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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 50AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 50

The following stories from the December 12, 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 - Jet Interest
Gulfstream Aerospace is on a roll. The company has received FAA type certification for its large-cabin, long-range G500 business jet. It joins its sister ship, the G550, which was certified a few months ago. Gulfstream officials said the newest jet is on track for first customer deliveries early next year. A little more than a year ago, the company renamed four of its jets and introduced three new models.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Groundspeed-the rate of the airplane's in-flight progress over the ground-is a fundamental aeronautical concept. But not every student pilot understands this right away. Sometimes the sticking point is the realization that while an airplane moves "through" the air, it also moves "with" the air mass in which it flies.

Chapter 14 of the FAA's Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, which you can download from AOPA Online, helps clarify: In a 25-knot wind from the north, "any inert object free from contact with the earth will be carried 25 nautical miles southward in one hour." Now imagine an airplane flying in that air mass: Its position after an hour results "from a combination of these two motions: the movement of the air mass with reference to the ground, and the forward movement of the airplane through the air mass."

AOPA Flight Training Associate Editor Jill W. Tallman discusses applying groundspeed in the September 2002 issue's "Flying Smart" column. "This is the speed of your airplane relative to the Earth's surface. It's the speed that you'll use to calculate fuel burn and estimated travel times for each leg of your trip." Barry Schiff reviews how to determine groundspeed by using your flight computer to solve a wind triangle in "Whiz Wheel Wizardry," published in the April 2000 issue of AOPA Pilot magazine.

Groundspeed plays a role in every approach and landing. Using the airport windsock or a wind report, we choose the runway that allows landing with the maximum possible headwind component, so the airplane's forward motion over the ground is as slow as possible when we're at our usual approach airspeed. This allows the shortest landing roll and minimum braking. As Ralph Butcher explains in the July 2002 AOPA Flight Training, "Your highest priority is an upwind landing with low groundspeed." This is true whether you're approaching a runway in normal operations or making an off-airport emergency landing.

Usually we calculate groundspeed from known true airspeed and wind data. But see how one pilot used known groundspeed to estimate airspeed after an airspeed indicator failure in the August 2002 installment of "Learning Experiences." Grasping these basic aeronautical concepts will help to bring mastery of safe and enjoyable flight.

My ePilot - Training Products
Can't get to the Outer Banks next week to commemorate the centennial of powered flight? You might not be able to witness Ken Hyde's team from The Wright Experience recreate the first powered flight at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, but you can maneuver a computer-simulated replica of the 1903 Flyer that exhibits the same instability and marginal power as the original. First Flight: The Wright Experience also includes simulations of the Wrights' 1902 glider and the 1911 Model B, plus historically accurate flight environments including Kill Devil Hills; College Park, Maryland; and Fort Meyers, Virginia. The program requires Windows 98/2000/XP, Pentium III or higher processor, 64 MB RAM, video card capable of Direct-X 8.0 3-D acceleration, and sound card. It sells for $49.99 and may be ordered online.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: How do I go about getting a pilot certificate that does not use my Social Security number as the certificate number?

Answer: The FAA will assign a unique number to your certificate at your request. You will need to fill out the Airman's Request for Change of Certificate Number form and submit it to the FAA Airmen Certification Branch in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The FAA will assign a unique number to your certificate and reissue it. You can complete and print out the interactive form on the FAA Web site.

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