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Members of the Bandits Flight Team fly over Michael J. Smith field at the AOPA Fly-In in Beaufort, North Carolina

MAY 27, 2016 - VOL 18, ISSUE 22

Top Stories


Canadian Snowbirds salute US

The Canadian Snowbirds aerial demonstration team performed an 18-wing salute to America during a rare flyover of Washington, D.C., before landing at Washington Dulles International Airport May 24. The team captured breathtaking views of the nation's capital. Read more...  



2016 Flight Training Poll opens

Have you flown with a flight instructor within the past 12 months? Whether you are a student pilot working to earn a pilot certificate or a certificated pilot receiving additional training or undergoing a flight review, share your experience by taking the 2016 Flight Training Poll. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

Must-see RV-10; stunning Alpine Airpark

A Tennessee aerospace college student hopes to inspire young people as he re-creates Calbraith "Cal" Rodgers' 1911 New York-to-California Vin Fiz flight. And for Memorial Day, an RV-10 that pays tribute to each of the nation's armed services sports a paint job that you must see to believe. Finally, for an aviation community with a stunning backdrop, look no further than Wyoming's Alpine Airpark, nestled near the Grand Tetons. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, May 26...  

Technique and Safety


Pilot Protection Services

Close calls with closed runways

Think you can cross a closed runway at a towered airport without specific clearance from air traffic control, just because the runway is closed? Think again. Read more...  


Accident analysis

Reliable sources

Do you trust your flight instructor or strangers on the Internet? One student ignored his instructor's warnings against low-level flying, with fatal consequences. Read more in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Institute.  


AOPA Premier Partner created content

Can you do this with your iPad?

Not everyone can afford a glass panel in their aircraft, but the iPad revolution means anyone can have a moving map and backup attitude indicator for less than a new TV. Having that backup is one thing, but using it to replace the installed equipment is something else. Watch this five-minute video scenario by AOPA Premier Partner PilotWorkshops, take the one-question quiz, and see the expert analysis. Watch the video...  


Flash-based; login required

Mayday in the mountains

Sightseeing the gorgeous Alaska Range by air is great. Being the pilot is even better, except when things don't go as planned. Just as the stunning panorama of Mount McKinley unfolded, a pilot suddenly had his hands full keeping the airplane intact. Watch the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Real Pilot Story: Mayday at Mount McKinley and hear the pilot describe what happened...



Takeoff calculations

Do you have an abort point in mind when you begin the takeoff roll? The Air Safety Institute's Takeoffs and Landings: Determining an Abort Point video discusses the critical elements to consider. Be prepared to stop on the runway if the takeoff roll isn't going as planned. Watch the video...  

AOPA Fly-Ins



Gray skies are gonna clear up

Hundreds of people headed to Michael J. Smith Field Airport in Beaufort, North Carolina, May 21 for AOPA's first fly-in of 2016. Unfortunately, so did a mass of rain that had been hanging out over the Atlantic Ocean, apparently with nothing better to do. Read more...  



Baker, Pelton tout preserving GA

AOPA President Mark Baker and Experimental Aircraft Association President Jack Pelton discussed how their respective associations are working to preserve general aviation May 21 at the AOPA Fly-In in Beaufort, North Carolina. Read more...  



Volunteers the heart of AOPA Fly-Ins

"I'm so happy we have so many volunteers!" Toni Mensching, director of AOPA's Pilot Information Center, said May 20. "I thought you were going to cancel on me!" Mensching's airside volunteers, tasked with marshalling arriving and departing aircraft, make up just a portion of the hundreds of volunteers who help at AOPA Fly-Ins. Read more...  




Don't cap veterans' flight training

Aviation groups including AOPA are renewing their opposition to placing limits on flight training for veterans. Read more...  



US, Czech Republic talk drones

AOPA organized a meeting at the U.S. Capitol on May 16 between officials from the United States and the Czech Republic to discuss issues related to airspace and unmanned aircraft systems. Read more...  



FAA funding closer

Both the Senate and the House are moving forward with funding bills that include money for FAA operations through the 2017 fiscal year. Read more...  



WASPs can again be laid to rest in Arlington

Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) can once again be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery under a measure signed into law by President Barack Obama May 21. Read more...  



Share your thoughts on pireps

The more pilots tell AOPA about how they use pilot weather reports (pireps), the better AOPA's advocacy efforts will be to improve pirep quality and distribution. You can provide critical feedback on system strengths and weaknesses by taking AOPA's pirep survey. Take the survey...




Textron details turboprop single

At the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition, Textron Aviation fleshed out more details of its upcoming single-engine turboprop project, and even revealed a cabin illustration and a rendition of the airplane. Textron also said that letters of intent to purchase the clean-sheet design are being accepted. Read more...  



Solar Impulse nears New York

Bertrand Piccard logged another 16 hours and 47 minutes in Solar Impulse 2, landing in Allentown, Pennsylvania, May 25. The solar-powered aircraft will head next to John F. Kennedy International Airport for its final U.S. stop before crossing the Atlantic. Read more...  




Check out summer aviation camp opportunities

School is almost out, and if you have a child who is interested in aviation, now is the time to look into enrolling him or her in an aviation summer camp. Opinion Leaders blogger Amy Laboda highlights some of the camps available this summer. Read more...  




WingX lands award

The popular electronic flight bag app WingX Pro7 is basking in the glory of a 2016 Appy Award, given by the publishing and convention organizing company MediaPost Communications. Not everyone has heard of this award, and Hilton Software's WingX Pro7 was not competing against other aviation apps. Perhaps more important, WingX continues to post strong sales and offers a sophisticated mix of features. Read more...  




Latest updates on flying to Cuba

Learn the latest about flying general aviation aircraft to Cuba from AOPA Vice President of Operations and International Affairs Craig Spence and AOPA Pilot Information Center Manager Ferdi Mack during a free webinar June 8 at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The two will discuss who can fly there and for what reasons. Plus, hear the latest on the regulations, procedures, and restrictions for flying to the country. Register today...  



Tips for completing an ICAO flight plan

If you need to fill out an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) flight plan, you'll notice a few differences between it and the traditional FAA flight plan you have been filing. One difference is for the aircraft equipment suffix. Learn the ins and outs of completing an ICAO flight plan in this video. Watch the video...  




Icon cuts staff, updates owner terms

Icon Aircraft slashed the number of aircraft it plans to deliver this year, laid off manufacturing workers, and will make major changes to its controversial purchase agreements, the California company announced May 25. Read more...  



Air Tractor buys drone startup

Air Tractor, a market leader in the agricultural aircraft niche, has bought a drone startup that produces systems tailored to help farmers. The Yield Defender made by Hangar 78 UAV can carry a variety of sophisticated sensors and cameras to help farmers survey fields to monitor moisture, crop health, and other conditions in a fraction of the time it would take otherwise. Read more...  



Birds a billion-dollar hazard

An April accident in Alaska that claimed four lives may have been the first fatal crash caused, at least in part, by a bald eagle, though it was far from the first encounter between a general aviation aircraft and the national bird. Wildlife strikes of all kinds continue to increase despite efforts to keep critters away from airports, and the estimated damage done, in dollar terms, is fast approaching $1 billion annually. Read more...  

News and Notes



'Doc' gets airworthiness certificate

Wichita's Doc, the B-29 bomber brought back to life over many years by volunteers in a hangar across from McConnell Air Force Base, now has its FAA airworthiness certificate after three months of inspections and has done slow taxi tests. A flight is still a month or more away. Read more...  



Public benefit flying honored

It wasn't the Hollywood star-studded event it has been in the past, but the third annual Endeavor Awards held this year in Denver featured aviation's stars, and that was enough for the enthusiastic crowd of pilots and their patients. Read more...  



Pilot plans flight to 50 states

Aviation mechanic and 21-year-old student pilot Kyle Fosso of Anacortes, Washington, said that his six-year restoration of a vintage 1954 Cessna 170B was nearing completion and that he has big plans for the airplane after it gets airborne again. Read more...  


AOPA Photo Contest

Vote for your favorite pics

AOPA has sorted through more than 700 pictures, cropping the selection to the nine best so you can vote for your favorite in each category—aircraft, places, or people. Place your votes in the AOPA Photo Contest, sponsored by Faro Aviation, between May 27 and June 6. Vote now...  



Yodice earns achievement award

The International Air and Transportation Safety Bar Association (IATSBA) has honored AOPA Pilot columnist and former AOPA General Counsel John S. Yodice with a Lifetime Achievement Award. 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 an Aviation Insurance Services director, member services representative, financial analyst, Great Lakes regional manager, medical certification specialist, marketing specialist, communications director, pilot community development coordinator, Great Lakes "You Can Fly" ambassador, donor relations director, AOPA Foundation communications director, and marketing copywriter. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


While checking the METARs for an upcoming flight, you notice some notations/abbreviations that are unfamiliar. The string in question includes "+FC TSRAGR" in the body and "TSB15RAB26GRB28" in the remarks. What do these abbreviations mean? Is this information important?


These abbreviations convey important weather information. The abbreviation in the body means that there has been an observation of a tornado (+FC), thunderstorms (TS), rain (RA), and hail (GR). The section from the remarks is equally important because it indicates that the thunderstorms began at 15 past the hour, the rain began at 26 past the hour, and the hail began at 28 past the hour. Information on this and other weather products can be found in FAA Advisory Circular AC 00-45G: Aviation Weather Services or on AOPA Online.

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Jun 4-5 - Tempe, Arizona; and Orlando, Florida

Jun 11-12 - Bloomington, Minnesota; Ashburn, Virginia; and Charlotte, North Carolina

Jun 25-26 - Santa Clara, California; and Columbus, Ohio

Jul 9-10 - Coraopolis, Pennsylvania; and Elizabeth, New Jersey

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

Jun 3 - Garden City, New York

Jun 15 - Frederick, Maryland

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

Rusty Pilots Seminars

May 28 - Ocala, Florida; and Conroe, Texas

Jun 1 - Northampton, Massachusetts

Jun 4 - Southbridge, Massachusetts

Jun 5 - Albany, 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 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.

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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