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At 120 KIAS over South Carolina’s marshy coastline, Red Bull helicopter pilot Chuck Aaron raised the nose of the 1982 Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm Bo105 CBS and then pushed the cyclic full left, rolling the helicopter into what feels like a curlicue roller coaster ride. “It took me forever to figure out how to roll without losing altitude,” said Aaron, who typically rolls at 500 feet agl during airshow performances. Aaron has 18,000 hours of rotary-wing flying. “You’ve got to think about it in terms of flying the disk, not flying the fuselage.” Up next: the loop. The aircraft seemed to pivot—not fly—over the top. The maneuver was so small in diameter that it seemed more like a back flip off a diving board. Read more and watch Aaron in action >>
Ohio businesswoman Angela Phillips knows that a general aviation airport is a competitive advantage that can bring commerce and jobs to its community. Phillips, president and CEO of Phillips Manufacturing, a steel-fabricating enterprise with two plants in Ohio and another in Dothan, Ala., donated $10,000 to a local group’s effort to win federal matching funds to improve the Norwalk-Huron County Airport, where a twin Beechcraft Baron she uses for business travel is based. That donation, along with others, would make the airport eligible for about $400,000 in grants. But will the commission accept the donations? Read more >>
‘Kit’ Murray, 92, made aviation history
Arthur “Kit” Murray, the test pilot who in 1954 became the first pilot to fly above 90,000 feet, and see Earth's curvature in flight in a Bell X-1A, died July 25 in Texas. He was 92. Murray's altitude record led to his becoming known at the time as America's first space pilot. His fellow test pilot and colleague Chuck Yeager had broken the sound barrier for the first time in an X-1 in 1947. Read more >>
Let the bidding for GA begin
If the price, or bid, is right, you could walk away with any number of aviation-related products and experiences in the AOPA Foundation’s A Night for Flight online auction—many of which would make your pilot friends envious. The auction opened Aug. 11 and runs through Sept. 22. What’s up for grabs in the auction? Find out >>
Airshow pilot donates aerobatic experience
Airshow performer Sean D. Tucker says he’s the lucky one when it comes to giving aerobatic lessons to others like Tanya Trejo, the winning bidder of a day of training with Tucker in the 2010 AOPA Foundation A Night for Flight Auction. He donated the package to this year’s online auction. Once again, Tucker will be a lucky winner—but who will share the experience with him? Could be you. Watch AOPA Live® >>
Solar storms active, but normal
Outbursts observed on the sun last week do not portend new problems for GPS reception or other systems as solar flares and eruptive events known as coronal mass ejections fire up during an increasingly active phase, said a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration space weather expert. Read more >>
AirVenture 2011 successfully in the book
The Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture 2011, which paid tribute to 100 years of naval aviation, soared over the previous year’s event. Organizers nailed their estimates of expected attendance, announcing an actual figure of 541,000, for an increase of about 1.4 percent over 2010. More than 10,000 aircraft flew into Wisconsin airports for AirVenture. Some 2,522 show planes participated, and registered visitors included 2,098 international guests from 68 nations. EAA already is looking to next year, in hopes of turning the Wittman Regional Airport yellow with Piper Cubs. It’s the aircraft’s seventy-fifth anniversary and event organizers encourage all Piper Cub owners to attend. Read more >>
Top 10 highlights of EAA AirVenture
EAA AirVenture, referred to by pilots as “Oshkosh,” just wouldn’t be Oshkosh if what was new, and what was making news in aviation were not front and center to delight and surprise the gallery—and this year was no exception. Not surprising, a mix of past, present, and futuristic designs captivated pilots’ attention. Here’s a look at the most popular news from EAA AirVenture 2011.
GA rallies to help Down Syndrome Indiana
Move over Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. When it comes to putting on a show, the general aviation community knows how to put a smile on a face or two. “Can we go again?” “Is it over already?” These where common exclamations after flights during the Fifth Annual Fly-In and Open House Aug. 6 at Indiana Executive Airport, said John Gallo, executive vice president of Business Operations at Rolls-Royce. Gallo volunteered to fly attendees in his SR20. The fly-in served not only as a community event but also as a fundraiser for Down Syndrome Indiana, drawing 1,000 attendees to the airport. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Tuskegee Stearman makes final flight
The Spirit of Tuskegee, a PT-13 Stearman biplane, made its last flight on Aug. 5, when Matt and Tina Quy flew it to Washington Dulles International and taxied to the Udvar-Hazy Center. Even then, however, the airplane continued to make history: It’s the first artifact to be worked on in the museum’s new Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar, a just-opened, 235,000-square-foot facility where visitors can watch restoration projects from elevated viewing areas. Read more >>
Hover Power: Retreating blade stall
Flying a rotor system edgewise through the air creates a problem known as dissymmetry of lift. One side of the disc advances into the wind (headwind) while the other side is retreating (tailwind). For a fixed angle of attack, the lift on the advancing side is greater creating a lift imbalance that increases with airspeed. The rotor system equalizes lift by flapping. Read more >>
Jeppesen says the time to go digital in the cockpit is here, with its Mobile FliteDeck. Jeppesen President Mark Van Tine discussed the new product on AOPA Live during EAA AirVenture. “This is not taking sectionals or en route charts and scanning them. It is a truly, fully data driven application that has pan and zoom capability, that has moving map capability so that we can show the position of the aircraft,” Van Tine said. Watch the product demonstration on AOPA Live >>
Fly the upgraded Remos
The Remos GX NXT (NXT stands for “next model”) was upgraded specifically for American pilots. See a video of the improvements demonstrated for AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Al Marsh during a brief flight.
‘The real McCoy’
Born in 1921, Clarence A. Hess is one of the youngest founding members of AOPA. Hess said he started flying in the late 1920s and got involved with AOPA just one week after it had been founded when he bumped into Doc Hartanft at the lunch counter of a Chicago terminal. When Hess joined, AOPA dues were $3. He sat down with AOPA Live to recount the early days of AOPA membership. Watch AOPA Live >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
Challenge yourself with safety quiz
“It can’t happen to me.” Fuel-related accidents are among the most preventable aviation mishaps, yet otherwise competent pilots continue to turn perfectly good airplanes into impromptu gliders at a surprising rate. Are you at risk? The Air Safety Institute’s latest safety quiz, sponsored by the AOPA Insurance Agency, will help you find out. Take the quiz >>
New Webinar takes an in-depth look at cockpit weather
Datalink weather has taken a lot of the uncertainty out of flying, but using it safely means more than just counting on radar to steer you through whatever nature decides to dish out. Join AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg and NEXRAD datalink expert David A. Strahle on Wednesday, Aug. 24, for a must-see discussion of how you can use cockpit weather to complete more trips and minimize your weather risks. Register online >>
Do you know your way around thunderstorms?
Cooler weather may be just over the horizon, but for the time being it’s the dog days of thunderstorm season. Of course, air traffic control can help you avoid the boomers, but it’s important to understand the limitations of that assistance. The Air Safety Institute’s WeatherWise: Thunderstorms & ATC course is full of need-to-know facts about ATC weather radar, dangerous assumptions pilots and controllers sometimes make, and tips on making the system work better for you. Take the course >>
Learn something new at 22 or 92
Exactly when did flying get tagged as a young person's game? Unless you're an airline pilot, the FAA doesn't care about age, and airplanes don't either (airline pilots are required by law to retire at age 65, but there are no age restrictions on other types of flying). Flight instruction is built on demonstrated-ability situations: If you can pass the test, you're in, regardless of age. Learn more about flight instruction and health requirements for becoming a pilot in this subject report from the AOPA Pilot Information Center. You’re never too old to learn to fly.
Improve your safety by learning from others
Gain valuable knowledge about flying safely by learning from the mistakes of others. Using your ePilot personalization preferences, like "piston single-engine" or "turbine," the Air Safety Institute's Accident Database generates a list of accidents that have been added to the database in the past 30 days. If you haven't personalized your newsletter, select your aircraft preferences from the "types of aircraft" section on the ePilot personalization page.
Unexpected stalls are bad, the indication of the stall should be unambiguous, and perhaps most importantly, the wing needs to be unloaded to resume flight. It seems so basic and yet every week, at least in GA, somebody exhibits poor airmanship that results in damage to the aircraft and sometimes worse. Read more >>
New terminology offered for inspector authorizations
The FAA has adopted many of AOPA’s recommendations for its newly published policy to clarify the term “actively engaged” as it is used for purposes of airframe and powerplant mechanics’ inspector authorizations (IA). The FAA issued the clarifying language in a notice of policy Aug. 4 in the Federal Register. The FAA said it accepted AOPA’s request for the clarification to specifically address individuals engaged in personal aircraft maintenance, as well as retired mechanics providing occasional or relief maintenance; individuals providing maintenance in rural areas; and those offering specialized expertise in electrical, composites, and rare or vintage aircraft. Read more >>
Summit attendees benefit when booking at official AOPA hotels
As you make plans for attending AOPA Aviation Summit in Hartford, Conn., from Thursday, Sept. 22, to Saturday, Sept. 24, keep in mind that you can save money if you plan and book at official AOPA hotels. When you stay at an official AOPA hotel, you are guaranteed to receive the lowest rates during that week, and if the hotel is overbooked during the time of your stay, your reservation will be secure. Read more >>
Be pro-active with your health care
As an AOPA member, you have access to easy, accurate, and affordable health screenings, which take place at more than 20,000 screening sites nationwide. In a little more than an hour, you can be screened with painless, non-invasive, ultrasound technology for strokes, aneurysms, and heart disease. Once your tests are carefully reviewed by board-certified physicians, then you can take your results to your personal physician to work together on the next step toward improving your health. A variety of health screening packages are available at a discount, and you simply select the package that’s right for you. For more information or to locate a screening center near you, visit the AOPA page at Life Line.
Get a sneak peek at the new AOPA Holiday Ornament
Get into the holiday spirit early this year with the 2011 limited edition AOPA Holiday Ornament. The second in AOPA’s line of commemorative ornaments features an aircraft that embodies the spirit of aviation, a beautiful 1940 Waco. The Waco, offering its nostalgic glimpse of aviation times gone by is a selection that is certain to inspire you to share your most cherished aviation memories. Sure to add charm to any tree, the 2011 AOPA Holiday Ornament is now available at the AOPA Store. Remember, every purchase made at the AOPA Store benefits the association’s work to preserve and protect your right to fly.
Share your favorites
Members have asked for an easy way to like, tweet, and share their favorite stories from AOPA Online—and now they can. A toolbar at the top and bottom of every story displays buttons for the most popular sharing options, and the “+” gives access to more than 300 selections.
AOPA Airports: Mobile directory for busy pilots
Download AOPA Airports to your Blackberry or Windows Mobile device to have airport, FBO, and services information, and airport diagrams right at your fingertips. Provided by Hilton Software, LLC and AOPA, AOPA Airports allows members to one-touch dial telephone numbers. The directory can be downloaded and updated directly through your smartphone. Try it out today!
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an application support engineer, .Net developer, electronic advertising manager, and manager of airspace and modernization. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.