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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 31AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 31

The following stories from the August 1, 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 - Turboprop Interest
A fast turboprop, designed with an eye on future certification, is in development by Las Vegas Aircraft Resources. Called the Epic LT, it is intended to fly at 350 knots with a 1,110-pound payload and will most likely be powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT67A engine. The single-engine pressurized carbon fiber aircraft, expected to cost $1.2 million when fully completed, could cruise at 31,000 feet carrying six passengers. It is hoped to be flying by mid-2004. Research is guided by a group of former Lancair engineers. See the Web site.

My ePilot - Other Interest
Capewell Components, manufacturer of parachute parts, has issued a mandatory service bulletin regarding ripcord pins. Capewell has received reports of four pins breaking under low force. The company is conducting an ongoing investigation. The bulletin affects military and aerobatic pilots, skydivers, and anyone who uses chutes for emergencies. Click here to download the document for complete information.

My ePilot - Own/May Own Interest
Cessna is now offering a factory authorized program through which owners of Cessna propeller-driven aircraft and owners of non-Cessna products can have their illuminated panels repaired and refurbished at a reduced cost. Cessna says that owners can save 75 percent by repairing rather than replacing the panels. The work can be done at any factory authorized Cessna Service Station. For a list of facilities, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Skillful flying is marked by using a runway, or passing through airspace, that your mind has already examined and deemed acceptable for use. That is, you visualized the situation ahead and determined that it was safe to proceed. Had you determined otherwise, you would be flying in a different direction or looking for a place to land. This is also known as "situational awareness," and it covers every aspect of flying, from digesting preflight briefing data-as in Karen M. Kahn's feature "Weather or Not" in the November 2002 AOPA Flight Training to knowing how to enter the traffic pattern at your destination airport. Robert N. Rossier breaks down this concept into individual components in his feature, "Situational Awareness," in the November 1997 issue of Flight Training.

A good example of visualization is knowing how to avoid wake turbulence, as was described in the January 24, 2003, Training Tips article "Staying Clear of the Wake." "The key to avoiding the wake turbulence from another airplane is to visualize what the vortices are doing and stay out of their way," writes Jack Williams in "The Weather Never Sleeps" in the August 2002 AOPA Flight Training.

Visualization is also the key to successfully performing such advanced maneuvers as the routines flown by airshow pilots. That's part of a training technique known as "imagined rehearsal." How to apply this concept to primary flight training is explained by AOPA Flight Training columnist Rod Machado in the June 2000 "Instructor Report."

A pilot's role in accident prevention is largely dependent on situational awareness. Before accepting a clearance to taxi on a runway, take off, or land, be sure that it squares with your understanding of the situation. See the "Accident Analysis" column in the October 2002 AOPA Flight Training for examples of pitfalls to avoid.

Learn from one new pilot's situational misadventures on arriving in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as he recounts in "Learning Experiences" in the March 2003 AOPA Flight Training. Then stay safe by never operating an aircraft on the ground or in airspace that you haven't already visited through visualization!

My ePilot - Training Products
Elite Simulation Solutions is unveiling a series of add-ons to be used with its Elite IFR simulation software that let the user practice flying instrument approaches in an air traffic control environment. "Instrument Approach Scenarios" utilize interactive scenarios that are driven by the voices of air traffic controllers who pitch a variety of approaches-holds, missed approaches, and full approaches with procedure turns, among others-to the pilot. The program also lets the pilot acknowledge specific ATC requests when necessary. You can have a virtual flight instructor in the cockpit with you to provide tips or handle the radios. Regional packages for Southern California ($49), Wisconsin/Illinois ($79.95-requires v7.05), and Florida are available. For more information, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: One of the requirements for a commercial pilot certificate is a long solo cross-country trip of 300 nm. I don't see solo defined in the federal aviation regulations. Can I take a nonpilot passenger along with me on the trip or do I really have to be solo?

Answer: FAR 61.51 (d) defines "solo" as "that flight time when the pilot is the sole occupant of the aircraft." So, you cannot have anyone with you while completing the solo cross-country required for the commercial certificate.

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