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Pilot Dean Clark was on a flight he’d made hundreds of times, in an airplane he knew well, and there was no serious weather in the forecast. But that didn’t keep him from picking up enough ice nearly to bring down his Cessna 182. In the Air Safety Institute’s latest Real Pilot Story, you’ll hear him tell the gripping story of his unexpected struggle in ice-filled clouds—one that will make you think twice before taking any risks with ice this winter. Funding was made possible by the Donner Canadian Foundation and the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association’s Flight Safety Foundation. Watch it here >>
NASA engineers test rotor reentry
Spacecraft of the future may one day settle in to soft landings using technology familiar to helicopter pilots, and tested—at least at the early scale model stage—using off-the-shelf equipment from a hobby shop. The ultimate goal is a system able to land a spacecraft safely, on target, and on dry land, at a speed slow enough to avoid damaging sensitive experiments. Read more >>
10 things to know from flying club webinar
AOPA’s Center to Advance the Pilot Community held the first of a planned monthly series of webinars Nov. 14. The webinar, with 631 registrants, covered what people need to start their own flying club. Get the highlights >>
Demystifying flying clubs
Until recently, flying clubs grew almost exclusively through word of mouth. If you were lucky, you’d meet someone who knew someone who belonged to a flying club—and that was how you might happen onto a community of like-minded pilots to help share the costs and joys of aircraft ownership. But how could you connect with a club? What if there wasn’t one in your area? AOPA has begun the process of taking the mystery out of flying clubs. Read more >>
Piper celebrates 75 years
There wasn’t a cake, although Piper Aircraft Inc. had all the other ingredients of a celebration at its Vero Beach, Fla., headquarters and factory Nov. 10. Hundreds of people were on hand and 84 aircraft—including Piper products that represented the company’s lineage going back to the J-3 Cub—flew in to help the company celebrate its seventy-fifth anniversary. The venerable aircraft manufacturer’s Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Factory Fly-In ran from Nov. 9 through 11. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Remembering veterans, Herbert Carter
As Americans paused to remember and give thanks to our veterans, AOPA Technical Editor Mike Collins reflected particularly on those who served in World War II. Retired Lt. Col. Herbert E. Carter—one of the original Tuskegee Airmen—died recently at age 95. Read more >>
AOPA offers free memberships for active-duty military
Veterans Day offers a reminder of the service and sacrifice of America’s military personnel. AOPA is honoring the service of active-duty military members by offering them a complimentary one-year membership in the association. AOPA announced the offer in May as part of an effort to reach out to members of the military and support their flying goals. The association offers resources for pilots of all stripes, whether they fly recreationally or for the military. If you know someone in the military who would enjoy an AOPA membership, please share the offer.
Aviation apps you can’t live without
What iPhone/iPad/Android aviation-related app could you not live without? Pilots weighed in with their choices. Read more >>
CubCrafters model certified in China
CubCrafters of Yakima, Wash., announced that it has obtained a validation of type certification (VTC) from the Civil Aviation Administration of China for its model CC18-180 Top Cub. The certification, issued Oct.18, will allow the Top Cub to be imported and operated in China. CubCrafters said that the Part 23-certificated Top Cub is a “classic back-country airplane” inspired by Piper’s PA-18 Super Cub and incorporating CubCrafters’ own supplemental type certificates in the design to produce an aircraft with a gross weight of 2,300 pounds and a useful load of 1,100 pounds. Read more >>
New flight plan requirements in effect
International flights, as well as domestic IFR flights using performance-based navigation (such as a WAAS-enabled GPS), are now required to file International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) flight plans. General aviation IFR pilots can still use the older FAA domestic flight plan form that remains available through electronic flight planning applications for operations that do not utilize GPS-based procedures and routes. Read more >>
Aircraft donations fuel future of GA
A World War II veteran decides to part with his last airplane after decades of general aviation flying. A husband and wife trade their cross-country speedster for an aircraft more suited to exploring their own backyard. Donors to the AOPA Foundation recently turned their decision to part with a beloved airplane into a contribution to the future of GA. Read more >>
AOPA Now: A different kind of Election Day victory
The general aviation community won an important Election Day victory this year, but this victory did not involve anyone listed on a ballot. A survey taken the evening of the election and the day after reflects a dramatic increase of support for GA from 2008 to 2012. Read more >>
Flight Design marks 25 years with ‘Jubilee’ aircraft
Flight Design is marking its twenty-fifth anniversary with a limited-edition series of 25 aircraft that will feature special features. The company plans to produce 25 “Jubilee” edition aircraft with a special paint scheme and equipment list. The Jubilee aircraft will feature a two-tone leather interior, a Rotax 912iS engine, and Dynon SkyView avionics. Buyers can choose Jubilee versions of standard models, while they last. The anniversary models will be sold worldwide, on a first-come, first-served basis, with deliveries to begin in 2013. Read more >>
Women of Aviation Worldwide Week 2013 to focus on aerospace
Organizers say the 2013 Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, held March 4 through 10, will focus on opportunities for women in the aerospace industry. The theme ties in with the fiftieth anniversary of the first space flight by a woman. Read more >>
Costly overhauls ground Cloud Nine Rescue Flights
Cloud Nine Rescue Flights, a nonprofit organization that focuses on animal rescue and humanitarian flights, has had to suspend operations until its transport aircraft’s engines can be overhauled. Read more >>
Aviatrix-teacher creates organizer to help student pilots
Teresa Guillemot recalls that when she began training for a private pilot certificate in 2005, “it was like learning a foreign language in a foreign land.” She was working on an instrument rating when she hit upon the idea for the Aviator’s Practical Organizer, a tool intended to help student and certificated pilots guide and track their progress while retaining the knowledge they need for the practical test. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Wolf Aviation Fund wants your great ideas
One of the great things about general aviation is the willingness of the industry to help its own and others. The Wolf Aviation Fund was created to provide grants to those who are doing great work in GA. The deadline to apply for grants in 2013 is Dec. 15. Read more >>
Piper, FIT launch aviation career alliance
Piper Aircraft Inc. and the Florida Institute of Technology announced Nov. 10 that they have launched a Piper Aviation Career Alliance. Read more >>
Reporting Points: Strange but true
Workers stripped the custom headrest off of Mitt Romney’s campaign airplane, while Lady Gaga checked out custom seats in her new jet. Read more strange but true general aviation news >>
AOPA Live This Week: NTSB announcement, flying the FLS Microjet
The National Transportation Safety Board has once again put general aviation safety improvement on its top 10 “Most Wanted” list. AOPA Live This Week travels to Washington, D.C., to dig deeper into that announcement and what it means to pilots. Also, Agent 007 had one—now you can get a new and improved model. We fly the FLS Microjet. (It’s not your father’s BD-5J.) Check out AOPA’s new FlyQ EFB for your iPad. And a celebration of 75 years of aviation history—what Mr. Piper’s little yellow airplane grew up to be. Watch AOPA Live This Week, Nov. 15 >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Safety & Proficiency
Are you up on changes to the regulations and procedures? If you are accustomed to flying the VOR/DME RWY 33 approach to Worcester Regional Airport in Massachusetts via the Putnam VOR 034-degree radial to WUTUG, a clearance to SQUEL might strike you as erroneous. WUTUG was Worcester’s waypoint until “Amdt 1” became “Amdt 1A” on Oct. 18. That could be big news at 120 knots. Read more >>
One missed step
How can you be sure that a student is ready to solo? It’s probably the most difficult decision flight instructors routinely have to make. Even after the first solo it’s natural to wonder whether the student has really picked up everything he or she might need to cope with the unexpected. On Veterans Day of 2011, a student on his second solo took off from Sturgis, S.D., after a hard landing, but had missed a crucial part of the pre-takeoff checklist. Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.
Tips for winterizing your aircraft
When the weather turns cold across much of the United States, flying takes on a whole different set of concerns for pilots. AOPA offers tips for winterizing your aircraft, from a low-cost preheating option to steps for preventing carbon monoxide poisoning.
Don’t be a frozen turkey
The arrival of November signals colder temperatures, lower ceilings, and an increased risk of encountering icing conditions. Do you know what to look for in terms of hazards, and their warning signs? Refresh your skills and prepare for the flying ahead by visiting the Air Safety Institute’s Cold Weather Ops Safety Spotlight.
Airlines, FAA share safety data with NTSB
Airlines and the FAA are sharing summarized safety data with the NTSB, in hope of identifying and preventing recurring issues. Read more >>
Leading Edge: Not exactly the intended destination
A law that requires new air carrier first officers to have at least 1,500 hours total flight time and an airline transport pilot certificate has the unintended consequence that many aircraft will likely be parked until the training system somehow catches up, writes AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg. Read more >>
Improving general aviation safety remains among the top 10 “Most Wanted” priorities for 2013, a list (not ranked in a particular order) released Nov. 14 by the NTSB. The accident investigation agency also hopes to improve airport surface operations, broadening the focus from runway safety, which was on the 2012 list. The AOPA Foundation and Air Safety Institute remain dedicated to continued reduction in the GA accident rate, supporting a host of initiatives and programs. Read more >>
Indiana airports generate jobs, serve communities
Hoosier airports mean Hoosier jobs. That was the clear message of a new economic impact study that credits Indiana’s 69 public-use airports with generating $14.1 billion in economic activity and supporting employment for more than 69,000 workers. Read more >>
Join the Airport Support Network today
Ensuring the health and vitality of your airport is up to you—incompatible development and economic and political pressures can restrict your flying. Every day, close to 2,500 Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteers work with AOPA headquarters to help protect their airports, but we need more. Below is a link to a list of the airports where an ASN volunteer could make a difference.
To nominate yourself or an associate to be a volunteer, visit AOPA Online.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit ASN Online.
EA+ comes to the rescue after Laos motorcycle accident
A medical emergency can be very costly, especially out of the country. A member who fractured his right fibula and dislocated his right ankle in a motorcycle accident in Laos got help from AOPA Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+). Read more >>
FAA application = FAA investigation
Did you know that when you apply for an FAA airman certificate or rating or submit an application for a medical certificate that the FAA is “investigating” your qualifications? The next time you submit an application to the FAA, you may be surprised, even alarmed, to receive written notification from the FAA that you are under investigation. Attorney Kathy Yodice explains why that’s a good thing in an article for AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an events coordinator; AOPA eastern regional manager; marketing coordinator; .NET applications developer; production assistant–Web; member services representative; manager, AOPA Flying Club Network; Web developer (eMedia); major gifts officer; and Web graphic designer. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.