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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 36AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 36

The following stories from the September 5, 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 - Other Interest
PK Floats, of Lincoln, Maine, will introduce its PK 3050A amphibious float at the 30th International Seaplane Fly-In this weekend in Greenville, Maine. The floats incorporate retractable gear in a lightweight design--installed weight is only 580 pounds, with a displacement of 3,400 pounds. The company will begin flight testing of the floats in October on a Cessna 185, with certification expected in March 2004. A special introductory price is available to those who put down a 20-percent deposit at the Greenville event, at $65,000 installed (versus a regular price of $69,500 plus installation). The float, modeled after the PK 3000, offers good rough-water handling. The floats will be offered for Cessna 180, 182, 185, and Maule M6 and M7 aircraft. For more, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
An old flight-training adage states that just because something is legal, it isn't necessarily a good idea. A pilot with high standards will recognize the difference. Such a pilot-or student pilot-should be familiar with the information contained in FAA Advisory Circular 91-36C, which "encourages pilots making VFR flights near noise-sensitive areas to fly at altitudes higher than the minimum permitted by regulation and on flight paths which will reduce aircraft noise in such areas." The advisory circular depicts a compromise solution, in lieu of new regulation, to problems of noise over "identified noise sensitive locations" such as national parks, U.S. Forest Service wilderness and primitive areas, and other locations noted in the advisory circular.

"Pilots flying above one of these areas are asked to maintain a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet above the surface. While this restriction is voluntary, pilots are asked to comply in order to limit noise and reduce potential hazards-such as bird strikes-to aircraft and those on the ground. Certain types of activities may be prohibited and mandatory flight restrictions may be imposed over some specially designated parks and wildlife areas, including Hawaii's Haleakala National Park, California's Yosemite National Park, and Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park," explains Elizabeth A. Tennyson in the February 2000 AOPA Flight Training. Overflight of special conservation areas was the subject of an August 1998 "Flying Smart" column. Affected areas are depicted on VFR aeronautical charts. Pilots can review the recommended flight procedures in Section 7-4-6 of the Aeronautical Information Manual.

Learning the intent of this advisory circular provides an opportunity to review the federal aviation regulations on minimum safe altitudes. Kathy Yodice dedicated her "Legal Briefing" column in the January 2002 AOPA Flight Training to the subject. That article and other material cited here may also help you to explain the requirements of such a navigational situation to the examiner conducting your flight test. That examiner might well be tempted to raise questions probing the depth of your cross-country planning knowledge, as Designated Pilot Examiner Dave Wilkerson relates in his July 2002 AOPA Flight Training commentary titled "Checkride: Cross-Country Testing."

Noise awareness also can come into play when you're operating at certain airports. Residents living near an airport, or under aircraft flight paths, sometimes complain-often very loudly-about aircraft noise, even if the airport was there first. These complaints can grow into calls to close the airport. "What's All the Noise About?" in the July 2003 AOPA Flight Training and "The Noise Police are Here" from the August 2001 AOPA Pilot help to explain the concept of "noise abatement," or flying in such a way as to minimize your noise "footprint" on the ground. Do not compromise safety in order to follow noise-abatement procedures, however. AOPA's Airport Support Network also provides some very useful information on how pilots can fly more quietly.

Be ready-and be a good neighbor as you pass overhead!

My ePilot - Training Products
You can turn a personal digital assistant (PDA) or pocket personal computer into an E6B with new software from King Schools. The software can be used on any PDA running Palm OS 3.5 or higher, or Pocket PC 2002. Along with standard E6B functions, it includes 21 aviation calculations-including weight and balance, density altitude, speed, distance, and holding and landing pattern entry calculations-and 18 aviation conversions. The software sells for $28.95. Order online from King Schools or call 800/854-1001.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: Why do we say "niner" on our aircraft radio, instead of just "nine"? Where does the term come from?

Answer: While our research resulted in a plethora of information on the aviation phonetic alphabet, there was very little stated about numerals. We did, however, find two sources that commented on the term "niner"-and they had two very different statements. One said that pilots say "niner" to distinguish nine from the numeral five, as those numerals could be easily confused when heard in radio transmissions. The other said that the International Civil Aviation Organization, which is the controlling agency for worldwide aviation activities, chose "niner" because "nein" (pronounced "nine") is a common German word meaning "no." By saying "niner" it would be clear that the numeral was being stated.

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