 31 on his exemption request to increase the weight of his Icon A5 amphibious light sport aircraft by 250 pounds. He based the request on a new design for a spin-resistant airframe. Read more >>   

Buy a sectional, win an airplane

Buy a sectional, win an airplane Until May 18, little did Christopher Boyle know that the purchase of a $9 sectional would win him an airplane, but win he did—as he found out in a telephone call that day from Michael Wolf, president and CEO of Sporty's Pilot Shop. During the surprise call, Boyle told Wolf that he occasionally flies a Cessna Skylane and a glider. With that, Wolf suggested that perhaps he could use his own airplane and revealed that he had won the Sporty's Pilot Shop Sweepstakes—a specially equipped Legend Cub. Read more >>   

Commemorative Air Force seeks national base

Based in Texas with dozens of warbirds and volunteer wings operating around the country, the Commemorative Air Force now plans to build a national attraction. The organization envisions a center where visitors can experience firsthand some of its most popular aircraft, along with a new national headquarters to be located in a major metropolitan area that is designed to draw visitors in numbers and raise the organization's profile. Read more >>   

Beta open to members

As the launch of AOPA's new website draws near, the association is encouraging members to visit the beta site for a sneak peek. See the new look and explore the new navigation structure. Read more >>   

Dynon employees launch flying club with homebuilt Glasair

Members of the Woodinville, Wash.-based Swamp Creek Flying Club, who built their own Glasair Sportsman, are now flying the aircraft two weeks ahead of schedule. Read more >>   

AOPA members offer five favorite apps

AOPA members are passionate about the apps they love. The association is highlighting five more that pilots said they couldn't live without. Members were polled on AOPA's Facebook page. Read more >>   

New Diamond twin makes first North American touchdown

The first North American delivery of a Diamond DA42-VI occurred May 7 when Leesburg, Va., pilots Dave and Sue Passmore accepted the keys to their upgraded diesel-powered twin. The Dash Six includes the latest version of the Austro engines and some 21 aerodynamic improvements that save some 88 pounds in weight and boost maximum cruise speed to 197 knots true airspeed. Read more >>   

Aircraft maintenance tips: Spring cleaning

Take some time to prepare your airplane for the busy flying season. Aircraft are meant to be flown, and they can deteriorate quickly when sitting for long periods of time. So, it pays to do a thorough cleaning, inspection, and some preventive maintenance as an introduction to the flying season. Find out what cleaners and polishes are the best and how you can help prevent corrosion. Read more >>   

Embry-Riddle lands top spot in safety competition

For the second year in a row, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Prescott, Ariz., flight team has won the top spot at the Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference sponsored by the National Intercollegiate Flying Association. Read more >>   

Finalists chosen for flying club scholarship

Wheeling, Ill.-based Ground Effect Advisors has chosen 10 finalists to win a scholarship with more than $3,500 worth of products and support to start a flying club. Read more >>   

Cessna announces Turbo Skylane JT-A production flight

Cessna announces Turbo Skylane JT-A production flight Cessna Aircraft Co. announced May 22 a successful first production flight of the Jet-A-fueled Turbo Skylane 182 JT-A, a new addition to the model line covered in detail in the October 2012 issue of AOPA Pilot and featured on AOPA Live This Week. The piston single launched May 21 from Independence, Kan., and performed as expected, company officials reported in a news release. The flight lasted 2.3 hours, clocking a true airspeed of 158 knots and a climb to 8,000 feet. At an estimated maximum cruise of 156 knots, the Safran-made SMA engine will burn 11 gallons of the less-expensive fuel per hour.

Official trailer for Disney's 'Planes' released

Viewers can now get a sneak peek of the new Disney movie Planes. The official trailer has been released, and the 3-D animated film will be screened at EAA AirVenture Aug. 2 before opening in theaters Aug. 9. Read more >>   

Reporting Points: Strange but true general aviation news

Two crash tests, a couple of unusual landings, and some interesting uses for drones. Read more >>   

Reporting Points: Diamond (Canada), diesel company on the mend

Diamond Aircraft in Canada has called back 34 workers, and Thielert—which supplied diesel-cycle engines for Diamond aircraft before hitting financial and mechanical problems—is on the verge of emerging from bankruptcy. Read more >>   


Tornado recovery, more on federal searches of GA aircraft

Tornado recovery, more on federal searches of GA aircraft An FAA employee was among those lost in the devastating Oklahoma tornado, and the aviation community joins the nation in mourning, and contributing to the recovery. Also this week, AOPA has heard from more law-abiding pilots subjected to ramp checks and aircraft searches by Customs and Border Protection. The agency has declined to provide details of the practice. What constitutes "reasonable suspicion," and how often law-abiding citizens are targeted remain open questions that AOPA continues to investigate. AOPA Live This Week also covers the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva, including the first jet by Pilatus and a progress report on the HondaJet. And in the regular Fly Well segment, Dr. Jonathan Sackier discusses health checks and medical tests and offers advice on how to avoid letting health issues get ahead of you. As of publication deadline, AOPA Live producers were still finalizing the show. It will be available May 24. Watch AOPA Live This Week >>   


For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

Huerta calls on aviators to take care

FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta has written a letter to the general aviation community calling for care, caution, and training as the summer season begins. Read more >>   

Flight school forms simulator club

Imagine having yearlong access to a flight school's simulator for $120. That's soon to be a reality for pilots near Lock Haven, Pa., thanks to a new club formed by local flight school AvSport. Read more >>   

Cuba makes changes to overflight permit fees

General aviation pilots seeking Cuban overflight permits need to be aware of changes on how the country processes and charges for them. Read more >>   

Answers for Pilots: How to act when nobody's in the tower

The FAA has postponed decisions pertaining to air traffic control tower closures across the country until the end of fiscal year 2013. With some time to prepare for possible tower closures at 149 airports Oct. 1, pilots are thinking about how to transition smoothly from towered to nontowered airport operations. Flying at an airport with no tower warrants a different way of thinking. Read more >>   

'VFR not recommended'

When the pilot of Debonair N1254Z took off from Billings, Mont., on a VFR flight to Spanish Fork, Utah, he was expecting a simple 3.5 hour flight, despite a flight service weather briefer's recommendation against flying VFR. See what can happen—through actual ATC communications—when deteriorating weather conditions mix with low altitudes and a steadfast determination to reach a destination in this Air Safety Institute Accident Case Study: VFR into IMC. Log in to view the case study >>   

IFR Fix: Rotate, or the river?

Even a comfortable home airport can turn unforgiving if you arrive before you're ready, uncertain that you can reconfigure with your customary prompt precision. Now it wasn't the hill to the south of the airport that the pilot was concerned about, but the nearby rocky river as the runway slid beneath the undecelerated airplane. Read more >>   

Give a little, get a lot

Created by pilots, for use by other pilots—pilot reports (pireps) are a great source of real-time, in-flight weather information that can give you a glimpse of what may be ahead of you in your flight. Learn more about how to receive, use, and give a proper pirep by taking the Air Safety Institute's SkySpotter: Pireps Made Easy online course. Log in to take the course >>   

IFR Quiz: North Myrtle Beach

IFR Quiz: North Myrtle Beach The day has finally arrived for your trip to North Myrtle Beach, S.C.—a trip you've been dreaming about since last Labor Day. Unfortunately, the sunscreen will need to wait now that light IFR weather has moved in over Grand Strand Airport, just outside of North Myrtle Beach. You can expect the ILS to Runway 23, but keep the vacation complacency at bay—this approach will put your IFR proficiency to the test. Read more >>   

Leading Edge: Commonsense hardware

For years, AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg has been a strong proponent of putting angle-of-attack indicators in light general aviation aircraft and adding front seat airbags. "Both ideas are so completely obvious," Landsberg writes, "that you have to wonder why it's taken this long to begin implementation." Read more >>   

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

June 1 and 2

San Jose, Calif.

Columbus, Ohio


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.


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.


Fresh reports of aircraft searches, CBP has little to say

Fresh reports of aircraft searchesAfter AOPA's coverage of New York pilot Gabriel Silverstein's recent search by Customs and Border Protection officers, fresh reports from pilots subjected to ramp checks and aircraft searches suggest a pattern. Despite AOPA's inquiries, federal officials remain, essentially, moot on the details. A spokesman for CBP declined to provide details about aircraft searches and ramp checks conducted by CBP agents, citing "the Privacy Act among other legal and policy considerations" that preclude the agency from discussing specific cases. Read more >>   

RTCA symposium set for June, AOPA sponsors program app

AOPA President and RTCA Chairman Craig Fuller will be speaking about the future of the airspace system at the RTCA 2013 Global Aviation Symposium June 5 and 6 in Washington, D.C. AOPA is sponsoring the official app, which features the symposium agenda, speaker bios, sponsorships, a Twitter feed, session ratings, and local Washington, D.C., places. Read more >>   

AOPA seeks comment extension on proposed FAA data policy

AOPA wants the FAA to extend the comment period on a proposed data distribution policy that could affect the public's accesses to the agency's data. AOPA needs more time to see how the policy could affect general aviation. Read more >>   

AOPA advocacy in brief

Do you get TFR mail? Find out how AOPA warns members of temporary flight restrictions in their area. AOPA is working to make sure the nearly 500 general aviation airports left out of the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems are protected and recognized as the national assets they are. And, there's another way to find valuable information about airport planning, promotion, and working with the media: So, don't "Google it," "AOPA it" instead. AOPA advocacy in brief >>   

Member Benefits

You could win a Garmin Aera 500 - Americas, a $699 value, from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. by entering its Facebook contest by May 30. Click the link below and follow the rules on the page for your chance to win! Aircraft Spruce offers exclusive content and promotions through their Facebook page all year round.

Find out how you can win a free Garmin Aera >>

The 'list that doesn't exist': FAA-allowed medications

The FAA does not publish an official list of medications that are considered appropriate for aviation activities. But AOPA has one. Read more >>   

Are you covered if a passenger is injured in your aircraft?

It's no fun to consider, but let's say you or one of your passengers suffers an injury while in your aircraft. Medical payments coverage pays the medical expenses for those injuries, including ambulance, surgical, dental, professional nursing, and the like. It also covers injuries that occur to anyone entering or leaving your airplane. Read more >>   

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, AOPA Live editor/graphic artist, advertising marketing manager, and aviation technical specialist. 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: Reading notams

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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: The maximum certificated weight of my airplane is 1,800 pounds. I plan to take off with a weight of 1,890 pounds. How does that increase my risk of having a problem during takeoff?


Answer: Attempting to fly an overweight airplane is never advisable as it is both risky and could result in a violation of 14 CFR 91.9 and 91.13. Excess weight negatively affects many aspects of airplane performance. For instance, the increase in takeoff run can be determined by the present weight divided by the maximum certificated weight, squared. In this example, a pilot will experience an increased takeoff run by a factor of (1,890/1,800)2, or 1.052. The result is a takeoff run that is increased by 10 percent. That 10 percent could make a critical difference in the success or failure of a takeoff attempt. Read about the tragic effect of weight on aircraft performance in this accident report from the Air Safety Institute.


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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