The following stories from the September 14, 2007, 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 ~
HONDA JET ENGINE ENTERS TESTING
Testing of the first demonstrator HF120 engine developed by GE Honda Aero Engines has begun in an engine cell at Honda's aircraft engine research center in Japan. Several iterations of the engine will be tested to determine which works best. Read more about the engine that is slated to power the Spectrum Aeronautical “Freedom” business jet and the HondaJet.
CITATION S/IIs TO GET WILLIAMS RETROFIT
Clifford Development of Kalamazoo, Mich., announced it is taking steps toward STC approval for re-engining Cessna Citation S/IIs with Williams FJ44-3 engines. These 3,000-lbst engines would replace the S/II’s stock, 2,500-lbst Pratt & Whitney JT15D-4B engines. Clifford’s performance calculations indicate that the FJ44s will reduce times to climb to FL430 by 75 percent, increase NBAA IFR range by 40 percent (with four passengers), and yield a 28-percent reduction in fuel costs. The installation comes with FADEC and includes winglets. The conversion is priced at $2.185 million. First flight is expected in November 2007; the STC is anticipated in early 2008.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
It may seem like a minor detail, but correctly identifying your aircraft during radio transmissions with air traffic control (ATC) is important. It affects safety.
Surprised? The Aeronautical Information Manual explains why a pilot should use full call signs, not abbreviations-and never cute variations-until ATC initiates any shortening: "Improper use of call signs can result in pilots executing a clearance intended for another aircraft. Call signs should never be abbreviated on an initial contact or at any time when other aircraft call signs have similar numbers/sounds or identical letters/number; e.g., Cessna 6132F, Cessna 1622F, Baron 123F, Cherokee 7732F, etc."
This is basic radio technique. Unfortunately, misuse is common enough to elicit such laments as this one e-mailed to AOPA ePilot: "As an air traffic controller in a VFR tower I find that many pilots use abbreviated call signs on initial call-up, and some use them for every transmission. If you check the AIM it states that call signs should only be abbreviated after a controller uses an abbreviated call sign. This is an area [in which] the majority of pilots have no clue what the proper procedure is."
Remembering what radio communications are designed to accomplish will remind you to use proper phrasing, as Chip Wright discussed in his May 2005 AOPA Flight Training article "Talking the Talk." "In your first transmission, you need to get three pieces of information across to the controller, or to other pilots if you are in a nontowered environment: who you are, who you are talking to, and where you are (and if appropriate, your intentions). When contacting ATC, your first transmission should include the full N number, after which you usually can abbreviate the call sign...." Don't assume that the abbreviation he mentions is automatically appropriate. That's ATC's decision. Their means of response will be your cue.
"The best way to learn about life on the other side of the mic is to visit an ATC facility. There you will learn what a controller wants to hear and-just as important-what he doesn't," wrote Peter A. Bedell in his November 2002 AOPA Pilot article "Battling the Babble."
Saying it right is not only good form, but is a matter of substance as well.
My ePilot - Training Product
'ROD MACHADO'S INSTRUMENT PILOT'S HANDBOOK'
Only aviation humorist and writer Rod Machado could pose the question "Who's your PAPI?" with a straight face. Machado, an AOPA Flight Training contributing editor and columnist for AOPA Pilot, has just released his latest book, Rod Machado's Instrument Pilot's Handbook. In the tradition of his other instructional manuals, which include the hugely popular Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook, the 624-page volume includes more than 1,400 illustrations and pictures. "My goal was to make learning about instrument flying fun, personal, and complete," Machado said in a press release. Among the topics he covers: aviation decision-making skills; analog and glass cockpit instruments; a step-by-step look at the planning of an actual instrument cross-country flight; and techniques and tips for flying all types of instrument approaches. The book sells for $59.95 and may be ordered from Machado's Web site or by calling 800/437-7080. The book ships October 1.
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.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: What type of flight service weather briefing should I request when deciding whether to fly?
Answer: Before every flight, pilots should gather all information vital to the nature of the flight. There are three different weather briefings to choose from: standard, abbreviated, and outlook. A standard briefing is the most complete report and provides an overall weather picture. An abbreviated briefing is a shortened version of a standard briefing and should be requested to update a previous briefing. The outlook briefing should be used when a planned departure is six or more hours away. It provides initial forecast information that is limited in scope because of the timeframe of the planned flight. The outlook briefing is a good source of information for flight planning purposes when trying to make a go/no-go decision. For more information, read the AOPA Flight Training magazine article, "The Weather Briefing: Check these elements for a good preflight decision."