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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 47AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 47

The following stories from the November 19, 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 tailored to their areas of interest by updating their preferences online.

My ePilot - Multiengine Interest
If you lose your engine in a single-engine aircraft, your choices are limited. With a piston twin, you have more options. But the added options aren't helpful unless you know how to use them. You need to know your twin's single-engine performance capabilities for each phase of flight in order to make the correct decisions. For example, most light twins will not climb much better than 200 fpm on one engine. And to realize even that meager performance, you must recognize the power loss, identify the bad engine, feather it, and raise the gear and flaps (if extended)-all in very short order. Spell out your plan of action for emergencies, and practice maneuvers that demonstrate single-engine flight characteristics (feathering, the effects of drag in various configurations, and VMC demonstrations) at altitude to sharpen your skills and judgment, suggests Robert N. Rossier in the October 1996 Flight Training article, "Multiengine training: It's all about single-engine flying." He concludes: "With a firm understanding of multiengine performance, and recurrent training to keep those engine-out skills sharp, flying a twin is not only safe, but twice the fun."

My ePilot - Professional Pilot Interest
Airline pilot hiring for the first 10 months of 2004 has more than doubled compared to the same period in 2003, according to a hiring summary from AIR Inc. As the October numbers indicate, 8,209 airline pilots have been hired for the year, with 687 for that month. By that time last year, 3,978 had been hired. In fact, only 4,743 airline pilots were hired in all of 2003. The national airlines hired the most pilots in October, with 339, followed by non-jet operators with 113, and the major carriers with 94.

My ePilot - Own/May Own Interest
You spotted your dream airplane during a fly-in. It has a flawless paint job and a remarkably low price. It appears to be perfect, but is it perfect, or practical, for you? Buying an aircraft requires planning, and a spontaneous purchase could leave you less than satisfied. The airplane might have skeletons under the cowling or a tangled web of ownership. You can uncover these mysteries and more before buying the airplane. For some prepurchase preparation tips, read "A five-step process: Buying an aircraft takes planning," in the March 2002 AOPA Pilot, and access AOPA's online ownership services.

My ePilot - Light-Sport Aircraft Interest
Future sport pilots will have plenty of opportunities for training if American Sport Flying has its way. The company has opened its first flight center at Shoreline Aviation at Marshfield Municipal-George Harlow Field in Massachusetts. Shoreline, an established FBO at the airport, is working with American Sport Flying to establish a business model for sport pilot centers that can be applied at FBOs across the country. They hope to have a program available by early next year. The Shoreline center offers a training curriculum specific to the sport pilot certificate. The school currently has four students training in Ercoupes. For more information, visit the Web site.

My ePilot - Other Interest
The International Aeronauts League, an online organization for those interested in hot air balloons, offers links to Web sites including the FAA and NTSB, photos of hot air balloons, steps to earning a pilot certificate in a balloon, and discussion boards. The league, which started in September, is intended to serve as a communication channel for balloon enthusiasts. Discussion board topics include safety, equipment, advice, and more. John Craparo, founder of the league, said the organization has more than 200 members, and he hopes to reach 12,000. Membership is free. For more information about the league, visit the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Has your flight instructor ever told you to "stop fixating" on a flight instrument? It's a common problem. So intent are you on holding altitude, for example, that your heading wanders. Turns out you were staring at your altimeter (or the vertical speed indicator) to the exclusion of other references, both inside and outside the aircraft. Or you concentrated so hard on maintaining a specified bank angle during a turn that your eyes were glued to the attitude indicator, and you unwittingly changed altitudes or forgot to roll out on the proper heading. Break the bad habit of fixating by practicing techniques with your instructor that develop the good habit of looking outside for most information about your flight condition, as described in Richard Hiner's informative September 1999 AOPA Flight Training Instructor Report article, "Bring a blindfold: Learning to fly by outside references."

There are other ways in which fixation creeps into a pilot's visual scanning technique. If you have spent some time entertaining yourself with computer-based flight simulations, you may be prone to fixation. This was the subject of the September 2002 AOPA Flight Training Instructor Report article in which a flight instructor discussed a student with hundreds of hours at the computer who was having trouble landing an actual airplane. "This resulted in additional training to unlearn the bad habits acquired from the simulator," the CFI said.

Not me, you say? Great! Keep in mind that a pilot who doesn't normally fixate on one thing may still do so at certain times, such as when he or she is tired. Be alert for signs: "Typical symptoms of fatigue include poor motor skill performance such as over- or under-controlling the aircraft; physical or mental tenseness, such as a 'death grip' on the yoke or irritation about minor inconveniences; increased reaction time dealing with in-flight events or instructor comments; skipping parts of a procedure, such as omitting an instrument on a cross-check; instrument fixation; and extremely slow reaction to new information," wrote Jeff Falkner in the January 1999 AOPA Flight Training article "Task Saturation."

Foil fixation now and it will not be a problem when you move on to such practical test subject areas as basic instrument maneuvers ( click here to download the practical test standards). Keep your eyes moving-and as a safe visual flight rules pilot, keep looking outside the aircraft!

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Want to brush up on your radio navigation skills from the comfort of your home? Wondering what rush hour sounds like at airports in Okinawa, Japan, or Trondheim, Norway? offers free access to live radio traffic from airports around the world through a network of volunteer uplink sites on the Web. Feeds are delivered via streaming audio (MP3 format). Facilities are categorized by class, and each listing includes applicable ATC frequencies. There's an archive of a week's worth of transmissions for the dedicated listener. 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: I talked to my aviation medical examiner about a medical condition I have to report on my next medical application. He told me he would have to defer my application and that it will take a couple of months before I get my certificate. What can I do to shorten the wait?

Answer: The FAA's medical review process is slow, and some deferred applications take more than 120 days to process. There are steps you can take before you even apply for a medical that will reduce the time it takes for the FAA to clear your case. We highly recommend that you contact AOPA well before your examination-not the day before or the day of your physical-by calling 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672). And review AOPA's Medical Certification Tips to Know Before You Go for valuable information about doing your homework before the next exam.

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