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December 2, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterDecember 2, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Mooney Eagle

DECEMBER 2, 2016 - VOL 18, ISSUE 49

Top Stories


Inside the Spruce Goose

The Howard Hughes H-4 Hercules dubbed the Spruce Goose, a mammoth eight-engine flying boat that flew only once nearly 70 years ago, attracts people worldwide to its home in McMinnville, Oregon. Hughes designed the aircraft, intended to haul 750 soldiers and two Sherman tanks, on computer power no more complex than a slide rule and manufactured the wooden behemoth with a composite construction technique before carbon fiber technology was invented. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

Gooey Duck; Flying bug bites actor

The classic lines belong to the beloved Grumman Widgeon, but composite parts make the Gweduck (pronounced gooey-duck and named after a clam) a thoroughly modern aircraft. Christopher Meloni, best known for his role in Law and Order, got a late start as a pilot. His passion for flight took him from a Saratoga to an Eclipse. Also this week, learn about an effort to bring an autopilot with modern safety capabilities made for experimental aircraft to certificated aircraft. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, Dec. 1...  

Technique and Safety



He's making a list

An FAA specialist was conducting a random sampling of aircraft operating in the National Airspace System when he was struck by how many flight plans were active for Piper PA-46s. Read more...  


Aircraft Maintenance

Oil use and cylinder cracks

Find out why oil consumption alone can't be used to determine engine health. Read more...  



When icing demands a quick escape

In Accident Case Study: Delayed Reaction, the AOPA Air Safety Institute probes the tragic outcome of a Socata TBM 700 flight that encountered unforecasted severe icing. Learn how to make the correct decisions sooner to prevent this type of accident. Watch the video brought to you by AOPA Insurance Services...  



'See, Sense, Separate'

In addition to "see and avoid" there are other tools to help pilots look for conflicting traffic. The AOPA Air Safety Institute's Collision Avoidance: See, Sense, Separate video recommends ways to make your aircraft more visible and to improve your listening and scanning techniques. The video also explores ATC assistance and limitations—even at towered fields—in a nonradar environment. Watch the video...  


Flash-based; login required

GPS for VFR 101

While GPS units require model-specific knowledge and practice, it also helps to have an elementary understanding of how the Global Positioning System works. Learn GPS basics with the AOPA Air Safety Institute's GPS for VFR Operations introduction course. Safety tips and advice will help you avoid common mistakes. Take the course...




Overflight fees to increase

The FAA is raising the fees it charges flights that use air traffic services but neither take off nor land in the United States. AOPA continues to maintain that U.S.-registered general aviation aircraft should be exempt from the levies. Read more...  



Flight plan form switch coming

The FAA is now planning for an early 2017 start date for the mandatory use of the international flight plan form for domestic VFR and IFR flight plans, and is working to update official guidance information for pilots. Read more...  



User input sought on V-band coupling failures

An FAA/industry working group examining the safety issue of V-band coupling failures on turbocharged reciprocating engines has asked the public to assist the effort by providing information about their experiences with the turbocharger exhaust pipe interface. Read more...  



Pilot Protection Services

High blood pressure? AME could still issue your medical

If your doctor suggests medications to control your high blood pressure, start taking them sooner rather than later, recommends AOPA Director of the Pilot Information Center Medical Certification Section Gary Crump. You don't need to worry about losing your medical certificate. In many cases the aviation medical examiner can go ahead and issue a medical certificate to you during the physical exam. Read more...  




Stratos 714 makes first flight

The single-engine Stratos 714 jet, built by Stratos Aircraft based in Redmond, Oregon, flew Nov. 21 with gear and partial flaps down, reaching 3,700 feet and a speed of 128 knots. Read more...  



ForeFlight for simulators

An Atlanta company that makes flight simulation software and components has released a free application that allows ForeFlight Mobile to link with simulators powered by Microsoft Flight Simulator X or Lockheed Martin Prepar3D. Read more...  



NavWorx explains refused FAA inspection

NavWorx Inc. has explained one of its refusals to allow FAA inspectors access to the Texas facility where it manufactures the ADS600-B universal access transceiver (UAT). The products provide Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out and In capabilities on the 978-MHz frequency. Read more...  




Flying in Spain

From learning how to complete ICAO flight plans to learning how to fly in mountain waves, Opinion Leaders blogger Garrett Fisher has gained the confidence to fly in Spain and France, but he hasn't yet mustered the courage to land anywhere other than his new home base. Read more...  




Lower-cost autopilot in works

The migration of modern and highly capable gear from the experimental and amateur-built world into production aircraft is continuing with an announcement Nov. 28 that a new group is working with Trio Avionics to bring its non-technical standard order autopilot to Cessna 172 and 182 aircraft. Read more...  


Sporty's ornament: Cessna 140

The 2016 Sporty's Pilot Shop Christmas ornament depicts a classic Cessna 140 flying low over hills and valleys. The Sporty's holiday tradition has delighted aviation enthusiasts since 1985. The etched crystal ornament is available online for $24.95.


Pilot magazine

Gear for the mission: Helicopter pilot

Neal Lanning, 54, has 5,000 hours of helicopter time in everything from a small Robinson to a Sikorsky S–76. That's just the rotorcraft time out of his total 16,000 hours, some of that in the cockpit of a Gulfstream jet. He shares the gear that he uses most—some of which might be a great gift for helicopter pilots you know. Read more...  




New England challenges flying gourmets

New England pilots craving a full belly, inspiration to fly, and a free T-shirt are challenged to visit eight airport restaurants within the next eight months to be eligible for a grand prize giveaway. Read more...  



AOPA Foundation focus

Support GA and get a tax deduction

Help strengthen the AOPA Air Safety Institute's programs that reach nearly 200,000 pilots each year; help Rusty Pilots return to active flying status; bring aviation opportunities within reach of more Americans through flying clubs; and much more with your year-end, tax-deductible gift to the AOPA Foundation. There's no more powerful way to help protect general aviation for today's pilots and future generations. AOPA dues don't fund these efforts, so your support is crucial. Every dollar you contribute by Dec. 31 is 100 percent tax-deductible for 2016. Donate today...  

News and Notes



Tecnam P2002 gets luxury upgrade

Italy's Tecnam aircraft company, manufacturer of light sport aircraft in the United States and ultralights in Europe, has upgraded its P2002 Sierra to the MkII second-generation model. Read more...  



Shark swimming slowly to US

A 150-knot tandem-seat airplane called Shark that is certified in Europe as an ultralight is coming to the United States as a kit with retractable landing gear. It may be a while before you see many of them in the United States, although a demonstrator has arrived. You can see a video of it buzzing around Warrenton, Virginia. Read more...  



Events remember Pearl Harbor

More than 300 survivors of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor are estimated to attend various events Dec. 1 through 11 to mark the seventy-fifth anniversary. Read more...  



NORAD ready to track Santa

December is upon us, which means that soon all eyes will be upturned—or fixed to computer screens—for the return to the sky of a reindeer-powered, open-cockpit aircraft with skids for landing gear and an extra-large baggage compartment. Read more...  


Pilot Protection Services webinar

Enforcement compliance

AOPA Legal Services Plan attorneys Jared Allen and Ray Speciale will discuss how the FAA has been applying its compliance philosophy in cases they have received calls about from members enrolled in AOPA's Pilot Protection Services. Learn more during a webinar Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Register now...  

Career Opportunities


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? AOPA is looking for a Great Lakes regional manager, account executive, donor relations director, New York You Can Fly ambassador, aviation technical specialist, UI/front-end developer, and aviation financial analyst. To learn more about these and other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


If you hold a Part 107 remote pilot certificate that you obtained by combining the FAA's online training course with your current flight review, are you required to complete a flight review when your current flight review expires to maintain Part 107 currency? Can you take the Part 107 aeronautical knowledge test instead?


Either option is acceptable. This information is included in the initial training course on the FAA Safety Team website (ALC-451), but can also be found in 14 CFR 107.65. The regulation gives you two options to maintain your recency, which must have been completed within the previous 24 calendar months to exercise your certificate privileges. The first option is primarily for unmanned-only pilots, but can be used by manned pilots without a current flight review. It requires applicants to pass an initial or recurrent aeronautical knowledge test covering the required topics in 14 CFR 107.73(a) and (b). The second option is exclusively for certificated pilots under 14 CFR Part 61, other than student pilots, and requires a current flight review and completion of an initial or recurrent training course as explained in 14 CFR 107.74(a) and (b). It is important to remember for the purposes of this regulation that you can take the training course on the FAA website, while you must pay for the aeronautical knowledge test and take it at a testing center. If you choose to take the aeronautical knowledge test, remember that your AOPA membership gets you a discount at CATS testing centers.

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Dec 3-4 - Denver, Colorado; and Orlando, Florida

Jan 7-8 - Charlotte, North Carolina; Rockford, Tennessee; Santa Clara, California; and Ypsilanti, Michigan

Jan 14-15 - Bellevue, Washington; Elkridge, Maryland; and Ridgeland, Mississippi

Jan 20-21 - San Antonio, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and Long Beach, 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

Jan 9 - Reno, Nevada

Jan 10 - Sacramento, California; and Houston, Texas

Jan 11 - Milpitas, California; and San Antonio, Texas

Jan 12 - Austin, Texas; and Santa Rosa, California

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

Rusty Pilots Seminars

Dec 3 - Tyler, Texas; Scottsdale, Arizona; Panama City Beach, Florida; and Pembroke Pines, Florida

Dec 8 - Bartow, Florida

Dec 10 - Dallas, Texas; Newnan, Georgia; Long Beach, California; and Smithfield, North Carolina

Dec 17 - Fort Myers, 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.

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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