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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 11AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 11

The following stories from the March 14, 2003, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information customized to their areas of interest by updating their member record file online.

My ePilot - Piston Single Engine Interest
The FAA has proposed an AD for Socata and Rallye aircraft to prevent failure of the seatbelt systems. The proposal involves Socata TB models 9, 10, 20, 21, 200, and TBM 700, and Rallye 100S, 150T, 150ST, 235E, and 235C airplanes. The FAA is concerned about potential injuries during landing and turbulence. The proposed AD would affect more than 600 U.S.-registered aircraft. The comment deadline is April 29. Click here to download the full text.

My ePilot - Jet Interest
Bombardier Aerospace test pilots have completed the first flight of the new Global 5000 (so named because it has a 5,000-nm range), a shorter-range version of the Global Express. Its fuselage is 32 inches shorter than the Express's. The big change with the aircraft is in the cabin, where entertainment and management systems have been improved. It carries eight passengers and a crew of three. The $32.95 million jet is scheduled to be certified in early 2004, with deliveries taking place at the end of that year. It was tested to 45,000 feet during the flight in the Toronto area, but will be certified to 51,000 feet. The aircraft achieved a speed of 340 KIAS.

My ePilot - Experimental Interest
After another 10 kits have been manufactured, SkyStar Aircraft Corporation, located in Caldwell, Idaho, plans to end production of the Kitfox Lite 2 ultralight trainer that the company introduced three years ago. "We know that the ultralight trainers, as they are presently defined, will be eliminated by the sport pilot rule and that a kit specifically packaged for ultralight training may be at the end of its market opportunity," said SkyStar President Ed Downs. Models of the ultralight now flying will be allowed under existing rules to operate as ultralight trainers for another two years.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
It is a cold, clear winter day with some cross-country flying on your agenda. The weather forecast is acceptable: unrestricted visibility, surface wind within your limits, winds aloft in the 20-knot range at the altitudes you expect to fly. The briefing did turn up one unusual item: an observation included in a pilot report ( click here to see the August 2002 "Training Tips" discussion of pireps). A pilot flying near your destination reported a single "ACSL" visible to the northwest. Is that relevant to your plans? Why did someone feel the need to issue a pilot report on one solitary cloud?

"ACSL" is a National Weather Service abbreviation for a cloud type known as "altocumulus standing lenticular clouds." They may indicate the presence of a mountain wave and related severe or extreme turbulence (click here to read about mountain waves in Section 7-5-5 of the Aeronautical Information Manual.

It is not necessary to be flying in the vicinity of mountains to encounter this phenomenon caused by "stable" air flowing strongly (40 kt or more) over peaks. See Jack Williams' column "The Weather Never Sleeps" in the March 2003 AOPA Flight Training for a discussion of conditions associated with atmospheric stability or instability. And don't be lulled into thinking that mountain waves only concern pilots flying in the western states. "I've seen satellite imagery that shows parallel lines of lenticular and other cloud streets that extend from the Appalachians all the way to the Atlantic Coast. Think of it: up to 300 miles' worth of miserable turbulence," writes Thomas A. Horne in "Appalachian Weathermakers" in the May 2002 AOPA Pilot. He adds, "When you consider all the airports, airways, and population centers east of the Appalachians, plus all the fronts that move across this terrain, then you get a good idea of how often mountain-induced turbulence and wave action affect flights along the East Coast."

Any pilot, then, should be familiar with the ideas and pilot techniques given in the collection of articles available online in AOPA's A Pilot's Guide to Mountain Flying . Turn that knowledge to practical use as embodied in the mountain-flying checklist in AOPA's Handbook for Pilots. Then be ready for mountain wave conditions, even if your flying takes you nowhere near the mountains!

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
The latest in the "Ground Studies for Pilots" series of texts from Iowa State Press focuses on aviation meteorology. Intended for pilots who are prepping for commercial or airline transport pilot exams, the text explains all aspects of aviation meteorology that affect pilot decision-making and aircraft performance. The goal is to help students recognize and counter weather influences to ensure the safety of passengers and aircraft. Ground Studies for Pilots: Meteorology is written by R.B. Underdown and John Standen and is priced at $49.99. For more information or to order, visit the Web site or call 800/862-6657.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: Where can I find the location of a VOR receiver checkpoint?

Answer: An FAA VOR test facility (VOT) transmits a test signal that provides users a convenient means to determine the operational status and accuracy of a VOR receiver. Checkpoints consist of certified radials that should be received at specific points on the airport surface or over specific landmarks while airborne in the immediate vicinity of an airport. Information on how to conduct a VOR receiver check is provided in Section 1-1-4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. Locations of VOR test facilities are given in Airport/Facility Directories. Ground and airborne checkpoints are listed by state and airport. Other options for performing a VOR equipment check are listed in FAR 91.171.

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