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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 17AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 17

The following stories from the April 23, 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 - Piston Single-Engine Interest
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 520- and 550-series Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) engines with certain Engine Components Incorporated (ECi) cylinders installed. The AD, which requires the replacement of the cylinders before further flight, resulted from reports of 34 failures of cylinder heads marketed by ECi. The FAA said it is issuing the AD to prevent the loss of engine power because of cracks in the cylinder heads and possible engine failures. The AD goes into effect May 5; the comment deadline is June 21. See the full text of the AD online.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Your final approach was stable and the touchdown precise. You avoided the bounce and the porpoise discussed in the April 16, 2004, "Training Tips." But stay focused! Your landing is not complete. Although it is natural to want to let down your guard (and the nosewheel) after a nice touchdown, there is more work to do. As you may have heard someone say, you must keep flying the airplane until it is tied down-which, at this point, it is not.

"After touching down, maintain continued aft stick pressure to spare the nosewheel and hasten the transfer of weight from wings to wheels. As airspeed drops off and the elevators lose effectiveness, the nose will drop on its own. Then you can apply brakes and bring the airplane to a stop, using rudder for ground steering," writes Thomas A. Horne in "Touchdown" in the September 2003 AOPA Pilot. Be patient about attending to after-landing chores. Ideally, wait until you have taxied clear before raising the flaps or switching to the ground-control frequency. "Distractions such as these can lead to a loss of directional control and, perhaps, an accident," cautions Christopher L. Parker in the December 1997 "Instructor Tips" column in Flight Training.

Know the condition of your runway. Notices to airmen (notams) or the automatic terminal information service broadcast alert you to any braking-action reports, the subject of the November 28, 2003, "Training Tips."

Everything under control? Great. But there is still opportunity for surprises requiring calm, quick attention. An unbalanced nosewheel tire combined with a slight side movement of the nosewheel at touchdown can provoke a sudden noisy, vibrating sensation called a nosewheel shimmy. It's not as bad as it sounds and feels in the cockpit-but it can be quite a surprise just as things are quieting down. Usually you can arrest it simply by raising the nosewheel slightly and letting it come down again as you decelerate. (The shimmy can also occur on takeoff and is cured by raising the nosewheel. In either case, squawk it to your mechanic.) Some airplanes are equipped with a "shimmy dampener." Is yours? To find out, consult Mark Twombly's "What It Looks Like" column in the January 2001 AOPA Flight Training.

Nicely done! A pilot can learn something from every flight. What did you learn today?

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
If you're tired of using flight school loaner headsets but unsure whether you can afford a pair of your own, Marv Golden Pilot Supplies' new MG Golden Eagle line offers three choices: the Golden Eagle ($79), the Golden Eagle XL ($119.95), and the Golden Eagle ANR ($239.95). Upgraded foam or silicone ear seals are $20 extra. All three models come with a free flight bag and two-year warranty on parts and labor. The XL has cell-phone capability, and the ANR (for active noise reduction) is said to provide 10 to 12 db of active noise attenuation. For more information or to order, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: What is the charting logic behind the way contour lines are drawn on sectional charts? The lines are closer together on some charts than on others.

Answer: On sectional aeronautical charts, basic contours are spaced at 500-foot intervals. Intermediate contours may also be shown at 250-foot intervals in moderately level or gently rolling areas. Occasionally, auxiliary contours at 50-, 100-, 125-, or 150-foot intervals may be used to portray smaller relief features in areas of relatively low relief. The pattern of these lines and their spacing gives the pilot a visual concept of the terrain. Widely spaced contours represent gentle slopes, while closely spaced contours represent steep slopes. The introduction to FAA's Aeronautical Chart Users Guide contains more information on charting symbols. It can be downloaded from AOPA Online.

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