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February 5, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterFebruary 5, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Hamilton H-47 Metalplane

FEBRUARY 5, 2016 - VOL 18, ISSUE 6

Top Stories


FAA funding bill released

A long-anticipated FAA reauthorization bill was announced Feb. 3 that calls for third class medical reform, user fees, and a federally chartered not-for-profit organization to manage ATC functions. Read more...  

Senators warn against ATC spinoff

House appropriators oppose privatized ATC


AOPA Live This Week

How Triple Tree makes magic

The immaculate South Carolina grass strip stretches 7,000 feet and welcomes everything from warbirds and classics to modern jets and RC aircraft. Go behind the scenes at Triple Tree and hear from its creator, Pat Hartness, who realized a delightful dream. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Congress is tackling medical reform, a push to privatize ATC, and other important issues, and AOPA is in the thick of it. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, Feb. 4...  

Technique and Safety



'Maintain VFR'

With clouds close above and a populated marina below, a pilot departing VFR in expectation of receiving an IFR clearance found only disappointment, not vectors. Read more...  



Be wary of deteriorating weather

Nearly half of all weather-related accidents happen as a result of continued VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions—sadly, the vast majority are fatal. The AOPA Air Safety Institute's Accident Case Study: In Too Deep aims to provide insight into what compels pilots to wander into this dangerous situation and to expose some of the troubling reasons why VFR-into-IMC accidents are too common. Watch the video...  


Flash-based; login required

Real-world road map for IFR rules

If the prospect of wading through the FAR/AIM to study and interpret instrument flight rules is daunting, you might welcome some practical guidance from the AOPA Air Safety Institute. The IFR Insights: Regulations free online course connects the rules to the real world of instrument flying to help you stay legal and safe. Take the course...


Safety Spotlight

Polish your airport etiquette

Depending on whether you learned to fly at a towered or nontowered airport, you may feel anxious to self-announce on the unicom frequency or communicate with air traffic controllers. Whether you're new to these environments or just need a refresher, prepare with the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Operations at Airports Safety Spotlight. Take a look... 



Do the math, make a chart

Helicopter pilots may find themselves picking up unusual loads and operating in places without scales. That’s where performance charts, quick math, and rotorcraft experience can come to the rescue, reports Hover Power blogger Markus Lavenson. Read more...  




AOPA backs draft equipment policy

AOPA is endorsing a draft FAA policy that would make it easier to install non-required safety enhancing equipment in existing general aviation aircraft. Read more...  



Mechanics to get new cert standards

A group chaired by AOPA has been tasked with developing new certification standards, handbooks, and test development guidance for aircraft mechanics. Read more...  



Groups stand firm in support of Santa Monica airport

AOPA and nine others are asking the FAA to deny Santa Monica's appeal of the agency's determination that Santa Monica Municipal Airport in California is grant obligated and must remain open at least through Aug. 27, 2023. Read more...  



Pilot Protection Services

What happens to my medical after a heart attack?

After a heart attack, the FAA requires a waiting period before you can apply for a special issuance medical certificate. Former FAA Manager of Aerospace Medical Certification Dr. Warren Silberman explains the waiting period, as well as what documentation you will need to provide to the FAA in order to get back in the left seat. Read more...  




Collier nominees named

Aircraft, spacecraft, and the teams that flew them to unprecedented heights and historic achievements are among nine nominees for the 2015 Robert J. Collier Trophy. The field, announced Feb. 2, includes past winners going above and beyond, and newcomers who set new records. Read more...  



Dornier chooses Diamond

Dornier Seawings, the modern descendant of an aviation icon, has chosen Diamond Aircraft to build the Dornier Seastar, a turbine twin with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6 engines mounted fore and aft over centerline above the wing. Read more...  



EPS diesel advances

Engineered Propulsion Systems reports no major issues with its clean-sheet, refined, pre-production Graflight V-8 diesel engine after 100 hours of ground testing. The engine is expected to surpass the 360 horsepower it has already produced in testing. Read more...  



Windecker Eagle to be basis of new airplane

Now that one of the original Windecker Eagles has been restored for a Chinese owner, the company announced the next phase—a complete redesign for manufacture worldwide. The effort will be led by John Roncz, a self-taught aerodynamicist who collaborated with Burt Rutan on many of his designs. Read more...  



Member benefit

Understand your insurance liability limits

The last thing you want to deal with after an accident or incident is an undue financial burden. That's why you need to understand your insurance liability limits. Your lender will want to know too. Most loan documents will require proof of proper coverage, and failing to comply could put you in default of your loan agreement. Read more...  

News and Notes



Actor Jackie Chan buys Legacy 500

The next time actor Jackie Chan films a movie or visits one of the dozens of charities he established, chances are good that he will arrive in his new Embraer Legacy 500 business jet. Read more...  



Jeppesen transitions leadership

Jeppesen's long-serving leader will retire in June after more than 35 years with the company. Jeppesen, the producer of charts and other services, is among the most recognizable names in general aviation. The company will promote Kevin Crowley to take over for retiring CEO Mark Van Tine. Read more...  



'Flying to my heart's content'

Less than one year after attending an AOPA Rusty Pilots seminar and receiving 34 hours of instruction, William Buchanan is an aircraft owner and active pilot with a new tailwheel endorsement and fresh flight review: "And now I'm flying to my heart's content." Read more...  



Sport expo leader steps down

The U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, a 12-year tradition in Sebring, Florida, will continue in 2017 under new leadership. Sebring Airport Executive Director Mike Willingham expressed appreciation to Jana Filip for her five years of service as director of the event. Bad weather has dampened attendance in recent years, and organizers may adjust the schedule. Read more... 



Flight Design reduces lead time

Flight Design USA, producer of popular light sport aircraft, has inked a deal with AeroJones Aviation of Taiwan to produce aircraft for the U.S. market. The agreement will allow Flight Design to fill orders faster. Read more...  



Get rewarded for recruiting new AOPA members

Invite your friends into the AOPA community and give them a lift in their personal flying. Just for sharing AOPA with them, you will get rewarded too. 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 a social media evangelist, Flying Clubs Initiative manager, marketing copywriter, Web project manager, High School Aviation Initiative senior director, member services representative, and Legal Services Plan attorney.To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


After you contact the tower with your request for takeoff, the controller instructs you to "hold for wake turbulence." You thought it was your responsibility as pilot in command to determine wake turbulence avoidance. Do you have to wait, or is there a way around this clearance?


It is the controller's responsibility to provide wake turbulence separation to departing aircraft by applying time intervals. The PIC may request to waive the wake turbulence separation, at which point the controller will issue a caution for wake turbulence and clear the airplane for takeoff (assuming there are no other hazards). The PIC's request to take off is not the same as a request to waive the wake turbulence separation—the pilot must make a special request. For more information, see this AOPA Online article, or download this FAA guide.

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Feb 6-7 - Las Vegas, Nevada; and Louisville, Kentucky

Feb 20-21 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Fort Worth, Texas; Fairfax, Virginia; Nashua, New Hampshire; and Sacramento, California

Feb 27-28 - Kenner, Louisiana; and Melbourne, Florida

Mar 5-6 - Ontario, 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

Feb 8 - Jacksonville, Florida

Feb 9 - Daytona Beach, Florida

Feb 10 - Melbourne, Florida

Feb 11 - Ocala, Florida

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

Rusty Pilots Seminars

Feb 6 - Roanoke, Virginia; Bartow, Florida; Carlsbad, California; and Trenton, Maine

Feb 13 - Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Scottsdale, Arizona

Feb 20 - Vero Beach, Florida; and Chickasha, Oklahoma

Feb 21 - Puyallup, Washington

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

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

Member Tools: Send feedback | ePilot Archive

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