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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 43AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 43

The following stories from the October 22, 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 is keeping the paperwork flying. The company has received FAA type certification on its third Citation model in 2004. This time it's the Model 525B Citation CJ3. The new jet features improvements made to the CJ2, plus a longer cabin, Williams International FJ44-3A engines, and an integrated Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics system. The CJ3 is certified for single-pilot operation and has a maximum cruise speed of 417 knots at 33,000 feet. With two pilots, full fuel, four passengers, and baggage, the CJ3 offers an 1,800-nm range with NBAA IFR reserves. The CJ3's certification comes just two years after the program was announced.

My ePilot - Own/May Own Interest
Raytheon Aircraft Parts Inventory and Distribution (RAPID) has launched the largest aircraft parts reduction campaign in the company's history. RAPID says it has identified more than 10,000 parts for reduction; some are being discounted more than 50 percent. "The campaign is not a one-time price reduction for obscure, low-demand parts. It is a substantial, ongoing evaluation and discounting of all parts categories, including aftermarket, proprietary, and out-of-production parts," said Ed Dolanski, vice president of Raytheon Aircraft Customer Support. "We want our customers to know that buying direct from the factory does not translate into higher prices." See Raytheon's parts Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Up at dawn and aloft in smooth morning air, your destination is a nearby tower-controlled airport where you have been authorized to practice solo takeoffs and landings. The radio frequencies are silent-but it's early. You double-check the frequencies set in your radios to be certain. Then it catches your eye-a star printed next to the tower frequency on your aeronautical chart. (See symbols and explanations in the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide, which can be downloaded from AOPA Online). The star means that the airport control tower does not operate full-time.

What time will the tower open? Which radio frequencies are in use while the tower is closed? You were prepared for flying into Class D airspace; if the tower is not open, are the associated rules and airspace classification still the same?

"The Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) provides information on air traffic control and specifically discusses traffic advisory practices at airports without operating control towers. At nontowered airports, the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) will normally be the designated unicom frequency. However, at an airport that has a part-time tower, the CTAF will normally [be] the tower frequency after the tower closes," AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg wrote in "Instructor Report" in the December 2000 AOPA Flight Training.

As for airspace classification, the AIM requires an "operational control tower" for Class D airspace to be in effect. (What class is your destination's airspace when the tower is closed?) Tower hours can also affect the busier, radar-based Class C airspace. Surprising? Note the AIM's definition of Class C airspace: "Generally, that airspace from the surface to 4,000 feet above the airport elevation [charted in msl] surrounding those airports that have an operational control tower, are serviced by a radar approach control, and that have a certain number of IFR operations or passenger enplanements." ( Click here to view the AIM's complete discussion.)

Many control towers operate less than round-the-clock. Here is an example from AOPA's Airport Directory Online that lists information about a part-time control tower at Hagerstown (Maryland) Regional Airport (HGR). Note that the "tower hours" from October through March are different from April to September.

Airspace doesn't always live up to its charted appearance. Careful preflight research will prepare you for the rules in effect when you arrive.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
For those who hope to fly a Cessna Citation, or those who are curious about jet systems, Sporty's is offering a new Citation Training DVD course. A professional Citation and multiengine jet instructor teaches the viewer how the Citation and its systems operate, as well as normal, abnormal, and emergency procedures for each system. A preflight shows viewers basic aircraft components, and a 40-minute flight illustrates what Citation training and an FAA flight check will look like. The DVD is more than three hours in length and comes with a study guide and oral preparation guide. It sells for $99. Order online or call 800/SPORTYS.

Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: My family doctor is suggesting that I start taking an antidepressant drug on a temporary basis to help me through some personal issues I'm facing. Before I start taking the medication, can you tell me if the FAA would allow this type of drug?

Answer: The FAA's policy on drug usage does not allow the use of any antidepressant, mood altering and/or anti-anxiety medication, for any class of medical certificate. These medications are often prescribed for "off label" use; that is, they are treating symptoms other than those for which the Food and Drug Administration approved the medication. All antidepressants, including medications such as Paxil, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro, and Zoloft, are currently disqualifying, regardless of the reason for their use. More information is available online. If you want to find out more about a specific medication, search AOPA's medication database. You can also call AOPA's medical certification specialists at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern standard time.

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