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March 4, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterMarch 4, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Aermacchi MB-326 Impala

MARCH 4, 2016 - VOL 18, ISSUE 10




Rotors showcased in Louisville

Despite a precipitous fall of the oil and gas portion of the industry, the Helicopter Association International's 2016 convention was surprisingly upbeat. Read more...  



Sikorsky salutes rescuers

Sikorsky honored Los Angeles firefighters at the 2016 Heli-Expo for their bravery in a daring and successful helicopter rescue. Read more...  



Garmin intros portable aviation GPS

Garmin's new aera 660 looks and acts so much like a smartphone that, when you open the box, you might think Amazon mixed up your order and errantly sent you a Samsung. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

WASPs' final battle; Inside Heli-Expo

Women Airforce Service Pilots, their families, and supporters by the thousands are fighting to honor these veterans by admitting them into Arlington National Cemetery, which was disallowed last year. The passing of Elaine D. Harmon of Maryland, who died at age 95, 70 years after joining the corps of female pilots, brought the issue back into focus. AOPA Live® talked to another WASP veteran in Pennsylvania who makes a case that the honor of Arlington burial was earned long ago. Also this week, join us on the floor of the Helicopter Association International 2016 Heli-Expo in Louisville, Kentucky. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, March 3.  


More Heli-Expo news

Finmeccanica introduces light turbine single

Mixed news in helicopter forecast

Top Stories


Cessna ends dealer network

Cessna has ended its piston-engine dealership network in the lower 48 states. At least five former dealers have been offered a referral contract. With the company shifting to factory direct sales, Northland Aviation Services in Fairbanks, Alaska, is now the only Cessna dealer left in the United States, though dealerships are still selling Cessna aircraft overseas. Read more...  

Technique and Safety



Be weather-aware up there

In-flight weather monitoring is critical in maintaining overall situational awareness with respect to the weather and your flight. Applying that knowledge to make good decisions is the next step. The AOPA Air Safety Institute shares suggestions to help you accomplish this in Weather Wise: Awareness Aloft. Watch the video...  


Login required

Embark on a new adventure

Whether you're planning to switch from a familiar airplane or avionics setup into something new or are simply interested in exploring options for the future, the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Transitioning to Other Airplanes online course has your back. Brought to you by AOPA Insurance Services, the course has all the information you need to make that switch safe and fun. Learn more...


Flash-based; login required

Don't gamble with ice

Icing forecasts are valuable tools. However, they sometimes can be wrong. The AOPA Air Safety Institute's Accident Case Study: Airframe Icing reminds us that as pilot in command we need to keep up our guard if any possibility of icing exists, and we must take immediate action if in-flight icing is encountered. View the accident case study...




AOPA: Honor WASPs in Arlington

AOPA is supporting legislation in the House and Senate that would once again allow Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) to have their ashes placed in Arlington National Cemetery. Read more...  



FAA explains student changes

The FAA has published an advisory circular that explains how the process of applying for and issuing student pilot certificates will change April 1. Read more...  



AOPA honors ASN volunteer

AOPA has honored a California pilot and veteran airport volunteer who worked tirelessly to ensure piston airplanes a home at Van Nuys Airport. Read more...  



Focus moves to Senate on FAA reauthorization

The focus on FAA reauthorization is moving to the Senate as controversial House legislation to privatize air traffic control services is taken out of play. Read more...  



AOPA seeks UAS authorization

AOPA is seeking FAA permission to operate a commercial unmanned aircraft, primarily for aerial photography and video. Read more...  



Pilot Protection Services

Track your health like your flight hours

Pilots who request their medical records from doctors may have to wait up to 30 days to get them. Dr. Jonathan Sackier recommends developing your own PMR—personal medical record. "Each time you see a doctor or have any test done, enter the details and keep it up to date," Sackier writes. "You do it with your pilot's log... Why not do it with your health?" Read more...  




NASA funds supersonic research

NASA announced a new project that could bring the return of supersonic passenger air travel "one step closer to reality." Research will focus on design concepts that aim to transform a disruptive sonic boom into a soft thump, or a "supersonic heartbeat." Read more...  




Sharp skills to the rescue

You never know when sharp manual flying skills will pay off, says Opinion Leaders blogger Ron Rapp, who cites several instances where heavy workloads and failing systems were overcome by techniques learned through aerobatic training. Read more...  




Dueling drones detect, avoid

DJI has unveiled a new quadcopter with sense-and-avoid technology, the second such product rolled out as 2016 marks the arrival of small drones with smarts. The DJI Phantom 4 uses forward-facing cameras to detect obstacles and avoid them, arriving hot on the heels of Yuneec's Typhoon H model. Read more...  



AOPA Pilot magazine

Getaways: A pilot's Neverland

Pat Hartness might be aviation's Peter Pan. His "Lost Boys" have found their happy place at his playground, Triple Tree Aerodrome outside Greenville, South Carolina. They fly, they build things, they party, they laugh, they work hard, and they play hard. It's just one of the many exciting destinations featured in AOPA's new Getaways Web page. Read more about Triple Tree...  



Great flying destinations

Looking for new flying adventures this year? Join AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines and George Kounis, publisher of Pilot Getaways, for a look at some fabulous general aviation destinations across the country. Seats are limited, so register now.




AOPA Foundation funds camp

A mid-winter recess from classes gave 32 New York City middle school students time for a hands-on aviation experience. Read more...  


Member benefit

Four keys to determining your creditworthiness

When lenders are determining whether to extend credit to you for an aircraft purchase, they look at your income, but that's just the beginning. Lenders also will consider your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, liquidity, and unsecured debt. 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...  

News and Notes



Spritely spotter from Down Under

A Portland, Oregon, maker of utility aircraft will soon build a two-seat spy plane called Seeker, found in many countries and previously manufactured only in Australia. The unique design offers sweeping views made for surveillance. Read more...  



Talk about flying, earn points

Through AOPA's limited-time membership referral program, members who invite their fellow pilots into the AOPA community can earn points to redeem toward Amazon gift cards. Read more...  



Solar Impulse back in the air

Solar Impulse 2 made a successful test flight Feb. 26, the first flight following months of fundraising and upgrades. The aircraft powered entirely by solar cells has been grounded in Hawaii since July, with the team installing new components to keep the batteries cool and the electrical system stable. Read more...  


Member benefit

Moving your airplane to another airport? Tell your insurance agent

Whether you're relocating for a new job, retirement, or simply a change of scenery, that move may affect your airplane's insurance. Even if you're moving from one local airport to another local airport to take advantage of lower hangar rent, you should check in with your insurance agent. Read more...  



Pratt & Whitney offers Blackhawk XP rebate

Pratt & Whitney is offering up to $65,000 until May 31, 2016, for those who purchase Blackhawk XP engine upgrades. Read more...  

Career Opportunities


Aviation job board

Job of the week: Cirrus Aircraft flying club instructor

Cirrus Aircraft is looking for a flying club instructor to provide flight and ground instruction to Cirrus employees who are current flying club members. The flying club instructor will assist with the safety, record keeping, ramp operations, and fleet management functions of the Cirrus Flying Club. Other responsibilities include acting as pilot in command of Cirrus aircraft while performing 14 CFR Part 91 corporate flight operations, demonstration flights, and ferry flights when needed. 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 planning a flight in an unfamiliar part of the country and see symbols and markings on the sectional that you've never seen before. For example, along your route of flight there is an area outlined in the same lines you would find around a restricted or prohibited area, except the line is gray rather than red or blue. You check the sectional legend, but it is not listed. Where can you go to look up symbols and markings on charts that are not on the legend?


The FAA produces a digital product (available in print from other providers) called the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide, which provides detail concerning almost any symbol or term you might see on a VFR chart, IFR en route chart, or instrument plate printed by the FAA. The gray outline mentioned above indicates a special military activity route (SMAR). The guide notes that there should be a text box adjacent to the SMAR with information. While the chart legend might be the first place you check for information on the sectional, some clarifying notes and boxes are printed right on the chart, usually in the same color as the graphic.

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

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

Apr 2-3 - Denver, Colorado; Tampa, Florida; Needham, Massachusetts; and Dulles, 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

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

Mar 15 - Lisle, Illinois; Jamestown, North Carolina; and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Mar 16 - East Peoria, Illinois; Morrisville, North Carolina; and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Mar 17 - Rockford, Illinois; and King of Prussia, 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

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