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December 22, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterDecember 22, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

VOL 19, ISSUE 51 December 22, 2017
Click here for this week's custom content.
Top Stories
Aviation helps attack historic California wildfires
Months into a record outbreak of California wildfires that have resulted from the worst fire conditions the state has seen in decades, aerial assaults continue, and general aviation airports—including one closed by a temporary flight restriction—are playing key support roles in the attack. See dramatic photos of aviation in action. (Photo by Mike Salas, MSAVI Photography and Focal Flight.) Read more >
BasicMed allows Santa to continue special delivery
Santa and Mrs. Claus were back in the air flying under BasicMed during the annual Holly Run charity fly-out to Virginia's Tangier Island in December. Read more >
AOPA Live This Week
Director's Cut: A look back at the highlights of 2017
A Waco on floats turns heads as it flies down the East Coast; find out how it performs. Also, see what it's like to drag race in an airplane at the High Sierra Fly-In STOL Drag races. In case you missed the AOPA Live This Week® Director's Cut, watch these and other adventures. The next episode will be available Jan. 11. Watch the show >
Technique and Safety
AOPA Air Safety Institute offers holiday cheer
Thanks, everyone, for a great year! From all of us at the AOPA Air Safety Institute, we wish you happy holidays and look forward to sharing new safety programs with you in 2018! Watch the video >
Safety seminar
See and avoid
The AOPA Air Safety Institute's Collision Course: Avoiding Airborne Traffic seminar debuts Jan. 10 and explores causes for airborne collisions, identifies high-risk scenarios, and offers strategies for avoiding them. Find a seminar near you >
Beware of picking up ice
Even if you fly aircraft with deicing equipment, early detection of ice accretion is critical to safety. The AOPA Air Safety Institute's Flying the Weather: Picking Up Ice video reviews what to look for, and where to look. Watch the video >
Sponsored by Aircraft Spruce
Aircraft Maintenance: Know your propeller repair limits
Propeller issues are typically a result of corrosion or damage. Learn about routine propeller maintenance and what to do when you find something amiss. Read more >
What new US tax plan means for general aviation
Tax reform legislation passed by the House and Senate Dec. 20 includes several changes for aircraft owners and general aviation businesses. Read more >
GAO: DOT violated lobbying laws by pushing ATC giveaway
A federal watchdog said the Department of Transportation broke the law when a Twitter account that it operates retweeted and liked a tweet from an airline front group. Read more >
Baker presents Freedom to Fly award to members of Congress
AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker made his way through Capitol Hill presenting the Freedom to Fly award to deserving members of Congress. Read more >
AOPA's new Airport Support Network Board of Advisors meets
The Airport Support Network Board of Advisors held its first meeting at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, Dec. 14 and 15 to discuss new and innovative ways to enhance and expand the program now in its twentieth year. Read more >
TFR to ring in the New Year in Florida
A temporary flight restriction will be in effect from Dec. 21 to Jan. 1 in the vicinity of West Palm Beach, Florida, for President Donald Trump's visit to Mar-a-Lago. Read more >
Pilot Protection Services
Peak performance
Adequate rest is necessary for the human brain to perform at its peak. Dr. Kenneth Stahl writes, "Think about this like running your airplane engine. Pushing on at full throttle, full mixture, and prop full forward all the time is a setup for an early engine failure...the same is true for the human brain." Read more >
Stratolaunch taxis
Stratolaunch, the world's largest aircraft and the foundation vehicle for launching other craft into space orbit, lumbered down a Mojave, California, taxiway under its own power for the first time Dec. 16. Read more >
Supersonic dreamers persist
Lockheed Martin, which has been working with NASA to design and develop a quiet supersonic aircraft since 2016, will "explore the feasibility" of jointly developing Aerion's AS2 design, envisioned as a 12-passenger, Mach 1.4 business jet. Read more >
Iridium launch to make history
Iridium Communications Inc. is making final preparations for its next launch, which will mark the midway point of its launch campaign with SpaceX. It will be the first Iridium launch to reuse a "flight-proven" SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Read more >
Increase your service ceiling
Smoke from the Thomas Fire ravaging Southern California didn't stop Opinion Leaders blogger Jolie Lucas from flying to visit a World War II veteran, thanks to her new instrument rating. Read more >
Trig introduces audio panels
Trig Avionics—the avionics manufacturer known for its transponders and compact VHF com radios—seeks to improve cockpit audio quality with two new audio panels scheduled to ship in January. Read more >
AOPA's ultimate aviation holiday wish list winner announced
AOPA member Anne Wright has won AOPA's ultimate aviation holiday wish list. More than 2,000 entries were submitted in the contest. Wright won a Garmin GDL 51 with SiriusXM subscription, a Bose A20 Aviation Headset, a BrightLine bag, a ForeFlight Scout ADS-B receiver, an X-naut with MGF mount, and an ACR ResQLink personal locator beacon.
All you imagined
Aspen, Colorado, is more than you've ever imagined. This world-class skiing mecca also boasts an opera house and music festival, yet retains plenty of its old cowboy character. Read more >
Chill out with the locals
Sure, North Dakota is cold in winter. But for fans of winter sports, it's the best time of year. Grand Forks is one of the top spots for seeing snowy owls when they venture south from the Arctic tundra. Plus, pilots can tour the University of North Dakota and the Cirrus Aircraft plant. Read more >
Member benefit
Top finance questions of 2017
Aircraft loans, fractional versus co-ownership, and light sport aircraft financing are some of the top topics AOPA Aviation Finance Co. received questions about in 2017. Take a look at the advice for each. Read more >
News and Notes
Exiled Romanian king, a pilot, has died
King Michael I of Romania, who ascended the throne twice, freed his country from Nazi domination late in World War II at age 22, and was later forced to flee by Communists who had taken power, died in Switzerland Dec. 5. Read more >
Bahamas Habitat president dies
Stephen W. Merritt, the president of the service organization Bahamas Habitat, died Dec. 17 from injuries he suffered in a single-engine airplane accident near Louisburg, North Carolina. Read more >
Hangar Talk: Sporty's reveals its 'bests and busts'
Sporty's Pilot Shop gadget guru and active pilot John Zimmerman reveals the retailer's hits and misses; and catch up on the latest aviation news in this week's Hangar Talk podcast. Listen to the podcast >
Aviation experts standing by
If you have an aviation-related question, concern, or idea, call AOPA's Pilot Information Center, where the 20 aviation specialists standing by to help you collectively have more than 80,000 hours of flight time. Read more >
Career Opportunities
Aviation job board
Job of the week: Flight instructor, Griffith Aviation
Griffith Aviation, a Part 141 flight school in Indiana, is seeking full- and part-time flight instructors. Griffith Aviation offers instructors the ability to fly more than 100 hours a month. Possible financial assistance will be available for CFIs who want to earn their CFII and MEI certificates. Current and retired airline pilots are encouraged to apply. Read the full 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 medical certification specialist, writer/editorial long-term temp, insurance account executive, High School Aviation Initiative manager, High School Aviation Initiative coordinator, customer service representative, accounting clerk, administrative clerk, legislative affairs vice president, airports and state advocacy vice president, aviation program operations coordinator, and Salesforce developer. Learn about AOPA career opportunities >
Question of the Week

Where can I find information about cold weather and winter flying?
First, check the pilot's operating handbook and review the information specific to your airplane. It also is a good idea to find out what services your local fixed-base operation offers, such as preheating. For more information about cold weather flying, review the materials on AOPA's website, including the Cold Weather Operations resource page and the Icing and Cold Weather Ops Safety Spotlight.

Got a question for our technical services staff? Contact AOPA.
Education & Seminars
Flight Instructor Refresher Courses
Jan 6-7 Charlotte, North Carolina; and Santa Clara, California
Jan 13-14 Portland, Oregon; Costa Mesa, California; Alcoa, Tennessee; and Renton, Washington
Jan 20-21 Jackson, Mississippi; Frederick, Maryland; and Romulus, Michigan
Jan 27-28 San Antonio, Texas
For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Online eFIRC.
Safety Seminars
Jan 10 Fairfax, Virginia
Jan 15 Reno, Nevada; and Houston, Texas
Jan 16 Sacramento, California; and Houston, Texas
Jan 17 Milpitas, California; and San Antonio, Texas
Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Rusty Pilots Seminars
Jan 13 Stevensville, Maryland
Jan 20 Bartow, Florida; and Fort Worth, Texas
Jan 26 Sebring, Florida
Jan 27 Waco, Texas
AOPA Rusty Pilots Seminars are sponsored by Sporty's. For a complete schedule, visit the AOPA Hangar. (Log in to the AOPA Hangar using your AOPA website username and password to view these events.)
Aviation Calendar
Want something to do this weekend? Planning an aviation getaway? See AOPA's enhanced calendar of events. You can filter events, add an event, or search all events in the calendar. (Log in to the AOPA Hangar using your AOPA website username and password to search the events or to add an event.) Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.
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.
© 2017 Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
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ePilot Editors:
Alyssa J. Cobb
Jim Moore
Dan Namowitz
David Tulis

Production Team:
Elizabeth Linares
Melissa Whitehouse
Mike Collins
Sarah Deener
Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Warren Morningstar
Jill W. Tallman
Ian J. Twombly
Julie Summers Walker
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