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January 1, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterJanuary 1, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Stemme S10-VT motorglider

JANUARY 1, 2016 - VOL 18, ISSUE 1

Top Stories


Top 10 tales of 2015

From the long-awaited rollout of new airplane designs to the unlikely discovery of a piece of history from D-Day in an aircraft "boneyard," AOPA in 2015 brought its members the stories of general aviation. Check out the top stories that captured pilots' interest in 2015. Read more...  

Technique and Safety



'What should I have done?'

After experiencing an alternator failure in instrument conditions, the pilot and flight instructor could receive radio communications but not transmit; the transponder still worked. What should the pilot and CFI do? Read more...  


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Can you circle into Rogue Valley?

The LOC/DME BC-B approach into Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport in Oregon is scenic and exhilarating. With rising terrain nearby, this approach procedure will keep your ride exciting from the initial approach fix all the way to touchdown. Can you use glideslope indications as an aid on this approach? Take the quiz...


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Know any nervous flyers?

Once in a while, we take up passengers for an introductory flight, but rather than being in awe of the scenery below, they have a tight grip on the seat, eyes closed. Help nervous passengers overcome their anxieties by introducing basic and easy-to-comprehend aviation knowledge through the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Pinch Hitter online course. Share the course before going flying...


Safety Spotlight

Be ready for a chilly Mother Nature

While the cold weather season can be a wonderful time to fly, you also need to understand the hazards that chilly weather can unleash. How to prepare? Check out the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Icing and Cold Weather Ops Safety Spotlight.




Big issues, progress highlight 2015

Addressing the big issues that will affect the way we fly for decades to come requires a big commitment, and 2015 has been a year marked by steady progress on some of the biggest issues of all. Read more...  



FAA updates weather information

The FAA is seeking comments on two draft advisory circulars about aviation weather. The updates include new weather products and drop items considered obsolete or set to be discontinued. The new drafts would replace weather guidance dating to 1943; weather guidance was completely rewritten in 1975, and updated again in 2015. Read more...  


Private pilots asked to participate in technology study

The FAA is seeking current private pilots of all ages to participate in a Weather Technology in the Cockpit simulation at the William B. Hughes FAA Technical Center in New Jersey. Participants would need to give only one day of their time between April and June and will be compensated for participating. Being within commuting distance of the technical center is a plus, but not essential, according to the FAA. For more information, email Hi-Tec Systems Program Manager Kim Mortensen or call 609/272-1515 weekdays before 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.



Pilot Protection Services

FAA updates list of conditions AMEs can issue

In the past several months, the FAA has added kidney stones as a condition AMEs can issue (CACI) a medical certificate for—without sending pilots through the special issuance medical process—and has changed some recommendations on another condition in the CACI program. Read more...  




Letters for my drone

Registering a small unmanned aircraft proved pretty easy when the FAA opened the online portal Dec. 21. Finding space on a DJI Phantom 3 for all the letters and numbers was slightly more difficult, but at least one of the million or so drones sold since the boom began is now marked, its operator educated. Read more...  




Stratus ESG on track for April

Appareo's new Stratus ESG ADS-B Out transponder is on track for April 2016 deliveries, and the company's new dealer network has reached 230. Read more...  



Answers for Pilots

Flying the pond

Ever dream about flying your aircraft to Europe? The airlines "fly the pond" routinely, but what about general aviation? GA aircraft can fly across the Atlantic Ocean with the right equipment and significant planning. Find out what the biggest challenges are, along with some tips for handling them. Read more about transatlantic operations...  



Member benefit

Student finds, buys his father's former airplane

After Malcolm Lawton's father died, Lawton found and purchased one of his father's former airplanes. When it was time to insure the aircraft, AOPA Insurance was his choice for many reasons. Read more...  

News and Notes



Astronauts wanted

NASA is accepting applications through Feb. 18 for the next class of astronauts. Travel is required; possible destinations include the International Space Station and Mars. Meals and accommodations in outer space are provided, along with plenty of training before that; apply online. Read more...  



Mooney M10T makes first flight

Mooney International has made the first flight of the M10T proof-of-concept three-person trainer. Certification is expected in the next few years. The aircraft is aimed at the international market and is powered by a diesel engine, the Continental CD-135. Read more...  



Epic E1000 takes flight

Epic Aircraft of Bend, Oregon, marked a milestone toward certification of its E1000 turboprop with a Dec. 19 flight. The company hopes to certify the factory-built version of the six-seat Epic LT kitplane in 2016. Read more...  



Congressional keeps flying fun

There are flying clubs and then there are flying clubs. For Congressional Flying Club's aviation aficionados, the social scene and the journey, rather than the destination, are paramount. 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 marketing copywriter; Web project manager; AOPA Aviation Finance account executive, analyst I, and loan processor; High School Aviation Initiative senior director; e-learning designer; member services representative; Legal Services Plan attorney and administrative assistant; major gift officer; and insurance account executive.To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


During your flight review, the instructor asks how familiar you are with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) flight plans. You are surprised because your understanding was that an ICAO flight plan was for an international flight only, and you would not need to worry about it because you have no plans to fly outside the country. Why would your instructor ask this?


On Oct. 1, 2016, an ICAO flight plan will be used for both domestic and international flights. The change, originally scheduled for Oct. 1, 2015, was pushed back a year. For details on this decision and the comments that were submitted, see the Federal Register. To learn the differences between the domestic and ICAO flight plans, watch this short video from the AOPA Pilot Information Center. The instructor is bringing it up because this will be a major change in the information required when you file a flight plan. ICAO flight plan filing is supported in the latest release of the AOPA Flight Planner.

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Jan 9-10 - Spokane, Washington; Charlotte, North Carolina; San Antonio, Texas; Santa Clara, California; and Ridgeland, Mississippi

Jan 16-17 - Portland, Oregon; Bellevue, Washington; and Elkridge, Maryland

Jan 23-24 - Rockford, Tennessee; Long Beach, California; and Ypsilanti, Michigan

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

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 11 - Reno, Nevada; and The Woodlands, Texas

Jan 12 - Sacramento, California; and Houston, Texas

Jan 13 - Milpitas, California; and San Antonio, Texas

Jan 14 - Santa Rosa, California; and Austin, Texas

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Jan 2 - Lakeland, Florida

Jan 9 - Stevensville, Maryland; and Lawrenceville, Georgia

Jan 16 - Lebanon, Tennessee

Jan 20 - Racine, Wisconsin

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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