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January 22, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterJanuary 22, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Pipistrel Panthera

JANUARY 22, 2016 - VOL 18, ISSUE 4

Top Stories


Innovator makes maiden flight

A small team with a homegrown dream took to the skies over Cartersville, Georgia, having produced an aircraft as striking as it is unusual. Designer Richard Hogan, a longtime homebuilder who retired early to devote his full attention to making his vision a reality, aims to inspire people, and create one of the safest aircraft ever made. Read more...  



Sebring show finds new crowds

Better weather, at least at the outset, put the 2016 U.S. Sport Aviation Expo on track to draw larger crowds. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

Light sport duo; Groups stand up for GA

AOPA brings you the latest in the light sport aircraft and drone markets from the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida. Go behind the scenes and see what it's like to fly the light sport Rans S-20 Raven and Rans S-19LS Venterra. Plus, 15 general aviation advocacy groups have banded together to oppose changes to FAA funding and the air traffic control system, and AOPA provides an update on what's next for third class medical reform. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, Jan 21...  

Technique and Safety


Pilot Protection Services

FAA determines 'congested' areas on case-by-case basis

The FAA doesn't define a congested area in its regulation about minimum safe altitudes; instead, the agency defines it on a case-by-case basis. In enforcement actions, the FAA has declared that a congested area includes a group of people on an airport ramp, sunbathers on a beach, a small subdivision covering less than a quarter mile, and traffic on an Interstate highway. Read more...  


Aircraft Maintenance

'First, do no harm'

Most inspection and preventive maintenance tasks require some degree of invasive disassembly, adjustment, and so forth, which introduces the potential for human error and new component failure. Pilot and A&P Jeff Simon explains the importance of looking at inspection and preventive maintenance situations with a critical eye. Read more...  


Digital publication

Brush up on airspace knowledge

Are you allowed to fly through an active warning area without contacting air traffic control? How about a special flight rules area? Before your next cross-country flight, review these airspace flashcards from the AOPA Air Safety Institute. The flashcards are optimized for mobile devices.


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The trouble with icing...

Airframe ice can accumulate quickly to the point where continued flight is impossible. How would you react if unexpected icing reared its head during a flight? Consider your answers carefully in this AOPA Air Safety Institute quiz. Take the quiz...



What leads to loss of control?

The loss-of-control accident chain usually starts with complacency and distraction, writes AOPA Air Safety Institute Senior Safety Advisor Bruce Landsberg. A lack of skill can factor into the mix, too. Read more...  




Possible ATC changes concerning

Fifteen of the country's most influential general aviation groups are raising concerns about proposed changes to FAA funding and the air traffic control system. Read more...  



Flight plan switch progresses

The FAA is moving forward with plans to require all civil domestic flights to use the international flight plan form later this year. Read more...  



Graphics to replace area forecast

Pilots are getting their first look at the graphics-intensive weather products designed to replace the venerable, but textual, area forecast. Read more...  



FAA readies annual GA survey

The FAA is asking for help on the thirty-eighth annual General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey, covering calendar year 2015. Read more...  




AOPA enhances TurboMedical

Before your next flight physical, check out AOPA's redesigned TurboMedical online tool. It could save you a lot of time and hassle by alerting you to potential conditions or medications that might require extra paperwork before you visit your aviation medical examiner. Read more...  




Mitsui invests in Quest

A $10 million investment this month will net Mitsui & Co. a 12.5-percent stake in Quest Aircraft. Read more...  



Zenith, Zenair buy SAM Aircraft

Zenith Aircraft and Zenair announced Jan. 18 that the businesses had purchased SAM Aircraft, maker of the experimental SAM LS. Read more... 



AOPA donates to Veterans Airlift Command

As part of an effort around Veteran's Day last year, AOPA announced it would contribute 10 percent of the money from new memberships and renewals it received between Nov. 11 and 22 to the Veterans Airlift Command. The effort enabled AOPA to donate $1,380 to the organization. Read more...  


Member benefit

Find hidden costs before buying a turbine aircraft

No two airplanes are exactly alike, and neither are the costs to maintain them. For example, a low-priced Falcon 10 could cost more to operate per year than the purchase price. Read more...  

News and Notes



SOLJETS brokerage firm opens

Chicago-based brokerage firm SOLJETS announced its launch on Jan. 20, stating that its goal is to bring more people into the world of high-performance aircraft ownership. Read more...  


Member benefit

Winter tips for storing your airplane

Winter is in full swing, but there's still time to prepare your aircraft for winter storage to ensure that it's ready to go when the spring flying season starts. Your best guidance comes from your A&P, but here are some tasks to consider with the goal of keeping corrosion and other damage to a minimum. Read more...  



Red Bull adds two pilots to roster

Two Red Bull Air Race pilots, Petr Kopfstein and Peter Podlunšek, are moving up from the Challenger to the Master Class, where they will compete against a dozen others for the 2016 Red Bull Air Race World Championship crown. Read more...  



What's in a name?

With large companies taking over well-known aviation businesses—Textron is now the parent of Cessna and Beechcraft; Airbus the parent of Eurocopter; and Finmeccanica the parent of AgustaWestland—many of the company and model names pilots have known for decades are changing. 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; High School Aviation Initiative senior director; member services representative; Legal Services Plan attorney; and major gift officer.To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


During your instrument proficiency check, the CFII asks if the fuel reserve requirement for an IFR cross-country flight that requires an alternate airport includes just one approach and landing or an approach and landing at both the destination and alternate airports. Which is correct?


Although it is not clear from the regulation, your fuel reserve should include enough fuel for an approach and landing at both the destination and alternate airports. This FAA letter of interpretation provides clarification on the topic, though it does assume that the fuel estimated for the landing at the destination is equal to the fuel you would use for the missed approach at the destination. This assumption may be close to correct, but you may want to plan for fuel to execute the missed approach (such as climb or hold), rather than just the fuel needed to land from an approach. Also read the AOPA legal briefing on fuel reserves.

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

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

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

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 26 - Ontario, California

Jan 27 - Long Beach, California

Jan 28 - San Diego, California

Feb 2 - Northglenn, Colorado

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

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

Jan 27 - Vacaville, California

Jan 30 - Orlando, Florida

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

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