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The following stories from the March 20, 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.

- My ePilot-- Piston-single Interest -

Xerion adds new models to AuRACLE approved list

Xerion Avionix said this week it has received additional supplemental type certificate approvals for the AuRACLE electronic engine management system for four- and six-cylinder Mooney, Grumman, Rockwell Commander, Socata, and Extra Aircraft. Read more >>

- My ePilot-- Turbine Interest -

Sierra Super II XR goes to Europe

Sierra Industries of Uvalde, Texas, has delivered its first Super II XR-modified Cessna Citation IIs to Europe. Patrick and Paul Tiba of France’s Airlec Air Espace took delivery of the airplane for use as a state-of-the-art air ambulance. The airplane is fitted out with twin stretchers and Sierra’s 36-inch-wide door mod, plus Sierra’s extended-range fuel cells and dual LifePort patient handling and medevac systems. Read more >>


Read the question!

A sample question on the Private Pilot Knowledge Test asks:


“Under what conditions may an aircraft operate from a satellite airport within Class C airspace?

  1. The pilot must file a flight plan prior to departure.
  2. The pilot must monitor ATC until clear of the Class C airspace.
  3. The pilot must contact ATC as soon as practicable after takeoff.”

Which did you choose? Flying into Class C airspace is straightforward: Your aircraft must be equipped with an altitude-encoding transponder and a two-way radio. You must establish communication with air traffic control before entering. Flying from isn’t always so simple—which the knowledge test question highlights. The pivotal word in the question is “satellite.” Looking up the applicable Federal Aviation Regulation, here is what you find:


“Departing flight. Each person—

  1. From the primary airport or satellite airport with an operating control tower must establish and maintain two-way radio communications with the control tower, and thereafter as instructed by ATC while operating in the Class C airspace area; or
  2. From a satellite airport without an operating control tower, must establish and maintain two-way radio communications with the ATC facility having jurisdiction over the Class C airspace area as soon as practicable after departing.”

The first section does not apply; in that case the pilot is in contact with ATC before takeoff. The second part gives the pilot leeway to depart a nontowered satellite airport and contact ATC “as soon as practicable after departing.” Answers A and B can be eliminated because (a) there is no flight plan requirement, and (b) monitoring ATC is insufficient to satisfy the airspace’s mandatory two-way communication requirement, discussed in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Safety Advisor Airspace For Everyone . Seeing precise regulatory language such as “as soon as practicable” is a frequent clue to a correct answer on a test question. But you may still encounter gray zones in your understanding. Kathy Yodice discussed an example in “ Departing nontowered airports” on the AOPA Flight Training Web site. That’s why studying thoroughly, then reading questions carefully and eliminating false leads helps to boost your knowledge test score.


SKWOOSH seat cushion from Marv Golden

Once you get out of the pattern and start your cross-country training, you’ll realize the utility of a general aviation airplane. Depending on where you go, you could spend hours in the cockpit. The SKWOOSH seat cushion was designed for flight personnel to prevent numbness in the legs and bottom. The cushion folds to fit in a flight case for compact storage. It weighs 8 ounces, and when unfolded measures 15 inches by 10-1/2 inches by 1 inch. The seat sells for $39.99 from Marv Golden Pilot Supplies.

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: I started my flight training in 1975 but never finished it. I have just decided to start training again and am wondering if AOPA has any resources to help get me up to speed?


Answer: AOPA has a subject report, Getting Back into Flying , to get you back in the air. It includes information on obtaining your airman medical, finding a flight instructor, recent flight experience, preparing for a flight review, a summary of regulatory changes year by year, and much more. You may also want to explore the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s free online interactive courses. These hour-long presentations cover various topics and bring you up to date on the latest technologies, regulations, and procedures.


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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