May 7, 2010
The following stories from the May 7, 2010, 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.
Hawker Beechcraft announced a new program that replaces the Hawker 800XP’s stock, Honeywell 4,660-lbst TFE731 engines with 5,000-lbst Honeywell TFE731-50R powerplants and winglets. The upgrade, called the 800XPR, will make for better hot-and-high performance, and flatrating to 4,660 lbst means more thrust at altitude. Read more >>
Winglet Technology LLC has received European Aviation Safety Agency approval for a supplemental type certificate (STC) authorizing installation of elliptical winglets on the Citation X. The winglets’ elliptical shape is superior to traditional winglet designs, Winglet Technology says. They optimize lift distribution along the span of the wing, with the result that drag reductions boost both range and hot-and-high performance. Winglet Technology initially earned FAA STC approval for its winglets in June 2009. The first European-registered Citation X has already been delivered. To date, 11 Citation Xs have the elliptical winglet mod; three more are currently being modified at Cessna’s Wichita Service Center.
Bombardier Aerospace inaugurated its newest service center, based at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The facility is Bombardier’s first European addition to its network of company-owned service centers; eight additional facilities are located in North America. The Schiphol facility has 50 employees, and has 45,639 square feet of hangar space. “As the international business jet market continues to expand, so must our international services footprint,” said Michael McQuay, president of Bombardier Aircraft Service Centres.
Dassault Falcon Jet’s Falcon 900LX is in the final phases of its flight test and certification program, the company announced. Final certification is expected during the third quarter of 2010, with deliveries coming shortly thereafter. Even so, completions of the first two customer aircraft have already begun. The 900LX is built on the Falcon 900EX EASy platform, will have a 4,750-nautical-mile range, and includes winglets designed by Aviation Partners Inc. The 900LX has logged 180 flight hours in testing, encompassing 72 flights. Crosswind trials are set for the next few weeks. Dassault Falcon Jet says that the 900LX will be as much as 50 to 60 percent more efficient than other airplanes in its class.
Skytech, a dealer for Piper, Pilatus, and the Cessna Caravan in the Baltimore and Charlotte, South Carolina, areas, is among those winning FAA recognition for recurrent maintenance training in 2009. Read more >>
You’ve heard many words of caution from your flight instructor since the first time you preflighted your trainer. One of those messages was, “Don’t rely on fuel gauges. Verify your fuel quantity visually every time you fly.” In flight, check your gauges, but give more weight to keeping track of your time in flight, measured against your estimated fuel burn (in gallons per hour, or gph) when making fuel-management decisions. Even in an aircraft with a simple on-off fuel system, that’s the best method for estimating fuel remaining. That gph fuel-burn figure was the result of your flight-planning calculations; you looked up the performance charts for your aircraft, selected a power setting and altitude for your flight, and checked the resulting fuel burn at the outside air temperature to be expected aloft. For most accurate results you sometimes must interpolate as described in the March 12, 2004, “ Training Tip: Splitting the difference through ‘interpolation.’” And don’t forget to add your time, speed, and distance to climb to your fuel-consumption and groundspeed values.
That reminder to be skeptical about fuel gauges comes well recommended—by the adverse experiences of pilots who weren’t. This may surprise you, but fuel-related accidents occur at a rate of more than three per week, according to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Fuel Awareness Safety Advisor. “The first step in knowing how much fuel you have is to think of fuel not in gallons or pounds but hours and minutes. Why think in time rather than distance? Because fuel burn is a constant—the engine, barring a malfunction, will always burn the same amount at any given combination of altitude, power setting, and mixture setting, but range will vary constantly due to changing winds and ground speeds,” it explained.
All of this leads to the other element which will arm you with the most accurate data: Does your aircraft perform as the manual states? Or, do the published numbers represent “Fuzzy Math,” the title of a September 2002 Flight Training feature on the subject? To know, compare how many gallons you take on after flight to the amount you’d expect. Adjust accordingly next time. Building in a healthy margin of error beyond that is also a good idea!
Sectional charts are sometimes unwieldy in the cockpit. EZFlightChart.com has come up with a solution—a spiral-bound version of a chart. The books are the same sectional the FAA prints, but copied into the new format. Prices start at $12.99. Not all charts are available, but a company representative said more are being added continuously.
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.
Question: Are pilots required to carry their pilot certificate on their person, or can their certificate be somewhere else in the aircraft like a glove compartment or a logbook?
Answer: Yes, pilots may keep their certificate somewhere other than on their person. However, according to Federal Aviation Regulation 61.3, “No person may serve as a required pilot flight crewmember of a civil aircraft of the United States, unless that person ... has a pilot certificate or special purpose pilot authorization issued under this part in that person's physical possession or readily accessible in the aircraft when exercising the privileges of that pilot certificate or authorization.” Remember that subsection (2) also requires the pilot to have “a photo identification that is in that person's physical possession or readily accessible in the aircraft when exercising the privileges of that pilot certificate or authorization.” The regulation lists the types of photo identification that are acceptable to the FAA.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
The FAA has asked the National Transportation Safety Board to review a judge’s ruling reversing a fine it levied in an unmanned-aircraft case.
The Tucson Soaring Club is trying to grow the sport by training the next generation of glider pilots.
Able Flight has received and $8,000 check from the AOPA Foundation.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.