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December 19, 2014, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterDecember 19, 2014, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Robinson R22

DECEMBER 19, 2014 - VOL 16, ISSUE 51

Top Stories

Safety challenge

'Learn & Earn' challenge debuts

Are you up for having some fun, brushing up on safety, and getting rewarded, to boot? Enter the Air Safety Institute's new "Learn & Earn Safety Challenge" for a chance to win a Stratus 2 Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) receiver, courtesy of Sporty's Pilot Shop. Each time you complete one of the institute's free online safety courses, Real Pilot Stories, and Accident Case Studies, you are entered for a chance to win—take more courses, get more chances. Take the challenge now...  


AOPA Live This Week

Honoring Bob Hoover, FAA No. 2 gets his ticket

This week, hear what aviation legend Bob Hoover has to say about receiving the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy from the National Aeronautic Association. Plus, FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker talks about earning his private pilot certificate, and a tiny island in the Chesapeake Bay is decked in holiday cheer thanks to general aviation pilots and the Tangier Holly Run. AOPA Live This Week®, Dec. 18...  

Technique and Safety



How well can you time the handoff?

No one likes to blow a radio exchange with ATC, but it's not possible to know exactly when a handoff from one center sector to another, or from a center to approach, is going to happen. Learn this key tip to help ensure you don't miss future handoffs. Read more...  


Accident analysis

How much is too much?

Even when no single item is absolutely prohibitive, accepting too many challenges on the same flight can lead to a very bad day. Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute...  


AOPA Foundation focus

Tailwheel package up for bid

In eight to 10 flight hours, Jonathan Amundsen transforms nosewheel pilots to taildragger champs—and for the winner of a 2013 AOPA Foundation auction item, threw in two hours in a 1940 Stearman Kaydet biplane. Time is running out for potential tailwheel pilots to bid on the same package of tailwheel training at Lakeland, Florida-based Tailwheels Etc. in this year's AOPA Foundation online auction. The auction has been extended and now runs through Dec. 21. Read more...  



No dice flying with ice

Find out why early detection of ice accumulation is critical to the safe outcome of a flight—even for pilots flying in aircraft equipped with deicing equipment. Flying the Weather: Picking up ice provides great insight on how to assess when ice might be accumulating on the airframe—what to look for, and where to look. Watch the video...  



The mysteries of the height-velocity curve

The height-velocity diagram is a staple in the helicopter arena, but is often misunderstood by students and instructors alike. Take a look at what it is and how it is developed. Read more...  




FAA funded through fiscal year

Congress has passed an omnibus spending bill that keeps the FAA, and other government agencies, funded through the end of the fiscal year in September 2015. Read more...  



California avgas lawsuit settled

The Center for Environmental Health, an Oakland, California-based nonprofit, has settled a 2011 lawsuit it brought against numerous aviation fuel suppliers in the state, the group announced Dec. 12. The nonprofit filed its lawsuit under the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known as Proposition 65. Read more...  



FAA deputy a new pilot

Many student pilots are nervous come checkride day. When you're a top official at the agency responsible for the safe operation of the largest airspace system in the world, it can add to the pressure. FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker, a new private pilot, stopped by AOPA headquarters Dec. 15 to talk about his flight training journey and earning his certificate. Read more...  



Members only

All's well if your end is well

Given how much time pilots spend sitting while flying, how often aviators discreetly ask Dr. Jonathan Sackier questions, and how common and problematic medical issues "down there" are to pilots, it's an important subject to discuss. Read more...  




Dassault rolls out Falcon 8X

An assembly hangar was transformed into an elegant dining and staging area, complete with chandeliers, carpet, and a string quartet, for the rollout Dec. 17 of the first of Dassault Aviation's new line of ultra-long-range business jets—the Falcon 8X. Read more...  



Daher-Socata spearheads E-Fan project

Daher-Socata has signed a contract with Airbus Group's VoltAir subsidiary to design, develop, and certify the electrically powered E-Fan 2.0 aircraft. Read more...  




Flight's universal appeal

If general aviation aircraft were more "operator friendly," more people would learn to fly, according to Opinion Leaders blogger Jack Olcott. "Far too many people decide that the gain of becoming a pilot is not worth the pain of becoming a pilot," he writes. Read more...  



Keep your airport open

Opinion Leaders blogger Jolie Lucas takes a macro and micro look at saving airports. Find out what she says you can do to help protect these assets across the country. Read more...  




Garmin updates GDL 69

Garmin has updated the GDL 69 datalink receiver to take advantage of the Sirius XM G4 network, providing pilots with weather data and music. The GDL 69 and GDL 69A (which enables access to satellite radio entertainment) are compatible with a range of Garmin displays, and expected in April. Read more...  




Pilots bring cheer to islanders

Christmas will be a bit more festive for the 460 residents of Tangier Island, a remote fishing village on a tiny spit of land in the Chesapeake Bay, thanks to a group of general aviation pilots. Read more...  


Santa tracker

Norad counts down to Santa flight

Continuing a tradition that started in 1955, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) is gearing up to track Santa's nighttime journey for children around the world. Eager children can access the website now to learn how the bi-national defense command follows the flight, and to explore the North Pole with games, movies, and more. Check back on Dec. 24 to track the flight.




Fractional operators exit

The quiet exit of two companies from the fractional aircraft market provides further evidence that this is an uncertain path to profit. AirShares Elite, the oldest and largest operator in the market, has yet to speak publicly about its decision to close down in November, while Aviation Access Project CEO Rick Matthews vows to return. Read more...  



Congress passes tax incentives

A tax incentive long used to stimulate investment in equipment, including aircraft, awaits the president's signature. Read more...  


AOPA Foundation focus

Challenge benefits AOPA Foundation

In a friendly challenge between AOPA Foundation Executive Director Jim Minow and AOPA President Mark Baker, general aviation will ultimately be the winner. "We're so close to reaching our goal of 50 new Hat in the Ring Society members," said Minow. Read more...  

News and Notes



Hoover wins aviation's top prize

Robert A. "Bob" Hoover has flown, tested, and even crashed more airplanes than most any other pilot who ever lived. After 70 years of achievements in aviation, the industry honored Hoover with its top award, the NAA Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy. Read more...  



Hartzell among hall of fame inductees

Propeller pioneer Robert Hartzell is among four people who will be inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2015. Read more...  



Sporty's unveils Cessna 172LITE

A refurbished Cessna 172N that will offer more cost-effective flight training is at the heart of the Cessna 172LITE project, announced Dec. 17 by Sporty's. Read more...  



Vote on 2004, 2005 'Pilot' covers

The Diamond DA40, GlaStar Sportsman 2+2, Lancair Columbia 400, and AOPA's Win A Twin Sweepstakes Twin Comanche are some of the airplanes that graced the covers of AOPA Pilot in 2004. The Aeronca Chief, Maule M-4, HondaJet, Piper J-3 Cub, and AOPA's Sweepstakes Commander were featured on the covers in 2005. Vote for your favorite cover from each year.

Career Opportunities


Aviation job board

Job of the week: Conferences manager, ACI-North America

Airports Council International-North America seeks a motivated individual with strong organizational and interpersonal skills with three to five years of experience in meeting and event planning to assist with 20-plus conferences and meetings annually in a fast-paced environment. The person will have direct responsibility for a minimum of six meetings annually with attendance ranging from 25 to 700 people. Read more about this exciting opportunity!


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an associate editor—Web/ePilot, program manager for flight training initiatives, senior advertising sales/account executive, online marketing manager, major gift officer, senior ambassador, .Net applications developer, social media evangelist, and account manager II. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


If an airplane's static system becomes blocked but the pitot tube is clear, how does that affect the airspeed indicator?


The airspeed indicator becomes inaccurate. "When the aircraft is operated above the altitude where the static ports became blocked the airspeed indicates lower than the actual airspeed because the trapped static pressure is higher than normal for that altitude," the Instrument Flying Handbook explains on Page 5-3. "The opposite holds true for operations at lower altitudes; a faster than actual airspeed is displayed due to the relatively low static pressure trapped in the system."

Got a question for our technical services staff? Contact AOPA.


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Jan 3-4 - Charlotte, North Carolina; Portland, Oregon; and Ypsilanti, Michigan

Jan 10-11 - San Antonio, Texas; Long Beach, California; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Bellevue, Washington

Jan 17-18 - Santa Clara, California; Ridgeland, Mississippi; and Baltimore, Maryland

Feb 7-8 - Sacramento, California; Nashua, New Hampshire; Louisville, Kentucky; Fairfax, Virginia; and New Orleans, Louisiana

For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the Air Safety Institute's Online eFIRC.

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Jan 5 - Mesa, Arizona; and Reno, Nevada

Jan 6 - Sacramento, California; and Tucson, Arizona

Jan 7 - El Paso, Texas; and Milpitas, California

Jan 8 - Santa Rosa, California; and Albuquerque, New Mexico

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Jan 8 - Carlsbad, California

Jan 10 - Farmingdale, New York

Jan 15 - Murrieta, California

Jan 17 - Keene, New Hampshire

For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.


Aviation Calendar

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.

ePilot Editors:

Sarah Deener
Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore

Production Assistant:

Melissa Whitehouse


Jill W. Tallman
Elizabeth Tennyson
Warren Morningstar
Alton K. Marsh
Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Ian J. Twombly
Dan Namowitz

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