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March 6, 2015, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterMarch 6, 2015, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Enstrom F28-F

MARCH 6, 2015 - VOL 17, ISSUE 10

Top Stories


Call to action on medical reform

AOPA is calling on its members to take immediate action to build support for new legislation that would reform the third class medical process and provide other protections for general aviation pilots. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

Heli-Expo, mosquito control

AOPA Live This Week® is in Orlando, Florida, for the Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo, the rotorcraft world's main event. Elsewhere in the Sunshine State, get the pilot's view from 25 feet agl aboard a helicopter tasked with controlling mosquitoes that threaten quality of life and health. Plus, ride along with a morning news and traffic chopper over traffic jams in Southern California. Watch AOPA Live This Week, March 5...  

AOPA Fly-Ins


Event registration

AOPA Fly-Ins registration opens

RSVP early for an AOPA Fly-In in your area to get discounts on food, $30 in coupons, and a chance to win cool aviation prizes. Whether you're an aircraft owner, experienced pilot, rusty pilot, new pilot, student pilot, or just plain crazy about airplanes, AOPA Fly-Ins have something for you. Register now for the 2015 AOPA Fly-Ins!  

Technique and Safety



Stuck on top, other ATC assists

With solid instrument meteorological conditions extending hundreds of miles in every direction, a VFR-only pilot was stuck on top of the clouds. The controller who helped him safely descend through almost 8,000 feet of IMC was among those honored March 4 with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association's Archie League Medal of Safety Award. Read more and listen to audio from the incidents...  



Controllers aided in storms, icing

AOPA's Air Safety Institute has awarded Flight Assist Commendations to 10 air traffic controllers who guided general aviation pilots to safe landings despite thunderstorms, icing, mountainous terrain, and inoperative instruments and radios. Read more and listen to the audio...  


Accident analysis

Out of his hands

Autopilots are handy, but they present a long chain of potential failure points. If you can't safely conclude a flight without relying on one, consider whether you should make the flight at all. On Nov. 19, 2013, a turbocharged Cessna T210M was destroyed by an in-flight break-up near Cedaredge, Colorado. After making an unexpected turn, the pilot had told ATC that his autopilot had disconnected "and so we're recovering here." Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.  



Cold and calculated

The caustic combination of crosswind and an ice-crusted runway sent the aircraft skidding into a snow bank built up by plowing along the runway edge. Read more...  


Safety video

'Fasten your seat belts'

You are responsible for your passengers' safety, and one key item is the passenger briefing. Perhaps you're a little rusty on the drill required by the FARs, or maybe you'd like to create or improve your own safety briefing. No problem—the Air Safety Institute's Critical Information: The Passenger Safety Briefing safety video has you covered. Watch the video...  


Flash-based, login required

Cleared as filed

Whether you're instrument rated or in training, you'll need to have a full grasp of instrument charts to fly safely in instrument meteorological conditions. The Air Safety Institute's IFR Insights: Charts course offers solid guidance and practical tips to boost your instrument flying skills moving forward. Take the course...




Airbus Helicopters debuts H160

The "Splash of the Day" award for the opening day of Heli-Expo 2015 in Orlando, Florida, must surely go to Airbus Helicopters for its big reveal of the H160 mid-sized helicopter. Read more...  



Steady helo sales projected

Despite a dramatic decline in 2014 helicopter deliveries, forecasters at Honeywell Aerospace project a steady stream of deliveries over the next five years. Read more...  



Bell upgrades 407, scores big sale

Bell Helicopter now offers the 407GXP with an additional 50 pounds of payload, a new M250 Rolls-Royce engine, and new avionics. The helicopter has already attracted a customer. Read more...  



Robinson betting on future growth

Prolific helicopter manufacturer Robinson saw lower sales in 2014 owing to weak global demand, but a new engine deal and some aircraft options indicate a strong future. Read more...  



Composite Helicopters to certify new models

New Zealand helicopter company Composite Helicopters is moving from kit to certified carbon fiber rotorcraft. Read more...  



'Dominatrix of helicopters' charges on

Declaring this "a time for disruptors," flamboyant MD Helicopters owner Lynn Tilton vowed to keep her storied company moving forward into her second decade of ownership. Read more...  



Garmin to offer ADS-B units for helicopters

Garmin International will offer the GDL 84H and GDL 88H Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) datalink specifically designed for helicopters. Read more...  




FAA needs to be more efficient, House leaders tell Huerta

The FAA needs to be more efficient and move more swiftly to complete critical projects in order for the United States to maintain its gold standard in aviation safety, House leaders told FAA Administrator Michael Huerta during a hearing on FAA reauthorization. Read more...  



AOPA backs 'Know Before You Fly' campaign

AOPA has joined the "Know Before You Fly" campaign that seeks to educate users of unmanned aircraft systems about safe and responsible operations, including where and how high unmanned aircraft may be flown. Read more...  



Members only

Get an inside look at the FAA's new sleep apnea policy

On March 2, the FAA published its latest guidelines on obstructive sleep apnea. Former FAA manager of aerospace medical certification Warren Silberman describes how the policy divides pilots into six groups. Read more...  




Solar Impulse nears departure

Crews prepared Solar Impulse 2, the gossamer aircraft powered by the sun and designed to inspire, for a hoped-for March 7 departure from Abu Dhabi. Read more...  



Continental engine approved

Continental Motors announced FAA certification of its IO-360-AF six-cylinder engine that can be operated with 100LL avgas or unleaded 91UL fuel. Read more...  




Where dreams take us

As a child, Opinion Leaders blogger Amy Laboda dreamed of becoming an astronaut, thanks to her role model Nichelle Nichols, who played Nyota Uhura on Star Trek. She didn't become an astronaut, but she did become a pilot, thanks to another role model—her father. Now, she's a cheerleader for helping children today achieve their dreams. Read more...  




Garmin updates Pilot app for helos

Garmin International has updated its Garmin Pilot app for Apple devices with helicopter routes and obstacles along routes. Read more...  




Alton Bay draws crowd

An ice runway that has become a New England destination tradition continues: Dedicated volunteers have scraped clean 2,600 feet of Alton Bay. A brutal winter has kept volunteers busy with their snowplows, though the weather may relent for these final weeks before their effort melts away. Read more...  




AOPA offers training financing

Through an innovative new program developed by the AOPA Aviation Finance Co., AOPA is offering flight training financing. Read more...  



Student pilot scholarship awarded at Women in Aviation event

An aviation student from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, is the 2015 recipient of the $3,000 AOPA Women in Aviation, International student pilot scholarship, AOPA announced March 5. Read more...  

News and Notes



Navy probes Florida crash site

A metal detector enthusiast recently unearthed fragments of a legendary World War II aircraft, and the U.S. Navy deployed a team to investigate in February. Soon, they expect to positively identify the particular Douglas SBD Dauntless, and prove the pilot who lost his life learning to master it was returned, long since, to his family. Read more...  



Rotor crack prompts alert

The FAA on Feb. 23 issued a special airworthiness information bulletin recommending preflight inspection of Robinson R44 and R44 II main rotors. The bulletin follows an in-flight failure in New Zealand that led to a difficult emergency landing. Read more...  



FAA's annual GA survey getting underway

The FAA is asking for help on the thirty-seventh annual General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey covering calendar year 2014. Read more...  



Bell makes 429 wheeled chopper delivery

Bell Helicopter has made the first delivery of the Bell 429WLG (wheeled landing gear) in North America. Read more...  

Career Opportunities


Aviation job board

Job of the week: Airport manager, Steamboat Springs

The City of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, is currently seeking a full-time airport manager. The successful candidate will oversee the operation, maintenance, and administration of the city airport and FBO. Responsibilities include personnel, community service workers, and temporary employees as required. Read the full job description now.


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an outreach and events coordinator; aviation event and meeting planner; vice president for major and leadership gifts; Sitecore developer; director of studies, research, and analysis; associate editor—Web/ePilot; and account manager II. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


While flying last night, I saw what looked like an airport beacon, but it included a yellow flash in sequence with the white and green flashes. What was that?


Heliport beacons flash white, yellow, and green. (Source: Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge 13-7.)

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Mar 7-8 - Phoenix, Arizona; and Orlando, Florida

Mar 14-15 - Columbia, Maryland; and Burlingame, California

Mar 21-22 - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; Ontario, California; and Virginia Beach, Virginia

Apr 11-12 - Salt Lake City, Utah; Hebron, Kentucky; Atlanta, Georgia; and Indianapolis, Indiana

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

Mar 6 - Dallas, Texas

Mar 9 - Detroit, Michigan

Mar 10 - Raymond, Mississippi; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Independence, Ohio

Mar 11 - Greensboro, North Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Mar 19 - Buffalo, New York

Mar 21 - Frederick, Maryland; Spencer, Iowa; and Monterey, California

Mar 28 - Olathe, Kansas

Apr 4 - Palm Springs, California

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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