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March 13, 2015, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterMarch 13, 2015, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Spartan 7W

MARCH 13, 2015 - VOL 17, ISSUE 11

Top Stories

Pilot magazine

Ageless aviators

Overlapping wings bring their four airplanes so close that tiny relative movements seem gigantic. The Mavericks, mostly seventy-something former airshow performers, are in the midst of a strenuous formation aerobatic flight. They do this demanding and unforgiving flying for their own reasons—not corporate sponsorships, large performance venues, or media coverage, but shared goals, long-term friendships, personal challenges, and satisfaction. On the ground, their banter mostly consists of merciless teasing. "Is this interview for the AOPA or the AARP?" Jim Weldon, 78, asks mischievously. Read more and watch the video...  



Your chance to experience business aviation

Here's your chance to fly the amazingly versatile Pilatus PC-12. The AOPA Pilot BizAv and You contest powered by Pilatus gives you a shot at flying a PC-12 NG, a turboprop equally at home in town or country, on missions that showcase the capabilities of business aircraft. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

Schiff on Harrison Ford, fly a Collier nominee

AOPA Pilot contributor Barry Schiff talks about the Ryan PT-22, an aircraft he knows well. In fact, Schiff checked Harrison Ford out in the vintage taildragger, now a little more famous since Ford's recent engine-out. Also this week, climb aboard the Legacy 500, a jet nominated for the 2015 Collier Trophy that Embraer hopes will win the midsized cabin market. Plus, an award-winning controller talks about helping a VFR pilot through clouds. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, March 12...  

Technique and Safety


Fly like a fighter

Slightly lost

A low-fuel indication sends an F-15 rookie pilot back toward home base away from his training team. While troubleshooting the problem, the pilot follows the wrong landmark. He shares the lessons that he learned and now applies to every flight. Read more...  


Safety video

Nail your short-field landings

While the checklist is important for determining how to perform a short-field landing, sometimes it helps to step back and look at the big picture. In this video, learn why this maneuver exists and how to better visualize what you're trying to accomplish. Watch the video...  


Aircraft Maintenance

Lonely airplanes and the problems that come with them

Airplanes and pets have a lot in common: They like activity. Being left alone for extended periods of time can generate some undesirable behaviors in both. Read more...  


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Take Collision Avoidance safety quiz

No matter the time of day or the type of flight plan you've filed (if any), collision avoidance is a fundamental responsibility of every pilot. Test your knowledge and brush up on the basics of this skill in the Air Safety Institute's safety quiz. Take the quiz...




FAA urges light sport makers to act on ADS-B

The FAA is urging the manufacturers of special light sport aircraft to establish pathways for the installation of ADS-B Out equipment and angle of attack indicators in their aircraft. Until manufacturers take action to approve the installation of ADS-B equipment, individual owners cannot meet the FAA's 2020 ADS-B mandate. Read more...  



AOPA, EAA leaders meet to solidify ties

Third class medical reform, the FAA's hangar use policy, ADS-B, and growing the pilot population are among many issues that leaders of AOPA and EAA discussed during a meeting designed to further strengthen ties between the organizations. Read more...  



FAA recommends replacing Velcro-style ELT fasteners

The FAA on March 10 encouraged aircraft owners and operators with emergency locator transmitters secured by hook-and-loop fasteners to switch voluntarily to a metal strap type restraint. Read more...  



Pilot Christopher Hart confirmed as NTSB chairman

AOPA welcomed the U.S. Senate's unanimous confirmation March 12 of Christopher Hart, a pilot and former FAA executive, as the thirteenth chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. Read more...  



Member benefits

Battling late-season influenza

If fever, coughing, and sneezing are accompanied by chills and shivers, muscle aches, headache, and general cruddiness, you may have the flu. Dr. Jonathan Sackier offers advice for dealing with the flu. Read more...  




Solar Impulse launched

Swiss pilot André Borschberg completed the first leg of the Solar Impulse zero-fuel circumnavigation, a nearly 14-hour mission covering about 215 miles (loitering was required). Read more...  



Gulfstream wins Collier for G650

The G650 business jet's contributions to business aviation "through significant technological advancements in aircraft performance, cabin comfort, and safety" earned Gulfstream Aerospace the 2014 Robert J. Collier Trophy, the National Aeronautic Association announced March 11. Read more...  




How far is far enough?

With a range of 7,500 nautical miles, the Gulfstream G650ER recently laid claim to two records on a 13,511-nm flight around the world with a single fuel stop. Will business jet manufacturers continue to develop even longer-range airplanes, Opinion Leaders blogger Ron Rapp asks, or will future emphasis be placed on speed and comfort? Read more...  



Think outside the traffic pattern

After a long flight to Santa Rosa Route 66 Airport in New Mexico, Opinion Leaders blogger Jolie Lucas found herself in the back of a police cruiser. She wasn't in trouble with the law; she was taking advantage of an unusual airport transportation service. She explains how this and other fun airport programs attract visitors and build goodwill.  



Pilot Getaways feature

Camping in the Utah Canyonlands

After landing on a short, dirt strip at the bottom of the Green River Canyon, pilots can stop to appreciate the view they just earned: multi-colored sandstone cliffs mere yards away, towering hundreds of feet into a brilliant blue sky. Read more...  



Member benefits

The big decision: Buy new or used?

Is a new or used airplane right for you? Benefits of buying a new airplane include reduced maintenance, warranty coverage, and the ability to customize to your taste. With used airplanes, you may get more for your dollar, insurance costs are likely to be lower, and depreciation will go slower—but be sure you know the aircraft's history and get a prepurchase inspection. Get advice from AOPA Aviation Finance...  



Get tips on aircraft refurbishing

Find out what you can do to bring new life to a timeworn airplane in an AOPA webinar March 25 at 8 p.m. Eastern time, brought to you by AOPA Insurance Services and AOPA Aviation Finance Co. AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines and Editor at Large Dave Hirschman will share what they've learned from multiple aircraft overhauls, rebuilds, upgrades, and refurbishments: what makes some airplanes better candidates than others, where and how to start, what jobs to tackle, and how to find resources that fit your project. Register...  

News and Notes



Did 'The Lost Aviator' murder his rival?

Australian filmmaker Andrew Lancaster's great uncle Bill was a dashing aviator from the golden age of flight. Was he also a rival's killer? Read more...  



Harrison Ford recovering

Actor, pilot, and general aviation advocate Harrison Ford is recovering after suffering injuries in an emergency landing at a California golf course March 5. Read more...  



Ford goes off-airport, does it well

Several factors go into a successful engine-out landing, among them a competent pilot and a reasonable landing site option, according to Air Safety Institute Senior Safety Advisor Bruce Landsberg. As media coverage of Harrison Ford's off-airport landing continues, Landsberg offers pilots tips for maintaining control and managing risk in the event of an engine failure. Read more...  


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Waco or Diamond? You decide

Can the modern lines of the Diamond DA40 measure up to the old-world craftsmanship of the Waco YMF-5D? Your votes will decide in the first round of voting for the Best Aircraft Showdown bracket-style competition, sponsored by Aero-Space Reports. Over the course of two days, the first round of voting matches low-wing and high-wing Pipers, the B-17 Flying Fortress and the Lockheed C-130, and more. Check out the bracket now, and get ready to cast your votes March 17 and 18...



High schoolers earn college credit exploring aviation careers

Twenty-seven students from nine high schools are enrolled for the initial, winter 2015 semester of the Aviation Academy at Community College of Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Read more...  



Women in Aviation welcomes enthusiastic crowd in Dallas

The twenty-sixth annual Women in Aviation, International conference drew a crowd of more than 4,500 attendees to hear from dynamic leaders in corporate, nonprofit, and military aviation. Read more...  



From a Comanche to Corporate Angel Network

Priscilla Blum, co-founder of the nonprofit Corporate Angel Network, was inducted into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame on March 7. Read more...  



Flying forward, striking a spark

Thousands of women were introduced to aviation during Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, March 2 through 8. The 2015 events paid special tribute to female combat pilots. Read more...  



Sporty's Foundation reports grants

Nonprofit aviation philanthropy The Sporty's Foundation released an annual report for 2014 listing grants totaling $148,500. Read more...  



Goodbye, Sikorsky S300

One of the more interesting moments at Heli-Expo in Orlando, Florida, came almost as a footnote at a poorly attended Sikorsky press conference, according to AOPA Pilot Editor Ian Twombly: Sikorsky said it won't take any new orders for the S300. That could mean good news for current S300 operators. Read more...  

Career Opportunities


Aviation job board

Job of the week: Software designer, Redbird Flight Simulations

Redbird Flight Simulations is transforming flight training through interactive simulation. The company is looking for a software designer who understands the potential of using game science for flight training, education, enjoyment, and changing the world. The successful candidate will be part of a team to design and produce realistic flight training experiences. Learn 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 part time, temporary digital product support; 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


The color of a runway centerline lighting system indicates how much runway is remaining. What can a pilot determine when he or she sees the lights change from all white to alternating white and red?


Centerline lights are white until the final 3,000 feet of the runway. Beyond that point they begin to alternate red and white until the final 1,000 feet of runway. For the final 1,000 feet, they are all red. (Source: Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge 13-9.)

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

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

Apr 18-19 - Needham, Massachusetts; Denver, Colorado; and Ashburn, Virginia

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 23 - Northbrook, Illinois; and Eugene, Oregon

Mar 24 - Portland, Oregon; and Lisle, Illinois

Mar 25 - Seattle, Washington; and Rockford, Illinois

Mar 26 - Springfield, Illinois

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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