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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 1AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 1

The following stories from the January 1, 2004, 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
Cessna Aircraft has received a provisional type certificate for its Citation Sovereign. The company expects full FAA approval in the first quarter of this year, followed with first customer deliveries by midyear. The jet has a top speed of Mach 0.80 and a 3,000-nm range. It's one of Cessna's four new business jets announced in 1998.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Aircraft engines are sensitive creatures. The engines in most general aviation training aircraft are air cooled-a design that works well during normal cruise flight but requires careful pilot oversight at other times. Download Chapter 5 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge for a discussion of engines and their cooling systems.

Be wary of overheating during extensive ground holding or taxiing, or during maximum-performance climbs, when the combination of high power and relatively low airspeed reduces air flow over the cylinders. In a long descent, or during traffic-pattern work in cold weather, reduce power gradually to avoid shock cooling the engine. "Shock or sudden cooling can lead to expensive problems," writes Mark Twombly in the "Continuing Ed" column from the January 2000 AOPA Flight Training.

In cruise flight, improper engine management or an emerging engine problem may reveal itself as abnormal engine temperature. But how is the pilot to know? In many airplanes, the only clue you may see on the instrument panel is a high oil-temperature reading. This is an indirect and "delayed" indication; learn more in the August 2002 AOPA Flight Training feature, "Red, Green or In Between." Other aircraft may have more sophisticated engine-temperature monitoring capabilities. One system employs a gauge linked to a cylinder-head temperature probe. Twombly explains that system in "What It Looks Like" in the March 2003 AOPA Flight Training.

There are also systems available that help pilots to deal with the effects of temperature extremes. Cowl flaps allow pilots to adjust air flow through the engine compartment to raise or lower engine temperature. They are described in "What It Looks Like" in the April 2001 AOPA Flight Training. In cold climates winterization devices are often installed on aircraft. "Winterization kits, also called 'winter fronts,' are installed to maintain cylinder head temperatures and oil temperatures. On some airplanes these kits also add a restrictor plate to the carburetor air intake to compensate for the dense, cold winter air," explains Steven W. Ells in the December 2000 AOPA Pilot. Does your airplane have any of these features?

It isn't necessary for every pilot to be an aircraft mechanic. But every bit of knowledge you gain about what makes your aircraft tick will help you fly more efficiently and more safely.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Dauntless Software has released version 5 of its GroundSchool FAA Knowledge (Written) Test Prep software. The CD includes most FAA knowledge tests, including private, commercial, and airline transport pilot, instrument, instrument instructor, flight instructor, and ground instructor exams. A separate code, purchased online, allows you to unlock each exam as you need it, and an automatic online updating system ensures that you get the most recent questions, Dauntless says. The software can also be bundled so that you can purchase several tests at once for a discount. The program requires Windows 95 or better, a Pentium-class CPU, a minimum 128 MB of RAM and a minimum 800 by 600 display and CD-ROM drive. The price is $29.99 for the initial download; $24.99 or less for subsequent downloads. For more information, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: What is the distance to the horizon that I can see at sea level? When I am flying, I assume I can see a farther distance since I'm at a higher altitude. How far is that?

Answer: On a clear day, when standing at sea level, you can see approximately three miles before the Earth's horizon curves away. On that same clear day, you can see about 98 miles from an elevation of one mile. Check out a NASA Web site for the formula.

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