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March 28, 2014, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterMarch 28, 2014, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Mooney Acclaim

MARCH 28, 2014 - VOL 16, ISSUE 13

Top Stories


Living the dream once more

The research is conclusive: Most lapsed pilots would happily return to the left seat if only the path forward didn't seem so daunting. Here's the good news: It isn't. To show the way, AOPA is introducing a new national program offering rusty pilots a total package—the place, the people, and the plan—to return to flying. Read more... Share:  



PilotWorkshops new AOPA Partner

PilotWorkshops will provide AOPA members with free online access to an extensive library of quality audio and video aviation training programs as a new AOPA Premier Partner, AOPA announced March 28. Read more... Share:  



'A little nervous up here'

The low-time, VFR-only pilot was trapped above the clouds, with bad weather for hundreds of miles. He had no autopilot, no GPS, and was not talking to ATC. A controller spotted the airplane, lost above Houston's William P. Hobby Airport, and took actions that earned him one of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association's Archie League Medal of Safety Awards on March 26. Read more... Share:  


AOPA Live This Week

Cockpit comeback, streaming movies in the sky

If you're contemplating a return to the cockpit after a long hiatus, AOPA is ready with a new program to help knock off the rust. The Sweepstakes Debonair is back in the air with a beefed-up engine, and we'll profile another general aviation success story that has transformed the aerial video landscape. AOPA Live This Week®, March 27... Share:  

AOPA Fly-Ins



AOPA Fly-Ins: Great news and big changes

More than 300 aircraft have already registered to fly in for the AOPA Fly-In at San Marcos, Texas, on April 26, and AOPA is reorganizing the schedule of the day to allow for a safe, even flow of aircraft arrivals. Read more... Share:  


AOPA Fly-Ins

Fly in to San Marcos

Join the excitement that's growing about AOPA's first regional fly-in—San Marcos, Texas, on April 26. RSVP to let AOPA know you are attending and reserve your free AOPA-member lunch ticket. Leading up to and during the fly-in, spread the enthusiasm on social media. Follow @AOPA on Twitter and use the hashtag #AOPAHYI, like our Facebook page, and check out the fly-in San Marcos Pinterest board.

Technique and Safety



New clearance terminology debuts

The FAA is notifying pilots of new and modified phraseology to be used by controllers and pilots for standard terminal arrivals (STARs) and standard instrument departures (SIDs) starting April 3, including a requirement for pilots to read back the specified clearances verbatim. Read more... Share:  



Controllers honored for assists

Controllers were honored with the Air Safety Institute's Flight Assist Commendation Awards March 26 for stepping in to help pilots who were caught in treacherous weather, experiencing equipment difficulties, or on a collision course in 2013. Read more... Share:  


Aircraft Maintenance

Cold weather checkup

Even late winter presents a number of unique challenges to the aircraft's systems, and it pays to take the time to do what you can to protect your aircraft (and yourself) while we're still in winter's grip. Read more... Share:  


Mobile app

A second opinion

Have you ever struggled deciding whether an upcoming flight is safe? Maybe you've searched for one more piece of information that would seal the deal on a go/no-go decision? Enter the Air Safety Institute's Mobile Flight Risk Evaluator for free advice and help making the safest choices before takeoff. Download the app... Share:  


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A dangerous gamble

"N2933L is coming back, uh, something is going wrong with the engine": The pilot made this split-second decision when his aircraft's engine quit soon after takeoff. Find out why he now says, "Don't do what I did." Watch the Real Pilot Story...



'A calculated risk'

If the decision to take off was made knowing that no return to the departure airport was possible, what's the backup plan? Read more... Share:  



Weight 'watchers'

A longtime pilot noted that his passengers tend to consistently underestimate their weights. How should a pilot address this delicate safety issue? Read more... Share:  




Residents seek control of Santa Monica's future

A group of Santa Monica residents is seeking an amendment to the city charter that would put key decisions about airport property to voters. Read more... Share:  



Analysis shows FAA underestimated ECi cylinder AD impact

A new analysis published by the FAA shows that the agency underestimated the impact of a proposed airworthiness directive that could affect thousands of ECi cylinders. AOPA is asking the FAA to withdraw the proposal and encouraging affected members to file comments of their own. Read more... Share:  



Policy change riles LSA industry

A draft FAA policy would prevent some light sport aircraft from carrying passengers, flying over densely populated areas, or flying at night. AOPA and the light sport aircraft industry oppose the changes. Read more... Share:  



Airport unknowns

A 2012 FAA report that assessed and detailed the value of general aviation airports to the communities and regions they serve left nearly 500 airports unclassified. A yearlong effort to update the data, which has potential to guide future planning and funding decisions, leaves 281 airports still unclassified. Read more... Share:  



An airport thanks its users, including GA

When Louisiana's Lafayette Regional Airport wanted to express its gratitude to the community for record-breaking passenger volume, it created a rewards program to inject some more fun into air travel. Read more... Share:  




The truth shall set you free

When completing the FAA medical examination form, or Form 8500-8 as most aviation medical examiners know it, it pays to be as truthful as you can be. Read more... Share:  




Garmin G3X Touch an all-in-one

Garmin's new G3X Touch for Experimental and light sport aircraft includes synthetic vision with highway-in-the-sky guidance, a color moving map with terrain warnings, weather and traffic, a digital autopilot, a graphic engine monitor, communications radio, and transponder with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out. Read more... Share:  



Cessna offers CJ3+, CJ2+ upgrades

Cessna now offers a CJ3+ model with a new Garmin avionics suite, adding the same avionics to the CJ2+. Other tweaks are offered as well to aircraft systems and interior design. Read more... Share:  



Cirrus jet flies for certification

The Cirrus Vision SF50 jet marked a major step toward first delivery with the first certification flight on March 24. The $1.96 million, single-engine jet is a clean-sheet design that aims to fill a gap between high-performance piston singles and existing light jets; Cirrus has already logged more than 500 orders. Read more... Share:  




Instrument changes: Approaches without IAFs, vectors to fixes

Did you know that a change last year allows aircraft to be vectored to start an approach at any fix, as long as it's 3 nautical miles or more outside of the final approach fix? Learn about this and other instrument changes from Opinion Leaders blogger Max Trescott. Read more... Share:  



Winning the uphill battle

How could talking about a shopping mall in the place of your local airport actually help save the airport? Jamie Beckett explains in Opinion Leaders. Read more... Share:  




Do you have the right stuff?

MyGoFlight is launching a contest to test pilots on their electronic flight bag skills. Read more... Share:  


Apps of the week

General apps, specific tasks

IFR timers, Zulu time calculators, and wind and G meters are included in this week's round-up of apps suggested by AOPA members. Read more... Share:  




Lindbergh backs innovation

The grandson of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh plans to re-create their 1931 seaplane journey to China, demonstrating green technology along the way. That is part of the mission for a new organization founded by Erik Lindbergh to support and celebrate advances in sustainable aviation technology. Read more... Share:  



AOPA hosts Sun 'n Fun pancake breakfast

Join AOPA President Mark Baker for a pancake breakfast at Sun 'n Fun on April 2 at 8 a.m. The breakfast will be at the AOPA Activity Tent at the AOPA exhibit site. This year's AOPA campus will include an action-packed series of seminars, safety briefings, and activities. RSVP for the pancake breakfast by email, put "SNF breakfast" in the subject line, and include how many people are in your party.




EAA to pay for AirVenture ATC

The Experimental Aircraft Association has entered into an agreement with the FAA that will assure the availability of air traffic control services for EAA AirVenture through 2022—but at a cost. Read more... Share:  


AOPA Foundation focus

Grant supports Air Care Alliance

The Air Care Alliance, which promotes public benefit flying, is putting a $10,000 AOPA Foundation Giving Back grant to good use. Read more... Share:  


Looking for a Cessna 182? Bid on AOPA's

AOPA members now have an opportunity to bid on a 1963 Cessna 182 donated to the AOPA Foundation that is being offered for sale. AOPA is accepting offers until March 31. See photos, aircraft specifications, and contact AOPA with any questions...


AOPA Foundation focus

AOPA Foundation launches Facebook page

The AOPA Foundation Facebook page will share the stories of donation-funded projects and scholarship recipients, provide information about special donor appreciation events, and have donor communications from AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg. Like the Facebook page... Share:  


More News

Sporty's pays first rebates to flying clubs

Financing an aircraft? Six reasons to call a broker

News and Notes



Cessna twin turboprop revived

Reims Aviation of Reims, France, once built the F406 Cessna twin-engine turboprop in Europe. The rights to the aircraft have been purchased out of insolvency by Continental Motors and ASI Innovation of Reims. Read more... Share:  


Member benefits

Convenient, fast insurance

AOPA Insurance has launched an online renewal process for clients that simplifies the process, requiring no paperwork and no postage stamp. Read more... Share:  



Wagstaff teams for teaching

Airshow legend Patty Wagstaff has partnered with Southeast Aero, U.S. distributor of Extra Aircraft, to offer aerobatic training in St. Augustine, Fla. Wagstaff, a three-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, teaches precision flying for fun, formal competition, or airshow performing. Read more... Share:  



1959 'Pilot' magazine cover poll

A flying car and a workhorse grace two of the AOPA Pilot magazine covers in 1959. As part of AOPA's seventy-fifth anniversary, editors are asking you to pick the favorite magazine cover in its history. New covers will be opened in a poll for voting each week. Take a look back at the covers of 1959 and pick your favorite. Share:  


Login required

'Showdown' closing 'Round of 8'

What aircraft should move to the semifinals of AOPA's Best Aircraft Showdown? March 28 is the last day to vote on the aircraft in the Round of 8, including the Piper Super Cub and Aeronca Champion taking on a couple of popular warbirds. You must be logged in to vote. Place your vote today...


More News

First TBM 900s delivered

Boeing Employee Flying Association has 'CFI of the Year'

Flight Night event touted benefits of general aviation

Strange but true general aviation news




Just in time for Sun 'n Fun

The Debonair's new engine is installed and ready for break-in. AOPA Editor at Large Tom Horne was on hand for the final installation checks at Aero Engines of Winchester, Va.; when he started the engine for its first flight, the oil pressure read zero. Find out how mechanics solved the mystery of the faulty gauge and sent the aircraft on its way. Read more... Share:  

Career Opportunities


Aviation job board

Job of the week: Supervisory aircraft services specialist

The Bonneville Power Administration, a nonprofit federal agency that provides clean, emissions-free electricity to the Pacific Northwest, is seeking a supervisory aircraft services specialist. The successful candidate will serve as director of operations and be a key member of the Transmission Services management team, as well as make major recommendations and decisions related to policy formulation and long-range planning. See a full job description...


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an account manager II and member services representative. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


You are planning a flight to an airport with a field elevation of 2,500 feet. Before you depart, you obtain a METAR which indicates the sky condition at your destination is "OVC030." How high above the airport is the ceiling?


The ceiling is 3,000 feet above ground level (agl). (Source: Aviation Weather Services, AC 00-45G, page 3-12.)

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. Contact AOPA.



Digital instruments

Are there are digital versions of the primary vacuum flight instruments? Read more...


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Apr 5-6 - Denver, Colo.; Cincinnati, Ohio; San Diego, Calif.; Tampa, Fla.; and Indianapolis, Ind.

Apr 12-13 - Atlanta, Ga.; Waltham, Mass.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Ashburn, Va.

May 3-4 - Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Albany, N.Y.; and Pensacola, Fla.

May 17-18 - Sacramento, Calif.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Houston, Texas.

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

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Apr 2 - Salt Lake City, Utah.

Apr 3 - Boise, Idaho.

Apr 7 - Glasgow, Ky.

Apr 8 - Danville, Ky.; and Birmingham, Ala.

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Apr 12 - Dunkirk, N.Y.

Apr 15 - Dunkirk, N.Y.

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, nor have ePilot editors edited the submissions. AOPA assumes no responsibility for events listed.

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. Take a look, and submit your own photos!

ePilot Editor:

Benét Wilson

Production Team

Melissa Whitehouse


Sarah Deener
Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore
Jill W. Tallman
Elizabeth Tennyson
Warren Morningstar
Alton K. Marsh
Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Ian J. Twombly
Dan Namowitz

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