The following stories from the January 24, 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 AIRPLANE REAR-ENDS CAR
Here's one for the department of close calls. Pilot Scott Bloom was flying a Cessna 172 on January 14 near Gig Harbor, Washington, when he was forced to rethink his plans. A few minutes after he and his two passengers picked up fuel at Tacoma Narrows Airport, the engine started running extremely rough in instrument meteorological conditions. Bloom told ePilot
that he declared an emergency and received radar vectors to the ILS, but he couldn't maintain altitude. He broke out of the clouds at about 700 feet agl over wooded and hilly terrain, a few miles from the runway. "There was one road to land on. So I went for it. It was mostly empty," he said. Things were looking good for the Cessna until a Lexus pulled out in front of it; Bloom rear-ended the surprised driver. Luckily, there were no injuries, but the Cessna suffered substantial damage from the collision. My ePilot - Jet Interest CITATION SOVEREIGN OFFERS SPEED IMPROVEMENT
The Cessna Citation Sovereign will perform better than expected. Cessna officials said the jet will be able to operate with a higher maximum operating Mach (Mmo) speed-going from Mach 0.78 to 0.80-than previously announced. Cessna engineers said they believed that the jet would be able to operate at higher speeds with the Sovereign's new wing design, but they needed to verify the data with flight tests before going public. FAA certification is planned by fourth quarter of this year. My ePilot - Piston Multiengine Interest FAA ISSUES SAIB ON TWIN CESSNA RUDDER GUST LOCKS
The FAA last week published a special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) advising owners to inspect rudder gust locks installed on various Cessna 402C, 414A, and 421C twin-engine airplanes for proper condition and function. The action comes in response to a report of a damaged rudder gust lock causing control surface jamming shortly after takeoff in a 402C. The SAIB also advises owners to follow the manufacturer's prescribed procedures for disengaging the gust lock, and to perform standard preflight procedures to verify freedom of elevator and rudder movement prior to takeoff. Last May, AOPA, the Cessna Pilots Association, and the Twin Cessna Flyer submitted comments to the FAA recommending an SAIB in response to this concern. My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips STAYING CLEAR OF THE WAKE
Student pilots training at busy airports quickly learn that wake turbulence is more than just a theory presented in training texts-it is a fact of daily aeronautical life. Always balancing the need to help expedite the flow of traffic with the absolute necessity to stay clear of wingtip vortices-the so-called horizontal tornadoes that can upset a smaller aircraft passing through them-general aviation pilots capably shoulder a big safety responsibility, day in and day out. See all the phenomena designated as wake turbulence in the Pilot/Controller Glossary
of the Aeronautical Information Manual
"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 August 2002 AOPA Flight Training
An extensive discussion of wake turbulence and avoidance techniques when flying or taxiing close to larger aircraft can be found in Chapter 7, Section 3
of the AIM. Note that it is necessary to consider the effect of wind on vortices when attempting to project their movement away from your takeoff or landing zone. The AIM points out that "a crosswind will decrease the lateral movement of the upwind vortex and increase the movement of the downwind vortex."
Familiarizing yourself with this discussion will not only make you a safer, more aware pilot, but it will also serve as the foundation of your knowledge when your examiner initiates a wake-turbulence discussion on your private pilot flight test. ( Click here
to see Dave Wilkerson's "Training Topics" column in the January 2001 AOPA Flight Training
for insights into what examiners like to see and hear from flight-test applicants concerning wake turbulence.) Then learn from the experience of a student pilot who, while on a solo cross-country, was confronted with a sudden change of arrival instructions and encountered wake turbulence in the ensuing attempt to comply. ( Click here
to read the "Learning Experiences" article by Ray Davids in the June 2001 AOPA Flight Training
Remember that as pilot in command of your aircraft, you may decline instructions, or increase wake-turbulence holding intervals, if you feel uncomfortable landing or taking off behind another aircraft. Apply the techniques recommended and you can fly safely into or out of any airport. My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products DIAGRAMS OFFERED FOR GROUND REFERENCE MANEUVERS
When it's time to tame ground reference maneuvers, pictures often speak louder than words. A new product from Flight Training Solutions, LLC, is aimed at helping CFIs teach S-turns, turns around a point, and basic traffic patterns. The Ground Reference Illustrator is a preprinted template that lets flight instructors prepare professional-looking diagrams of these sometimes-daunting exercises. The diagrams, 50 pages to a pad, include space for notes in the margins and on the back of each page. The Illustrator is sold in five-pad packages and is available in two versions: custom (printed with the name of your flight school or FBO on each page) costs $27.95 and basic is $24.95. To order, contact Flight Training Solutions, LLC, 5615 Steeplechase Drive, Waunakee, Wisconsin 53597; 608/850-5396. My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam Question:
As I get ready to begin my cross-county flights for my private pilot certificate, are there any fuel requirements that I need to be aware of? Answer:
Yes, there are fuel requirements, and in your specific instance, since you are working on your private pilot certificate, you would be required to comply with 14 CFR 91.151, "Fuel requirements for flight in VFR conditions." This regulation states that: (a) No person may begin a flight in an airplane under VFR conditions unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming normal cruising speed-
(1) During the day, to fly after that for at least 30 minutes; or
(2) At night, to fly after that for at least 45 minutes.
For more information on fuel and fuel management, you may be interested in reading the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Fuel Awareness Safety Advisor
( click here to download
) and "Fueling Up"
from the December 1999 AOPA Flight Training