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February 3, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterFebruary 3, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Flight Design CTLS

FEBRUARY 3, 2017 - VOL 19, ISSUE 5

Top Stories


Huerta on Santa Monica deal

A deal between the FAA and the city of Santa Monica, California, became official Feb. 1 when the Honorable John F. Walter of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California signed a detailed stipulation and order/consent decree that requires the city to keep Santa Monica Municipal Airport open and operating with reasonable services until Dec. 31, 2028, upon which time it has the option to close the facility. "We're not going to stop fighting for Santa Monica," vowed AOPA President Mark Baker. "This gives us some certainty that it's not going to close tomorrow, or next month, or next year. Now we have time to change minds and make sure this airport continues to operate as it should." Read more...  



AOPA: Executive order won't delay BasicMed

AOPA has reviewed President Donald Trump's executive order to hold pending and new regulations for a 60-day review and determined that the freeze does not apply to BasicMed, which provides a long-anticipated alternative to medical certification. The order, which is a standard operating procedure for new administrations, exempts "any regulations subject to statutory or judicial deadlines." The FAA had a statutory deadline of early January 2017 to publish the third class medical reform final rule in the Federal Register. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

FAA defends Santa Monica decision; Honoring history

The FAA shocked the aviation world by consenting to allow Santa Monica to close its airport at the end of 2028. AOPA Live® interviews FAA Administrator Michael Huerta about the decision. AOPA continues to press the FAA to ensure fair fees and fuel pricing at FBOs. Also this week, celebrate Black History Month with a look at the many contributions of African American aviators who helped shape modern aviation, and go behind the scenes to watch how hundreds of volunteers brought a B-29 Superfortress back to flying shape. Watch AOPA Live This Week, Feb. 2...  

Technique and Safety




Transitioning from instrument to visual flight can be tricky, especially when ceilings and visibility are still low. Go visual too soon, and a hasty return to the gauges can induce errors or vertigo. Read more...  



No dice flying in ice

Although the airplane had a weeping-wing ice-protection system, it was not certified for flight into known icing conditions. Did the pilot understand those limitations when he encountered unforecast icing? The AOPA Air Safety Institute's Accident Case Study: Airframe Icing reviews the pilot's in-flight decisions and his lack of urgency, which sealed the flight's outcome. Watch the video...  


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The trouble with icing

How would you react if unexpected icing began to accrete during a flight? Find out with the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Ice Flight quiz, which takes you up the East Coast in an IFR-equipped Cessna 172RG. Consider your answers carefully. Take the quiz..



Extra eye in the sky

Do you want to request VFR flight following, but don't know how the process works? Find out when and how to communicate your request for traffic advisories in the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Ask ATC: When to Ask for Flight Following video. Watch the video...  




Pilots voice price concerns

AOPA members have spoken up about their experiences paying high prices for fuel and other fixed-base operation services at many locations around the country, and in support of the association's call for the FAA to review FBO pricing nationwide to ensure that all providers comply with federal grant assurances that require "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" pricing at airports that receive federal funds. Read more...  



TFR set for Trump's Florida visit

A temporary flight restriction will be in effect Feb. 3 to 6 in the area of West Palm Beach, Florida, during President Donald Trump's visit to his Mar-A-Lago estate. AOPA recognizes the need to provide extra presidential security but remains concerned about the effect of far-reaching TFR restrictions on jobs and local economies. Read more...  



Annual GA Survey to launch

The FAA will soon launch its thirty-ninth annual General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey. Pilots who receive a postcard invitation to participate are strongly encouraged to do so because the confidential data collected offers the only source of information about the GA fleet and activity. Read more...  



FAA Associate Administrator Margaret Gilligan to retire

FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety Margaret Gilligan, who has been a fixture at the agency for almost 40 years, will retire March 31. AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Jim Coon expressed appreciation for "her support for general aviation and her spirited dedication to public service." Read more...  



Airworthiness bulletin issued for AmSafe restraint systems

The FAA has issued a special airworthiness information bulletin about the possible failure of a component of certain AmSafe Inc. restraint system assemblies installed on aircraft passenger seats. Read more...  




Merlin debuts Pro Series sims

Merlin Simulation Inc. introduced a helicopter-specific Schweizer/Sikorsky S300C simulator as the first of its FAA-approved Pro Series line of flight training devices that will pave the way for fixed-wing models. Next up will be a pair of simulators tailored for Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters before the company ramps up for Cessna 172s, Pipers, and other models. Read more...  




Aircraft security: Serious business in a dangerous world

Whether on the ground or in the air, pilots should use "every tactical advantage to keep their aircraft and passengers safe," encourages Opinion Leaders blogger Ron Rapp as he explains the importance of aircraft security. Read more...  



Pilot Getaways

Modern backcountry adventure

When wireless internet service, Jacuzzi-equipped rooms, and avgas become available at a recreational mountain airstrip, you have no excuse for missing out on a backcountry adventure. Read more...  


Super Bowl TFR covers Houston

Flying to the Super Bowl or in the vicinity of Houston Feb. 5? Take note that the FAA will establish a 30-nautical-mile-radius temporary flight restriction over the area from 4 to 11:59 p.m. local time on Sunday. In addition to flight restrictions, the FAA said that drone operations will be prohibited. Pilots should check notams before flying in the area, and read the special air traffic procedures if flying to the Super Bowl.




Tried, true, and new from Maule

Family-owned aircraft maker Maule Air Inc. has added four new variations to a product line of aircraft based on a design that has stood the test of time, including a two-seater with 900 pounds of useful load and an introductory price of $199,900. Read more...  

News and Notes



Si2 member hooked on flying

The Solar Impulse II team depended on a 23-year-old Pittsburgh engineer as the energy-efficient, battery-powered aircraft took off or touched down at airports along its 24,854.8-mile global journey. Paige Kassalen, the crew's first U.S. female engineer and also its youngest member, was tasked with catching and cradling the composite wingtip to keep it from scraping the ground. The experience inspired her to put flight training on her bucket list. Read more...  



XTI Aircraft names new CEO

XTI Aircraft Co. of Denver announced that Robert J. LaBelle has become the firm’s new chief executive officer. Read more...  



A celebration of certification

The day Benson Williams of Shreveport, Louisiana, turned 17, he passed his private pilot, airplane, single-engine land checkride in the morning and earned his instrument rating that afternoon. He added a multiengine rating a few days later. Read more...  


Pilot Protection Services

Pitfalls of being a 'named pilot'

Occasionally pilots are heard saying that they are covered on someone else's aircraft liability insurance because they were added as a pilot approved to fly that airplane or because they meet the pilot qualifications specified in the insurance policy's "open pilot warranty." Unfortunately, it often is not that simple. Read more...  



AOPA offers wealth of aviation information online

If you have an aviation-related question, AOPA probably has the information you need within the 80,000 pages of its website. The association has made it easier than ever to find what you're looking for, with improved navigation and a responsive search engine. Read more...

Career Opportunities


Aviation job board

Job of the week: Home-based captain

Ameriflight, the nation's largest cargo Part 135 airline, is seeking qualified flight crewmembers to help provide unparalleled service and value for its customers, with the highest dedication to safety, innovation, and teamwork. Preferred experience includes 3,000 hours total, 1,000 hours pilot in command, 500 hours multiengine, 200 hours instrument, and 200 hours turbine time; previous 14 CFR Part 121 or 135 experience is required. Pilots assigned as home-based captains will be scheduled for up to 18 days of work and will receive 12 days free from duty during a four-week bid. 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 a legal services plan attorney, accountant, graphic designer and digital asset manager, aviation event operations senior manager, flying clubs initiative director, travel and destination products director, insurance program administration manager, account executive, donor relations director, aviation technical specialist, part-time administrative assistant, public affairs and executive communications manager, and communications coordinator. To learn more about these and other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


You're ready to take your instrument practical test, but the local Instrument Landing System (ILS) is out of service for an indefinite period. Could you use a Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) Area Navigation (RNAV) approach instead?


Appendix 7 of the Instrument Rating Airman Certification Standards states, "If the installed equipment and database is current and qualified for IFR flight and approaches to LPV minima, an LPV minima approach can be flown to demonstrate precision approach proficiency if the LPV DA is equal to or less than 300 feet HAT." As long as you have the right aircraft and the right approaches, your practical test can continue as planned. You may want to touch base with the examiner to ensure that he or she is aware that you are planning to use an LPV RNAV approach in accordance with the airman certification standards.

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Feb 11-12 - Fort Worth, Texas; Louisville, Kentucky; Nashua, New Hampshire; and Kenner, Louisiana

Feb 18-19 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Lake Mary, Florida; and Sacramento, California

Feb 25-26 - Fairfax, Virginia; and Las Vegas, Nevada

Mar 4-5 - Lake Mary, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; and Virginia Beach, 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

Feb 7 - Germantown, Tennessee; and Northglenn, Colorado

Feb 8 - Nashville, Tennessee; and Colorado Springs, Colorado

Feb 9 - Maryville, Tennessee

Feb 20 - Jacksonville, Florida

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

Rusty Pilots Seminars

Feb 4 - Hammond, Louisiana; Nashville, Tennessee; Friday Harbor, Washington; and Murrieta, California

Feb 11 - Houston, Texas; Watkins, Colorado; and Fort Myers, Florida

Feb 18 - Fort Worth, Texas; Farmingdale, New York; Plymouth, Massachusetts; Chamblee, Georgia; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Sacramento, California

Feb 25 - San Marcos, Texas; Winter Haven, Florida; Panama City Beach, Florida; Scottsdale, Arizona; Chickasha, Oklahoma; Louisville, Kentucky; Puyallup, Washington; and Duluth, Minnesota

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.

ePilot Editors:

Alyssa Miller
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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