Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

Epilot (49)Epilot (49)

AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition Volume 9, Issue 49 — december 4, 2009  

In This Issue:
Lockheed Martin plans more consolidations
ATC questions answered
Michigan pilots mentor students



Understanding ‘TBO’

A student pilot can hear a barrage of new terminology on the flight line and in the hangar. Much of it concerns aircraft maintenance. There’s no need for a student pilot to know everything an airframe and powerplant mechanic (A&P) knows, but basic concepts are valuable. “TBO” is one. It’s the “time between overhauls” in hours of operation of your aircraft’s engine.


Many pilots ask: Must my aircraft stop flying at TBO? “You are under no obligation to overhaul at TBO unless the aircraft is being flown for hire in a (Federal Aviation Regulations) Part 121 or 135 operation. However, it is important to note that airworthiness directives or mandatory service bulletins may be due at TBO, or cycle or time-limited parts may need to be replaced at that time. If the airplane is subject to these requirements, and if they are not accomplished at the required time, flying the airplane beyond TBO would be in violation,” the Aug. 7, “Quiz Me” column in ePilot said.


Different rules govern light sport aircraft (LSA). “LSA regulations do not require compliance with the manufacturer's traditional service bulletins. However, on a LSA, service bulletins are called ‘safety directives’ and they are mandatory. Moreover, while TBO is normally not mandatory on a traditional aircraft engine, it is on an LSA,” Arlynn McMahon explained in “ Lightening up” in the March 2008 AOPA Flight Training.


AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Thomas B. Haines wrote about overhauling his 1972 Beechcraft Bonanza’s engine in the magazine’s October 2002 “ Waypoints.” And what about the propeller? “As with engines, propellers are not required to be overhauled at the manufacturer's recommended time-between-overhauls interval when used under FAR Part 91,” he wrote. But, “With the engine out, it's a good time to overhaul the prop….”


Curious about your trainer engine’s TBO? Look up the engine series in your pilot’s operating handbook, and find its TBO in a service instruction. For example, a 1986 Cessna Skyhawk has a Lycoming O-320-D2J engine; Lycoming lists the TBO for this and other engine series in one service instruction. After you have looked up the TBO for your trainer’s engine, ask the mechanic who works on the aircraft how much time remains before TBO, and what is planned at that point. Knowing the regulations and the overhaul process will help you understand the decision.


To gain a better basic understanding of propellers and engines, work through the AOPA Air Safety Foundation online course, Engine and Propeller .


Each time you prepare for a flight, you will conduct a “preflight” of the aircraft. This is your opportunity to become an expert on the aircraft you’ll fly as you and your instructor carefully scrutinize control surfaces, landing gear, rivets, and much more. Augment your preflight knowledge by researching your particular trainer. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has type-specific aircraft reviews of the most popular airplanes in general aviation. Find yours on AOPA Online.


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.


Lockheed Martin plans more consolidations

Lockheed Martin will implement another round of flight service station consolidations in February 2010. The company cites a staffing and workload analysis, along with continued improvements in flight service system technology and efficiency, as the basis for the consolidation. Because of these continued improvements, the company said it does not anticipate any impact on service to pilots. “AOPA has served as a strong consumer advocate for pilots since the FAA announced it was contracting out flight service and subsequently awarded the contract to Lockheed Martin in 2005,” said Rob Hackman, AOPA senior director of regulatory affairs. “We will continue to closely monitor flight service performance as the system continues to transition.” Read more >>

ATC questions answered before you key the mic

You’ve just landed at a towered airport. Should you wait for the tower to tell you to contact ground control or just switch frequencies? When you head out for a flight, what assistance can controllers provide in determining the intensity of precipitation? If you have questions about communicating with ATC, get the answers in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Ask ATC resource. Learn from others’ questions and ask your own to find out everything from how controllers handle a stuck microphone to what happens if you violate an altitude. Answers come straight from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

Michigan pilots mentor students

A Michigan EAA chapter has started a new mentor program in which it puts together aspiring pilots with seasoned members who can guide them through the process of flight training. One such pair is Justin Bentsen, a 15-year-old student pilot, and Tom Tolton, who has been flying since 1976. The mentor program has given the student much guidance. “(Tolton) points me in the right direction,” Bentsen said. “If I have any questions, he’s someone to talk to.” The two were profiled in the Midland (Mich.) Daily News .

Annual gift transport needs pilots, aircraft

Santa needs lots of helpers at this time of year, and he really needs Ohio and Michigan pilots for a special mission on Saturday, Dec. 5. Michigan’s “Operation Good Cheer,” an annual tradition for area pilots who help transport gifts to children in foster care, needs at least 40 airplanes and pilots to help make the holidays brighter for more than 4,000 children in foster care, group homes, and treatment. The mission: Join a group of volunteers to carry gifts to 16 airports in Michigan, where they will be distributed to the children’s homes. Read more >>

Grandfather solos special student

South Carolina CFI Carroll Joye recently soloed perhaps his most important student in his 45-year flying career: his grandson. Blake Cramer made the requisite three takeoffs and landings at Orangeburg Municipal Airport under the watchful eye of his grandfather, as well as his mother and other family members. Joye took Cramer flying as a young child and continued to nurture his interest in aviation as he grew older, according to the Times and Democrat of lower central South Carolina.

inside aopa

Avoid ice and precipitation with interactive course

Wet, cold days can be deadly for a pilot. Rain, ice pellets, or snow can quickly turn a VFR day into instrument meteorological conditions; and as winter weather moves in, ice or frost accumulations increase drag and rob an aircraft of lift. Learn more about these weather phenomena, get tips on avoiding dangerous situations, and learn exit strategies for inadvertent encounters in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation free online course Weather Wise: Precipitation and Icing . The course, which takes about 45 minutes to complete, gives you the tools you need to understand and avoid the hazards precipitation and icing present to general aviation aircraft.

Hertz offers discounts to members

The holiday season is here, and for many that means it’s time to hit the road to visit with family and friends. If you’re planning to be one of them, Hertz has a special holiday gift for you: savings of up to $30 on a weekend or weekly rental. Just book your travel before Dec. 31 and use the coupon code PC#138622. Combine this with your AOPA member discount code of CDP#10232 and really see your savings add up. Take advantage of this special offer today.

Get a free AOPA membership for 2010

Struggling with gift suggestions this holiday season? Then why not ask friends or relatives to renew your AOPA membership for you! It's a gift that you'll appreciate all year round with the many benefits your membership has to offer—including 12 monthly issues of AOPA Pilot magazine and exclusive members-only access to AOPA Online. Just copy and forward this link along with your AOPA membership number to a friend or family member to enjoy your next year of membership for free! You also can request that the gift-giver call 800/USA-AOPA.


ASA’s Prepware available on iTunes

Want to study for your next knowledge test while on the go? ASA has made all of its Prepware courses available on iTunes as applications that can be downloaded to an iPhone or iPod Touch. Courses available are sport, private, instrument, CFI, commercial, and ATP knowledge tests, as well as military competency, aviation maintenance technician, and flight engineer. See the Web site for more information.


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: Is it legal to fly an intoxicated passenger on a Part 91 flight?


Answer: Federal Aviation Regulation 91.17 (b) prohibits a pilot from transporting any passenger who appears to be intoxicated or demonstrates behavior consistent with being under the influence of drugs, except in an emergency.

Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail [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

Pilots love to take photos, and they love to share them with other pilots. Now you can upload your flying photos to our online gallery, “Air Mail.” Share your special aviation images, or view and rate more than 2,000 photos and counting. Highly rated photos will get put into rotation on the AOPA home page!



Want something to do this weekend? Planning an aviation getaway? See your personalized online calendar of events . We’ve enhanced our calendar so that with one click you can see all of the events listed in the regions you selected when personalizing ePilot . Now you can browse events listed two weeks to a few months out to make your planning easier. You can also bookmark the personalized calendar page to check it as often as you want. 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 Northbrook, Ill., Dec. 12 and 13; San Jose, Calif., Baltimore, Md., and Detroit, Mich., Jan. 9 and 10; Costa Mesa, Calif., Jackson, Miss., and Charlotte, N.C., Jan. 16 and 17; San Antonio, Texas, and Seattle, Wash., Jan. 23 and 24; Rochester, N.Y., Portland, Ore., and Sevierville, Tenn., Jan. 30 and 31. 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

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in West Palm Beach, Fla., Dec. 7; Tampa, Fla., Dec. 8; Towson, Md., Dec. 9; Mesa, Ariz., and Reno, Nev., Jan. 11; Tucson, Ariz., and Sacramento, Calif., Jan. 12; Milpitas, Calif., Jan. 13; Santa Rosa, Calif., Jan. 14; San Diego, Calif., Jan. 25; Costa Mesa, Calif., Jan. 26; Ontario, Calif., Jan. 27; Burbank, Calif., Jan. 28; Little Rock, Ark., Feb. 1. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

Got news? Contact ePilot. Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].

421 Aviation Way
Frederick, MD 21701
Tel: 800/USA-AOPA or

Copyright © 2009 AOPA.

Member Tools : Send feedback | Update member profile | Change email address | Unsubscribe | ePilot Archive

Editorial Team : ePilot Flight Training Editor : Jill Tallman | ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown | Contributor: Alton Marsh

Related Articles