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March 18, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterMarch 18, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

1957 Piper Tri-Pacer

MARCH 18, 2016 - VOL 18, ISSUE 12

Top Stories


American racers turn page

Speed mods made by both U.S. Red Bull Air Race World Championship teams over the winter began to pay off in Abu Dhabi. The 2016 season began March 11 and 12 in the United Arab Emirates, and while Kirby Chambliss and Michael Goulian finished just short of the podium, both showed that wins are within reach. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

GA festival kicks off

A Texas festival is gathering Millennials and airplanes together for a party aimed at building general aviation—MODAERO features live music, more than 200 aircraft, camping, and drones. Also, lawmakers work to keep the FAA up and running, U.S. pilots fare well at the Red Bull Air Race World Championship season opener, and Rod Machado offers tips on bracketing the glideslope. Watch AOPA Live This Week,® March 17...  

Technique and Safety


AOPA Premier Partner created content

IFR clearances made easy

Picking up an IFR clearance isn't always easy, especially if you're departing a nontowered airport. Former National CFI of the Year Doug Stewart shares simple tips to help you keep up with fast-talking controllers, eliminate clearance void time pressure, and pick up clearances in the air. This free PDF transcript is useful for instrument pilots of all levels. Download the transcript from AOPA Premier Partner PilotWorkshops...



What's the weather like?

Datalink has greatly increased the utility of our aircraft by bringing weather information right into the cockpit. Datalink Weather: From Concept to Cockpit tells the story of the "datalink revolution": the individual initiative, the entrepreneurial spirit, and the power of an idea. Get a behind-the-scenes look...  



Help ATC help you

How does the air traffic control tower handle a request for multiple instrument approaches to┬áthe airport? Find out in this installment of the AOPA Air Safety Institute's "Ask ATC" series. Watch the video...  


Login required

Anyone in the pattern?

Do you listen first and know what to say before you press the push-to-talk switch? Get a little help from the AOPA Air Safety Institute and avoid communication blunders with the Say It Right: Mastering Radio Communication online course, recently updated to a new tablet-friendly format. Take the course...




FAA funding moves to full Senate

Legislation to reauthorize the FAA through the 2017 fiscal year moved to the full Senate after passing the Senate Commerce Committee on March 16. Read more...  



Short-term FAA bill closer

The Senate has passed an amended version of a House bill to keep the FAA running through July 15, but changes introduced in the Senate mean the measure must now return to the House for final approval before it can become law. Read more...  



AOPA seeks contract tower funding

Aviation organizations including AOPA are asking lawmakers in the House and Senate to protect funding for contract control towers. Read more...  



Annual GA survey underway

The 2015 General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey is underway, and pilots are asked to watch for it in their mailboxes and inboxes. Responses are confidential, and pilots can participate even if they did not fly last year. Participation helps determine where improvements in GA funding and safety can best be applied. Previous years' survey results are available online.



Pilot Protection Services

Can kidney stones impact your medical certificate?

An airman who passes a kidney stone the first time no longer requires a special issuance medical certificate. But, those who have a history of more than one episode of kidney stones will still need to have their medical application reviewed by the FAA and might be placed on an annual special issuance. Read more...  




Drone designed to save lives

The Pulse Aerospace Vapor 55 unmanned helicopter can spot sharks near beaches, drop life rafts to swimmers in distress, and carry life-saving medical supplies to wounded soldiers. The unmanned aircraft has been called "the future of rescue." Read more...  




Don't get blindsided by high maintenance bills

To help protect you from being blindsided by a high maintenance bill, Opinion Leaders blogger Mike Busch offers three tips to follow to make sure you are in control of your aircraft's maintenance costs. Read more...  




L-3 standby system gets TSO, STC

L-3 Aviation Products' ESI-500 electronic standby instrument system can now be installed in a wide variety of airplanes and helicopters. Read more...  



Lynx gets helo OK

L-3 Aviation Products' Lynx Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast equipment has received approved model list supplemental type certificate approval for installation in helicopters. Also, the company's NGT-9000 price has been reduced through May 31. Read more...  



AOPA Pilot magazine

Getaways: Copper River Basin

Skimming over Lake Louise, the only ripples on the 10-mile-long lake are the V-shaped wakes from majestic trumpeter swans and the occasional loon. Otherwise, the water reflects the Alphabet Hills, a prelude to the snow-capped Alaska Range farther north. Here, general aviation airplanes are the pickup trucks and SUVs of everyday life. It's just one of the many exciting destinations featured in AOPA's new Getaways Web page. Read more about the Copper River Basin...  



Flying to Mexico made easy

If you've never crossed the border to Mexico and are a little anxious about the trip, watch this helpful, step-by-step AOPA Pilot Information Center video. Watch the video...  




Jeppesen marine division sold

Jeppesen, a subsidiary of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services, is selling its marine products division, which produces digital charts for nautical use. Read more...  

News and Notes



Raven approved as LSA

The FAA has granted approval of the Rans S-20LS Raven as a light sport aircraft. The $119,000 tailwheel aircraft is offered by Rans Designs of Hays, Kansas. Read more...  



Remos GXiS to hit US market

Remos AG, the German maker of light sport aircraft, has announced a new model, new management, and a new distribution center for North America. The Remos GXiS will feature a fuel-injected engine and sophisticated avionics. Read more...  



FAA airport directory renamed

The FAA's familiar green Airport/Facility Directory is changing its official name with the March 31 editions to become the new U.S. Chart Supplements. Read more...  



Junior golfer builds, flies RV-12s

Aircraft builder, high school senior, junior golfer, and student pilot Abbey Carlson has a lot on her plate before she enters Vanderbilt University this fall on an athletic scholarship. Read more...  



Noted WASP dies

Elizabeth Strohfus, a pilot who ferried military aircraft during World War II as a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, died March 6. Read more...  



Women share secrets of success

Women who have climbed to the top of their aviation fields and completed feats many would have thought impossible shared secrets to their success during the twenty-seventh annual International Women in Aviation Conference March 10 through 12 in Nashville, Tennessee. Read more...  


More news

Drone registrations surpass aircraft registrations

Hoover statue to be unveiled at Smithsonian

1,000-mph land speed record attempt delayed

Spring is here: Get back to flying

Webinar: Learn flight training customer service excellence

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 "You Can Fly" ambassador—Great Lakes, donor relations director, Foundation communications director, aviation technical specialist, social media evangelist, Flying Clubs Initiative senior 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


Can you fly through a restricted area if the local air route traffic control center indicates that the area is "cold" (not active)?


That depends on whether the ARTCC that you contacted is the controlling agency listed on the sectional. According to 14 CFR 91.133, pilots must receive permission from the restricted area's "controlling agency, as appropriate." All the restricted areas appearing on a sectional, as well as their controlling agencies, are listed in the legend.

Does a verbal confirmation that the restricted area is "cold" meet the permission required in 14 CFR 91.133? According to this FAA letter of interpretation, "a clearance is not required to operate VFR through a restricted area when the controlling or using agency, as applicable, has made a determination that that the restricted area is 'cold.'" Keep in mind that "the ATC communication is not an air traffic control clearance, permission, or authorization to operate VFR in the airspace."

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

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

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

Apr 9-10 - Indianapolis, Indiana; and Salt Lake City, Utah

Apr 16-17 - San Diego, 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

Mar 21 - Concord, California; Ypsilanti, Michigan; and Bedford, Massachusetts

Mar 22 - Fresno, California; and Independence, Ohio

Mar 23 - Irvine, California; and Columbus, Ohio

Mar 24 - Batavia, Ohio

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

Rusty Pilots Seminars

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

Mar 23 - Riverside, California; La Porte, Indiana; and Middleton, Wisconsin

Mar 26 - Englewood, Colorado; Lake in the Hills, Illinois; Fort Pierce, Florida; and Pearland, Texas

Mar 31 - Cheektowaga, New York

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

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