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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 3AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 3

The following stories from the January 17, 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 - IFR Interest
On January 19, 2001, a commercial pilot learned a hard lesson about changes in barometric pressure when the Piper Seneca he was flying sustained substantial damage after hitting the ground during an ILS approach to Bluefield, West Virginia. Fortunately, the pilot was not hurt during the accident. Learn more about what went wrong on this flight in a report prepared exclusively for ePilot readers by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. See AOPA Online.

My ePilot - Owner Interest
The FAA has issued an AD that applies to Brackett Aircraft Company single-screen air filter assemblies. The FAA is concerned that improper installation could lead to engine/turbocharger ingestion of the air filter foam element. AD 2002-26-03 requires owners to install an additional screen, replace the assembly with a double screen filter, or replace the filter with another approved design. The AD is effective February 18 and affects an estimated 2,000 U.S.-registered airplanes. Click here to download the AD.

My ePilot - Experimental Interest
The FAA has approved the two-seat Rans S-7S Courier as a 51-percent owner-built experimental airplane. The new airplane is a derivative of the S-7, featuring aerodynamic, interior, and instrument panel refinements. Powered by a Rotax 912S, the S-7S has an 87-knot cruise speed. Rans said the airplane can be built in 500 to 1,000 hours with the standard kit while the quick-build version cuts the time in half. The airframe kit sells for $21,500. For more, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Jet Interest
Sino Swearingen Aircraft officials said the company is moving forward on the long awaited certification of its SJ30-2 business jet. The company recently passed all the FAA testing for the nose and main landing gear. "We have accomplished more in recent months than in a previous year," said CEO Carl L. Chen. The airplane was drop tested and subjected to massive forces in a number of configurations to simulate hard landings. The gear was then subjected to ultimate load testing or a 150-percent increase over the previous tests. Chen believes the gear system and fuselage support structures will provide a durable and low maintenance platform for customers.

My ePilot - Other Interest
In the small world of big dirigibles, the FAA has approved a supplemental type certificate (STC) for the installation of twin Lycoming IO-540 engines in the Skyship 600 blimp. The 300-horsepower engines offer 45 more horsepower a side than the old Porsche 930 engines they are replacing. The new propulsion system is said to enhance the airship's capability for docking and improves performance. The 197-foot blimp carries two pilots and 13 passengers and cruises at 35 knots.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
How will frost on the wings of an airplane affect takeoff performance? If the words have a familiar ring, it may be because this question is raised frequently in training texts and pilot's operating handbooks, and by your instructor during cold-weather preflight inspections. Indeed, the above question is taken verbatim from the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test. The answer is that frost "will disrupt the smooth flow of air over the wing, adversely affecting its lifting capability." This understates the fact that a frost-laden airfoil-or even just a frost-dusted one-may not provide any lift at all. Or, that lift may be disturbed so suddenly and unevenly that the pilot is taken by surprise by a sudden "departure" of the aircraft into a stall or spin.

Thus the warnings about frost are augmented by Federal Aviation Regulation 91.527 which requires that no pilot may take off an airplane that has-
(1) Frost, snow, or ice adhering to any propeller, windshield, or powerplant installation or to an airspeed, altimeter, rate of climb, or flight attitude instrument system;
(2) Snow or ice adhering to the wings or stabilizing or control surfaces; or
(3) Any frost adhering to the wings or stabilizing or control surfaces, unless that frost has been polished to make it smooth.

Numerous accidents have been attributed to pilots underestimating the effects of small frost accumulations. (See the "Accident Analysis" column in the December 2000 AOPA Flight Training). Author Jack Williams provides a vivid illustration of the risks in the November 2002 AOPA Flight Training article, "Dangers of Frozen Precipitation," noting that "researchers have found that as little as 0.8 millimeters of frost on a wing-a little more than a hundredth of an inch-can reduce lift by 25 percent as well as increase drag." ( Click here to read the article in its entirety.)

Know someone who flew with frost and encountered no difficulties? That merely testifies to the unpredictability of the stuff. An AOPA Air Safety Foundation article, "The Winds of Winter: When Flying is Worth the Effort," offers an example of how a pilot who thought he had frost figured out found out otherwise, while reminding readers that winter flying-when done right-can be one of aviation's true pleasures. ASF's Aircraft Icing Safety Advisor is an excellent source of information about frost and other frozen contaminants; click here to download a copy.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Now that the federal aviation regulations require all pilots to carry a photo ID when flying, a new wallet from Sporty's Pilot Shop makes it easy to keep your documents together. The AOPA Wallet can accommodate a pilot certificate, medical, and driver's license. A three-pocket insert can be removed easily to present to the FAA, security officers, or FBO personnel. The leather wallet features the gold AOPA wings logo on the inside and is available for $79.95. A Ramp Pass insert may be purchased separately for $24.95. For more information, see the Web site or call 800/SPORTYS.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: I'm a CFI and worried about possible FAA enforcement actions that may be a result of instructor endorsements that I give. Is there a source of recommended FAA instructor endorsements? I'm particularly interested in the wording for student solo in Class B airspace.

Answer: You can find the recommended instructor endorsements in Appendix A of Advisory Circular 61-65D, "Certification: Pilots and Flight and Ground Instructors." ( Click here to download a copy.) The specific wording that you are looking for is as follows: "I certify that (Name of Student) has received the required training of 14 CFR 61.95(a). I have determined he/she is proficient to conduct solo flight in (Name of Class B) airspace." Any applicable limitations or conditions, the date of the endorsement, the CFI's signature, and the CFI's certificate number and expiration date should follow the endorsement. For more information on enforcement actions resulting from CFI endorsements, see Kathy Yodice's "Legal Briefing: CFI Solo Endorsements" in the February AOPA Flight Training. In the event of an enforcement action, legal assistance may be available to AOPA members who are enrolled in the AOPA Legal Services Plan.

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