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December 23, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterDecember 23, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Cessna 195

DECEMBER 23, 2016 - VOL 18, ISSUE 52

Top Stories


FAA reforms Part 23 regs

The FAA has released a final rule that reforms small aircraft certification standards with groundbreaking new provisions that allow manufacturers to use performance-based, industry-consensus standards in place of the "prescriptive" manufacturing methods that have long hindered development of new designs and technologies, and caused aircraft certification costs to soar. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

Best videos of 2016

AOPA Live This Week® has taken you along for some extraordinary flights in 2016. Sit back, relax, and feast your eyes on the best stories of the year, including a news helicopter on a life-saving mission to track twisters, F-100 pilots getting one last chance to fly the Super Sabre, and an airline pilot returning to her general aviation roots. The next episode of the show will be available Jan. 12. Watch the director's cut of AOPA Live This Week...  

Technique and Safety



Pilots weigh in on pattern study

AOPA's announcement that the Air Safety Institute and the University of North Dakota had partnered to study a continuous turning approach or "circular pattern" as an alternative to the traditional box pattern sparked immediate, impassioned responses from pilots. Read more...  


Video animation

No room for a mistake

When air traffic control instructs you to exit the runway at a specific taxiway, they expect you to comply. In this Runway Safety video, the AOPA Air Safety Institute explores what happened when a Cessna 172 landing at Allentown, Pennsylvania, missed the turnoff from the active runway and a regional airliner was cleared for takeoff from the same runway. Watch the video...  


Flash-based; login required

Help anxious flyers

While you're in awe of the scenery, your passenger is holding a tight grip on the seat, eyes closed. How can you help your passenger overcome his or her anxiety? Introduce your frequent flyer to basic, easy-to-comprehend aviation knowledge in the form of the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Pinch Hitter online course. Share and review the program before going flying...



Wire chafing risk in PA-31s

The FAA has issued a special airworthiness information bulletin to alert operators of certain Piper Aircraft PA-31T, PA-31T1, PA-31T2, PA-31T3, and PA-31P-350 twin-engine airplanes of a wiring condition at the floor-mounted circuit breaker panel that could lead to chafing, thermal stress, or arcing in the area directly below the panel. Read more...  




AOPA comments on proposed NavWorx AD

In its comments to a proposed airworthiness directive (AD) that would require the removal of certain NavWorx universal access transceivers (UATs) from an estimated 800 general aviation aircraft, AOPA recommended that the FAA provide additional information on the UATs' reported deficiencies, as well as greater clarity on the necessity of the proposed AD. Read more...  



Congress backs contract towers

The Contract Tower Program exemplifies how the federal government and the private sector can work together to bring about air traffic safety in a proven, cost-effective manner, says a letter from 105 members of Congress to President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Read more...  



Trump TFR in Florida will be costly

Once President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated in January, a presidential temporary flight restriction will follow him wherever he goes, including his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida. A standard presidential TFR in that area would have a negative impact on six airports that have a "total economic output exceeding $1 billion, create over 8,000 jobs, and have a total payroll of $290 million," AOPA President Mark Baker wrote in a letter to the Trump transition team. Read more...  



Industry seeks TFR notam improvements

An industry-led committee composed of pilots, aviation and automation experts, officials who submit notams, and flight planning vendors has drafted 54 recommendations to the FAA to improve the dissemination and graphical display of temporary flight restrictions to make it easier for pilots to access and understand the information. Read more...  



Pilot Protection Services

How can pilots help encourage medical advances?

Dr. Jonathan Sackier attended a conference at Vatican City this year that focused on stem cell research. Sackier shares some of the conference highlights and lists ways pilots can help improve their health and further medical science. Read more...  




Gulfstream G600 flies

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. jumped ahead of its own schedule and completed the first flight of its eight-passenger G600 ultralong-range jet Dec. 17, the one hundred-thirteenth anniversary of powered flight. Taking off from Georgia's Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, Scott Martin and Todd Abler flew the G600 for 2 hours and 53 minutes. Read more...  



A year of surprises

An airplane purchase agreement like no other ruffled feathers, another airplane was kept a secret until ready for the market, and a personal jet years in the making made a maiden flight. A venerable brand turned out new models and named a new leader, while another rolled out a brand-new single-engine turboprop made to fill a gap between Caravan and King Air. The general aviation industry kept everyone excited in 2016. Read more...  




The gift of currency

Why bother with an instrument proficiency check? Why not maintain your instrument currency and self-monitor? Even if you maintain your currency, Opinion Leaders blogger Amy Laboda recommends doing an instrument proficiency check "because bad habits are hard to see in the mirror." Read more...  




Five Instagrammers to follow

Pilots visit places that others rarely see, and several are sharing their unique view of the world on Instagram. With an eye on "inspiring others to go fly," AOPA Social Media Manager John Munn recommends following five Instagrammers whose posts are sure to please any aviation geek. Read more...  




Diamond announces transitions

A new investor from China will own 60 percent of Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc., based in Canada, and the transaction detailed in a Dec. 20 letter to owners and distributors will transfer production of some existing models in the Diamond line from Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH, of Austria, to the firm in Canada; both companies will continue to produce airplanes under the Diamond Aircraft brand. Read more...  



OpenAirplane adds 100th location

OpenAirplane, the free-to-join service that lets renter pilots check out once and then fly from multiple locations, passed a milestone with its network growing to include 100 locations, said organization co-founder Rod Rakic. Read more...  


AOPA Aviation Finance

Interest rates likely to increase

Some aircraft lenders have already started increasing interest rates, according to AOPA Aviation Finance Co. President Adam Meredith. In the past two months, the five-year cost of money has gone up at least 0.60 percent, yet most aircraft lenders have kept interest rates incredibly low and will likely keep them there for loans funding this year. However, rates are expected to go up at least 0.25 percent. Meredith said he expects aircraft lenders will pass along those increases by the first of the year. Have a question for Meredith? Submit your question here. Also, check out the AOPA Aviation Finance loan calculator or call 800/627-5263 for more information about aircraft financing.



Planning to buy an aircraft in 2017?

AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines and AOPA Pilot Information Center Senior Aviation Technical Specialist Rodney Martz discuss aircraft purchasing details. Learn more about buying an aircraft in this eight-minute podcast. Listen to the podcast...  

News and Notes



Cirrus delivers first Vision Jet

Cirrus Aircraft announced the delivery of its first Vision Jet in Duluth, Minnesota, Dec. 19. The big news was almost 10 years in the making—Cirrus first released a concept for the jet in 2007. Read more...  



'Barefoot bandit' wants to fly

Colton Harris-Moore, who was convicted of stealing airplanes in 2012 after he led police on an international chase that ended in the Bahamas, launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for flight lessons, but the federal probation office quickly had him shut down the account because he still owes restitution to the victims of his crimes. Read more...  



Pioneering women to be honored

The first class of women Naval aviators, the highest ranking African-American woman pilot in the U.S. armed forces, and a trailblazer in humanitarian and missionary flying have been selected as the 2017 inductees into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame. Read more...  


You Can Fly

Knocking off the rust

When Jamie Crandall decided to attend AOPA's first Rusty Pilots seminar in 2014, he wasn't expecting much. In fact, he figured "just two or three old guys like me" would attend the event. Because the San Marcos, Texas, location wasn't far from his home, he decided to give it a try. When he arrived, he was stunned to discover at least 100 lapsed pilots of all ages who wanted to get back into the air. Read more...  



Remos flies Christmas route

Engineers from German light sport aircraft maker Remos AG set out this month on a mission to spread a seasonal greeting over much of Germany, using modern technology to create their Christmas message in the sky with electronic "ink." Read more...  



CAP to call weather for Santa

When Santa takes off Dec. 24, he will have a ground crew of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadets calling the weather for him on high-frequency radios. At least seven CAP national network control stations will report local conditions, and manage and provide periodic updates on Santa's location with North American Aerospace Defense Command specialists tracking the jolly gift giver online at Read more...  

Career Opportunities


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? AOPA is looking for an aviation event operations senior manager, flying clubs initiative director, travel and destination products director, program administration manager, account executive, donor relations director, New York You Can Fly ambassador, aviation technical specialist, aviation financial analyst, and part-time administrative assistant. To learn more about these and other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


To maintain instrument currency, is an instrument-rated helicopter and airplane pilot required to complete all of the needed approaches in both a helicopter and an airplane?


Yes. According to 14 CFR 61.57(c)(1), the currency tasks must have been completed "in an airplane, powered-lift, helicopter, or airship, as appropriate, for the instrument rating privileges to be maintained." This requirement means that pilots who are instrument rated in both helicopters and airplanes must maintain currency in both separately in order act as pilot in command in instrument meteorological conditions or when flying under instrument flight rules.

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

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 21-22 - San Antonio, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and Long Beach, California

Feb 11-12 - Fort Worth, Texas; Louisville, Kentucky; Nashua, New Hampshire; and Kenner, Louisiana

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

Jan 14 - Bucyrus, Ohio; Bethany, Oklahoma; Stevensville, Maryland; Fort Myers, Florida; and Columbus, Georgia

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
Ian J. Twombly
Julie Summers Walker

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