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January 13, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterJanuary 13, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

Diamond DA20

JANUARY 13, 2017 - VOL 19, ISSUE 2

Top Stories


BasicMed rule detailed

As news of the third class medical reform final rule was released Jan. 10, pilots started contacting AOPA's Pilot Information Center for more details pertaining to their specific flying situation. "Much of the general aviation community is ecstatic about BasicMed," AOPA President Mark Baker said of the new alternative to medical certification. "May 1 can't get here soon enough!" Many want to know how they can prepare in advance to take full advantage of the benefits of the rule May 1. AOPA has analyzed the rule and offers answers to the top 10 questions pilots are asking. Read more...  



AOPA looking into high prices

An AOPA review has found indications that some fixed-base operators may be charging excessive fees for fuel and other services. According to federal law, prices and services at airports that receive funds under the Airport Improvement Program must be "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory," but AOPA members have reported experiencing issues with things like landing fees, ramp fees, and fuel pricing. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

Medical reform arrives; Flying boats on film

General aviation got a huge lift Jan. 10 when the FAA released the third class medical reform final rule: Learn about BasicMed, the new alternative to medical certification that covers most GA operations, which goes into effect May 1. Flying boats once ruled the skies and sea. Get an inside look at a documentary film in production that seeks to tell the stories behind these amphibious birds, and the pilots who keep them alive. Also, check out the 2017 Cirrus models and Garmin's new G1000 NXi. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, Jan. 12...  

Technique and Safety



Allying for safety

The AOPA Air Safety Institute has launched a new industrywide initiative called the Safety Alliance. The collaboration between the institute and several general aviation companies and organizations brings GA safety education resources together, and for the first time makes it easier for pilots to find a variety of content in one place. Read more...  


Flash-based; login required

Winter woes

As temperatures drop during the winter, be sure to get an updated weather briefing—including pireps—before launching in conditions that may be conducive to icing. The AOPA Air Safety Institute's Weather Wise: Precipitation and Icing online course provides a solid refresher about how to avoid taking Frosty for a ride. Take the course...



Rescuers reach downed Cirrus

Radar analysis by the Civil Air Patrol quickly led rescuers to a Colorado couple's downed Cirrus SR22 after an aerial reconnaissance crew spotted the two amid two-to-four-foot-tall snow drifts in the state's rugged Flat Tops Wilderness Area Jan. 8. The couple was "dangerously close to sliding off a cliff," according to a KUSA television report. Read more...  



Transition trouble

Gaining experience is critical after transitioning to a new aircraft type—especially before taking your family on a trip. The AOPA Air Safety Institute's Transitioning to Other Airplanes: Misplaced Priorities video reviews a pilot's improper in-flight actions that led to a tragic outcome. Learn how increased complexity and performance stumped the pilot's judgment and skill. Watch the video...  




GA makes gains in the states

Advocacy for aviation in the states moves forward on many fronts. Challenges change from year to year, but top priorities for AOPA’s state advocacy team always include ensuring that general aviation airports are funded at appropriate levels, keeping aviation taxes reasonable, and working to expand the access GA aircraft provide to business and personal travel. Read more...  



AOPA plans 2017 state strategy

AOPA's 2017 advocacy agenda in the states includes approximately 30 legislative initiatives. Ending taxes on flight training in New Mexico and reining in taxation on various aspects of aviation in several states are a few of the efforts already underway. Read more...  



NTSB urges PA-31 emergency AD

The National Transportation Safety Board is urging the FAA to issue an emergency airworthiness directive requiring operators of certain Piper Aircraft PA-31T, PA-31T1, PA-31T2, PA-31T3, and PA-31P-350 Navajos to address a wiring condition at the floor-mounted circuit breaker panel that could lead to chafing, thermal stress, or arcing directly below the panel. Read more...  




How to fly a jet pack

A decades-long effort to produce a practical jet pack is closing in on completion, and the JB-10 by JetPack Aviation could reach customers before the end of the year. At least it could reach those willing and able to pay $250,000 to fly like James Bond. JetPack Aviation CEO and test pilot David Mayman briefed AOPA on how to fly a jet pack. Read more...  




Why do we fly?

During a three-week hiatus from flying, Opinion Leaders blogger Garrett Fisher searched deep for what motivates him to fly. His simple answer, "to explore new things," takes him to exotic locations where he captures breathtaking photos. Fisher shares his photos of the Pyrenees and challenges other pilots to discover the true reason they fly. Read more...  



Lightspeed offers headset deal

Headset manufacturer Lightspeed Aviation announced a free promotion for wireless Tango active noise reduction headsets purchased before Jan. 31. Buyers receive two extra Tango rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and an accessory wall charger, a package the company values at over $100. The extra batteries will "double the flight time available" before pilots need to recharge the packs, and it makes them more convenient to use, according to Teresa De Mers, Lightspeed Aviation vice president of sales and marketing.



Pilot Getaways

Stearman Bar and Grill

A wonderful byproduct of the love for aviation is becoming a part of a fraternity full of friendship and fun. Nowhere is that more evident than at Lloyd Stearman Field in the outskirts of Benton, Kansas. This airport is a true oasis in the Kansas landscape. The bustling field is home to a growing number of aviation enthusiasts and a fly-in diner that opened in 2010. Read more...  




Piper to ship Archers to China

Piper Aircraft has received an order for 50 Archers that will be shipped to China and distributed to flight schools and general aviation companies to meet growing demand for pilot training. Read more...  

News and Notes


Online resource

Boost your aircraft-specific knowledge

Become a better plane spotter or learn about the performance of dozens of aircraft with AOPA's Aircraft Fact Sheets. From American Champion to Taylorcraft, AOPA details the performance, handling characteristics, and common missions for aircraft. The fact sheets are perfect for all levels of pilots, including students, prospective aircraft owners, and veteran plane spotters. Check out AOPA's Aircraft Fact Sheets...  

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 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, aviation financial analyst, and production specialist. To learn more about these and other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Question of the Week


You are flying on an IFR flight plan, and your assigned frequency is congested. About 10 minutes away from your clearance limit, you still have not received further instructions from air traffic control; you have a feeling that you won't receive the clearance before you reach the fix. When should you prepare to hold? And if you need to, when should you start slowing down for the hold?


Section 5-3-8 of the Aeronautical Information Manual states that when no delay is expected, ATC should issue a clearance beyond the fix (clearance limit) as soon as possible, and when possible, at least five minutes before you get to the fix. This means that if you're within five minutes of the fix, with no clearance beyond, you should start getting ready to do a hold (published or otherwise). And if you're flying an aircraft that must slow for holding, you're expected to do that three minutes or less from the fix, so that you cross the fix at or below the max holding speed.

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


Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Jan 14-15 - Bellevue, Washington; Elkridge, Maryland; and Ridgeland, Mississippi

Jan 21-22 - San Antonio, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and Long Beach, California

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

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

Jan 23 - Mesa, Arizona; and Van Nuys, California

Jan 24 - Tucson, Arizona; and Ontario, California

Jan 25 - Santa Ana, California

Jan 26 - Albuquerque, New Mexico; and San Diego, California

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

Rusty Pilots Seminars

Jan 14 - Bucyrus, Ohio; Bethany, Oklahoma; Stevensville, Maryland; Fort Myers, Florida; and Columbus, Georgia

Jan 21 - Fort Worth, Texas; Lufkin, Texas; and Keene, New Hampshire

Jan 27 - Sebring, Florida

Jan 28 - Las Cruces, New Mexico; San Antonio, Texas; Mesa, Arizona; and Greencastle, Indiana

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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