Seagulls and airplanes are structural cousins | NBAA president is honored with Lindbergh aviation award | Show how safe light sport aviation really is
November 21, 2012
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Seagulls and airplanes are structural cousins
Blogger Dan Pimentel highlights the structural similarities between airplanes and seagulls, playfully comparing the small birds to the massive machines they share the skies with. "After a few seconds of hovering, each gull would crank into a hard left or right one-eighty, suck in their flaps and spoilers, yank up those retractable feet, and blast off downwind," Pimentel writes. Airplanista blog (11/20)
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NBAA president is honored with Lindbergh aviation award
Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association, was awarded the Charles Lindbergh General Aviation Diploma on Nov. 13 by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. Bolen received the award for the "major, positive impact [he has made] on the world's general aviation community for well over a decade," said National Aeronautic Association President Jonathan Gaffney. AIN Online (11/20)
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Other News
Catch (more) Instant Savings This Fall! Instant price reductions on featured Evolution Displays and Add-Ons now through December 31, 2012. Combined savings on Evolution Pro PFD + Avidyne DFC90 digital autopilot, Connected Pilot + Evolution MFD combos, Evolution Synthetic Vision, and more! Click for full program details:
AOPA's Center for the Advancement of the Pilot Community held a webinar last week on starting a flying club. After listening to the recording and reading more about it, how likely are you to create a flying club?
I want to join one but not start one  40.63%
I don't think I'm ready to start a flying club  35.68%
I'd like to do some more research  13.94%
I am ready to start a flying club  9.75%
The results from the poll questions in Aviation eBrief do not necessarily represent the views of pilots, aircraft owners or AOPA members and therefore should not be used for research purposes.
Airport FocusAdvertisement
Private control towers: Lower cost but as safe as public
A government audit has found that privately operated air traffic control towers, known as contract towers, are as safe as those run by the government -- and cheaper. According to the Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General the annual cost of private towers is $537,000, almost $1.5 million less than the cost of similarly busy public towers. CNN (11/20)
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Hawker Beechcraft to shut down at Ariz. airport
Hawker Beechcraft announced it will shut down its airplane maintenance facility at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Arizona. The company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, will also close its facilities in Little Rock, Ark., and San Antonio, Texas, dropping about 400 total jobs. The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (tiered subscription model) (11/20)
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Hirobo unveils battery-run helicopter
The Japanese company Hirobo hopes its one-man battery-powered helicopter will debut on the commercial market by 2021 and has so far secured $125 million in investments for the model. Known as the Hirobo HX-1, the helicopter can either be flown by a pilot or remotely, allowing it to make emergency rescues. (11/20)
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Avionics & TechnologyAdvertisement
Private demand for UAVs is rising
As consumers become more aware of potential uses for small unmanned aircraft, the market for UAVs continues to grow. Hobbyists are one segment of the population fueling the demand for the new technology, along with public officials and even media producers. "[Drones are] a fast-growing segment of digital cinema and media because you can control them and ... get the job done quickly," filmmaker Patrick Gilles said. Petaluma Argus-Courier (Petaluma, Calif.) (11/19)
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Middle school students get history lesson from Tuskegee pilot
Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson visited with students at the Great Lakes Academy middle school in Pontiac, Mich., to share stories of his duty as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. The 91-year-old -- who has written a book about his experiences -- flew 18 missions before his plane was shot down over Germany and he became a POW. "It feels great (to have students to look up to me) only if (they) come along with me," Jefferson said of his talk. The Oakland Press (Pontiac, Mich.) (11/21)
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Policy WatchAdvertisement
NTSB adopts iPhones over BlackBerry smartphones
The National Transportation Safety Board is ditching its BlackBerry phones and switching to Apple iPhones. They join the Defense Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Transportation Security Administration in the switch, which the agency said was due to issues with reliability. USA Today (11/20)
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AOPA Non-Owned Insurance isn't expensive, but not having it can be. If you are one of the thousands who rent or borrow an aircraft each time they take to the skies, Non-Owned Insurance is essential protection you can't afford to fly without. AOPA Insurance Services makes it easy to get affordable, comprehensive coverage. Call 800-622-AOPA or visit
AOPA NewsAdvertisement
Top 10 things to know from the AOPA flying clubs 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 know before starting their own flying club. AOPA Online.
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Prudential Douglas offers members real estate transaction discounts
AOPA Members and their families can enjoy extensive savings on their next real estate transaction with the following benefits: Buyers: Free One year Home Warranty Sellers: Rebate on Listing Commission (must meet program guidelines). Selling and Buying? Enjoy both offers! AOPA Online.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Thursday and Friday
In observance of Thanksgiving in the U.S., SmartBrief will not be published Thursday and Friday. Publication will resume Monday. Enjoy the holiday!
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If the only prayer you said in your whole life was 'thank you,' that would suffice."
-- Meister Eckhart,
German theologian and philosopher
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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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