AOPA will be closed on February 18 in observance of Presidents Day. We will reopen at 8:30 a.m. EST on February 19.
Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

November 17, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletterNovember 17, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot' weekly newsletter

VOL 19, ISSUE 46 November 17, 2017
Click here for this week's custom content.
Top Stories
Waco amphibious biplane 'a mind bender'
Brash, over the top, totally impractical—and absolutely irresistible. This Waco YMF–5F (N56ED) is the first of the modern biplanes handmade in Battle Creek, Michigan, to be set upon amphibious floats—and it's a mind bender. Read more and watch a video >
AOPA Live This Week
Fly a Waco on floats; Cuba travel regs change
Fly along in a Waco YMF-5F on amphibious floats as AOPA Editor at Large Dave Hirschman ferries the distinctive biplane from Maryland to Florida—will you be as smitten as Hirschman? Also this week, find out how changes to the regulations governing travel to Cuba might affect your plans to fly there. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, Nov. 16 >
Technique and Safety
Icon tragedy could unfairly tarnish A5's reputation
The recent Icon A5 fatal accident will stress Icon Aircraft and put an exceptionally well-designed aircraft at risk of an unfair reputation, writes AOPA Air Safety Institute Executive Director Richard McSpadden. Read more >
Along for the ride
A vacuum pump failure on a sunny day is no big deal, but in instrument conditions—and without backup instruments—it's an emergency. The AOPA Air Safety Institute's new Accident Case Study: Single Point Failure video reviews how a Bonanza pilot coped with that scenario. Learn how you can do better >
Login required
Elevate your flight over terrain
Local terrain and weather patterns—together with aircraft performance—are essential considerations in mountain flying. Brush up on flying in the highlands with the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Mountain Flying quiz, and then get together with a qualified instructor for a checkout. Take the quiz >
Online resource
Are you rusty?
If it's been a while since you've flown, check out the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Rusty Pilots safety spotlight to study radio communication, aerodynamics, and today's airspace before scheduling your next flight lesson or review. Learn more >
More Florida TFRs planned for presidential trips
President Donald Trump is expected to resume seasonal visits to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, and the general aviation businesses at Palm Beach County Park Airport are bracing for forced shutdowns from temporary flight restrictions. Read more >
Santa Monica runway shortening to be completed in December
A project to shorten the runway of California's Santa Monica Municipal Airport from about 5,000 feet to 3,500 feet—part of a secretly negotiated deal between the city and the FAA—is underway with completion expected Dec. 23, according to the airport director. Read more >
Congress votes to restore drone registration
Drone operators who fly their unmanned aircraft for hobby and recreation exclusively under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft could soon face a requirement to register their aircraft even though a federal court recently rejected the FAA's first attempt to implement a registration system. Read more >
Drone Advisory Committee makes progress
The Drone Advisory Committee, composed of a diverse group of stakeholders (including AOPA), urged the FAA to prioritize enabling flights beyond visual line of sight inside Mode C veils and below 400 feet. Read more >
New regulations for Cuba travel in effect
Pilots can still fly themselves to Cuba under new regulations that went into effect Nov. 9, but, with few exceptions, that travel must be done through an approved U.S. organization. Read more >
Right place, right time
Pay careful attention to your conversions to Zulu time when planning flights and checking notams. U.S. and Canadian officials say that pilots sometimes forget to make the date change when a time conversion ticks past midnight Zulu time, and that has caused problems. Read more >
Updated 'FAA Aeronautical Chart User's Guide' published
Pilots seeking a deep dive into the legends on aeronautical charts need look no further than the new FAA Aeronautical Chart User's Guide. The 131-page publication includes new symbols that have crept onto charts since the last guide was published in 2011. Read more >
When fail-safes become unsafe
What can happen when a drone's fail-safe kicks in at an inopportune moment? Remote pilot Gordon Relyea explains and provides tips to avoid such mishaps. Read more >
A new normal
Opinion Leaders blogger Garrett Fisher hatches a plan to escape Catalonia if necessary during the region's political unrest, and experiences the flight of a lifetime to the Mediterranean. Read more >
Lancair Mako owners have BRS parachute option
Lancair Mako builder-owners are on a fast track to equip the composite four-place single with ballistic parachutes using technology proven by Cirrus Aircraft. BRS Aerospace announced Nov. 6 that the system can be installed as an option on newly constructed aircraft or added to Makos already in production. Read more >
Midwest entertainment capital
Branson, Missouri, is known as the "live music capital of the world" for its numerous country music venues. It's also a holiday fantasyland for kids and adults. Read more >
Winter wonderland
New Hampshire's White Mountains can be your perfect winter destination. Hotels provide classic New England charm, warm fireplaces, and luxurious modern amenities. Outdoors, you can ski, dogsled, or ride in a horse-drawn sleigh. Read more >
Luxury on the Kohala Coast
Hawaii, the Big Island, offers something special to the discerning traveler: the Kohala Coast. Read more >
Helicopters highlight latest manufacturing figures
Aircraft shipments in the third quarter of 2017 continued an industry pattern described as "mixed, with some bright spots that continue trending upward, particularly in the rotorcraft market," said the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Read more >
Pilot Protection Services
Hangar, tiedown leases could impact your insurance
Agreeing to hold harmless, indemnification, or subrogation clauses in a hangar or tiedown lease could jeopardize your insurance policy's effectiveness and even result in the denial of a claim, explains AOPA Legal Services Plan attorney Jared Allen. Read more >
News and Notes
Piper celebrates its eightieth
Piper Aircraft threw open its doors to aircraft owners and visitors Nov. 10 and 11, welcoming pilots from around the nation to help celebrate the company’s eightieth anniversary at its Vero Beach, Florida, headquarters. Read more >
Super Cub Sweepstakes
Super-sizing the Special
Piper Aircraft's iconic Cub design has romanced aviators for eight decades and is the "most-copied airplane," according to "The Cub Doctor" Clyde Smith Jr. The military requested modifications to the Cub Special that increased range, improved visibility and ergonomics, and boosted performance, resulting in the Super Cub. Read more >
Hangar Talk: Flight school award winner's incredible journey
Jamie Patterson-Simes, owner of Take Flight Alaska, the AOPA Flight Training Experience Award National Best Flight School for 2017, talks about her incredible journey and dedication to training the next generation of aviators; and catch up on the latest aviation news in this week's Hangar Talk podcast. Listen to the podcast >
Tips for owner-performed maintenance
AOPA Senior Aviation Technical Specialist and A&P Craig Brown offers tips for owners who want to perform maintenance on their aircraft. Read more >
Career Opportunities
Aviation job board
Job of the week: Flight attendant, Chamarac Inc.
Charmarac Inc. is seeking a part-time flight attendant for the New York City area, with the potential of turning full-time. Candidates must have FlightSafety, FACTs, or similar credentials. International travel opportunities are available. 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 an aviation safety analysis manager, account executive, High School Aviation Initiative coordinator, customer service representative, accounting clerk, administrative clerk, survey analyst/survey researcher, digital marketing coordinator, legislative affairs vice president, and airports and state advocacy vice president. Learn about AOPA career opportunities >
Question of the Week

Where can I find the step-by-step process for getting a Part 107 remote pilot certificate?
The FAA's Becoming a Pilot webpage outlines the steps for becoming a remote pilot for those who already have a manned pilot certificate and for those who do not. For more information about the process, see AOPA's "Guide to remote pilot certification."

Got a question for our technical services staff? Contact AOPA.
Education & Seminars
Flight Instructor Refresher Courses
Nov 18-19 Ashburn, Virginia; and San Diego, California
Dec 2-3 Denver, Colorado; and Northbrook, Illinois
Dec 9-10 Lake Mary, Florida
Jan 6-7 Charlotte, North Carolina; and Santa Clara, California
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
Nov 18 Cheyenne, Wyoming
Dec 2 Winter Haven, Florida; Jackson, California; Independence, Oregon; and Panama City, Florida
Dec 9 Murrieta, California; Scottsdale, Arizona; West Chicago, Illinois; Mineola, Texas; New Cumberland, Pennsylvania; and San Diego, California
Dec 16 Oxford, Iowa; and Middleton, Wisconsin
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
421 Aviation Way Frederick, MD 21701
301/695-2375 Fax
Facebook Twitter Instagram Google+
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
Advertise in ePilot:
Gary Brennan, 301/695-2052

Eastern and Central United States and International:
Jeff Rockwood, 301/695-2089

Western United States:
Tom Linton, 301/695-2055

AOPA Advertising website