Senate passes budget that would roll back sequester | Conn. flying club turns 60 | Ill. pilots urge others to take safety seriously
March 25, 2013
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Senate passes budget that would roll back sequester
The Senate this weekend passed a 2014 budget that would eliminate some tax breaks for the wealthy, trim spending on defense and make other reductions, most of which would be used to eliminate sequestration cuts. The $3.7 trillion Democrat-led budget, which slightly lowers the U.S. debt, drew praise from the White House. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (3/23)
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Conn. flying club turns 60
Twenty One Flyers Club based at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Bridgeport, Conn., is celebrating its 60th anniversary. The club was established as a not-for-profit organization, and its members take an active roll in organization. "We are proud of our organization and the service it provides to the general aviation community," said club President Lee Warncke. Stratford Star (Conn.) (3/22), AOPA Online (2/26)
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Ill. pilots urge others to take safety seriously
Pilots at Mount Hawley Airport in Illinois are urging others to take general aviation safety seriously. "We try to teach that as much as we can. The one thing we can't teach is common sense. But we try to instill the good behaviors and decision making," said pilot Jeff Wales. WMBD-TV/WYZZ-TV (Peoria, Ill.) (3/23)
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Caribbean air cruise could launch the latest travel craze
The Mauiva Sun & Fun Experience tour is a weeklong trip stopping in the Bahamas, Jamaica and Grand Cayman. Instead of traveling on a cruise ship, tourists island hop on a private charter airplane. "Private air charters have tremendous benefits to travelers such as greater convenience, comfort, privacy and productivity," said Jane van der Bol, executive director of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association. Caymanian Compass (Cayman Islands) (3/25)
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Some pilots say towers aren't needed for airport safety
Pilot Jim Retzlaff of the West Bend Municipal Airport in Wisconsin, which has more than 31,000 operations per year, said he and other pilots at his airport don't need an air traffic control tower to ensure safety. Pilots use standard procedures for takeoffs and landings and communicate with each other on specific radio frequencies. Oshkosh Northwestern (Wis.) (tiered subscription model) (3/25)
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Big plans for little Ariz. airport
The history of Arizona's Rolle Field dates back to World War II, but for years it's been little more than a strip of asphalt. In 2011, the Yuma County Airport Authority made significant upgrades, and it is now getting use from pilots and students. If funding can be found, it could be used as an alternative location for general aviation, aircraft testing and defense-contractor operations. Arizona Daily Star (Tucson) (3/25)
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Towers spared budget closures because of security threat
At least 24 air traffic control towers that would otherwise been closed were spared by the Federal Aviation Administration on the basis that the closure would pose a threat to national security. Government Executive magazine published a list of the four primary criteria used to interpret national security. AVweb (3/23)
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Evergreen Helicopters sold to Erickson Air Crane for $250 million
Erickson Air Crane is set to buy Evergreen Helicopters for $250 million. The move will position Erickson in the "global aviation services" market, and no longer dependent on construction and logging. Erickson is also set to purchase Air Amazonia from Brazilian company HRT, giving the company a fleet of more than 100 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. AIN Online (3/21)
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Developers seek Kickstarter funds for human-powered helicopter
Georgia-based developers Kenneth Huff, Neal Fischer and William Edwards are seeking Kickstarter backers to provide funding to continue their work on a human-powered helicopter capable of lifting 300 pounds, using 300 watts or less of power. The group is competing for the American Helicopter Society's Sikorsky Prize. Gizmag (3/23)
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Pilot Spotlight
Doctor volunteers spare time as Angel Flight pilot
Dr. Howard Epstein is a rheumatologist with an interest in flying. He started flying just after high school, but didn't fly much in the 20 years after medical school. In 2001, he finally got his certification. "I was at a pilot-training seminar and there were these little postcards that described the Angel Flight organization and the opportunities to volunteer for them," Epstein said. "I took one and thought, 'Gee, this is really a nice way to give back.' " Cleveland Jewish News (3/25)
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FAA to close 149 towers
The FAA on March 22 announced the 149 federal contract towers that will be closing as a result of sequestration. The impacted towers will close over a four-week period beginning April 7. The agency has not yet released the specific dates of closures but has said it will release more information over the coming weeks. According to the FAA, of the 189 federal contract towers initially considered for closure, 24 will remain open, as well as 16 FAA contract tower cost share sites that must remain open because they receive some congressional funds. AOPA Online.
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Congressional leaders blast FAA tower closings
Congressional reaction to the FAA's announcement March 22 that it was closing 149 federal contract towers around the country was swift -- and negative. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., ranking member of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, sent a letter dated March 22 to Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood expressing their disappointment with the administration's choice to move ahead with the contract tower closings. AOPA Online.
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Costco joins member benefits program
Join Costco as a new member and receive coupons for free products and other great savings valued at more than $50. Discover why more than 66 million members worldwide love Costco. Now you can save money on thousands of brand-name items every day. From fresh foods and health & beauty items to clothing and electronics, you'll find everything you need for your home or business. AOPA Online.
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A thing is mighty big when time and distance cannot shrink it."
-- Zora Neale Hurston,
American author
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About AOPA
AOPA, the world’s largest, most influential aviation membership association, has achieved its prominent position through effective advocacy, enlightened leadership, technical competence, and hard work. Providing member services that range from representation at the federal, state, and local levels to legal services, advice, and other assistance, AOPA has built a service organization that far exceeds any other in the aviation community. To learn more about general aviation and AOPA, go to
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