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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 26AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 26

The following stories from the June 27, 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 Interest
One year ago this week, a commercial pilot learned a valuable lesson about the need for a thorough preflight when his Cessna 172 suffered an engine failure and hit power lines on descent. Both the pilot and his passenger were seriously injured. Click here to read about what went wrong in this report prepared by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation exclusively for ePilot readers.

My ePilot - Piston Multiengine Interest
Hartzell Propeller is now offering a two-blade prop as a replacement option on Beechcraft Baron 55s with Continental IO-470-L engines. Hartzell said the props feature a lower acquisition cost than a three-blade conversion and don't have the maintenance problems experienced by older propellers with threaded designs. Each prop is 78 inches in diameter and weighs 71 pounds. The standard kit sells for $17,250; an alcohol anti-ice model is $18,500. See the Hartzell Web site.

My ePilot - Jet Interest
Bombardier Aerospace has received FAA type certification for the Challenger 300 business jet, just five days after earning similar certification in Canada. The jet features a top speed of Mach 0.82, a range of 3,100 nautical miles, and a maximum takeoff weight of 38,500 pounds.

My ePilot - Professional Pilot Interest
Pilot hiring levels held their ground for the month of May as 372 new pilots were hired throughout the airline industry, according to data compiled by AIR, Inc. The most active segment of the industry was jet operators, which hired 108 pilots. Through the end of May some 2,108 pilots have been hired, and AIR, Inc. President Kit Darby projects that the industry will hire approximately 5,000 to 6,000 pilots in 2003. Meanwhile, the total number of pilots on furlough as of June 5 increased to 8,895 out of 94,571 active airline pilots, up from 8,655 as of April 30. The airlines are dealing with a soft travel market and the continued impact of the postwar period and the SARS virus, Darby said.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
You taxi onto the ramp at an airport you have never visited before. A member of the line crew has flagged your attention and is gesticulating in a manner that appears designed to steer you toward a particular location for parking. With his left hand he is pointing toward the ground, and with his right hand he is making a waving motion. This aeronautical sign language will not be a mystery if your cross-country flying has been preceded by studying Section 4-3-25 of the Aeronautical Information Manual on the hand signals used by line crews. (See also the April 19, 2002, edition of this newsletter for a question-and-answer exchange in "Final Exam" on linemen's hand signals.)

Now the lineman is holding both hands high, palms facing away from you, and motioning with them (translation: come forward); then the waving ends and his arms have been crossed (stop). He signals "cut." You shut down the engine, and he chocks your wheels. He takes your fuel order and points the way to a telephone, rest stop, or the airport café, grateful that you are one of those pilots who comprehends rampspeak-and did not jeopardize his safety while he stood in front of your whirling propeller and guided you to the proper tiedown spot.

Line crews are the essential supporting cast in the aviation world. Unfortunately, pilots often take their presence for granted. The fact is that frequently, these hard-working souls are pilots-in-waiting enduring risk, cold or blazing sun, low pay, and long hours just for the privilege of being near the airplanes they love. It is a rite of passage that more pilots should experience, and it is a rare opportunity for learning, as described in the June 1993 AOPA Pilot feature "Rites of the Ramp."

On occasion, a line crewmember's efforts are rewarded beyond expectations. See "Lineman with passion to fly wins scholarship," in the Training News and Notes section of the May 2002 AOPA Flight Training. Then share the insights reflected on by AOPA Pilot Editor-in-Chief Thomas B. Haines in his July 1998 "Waypoints" column titled "Show a Little Courtesy."

Aviation is a community. Treat its other members with the respect and consideration that they deserve!

My ePilot - Training Products
A twist on the LED flashlight is Petzl's Zipka headlamp. Pilots may recognize the style as one long used by mountain climbers and other outdoor enthusiasts for hands-free illumination. This product adapts well to cockpit use in the event of an electrical failure or any time when additional light is required, such as during night flights. The three LED lamps illuminate an instrument-panel-sized area, with the brightest core of light about the same width as an approach chart at two feet. The white bulbs can be modified with a red or green filter. The Zipka weighs just less than 3 ounces and is powered by three AAA batteries. The price is $26.95. For more information or to order, see the AvShop Web site or call 800/805-9415.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: What is relative wind?

Answer: Relative wind is created by an object's motion. Think about riding a bicycle. The breeze you feel on your face is the relative wind-it is a result of the motion of you and the bicycle. Even on a breezy day when you have the wind at your back, you still feel the relative wind blowing on your face. An airplane's forward motion in flight causes wind to flow over the wing. This is relative wind. It is equal to and opposite of the motion of the airplane. However, the airplane's nose does not always point in the same direction as the airplane's movement. You can fly a straight-and-level flight path with varying angles of attack. The relative wind is, in this case, straight and level (in the direction opposite of your motion), even though the nose may point higher and higher in the sky. And think about this: if you're caught in a strong downdraft, you are descending even though the nose is not pointed down, so the relative wind is coming from beneath you! Read more information on this subject in "A Word on Wind: It's All Relative" on AOPA Online.

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