The following stories from the May 2, 2008, 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 - Turbine Interest ~
CESSNA ROLLS OUT FIRST PRODUCTION CITATION XLS+
FAA certification of the $11.6 million Citation XLS+, an upgrade to the Excel/XLS business jet, is expected by mid-year with deliveries to start by the end of the year. While two of the aircraft are flying now for certification testing, Cessna Aircraft Company has just rolled out the first production XLS+. The XLS+ differs from the Excel/XLS primarily in the avionics, engines, extended nose contour, and wider seats. The aircraft is equipped with the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics and electronically controlled Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545C engines, which each develop 4,119 lbst. There are 650 of the Excel/XLS models in service.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
CLIMBING, COOLING, CLEARING
What's the description of a well-executed climb to altitude after takeoff? Setting up the aircraft at the airspeed that delivers the desired rate of climb (V x or V y) is the first goal. Trimming the aircraft to maintain the climb airspeed comes next. But is that all there is to it?
Not exactly. In a climb to cruise altitude, collision avoidance and the efficient management of your aircraft's engine also demand attention. The designated pilot examiner who will conduct your flight at checkride time will want to see that you have the big picture in mind.
When climbing after takeoff, especially during warm weather, monitor your oil-temperature gauge for any signs of engine overheating. The design of an air-cooled engine (the type installed in most general aviation aircraft) "is less effective during ground operations, takeoffs, go-arounds, and other periods of high-power, low-airspeed operations," explains Chapter 5 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. The solution: "High engine temperatures can be decreased by increasing the airspeed and/or decreasing the power."
If the pilot's operating handbook for your trainer calls for full-power climbs, lower the nose and climb at a higher airspeed, once safely above obstructions. You should also consider leaning the fuel-air mixture. Leaning affects engine temperature as well as power and fuel efficiency and was discussed in the July 29, 2005, Training Tip "Overheat Season."
Collision risks are elevated during climb because the nose-up climb attitude of the aircraft curtails forward visibility. In an extended climb, lower the nose at regular intervals and scan the airspace ahead. Accompany these clearing maneuvers by performing gentle, coordinated banks left and right so you can scan zones obscured by the wings. Also remember blind spots created by a high glareshield or other aircraft design features, as discussed in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Collision Avoidance Safety Advisor.
Clearly, there's more to a good climb than just holding the correct airspeed!
My ePilot - Training Product
SPORTY'S OFFERS WAAS APPROACH VIDEOS
Sporty's has added two new videos discussing Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) instrument approaches to its Download Center. Priced at $9.95 apiece, both are available in Windows Media or iTunes and can be viewed on a personal computer or compatible MP3 device such as an iPod. Two videos are available: WAAS Approaches: Garmin 430W, about 20 minutes in length, and WAAS Approaches: Garmin G1000, about 24 minutes long. To order, visit the Web site.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: What is the Aviation Safety Reporting Program, and how does it work?
Answer: The Aviation Safety Reporting Program, often referred to as the "NASA program," was designed to collect, analyze, and respond to voluntarily submitted aviation incident reports. The goals behind the program are to assist policy formulation, planning, and improvements to the National Airspace System, as well as aid in aviation human factors safety research. Pilots benefit from participating in the program by completing ARC Form 277B that, if submitted within 10 days of the incident, may qualify the pilot for immunity from the sanction resulting from an enforcement action, in accordance with FAR 91.25. Note that this program is for incidents-not for accidents or criminal activity-and only for a pilot qualified to hold the certificate under which he or she was operating at the time of the incident, and whose record has held no violations within the previous five years.
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.