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May 31, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletterMay 31, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 15, ISSUE 22 — May 31, 2013

Preserving a lost art: Formation flying
IFR Fix: Busting beneath the shelf
Senate urges aircraft cert reform


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Click here for this week's custom content.


Preserving a lost art: Formation flying goes mainstream

Preserving a lost art: Formation flying goes mainstream During a formation checkride, AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman's world is reduced to lining up two small and seemingly trivial objects: the lead airplane's aileron hinge and spinner. As long as those items stay aligned, his airplane is in the proper position. The lead winds through a series of climbs, descents, and serpentine turns that regularly reach 30 degrees of pitch and 60 degrees of bank, while Hirschman focuses on the aileron hinge and spinner, trying to will them into place. "Wiggle your toes, number two," Mike "Kahuna" Stewart, a Formation Flying Inc. check pilot and leader of Team AeroDynamix, tells Hirschman. Kahuna is evaluating the group from his RV-8 about 100 feet in trail. "Relax. You'll fly better if you aren't so tense." "He's right, of course, but I'm feeling the pressure," Hirschman writes. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>   

GA News

Guide to AOPA's new website

AOPA’s new website design and the technology powering it are geared to make it easier for you to find the aviation information you are looking for and to update your membership profile and benefits any time, any day, from any computer or mobile device. Get acquainted with the new with this handy video and written guide. Read more and watch AOPA Live >>   

CAP wings help with post-tornado efforts

Civil Air Patrol wings from four states recently completed a mission to provide assistance to Moore, Okla., still recovering from a tornado that hit May 20. Read more >>   

NTSB wants wind-test towers marked, registered

As the wind-energy industry grows, the towers it uses to evaluate the potential of sites for power generation pose a growing hazard to aviation, the NTSB said, issuing six safety recommendations to stakeholders. Read more >>   

Skycraft's $60,000 LSA enters market

Skycraft's $60,000 LSA enters market ASTM approval is expected in August for the single-seat $54,850 Skycraft Airplanes SD-1 Minisport light sport aircraft. Orders will be taken at EAA AirVenture this summer. An official of the company said the Czech-designed aircraft flies much like a two-seat Van's RV-6 aircraft. That aircraft is used by one company official as a trainer for the SD-1, which will be offered in both a tailwheel and nosewheel configuration. The price includes everything except a Mode S transponder and a ballistic parachute. Read more >>   

Wright Memorial planned for Dayton

Within three years a group in Dayton, Ohio, could start work on a 25-story monument at the north end of Dayton with a replica of a 1905 Wright Flyer atop it. Read more >>   

Registration opens for AOPA Aviation Summit

Grab your cowboy boots and hat and get ready for some Texas hospitality—AOPA Aviation Summit is coming to Fort Worth, Texas, Oct. 10 through 12. Registration is open, so you can take advantage of special pricing discounts. Everything is bigger in Texas, and AOPA Aviation Summit is no different. This year's event will be bigger and better, with a renewed focus on educational opportunities (more than 100 hours of seminars will be offered) to ensure that you take home more of what it takes to fly the way you've always dreamed. Read more >>   

PC-12 gets Aspen Connected Panel

Pilatus, Aspen Avionics, Honeywell, and Jeppesen have worked together to integrate Aspen's Connected Panel into the Pilatus PC-12 NG. The PC-12 NG equipped with the Connected Panel is scheduled for delivery this summer. Read more >>   

Calif. glider flying club's dues cover flight training

Calif. glider flying club's dues cover flight training New pilot training, reasonable membership costs, and the chance to fly modern glider aircraft are some of the benefits offered by the Associated Glider Clubs of Southern California (AGCSC). The club was formed in 1929 by a group of prominent local glider pilots and citizens interested in fostering an inexpensive way to take to the skies, said Alasdar Mullarney, the club's operations director. While many U.S. glider clubs launch by aero-tow, AGCSC uses winch launching. Read more >>   

Flying club scholarship winner announced

Ground Effect Advisors has chosen Zachary Pietch of Wilmington, N.C., for a $3,500 flying club scholarship. He will use it to form the Cape Fear Flyers. Another prospective flying club was surprised with a $1,000 runner-up scholarship funded by AOPA. Read more >>   

'General' apps for general aviation

This week, AOPA reviews some "general" aviation apps: DART Aerospace Catalog for iPad, Michelin Aircraft Tire app, FAA Acronym app, and the Aviation-APP for pilots. Read more >>   

Fly in for Ohio benefit race

Pilots can fly in to Portage County Airport in Ravenna, Ohio, on June 8; run in a race; and attend the dedication of the William Marsh Bower Center, which will pay tribute to Col. William Marsh "Bill" Bower, who was the last surviving pilot in command of World War II's Doolittle Tokyo Raiders and a Ravenna native. Read more >>   

Reporting Points: Strange but true general aviation news

A swan finds interesting new love, the FAA investigates pilots, and a daring highway landing. Read more >>   


Formation flying; how pilots sabotage their medicals

Flying in formation means putting absolute trust in your leader. AOPA Live visits a civilian formation flying school to see how it's done. Icon Aircraft gives the FAA a deadline regarding its A5 amphibious light sport aircraft. And find out from Dr. Jonathan Sackier about some of the stupid things pilots do to sabotage their medical certificates in a Fly Well report. AOPA Live This Week, May 30.   

Safety & Proficiency

IFR Fix: Busting beneath the shelf

Sometimes it's unavoidable: If you want to get where you're going, you must file IFR. At other times, it's a choice between convenience (VFR) and certainty (IFR). Then how will you play it? Read more >>   

The accident chain rarely has just one link

The airport environment: a place where aircraft converge for the purpose of departing and landing. It's a place where a lot of things are going on that need your attention. Needless to say, however, it is not a good place to allow yourself to become distracted. In this animated video from the Air Safety Institute, watch as a lack of awareness coupled with a communication breakdown start a chain of events that ends with a runway collision and 14 fatalities. Watch the video here >>   

Cirrus launches 'top priority' outreach program

Cirrus Aircraft, touting 2012 as one of its safest years, announced a new pilot training initiative and an effort to enhance the quality of Cirrus-specific flight instruction and standardization. Read more >>   

Air Safety Institute's 'Storm Week' back with a fury

Air Safety Institute's 'Storm Week' back with a fury You know it: Airplanes and thunderstorms don't mix. That's why you'll want to participate in the Air Safety Institute's "Storm Week" from June 9 through 16. Each day you'll improve your ability to stay clear from blinding downpours, damaging hail, and airframe-shattering turbulence. To understand how ATC and weather briefers can help, and when to say no to a flight, join AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg during the institute's live webinar "Thunderstorm Avoidance: ATC, Datalink, and You," on Thursday, June 13, at 8 p.m. Register for the free webinar >>   

AOPA offers family flying tips

AOPA's Pilot Information Center offers tips to help pilots prepare for summer travel with their families. Read more >>   

It is inevitable

Like it or not, with every moment, time passes, and you are getting older. And that means you—as a pilot—need to consider making some adjustments so you do not lose your edge in the cockpit. Get some practical advice on the effects of aging on pilot performance, and how to keep flying safely into later life. Learn more by taking the Air Safety Institute's Aging Gracefully: Flying Safely online course. Log in to take the course >>   

Leading Edge: End of a runway? Build houses!

AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg questions the wisdom of a zoning change to allow for higher-density residential redevelopment near a runway at South Carolina's Hilton Head Island Airport. The land in question is a mere 3,000 feet from the north end of the runway, within the airport's approach path and partially within the outer hazard zone. Read more >>   

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

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.


Senate joins bid to speed aircraft cert reform

Bipartisan action in Congress to revitalize general aviation manufacturing by overhauling aircraft certification requirements has gained momentum, with legislation introduced in both the House and Senate. AOPA reported when the House bill was introduced that it would establish a deadline for the FAA to act on recommendations of the FAA Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee. Read more >>   

FAA prepares for annual GA survey

AOPA members should watch for a postcard in early June asking them to participate in the FAA's thirty-fifth annual General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey covering calendar year 2012. Read more >>   

Member Benefits

Top three tips when purchasing an aircraft

Have you been thinking about purchasing an aircraft? If so, there are three key areas you need to consider to avoid potential problems. Read more >>   

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a director of corporate partnerships, 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: Flying club meetings

Where do you hold your flying club meetings? 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: I was flying in Class E airspace and receiving radar service from air traffic control. The controller then instructed me to change my heading. The new heading was going to take me off of my intended course and I was in airspace that did not require me to be in contact with ATC. Did I need to comply with their instructions?


Answer: Yes. According to 14 CFR Part 91.123, pilots may not operate an aircraft contrary to ATC instructions in an area in which air traffic control is exercised. Pilots are not required to communicate with ATC in Class E airspace, but if a pilot chooses to be in contact with ATC, then the pilot must comply with the instructions that are given. A recent interpretation from the FAA Office of the Chief Counsel has brought clarity to this situation. As always, the pilot in command is the final authority as to the operation of the aircraft.


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

ePilot Editor:
Benét Wilson

Sarah Brown
Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore
Jill W. Tallman
Warren Morningstar

Alton K. Marsh
Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Ian J. Twombly
Dan Namowitz

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Siobhan Byrne
Katie Richardson
Lezlie Ramsey

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