December 1, 2001
Julie K. Boatman
In a recent issue (see " Pilot Products: GPS Trainer From ASA," August Pilot) we reviewed a computer-based method of upgrading your GPS expertise. But there are pilots who, at the end of a long day at the office, would rather be ramp-checked than sit in front of a monitor. Luckily for those of us suffering from eye strain and carpal tunnel syndrome, there are other perfectly good ways of teaching yourself more about that mysterious black box in your panel.
The latest advanced video course from King Schools, Flying GPS Approaches, lays a good foundation for flying GPS approaches using any IFR-approach-certified GPS unit and provides a detailed look at one of the most common boxes, the Honeywell Bendix/King KLN 89B.
The King Schools instructors, led by John and Martha King, start with GPS basics and use their homespun humor to bring the technical concepts behind the Global Positioning System to an easily understandable level. Early on in the series, basic VFR functions for the KLN 89B are reviewed, allowing pilots flying visually to understand the unit's most common uses and get into the air. Each segment builds on the next and is taught by a different instructor for variety. The program caps with in-flight footage of Martha King on an IFR flight and GPS approach into Ramona, California. Since the KLN 94 is an upgraded version of the 89B, users of the 94 may find the series helpful.
The Kings have always done a good job at coming up with techniques that simplify a pilot's duties in the cockpit. In the section titled "Setting Up and Flying a GPS Approach," Martha King goes through a self-briefing: How low? How far? What's the missed approach? As long as you can fly the answers to these questions, you've got the approach wired. The beauty of techniques such as these lies in how they demystify instrument flying. If you know what questions to ask, digging up the answers just takes practice.
The two-videotape series runs approximately two hours 40 minutes and retails for $79. For more information, contact King Schools, 3840 Calle Fortunada, San Diego, California 93123; telephone 800/854-1001 or 858/541-2200; fax 858/541-2201; or visit the Web site ( www.kingschools.com).
If you're looking for something to take in the airplane with you, ZD Publishing adds to its line of unit-specific GPS instruction manuals with KLN 89B/KLN 94 for Beginners. The 46-page, spiral-bound book opens flat for easy reference in the cockpit — right where you need hands-on guidance. The manual covers both the KLN 89B and the 94, making it a handy addition to your library — especially if you often rent late-generation Cessnas or if you've recently upgraded your panel to the 94. Starting with a GPS terminology review, the manual takes you from turning on the box to basic functions, with less commonly used features toward the end. Appendices list page directories for both units, a good tool for those transitioning from other GPS units to the KLN 89B or 94.
The ZD Publishing series works well because it uses standard terminology for the different GPS units it covers. After you've mastered one box using the series, moving to another isn't nearly as daunting. Step-by-step examples lead you through the most common tasks to the more esoteric ones. Each section can be used as a separate lesson and includes specific flight plans to practice on the unit itself, either in the airplane or plugged into a docking station.
Retail price for KLN 89B/KLN 94 for Beginners is $39.95 plus $6 shipping. For more information, contact ZD Publishing, Post Office Box 3487, Wichita, Kansas 67201-3487; telephone 888/310-3134 or 316/371-3134; or visit the Web site ( www.zdpublishing.com). — Julie K. Boatman
For online FARs at your fingertips, you may want to check out Gretek's FastFAR 2.0. The simple program downloads from the Internet and provides a searchable list of almost all of the commonly used FARs, including parts 1, 43, 61, 67, 71, 73, 91, 93, 97, 99, 103, 105, 119, 121, 135, 137, 141, 142, and NTSB 830. A professional version includes the entire Chapter 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) covering all aeronautical regs. For the one-time price of $29.95, you can update the regs in FastFAR for as long as you own the product; changes to the CFR are available within 24 hours of their posting by the government. The search feature allows you to find the exact FAR you're looking for by way of keywords. Palm OS and PocketPC versions were expected to be available this month; the bundle including both the PC-based and personal digital assistant-based software will cost $34.95. For more information, contact Gretek/Rosetta Solutions Inc., 3620 Greenbrier Drive, Dallas, Texas 75225-5105; telephone 214/242-9314; fax 214/242-9315; or visit the Web site ( www.fastfar.com). — JKB
The 2002 AOPA Calendar makes the perfect holiday gift. This year's calendar features the following aircraft: Cessna 172, Socata Trinidad GT, Cessna T182, Robinson R44, Aviat 110 Special, Antonov An–2, Beech Baron 58, Lancair Columbia 400, Piper Seneca V, Cessna Citation CJ2, Cirrus SR22, and Piper Malibu MeridiaR. It measures 17 by 12 inches and features space to write notes or appointments. .he calendar sells for $10.95. For information, contact Sporty's Pilot Shop, Clermont County Airport, Batavia, Ohio 45103; telephone 800/543-8633 or 513/735-9000; fax 513/735-9200; or visit the Web site ( www.sportys.com). — Nathan A. Ferguson
A new online training program provides an efficient solution to one common concern for private pilots: how to stay current. The Private Pilot Refresher Course offered by Gleim Publications is aimed at pilots facing a flight review, but the course also serves to increase any pilot's overall knowledge. Using the knowledge transfer outlines pioneered by Gleim, the course covers eight topics (including decision making, FARs, weight and balance, performance, weather, emergencies, ATC and airspace, and airport operations) and should take six to eight hours to complete. The course retails for $29.95. For more information, visit the Web site ( www.gleim.com). — JKB
Avidyne has announced its newest FlightMax multifunction display (MFD) for pilots who need a low-cost MFD solution for their aircraft. The FlightMax 350 includes Avidyne's award-winning moving-map display with color-contoured terrain and water base map, and the ability to interface with the Goodrich WX-500 Stormscope. At $5,950, this box offers all the basic multifunction display capability that most single-engine, fixed-wing, nonradar aircraft need, including the ability to add datalink as those services become available. For more information, contact Avidyne, 55 Old Bedford Road, Lincoln, Massachusetts 01773; telephone 800/284-3963 or 781/402-7585; fax 781/402-7599; or visit the Web site ( www.avidyne.com). — JKB
For air racing fans, Xtreme Air Racing software brings home the excitement of Reno and flying on a closed course, neck in neck with other hot airplanes. You can choose from dozens of Unlimited- and Formula One-class aircraft, as well as famous airplanes such as Bill Destefani's Strega P–51D Mustang and Tom Dwelle's Critical Mass Hawker Sea Fury. Options include a multiplayer system for up to eight people, a garage menu where you can tweak your engine for best performance, and adaptive artificial intelligence that adjusts to the skill level of each player to keep the racing tight. As frosting on the cake, a feature called Hoover's Hints pipes in legend Bob Hoover's tips on racing, in his own voice, as if they were coming from your backseat. The software retails for $39.95 plus shipping and handling. For more information, contact Victory Simulations Inc., PMB Number 225, 23947 Aliso Creek Road, Laguna Niguel, California 92677-3908; or visit the Web site ( www.xtremeairracing.com). — JKB
Wind Canyon Books has released three books covering aviation history including a personal account of a dramatic crash on a glacier. Halfway Home! by Dr. Jeff Justice tells how his world changed dramatically after he crashed on Greenland's ice mass. It is available for $16.95. Cessna's Golden Age, available for $22.95, provides details on some little-known Cessna models, such as gliders, Airmasters, and T–50 Bobcats. Aeronca's Golden Age, available for $24.95, covers the founders of the company and places special emphasis on the Aeronca C–2, C–3, K, L, 7AC Champ, and 11AC Chief. For more information, contact Wind Canyon Books, Post Office Box 511, Brawley, California 92227; telephone 800/952-7007 or 760/344-5545; or visit the Web site ( www.windcanyon.com). — Alton K. Marsh
The mark of a good headset is how well it fades into the background. Ideally, you should be able to put on your headset, make a minor adjustment or two, and forget about it for the rest of the flight. Though a long-term test will prove its worth, initial flights with Telex's ANR 4105 intimate that this headset is good for the long haul.
The ANR 4105 has several features that point in this direction.
First, the ear cups and headband are lined with soft foam similar to that found on the Lightspeed 25XL — the stuff that lends the impression that the headset will float on your head, rather than clamp on. While the headset is not particularly light — the model we tested weighs 22.4 ounces without the battery box or cord — it is obviously built to last.
A common complaint about active noise reduction (ANR) headsets with an external battery box is that the box, when attached in line with the plugs on the headset cord, weighs on the user during long flights. The box can catch on the aircraft interior and clothing and tug at the pilot, rendering the setup less comfortable. The ANR 4105 offers a solution: The battery box is on a separate cord that can be clipped onto an interior pocket or other fixture on the seat, relieving the user of its weight — in this case, several ounces. The system works: During the test, the box was clipped onto the pilot's seat-back pocket and essentially forgotten until the flight was over. The ANR 4105 operates on a nine-volt battery that is claimed to last 40 hours, or it can use an aircraft power plug (sold separately or as a variation of the headset; the battery module is standard).
The active noise reduction system on the ANR 4105 promises a 17-dB noise level with the ANR active and 22 dB when used as a passive headset. A stereo switch and dual volume controls let you fine-tune the input to suit your aircraft's intercom and/or entertainment system. Both adult and youth models come with a five-year warranty. The battery-powered adult model retails for $550; the aircraft-powered model runs $660. Prices are the same for youth models. A zippered, vinyl headset bag is included, as is a foam microphone muff to reduce wind noise. For more information, contact Telex Communications, 12000 Portland Avenue South, Burnsville, Minnesota 55337; telephone 877/ 863-4168 or 952/887-5510; fax 952/887-5595; or visit the Web site ( www.telex.com/aircraft). — JKB
Unless otherwise stated, products listed herein have not been evaluated by AOPA Pilot editors. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors. However, members unable to get satisfaction regarding products listed should advise AOPA. To submit products for evaluation, contact: New Products Editor, AOPA Pilot , 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, Maryland 21701; telephone 301/695-2350. Links to all Web sites referenced in this issue can be found on AOPA Online ( www.aopa.org/pilot/links.shtml).
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