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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 7, Issue 21

To view the AOPA ePilot archives, click here.

Volume 7, Issue 21 • May 25, 2007
In this issue:
Oregon museum offers summer aviation camps
Flight planning tips to avoid flight service headaches
Make AOPA's Fly-In a learning experience

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

Sponsored by ExxonMobil Aviation Lubricants


Lockheed Martin

Comm1 Radio Simulator

AOPA Line of Credit



JP Instruments

Avemco Aviation Insurance

Fly Exxon Elite


AOPA Credit Card

Scheyden Eyewear

Minnesota Life Insurance

AOPA Aircraft Financing

Garmin International

Airline Transport Professionals

AOPA Insurance Agency

King Schools

Pilot Insurance Center

AOPA Travel Service

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Copyright © 2007 AOPA.

Training Tips

For pilots of aircraft with carbureted engines, one hazard can escape detection because the conditions in which it can occur seem so innocent. The result is easily avoidable accidents, and the culprit is carburetor icing. Conditions that favor it can include outside air temperatures of up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Suspect carburetor icing (described in the August 23, 2002, Training Tips) if a carbureted engine runs rough at reduced power settings or in warm, humid conditions. "Carburetor ice is most likely to occur when temperatures are below 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) and the relative humidity is above 80 percent. However, due to the sudden cooling that takes place in the carburetor, icing can occur even with temperatures as high as 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) and humidity as low as 50 percent," according to Chapter 5 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. See the table of conditions under which carburetor ice is likely to form.

Numerous pilots have learned about this risk the hard way. A good example is found in a Never Again Online report of an accident that befell a pilot with his family on board his Cessna 182. Summing up the event, he writes, "The FAA, after exhausting all other possibilities, concluded that carburetor icing was the culprit. In fact, conditions were ideal for it that day."

Note the pilot's reflections on having been fixated on his fuel supply when the problems began: "Because I had put blinders on to any other source of the problem, I never considered carb ice to be a factor. In fact, I contributed to ice formation by pulling back on the power for a slow descent from altitude to conserve fuel after leaving Fort Wayne, and contributed further by pulling power when trying to lose altitude when trying to get down to the grass strip."

What conditions favor carburetor ice in your aircraft? How should your carb heat be applied to prevent or eliminate it? Improper use can be dangerous; see the "Instructor Report" in the October 2006 AOPA Flight Training. Then, be ready to fight carb ice when you head off into the humid warm air of spring and summer.

Your Partner in Training

All pilots are taught the three "Hs" of density altitude-high, hot, and humid. Most also learn to beware the combination because each compounds the effects of the other two. While your airplane's operating handbook will tell you what kind of performance you can expect, how to factor the variables into handling an emergency in flight is something else to ponder. Learn more from the August 2001 issue of AOPA Flight Training . Still have questions? Call our aviation experts at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time.

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.

Flight Training News

Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corp. has received FAA approval to operate a Part 141 training program for the SJ30 business jet. The company had been offering training under FAR Part 61 at its San Antonio location. The SJ30 is a single-pilot-certified twinjet with a range of more than 2,500 miles and a cruise speed of 486 KTAS.

Pacific Coast pilots: There are still summer camp programs available for your aviation-loving child. Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, has day and overnight camps for children in grades 3 to 10. Evergreen's aviation collection includes the Hughes Flying Boat, also known as the Spruce Goose, as well as a Douglas DC-3A, a Ford 5-AT-B Tri-Motor, and much more. For more information, see the Web site.

Have you and your flight instructor had trouble getting a weather briefing when you call 800/WX-BRIEF? The flight service system is being modernized, and that is causing some glitches. However, you and your instructor can obtain weather information through various sources, like DTC DUAT or CSC DUATS. See AOPA's tips for flight planning and talk to your instructor about the different ways you can file and close a VFR flight plan, get a pilot report (pirep), and obtain weather, notam, and temporary flight restriction information.

Inside AOPA

Working on the dual cross-country portion of your flight training? Want to experience a busy, towered field? Turn one of your flight lessons into a fun learning experience by flying with your instructor to AOPA's Fly-In and Open House on Saturday, June 2, at Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK) in Frederick, Maryland. While you're planning your flight, make sure you download and study our new arrival procedures. We've relocated the VFR holding pattern to give you greater clearance from the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone. With hundreds of pilots expected to fly in, remember to be especially vigilant for traffic and to keep your radio communications terse and to a minimum. We will have a temporary air traffic control tower in operation that day. For more information on a safe arrival, see these tips from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.

As we inch closer to our first flight, the 1977 Cessna Cardinal that we're refurbishing for this year's sweepstakes has technicians coming at it from all corners: The engine, airframe, and avionics areas must all have certain steps complete before the airplane takes flight. Many of these tasks happen in concert-you can see pictures detailing the tasks on this week's update. The airplane is almost ready for its trip to Frederick for the AOPA Fly-In and Open House, where you can learn more about all that's been done so far.

Project Pilot Student Willis Steele is just about ready to complete his first solo. He has discovered that everything leading up to that moment is an adventure, and he's shared his experiences with AOPA Project Pilot to encourage others: "Like getting airsick, being tongue-tied on the radio, flying around a flagpole, standing on a chair on the runway, or landing with an 18 mph crosswind." You can probably identify with some of those experiences and have stories of your own to share. AOPA Project Pilot wants to capture some of your most memorable experiences-the challenges and the celebrations. Send us your videos, photos, and personal stories of success to be featured in AOPA ePilot, AOPA Pilot, or the AOPA Project Pilot photo gallery.

Many pilots don't realize that low ceilings and restricted visibilities are aviation's most deadly killers. With a little knowledge, you can minimize the risks that these conditions pose. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online course, WeatherWise: Ceiling and Visibility , will give you the tools to cope with these challenging weather phenomena. You'll learn more about basic weather theory involved, using forecast products, and coping with in-flight changes to the conditions you encounter. The self-paced online course is designed to take 45 to 60 minutes, and it qualifies for the ground training requirement of the FAA Wings program.

To make the most of your membership and allow us to serve you better, please visit AOPA Online and update your personal member profile.

Training Products

Digital Cyclone, which is now a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd., offers a new version of its Pilot My-Cast cellular-phone application that gives pilots a fast and easy way to file a flight plan while on the go using a mobile phone. Pilot My-Cast is a cellular-phone service that gives pilots personalized flight planning and weather information, including textual weather reports and radar graphics. Version 5 is the latest version of the software available; the application is compatible with most major national wireless providers and cellular phones. The service is $12.95 per month plus a $9.95 set-up fee or $129.95 annually. For more information, see the Web site.

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.

Final Exam

Question: I've heard of a visual illusion that I might experience while flying at night called "autokinesis." Can you tell me what it is and how to deal with it?

Answer: Autokinesis is one of three primary nighttime visual illusions (the other two are the perception of a false horizon and night landing illusions). If you stare at a single point of light against a dark background for more than a few seconds, the light will appear to move. This false perception of movement is called "autokinesis." To prevent this illusion, focus the eyes on objects at varying distances and avoid fixating on any one object for too long. For more insight into night flying illusions, take a look at the article, "Learning Experiences: Seeing is believing," and the subject report, "Night Flying."

Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to [email protected] 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.

Picture Perfect
Looking for some really fabulous aviation photography? All the air-to-air photos and beautifully detailed ground images used by AOPA Pilot magazine over the years are yours at the click of a mouse button. Download your favorite images to use for wallpaper, send an e-postcard, or order prints online. For more details, see AOPA Online.

What's New at AOPA Online
Bush pilots are trained to fly from unimproved airstrips in rugged territory, but bad things can happen when an inexperienced pilot tries to do the same. A Nevada pilot explains how close he came to disaster when he took off on a hot day with a fully loaded airplane-from a rural road-in the June issue of AOPA Pilot .

Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix.

ePilot Calendar
Pine Bluff, AR. Skyhook XI, the Black Pilots of America's Annual Convention, takes place May 24 through 28 at Grider Field (PBF). Contact Ron Lisberg, 818/367-0903, or visit the Web site.

Columbia, MO. The Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Weekend Celebration takes place May 26 through 28 at Columbia Regional (COU). Contact Mary Posner, 573/443-2651, or visit the Web site.

Watsonville, CA. The Watsonville Fly-In and Airshow takes place May 25 through 27 at Watsonville Municipal (WVI). Contact Dave Brockmann, 831/763-5600, or visit the Web site.

Frederick, MD. The AOPA Fly-In and Open House takes place June 2 at Frederick Municipal (FDK). Visit the Web site.

Manitowoc, WI. The Thunder on the Lakeshore Airshow takes place June 2 and 3 at Manitowoc County (MTW). Contact Curt Drumm, 920/482-1650, or visit the Web site.

To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Phoenix; San Jose, CA; and Orlando, FL, June 2 and 3. Clinics are also scheduled in Minneapolis, Columbus, OH, and Ashburn, VA, June 9 and 10. 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 are scheduled at the AOPA Fly-In and Open House, June 2, in Frederick, MD. Topics vary-for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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