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October 9, 2015, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterOctober 9, 2015, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

A Temco Globe Swift GC-1B flies as part of a formation near Tullahoma Regional Airport in Tennessee

OCTOBER 9, 2015 - VOL 17, ISSUE 41

Top Stories


Drone action urged

With a million drones expected in consumer hands by Christmas, a $1.9 million fine now sought by the FAA from one drone operator, and a growing mountain of sighting reports from pilots, members of a House committee with jurisdiction over civil aviation vented frustration and urged action during an Oct. 7 hearing. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

Huerta touts compliance, lowers boom

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said aircraft operators should be trusted to cooperate, comply, and be partners in safety. When it comes to drones, however, the agency opted for a different approach—announcing a $1.9 million civil penalty against a photography company for drone operations in the New York Class B airspace. Also this week, Redbird Flight Simulations rises to a unique challenge, and take a look at what's in store for you in Tullahoma, Tennessee, at this year's final AOPA Fly-In. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, Oct. 8...  

Tektober 2015



Appareo readies for ESG flight tests

Appareo Systems will soon begin certification flight testing of its new Stratus ESG 1090-MHz Extended Squitter transponder in Fargo, North Dakota. The unit also provides Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out capability. Read more...  



In-flight sim changes training

A helmet-mounted simulator worn during flight has pilots seeing things, like another aircraft in formation, a military tanker, or even a runway to practice landings at 5,000 feet with no airport nearby. The system, which obviously requires a safety pilot, has potential applications for general aviation. Read more...  



Automating aviation

The autopilot has come a long way in the past 100 years, taking an increasingly active role in the safe operation of aircraft. Sophisticated systems help pilots stay in control, but will not displace the aviator's mind any time soon. Read more...  

Technique and Safety



NTSB invites pilots to safety forum

The NTSB will host a safety forum, "Humans and Hardware: Preventing Inflight Loss of Control in General Aviation," on Oct. 14 that is free and open to the public. AOPA and the Air Safety Institute will be participating, as will other pilots, flight instructors, industry and government officials, and advocacy groups. The forum will take place at the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center in Washington, D.C., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It also will be webcast. Learn more...  


Fly like a fighter

Chemical warfare

Training flights using the chemical warfare or gas mask proved painful for one U.S. Air Force fighter pilot whose forehead looked like someone had hit him with a two-by-four after wearing it. The pilot had to alter his piloting routine when wearing the mask. How do you overcome situations that are mentally or physically uncomfortable while flying? Read more...  


Aircraft Maintenance

Brake lining and disc replacement

Brake linings, which wear away over time from normal use, will eventually need to be replaced on your aircraft. In automobiles, brake linings are permanently attached to metal backing plates, and the entire assembly is disposable. On aircraft, the linings are riveted to reusable parts of the caliper assembly. Read more...  


Safety Spotlight

Transition training 101

Do you know what to expect when jumping from a familiar airplane or avionics setup into something new? Explore the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Transitioning to Other Aircraft Safety Spotlight, which includes flash cards, quizzes, and the popular Transitioning to Other Airplanes online course. Learn more...  


Digital publication

Check out 'CFI to CFI' newsletter

The Air Safety Institute shares simple rules of thumb to help manage general aviation pilot and passenger expectations in "A 90-Percent Solution." Also, learn why airplane owners and instructors need to be vigilant during flight reviews, how to keep stalls at bay, and which flight service tools help us analyze each flight. Access free digital flight instructor newsletter articles and videos anywhere, anytime.



iPaddy melt

On a recent flight to the Triple Tree Fly-In in South Carolina, AOPA Air Safety Institute Senior Safety Advisor Bruce Landsberg's iPad "went into meltdown mode" just as he was ready to start the arrival procedure to the busy grass strip. Has your iPad ever melted down at an inopportune time? Share your experiences with Landsberg...  



A different AFD can save the day

Dig deeper into weather information in your area by joining an in-depth regional aviation forecast discussion to learn how weather conditions that can't simply be encoded into a TAF might affect your flying. Hover Power blogger Matt Johnson explains. Read more...  


CORRECTION: The VOR at Tullahoma Regional Airport has been decommissioned, rendering the VOR Runway 6 approach to the airport mentioned in the Oct. 2 edition of AOPA ePilot obsolete. AOPA subsequently worked with the FAA to issue a notam for the VOR Runway 6 approach to alert pilots.

AOPA Fly-Ins



Beech central

The Beechcraft Heritage Museum will host AOPA's final 2015 Regional Fly-In on Oct. 10 at Tullahoma Regional Airport in Tennessee. Fly-in attendees will receive free admission to the museum, which houses a beautiful collection of aircraft ranging from the classic Travel Air to the sophisticated King Air and the ahead-of-its-time Starship. Read more...  




FAA adopts new compliance stance

The FAA continues to move closer to an industry-supported strategy of taking a more risk-based approach to compliance and certification issues for general aviation. Read more...  



Area forecasts to be discontinued

A government-industry working group that included the AOPA Foundation recommended that the area forecast be transitioned to more modern digital and graphical forecasts in 2016. Read more...  


Pilot Protection Services

Protect yourself in an investigation

The FAA issues a letter of investigation to a pilot early in its enforcement process. The first thought for most pilots is, "What should I do and where is this going?" Read more...  




Vickers amphib to use Titan engine

Vickers Aircraft of New Zealand has selected Continental's Titan engine for its two-seat light sport amphibian, a switch from a previous decision to use a Lycoming engine. The company realized a 25-pound weight savings by switching engines. Read more...  



Drones prove difficult for ag pilots to see

An organization dedicated to promoting safe and responsible drone use demonstrated just how difficult it is for agricultural pilots to spot drones. Current education programs targeting drone operators do not cover the potential conflict with agricultural and other low-altitude manned missions. Read more...  




What a country!

After a recent international business aviation flight, Opinion Leaders blogger Ron Rapp notes "what incredible barriers humans can erect to keep would-be travelers tied up in bureaucratic knots." From visas to customs and paperwork, Rapp takes you inside the notably unglamorous side of international flying. Read more...  




Plane Dynamix to offer Mattson STCs for Piper PA-28s

Plane Dynamix of Wake Forest, North Carolina, announced its acquisition of the late Art Mattson's line of FAA supplemental type certificates for Piper Cherokee-family aircraft. Read more...  



Pilot Getaways feature

Heritage in the hills

The largest city in the narrow, western portion of North Carolina, Asheville retains a small-town feel that welcomes you to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Check it out on your way to or from the AOPA Fly-In in Tullahoma, Tennessee, Oct. 10. Read more...  



England to Australia in a biplane

An English pilot is flying her Stearman biplane 13,000 miles from England to Sydney, Australia, to honor an aviation pioneer and inspire women pilots. She'll cross the United States in 2016 as part of her world tour. Read more...  



Answers for Pilots

Tips for selling an aircraft

Once you've shined up your airplane; made sure all maintenance, inspections, and logbooks are up to date; and advertised it through various outlets, refresh your knowledge about the buying and selling process. These tips will help ensure a smooth sale. Read more...  

News and Notes



Pilots needed for disaster relief

Aerobridge, an organization that coordinates the use of donated aircraft to help provide disaster relief, is calling on pilots to donate time in their aircraft or to volunteer for ground support in South Carolina after the recent devastating floods. Read more...  



GA helps document flood damage

After two feet of rainfall flooded South Carolina, general aviation aircraft documented the disaster and assisted in recovery efforts. Read more...  



Low and slow with James Brown

Two days after a period of rain that drenched the Southeast, AOPA flew along the swollen, muddy James River from Richmond, Virginia, to the base of the Blue Ridge mountains with an environmental nonprofit. Read more...  



Air Force Museum to expand

Restoration crews at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, moved a North American X-15A-2 into the museum's new fourth building on Oct. 2. The expanded Space Gallery will open to the public in June 2016. Read more...  


Member benefit

Red Bull offers member discount

Get your adrenaline rush from the speed, agility, and precision of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Oct. 17 and 18. Britain's Paul Bonhomme leads going into the finals, but Australian pilot Matt Hall isn't far behind. AOPA members can receive a 10-percent discount on tickets. Plus, show your AOPA membership card at the gate for access to a special AOPA member viewing area and an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour. Purchase your tickets today...  



Aviation symposium announced

AOPA is inviting high school administrators, guidance counselors, and aviation program directors to attend the first symposium of the AOPA Aviation Education Leadership Alliance. Read more...  



Wright factory purchase on track

The National Aviation Heritage Alliance is finalizing plans to purchase (and then restore) the Wright brothers' original aircraft manufacturing factory in Dayton, Ohio, which is owned by a redevelopment company. Read more...  



Women intro girls to aviation

Women in Aviation chapters in the United States, Canada, Africa, and other locations spent Sept. 26 sharing the excitement of aviation with girls and women. Read more...  

Career Opportunities


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an account executive; human resources coordinator; legal services plan specialist; payroll technician; database developer; aviation event planner; manager of aviation safety programs; ambassador—Texas; director of aviation security; director of media relations; and director of regulatory affairs.To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


You are 43 years old, and your last FAA medical exam was two months before your fortieth birthday. Is your third class medical certificate valid?


Yes. The answer hinges on the age at which you had your third class medical exam. Because you were under age 40 when you had your most recent medical exam, your medical certificate is good for 60 calendar months. Your next third class medical will be good for only 24 calendar months, since you'll be over 40 at the time of that examination. (See FAR 61.23.)

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Oct 10-11 - Nashville, Tennessee; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Windsor Locks, Connecticut

Oct 17-18 - Wichita, Kansas; and Santa Clara, California

Oct 24-25 - Corpus Christi, Texas

Nov 7-8 - Atlanta Georgia; and San Diego, California

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

Oct 10 - Tullahoma, Tennessee

Oct 12 - Lakeland, Florida

Oct 13 - Concord, California; Madison, Wisconsin; and Fort Myers, Florida

Oct 14 - Fresno, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; West Lafayette, Indiana; and Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Oct 10 - Tullahoma, Tennessee; and Henderson, Nevada

Oct 11 - Middletown, Pennsylvania

Oct 13 - Fort Myers, Florida

Oct 15 - Culpeper, Virginia

For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.


Aviation Calendar

Want something to do this weekend? Planning an aviation getaway? See AOPA's enhanced calendar of events. You can filter events by date range, airport ID, state, or region. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.

To include an event or to search all events in the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA Airports. AOPA does not endorse or assume responsibility for the events submitted and listed in the calendar.

AOPA Featured Event

Oct 10 — Tullahoma, Tennessee. Tullahoma Regional Airport (THA). AOPA Fly-In.

Events by Region

Northeast | Eastern | Mid-Atlantic | Florida | Southeast | Great Lakes | Midwest | Southwest | Central | Western | California | Northwest | Alaska | Hawaii

ePilot Editors:

Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore
David Tulis

Production Assistant:

Melissa Whitehouse


Mike Collins
Sarah Deener
Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Alton K. Marsh
Warren Morningstar
Dan Namowitz
Jill W. Tallman
Elizabeth Tennyson
Ian J. Twombly
Julie Summers Walker

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