Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

February 26, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterFebruary 26, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Cessna 180

FEBRUARY 26, 2016 - VOL 18, ISSUE 9

Top Stories


Virgin Galactic unveils 'Unity'

Less than two years after its first SpaceShipTwo was lost in an accident, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic rolled out Virgin Spaceship Unity, a two-pilot, six-passenger spaceship designed to offer its occupants an unparalleled view of Earth. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

Sikorsky campout; Upset recovery

The grandson of Igor Sikorsky hosts guests who arrive by seaplane at his fishing camp in Maine, and for one weekend each summer visitors get an inside look at the father of the helicopter and the archives of his famous family. Ride along with AOPA Editor at Large Dave Hirschman in an Aermacchi MB-326 Impala during a hands-on course in upset recovery with Flight Research Inc. in California. Also this week, Virgin Galactic reboots its quest for civilian spaceflight. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, Feb. 25...  

Technique and Safety


Accident analysis

No horizons

Regardless of ceiling or visibility, night departures over water are instrument flights. Failing to make the transition to fly by instruments can lead to spatial disorientation and disastrous consequences. Read more in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Institute...  


Login required

On approach to Crescent City

Air traffic control instructs you to report "procedure turn inbound." At what point during the course reversal should you provide the report: starting at the barbed portion, after completing the 180-degree turn, after reaching the final approach fix, or after intercepting the final approach course? Test your IFR savvy with this quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Institute. Take the quiz...



Engine trouble in IMC

When Robert Shapiro was practicing approaches in instrument meteorological conditions, his Cessna 172 suddenly shook violently and the engine lost power. The AOPA Air Safety Institute's Real Pilot Story: Engine Failure in IMC recounts the troubling ordeal and decisions that led to an emergency crash landing at a nearby airport. Learn from his firsthand account...  




FAA funding extension likely

Another short-term extension of the FAA's current funding seems increasingly likely as FAA reauthorization legislation is further delayed in the House. Read more...  



New rulemaking for small drones

AOPA will represent general aviation on an FAA committee created to develop a regulation that would allow small drones to fly close to people. The regulation would apply to commercial operation of "micro" unmanned aircraft, with performance-based standards established to mitigate risk. Read more...  



Airport Support Network revitalized

AOPA launched its Airport Support Network program in 1997 to identify an AOPA member at each public-use airport in the country who would be willing to serve as the organization's eyes and ears regarding threats to the airport. Today, there are more than 2,500 Airport Support Network volunteers throughout the country, and 2016 launches with a new, invigorated initiative. Read more... 



Check out new graphical area forecasts

There are eight pages of graphics you can view if you wish to inspect the futuristic weather products that will replace the text-heavy area forecast. Read more...  



Pilot testing changes set for June

A new approach to pilot certification and testing is coming together with help from AOPA and other aviation groups. The FAA is on track to meet a June 2016 goal of transitioning to the updated system for those seeking an airplane private pilot certificate or instrument rating. Read more...  




Diamond DA62 certified by FAA

The FAA has certified the Diamond DA62, which was approved last April in Europe, making customer deliveries possible in the United States. Read more...  



Solving Lilienthal's fatal accident

The German aerospace agency DLR plans to test an accurate replica of Otto Lilienthal's glider and use modern technology to analyze a nineteenth-century accident that killed the designer. Read more...  




Seeking economy, playing it safe

In the latest data listed on the NTSB's website, accidents attributed to fuel (or lack thereof) are still too common. Opinion Leaders blogger Amy Laboda shares her flight planning tips to prevent fuel exhaustion, and encourages pilots to "work to make 2016 the year that out-of-fuel accidents suddenly disappear from the NTSB's graph of stupid-pilot-tricks." Read more...  




2015 avionics sales swelled in Q4

A strong fourth quarter brought total worldwide business and general aviation avionics sales to approximately $2.4 billion for 2015, said the Aircraft Electronics Association. The result left avionics sales 4.4 percent short of 2014 sales. Read more...  



Garmin Pilot updates released

Aviation technology developer Garmin has announced updates of its Garmin Pilot apps for Android and iOS devices, including new integration capabilities and other enhancements. Read more...  



Avidyne teams with Globalstar

Avidyne Corp. and Globalstar Inc. announced a strategic partnership that aims to create powerful new satellite communication tools for general aviation. Globalstar is the parent of Spot LLC, maker of satellite phones and emergency locator beacons. Read more...  



AOPA Pilot magazine

Getaways: Sikorsky Weekend

Deep in the woods of Maine, the grandson of one of the most influential aircraft designers hosts "Sikorsky Weekend" each year, telling tales of his grandfather, Russia before the Bolshevik revolution, and the early days of helicopter design—and taking visitors seaplane flying and fishing. It's just one of the many exciting destinations featured in AOPA's new Getaways Web page. Read more about Sikorsky Weekend...  


Member benefit

Tips to keep your family happy—and flying

You might dream about flying your airplane, your spouse quietly reading a novel in the passenger seat and your children playing with a game in the back. Reality can be starkly different. Your angry spouse might blame you for a bumpy flight that left the kids crying after they wet their pants and filled the Sic-Sacs. This wouldn't bode well for your future flying as a family. Check out these tips from AOPA Insurance Services to help you have one big, happy flying family.  




Flight Design in receivership

Flight Design, the German company that established itself as a leader in the light sport market, has filed for receivership. Tom Peghiny, president of Flight Design USA, said support for current owners will continue, along with development of the long-awaited four-seat C4. Read more...  



OpenAirplane gains lift

Fresh investment and a promotional contest in conjunction with Lightspeed Aviation have given OpenAirplane a boost. The company offers pilots access to aircraft at many locations with a single checkout. Read more...  


Answers for Pilots

Tax tips for aircraft owners

Aircraft owners who used their aircraft for business purposes in 2015 may be eligible for income tax deductions. Learn more about deductions, bonus depreciation, and like-kind exchanges of aircraft. Read more...  


More news

Jet sales remain sluggish

Sporty's Foundation issues 2015 philanthropy report

Buying a business aircraft? Delegate responsibilities

News and Notes



Sonex gets roomier

Sonex Aircraft has announced new versions of the Sonex and Waiex kitplanes that give pilots more room to maneuver in the cockpit. The new kits also give builders new engine options, and more standard features. Read more...  



Astronaut hopefuls apply to NASA

More than 18,300 applicants are vying to become NASA astronauts, a record number by a huge margin, the space agency announced. Read more...  


Pilot Protection Services

Be mindful of unusual Class D configurations

Last year, the FAA brought an enforcement action against a pilot who relied on a multifunction display map (with current data no less) that inaccurately indicated a four-nautical-mile-radius ring around a Class D airport, when it actually contained an extension. Make sure that you understand the limitations of your GPS data, and always consult the sectional itself, whether in paper or electronic format. Read more...  



Westbound in grand style

A retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who flew the L-19 Bird Dog in Vietnam has a new mission: honoring the departed with a unique departure. Richard Zeiler of Thousand Oaks, California, spent the best part of a quarter century restoring a 1929 Travel Air D4D, and that was only the beginning. Read more...  



Help grow AOPA, get rewarded

Share the fun of AOPA Regional Fly-Ins with pilots who aren't members, and invite them into the community. You can earn points toward Amazon gift cards just for letting them know about the events. Read more...  


Online resource

Get back in the left seat: It's easier than you think

Whether you've been away from flying for a few months, a few years, or a few decades, getting back in the left seat is easier, and often faster, than you might think. AOPA offers an online flight instructor database to help find a CFI near you to get started. Also, AOPA's online resource provides information on the flight review, medical certificates, plastic pilot certificates, security, and more. Learn more...  

Career Opportunities


Aviation job board

Job of the week: Cirrus marketing communications manager

Cirrus Aircraft is looking for a marketing communications manager to perform a variety of tasks, such as the brainstorming, creation, and development of marketing campaigns; print and online advertising; email marketing and automation; website content development; press releases; bylined articles; video and marketing collateral; RFP review and development; marketing budget development; and cost tracking. 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, and member services representative. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


You're about to get some recurrent training on night landings and operations from your local CFI. You're not night current to carry passengers, and neither is the instructor. Must one of you be night current to carry passengers to make this flight?


There is no requirement for either you or the instructor to be current under 14 CFR 61.57(b) for a training flight because you are not considered passengers—this is true even if the student isn't yet rated in the aircraft. For more information, see this AOPA legal briefing or this FAA letter of interpretation.

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

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

Mar 19-20 - Orlando, Florida; and Elkridge, Maryland

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 29 - Greenville, South Carolina

Mar 1 - Columbus, Georgia

Mar 2 - Huntsville, Alabama

Mar 14 - Northbrook, Illinois; Fletcher, North Carolina; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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

Rusty Pilots Seminars

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

Mar 11 - Nashville, Tennessee

Mar 12 - Reading, Pennsylvania; El Cajon, California; and Bulverde, Texas

Mar 19 - Belleville, Michigan; West Lafayette, Indiana; and North Las Vegas, Nevada

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

Related Articles