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Membership News & Notes

Editor's note: This page has been updated to correct the spelling of a name.
Membership News and Notes
An overflow crowd listens to aviaiton humorist and instructor Rod Machado during EAA AirVenture at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh July 28. Photo by David Tulis.

Join AOPA at OSH

Featuring the Super Cub Sweepstakes and so much more

Join AOPA at EAA AirVenture 2018 from July 23 through 29 for a glimpse of backcountry flying and camping with your aircraft.

The AOPA Sweepstakes Piper Super Cub will be a highlight of a display honoring the lifestyle of the backcountry with a fire ring, camping equipment, and more. The Sweepstakes Super Cub is a remarkable refurbishment of a 1954 Super Cub by Baker Air Service, the Montana aviation firm owned by Roger and Darin Meggers.

Also at the AOPA tent, find AOPA’s You Can Fly Cessna 152 and a California Aeronautical University “Top Hawk” Cessna 172. AOPA has partnered with proficiency training company PilotWorkshops and will feature a desktop simulator experience at AirVenture showing how easy it is to stay proficient using inexpensive desktop simulation. In addition, the AOPA Air Safety Institute will offer opportunities to experience its “Safety Challenge” in Redbird TD2 flight simulators.

Visitors can talk with AOPA staff about topics such as insurance and aircraft financing, membership, and legal and medical questions, as well as buy AOPA gear in the AOPA tent. Check out the AOPA tent on the EAA AirVenture campus near the brown arch. And each day at the AOPA Program Pavilion, there will be featured speakers, seminars, and workshops for all pilots.



Tips from PIC

Engine failure during flight?

Remember the three Gs: glide, grass, and gas

By Tom Zecha

“When confronted with an emergency, unprepared pilots tend to work their way through several mental stages—shock, denial, acceptance—before finally taking action, wasting valuable time in the process. In a time-critical situation, those extra seconds can mean the difference between an acceptable outcome and something much worse,” according to the AOPA Air Safety Institute.

I use a mnemonic I call the “three Gs” when teaching engine failures in flight. Its simplicity lends itself well to taking action immediately and keeping those negative mental stages out of the emergency at hand.

When faced with an engine failure during flight, utilizing the “three Gs” can make the difference in the outcome.


Establish the aircraft’s best glide speed. In the Cessna 172S, best glide is 68 KIAS. When 68 KIAS is established, trim the aircraft to maintain that best glide speed, affording you the most time and distance aloft from any given altitude.


Select a place that looks favorable to land and turn toward it. When sitting in the left seat, don’t limit your search to looking out the left window. Half of your possible options are on the other side of the aircraft.


Most engine failures in flight have something to do with fuel flow (or lack thereof). If altitude permits, I run through the items for a possible restart. In the 172S, I begin low, at the pedestal, and work my way up and to the left: Fuel selector valve on Both, fuel shutoff valve In, mixture Rich, auxiliary fuel pump On, ignition switch Both (or Start if the propeller is stopped). If the engine doesn’t start, continue to your landing site, and proceed with the Emergency Landing Without Engine Power checklist.

Tom Zecha is manager of the Pilot Information Center. He is an instrument-rated commercial pilot and holds flight instructor and advanced ground instructor certificates.

Medically speaking

The no-fly list

The FAA says these meds are disqualifying

By Gary Crump, Pilot Protection Services

For operations that require a medical certificate, FAR 61.53(a)(2) prohibits those operations while using medications that could result in a medical deficiency. Although the regulations don’t specify what those medications are, the FAA’s Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners refers to classifications of drugs that could adversely affect safe flight operations and are, therefore, considered disqualifying for issuance of a medical certificate.

Included in that compendium are mood-altering drugs, such as antidepressants (with the exception of four specific SSRI drugs that require a comprehensive evaluation for special issuance consideration); antianxiety drugs that include benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), or lorazepam (Ativan); antipsychotics; stimulants or similar-type medications such as Adderall or Ritalin to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); sedatives and hypnotics, and tranquilizers. The FAA’s policies regarding acceptable medications are based on both the medications themselves, including adverse side effects, and the underlying condition being treated.

Sometimes the diagnosis is the problem, not necessarily the medication. In other situations, it might be the medication but not the diagnosis. Often, though, both the condition and the treatment are disqualifying. The class of medical applied for is not usually a factor, either. A disqualifying medication is disqualifying for all three classes of FAA medical certification. If a MedXpress medical application includes a medication on the Do Not Issue/Do Not Fly list, the aviation medical examiner must defer the application to FAA for review, which often results in denial.

To assist you in your pre-medical application planning, AOPA maintains a database of many commonly prescribed medications. We also have a staff of medical certification specialists in the Pilot Information Center who can help you understand how your situation may affect medical certification. Give us a call Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time, 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672).

Gary Crump is director of medical certification for AOPA. He assists members with record review and status inquiries as part of AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services.


Hypertension? No need to stress

By Kathy Dondzila King

High blood pressure isn’t unusual among pilots. When blood pressure numbers approach the 155/95 FAA hypertension limit, doctors will want to prescribe medication to keep the hypertension under control.

The FAA allows aviation medical examiners to issue medical certificates in the office using the CACI (Conditions AMEs Can Issue) worksheet for hypertension. First, you should download the FAA’s hypertension worksheet and show it to your treating physician, who will provide you with the information outlined on the sheet.

Then, take the worksheet and the medical reports from your treating physician to your AME, who will review them and determine your eligibility for certification. If the reports indicate you have had stable clinical blood pressure control on the current antihypertensive medication for at least seven days, without symptoms from the hypertension or adverse medication side effects; no treatment changes are recommended; and you are determined to otherwise qualify for the medical, the AME can issue a normal-duration certificate in the office. Applicants for first or second class medical certificates must provide this information annually; applicants for third class must provide the information with each required exam.

Questions? Call AOPA Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time, at 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672).AOPA

Kathy Dondzila King is AOPA technical communications manager and an instrument-rated private pilot.


Offering a flight?

Brief your passengers well—they’ll thank you

By Machteld Smith

The flying season is in full swing. Are you ready to offer rides and share the beauty of seeing Earth from above? Remember to make those flights safe and pleasant, whether taking friends and family for a $100-hamburger hop or on a long cross-country to your favorite vacation spot. Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Are you good to go? Nonpilot passengers depend completely on your ability to assess go-no/go decisions based on your prudent self-assessment, the weather, the airplane, how comfortable the ride will be, and potential situations that could jeopardize the safe outcome of the flight. So, take stock of your health, skills, and proficiency. Respond honestly to your assessment and take steps to address any areas that need to be resolved.
  • Passenger comfort. Consider your flying companions’ comfort before and during the flight. Brief them about what to expect. For example, suggest they bring sunglasses and dress comfortably and appropriately for the aircraft you’re flying. Remind them about the lack of toilet facilities in flight. Anticipate weather conditions that could affect their comfort, such as hot and humid summer days or gusty winds and turbulence at altitude. You should reschedule when these elements are in play to avoid a bad experience.
  • It’s a go! On the day of the flight, give an update on expected conditions. Discuss ramp safety—including the danger of a spinning propeller—and help your passengers use the appropriate handholds and stepping areas to board the aircraft. Make sure they know how to adjust and lock their seats and explain the use of seat belts.
  • Cabin briefing. Once everyone is seated comfortably and securely, demonstrate how to open and close the doors. Show the location of airsickness bags, emergency exits and windows, and emergency equipment—such as fire extinguishers and survival gear—and how to use these. Explain the need for a sterile cockpit during taxi, takeoff, approach, and landing. Make sure they know to tell you if they feel ill, so you can land if needed. If this is a passenger’s first flight, describe how the engine sound may change during climb, cruise, and descent, and that gear retraction/extension might make a brief noise.

You may find it helpful to review the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s Critical Information: The Passenger Safety Briefing video, which offers suggestions to create or improve briefings and how to broach the sensitive issue of dealing with an abnormal or emergency situation. Also, download and customize the Emergency Equipment Card and place copies in reach of each passenger.

If you plan carefully and are considerate of your passengers’ comfort level before and during the flight, everyone will reap tremendous rewards. Now, go share your flying passion and elevate your own flying experience at the same time.

Machteld Smith is an aviation technical writer for the AOPA Air Safety Institute.

Member Services

What a legacy

AOPA Insurance celebrates 25 years

This year, the AOPA Insurance Agency marks 25 years of service to the aviation community. The agency has significantly upgraded and improved its policy production processes over the years, and those improvements continue to serve its customers—so they can focus on flying, not insurance.

AOPA Insurance Agency looks for ways to make shopping for aviation insurance faster, easier, and more affordable for pilots. Customers can request an insurance quote or a policy change and update their renewal information online. And with aviation insurance rates currently on the rise, comparison shopping is more important than ever. The agency’s knowledgeable insurance agents shop all the major A-rated companies on a pilot’s behalf, allowing the agency to provide a variety of affordable options that match both needs and budget.

Our history: Most long-time aviation enthusiasts will remember the name Don Flower. He was the most respected name in the aviation insurance industry. His agency, Don Flower Associates, became Rollins-Burdick-Hunter, which became AON, which went on to become today’s AOPA Insurance Agency. Flower is in the Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame in Wichita, alongside such greats as Lloyd Stearman, Walter Beech, Clyde Cessna, Tex Johnston, Al Mooney, and Bill Lear.


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