The following stories from the June 18, 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 PUTTING THE ERROR IN PILOT ERROR
Taking off with a known mechanical problem is never a good idea. Find out what happens when three pilots launch in a Piper Turbo Arrow with a faulty magneto in this report prepared exclusively for ePilot readers
by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips REACHING FOR NEW RUNWAYS
What airports have you visited on your cross-country training flights? What airports do you expect to visit? Of all the features you will notice when you start researching these fields, runways often make the biggest impression. You can find out about them in AOPA's Airport Directory Online
or the FAA's airport/facility directories.
So much about runways can be new to your experience: varying lengths and widths, surfaces, markings-even the sheer number of runways at airports can differ from your home field. Visiting short or soft-surfaced runways may become your introduction to the specialized takeoff and landing techniques that are part of your private pilot training, as described by Budd Davisson in the October 2002 AOPA Flight Training
feature "Field Work."
Suppose your home airport has a single runway labeled 14-32. An airport you plan to visit has two runways with those same reciprocal magnetic bearings. How are these parallel runways identified? One will bear a combination of 14L and 32R (the letters mean left and right), and the other will be designated 14R and 32L. There could even be a third runway with the letter C (center) after the numbers. A runway oriented to different bearings may intersect one or more of the parallel runways-and all this sometimes creates a complicated network of taxiways worth studying in advance.
If an airport's runways do intersect and there is a control tower at the airport, you may experience new procedures. For more on operations at towered airports, see the feature article
in the November 1998 Flight Training
, or download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor, Operations at Towered Airports
Perhaps nontowered airports are new to your experience; what to do there is as mysterious to you as towered airports are to other trainees. Check the information sources provided in the July 3, 2002, "Training Tips"
or download the Operations at Nontowered Airports
Safety Advisor before heading out. Clearly, there is a lot more to using new runways than just knowing lengths, surfaces, and direction. My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products GUIDE OFFERS TIPS ON BUYING AND OWNING AIRPLANES
Thinking about buying an airplane? Not sure where to begin? Buying and Owning Your Own Airplane
, by James E. Ellis, may provide some helpful tips. The third edition of this manual includes analyses of popular airplanes (including models you might not have considered, like the Beech 77 Skipper and the Cessna 177 Cardinal); an examination of high-performance single-engine aircraft, including Cirrus, Diamond, and Lancair models; and a list of owners associations specializing in the care of specific types of aircraft, which can be an invaluable resource when hunting down a part. The 252-page book sells for $29.99 and is available from Blackwell Publishing
. My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam Question:
I'm a student pilot and will be going for my medical exam soon. I have some trouble with allergies and would like to know what the medical questions are and whether there will be any problem with the allergy medication I'm taking. Is there a way to find out this information before the exam? Answer:
AOPA has exactly what you need! TurboMedical
is an educational tool developed by AOPA's medical staff to be used in preparation for completing the actual FAA medical application when you report for an FAA physical examination. Using this interactive form allows you to do exactly what you've asked-answer the medical questions and discover if there are any trouble spots before you report for your medical exam. TurboMedical presents the items on Form 8500-8 one at a time. Your answer to each item is verified using specific criteria, and you will receive a response letting you know if there is a problem. When you answer question 17A, which asks you to list medications you are currently using, the response will tell you if the medication(s) is FAA-allowed or not.