AVweb AVFlash - Volume 20, Number 14c

October 10, 2013

Baker: For GA Future, Friendly Airports Are Key

Just two months into his new job, AOPA President Mark Baker addressed an overflow crowd at AOPA Summit on Thursday morning, to lay out his vision for the future of the organization -- and also revealed a hint at the "real reason" that this Summit will be the last. In response to a question from the audience, Baker said switching from the annual meeting to a half-dozen regional fly-ins will create opportunities for AOPA to recruit new members. "There are still thousands of pilots who are not members of AOPA," he said. "These fly-ins will take our message out to where people fly." Baker also said changes to the third-class medical, which have wide support among aviators -- the EAA/AOPA proposal attracted more than 16,000 "overwhelmingly positive" comments -- so far are "not a priority" for the FAA, but he will continue to lobby for the changes. "I just won't let this die," he said. But the key to GA's future, in Baker's estimation, is making our local airports into friendlier, more welcoming places.

"I was one of those airport kids," says Baker, who discovered aviation at a local field. But today, too many of our GA airports are surrounded by barbed wire and fences. "Communities need access," he said. Picnic tables, playgrounds, and open-house events all can help to make GA airports into "a place for families to hang out on a Saturday afternoon … where the next generation can discover aviation." Baker also addressed a question about the recent issues with customs and border officials confronting GA pilots, saying that such encounters "seem to be slowing down." He added that it's important to continue to educate lawmakers in Washington about the importance of GA, and said members of the GA caucus "understand the economic value" of aviation. Baker also earned applause from the crowd when he confirmed that AOPA will bring back its Frederick fly-in for 2014, to celebrate the organization's 75th year.

Baker said AOPA also has been working with EAA, GAMA, NBAA, and other aviation groups to bring proposals to the FAA for changes that would save money without affecting services to pilots. He said changes in flight services could save $75 million a year, for example, and shutting down just half of the remaining VORs would save $55 million annually. Baker said the proposed changes to third-class medicals also could save the FAA up to $11 million. The advocacy groups hope that by working with FAA to save money on inefficient or redundant services, they can deflect FAA proposals to save money in ways that would be harmful to GA, such as closing contract towers. Baker also said AOPA will continue to work with EAA to promote aviation. EAA chairman Jack Pelton will be here this week, appearing together with Baker at a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning at the Airportfest at Meacham Field. AOPA also will expand its presence at some EAA events, including next year's AirVenture, Baker said.

Sponsor Announcement

Bad Elf GPS
Rock-Solid GPS for the iPad in Any Aircraft — Piston or Jet!
The Bad Elf GPS Pro accessory was designed for demanding use in multi-crew and jet aircraft, providing high-performance WAAS GPS reception even with heated windshields. It connects wirelessly with up to five iPad or iPhone devices simultaneously, has a 16+ hour battery life, and the large LCD display shows your GPS status at all times.

Works great with ForeFlight, JeppFD, WingX, Garmin Pilot, and any other location-based app. Flying worldwide in piston singles, Fortune 50 fleets, and charter aircraft — even airlines! Click here for more information.

Cirrus SF50 VisionJet: Fast Track to Production

Just as it was announcing features of the 2014 models of the SR20 and SR22, Cirrus also reported this week that development and testing work on the SF50 single-engine jet is moving rapidly forward with the construction of three test aircraft that begin advance flight testing next year.

At AOPA Summit in Fort Worth, Texas, Cirrus CEO Pat Waddick told AVweb that Cirrus has over 500 deposits on the five-place jet, with the order book still building. The jet program is now proceeding full-tilt, with more than 200 people working on the aircraft in both Duluth, Minn., and Grand Forks, N.D. In addition to engineering and production details, Waddick says Cirrus is focusing on training service and support details “so the aircraft commercializes nicely.”

Waddick said Cirrus just completed assembly details on what will eventually be three flight test articles that will begin intensive testing during 2014. Those aircraft will be built using the same production equipment Cirrus hopes to use for production aircraft. First deliveries are scheduled in 2015. For more on the SF50 VisionJet, see today’s video report from AOPA Summit.

Sponsor Announcement

ALT
EESys — Makers of Trans-Ind®, the Aircraft Transmit Indicator
Is your transmitter working now? Electronics malfunction at random times. Existing indicators show only that the transmit button has been pushed. Trans-Ind® confirms operation of the entire transmit system from transmit button and microphone to radio and all the way through the antenna every time you transmit.

Electrical Efficiency Systems, EESys.co

Video: Cirrus SF50 Progress Report

At AOPA Summit, Cirrus CEO Pat Waddick gave AVweb a progress report on the company's SF50 single-engine personal jet.  The aircraft is on fast track development for delivery in 2015.

[VIDCAP(1)]

Sponsor Announcement

Garmin
Tired of Waiting for Avionics Upgrades?
Stop putting off your avionics upgrade. With rebates on almost our full range of avionics, there's never been a better time to add some hardware. Cash back is available for GTN® touchscreen avionics, G600/G500 flight displays, ADS-B solutions, weather radar, audio panels, transponders, and much more. Learn more about our Tired of Waiting Rebates.

Lockheed Martin Offers New Graphic Briefings

Pilots now can access new enhanced pre-flight briefings online from Lockheed Martin Flight Services, and also can utilize a new easy open/close feature for their flight plans, the company announced on Thursday. Staffers at AOPA Summit introduced pilots to the new tools at their busy kiosk in the exhibit hall in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. "Next Generation Briefing uses graphics, automatic summarization, intelligent briefing text translation, and several other tools to provide pilots with their briefing information in the most useful format possible," said Jim Derr, director of Lockheed Martin Flight Services. The new products aim to make it quicker, easier, and more intuitive for pilots to access the flight-planning information they need.

The new flight briefings highlight information relevant to the pilot's planned route, while de-emphasizing unnecessary data. For example, weather along the route and at the time of the flight is emphasized, and Notams are sorted and filtered so pilots will see the ones most likely to affect their plans. "We consistently got feedback from pilots that briefings are too long and hard to understand," said Mike Glasgow, system architect. "The NextGen briefing is a set of tools and capabilities with the overall goal to make it easier and faster to use." Some of the new features are available now, Glasgow said, and more will be rolled out in the coming months. The new flight plan open/close feature, available now, will send pilots an email with a link they can click to open or close the flight plan. Lockheed Martin's flight-service features are available free online to pilots at 800wxbrief.com.

Sponsor Announcement

New iPad Display || MGF Sight Line Display
iPad Display — Built for the Cockpit
New! MGF Sight Line Display. Head up, eyes out. Takes the heat and sun.
The iPad wasn't built for the rigors of the cockpit. It can't take the heat or be seen in sunlight, and it can be difficult to mount. See the new MGF Sight Line Display that solves all these problems. For additional information and to sign up for updates, click here.

Come check it out at AOPA Summit booth #1102.
Phone (303) 364-7400 or visit MyGoFlight.com.

Podcast: New Products for Pilots at Flight Service

Lockheed Martin Flight Service rolled out some new features this week to make online flight planning easier and more intuitive for pilots.  At AOPA Summit in Fort Worth, system architect Mike Glasgow explained the Next Generation services to AVweb's Mary Grady.

Sponsor Announcement

ALT
Visit Starr Aviation's Booth 1518 and Enter to Win an iPad
Join Starr Aviation at Summit for a chance to win an iPad and to find your aviation insurance solution. Starr Aviation understands how to insure airplanes by offering comprehensive coverage for your aviation risk. We cover owners, renters, flight instructors, clubs, and refurbished and antique aircraft, in addition to Ag and Rotor. Discover all Starr has to offer at booth 1518, and the iPad could be yours to use in the sky! Click here to visit StarrCompanies.com.

Video: AOPA Summit App Wrap

At every show, we see ever more functionality and high-level features in tablet apps. At AOPA Summit this year in Fort Worth, we’ve uncovered some useful new features in three apps we examined: ForeFlight, WingX Pro and Jeppesen’s FliteDeck app. In today’s video tour of these products, you can get a look how the new features work from Tyson Weihs of ForFlight, Hilton Goldstein of WingX Pro and Weston Greene from Jeppesen.

[VIDCAP(1)]

Sponsor Announcement

Sennheiser Welcomes S1 NoiseGard to the S1 Family
Join Us in Welcoming the S1 Family and Win an iPad Mini™
The launch of our new S1 NoiseGard with state-of-the art analog noise cancelation technology marks the completion of the S1 Family. Try out the S1 NoiseGard or our groundbreaking S1 Digital with digital adaptive noise reduction, adjustable headband tension, and Bluetooth technology and give yourself a chance to win a new iPad Mini™. Learn more.

Sponsor Announcement

A well-regulated FAA, being necessary to the security of your pilot certificate, the right of the aviators to keep and fly aircraft, shall not be infringed. Knowledge is power, so preserve your rights by acing this quiz.

Take the quiz.

Sponsor Announcement

BendixKing || Trade Up and Save on New Avionics || Start Now
Stack Up on Savings by Turning Your Old Avionics into New Ones
Save time, save money, and save your legacy BendixKing equipment for trade-up credit towards the purchase of select new avionics.* It's our way of making upgrades easier and economical. Simply contact a BendixKing dealer for trade-in options and credit. See how much you can save now!

* Qualifying products include KMA 30 Bluetooth Audio Panel, KSN 770 WAAS-Enabled GPS/NavCom, and the KT 74 ADS-B-ready Mode S Transponder.

Sponsor Announcement

New airplanes sales may be a little soft, but we're seeing plenty of refurb work -- everything from new panels to fresh paint to full-up interiors. We would like to feature some of these airplanes in the pages of AVweb and spotlight the owners and shops doing the work. If you have photos of your restored aircraft -- single, twin or turbine -- send them to us at refurb-otm@avweb.com. If we select your airplane as refurb of the month, we'll contact you for more information.

Sponsor Announcement

Bose® A20® Aviation Headset
Bose® A20® Aviation Headset
Focus on what matters. Flying.
Better sound matters. So does comfort. That's why the A20 headset is designed with proprietary ear cushions to provide quality acoustic seals, even over eyeglasses. So you can fly comfortably for hours. And 30% greater noise reduction than conventional noise-reducing aviation headsets means you hear more of what you need to hear. Also features Bluetooth® communications interface,* auxiliary audio input, and priority switching. Learn more.

* Available in certain variants of the headset.

Sponsor Announcement

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something the flying world might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via e-mail here. (Or send them direct to Newstips at AVweb.com.)

Sponsor Announcement

XM WX Satellite Weather || Weather with Perspective
Weather with Perspective
XM WX Satellite Weather gives you onboard perspective on the weather. Graphical data like Radar, Lightning, Winds, and more enhance your situational awareness and are compatible with the industry's leading MFDs, EFBs, glass cockpits, and now the iPad. Additionally, flexible subscription options ensure you get the dataset that's right for you. Come see the latest from XM WX Satellite Weather at booth 922 during AOPA Summit or visit us online at XMWXweather.com/aviation.

Sponsor Announcement

AVweb is the world's premier independent aviation news resource, online since 1995. Our reporting, features, and newsletters are brought to you by:

Publisher
Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Avionics Editor
Larry Anglisano

Contributors
Kevin Lane-Cummings
Paul Berge

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? Your advertising can reach over 225,000 loyal AVwebFlash, AVwebBiz, and AVweb web site readers every week. Over 80% of our readers are active pilots and aircraft owners. That's why our advertisers grow with us, year after year. For ad rates and scheduling, click here or contact Tom Bliss: