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The following stories from the January 23, 2009, 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.

piston-single interest

- My ePilot-- Piston-single Interest -

Hartzell certifies composite prop hub

Hartzell Propeller Inc. has earned a type certificate for a new, lightweight composite-construction propeller hub. The first such hub was delivered to Cirrus Aircraft, for use with Hartzell's ASC-II composite propeller blades. It will be installed in Cirrus SR22s. The composite hub weighs four pounds less than the hubs previously used, and the blades save another 12 pounds over the earlier aluminum prop blades. Read more >>

Instrument interest

- My ePilot -- Instrument Interest -

Aspen awarded European certification

Aspen Avionics received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval of its Evolution Flight Display 1000 Pilot and Pro models, the company said this week. The EFD1000 is Aspen's retrofit primary flight display that has been available in the United States since early last year. Read more >>

Europe OKs Avidyne MLX770 in pressurized aircraft

Avidyne Corporation announced that its new MLX770 datalink transceiver has earned European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval for installation in pressurized aircraft. The MLX770 was previously EASA-certified in unpressurized metal and composite aircraft. Read more >>


‘Falling behind’ the aircraft

After you’ve been tested beyond your limits by a challenging training flight, your CFI might comment, “You were falling behind the aircraft.” This old saying paints a vivid picture of the demands of flying.


Now, examine in more detail just what happened on your flight. Do you understand when and why you lost your ability to keep pace with the evolving situation? Perhaps you got behind when landing at an unfamiliar airport, while executing a go-around, or when practicing flight solely by reference to instruments. Was there a distraction? Were you unprepared for the lesson? Just forgetting to think ahead can thwart pilot response to a developing situation such as a teeming traffic pattern or a tricky crosswind.


Hesitating to deal with one of many required tasks in a fast-moving situation causes many student pilots to fall behind during practice of maneuvers. A common example is mistiming the rollout from a steep turn onto an assigned heading. (See the May 9, 2008 “Training Tip: Learning to lead.”


You can be in control of your aircraft and still fall behind the big picture, such as weather. “Do you understand when forecasts are likely to be the most accurate—and the most iffy? Being able to answer yes means you're a savvier pilot—one who can think ahead of the weather,” Thomas A. Horne wrote in the April 2003 AOPA Pilot column “ Wx Watch: Eyes Wide Open.”


Rod Machado offers a simple teaching technique for instructors and their students working on developing the mental muscle to think ahead in flight. “When the time is right I reach over, tap them on the shoulder, and ask, ‘What are the next two things?’ I expect them to tell me the next two things that must be done to successfully accomplish whatever aviation task is at hand,” he said. See his full discussion in this “Instructor Report” on AOPA Flight Training Online.


A terrific sign that you are making progress toward completing your training is when your CFI compliments you on a job well done and says, “You stayed ahead of the airplane.”


Sporty’s 100 LED flashlight

If you are performing your preflight at night, you need all the help you can get to make sure you see everything that you need to see. A new flashlight from Sporty’s offers a beam composed of 100 light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The flashlight has a non-slip handle and is shock proof and water resistant. It is seven inches long and uses four AA batteries. The flashlight sells for $39.95. To order, see the Web site or call 800/SPORTYS.

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: If I do all of my private pilot training in a tailwheel aircraft, do I still need the tailwheel endorsement before I can solo in a tailwheel airplane?


Answer: A student pilot needs a lot of endorsements in order to complete his or her initial solo flight. The required endorsements include the presolo aeronautical knowledge, presolo flight training, and the actual solo endorsement. And yes, if you plan to complete your solo in a tailwheel airplane, you will also need a tailwheel endorsement. For some additional insight, see this Flight Training magazine article on the pros and cons of training in a taildragger.


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.

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