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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 27AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 27

The following stories from the July 2, 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
Bombardier Aerospace has received FAA approval to upgrade the Learjet 45 XR aircraft with the Honeywell TFE731-20BR engine. The engine allows a 1,000-pound increase in maximum takeoff weight that can be used for payload or fuel.

FlightSafety's first full flight simulator for the Cessna Citation XLS has been certified by the FAA at the Wichita Learning Center. It offers motion, sound, and a daylight visual system.

My ePilot - Owner Interest
The second annual Cherokee National Fly-In and Convention saw a two-fold increase in attendance over the previous year. The event, which took place from June 18 through 20 at the Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, Missouri, attracted 135 aircraft from the Cherokee lineage along with 300 people. Karl Bergey, a retired Piper chief designer who was responsible for the Cherokee line, was the Saturday evening guest speaker. For more information, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
It may be the most unobtrusive piece of equipment installed in your aircraft-not even accessible from your cockpit. After an emergency landing, however, your aircraft's emergency locator transmitter (ELT) could become the most important piece of gear you carry.

Once activated, an ELT transmits an audible signal on emergency radio frequencies monitored by air traffic controllers, military aircraft, airliners, and numerous general aviation aircraft. One of those frequencies is the familiar 121.5 MHz known to GA pilots and discussed in the March 28, 2003 "Training Tips." There is also satellite monitoring.

ELTs of various types were developed as a means of locating downed aircraft. These electronic, battery-operated transmitters operate on one of three frequencies: 121.5 MHz, 243.0 MHz, or the newer 406 MHz. "ELTs operating on 121.5 MHz and 243.0 MHz are analog devices. The 406 MHz ELT is a digital transmitter that can be encoded with the owner's contact information or aircraft data. The latest 406 MHz ELT models can also be encoded with the aircraft's position data," explains the comprehensive discussion of ELTs in Chapter 6 of the Aeronautical Information Manual.

A typical ELT is a self-contained, battery-powered transmitter activated by impact forces or by a manual switch. Review your aircraft's pilot's operating handbook for specifics. Like any piece of equipment, ELTs need maintenance to ensure proper operation. "The emergency locator transmitter (ELT) must have been inspected within the preceding 12 calendar months, and if the ELT has been used for more than one cumulative hour or 50 percent of the battery's useful life has expired, the battery must be replaced," counsels Ralph Butcher in his "Insights" column in the January 2001 AOPA Flight Training. Questions about ELTs may appear on the private pilot knowledge test. You could be asked to locate and discuss your ELT when you go for your flight test.

Is an ELT required equipment for your flight? Review Part 91.207 of the Federal Aviation Regulations to answer that question. Note the exception for training flights conducted entirely within 50 nautical miles of the departure airport. For more information, see the online discussion by AOPA Aviation Services and study AOPA's April 2000 issue brief on ELTs. Then, armed with the facts, verify that your aircraft is in compliance!

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Learning how to enter and execute holds is a challenging part of every instrument student's experience, but a new device from Newcomb Engineering promises to make it easier. The Holdup HSI (horizontal situation indicator) is a whiz wheel that allows you to set the direction and the inbound course to the hold, and then determine the best entry method based on your intercept heading. It comes with two sides-one for standard, right-hand turns, and one for nonstandard, left-hand turns. The device works for intersection and station holds equally well. It is constructed from thick laminated cardboard and should do well riding in your flight bag. It sells for $14.95 plus $4 for shipping and handling. For more information or to order, call 954/288-2904, or see the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: When reading forecast weather for glider flying, the term trigger temperature is used regarding thermals. What is trigger temperature, and how does it set off a thermal?

Answer: AOPA's online weather provider, Meteorlogix, provides the answer to the question. In soaring, the trigger temperature is the surface temperature required to produce a dry-adiabatic lapse rate, which will intersect the vertical temperature profile at a user-specified altitude. As the surface temperature warms during the day, the thermals that are generated are able to reach higher into the atmosphere. The trigger temperature is a tool to estimate how high these thermals will reach. For example, a trigger temperature of 85 might reach up to 3,500 feet, while a trigger temperature of 90 might rise to 4,500 feet.

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