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March 31, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterMarch 31, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

VOL 19, ISSUE 13 March 31, 2017
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Top Stories
AOPA battling excessive FBO fees
Upon learning that the fees to park overnight at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport totaled $153 and that avgas was $8 a gallon, the pilot of the Piper Saratoga decided to go elsewhere. He is just one of hundreds of pilots who have sent in reports after AOPA announced earlier this year that it was seeking information on FBO fees that seemed beyond market norms. "Pilots who don't want or need services should not be held prisoner on a public ramp," said AOPA President Mark Baker. Read more >
FAA ready for next step in simplifying certification
The FAA is about to take the next step in its evolving policy changes that make it easier for manufacturers to bring lower-cost safety-enhancing equipment from the experimental aircraft world into certificated Part 23 airplanes. Read more >
AOPA Live This Week
Heavy guns for everyone; AOPA takes NTSB to task
Watch a helicopter gunship built for your bucket list light up targets in the desert. Also this week, AOPA takes the NTSB to task, and airshow and air race superstar Michael Goulian reveals his path to the top. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, March 30 >
AOPA Fly-Ins
Camarillo fly-outs, excursions full of adventure
Pilots who are planning to attend the AOPA Fly-In at Camarillo, California, presented by California Aeronautical University, should make plans now to participate in two distinctly different fly-outs during the April 28 to 29 event. AOPA also is facilitating land excursions to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum and a behind-the-scenes look at U.S. Naval Air Station Point Mugu. Read more >
AOPA Fly-Ins to feature aircraft 'Sellers Corral'
The 2017 AOPA Fly-Ins will offer a new feature designed to help aircraft sellers display their aircraft to the greatest number of prospects, and give buyers a chance to "kick the tires" and ask questions to find just the aircraft they want. Read more >
Technique and Safety
Online resource
The ups and downs of touch-and-goes
Should touch-and-goes be practiced solo? Should flight instructors discuss health issues with their students when they start flight training? Join the debate in the AOPA Air Safety Institute's latest CFI to CFI newsletter. See what others think, voice your opinion, and subscribe to this free digital newsletter. Access the newsletter >
Accident analysis
No supermen
The hazards posed by incompetence in the cockpit are obvious, but expertise can carry risks of its own. Read more in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Institute >
More safety products
NTSB criticized for 'speculative' accident cause findings
AOPA is calling on the National Transportation Safety Board to conduct an internal review to examine why the independent safety agency has approved "speculative probable cause reports related to general aviation accidents" despite little evidence to support the conclusions. Read more >
Inhofe introduces Fairness for Pilots Act
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), whose sponsorship of Pilot's Bill of Rights legislation helped level the playing field for pilots in dealings with the FAA, and whose efforts enabled third class medical reform, has introduced another bill to broaden protections for general aviation pilots. Read more >
FAA urged to downgrade less-used Class B airspace
Class B airspace, the most stringently controlled of the surface-based airspace classes, should be downgraded when its primary airport's activity no longer supports the classification. But the FAA has no procedure for making the change, leaving burdensome and costly Class B airspace rules in effect for the airspace's remaining users. Read more >
Texas airport hosts GA, border surveillance drones
AOPA is working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the FAA to help pilots share airspace safely with unmanned aircraft flying border surveillance missions five days a week from San Angelo Regional/Mathis Field Airport in Texas. (Photo courtesy of CBP.) Read more >
FAA seeks digital ID for drones
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced at the agency's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Symposium in Reston, Virginia, a rulemaking effort that will lead to remote digital identification of drones and their pilots. Read more >
2017 GA Survey has launched
The FAA's thirty-ninth annual General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey has begun. If you received a mailed invitation to participate, please take the 10 to 15 minutes needed to respond to the survey that is the FAA's only source of GA fleet and activity information.
Pilot Protection Services
Demonstrating compliance with BasicMed
As the May 1 effective date for the FAA's BasicMed regulations approaches, make sure you understand the eligibility requirements for BasicMed that call for certain documentation to demonstrate compliance. Read more >
New eye in the sky
If an airplane goes down, every second counts. Rescuers are proud of their ability to identify a crash location as fast as possible—that's why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is excited about MEOSAR, a system that can improve location detection by a significant margin. (Image courtesy of NOAA.) Read more >
It's baffling
Powerplant cooling systems can be confusing. Opinion Leaders blogger Mike Busch explains how aluminum and flexible baffles divide the engine compartment into high- and low-pressure areas to create a vertical flow of air around the engine. So don't be baffled any more. Read more >
Expansion expected for Garmin G5 STC
The Garmin G5 electronic flight instrument is set to receive FAA approval to be installed as a replacement horizontal situation indicator in type-certificated fixed-wing general aviation aircraft. (Photo courtesy of Garmin.) Read more >
Garmin adds visual approach guidance to GTN 650/750
Garmin's GTN 650/750 touchscreen navigators have been enhanced to include visual approach guidance, among other new features, the company announced March 29. Read more >
Open Flight Solutions launches certified ADS-B In
Open Flight Solutions announced recently that it has adapted the FlightBox Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) In unit for installation. According to the company, FlightBox Pro requires only a logbook sign-off from a mechanic, and is available for installation on any Part 23, Part 27, or Part 29 aircraft. Read more >
ADS-B gets small
uAvionix Corp., a Palo Alto, California-based company specializing in Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) products for the unmanned aircraft system market, has jumped into general aviation with four new products designed for use in experimental and light sport aircraft. Read more >
Last chance to enter Hidden Gem contest
Time is running out to enter your favorite destination in the Hidden Gem contest sponsored by Aviat Aircraft. Submit photos and a description of your favorite hidden gem before 5 p.m. Eastern today, March 31, to enter for a chance to win a backcountry flying experience in Wyoming and Idaho. Learn more >
Hangar Talk: Exploring the Outer Banks
North Carolina's airport system is expansive, and some of the best airports sit on the string of barrier islands known as the Outer Banks. The popular vacation destination is a struggle to reach by car, but a joy to visit by airplane. Thomas Freeman and James Capps of the North Carolina Division of Aviation talk about the history and attraction of these unique fields. Plus, hear the latest news of the week. Listen to the podcast >
You Can Fly
Club members are owners, too
Paul Lilly bought a Beech Debonair, updated it, and formed a five-member group to own, fly, and maintain it. AOPA helped Lilly choose the structure for the new flying club, and find affordable insurance. (Photo by Steve Williams.) Read more >
Continental Motors to expand dramatically
Continental Motors will significantly expand its presence in Mobile, Alabama, with a new $70 million manufacturing center and corporate headquarters. Read more >
AOPA Aviation Finance
Answers to common aircraft financing questions
From refinancing an aircraft loan for a lower interest rate to applying for an aircraft loan after recently completing a bankruptcy program, AOPA Aviation Finance Co. President Adam Meredith answers some of the questions he's received from pilots. Read more >
News and Notes
New Mooney Ultras certificated
Just ahead of the first major general aviation show of the year, Mooney International announced FAA certification of the M20U Ovation Ultra and M20V Acclaim Ultra. (Photo courtesy of Mooney International.) Read more >
Online resource
AOPA's 2017 webinars available online
If you missed AOPA's two recent webinars, "BasicMed: What It Means for You" and "AOPA Flight Planner Enhancements," you can view them on YouTube at your convenience. Visit AOPA's webinar page and click the "watch now" buttons.
Delta funds 400 for National Flight Academy
A sponsorship from Delta Air Lines will allow 400 youth to live aboard the virtual aircraft carrier Ambition and attend Florida's National Flight Academy this summer. Students in grades 7 through 12 will learn about science, technology, engineering, and math concepts as they participate in interactive exercises aboard the 102,000-square-foot facility that is part theme park and part educational laboratory. A variety of immersive summer camps and other programs are available.
Career Opportunities
Aviation job board
Job of the week: Avionics technician
Epic Aircraft, a manufacturer of high-performance single-engine turboprop aircraft based in Bend, Oregon, is seeking an enthusiastic and hardworking avionics technician to repair, modify, install, troubleshoot, and perform routine maintenance on all avionics systems with accuracy and with minimal assistance. Read more >
AOPA career opportunities
Join the AOPA team
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? AOPA is looking for a customer service representative, airports and state advocacy vice president, flight training business support senior director, flight training technology senior director, aviation insurance sales director, executive office manager, project manager, UI/front-end developer, public affairs and executive communications manager, communications coordinator, legal services plan attorney, travel and destination products director, insurance program administration manager, donor relations director, lead aircraft maintenance and aviation technical specialist, and part-time administrative assistant. To learn more about these and other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online >
Question of the Week

During a Part 107 operation your drone lost power and damaged your car. The repair cost $700. Do you have to report this incident to anyone?
Yes. According to 14 CFR 107.9, because the damage to your car was greater than $500 you must report it to the FAA. You can use this form to make the report. For more in-depth information about this topic, see "Reporting requirements for unmanned aircraft accidents." It is important to note that this regulation applies only to Part 107 operations and not to hobby or recreational drone flying.

Got a question for our technical services staff? Contact AOPA.
Education & Seminars
Flight Instructor Refresher Courses
Apr 1-2 Atlanta, Georgia; Dedham, Massachusetts; Dulles, Virginia; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Tampa, Florida
Apr 8-9 Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; and San Diego, California
May 6-7 Albany, New York; Hollywood, Florida; and Pensacola, Florida
May 20-21 Conroe, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; 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.

Safety Seminars
Apr 3 Seattle, Washington
Apr 4 Burlington, Washington
Apr 5 Portland, Oregon
Apr 6 Eugene, Oregon

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

Rusty Pilots Seminars
Apr 1 Murphysboro, Illinois; College Station, Texas; Gulf Shores, Alabama; South Portland, Maine; Hayden, Idaho; Mansfield, Massachusetts; Watkins, Colorado; Glencoe, Minnesota; and Aurora, Oregon
Apr 5 Lakeland, Florida
Apr 8 Cleveland, Ohio; Valparaiso, Indiana; Pasco, Washington; Worcester, Massachusetts; Washington Court House, Ohio; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Reno, Nevada; San Angelo, Texas; Chesterfield, Missouri; and Big Bear City, California
Apr 12 Carlsbad, California

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.
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Jim Moore
Dan Namowitz
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