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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 23AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 23

The following stories from the June 6, 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
A lack of recent experience coupled with bad weather can prove deadly, even if your logbook says you are current. On June 3, 2001, a Cessna T210G pilot and his two passengers demonstrated this when they crashed into the peak of Rabbit Mountain in Longmont, Colorado. Read more about this accident in a special report prepared by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation exclusively for ePilot readers.

My ePilot - Piston Multiengine Interest
The FAA has proposed an airworthiness directive for certain Piper airplanes that would require owners to inspect the rudder torque tube and associated ribs for corrosion and replace the rib/rudder torque tube assembly if necessary. Proposed AD 2003-CE-03-AD applies to Piper models PA-31, PA-31-300, PA-31-325, PA-31-350, PA-31P, PA-31T, PA-31T1, PA-31T2, PA-31T3, and PA-31P-350 airplanes. The FAA is concerned about the loss of rudder control. The comment period ends August 11. See AOPA Online for the full text.

The FAA has adopted a new AD for certain Piper twins designed to prevent fire or explosion in the cockpit. AD 2003-11-14 applies to Piper models PA-34-200T, PA-34-220T, PA-44-180, and PA-44-180T that have had model 91E92-1 or 91E93-1 combustion heater fuel pumps installed. The AD requires owners to make a one-time inspection of the pumps for leakage, and if leakage is found, repair or replace the fuel pumps. The AD is effective June 20. See AOPA Online for the full text.

My ePilot - Other Interest
Crazy about helicopters? Look for an upcoming story in the July issue of AOPA Pilot about the past, present, and future of Bell helicopters-the Bell 47, 407, and 609 Tiltrotor. A sidebar story talks about modern helicopter pilot training and the use of night vision goggles. The magazine mails June 16.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
This is a time of year when student pilots see how much activity the world of flight has to offer, and meet new friends who are at similar stages of their own training. From fly-ins and seminars to first solos and flying to new cross-country destinations, general aviation shines in spring and summer.

Aside from the social benefits of meeting your peers, there are educational advantages as well. It is reassuring to know that the challenges you face during training have been successfully confronted by others. Learning how someone else overcame a training obstacle could present you with a solution. Meeting fellow student pilots might also provide you with an opportunity to ride along as an observer and watch during a dual instructional flight, as suggested in the March 1998 AOPA Flight Training article "Park and Ride" and the May 24, 2002, "Training Tips" article titled "Backseat Driver."

Remember that even while riding in the backseat, you can contribute to the safety of the flight as an extra set of eyes. To review effective scanning and collision avoidance techniques, read the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Collision Avoidance Safety Advisor ( click here to download).

Studies support the common-sense notion that peer groups, or "networking," can create a supportive training environment, whether you are training at a big school or at the local airport. Women pilots-still a small percentage of all pilots-may find this to be of special significance, writes Julie K. Boatman in "Staying the Course," in the June 2002 AOPA Flight Training.

"Students should find support groups, whether established formally on campus, or derived from study groups for a given class. If you are a student, look at the classes ahead of yours for a mentor, or among graduates of your program-particularly if you know someone in your chosen career. Female student pilots learning to fly outside the university environment can adapt this concept by networking with other female students-and certificated pilots-at their flight school or FBO," she writes.

It's even possible that your peer group could come from your own family, as related in Mary Sue Musser's letter in the November 2002 AOPA Flight Training. In it she describes how her husband's return to aviation provided her, as she approached age 67, with "a new lease on life"-by learning to fly.

My ePilot - Training Products
A multifunction Flight Timer designed for pilots of all experience levels is now available from Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc. The ASA Flight Timer offers multiple timer functions, count-up and count-down capabilities, an elapsed trip timer, and a digital notepad for squawk codes or frequencies. The timer can be used to calculate time to the next waypoint, fuel tank changes, turns when holding, or an instrument approach, ASA says. Pilots can set and store up to 12 separate approaches or time three events simultaneously using a push-and-rotate dial located on the Flight Timer's face. It has several mounting options. The timer sells for $49.95. For more information, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: It's summer and our local AWOS has started reporting density altitude. I know this means poorer aircraft performance, but what can I do to mitigate its effect?

Answer: Here are three common-sense tips: Fly early, as performance is generally better in the morning when the temperature is cooler than it will be in the afternoon. Also, fly light--if the density altitude is high and your strip is short, don't take on full fuel; land and fill up at a nearby airport with a long runway. Finally, fly lean-for density altitudes above 3,000 feet, lean the mixture to peak rpm before takeoff. Be sure to follow the engine manufacturer's recommendations for leaning. Lots of additional information is available in Density Altitude , AOPA's subject report on the topic. If you fly in the mountains, also check out A Pilot's Guide to Mountain Flying, an AOPA publication full of tips and techniques for safe mountain flying operations.

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