AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 13

November 11, 2009

The following stories from the March 28, 2003, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information customized to their areas of interest by updating their member record file online.

My ePilot - Jet Interest
Dassault Falcon has announced FAA and European type certification of its longer-range brother of the Falcon 2000, the Falcon 2000EX. The new airplane features a 3,800-nm range with six passengers and NBAA IFR reserves. The improved performance allows the jet to make nonstop westbound flights from Paris or London to the East Coast. Eastbound flights can be made from midwestern U.S. cities to Europe, according to the company.

My ePilot - Instrument Interest
While using enhanced flight vision systems (EFVS) for instrument approaches in small aircraft might seem far off, AOPA is keeping an eye toward the future and asking the FAA to broaden operational capabilities. The FAA has proposed new rules to allow pilots to use EFVS to assist in identifying required visual references during instrument approaches. EFVS improves a pilot's ability to identify ground references in low-visibility conditions by using airframe-mounted infrared cameras or sensors, which send an enhanced forward visual image to a head-up cockpit display. AOPA has asked the FAA to allow Part 91 pilots to continue below minimums provided pilots maintain the appropriate contact with the required visual references using EFVS. "Restricting EFVS to the reported minimum visibility prescribed in the approach takes away a large operational capability without enhancing safety," said Melissa K. Bailey, an AOPA vice president. AOPA is also concerned about keeping the costs down for GA.

The FAA has issued an advisory circular (AC 90-98) that provides required information for all pilots wishing to conduct closely spaced parallel instrument approaches using precision runway monitoring (PRM). PRM, a capacity enhancement procedure, allows the simultaneous use of ILS-type instrument approaches to parallel runways that are spaced less than 4,300 feet apart and is currently in use at Minneapolis-St. Paul and Philadelphia international airports. Aircraft are required to have an operating transponder and ILS receiver, and pilots must be able to simultaneously receive two communication frequencies. Based on work by AOPA, FAA Part 91 rules only require pilots to be familiar with the Aeronautical Information Manual chapter dealing with PRM, and with the information found on the approach chart. Click here to download the AC.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
The aeronautical knowledge that you are now acquiring is a fascinating combination of broad concepts-such as aerodynamics and meteorology-and specific facts, such as the grade of fuel your airplane burns or the radio frequency to use in an emergency.

Difficult as some of these details are to remember, there are excellent reasons to try. The odds may be against your having to transmit on the emergency radio frequency of 121.5 MHz ( click here to review its uses and limitations in AOPA's Handbook for Pilots online. But if you are flying in an area affected by a temporary flight restriction, you may be asked to "guard" (that is, monitor) the frequency. If your emergency locator transmitter (ELT) activates for any reason, you will hear it on 121.5 MHz. If another aircraft's ELT has activated, air traffic control (ATC) may ask you to help locate the aircraft by listening on 121.5 MHz and reporting the ELT signal's strength. See the elements of a report and a review of ELTs in Chapter 6 of the Aeronautical Information Manual.

Most ATC facilities, as well as many airliners and military aircraft, monitor 121.5 MHz, although if you experience an emergency while already in communication with ATC on another frequency, do not switch unless radio contact has been lost. Follow the other procedures and suggestions outlined in David Montoya's article "In-flight Safety Review" from the January 2000 AOPA Flight Training.

Jot down the frequency on your flight log before departing on a cross-country. A student pilot who encountered deteriorating weather on a cross-country combined a prudent decision to return home and a request for help on 121.5 MHz when she became disoriented; the result was a safe landing. Read her firsthand account in the "Learning Experiences" column from the January 2001 issue of AOPA Flight Training magazine.

Another must-read is "A Tale of Two Flights" by AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Thomas B. Haines. It's his December 2001 account of flying in the era of heightened security following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; it offers insights into the ways ATC is using 121.5 MHz in today's flying. If you have two communications radios in your aircraft, consider using one to monitor 121.5 MHz on your next flight-especially if your flight will take you near any temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) or other sensitive airspace.

My ePilot - Training Products
The fourth edition of the Multiengine Oral Exam Guide, updated to reflect current practical test standards, rules, and operating procedures, has been published by Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc. The guide is written in a question-and-answer format to simulate the oral portion of the multiengine checkride. It lists popular questions from pilot examiners, along with comprehensive responses, and includes additional study questions at the end of each chapter. Multiengine Oral Exam Guide is priced at $9.95. For more information, see the Web site or call 800/ASA-2FLY.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: What is the difference between "Mayday" and "Pan-Pan" and how they are used?

Answer: These two terms are used by a pilot who encounters either a distress or urgency condition. According to Chapter 6, Section 3 the FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual, "distress" is a condition of being threatened by serious and/or imminent danger and of requiring immediate assistance. Distress communications have absolute priority over all other communications, and the word "Mayday" commands radio silence on the frequency in use. "Urgency" is a condition concerning the safety of an aircraft or other vehicle, or of person on board or in sight, but which does not require immediate assistance. Urgency communications have priority over all other communications except distress, and the "Pan-Pan" warns other stations not to interfere with urgency transmissions. For more information on emergency communications, read "How to Define an Emergency" from the March 1991 issue of Flight Training magazine.