AOPA will be closed on February 18 in observance of Presidents Day. We will reopen at 8:30 a.m. EST on February 19.
Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

January 15, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterJanuary 15, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Waco UPF-7 over St. Simons Island, Georgia

JANUARY 15, 2016 - VOL 18, ISSUE 3

Top Stories


NTSB targets GA as safety improves

The NTSB continues to hammer away at general aviation safety, though the latest data show GA has never been safer. NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart said Jan. 13 that the safety record of business aviation is improving, while personal flight safety is declining. This notion may be out of date, since 2013 and 2014 saw the lowest accident numbers in 25 years, and signs point to continued improvement. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

Flying club fun; ride your drone

General aviation remains on the NTSB's Most Wanted list, even though GA accidents are at or near all-time lows. Flying clubs are about more than airplanes, and the people in those clubs may be just the thing to rekindle your love of flying. Also, find out how good guys with drones might capture drones flown by bad guys, and get a look at a drone you can actually ride in. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, Jan. 14...  

Technique and Safety



See, sense, separate

Midair collisions are far less common than we may think, but while the risk of having one is low, the consequences are not. In this new video, the AOPA Air Safety Institute looks at some of the commonalities among midair collisions, and offers strategies for minimizing your chance of being involved in one. Watch the video...  


Flash-based; login required

Leave Frosty at home

With cold weather overspreading many regions in the country, it's time for a brisk refresher on how to avoid conditions conducive to icing. While you may already take time for a thorough weather briefing, there's more you can do to stay safe and be properly prepared for winter flying. Take the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Weather Wise: Precipitation and Icing course...


AOPA Premier Partner sponsored content

Caught on camera: Scary approach

Sometimes the most powerful learning experiences are the ones you wish never happened. On this short flight, two experienced pilots nearly ended up becoming a statistic. It was only by chance that the cameras were running and caught it all for later analysis. Here's the behind-the-scenes story of the accident that almost happened, but didn't. Watch this powerful eight-minute video from AOPA Premier Partner PilotWorkshops...



'Real Pilot Story: Underwater Escape'

How do you exit an airplane that has ditched in the water? Pilot Bryan Webster recounts his experience as a passenger in a submerged Cessna 150 and shares the knowledge he's gained since then. Webster founded a company that specializes in water egress techniques and has trained hundreds of pilots in the proper procedure. Find out what should be on your mind before your next overwater flight...  

AOPA Fly-Ins



AOPA Fly-In registration opens

It's never too early to set your sights on a great flying adventure. Why not add one of the four AOPA Regional Fly-Ins to your logbook this year? Read more...  



Bremerton Fly-In: Seaplane central

A special feature at the Bremerton Regional Fly-In in Washington State this summer will be a component dedicated to seaplanes—an important constituent of the Northwest's aviation population. Bremerton is located west of Seattle, across Puget Sound. Read more...  




Next steps for medical reform

With Congress back in session, the question on the minds of many pilots is, "What's next for third class medical reform?" With passage of the Pilot's Bill of Rights 2 by the full Senate at the end of 2015, the legislation moves on to the House for its consideration. But with other big aviation issues on the table, the standalone legislation could take a backseat to a more comprehensive FAA reauthorization bill. Read more...  



FAA urged to protect airports

Members of the House General Aviation Caucus are urging the FAA to protect federally obligated airports and expressing their support for a recent finding that Santa Monica Municipal Airport must remain open and operating at least until 2023. Read more...  



Student certificate rule finalized

The FAA has published a final rule that changes the way student pilot certificates will be issued and withdraws plans to require photos on all pilot certificates, a proposal AOPA vigorously opposed. Read more...  



Answers for Pilots

Problems with the color vision test?

If you fail the color vision test during your FAA medical exam, a limitation preventing night flying or receiving color signal controls will be placed on your medical certificate. However, there are other methods of color vision testing available to have the limitation removed. Read more...  




Racing to catch drones

Airbus drew attention at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, displaying a system made to capture and control rogue drones. It's one of many being developed around the world as public agencies and private entities race to develop defenses against unmanned aircraft that are being operated by people with bad intentions. Read more...  





Aircraft misfueling left undetected can have catastrophic consequences. If you do catch it during the preflight, remedying the situation is quite the ordeal, as Opinion Leaders blogger Mike Busch explains from personal experience when his Cessna T310R was misfueled with Jet A. He also offers tips on how to spot fuel contamination. Read more...  




FlyforMS pilots spread hope

Two New York pilots circumnavigating South America for multiple sclerosis awareness have battled unexpected challenges, equipment issues, and weather delays while trying to spread their message of hope. Read more...  



AOPA Foundation focus

2015 a record-breaker for Hat in the Ring Society

The "amazing generosity" of new and renewing members of the AOPA Foundation's Hat in the Ring Society powered it to a record-breaking 2015. Read more...  


Member benefit

Financing is not just for aircraft purchases

AOPA Aviation Finance can secure a loan for members for engine overhauls, avionics upgrades, paint, interior, and more. Read more...  

News and Notes



New faces in Red Bull races

A French aerobatic champion is among three freshman pilots gearing up for Red Bull Air Race action in 2016, making history as she flies. Mélanie Astles, a national aerobatic team member in France, will be the first woman to race in the world championship series. Read more...  



No more tears

New private pilot Stephanie Stechschulte says she was a panicky passenger before she earned a pilot certificate. Read more...  


Pilot Protection Services

Where can you fly if you don't equip with ADS-B Out?

Many aircraft owners and pilots are fretting about the Jan. 1, 2020, mandate to equip with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out in order to continue to access certain airspace. However, Director of AOPA's Legal Services Plan Mike Yodice points out that the sky is not falling—it's just shrinking. Read more...  

Career Opportunities


Aviation job board

Job of the week: GE Aviation senior sales manager

The navigation and guidance commercial sales manager will develop strategies for OEM pursuits; pursue global airline opportunities; and secure opportunities in the commercial OEM and aftermarket arena to meet operating plan, margin expansion, and long-term growth goals for the product line. 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 a marketing copywriter; Web project manager; AOPA Aviation Finance account executive, analyst I, and loan processor; High School Aviation Initiative senior director; member services representative; Legal Services Plan attorney; major gift officer; and insurance account executive.To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


A friend is hoping to get some air-to-air photos of his aircraft and proposes that the two of you do some formation flying so that he can get the pictures he wants. You have no formation flying experience and are not sure this sounds like a great idea. Can this flight be done legally?


Yes, this flight can be done legally, but there are a few requirements. 14 CFR 91.111 states: "(a) No person may operate an aircraft so close to another aircraft as to create a collision hazard. (b) No person may operate an aircraft in formation flight except by arrangement with the pilot in command of each aircraft in the formation. (c) No person may operate an aircraft, carrying passengers for hire, in formation flight." Whether this flight is safe is up to the pilot in command of each aircraft. Training is available from several organizations and companies. Check out AOPA's articles and videos on this topic.


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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

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

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

Jan 18 - Mesa, Arizona

Jan 19 - Tucson, Arizona; and Fort Worth, Texas

Jan 20 - El Paso, Texas; and Addison, Texas

Jan 21 - Albuquerque, New Mexico

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Jan 16 - Lebanon, Tennessee

Jan 20 - Racine, Wisconsin

Jan 21 - Sebring, Florida

Jan 23 - Tulsa, Oklahoma; Carson City, Nevada; Houston, Texas; Sebring, Florida; and Brunswick, Maine

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

Related Articles