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October 23, 2015, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterOctober 23, 2015, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Sunset at the 2015 U.S. National Aerobatic Championships, North Texas Regional Airport/Perrin Field, Sherman-Denison, Texas, Sept. 24

OCTOBER 23, 2015 - VOL 17, ISSUE 43

Top Stories


Drone registration detailed

The Department of Transportation and the FAA have published new details about plans to register drones and set out their legal authority to regulate all drones of any size, including model aircraft. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

Red Bull three-peat, drone rules

The FAA will soon require drone buyers to register their aircraft, enabling the agency and law enforcement to track down operators who break rules. Paul Bonhomme became the first pilot to win three Red Bull Air Race World Championships despite his second-place finish in the season finale in Las Vegas. Also, AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman explores the many ways to customize your Cirrus. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, Oct. 22...  

Tektober 2015



Modifications and upgrades

Technology has helped owners to get more utility from their airplanes and make them safer and more comfortable. In some cases, technology has resulted in after-market modifications that simply make life a little easier. Read more...  

Technique and Safety



Otter overweight, out of balance

A de Havilland DHC-3 Otter crashed on July 7, 2013, because it was overweight and out of balance, the NTSB determined. The final report on the crash that killed 10 people just after takeoff from Soldotna Airport in Alaska was released Oct. 21. Read more... 



What will the weather do?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Aviation Weather Center is an excellent source to get a complete weather picture before flying. Discover some of the many resources available at its revamped website,, with this three-minute video—the second in the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Weather Wise series focused on practical weather flying. Watch Weather Wise: The AWC Website...  


Competition Aerobatics 101

'Fly aerobatics'

Turning toward the ground at the top of the hammerhead, a moment of confusion proved costly, putting a trophy just out of reach. But trophies and medals are far from the only things a pilot can win in aerobatic competition. Read more...  


Flash-based; login required

Go/no-go decisions made easier

Ever faced a difficult go/no-go decision and needed a second opinion? The AOPA Air Safety Institute's Flight Risk Evaluator offers a systematic approach to risk management. Based on your certificate level, flight experience, and environment, the online tool provides objective feedback about the intended flight. Try it now...


Aircraft Maintenance

Bleeding brakes

Any time you replace a component or fix a leak in the brake system, you must completely purge the system of air by "bleeding the brakes." Read more...  



Flight Watch signs off

After aiding scores of pilots with en route weather decisions, Flight Watch services on 122.0 MHz were recently retired. AOPA Air Safety Institute Senior Safety Advisor Bruce Landsberg pays homage to the En route Flight Advisory Service for its assistance. Read more...  




Support for medical reform continues to grow

Efforts to move medical reform legislation through Congress continue as support for the measure, known as the Pilot's Bill of Rights 2, grows steadily. Read more...  



Pilot Protection Services

What to know about breast cancer and medical certification

Dr. Warren Silberman discusses breast cancer awareness as well as when a pilot can apply for a medical certificate after being treated for the disease. Read more...  



Stay fit to fly

Maintaining your health can help you keep your medical certificate and enjoy flying longer. AOPA's Pilot Protection Services experts will offer tips to help you stay healthy during a webinar Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Register today...  




Blackhawk ups Caravan power

Blackhawk Modifications is now offering an 867-shaft-horsepower PT6A-140 engine to replace older Cessna Caravans' 600- and 675-shp powerplants. Read more... 




When good just isn't enough

"Professionalism has nothing to do with being paid to fly," writes Opinion Leaders blogger Rob Mark. "It's about wanting to be the best you can, every time you're PIC." Read his suggestions for how all pilots could improve their professionalism. Read more...  



Answers for Pilots

Flying family over the holidays?

As the holidays approach, so do opportunities to fly the family to celebrate with far-away relatives and friends. These flights, particularly with children, may involve some special planning. Feeling the pressure to get there on time, overpack, and meet the needs of children in the back seats can be challenging for the pilot. Read some tips to make family flights less stressful and more fun. Read more...  




Sam Aircraft selling assets

All assets of the Canadian Sam Aircraft company are on the market for $100,000, including the lone, fully tested prototype that founder Thierry Zibi values at $120,000. It is the second time in 14 months that the company has announced the assets are for sale, although there was no price when the first announcement was made in 2014. Read more...  



2015 Pilots Choice winners revealed

Pets topped people after pilots voted online for their favorite aviation-based charity to select the top five 2015 Lightspeed Aviation Foundation grant winners. Read more...  



Quicksilver dissolves, overall aviation outlook flat

Quicksilver, an ultralight company with a long history and 15,000 aircraft flying, has dissolved, but one vendor intends to keep the parts flow going, and maybe build aircraft. Other sources indicate the company is not alone—2015 is turning into a flat year for aviation. Read more...  

News and Notes



Big hearts, big help

After flash floods unleashed mudslides that stranded motorists just north of Los Angeles, pilots at nearby Tehachapi Airport scrambled to provide help. Read more...  



Tecnam to build in China

Tecnam, builder of leading light sport aircraft and a certified four seater, has reached an agreement for three models to be produced in China, starting immediately. Read more...  



Big Creek Lodge takes shape

Seven years after a fire burned Idaho's historic Big Creek Lodge to the ground, the structure is rising from its ashes with the help of an active pilot community, financial donations, and the cooperation of the U.S. Forest Service. Read more...  



Bonhomme takes championship

Britain's Paul Bonhomme won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship Oct. 18 after the final race of the season at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, breaking the three-way tie of two championships with Americans Mike Mangold and Kirby Chambliss. Days later, Bonhomme announced that 2015 was his last racing season. Read more...  



Register for aviation symposium

The registration deadline for school administrators, guidance counselors, and aviation program directors to attend the first symposium of the AOPA Aviation Education Leadership Alliance is drawing near. Those planning to attend must register by Nov. 4. The symposium, which will take place Nov. 9 in Lakeland, Florida, is part of AOPA's larger effort to pair the joy and career opportunities of aviation with science, technology, engineering, and math programs in high schools. Register today...  

Career Opportunities


Aviation job board

Job of the week: Axis Jet King Air 300/350 captain

Axis Jet, founded in 2004, is currently seeking a King Air 300/350 captain. The successful candidate must be highly motivated and organized, and must exhibit strong leadership skills. King Air pilots will be responsible for conducting flights in accordance with company policies and procedures as well as within FAA regulations and guidelines. In addition, the successful candidate must be a team-oriented individual, capable of providing first-class customer service and care. 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 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; and director of regulatory affairs.To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


Every 28 days or so you update your panel-mounted GPS database. Do you need to enter this task in the aircraft logbook?


As of Jan. 28, 2013, updating databases for self-contained, front-panel, or pedestal-mounted GPS units is a non-maintenance task, which does not require logging. Before this date, database updates were listed under preventive maintenance and had to be recorded in the aircraft logbook. FAR 43.3(k) covers what conditions must be met so that the updates are not considered maintenance. For background information on the new rule, see the final rule in the Federal Register.

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Oct 24-25 - Corpus Christi, Texas

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

Nov 14-15 - Ashburn, Virginia; Austin, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Anchorage, Alaska

Dec 5-6 - Denver, Colorado; Orlando, Florida; and Northbrook, Illinois

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 26 - Everett, Washington

Oct 27 - Seattle, Washington; and Charlotte, North Carolina

Oct 28 - Portland, Oregon; and Jamestown, North Carolina

Oct 29 - Eugene, Oregon; and Morrisville, North Carolina

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Oct 24 - Santa Paula, California; Swanton, Vermont; and Burlington, Washington

Nov 7 - Auburn, California

Nov 14 - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Ashland, Virginia; New Orleans, Louisiana; and San Jose, California

Dec 5 - Scottsdale, Arizona; and Winter Haven, Florida

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.

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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