Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 28AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 28

The following stories from the July 9, 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
Gulfstream Aerospace has a new option for the G200 business jet. The FAA has approved the Enhanced Autopower Automatic Throttle System manufactured by Safe Flight Instrument Corp. The system provides continuous thrust management during the cruise, descent, approach, and landing phases of flight. It is also available as a retrofit.

My ePilot - Experimental Interest
With interest on the rise for Glasair designs and a good response on the new Sportsman 2+2, the New GlaStar and New Glasair companies have added 12,000 square feet to their Arlington, Washington, production facilities and customer service areas and hired additional employees. A new customer assembly center allows builders to use precision factory jigs and tooling to assemble airframes and install components much more quickly.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Sterile cockpit-have you heard that term? You may know it as an airline policy that forbids casual conversation by flight crews during high-workload operations. Actually, it is more than a policy-it is mandatory. "Federal Aviation Regulations Part 121.542, which applies to air carrier operations, makes it illegal for flight crewmembers to engage in nonessential conversation during critical phases of flight (which include taxi, takeoff, landing, and all other flight operations conducted below 10,000 feet, except cruise flight)," explains Barry Schiff in his June 1996 "Proficient Pilot" column in AOPA Pilot magazine.

Sterile cockpit procedures are not mandatory for general aviation pilots, but why not adopt them? Distractions cause mishaps. All pilots are susceptible to distraction, sometimes by passengers, as you will observe upon earning your private pilot certificate. Combine that truth with a new pilot's eagerness to take friends for an airplane ride, and adopting sterile cockpit procedures as early as primary training makes sense. Apply the practice to preflight inspections, too. "Several senior instructors I know will not talk to anyone while doing a preflight inspection because of the distraction factor. Passengers and guests seem to have a knack for asking about something just as the pilot needs to focus on the primary task. This is the ground version of the sterile cockpit," writes AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg in ASF's January 2001 "Instructor Report." Speaking of the ground, remember that taxiing (see "Power Walking" in the November 2003 AOPA Flight Training) is a sterile-cockpit occasion despite temptations to sightsee and chitchat.

You can adopt sterile cockpit rules right away. Your instructor can help by pointing out the correct occasions and by simulating distractions safely. Using your CFI as a passenger surrogate, practice briefing future riders (including your flight test examiner) about your sterile cockpit rules. What should this briefing include? "Explain to your passengers that at certain times you will be completing checklists or communicating on the radio. Advise them that you will need them to be quiet, and let them know as these periods arise," explains Robert Rossier in "Training Topics" in the September 1999 AOPA Flight Training. These sterile cockpit moments are in addition to the flight operations discussed above.

It's never too soon to practice professionalism. Sterile cockpit is a great start!

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
If your flight school students are dumping sumped fuel onto the tarmac during preflights, the Environmental Protection Agency soon could be knocking on your door. Better to give them a safe place to put waste fuel, such as Sporty's Waste Fuel Can, a leakproof polyethylene can that is prominently labeled "Dump Fuel Here." It comes in a two-gallon size for $105 or a five-gallon size that sells for $120. For more information or to order, see the Web site or call 800/SPORTYS (800/776-7897).

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: I know that in just a few flight hours I will be cut loose to do my first solo. I'm looking forward to it but am also a little nervous. What information does AOPA have about the first solo flight?

Answer: AOPA has an online publication, Learning to Fly, which has lots of information on the various stages of flight training. The chapter on "Solo" will be of immediate interest to you, and the rest of the publication will be useful to you in the coming months. Also, be sure to take a look at AOPA's brand-new Flight Training Web site, which puts a wealth of information on soloing at your fingertips. Good luck and congratulations on the progress you're making in your flight training.

Related Articles