September 15, 2006
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FUEL CONTAMINATION It's time for your flight lesson, but you're running late today. The temptation to rush the preflight is strong. One of the most time-consuming items on the preflight checklist is sumping the fuel tanks and inspecting fuel samples. It's something you have done every flight lesson-check fuel for proper grade and for the presence of water, sediment, or other contaminants. Nowadays there is also the matter of proper disposal of the fuel sample (see the January 30, 2004, Training Tips article "Gas on the Grass").
Unfortunately, some pilots get in the habit of shortcutting the fuel inspection process. This despite knowing that unchecked fuel loads lead to many an aviation accident, perhaps after an aircraft is tied down on a ramp for an extended time or during a period of heavy rain. (Water enters through leaky or worn fuel-tank caps.)
It's common to meet student pilots who have dutifully inspected fuel samples but w ere never shown a contaminated sample during training. Depending on the amount of contamination and the circumstances of its entry, the unwanted substance can take a variety of forms. Here's the basic appearance of a suspect sample, given by Mark Twombly in "What It Looks Like: Fuel Contamination" in the September 2006 AOPA Flight Training. "Water is denser, and thus heavier, than avgas. That means water will sink to the bottom of the sample or, to look at it another way, the avgas will float on top of the water. If you detect a clear liquid at the bottom of the blue avgas in the fuel sample you've just drained from a tank, suspect water contamination. Continue taking samples until you are absolutely sure no water remains."
Some pilots keep their tanks filled as a hedge against water condensing inside partly empty fuel tanks. Check fuel even if your aircraft always sits inside a dry hangar with its tanks topped off. For more on fuel systems, download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Fuel Awareness Safety Advisor.
Now you're standing on the ramp, waiting, as the fuel attendant pumps avgas into your aircraft. How long should you wait before sampling the new fuel load? You'll find the answer in "Final Exam" in the September 6, 2002, ePilot Flight Training Edition.
AOPA offers a great deal of information resources on weather-related topics. Use AOPA Online's free aviation weather from Meteorlogix to help create a safe and efficient flight plan. Read the popular "Weather Watch" column from AOPA Pilot, as well as AOPA's subject reports on weather issues.
Do you have a question? Call the experienced pilots in AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA. They're available to take your calls weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern. As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online and AOPA Flight Training Online. Login information is available online.
GEORGIA PILOT WINS 2006 SPORTY'S SWEEPSTAKES SKYHAWK Imagine coming home from work to hear a voicemail message informing you that you've won a brand-new airplane. It happened this week to Bob Meadows of Douglasville, Georgia, who came home to find a message from Sporty's President Michael Wolf. When Wolf called him again, Meadows indicated that he had just heard the message and asked, "Is this for real?" Meadows, a commercial pilot with an instrument rating and an airframe and powerplant certificate, won a 2006 Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP equipped with a Garmin G1000 glass cockpit. He has more than 5,000 hours of flight time and was an aerial applicator for more than 12 years. His winning customer order number was selected using lottery-style numbered balls. On hand to draw the numbers were Cessna President Jack Pelton, Garmin President of Marketing Gary Kelly, and Frank Coster, the 2005 sweepstakes winner. Sporty's has given away 24 Skyhawks in the yearly Sweepstakes, but this is the first year that the company has given away a glass-cockpit-equipped airplane. The G1000 integrated avionics system combines all aircraft and flight information on two 10-inch high-resolution displays. The airplane is valued at $230,000. Meadows also receives two Bose X headsets and a checkout in the aircraft given by a G1000 Cessna-certified instructor.
CAPT PROGRAM OPERATOR BUYS FLEET OF CIRRUS AIRPLANES The Commercial Airline Pilot Training (CAPT) program, now operated by Flight Training Services International (FTSI), will begin training pilots in Cirrus SR20 aircraft. FTSI has taken delivery of the first of 30 SR20s and has options for another 20, according to Cirrus Design Corporation. "We chose Cirrus aircraft because it met the stringent requirements for the CAPT program, not only for the innovative technology but for the built-in safety features, such as the four-point harness restraint, airbags, side-yoke flight controls, advanced avionics, and the airframe parachute," said FTSI President and CEO Shawn Raker. The CAPT program, located at Flagler County Airport in Palm Coast, Florida, was formerly operated by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
SHARPEN YOUR AIRSPACE KNOWLEDGE WITH SAFETY HOT SPOT Need to update your airspace knowledge? Look no further than the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Hot Spot: Airspace, a collection of the best airspace education materials on a single page. Each Safety Hot Spot focuses on a timely issue or trend within the general aviation community and offers a host of resources, including free interactive online courses, AOPA and Air Safety Foundation publications, a Safety Checkup written by Air Safety Foundation staff pilots, Safety Quizzes, and links to related Web sites. Find previous topics in the Safety Hot Spot archive.
ATP PLACES EIGHT PILOTS WITH PINNACLE AIRLINES Pinnacle Airlines, a regional carrier based in Memphis, Tennessee, has hired eight pilot applicants from a pool of 11 from Airline Transport Professionals, ATP announced. The eight first officers were chosen for mid-September class dates. Each had 300 to 600 hours of logged flight time, according to ATP. Graduates can receive job offers with specially reduced minimums through ATP's Pinnacle hiring alliance letter. Based in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, ATP offers accelerated professional multiengine flight training with an emphasis on pilot career development at 22 locations nationwide.
NEW ENGLAND NINETY-NINES SCHOLARSHIPS ANNOUNCED The Eastern New England Chapter of The Ninety-Nines is offering four scholarships in 2007 for men and women pursuing careers in aviation or seeking additional ratings. The Ann Wood-Kelly Memorial Scholarship and the Karla Carroll Memorial Scholarship are open to both men and women and are for $1,000 each. The $1,000 William Bridge Scholarship is open to women with at least a private pilot certificate. The chapter also offers a $1,000 scholarship in memory of New Hampshire pilot Shirley Mahn. All scholarships require a New England connection such as residency or college work in one of the six Northeast states. Applications will be available at the beginning of October and must be postmarked no later than January 31, 2007. For criteria and applications, send a stamped, self-addressed business-size envelope to Katharine Barr, 278 Elm Street, North Reading, MA 01864, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
AOPA REMINDS PILOTS: FOOTBALL SEASON KICKS OFF TFRs Football fans across the country were captivated with the start of Sunday Night Football this past week-and particularly with the Manning vs. Manning match. As football fever sweeps the nation, remember that you can't fly over the stadium to get a bird's-eye view of the action. A blanket notam prohibits flying at or below 3,000 feet agl within a 3-nautical-mile radius of a stadium that seats 30,000 or more-NFL and NCAA Division I stadiums. The notam is in effect from one hour before until one hour after the event. AOPA has compiled a database of all affected stadiums, complete with the team and stadium names, latitude and longitude, and sectional chart. You can find a graphical depiction of the NFL stadium temporary flight restrictions on AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner.
HAVE YOU UPDATED YOUR AOPA MEMBER PROFILE? To make the most of your membership and allow us to serve you better, please visit AOPA Online and update your personal member profile.
BOOK PROVIDES INSIGHTS ON FLYING TECHNIQUES Ron Fowler's book, Lessons from the Logbook, is a collection of articles that originally appeared in Plane & Pilot magazine. Speaking pilot to pilot, the author picks up where initial pilot training leaves off and includes insights on all phases of flight, concluding with a section on recurrent training. Fowler offers guidance on night flying, what to do if you get stuck above or below a cloud deck, how to handle in-flight emergencies, and other topics. The book sells for $19.95 and is published by Aviation Supplies & Academics.
Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.
Answer: Under 14 CFR 21.181, a standard airworthiness certificate or a special airworthiness certificate for a primary, restricted, or limited category aircraft is effective as long as maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations are performed in accordance with Parts 43 and 91 of this chapter and the aircraft is registered in the United States. For more information on required documents, read the article from the May 2006 AOPA Pilot.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to email@example.com or call the Pilot Information Center, 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.
Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The 50th Annual Tulsa Regional Fly-In takes place September 22 and 23 at Bartlesville Municipal (BVO). This event attracts approximately 500 aircraft for the two-day event. The public is invited to experience the best of sport aviation aircraft as well as aviation personalities, educational seminars, and exhibits. Contact Charles W. Harris, 918/622-8400, or visit the Web site.
To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic is scheduled in Seattle, September 23 and 24. A clinic is also scheduled in Indianapolis, October 7 and 8. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION SAFETY SEMINARS AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Santa Rosa, California, Grand Forks, North Dakota, Morristown, New Jersey, and Toledo, Ohio, September 18; Oakland, California, Lansing, Michigan, Fargo, North Dakota, and Poughkeepsie, New York, September 19; Milpitas, California, Gaithersburg, Maryland, Battle Creek, Michigan, Schenectady, New York, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, September 20; and Sacramento, California, and North Syracuse, New York, September 21. Topics vary-for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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