AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 30

November 11, 2009



The following stories from the July 29, 2005, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information tailored to their areas of interest by updating their preferences online.



My ePilot - Piston Multiengine Interest ~
THE BEST BUY FOR YOU: TWIN OR SINGLE?
As a multiengine-rated pilot, you have the choice of renting or even buying a single or multiengine aircraft. But if you decided to purchase, which would you chose? Even though you can fly a twin, is it really practical for you to own? Peter A. Bedell discusses points to analyze before you pick which is right for you-can you afford the maintenance, do you live in an area where high terrain might favor a twin? Read his take on the subject in "The Great Debate: A practical look at an age-old argument" in the August 1998 AOPA Pilot.

My ePilot - Own/May Own Interest
AIRCRAFT OWNERSHIP OPTIONS
The expense of owning, operating, and maintaining your own aircraft might be more than you can financially handle right now, but what if you join in with two or three other pilots? Co-ownership might be a solution. AOPA offers The Pilot's Guide to Multiple Ownership: Co-ownership and Flying Clubs to help you learn about co-ownership. The guide includes an overview of co-ownership, checklist, sample agreement, and answers to frequently asked questions.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
OVERHEAT SEASON
Every season imposes unique demands on pilots trying to get the best performance out of an aircraft while also protecting it from abuse or damage. Midsummer heat brings the risk that some routine operations could overheat the engine in your training aircraft.

Why is an overheated engine a serious matter? "If an engine runs too hot for too long, the oil pressure will eventually decrease. This happens because of thermal breakdown-when oil overheats, it begins to break down and lose its lubricating capacity. Now you've really got a problem: High engine temperatures can cause a loss of power and eventually engine damage or failure," wrote Joe Castanza in the August 2002 AOPA Flight Training feature "Red, Green or In Between: Understanding What Engine Gauges Are Telling You."

Most piston-engine aircraft are cooled primarily by air flowing through the cowling as the airplane moves and secondarily by engine oil that lubricates moving parts. Overheating will show up as an abnormal indication on the oil temperature gauge. Prolonged idling on the ramp after startup, a long taxi to the runway, or having to hold short for a long time could trigger overheating. If a maximum-performance climb is required after takeoff, monitor engine temperature carefully. Some pilot's operating handbooks recommend that climbs at airspeeds slower than best rate of climb (V Y) be of limited duration during hot weather.

If you are fortunate to be training in an aircraft with cowl flaps, open them as recommended for climbs. Most training aircraft lack cowl flaps, but their pilots still have options. "Under normal operating conditions in airplanes not equipped with cowl flaps, the engine temperature can be controlled by changing the airspeed or the power output of the engine. High engine temperatures can be decreased by increasing the airspeed and/or reducing the power," explains a discussion in Chapter 5 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

But these techniques won't help if the situation has advanced too far. A hot engine accompanied by low oil pressure indicates an impending engine failure-an emergency. See the April 1, 2005, Training Tips article "Got Oil?"

Hot temperatures, delays after startup, and long climbs at low airspeeds are the warning signs. Watch them carefully and take action to keep the situation from heating up.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
LIGHT THE WAY WITH BATTERY-FREE FLASHLIGHT
Suppose you are on a night VFR flight and your airplane's electrical system fails, leaving you scrambling for a light source as you begin troubleshooting. The flashlights you prudently carry in your flight bag work just fine-except the batteries are dead, and you can't find the spares in the darkness. Now what? Sporty's Battery-Free Flashlight offers a back-up or emergency light source. Shake the flashlight for 30 seconds and you get 10 minutes of LED light. The flashlight sells for $19.95 and may be ordered online or by calling 800/SPORTYS.

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.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: My student pilot certificate is still valid, but it has no more room for my solo endorsements. Do I need to get a new certificate?

Answer: If the space for instructor endorsements is full, and the student is seeking endorsements for additional types of aircraft, an FAA designated pilot examiner or FAA flight standards district office may issue a second student pilot certificate clearly marked "For Record Purposes Only." See Chapter 6 of the Pilot Examiner's Handbook, 8710.3D. The second student pilot certificate will have the same expiration date as the original. The original is issued to the student, and the duplicate copy destroyed.