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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 25AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 25

The following stories from the June 20, 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 - Multiengine Interest
It may have two engines and sound like a twin, but it certainly doesn't fly like a multiengine airplane when one engine conks out. And that's what Adam Aircraft had intended for the centerline-thrust A500, especially if you find yourself over hostile terrain. Designed by Burt Rutan, an article about this futuristic-looking airplane in the July issue of AOPA Pilot is now available online.

My ePilot - Renters Interest
Sure, you didn't mean to ding that expensive Gulfstream V business jet with the Cessna 172 you just rented. Good thing you have renter's insurance, right? Read online an article about the ins and outs of what can be valuable protection from the July issue of AOPA Pilot.

My ePilot - Turboprop Interest
The Soloy Corporation is now offering its turboprop conversion for the new Cessna T206H/206H models. Previously, the company installed the conversion in more than 60 206G models. Under an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC), the company mates a Rolls-Royce 250-series engine with a propeller reduction gearbox. The conversion not only improves performance and lowers vibration levels, but increases the usefulness of the aircraft on the global scene because it can run on more readily available jet fuel. See the Web site.

My ePilot - Jet Interest
Bombardier's new Global 5000 "super large" business jet made its official public debut last week. The event was staged at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York. Company officials updated the press on the Global 5000's attributes-a 4,800-nm range at a Mach 0.85 cruise, a 5,000-foot balanced field length, a 51,000-foot max cruise altitude, and a $33.5 million price tag. That price is for a completed airplane and includes a Rockwell Collins cabin electronics system capable of controlling many onboard office, entertainment, and environmental functions. A head-up display and a Honeywell SPZ-2000 avionics suite grace the cockpit. First flight of the Global 5000-which fills the niche between Bombardier's 4,000-nm Challenger 604 and its 6,200-nm Global Express-was on March 7. FAA and European JAA certification is expected next year. After the event, the Global 5000-a flight-test airplane-departed for the Paris Air Show. Estimated time en route: 6.1 hours.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Who turns on the runway lights at many nontowered airports when an aircraft is approaching to land-or preparing to taxi for takeoff-during hours of darkness? The answer is: You do. You, the pilot, operate so-called pilot-controlled lighting (PCL) systems by using your communication radio on a designated frequency (usually the common traffic advisory frequency) to turn on the lights and set them to the desired intensity.

With PCL, runway and taxiway lights come on at the click of your push-to-talk switch; approach lighting systems and visual glideslope indicators may activate as well. Most systems include a timer to shut off the lights after a set period (typically 15 minutes), and there are standard methods of setting brightness. See an explanation in the April 1997 Flight Training feature "Turning on the Lights." Combine those insights with the primer on night-flight operations offered in the October 2002 AOPA Flight Training feature "The After-Hours Club."

VFR aeronautical chart symbols indicate whether lighting exists at an airport. The symbol "*L" indicates that there are limitations on the lighting (review airport symbols in Section 3 of the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide . PCL may be one of them. Refer to AOPA's Airport Directory Online or the FAA's Airport/Facilities Directory for detailed information about specific airports' lighting systems. Be sure to verify the frequency to use!

Some tips for efficient use of PCL are given in Section 5 of AOPA's Handbook for Pilots. If you are taking off or landing after another aircraft has activated the lighting system, adjust the intensity again yourself-both to select the best level for you and to ensure that the timer resets. Some instructors suggest that you reset the lights on each downwind leg during night pattern work. Nothing can be more distracting than having the lights suddenly go out on short final!

Whether you are using PCL to help locate an unfamiliar airport on a night dual cross-country, or when practicing night-flight operations at the home field, familiarize yourself with their appearance from different distances, angles, and altitudes. The different visual effects are very useful to understand, because they may differ from your expectations, as described in the February 2001 AOPA Flight Training feature "Into the Dark."

Understanding PCL adds safety to night operations. Using this excellent system skillfully takes you another step down the road toward being the complete pilot!

My ePilot - Training Products
E6B flight computer software that can be downloaded to a Palm-based personal digital assistant is now available from Sporty's Pilot Shop. Pilots can use the software to perform 19 aviation functions and 14 standard aviation conversions on their PDAs (it cannot be used during FAA exams, however). The E6B Software for PDAs works on any PDA device using Palm OS 4.0 or newer. It can be downloaded for $19.95, which includes an instruction manual. For more information, see the Web site or call 800/SPORTYS.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: What are "the bends" and how dangerous is the condition for pilots?

Answer: "The bends" is the common name for decompression sickness (DCS), often associated with scuba diving or flying, and particularly dangerous with a combination of the two activities. Basically, it's the release of an excess amount of nitrogen into the body. The air we breathe contains about 80 percent nitrogen, which is dissolved in our blood and held there by the pressure around us-air pressure if you are on the ground; water pressure if you are under water. When the surrounding pressure is reduced, either by flying to a high altitude (at 18,000 feet, sea-level pressure is halved) or by rising quickly to the water's surface (pressure doubles every 33 feet of depth), bubbles of nitrogen are released, causing pain and-in severe cases-death. Section 8-1-2 of the Aeronautical Information Manual states that "a pilot or passenger who intends to fly after scuba diving should allow the body sufficient time to rid itself of excess nitrogen absorbed during diving." You'll find more information on the bends on AOPA Online.

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