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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 46AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 46

The following stories from the November 12, 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 preferences online.

My ePilot - Renter Interest
As a renter, you have to share an airplane with pilots whose idea of taking care of an aircraft might not meet your standards. What could be more frustrating than going out to the airplane at the beginning of your flight slot to find the master switch on, a dead battery, and trash strewn about the cockpit? Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to minimize some of your inconveniences and ensure that you are not the source of frustration to those who fly after you. Read about rental do's and don'ts in "Out of the Pattern: Rental Etiquette" from the October 1995 Flight Training.

My ePilot - Instrument Interest
Two heads are better than one when it comes to flying IFR, but you can't have another instrument-rated pilot by your side each time you fly. Even without an extra person to split the work, you can decrease your workload by following the tips in "Single-Pilot IFR: Ten Strategies For Going It Alone" from the October 1997 Flight Training. By assessing whether you're fit to fly, limiting distractions, using proper phraseology, and taking one step at a time, you can increase your safety while flying alone in IMC. Also, test your knowledge and learn helpful safety tips from the Air Safety Foundation's free online course, Single-Pilot IFR .

My ePilot - Experimental Interest
Van's Aircraft enthusiasts can now get together online to discuss the homebuilt aircraft. The free online discussion forum also includes galleries and classified ads. Pilots do not need to be members of the Web forum to participate. The site is broken into discussion sections for the construction of RVs, engines, avionics, and flight. For more information, visit the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Is there a designated practice area for flight training near your airport? It's important to know, especially if you are new in town. Whether you fly in busy airspace or over unpopulated wilderness, formal or informal agreements may set aside certain areas for flight training. Noise abatement may be one reason; minimizing conflicts with other air traffic might be another. Consider this description of procedures at Long Beach, California, by Julie K. Boatman in the March 2001 AOPA Flight Training feature "Training in the Fray: Learning to Fly at a Congested Airport": "The Long Beach practice area is over the ocean to avoid the crowded city and equally crowded airspace above it. Long Beach's Class D goes to 2,600 feet, and the Class B starts at 5,000 feet over the field. Over the ocean, you can go even higher during practice. Most maneuvers are begun around 3,500 feet to stay within gliding distance of the beach and to get above the haze for better in-flight visibility-important when you share the practice area with numerous other training aircraft."

During your practice, always observe the minimum safe altitude requirements set out in Part 91.119 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. Before you start your training routine, pick out an emergency landing site you know you can reach in a glide from low altitude in case the "real thing" happens while you are simulating it.

Collision avoidance should be your constant concern. Be especially vigilant if your practice area lies along transition routes to and from the airport. Download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor publication on collision avoidance methods. A clearing turn is a critical vigilance technique to perform before, then regularly during, your training sessions, as discussed in the May 21, 2004, Training Tips.

A student pilot bears full responsibility for practicing safely, even on an outing that never gets out of sight of the airport. If your local practice area happens to lie a bit farther away from the airport than that, the February 2004 AOPA Flight Training feature "Making Every Minute Count" describes how you can maximize the value of the time and money you spend commuting to the practice zone by getting in some airwork on the way.

Be a good neighbor by practicing maneuvers where local custom says you should.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
If filling out an FAA form is tedious for an applicant, think of the designated pilot examiner who gets to do this day after day. CAVU Companies has developed a Windows-based software program that lets DPEs prepare, print, and save Forms 8060-4 (Temporary Airmen Certificate) and 8060-5 (Notice of Disapproval of Application). The software keeps track of all information required for the annual examiner testing activity log. It costs $79 for the first certificate and $10 for each additional certificate, and a $40 premium support package is available. To download the software or for more information, see 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: Is there a speed limit on how fast I can fly in Class D airspace?

Answer: Yes, there is a speed limit of 200 knots. According to Part 91, Section 91.117(b), unless otherwise authorized or required by ATC, no person may operate an aircraft at or below 2,500 feet above the surface within 4 nautical miles of the primary airport of a Class C or Class D airspace area at an indicated airspeed of more than 200 kt (230 mph). For more information, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation has a great publication that you can download about operations at towered airports, and there are many helpful articles in the archives of AOPA Flight Training, such as this commentary by Amy Laboda in the January 2000 issue.

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