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Mourning Mike Collins; New vaccine for pilotsMourning Mike Collins; New vaccine for pilots

AOPA ePilot
VOL 23, ISSUE 10 March 5, 2021
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Top Stories
Saying goodbye: AOPA loses Technical Editor Mike Collins
Saying goodbye: AOPA loses Technical Editor Mike Collins
We are heartbroken by the loss of AOPA Technical Editor and Director of Business Operations Mike Collins, who fought COVID-19 for two weeks in an intensive care unit. Mike died on February 25. He was 59. Read more, watch a video, and view a slideshow >
Image gallery
Telling a story
Mike Collins began developing his storytelling skill as a self-taught youth making prints in a darkroom. Revisit a few of his favorite AOPA photo assignments.
AOPA Live This Week
Mourning our fallen friend; Envelope expansion; Phenom transition
We salute Mike Collins, our friend and coworker for decades. Also, exercises to expand your envelope, and stepping into a Phenom. Watch AOPA Live This Week® >
Technique and Safety
Spatial occasions
It's tempting—and risky—for a current instrument pilot to think of spatial disorientation as something that afflicts only VFR pilots who stumble uninvited into the clouds or other pilots who knowingly push marginal conditions. Read more >
Icing encounter
With a brand-new instrument rating in his wallet and family on board his Cessna 172, Heath Wells expected to comfortably complete the flight crossing central Pennsylvania. Watch this AOPA Air Safety Institute Real Pilot Story to find out what weather lesson he learned the hard way.
Sponsored by SiriusXM Aviation
Confronting the weather
Understanding the large-scale forces that create weather makes it easier to come to the right decisions. Learn more in this AOPA Air Safety Institute Safety Spotlight.
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More than pattern work
Assess and improve your knowledge of runways of different dimensions and surface types, under varying light and weather conditions, with this AOPA Air Safety Institute Focused Flight Review.
Third COVID-19 vaccine approved for pilots, controllers
Johnson & Johnson's formulation became the third COVID-19 vaccine approved by the FAA for use by pilots and air traffic controllers. Read more >
Ebola outbreak in Africa prompts US travel restrictions
New restrictions and requirements apply to flights arriving in the United States carrying people who have recently been in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or the Republic of Guinea in response to an Ebola virus resurgence. Read more >
Pilot Protection Services
Not-so-acrimonious aviation acronyms
AOPA Pilot Information Center Medical Certification Director Gary Crump anticipates that welcome changes to FAA policy will soon follow recent leadership changes. Read more >
eVTOL startup's share price takes hit
Urban air mobility pioneer EHang's stock price took a wild ride coinciding with accusations and intrigue. Read more >
FAA tests airport drone defenses
Field trials of "at least 10 different technologies or systems" designed to detect and mitigate drones that endanger operations will be conducted at five airports, the FAA announced while discouraging other deployment of countermeasures. Read more >
Pilot magazine
No passport required
For great boating, diving, beaches, historical tours, and flying opportunities—get away to the Florida Keys. Read more and view photos >
Want more general aviation travel stories? Sign up for our free AOPA Travel Pilot biweekly newsletter.
News and Notes
AOPA leaders to discuss state of GA in live town hall
AOPA President Mark Baker and Senior Vice President of Marketing Jiri Marousek will talk general aviation in a live town hall March 9. Read more >
Collier Trophy finalists for 2020 announced
The National Aeronautic Association named seven aviation and space achievements that will compete for the 2020 Collier Trophy, including the first automated landing system for general aviation. Read more >
Aspects of Amelia Earhart that might surprise you
Let's kick off Women's History Month with 10 things you may not know about Amelia Earhart, starting with her roller coaster. Read more >
'Red Tails' screening draws Black History Month to close
The Western Maryland chapter of the National Association for Black Veterans celebrated the close of Black History Month with a theater screening of Red Tails, a film depicting the lives of the U.S. Army Air Corps' Tuskegee Airmen. Read more >
NASA names headquarters after 'Hidden Figure' Mary Jackson
NASA on February 26 formally renamed the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C., after Mary W. Jackson, one of the subjects of the book and feature film Hidden Figures about Black women mathematicians who calculated trajectories by hand for the then-segregated agency starting in the 1950s. Their painstaking work was essential to successful spaceflight.
'Hangar Talk': Musician, pilot, and TV personality Nick Hoffman
Nick Hoffman, a Minnesotan who grew up in and around aviation, explains how he became a Nashville country musician, a pilot, and the host of the adventure TV show Nick's Wild Ride. Listen to the podcast >
Airworthiness advisories
Career Opportunities
Aviation job board
Job of the week: Avionics technician, Force Aviation
Force Aviation in Dallas is hiring avionics technicians who will be responsible for inspecting, troubleshooting, servicing, and maintaining electronic systems and components. 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 a digital marketing coordinator and a web app developer. To learn more about these and other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online >
Question of the Week

I'm an instrument-rated private pilot and have 700 hours in Cessna 172s, Piper PA–28 180s, and Piper PA–32s. I would like to buy a faster airplane because I like cross-countries. I fly once or twice a month, mostly solo or with a passenger or two. I'm interested in a Mooney or a Beechcraft Bonanza. What are some pros and cons of those aircraft? What else should I consider?
When contemplating the purchase of an aircraft, the first step is to establish a mission statement, including range, payload, speed, and information about the airports you are most likely to use (runway surface and length, elevation, and other considerations). Other factors include your own qualifications and experience, and, of course, your budget for purchase and for continuing ownership/operation. Keep in mind that Mooneys and Bonanzas offer a wide range of performance and capabilities, from the very early models to the very latest. Also, if you only fly once or twice a month, it's hard to maintain proficiency in a high-performance or complex aircraft like a Bonanza or a Mooney. Read the full answer and join the discussion >

This discussion is from our online Pilot Information Center, where you can ask questions, contribute answers, earn badges, and join our growing pilot community online. Got a question for our technical services staff? Contact AOPA.
Education & Seminars
AOPA's in-person educational courses and seminars have been canceled or postponed in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Stay sharp with our webinars, podcasts, and videos.
Upcoming AOPA webinars
Mar. 11, 12 p.m. Eastern 'Don't Get Rusty' series: Now we're playing with gas
Mar. 16, 12 p.m. Eastern AOPA Rusty Pilots - Webinar edition
Mar. 18, 6 p.m. Eastern AOPA Rusty Pilots - Webinar edition (Fort Myers, Florida)
Mar. 24, 6 p.m. Eastern AOPA Rusty Pilots - Webinar edition (Cleveland, Ohio)
See the full webinar schedule in our online Pilot Information Center. (Log in to our online Pilot Information Center using your AOPA website username and password to view these events.) View our recently recorded webinars (registration required).
Latest AOPA Pilot Lounge videos
John Mohr, Piaggio Royal Gull
CST Flight Services COVID-19 travel guides
Earthrounder, crash survivor, and public speaker Ryan Campbell
George Antoniadis - PlaneSense
You Can Fly Champions
How a PPS panel attorney protects AOPA members
For a full list of Pilot Lounge videos, see AOPA Online.
AOPA podcasts
'Ask the A&Ps': 'If it moves, squirt it with something'
'Hangar Talk': Musician, pilot, and TV personality Nick Hoffman
'Hangar Talk' Flight Time series: Jamie Patterson-Simes
'Pilot Briefing': Week of Mar. 1, 2021
'There I was...': Kelly Keller
'Never Again': Pop quiz
'Pilot Protection Services Podcast': Predicting the future
To see all AOPA podcasts, visit AOPA Online.
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