Learn and earn your way to becoming a better pilot

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Foundation’s (AOPA) Air Safety Institute (ASI) has launched the “Earn & Learn Safety Challenge,” a new program that enters those who take aviation safety courses into a quarterly drawing for aviation gear.

A new prize will be awarded each quarter, beginning with a Stratus 2 ADS-B receiver – an $899 value — courtesy of Sporty’s Pilot Shop. The first prize winner will be announced in April.

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FAA funding secured through September 2015

Congress has passed a spending bill that keeps the FAA, and other government agencies, funded through the end of the fiscal year in September 2015, according to a report at AOPA.org. The bill includes $12.4 billion for the FAA, approximately $17 million less than the FAA’s 2014 funding level. It also covers full operation of the air traffic control system, as well as $3.35 billion for the Airport Improvement Program, which funds infrastructure repairs and improvements at airports, including general aviation airports.

Sporty’s launches Cessna 172LITE project

The Cessna 172LITE

Sporty’s has launched its new Cessna 172LITE project, acquiring Cessna 172s and equipping them with basic flight instruments. In fact, the only avionics are a communications radio and a transponder.

A factor not usually considered in attracting new pilot starts is today’s trainers overwhelm beginning students as they stare at dozens of switches, buttons and knobs providing access to unneeded information, Sporty’s officials note. For solo training, the mission is simple: To launch an airplane into the sky and return it safely to the runway, officials say.

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