OF INTEREST TO PILOTS

·         WORKING ON FUTURE AVGAS
100LL—its rising cost, future availability, and environmental impact—is on the minds of everyone in the aviation industry. AOPA is working to help find a viable fuel replacement that would have a minimal impact on our members and general aviation aircraft. On March 17, AOPA responded to the Environmental Protection Agency's publication of a rulemaking petition to limit lead emissions from general aviation aircraft. The EPA's move stems from a petition from the environmental group Friends of the Earth. Removing lead from avgas without having a suitable alternative would have a catastrophic impact on 30 percent of the GA fleet. Read more on AOPA Online.

·         TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF NONTOWERED AIRPORT OPS
Operations at nontowered airports aren't uncontrolled, they're pilot-controlled. Everyone needs to follow the rules and be alert, courteous, and professional. Test your knowledge of nontowered airport ops with the latest Safety Quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The quiz covers standard and nonstandard pattern entries, self-announce procedures, and the common radio phrase that the AIM says shouldn't be used under any circumstances. Learn more about nontowered operations by reading the recently updated Safety Advisor. When you're done, check out the foundation's other Safety Quizzes.

·         Close to Home ~
AOPA APPEALS PHOENIX CLASS B REDESIGN
Pilots in the Phoenix area have been incensed since the Phoenix Class B airspace redesign went into effect in October 2007, and rightly so. The FAA ignored input from pilots, AOPA, and other groups that had weighed in to make the redesign workable for general aviation and the airlines. AOPA filed a brief March 7 on its earlier court appeal alleging that the FAA didn't provide enough detail to allow for public input on VFR flyway changes and that the decision to lower part of the Class B floor from 3,000 feet to 2,700 feet was arbitrary and capricious. The FAA has until April 7 to file a response. "The FAA can't cut GA out of the equation during airspace redesigns," said Heidi Williams, AOPA director of air traffic services. "And AOPA is making sure GA won't be overlooked." 

·         TWO-LOCK RULE INTRUSIVE, UNNECESSARY, MEMBERS SAY
What do AOPA members think of a proposal mandating two locks for general aviation aircraft? Intrusive, unnecessary, and just plain unacceptable are among their responses, and that's the message AOPA is taking to lawmakers. AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Greg Pecoraro testified March 11 before the Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee in opposition to H.B.2292, which would require two locks on all general aviation aircraft and create criminal penalties for failing to use them. Read more on AOPA Online.

·         AOPA ASKS FOR MORATORIUM ON FLORIDA USE TAX
Imagine that you recently bought an airplane and you want to take it on vacation, maybe a family trip to sunny Florida. Think again. The state Department of Revenue has recently been charging Florida use tax on any airplane that is brought to the state within six months of being bought if the owner did not pay at least 6-percent sales tax at the time of purchase. AOPA President Phil Boyer has contacted Gov. Charlie Crist, asking him to put a moratorium on the tax until legislators can address the problem, especially with so many pilots about to visit Florida for the annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In. Read more on AOPA Online.

·         NEW INSTRUMENT COURSE PUTS CHARTS IN PERSPECTIVE
On its own, a chart is just a piece of paper, but integrated into the larger world of procedures and practical situations, a chart becomes a critical tool in a pilot's toolbox. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's new online course IFR Insights: Charts helps pilots get the most from their charts by showing how they fit into the overall profile of an instrument flight. The course takes 60 to 90 minutes to complete and covers NACO and Jeppesen products. In addition to detailed coverage of chart symbology, the course includes a gripping re-creation of a historic chart-related accident, interactive quizzes, and numerous real-world flying tips

·         WAKE TURBULENCE RIPS AIRCRAFT APART
On June 12, 2006, while on visual approach at Kansas City International Airport in Kansas City, Mo., the pilot of a Piper Saratoga crossed below the flight path of a Boeing 737 that was landing ahead on a parallel runway. The Saratoga encountered wake turbulence so violent that it tore apart the aircraft in flight. Read more in this special report prepared by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.

·         TIPS FOR FACING DOWN FUEL COSTS
With the increasing price of avgas, many pilots are looking for ways to conserve fuel and reduce the cost of flying. "Unfortunately, many of the habits we formed in operating airplanes when fuel was one-quarter or even one-half of what it costs today are not optimal given the current fuel prices," explained Peter A. Bedell in "Facing down fuel costs: How to ease the high price of avgas" in the September 2006 AOPA Pilot. Read Bedell's article for 11 techniques to help you save fuel, plus several products to help reduce fuel costs. Use the AOPA Airport Directory Online to look up FBO fuel prices at airports along your route of flight and plan your fuel stops accordingly.

·         OXYGEN: A PILOT'S BEST FRIEND AT HIGH ALTITUDES
Could you spot the effects of hypoxia and turn on supplemental oxygen in your unpressurized aircraft before it's too late? Learn about the effects of hypoxia, effective performance time, and the requirements and equipment for supplemental oxygen in AOPA's new subject report, Oxygen Use in Aviation. See just how quickly hypoxia can render you unable to control an aircraft in this short YouTube video of a pilot experiencing controlled hypoxia in an altitude chamber. You'll learn why "four of spades" is his unlucky card. Also read the AOPA Air Safety Foundation article "Hypoxia, poor planning a deadly combination."

·         Last month a newly delivered Boeing 777 made a low pass at the Boeing factory airport in Renton,Wash. The aircraft was less than 30 feet agl and clocked above 270 knots. It was a sight to behold. Big noise, big dust, big wind, massive power—awesome! Truly a spectacle! A video immediately appeared on YouTube, and the story goes that the senior captain at the controls was fired shortly afterward. Sounds like somebody got some butts! It’s also rumored that the airline bought the video to have it removed.
View the YouTube Video
 
View an article by AOPA Executive Director, Bruce Landsberg in his new
Safety eJournal.