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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 44AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 44

The following stories from the October 29, 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
The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive (AD) affecting all Gulfstream G-1159, G-1159A, G-1159B, and G-IV model airplanes. The AD calls for a one-time inspection of the left and right aileron and elevator actuators to determine part and serial numbers, and to make repetitive inspections of suspect actuators to detect broken damper shafts. For more, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Own/May Own Interest
The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive for about 1,000 Becker Flugfunkwerk 4201 VHF AM transceivers. The AD requires adding a limitation to the aircraft flight manual and a cockpit placard due to intermittent malfunctioning of the transceiver, or removing it from service. Compliance time is five days after the effective date of the November 19 AD. For more visit the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Spring forward, fall back. Everybody knows the drill. Say goodbye to daylight-saving time (and to most daylight in some places) and revert to standard time until next spring. Remember, on Sunday morning (or better yet, the night before), to turn back all those clocks in the house and the car.

Time changes can affect your flying, too. Weather forecasts and observations are not directly affected because, as you know, they are given in Universal Coordinated Time, known as Zulu time, as explained in the July 11, 2003, Training Tips. But now you must modify how you convert your local standard time to a 24-hour clock value that will end in a Z. Do you remember how to make the adjustment?

"To convert Zulu to local time, if the United States is on standard time, subtract five hours from Zulu to get Eastern Time, six hours for Central, seven hours for Mountain, and eight hours for Pacific Time. If the country is on daylight-saving time, subtract one hour less for each time zone," explains Jack Williams in his February 2003 AOPA Flight Training column "The Weather Never Sleeps."

The combination of darkness arriving at an earlier hour and more total hours of darkness presents some very practical planning concerns for pilots. For example, if you are heading east into a different time zone in the afternoon, thereby "losing" an hour as far as local time is concerned (but not Zulu time, which is unchanged), be sure to take this into account when considering the local sunset time at your destination. Time zones and related navigational issues are discussed in Chapter 14 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

Study sample weather and navigation questions from the Private Pilot Knowledge Test for examples of how Zulu time is applied to flight planning, then get used to converting standard times to Z values-and the reverse-with some practice calculations of your own. An added tip from the Handbook: Time zone boundaries and correction values are printed on aeronautical charts. The boundaries may be irregular in places because "communities near the boundaries often find it more convenient to use time designations of neighboring communities or trade centers." Be sure you know which time zone your destination is in before adjusting local time to Zulu time.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
The process of buying a used aircraft can be broken down into nine steps, according to How To Buy A Used Airplane, a newly released DVD from Aviation Media Inc. The DVD presents food for thought on the general stuff (for example, why buying a high-wing versus a low-wing may not be just a matter of personal preference), then moves without delay into the specifics, taking the viewer over virtually every inch of an airplane to describe what you should and should not find. While the DVD focuses primarily on the prepurchase inspection, it also touches on what to look for in a prepurchase flight, and some general treatment is given to title searches and aircraft insurance. The DVD sells for $24.99. Order it from the Web site.

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: While traveling on the airlines during a recent vacation, I brought along my handheld GPS in order to keep track of where we were and how long it would take to get to our destination. However, when I started to use it, the flight attendant advised me that I could not operate it and had to put it away. Why wasn't I allowed to use the GPS?

Answer: The FAA addresses this in 14 CFR Part 91 Section 91.21, "Portable electronic devices," which applies to air carriers and other aircraft operating under instrument flight rules. You may be surprised to learn that there are only four allowable electronic items listed in the regulation (portable voice recorders, hearing aids, heart pacemakers, and electric shavers). All other electronic devices are permitted only if the operator or pilot in command of the aircraft has determined that they will not cause interference with the navigation or communication system of the aircraft in which they are to be used. Advisory Circular 91.21-1A says the PIC/operator can conduct an operational test without sophisticated equipment to determine whether or not the electronic device causes interference. Download the AC for a simple testing technique that could be used in rental aircraft by the renter-pilot, lessee, or owner-operator to make the determination.

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