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AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition - Volume 8, Issue 41AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition - Volume 8, Issue 41

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Volume 8, Issue 41 — October 10, 2008  

In This Issue:
SkyCatcher under design review
Boyer wins prestigious NBAA award
Pick your favorite photos in contest finals





The Oct. 3 Training Tip discussed what to do if your preflight inspection reveals fuel contaminated with water or other extraneous matter. Another way in which your airplane's tanks can host a dangerous potion is if someone introduces the wrong kind of fuel into them.

Many safeguards prevent this from happening, such as the training of line crews, the color-coding of fuel—even the design of refueling equipment that builds incompatibility into attempts to fuel an avgas-powered aircraft with jet fuel. And let's not omit pilot watchfulness from any list of preventive measures. Did the proper fuel truck pull up in front of your trainer after you called for a top-off? Still, misfueling incidents happen, often with severe consequences.

Indeed, that last line of defense—pilot supervision—doesn't always get the respect it deserves. "Why do misfueling incidents happen? There are many reasons, but a contributing factor in most incidents is a lack of pilot oversight," notes the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Misfueling Safety Brief . Note this surprising statistic: Although pilots are likely to oversee oil changes and getting air added to an aircraft's tire, only 39 percent attend the refueling of their aircraft, according to a survey. See the Safety Brief's fueling checklist for things you can do during the ordering, fueling, payment, and preflight inspection processes to detect fueling mistakes. Doing so may also stiffen your resolve to be thorough at times when there's temptation to shortcut checklist items. Learn more in the February 2006 AOPA Flight Training feature " Unlucky 13."

Conditions of low light during preflights are another reason for caution. Robert N. Rossier had advice about that in his AOPA Flight Training article Fuel Check : "When you check a fuel sample at night, hold the sample against a white backdrop, such as the fuselage, and shine a light on it from the side. The white backdrop makes it easier to detect the color of the fuel, and a light shining from the side illuminates debris and contaminants more readily. Check out his other suggestions for ascertaining what type of fuel your tanks contain.

Misfueling is an avoidable problem. Pilot alertness is the best form of prevention.

Your partner in training

The FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) is the best reference for learning good air traffic control communication skills and phraseology. Your most important lesson as you learn to use the right words is learning not to be afraid of using the wrong words. Regardless of the form it takes, communication is the goal. Read more on effective communication in the archives of AOPA Flight Training .

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 6 p.m. Eastern time) or from AOPA Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you're not already a member, join today and get the pilot's edge. Login information is available online.


Do You Have Enough Life Insurance?

Most people are under insured for today's needs. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots—from student to ATP—with insurance planning at an affordable rate. A+ Rated Carriers. Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 or visit online.


SkyCatcher under design review

Cessna's prototype SkyCatcher was on one of its final test flights when it entered an unrecoverable spin and crashed on Sept. 18, and the program is in the midst of a design review expected to last about 60 days, Cessna CEO Jack Pelton said on Oct. 5. "(The SkyCatcher) had completed all flight tests except power-on spins with full flaps and cross controls," Pelton said at the National Business Aviation Association conference in Orlando, Fla. "The eighth spin was unrecoverable." The airplane carried a BRS airframe parachute, but it failed to deploy correctly. The test pilot bailed out at 5,000 feet over Douglass, Kan., and was unhurt. Pelton said the company expects to stick close to its planned schedule that includes customer deliveries beginning in 2009. "We're going to get this thing sorted out," he said.

K-State grad takes message to students

One of Kansas State University Aviation's graduates has not headed off to become a flight instructor in anticipation of joining the airlines. Nathan Gorrell flies one of the college's Cessna 172s throughout the country to represent K-State at various aviation functions and to recruit students to the college's aviation program. Gorrell, 25, graduated in 2008 and is pursuing a second bachelor degree in aviation maintenance while working toward an airframe and powerplant certificate. He has accumulated more than 1,300 hours of flight time. "It is exciting to meet new people to let them know about our great programs," he says.

Boyer wins prestigious NBAA award

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) presented a Meritorious Service Award to AOPA President Phil Boyer on Oct. 6 in recognition of his lifetime commitment to aviation. Boyer credited the 415,000 AOPA members, the association's staff, and his wife, Lois, for his recognition. He told a roomful of aviation dignitaries at NBAA's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., that the award is a reflection of the support he has received from others during his nearly 18 years as president of AOPA. Read more >>


Putting the Archer to the test

Every sweepstakes project includes some sort of airframe modification, and the same question always comes up. How will the modifications affect performance? This year we had the opportunity to conduct a unique test of the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer after the modifications were completed to see what they did for performance. Come by this week's update to learn more.

Put AOPA Member Products on your Expo must-see list

Make sure you plan to stop by the Member Products aisle during your trip to AOPA Expo, Nov. 6 through 8. Here, you can visit our AOPA-certified partners offering financial, insurance, and pilot services. Find out how you can protect your pilot certificate for just pennies a day; purchase the only term life insurance trusted to carry the AOPA name; finance your training; apply for an AOPA credit card; and score great discounts on everything from FAA computerized testing to car rentals. Read more >>

Pick your favorite photos in contest finals

Get ready to vote in the AOPA Pilot 2008 General Aviation Photography Contest. Go online to vote for your top choice in each of five categories: aircraft, airports, aerials, pilots, and altered. Your vote will determine who gets to take home the money. The grand prize winner, chosen by AOPA Pilot editors, will receive an additional $1,000 for a total of $1,500. All winners will be announced in the December issue of AOPA Pilot.


Blockalls view-limiting gear for instrument training

Looking for a new view-limiting device for instrument training? Blockalls are essentially a pair of safety glasses with a colored coating over most of the viewable area. Eight different colors are available, including green, red, black, and pink. The device features soft rubber nose pads and a stem with a soft, flexible rubber end to make them easy to put on and take off. Each pair comes with a plastic case to protect them inside a flight bag. The price is $23.95. Order online or call 239/222-3588.

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.



I just received my private pilot certificate, and my parents want to celebrate by paying for a rental aircraft and having me fly all of us on a short trip. They want to pay for the entire flight. Is this allowed as a private pilot?


While it is perfectly legal for you, as a private pilot, to share the expenses of your flight with your passengers, you do have to pay a pro rata (proportionately equal) share of those expenses, according to FAR 61.113(c). Tell them that although you appreciate the offer, you'll have to pay no less than your share of fuel, oil, airport expenditures, and rental fees. And by the way, congratulations, and enjoy your flight! For additional information, review this Pilot Counsel article on sharing expenses.

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.


What would you do if the airplane you were flying lost power at 60 knots on the takeoff roll? Read the September installment of " Never Again Online" for the complete story of how two pilots did their best to troubleshoot a fuel contamination issue, and how the engine behaved at altitude.

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 or send an e-postcard. For more details, see AOPA Online.


Want something to do this weekend? Wanting to plan an aviation getaway? See our online calendar of events. We've enhanced our calendar so that with one click, you can see all of the events listed in the calendar regions you selected when personalizing ePilot . Now you can browse events listed two weeks to a few months out to make your planning easier. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.

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

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Oct. 11 and 12; Windsor, Conn., Wichita, Kan., Corpus Christi, Texas, Oct. 18 and 19; Columbia S.C., Oct. 25 and 26; Austin, Tex., and Reston, Va., Nov. 1 and 2. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Oct. 13; Colorado Springs, Colo., Cohoes, N.Y., Oct. 14; Northglen, Colo., Syracuse, N.Y., Oct. 15; Rochester, N.Y., Oct. 16; and Fairbanks, Alaska, Oct. 17.  Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.



Minnesota Life Insurance

Diamond Aircraft

XM Satellite Weather



AOPA Aircraft Financing

Garmin International

Airline Transport Professionals

King Schools

Pilot Insurance Center

Sign up for AOPA Project Pilot

AOPA Credit Card




Scheyden Eyewear


Professional Instrument Courses

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Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller | Contributors: Warren Morningstar, Alton Marsh


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