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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 49AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 49

The following stories from the December 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 - Turboprop Interest
Honeywell has received FAA certification for its TPE331-12JR turboprop engine. It's intended to be a replacement option for the Cessna 208 Caravan series of aircraft. Honeywell said the engine offers owners improved payload range, lower fuel burn and operating costs, and improved ice protection.

My ePilot - Experimental Interest
If you fly a Lancair or other high-performance aircraft, High Performance Aircraft Training Inc. has announced its annual recurrency training for January 17 and 18 in Sebring, Florida. Topics include weather planning, IFR operations, GPS navigation, accident avoidance, weight and balance, and performance issues. For more information, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Pilots make many estimates during flight. Some (ground speed, time to destination) can be calculated with very precise results. Others (landing distance required, fuel burn) depend on technique or whether aircraft performance matches published values. One of the most important estimates is made without a manual or calculations to help: in-flight visibility. If the visibility is lower than forecast, or threatening to become marginal for visual flight rules requirements, it is time to update your weather information and reconsider your plans.

How do you know if your estimate is accurate? Practice estimating visibility with your flight instructor. Compare your estimates with surface reports and pilot reports. Ground-based weather observers estimate visibility as explained in Section 7-1-18 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. With some modifications, the same basic method of comparing how far you can see to whether you can see a checkpoint at a known distance can be used in flight. Even GPS can help you to judge visibility, as explained in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online SkySpotter program. SkySpotter is explained in the May 2002 AOPA Flight Training by Kathleen Roy. There is also a rule of thumb given in some training texts known as the "cockpit cutoff angle." It states that the visibility (in miles) approximately equals the thousands of feet you are flying above ground level if the ground is just visible over the aircraft's nose.

Being able to judge such distances will be important in helping you not exceed your personal minimums as set by you and your instructor. Setting those minimums is a simple task that could protect you from an unexpected encounter with instrument meteorological conditions, as discussed in "The Oldest Trap in the Book" in the August 2002 AOPA Flight Training. And, as Mark Twombly explains in his December 2000 "Continuing Ed" column, "setting personal limits can be as easy as listing maximums and minimums on a sheet of paper."

Learning how to estimate visibility is one of 15 tasks that instructors should teach students before solo-you can see the complete list in the March 2000 AOPA Flight Training. It is also a simple way to help ensure that any flight stays safe and fun.

My ePilot - Training Products
Experience a flight in the Concorde from a pilot's point of view in a new DVD from Sporty's Pilot Shop. How They Flew the Concorde chronicles a trip from New York to London in what was until its recent retirement the world's fastest and highest-flying commercial airliner. The supersonic carrier made its final trek in October after British Airways conceded that, even at $8,000 a ticket, the transatlantic service could not be profitable. The 75-minute DVD sells for $19.95 and may be ordered online or by calling 800/SPORTYS.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: I've lost my medical certificate. How do I get a duplicate copy?

Answer: To obtain a duplicate medical certificate, fill out an Application for Replacement of Lost or Destroyed Airman Certificate(s) and Written Test Results, which has a section to request replacement of a medical certificate. Click here to download the form from AOPA Online. Mail the form along with a check or money order for $2 to the Federal Aviation Administration, Cashier, AVN-455, P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125-4939.

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