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February 19, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterFebruary 19, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Rans S-19 Venterra

FEBRUARY 19, 2016 - VOL 18, ISSUE 8

Top Stories


AOPA Flight Planner, EFBs talk

The latest release of the AOPA Flight Planner, powered by Jeppesen, adds four new features to ease flight planning and improve safety, including a unique fuel-warning system and the ability to send the flight plan to ForeFlight Mobile and WingX Pro7. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

FAA battle rages; Tuskegee tribute

User fees, private ATC, and medical reform continue to be the focus as AOPA works to shape the proposed FAA reauthorization bill. Col. Charles E. McGee was among 900 fighter pilots who trained in Tuskegee, Alabama, in the 1940s, and he spoke to a crowd at the AOPA National Aviation Community Center about his distinguished military career that spanned three wars, included 409 combat missions, and helped end segregation. Also this week, cool updates to the AOPA Flight Planner, powered by Jeppesen. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, Feb. 18...  

Technique and Safety



Focus on fueling

Aircraft misfueling continues to be a problem in general aviation even though it is preventable. The AOPA Air Safety Institute looks into the issue and provides simple tips to prevent it from happening to you. Read more...  



NTSB updates reporting rule

The National Transportation Safety Board has eliminated a requirement to report some Airborne Collision and Avoidance System resolution advisories. Read more...  


PDF download

Tips for survival preparedness

You've just made an unplanned, off-airport landing. Are you adequately prepared for what happens next? Do you know how to reach out for rescue and endure the elements until help arrives? Aviation experts share tips in the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Survive: Beyond the Forced Landing Safety Advisor. Download the publication...


AOPA Premier Partner created content

Simple trick for IMC departures

Learn the simple trick you can do with your GPS to avoid trouble when departing in low instrument meteorological conditions. Flight instructor Jeff Van West reveals the trick in this short video created by AOPA Premier Partner PilotWorkshops.



The air down there

IFR flight planning has a new wrinkle during the first winter with mandatory procedures in effect at cold temperature restricted airports. Read more...  




Notams going digital

The FAA is preparing to replace the system that handles nearly 2 million notams each year, and AOPA is at the table. The association will participate in a safety panel tasked with ensuring a safe, seamless transition. Read more...  



National conventions will bring major TFRs in 2016

Super Bowl 50 and the president's State of the Union address have come and gone, but there still are a number of significant and sizeable temporary flight restrictions that will affect pilots' flying in 2016. Read more...  



Pilot Protection Services

FAA requires waiting periods after atrial fibrillation treatment

Atrial fibrillation can be treated in different ways. The treatment option a pilot receives determines how long he or she must wait before applying for a special issuance medical certificate. Read more...  




Cirrus reveals 2016 models

Cirrus Aircraft is drawing on the allure of luxury automobiles to highlight new features—including a wireless connected cockpit and a remote keyless entry system—on its 2016 SR-series models. Read more...  




Five secrets of cost-effective maintenance

Just follow five simple aircraft maintenance rules to have a safer, more reliable aircraft—and spend less money, according to Opinion Leaders blogger and A&P mechanic Mike Busch. Check out the five secrets...  




Check out aviation safety videos on YouTube

Did you know the AOPA Air Safety Institute's videos are also available on its YouTube channel? Join more than 13,000 subscribers and explore additional videos, such as Runway Safety: Over the Line, excerpted from the Runway Safety online course. Join, watch, and give the videos a thumbs up!  



Online resource

Tax time: What you need to know

Learn the basic tax issues you need to know as a general aviation light aircraft owner and pilot. The AOPA Pilot's Guide to Taxes is broken into three sections: income tax, sales and use tax, and personal property tax. Find out what you can and cannot deduct...  


Member benefit

Don't wait too long to apply for aircraft financing

If you wait until a week or two before closing on an aircraft to secure financing, you will limit your options, and you may not be able to get the paperwork done in time. Read more...  

News and Notes



New Merlin LSA takes flight

Chip W. Erwin has crafted a little kitplane dubbed Merlin that sports one seat and many features for $34,900, complete with basic instruments. Read more...  



Drone deadline arrives

Drone owners who fly for fun (not profit) have registered in big numbers: 342,000 of them just ahead of the Feb. 19 deadline. The FAA released that number Feb. 16, along with a reminder that failure to register could expose owners to stiff penalties. Read more...  



Col. McGee shares 'Tuskegee Experience'

Col. Charles E. McGee spoke to about 100 attendees at AOPA's National Aviation Community Center in Frederick, Maryland, Feb. 13, sharing what he called the "Tuskegee Experience" as part of a Black History Month event. Read more...  



NASCAR's McMurray drives Cessna

When NASCAR's Jamie McMurray races his Cessna-flagged Chevrolet SS in the Daytona 500 Feb. 21, he will have more in common with pilots than the company logo. Check out these eight surprising similarities between NASCAR drivers and pilots. Read more...  



Are you sharp on parts?

Common and not-so-common aircraft parts can be tough to tell apart when you only see part of the picture. Have some fun and test your knowledge of aircraft parts with this second edition of AOPA's Name That Part quiz. You have four minutes to identify 11 parts. Start the clock...  


Member benefit

Tips for safe winter flying

Preflighting an aircraft during the winter can be a shiver-inducing experience, but the benefits of increased visibility and better aircraft performance that come with cold temperatures make winter an enjoyable time to fly. Here are six tips to keep your winter flying safe. Read more...  



Unlimited passion for aviation

Joe Thibodeau sounds less like a super-lawyer tax-case trial attorney and more like a sky-struck man when he talks about his P-51 Mustang and Hawker Sea Fury, and racing in the Reno National Championship Air Races. Read more...  



Share AOPA's flying community

Flying clubs help lower the cost of flying and offer social benefits. Invite your friends into the AOPA membership community so they can connect with flying clubs in their area and start flying affordably. Read more...  

Career Opportunities


Aviation job board

Job of the week: AOPA Web project manager

The Web project manager is a key member of AOPA's user experience team, managing the entire life cycle of projects from initiation to completion. The successful candidate will be responsible for ensuring timely and quality delivery of projects; providing effective communication to team members and stakeholders throughout the project life cycle; and identifying, communicating, and mitigating possible risks along the way. Application of current project management standards is expected. Read the full job description and apply today!


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? AOPA is looking for an aviation technical specialist, social media evangelist, Flying Clubs Initiative manager, marketing copywriter, Web project manager, member services representative, and Legal Services Plan attorney. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


You recently reached out to a local airfield to inform them that you plan to fly your RC aircraft within 5 statute miles of the airport, which you are required to do. The ATC tower on the field responded that it does not authorize you to do so. In your reading of the rules it just says that you must notify, not get permission. Can you go ahead with your RC flying (as you proposed it) in opposition to the wishes of the local tower?


The short answer is you should not. While neither Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 nor the FAA's Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft explicitly states that you need permission to fly your RC aircraft within 5 sm of an airport (outside of restricted areas), it is implied. The interpretation states: "If the model aircraft operator provides notice of forthcoming operations which are then not authorized by air traffic or objected to by the airport operator, the FAA expects the model aircraft operator will not conduct the proposed flights. The FAA would consider flying model aircraft over the objections of FAA air traffic or airport operators to be endangering the safety of the NAS." Even though you technically do not need permission to fly within 5 sm of an airport (outside of restricted areas), flying despite an objection could get you in trouble with the FAA.

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

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

Mar 12-13 - Phoenix, Arizona; Burlingame, California; King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; and Virginia Beach, Virginia

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 20-21 - Puyallup, Washington

Feb 23 - Germantown, Tennessee

Feb 24 - Nashville, Tennessee

Feb 25 - Alcoa, Tennessee

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

Rusty Pilots Seminars

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

Feb 21 - Puyallup, Washington

Mar 5 - Helena, Montana; Lakeland, Florida; Elkhart, Indiana; Manitowoc, Wisconsin; Burlington, Washington; and Lawrenceville, Georgia

Mar 11 - Nashville, Tennessee

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

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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