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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 8AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 8

The following stories from the February 21, 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 - Piston Single Engine Interest
The FAA has issued a final rule AD for Socata aircraft models TB 9, 10, 20, 21, and 200 airplanes. AD 2003-04-03 requires owners to inspect the aileron control gimbal joint for correct alignment and operation and repair if necessary. The FAA said that failure of the joint could cause loss of control of the airplane. The AD is effective April 7.

Micro AeroDynamics has added the 260- and 300-horsepower Piper Cherokee Six and Lance to its growing list of single-engine aircraft that can be retrofitted with vortex generators. The company claims that the tiny devices on the wings and tail reduce stall speed by 10 percent and enhance controllability. The company said the vortex generators do not affect high-speed performance. The kit price is $1,450. Contact Micro AeroDynamics, 800/677-2370.

My ePilot - Experimental Interest
Groen Brothers Aviation Inc. has formed a new subsidiary to produce gyroplanes for the kitbuilt market and the FAA's proposed Sport Aircraft category. The new company is called American Autogyro Inc. and will sell the two-place Sparrow Hawk gyroplane. The company has already started accepting paid orders for its stability augmentation kit, which improves the safety and stability of existing Groen gyros. See the company's Web site.

My ePilot - Professional Pilot Interest
Have you always thought about applying to become an airline pilot? Trying to understand the hiring process? "Airline hiring isn't some kind of science. Typically, line pilots as well as a representative of the airline's personnel department interview prospective candidates," writes Peter A. Bedell in "Airline Aspirations," an article just published in the March issue of AOPA Pilot. Bedell recently completed the move from GA pilot to regional airline captain. "Some airlines employ tests that pry into your psyche to find desirable characteristics of prospective new hires. It's no secret that modern airline pilots are managers as much as they are pilots. Nowadays, management skills are just as important as flight time and experience." Read more insights gleaned from his experience in the article, either in the magazine or on AOPA Online.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
For most people, time invested in learning to fly must be carved out of a schedule packed with work, family commitments, and commuting-and subject to the availability of your aircraft and instructor. Opportunities to fly don't always present themselves at ideal times. The trick is to determine when a proposed flight lesson is merely inconvenient, and when it would be better to reschedule. A training milestone may be approaching, or weeks of bad weather may have slowed your progress-tempting you to fly despite stress, fatigue, or a lingering illness. That's the time to perform a self-evaluation covering your fitness for flight as discussed under Aeromedical Factors in Chapter 15 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge ( click here to download).

Can you pass the "I'm Safe" test? Those six letters remind pilots to avoid flying when affected by illness, medication, stress, alcohol, fatigue, or emotion. Some of these conditions are easier to recognize than others. Fatigue is easy to ignore until it presents itself by diminishing your ability to fly to your normal standards. The problem can startle you when you encounter it for the first time, but your instructor has seen it before. It can even be at the root of training slumps that some students encounter. See the July 26, 2002, "Training Tips" article.

"For either an instructor or a student to push the lesson past the point at which fatigue has begun to set in is not only counterproductive but can actually damage the learning process. Besides the fact that money and time are being wasted trying to cram more knowledge into a brain that is already temporarily saturated, flying too long can easily set back the student's progress and confidence," Budd Davisson counsels in his April 2000 AOPA Flight Training feature "Too Pooped to Party." Also, see Davisson's September 2001 AOPA Flight Training article, "25 Ways to Be a Better Pilot." Item 14 helps to fight fatigue: "Don't jump into your car, race out to the airport, and strap into the airplane without giving your mental and emotional state some thought. If necessary, after parking at the airport, sit in the car for a minute or two and try to push everything out of your mind but airplanes."

Then, tailor the day's session to be one that will send you home happy and revitalized! flight.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Two new offerings from Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc., are aimed at helping pilots better understand aircraft systems and how to stay out of severe weather. A Pilot's Guide to Aircraft and Their Systems, by Dale Crane, provides explanations and insight into the basic principles of flight, as well as what an aircraft, powerplant, and each of an airplane's systems do. Crane is a mechanic, pilot, engineer, FAA examiner, and aviation writer. Severe Weather Flying, by meterologist and weather research pilot Dennis Newton, is not focused on what to do once you've flown into severe weather, but rather on how to detect and therefore avoid it. Acknowledging that meteorology can be confusing, Newton discusses the fundamentals of weather and digs into the individual aspects of severe weather situations. The books sell for $19.95 each. For more information or to order, call 800/ASA-2FLY or visit ASA's Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: As I begin my flight training, I'm a bit nervous about using the radio. I never know how to address the facility that I'm calling. Is it "flight watch," or "unicom," or "something-something radio"? How do I know which term to use?

Answer: When you are first learning to fly, some student pilots might find using the radio to be a bit intimidating. But the FAA does provide some excellent information for your use. You'll find a great table in Chapter 4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual that provides the call sign for each type of ground facility. For example, you asked about "flight watch," the call sign to use when calling an FAA Flight Service Station when requesting en-route flight advisory service. Also included in the same chapter is information on communicating the phonetic alphabet, numbers, altitudes, directions, speeds, and time. For more information on radio communication, you may find the following articles from AOPA Flight Training magazine of use: Christopher Parker's "Pilot/ATC Teamwork" and "Listen Up Out There!" by Karen M. Kahn.

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