AOPA will be celebrating its 80th anniversary at its upcoming Frederick, Maryland, fly-in with a fly-over by the D-Day Squadron, a drone show and some new educational offerings for attendees. The fly-in, which will take place on May 10-11 at Frederick Municipal Airport (KFDK), will kick off a series of paid ground school workshops that will be appearing at all of AOPAs fly-ins this year.
AOPA launched their first new regional fly-in last weekend in San Marcos, Texas. AVweb's Mary Grady talks with Katie Pribyl, AOPA's vice president in charge of events, to find out more about how the new format worked out and whether it's meeting the association's goals.
Lighthawk, a non-profit group based in Wyoming, recently won a grant from the AOPA Foundation to help them expand their outreach efforts across the country. At AOPA Summit in Fort Worth, Texas, Lighthawk outreach manager Greg Bedinger and program officer Ryan Boggs spoke with AVweb's Mary Grady to explain how general aviation pilots can help in their efforts to protect endangered species.
Marv Donnaud writes: "Noting the incident at Nashville Airport, I, too, once had an undetected crash on what is now Runway 20C -- it was runway 20L at the time -- in the early 1970s. I was the non-flying pilot in a Cessna 195 during the attempted landing. During the rollout, the FP lost control of the airplane and, due to heavy braking on one side to correct adverse yaw, the left landing gear snapped off, and we came down on the left wing. After quickly assessing that neither of us was hurt and there was no threat of fire, I called the tower, simply giving the N-number in the call-up. The tower responded by clearing us to taxi to the ramp. It seems that at the time, there was a considerable dip in the runway that prevented the tower from seeing aircraft in that area of the runway. That was at a time when the tower was atop the passenger terminal at a very low elevation. I had to inform the tower of the crash. After advising them there was no fire and no injuries, the dispatched a pick-up truck to the scene to arrange removal of the airplane to the ramp area." ... Click through to read this letter and other mail from AVweb readers.
OpenAirplane, a service that aims to make it easier for pilots to rent airplanes when away from home, has been growing since its launch this summer, co-founder Rod Rakic told AVweb in an interview at AOPA Summit on Saturday. The system now has 80 aircraft available in 22 cities, and more than 4,100 pilots have signed up at the company's website. Using the system, pilots can take a "universal checkout" at home, and then rent a plane from participating FBOs while traveling. "Our goal is to make renting an airplane as easy as renting a car," Rakic said. The system so far provides checkouts mostly in single-engine Cessnas, but Rakic said they are now expanding those options -- they are adding more variety in the fleet, plus offering a multi-engine checkout and a mountain checkout for flying from elevations above 5,500 feet.
At AOPA Summit, you can try all of the major ANR headsets in a single booth and fill out a survey form to quantify exactly what you think of each one. If you buy any of the headsets from any manufacturer, Giant of Quiet will give you a $25 coupon toward the purchase. We'll play the game here and refrain from identifying which company is sponsoring the mystery headset challenge.
The federal government's budget woes have affected aviation in many ways this year, but EAA President Jack Pelton says the cash crunch was no excuse for the FAA to refuse to staff the Oshkosh tower during AirVenture this summer. "We have an active lawsuit," Pelton told AVweb during an interview at AOPA Summit this week, in Fort Worth, Texas. "The FAA is not legally allowed to charge us for those services." But while he continues to press that case, he said EAA is preparing to have to pay for tower staff again in 2014. The organization also is looking at other long-term solutions, such as finding their own private staff for the tower, instead of paying the expenses for FAA controllers.
One way of attracting a crowd at shows like AOPA Summit is to have a clever gadget, and Anthony Chan definitely has one in his wirelessly controlled aircraft tug. Chan was putting the tug through its paces on the exhibit floor in Fort Worth this week and drawing plenty of interest. Unlike most tugs, which use rubber-tired wheels for traction, the AC Air Technology tug has a miniature tank tread system driven by a pair of powerful electric motors powered by a lithium-ion battery capable of multiple tows.