November 1, 2013
November 1, 2013 - VOL 13, ISSUE 44
Returning to the ramp after a lunch break and a weather check at your cross-country destination, you behold a vacant tiedown spot where your trainer had been parked!
OK, there it is, at the far end of the ramp with the fuel truck pulled up alongside. When—and how—your trainer was moved may not be readily apparent, but the surprise relocation does suggest the need for a careful inspection before the next flight leg.
Why the aircraft was moved may or may not be obvious either. If you had been marshaled in to parking near the main hangar, your aircraft might have been repositioned to allow a large aircraft housed within to be towed outside for flight.
Of all these questions, how your aircraft was moved is most important—especially if you find out that a motorized aircraft tug did the job. Whether it was moved by hand or machine, your responsibility to determine its airworthiness reminds you to give it a close examination, paying special attention to the nosewheel assembly to make sure no damage occurred during the tow operation.
What's the risk?
Your nosewheel aircraft has a limiting angle either side of center for turning. For example, it is 30 degrees for a Cessna 182S and a Piper PA-28-161 Warrior. (What's the limiting angle for your aircraft?)
"The ears and tab on the strut assembly are supposed to prevent you or the FBO line person from exceeding the turning radius, a mistake that could have the expensive result of damaging the steering mechanism and nosegear," explains this Flight Training magazine article. "It is relatively easy, however, for someone who is towing the airplane using a tug or tractor to turn too sharply and bend or break one of the ears on the strut assembly or the tab that the ears impact at the limits of the turning arc." That could leave you without control over your nosewheel steering.
On flights on which you only make a quick stop, you can probably oversee or personally perform any needed ground maneuvering of your aircraft.
But airport ramps are busy places where reshuffling of aircraft may happen multiple times a day—mostly on short notice. If you find that your aircraft was moved during your absence, make a thorough airworthiness check before further flight.
Redbird Flight Simulations made clear it is focused on controlling the costs associated with all facets of aviation—from learning to fly to owning an airplane—at the recent Redbird Migration in San Marcos, Texas.
The bane of new instrument pilots, especially during initial training, is an attention-deficit-disorder-like feeling that their eyes are moving—or should be moving—all the time. To be honest, the eyes of the best instrument pilots probably are moving all the time. The real trick is to know what instruments to scan and when.
Every year, more pilots are lost in accidents involving low ceilings and visibility than all other weather phenomena combined. It's a major problem—which is why the Air Safety Institute developed the new course Weather Wise: VFR into IMC. Using interactive features and video segments (including interviews with Rod Machado and AOPA Pilot's Tom Horne), the course focuses on essential weather knowledge, common danger scenarios, and good decision making. Plus, because it's optimized for the iPad, you can take it just about anywhere.
Take the course...
The FAA is advising pilots that the Notice to Airmen Publication (NTAP) valid from Oct. 17 to Nov. 14 will not be available in printed form as a consequence of the recently concluded partial government shutdown.
Apps of the week
Calculating weight and balance is an important task. This week, AOPA takes a look at five apps that can handle it: FlightScale, EZ Load, Avilution Weight and Balance, Aircraft Weight and Balance, and NextGen Systems Weight & Balance.
Local business and government leaders joined students, educators, and alumni from Raisbeck Aviation High School on board a specially themed Alaska Airlines jet for the grand opening of the new facility for the nation's first public, college preparatory, aviation-themed high school. The "Spirit of Education," a Boeing 737-900ER, is dedicated to the students and staff of the school and will fly for six months around the carrier's route network.
Before cold temperatures and icy drizzle chill the sky this winter, fire up your computer and participate in the Air Safety Institute's Ice Week from Nov. 3 through 9. Each day during Ice Week, learn how to combat debilitating precipitation and icing phenomena and how to avoid treacherous icing encounters. Register now to join Bruce Landsberg and special guests on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. for Ice Week's live webinar, "Airframe Ice: Avoidance and Escape."
Learn more about Ice Week...
Scholarship applications have opened for rotary-wing commercial pilots and maintenance technicians, students seeking careers in the aircraft electronics and aviation maintenance industry, women in aviation maintenance, and Young Eagles. An aviation management student received a scholarship at the recent National Business Aviation Association convention. And don't miss the deadlines for these scholarship programs.
You may not be "good to the last drop." Find out why by taking the Air Safety Institute's fuel awareness safety quiz. The quiz covers topics including maximum fuel weight, when to lean fuel, performance values, and flying on a humid day.
Take the quiz...
Did you know that student pilots who join AOPA are three times more likely to complete their flight training? Membership includes unlimited access to aviation information by phone (800/USA-AOPA, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time) or from Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you're not already a member, join today and get the pilot's edge.
AOPA Live This Week
Find out how a Grumman Albatross is responsible for the Wi-Fi on your airliner; AOPA Pilot contributor Barry Schiff flies the big amphibian. Redbird's annual Migration garners ideas for drawing millennials into aviation. And the Commemorative Air Force's Airsho re-creates the day that lives in infamy.
AOPA Live This Week®, Oct. 31...
Miss the Oct. 24 edition of AOPA Live This Week? Due to technical difficulties the show was not available online until Oct. 26. Catch up on last week's show with AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines, hosting from the National Business Aviation Association's annual convention. Watch the show...
American pilots are finding jobs in other countries, including China. Dave Hubberts, who has been flying for 15 years, was a regional airline captain in the United States when layoffs at the carrier bumped him back into the right seat, reports CBS News. Now he is one of 56 foreign pilots—including 17 Americans—at China's Tianjin Airlines.
Flexjet LLC said Oct. 21 that it is doubling its recent order for 30 Learjet 85 aircraft by converting 30 options into firm orders, for a total of 60 business jets valued at approximately $1.2 billion based on the 2013 list prices. The options were purchased Sept. 5 as part of an order for up to 245 Bombardier business jets. Flexjet LLC also is procuring incremental options for 20 Learjet 85 aircraft.
For more aviation career news, see the Flight Training website.
It first flew before a public gathering in 1975. Nowadays, a plane spotter has at least two ways to view a composite, canard-equipped Rutan VariEze. You might spot one of the many hundreds of owner-built aircraft as it taxis in at your field. Or you could view designer Burt Rutan's prototype in the collection of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The Experimental Aircraft Association credits Rutan's history-making designs and techniques with helping to "make it possible for amateur builders to produce safe, fast, good-looking, and economical sport aircraft."
Sporty's Pilot Shop is offering Microsoft Flight Simulator as a Training Aid as a software and 240-page book combination. It gives specific advice and tools for pilots who want to use Microsoft Flight Simulator as a training device. The CD-ROM includes more than 150 practice flights that cover everything from basic flight maneuvers to instrument approaches.
ASA has made the Private Oral Exam Guide available as an e-book. The guide covers the subjects a private pilot candidate will be tested on during checkrides. Chapters are dedicated to certificates and documents, weather, determining performance and limitations, airplane systems, cross-country flight planning, night operations, and aeromedical factors. Answers and explanations were researched using FAA documents and through interviews with FAA examiners.
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.
In England, there was an advertising campaign for a brand of petroleum whose mascot was a jungle cat; the slogan was, "Have you got a tiger in your tank?" If the ads bombarding men are anything to go by, that is exactly the question they are asking.
From passing the written to buying aircraft insurance, AOPA was there for Thomas Remo, who says he has "an ear-to-ear grin every day" after purchasing a Piper Cherokee.
As fall gets into full swing in the mid-Atlantic, there's plenty of good flying weather ahead. Flight Training Technical Editor Jill Tallman says her aviation friends' Facebook feeds (and likely yours) are full of wonderful photos: enjoying fall colors, exploring new airports, discovering a weekend getaway. The list of possibilities is only limited by our fuel budgets.
Scholarships are awarded to the best of the best. So why does an airline pilot who received a scholarship for a jet type rating fear reprisal from the other pilots at work?
That's strange. The weather broadcast should be audible by now. And at this hour, there's probably no one at the FBO. Great time for a glitch to show up.
Knowing the empty weight of your aircraft is critical when doing load planning. What items constitute the "standard empty weight" of an aircraft?
The "standard empty weight" of an aircraft consists of the airframe, engine(s), and all items of operating equipment that have fixed locations and are permanently installed in the aircraft, including fixed ballast, hydraulic fluid, unusable fuel, and the full engine oil. (Source: FAA Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, pg. 9-5.)
Got a question for our technical services staff? Contact AOPA.
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a Web applications developer III, financial analyst, staff assistant/PAC coordinator, and AOPA Live editor/graphic artist. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities,
visit AOPA Online.
Nov 2-3 - Ashburn, Va.; and Atlanta, Ga.
Nov 9-10 - Anchorage, Alaska; and Austin, Texas
Nov 16-17 - San Diego, Calif.
Nov 23-24 - Albuquerque, N.M.
For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the Air Safety Institute's new Online eFIRC.
Nov 4 -Frederick, Md.; and Saint Petersburg, Fla.
Nov 5 - Fort Myers, Fla.
Nov 6 - West Lafayette, Ind.; and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Nov 11 - San Diego, Calif.; and Daytona Beach, Fla.
Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Want something to do this weekend? Planning an aviation getaway? See AOPA's enhanced calendar of events. Now you can filter events by date range, airport ID, state, or region. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.
To include an event or to search all events in the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA Airports.
AOPA's online photo gallery allows you to upload your own aviation photography as well as view, rate, and comment on others' photos.
Take a look, and submit your own photos!
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