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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 48AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 48

The following stories from the November 26, 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 - Piston Single-Engine Interest ~
The FAA has adopted a new airworthiness directive to supersede AD 91-03-15, which applies to certain Mooney Airplane Company M20M airplanes. The old AD required the replacement of the tailpipe coupling with an improved part, but since the AD was issued, a fire erupted in the lower left cockpit area on one of the affected airplanes. The V-clamp that attaches the exhaust tailpipe to the turbocharger fell off, which allowed the exhaust tailpipe to detach from the turbocharger. Hot exhaust gases from the turbocharger outlet blasted the lower left firewall, according to the FAA. The new AD, 2004-23-17, requires the replacement of the existing radiant heat shield with an improved design and deflector kit; replacement of the existing exhaust tailpipe-to-turbocharger V-clamp with a new design; and modification to the hydraulic brake fluid poly line. The AD's effective date is December 1. See the Web site.

My ePilot - Instrument Interest
The FAA has updated instrument approach charts, high and low altitude en route charts, some sectional and world aeronautical charts, and Airport/Facility Directories. Make sure you have current charts before you fly. AOPA's Airport Directory Online provides the current approach charts. See AOPA Online to view the U.S. terminal procedures.

My ePilot - Professional Pilot Interest
In an effort to meet the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) pilot type rating standards, the FAA has filed a notice of proposed rulemaking to create a second-in-command pilot type rating. This is to allow U.S. flight crews to continue flying in international airspace without the threat of being grounded because they do not have the appropriate type rating. All comments should reach the FAA by December 16. Comments may be filed online at the Department of Transportation docket Web site or the government-wide rulemaking Web site.

My ePilot - Own/May Own Interest
Unrestricted visibility and increased aircraft performance are two perks pilots enjoy most with winter flying. But it's the frigid preflights and extra work required before each flight that often makes pilots grumble. Weatherizing the aircraft for winter flying can relieve some of the pain. Steven W. Ells recommends beginning to winterize an aircraft in the fall in his article, "Cold Weather Whys and Hows" in the December 2000 AOPA Pilot.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
As the weather turns colder you may have noticed that the term freezing level has started showing up in some weather reports and forecasts. You also may have heard that instrument pilots depend on information about the freezing level to avoid ice encounters during flight through clouds.

Freezing level information is also of interest to the visual flight rules (VFR) pilot. If a temperature inversion (discussed in the September 19, 2003, Training Tips) exists, rain falling into a layer of colder air could freeze on the surface of an airplane flying in visual conditions. This is one of the most serious weather hazards of cooler seasons. "Freezing rain and drizzle are the ultimate enemies that can drastically roughen large surface areas or distort airfoil shapes and make flight extremely dangerous or impossible in a matter of a few minutes," explains the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Aircraft Icing Safety Advisor .

The general heights of freezing levels appear in statements included in area forecasts (FA) if they are expected at the time of your weather briefing. Those four-panel "prog charts" that you study for weather data also provide information on freezing levels. "The top maps on both the 12- and 24-hour sides show weather conditions from just above the surface up to 24,000 feet, including ceilings or visibility that qualify as marginal VFR or IFR. The upper maps also show areas where moderate or stronger turbulence is forecast, freezing levels aloft, and where the freezing level should be at the surface. The bottom two maps show conditions at the surface, including the positions of fronts and high- and low-pressure areas. The lower maps also show where and what kind of precipitation is forecast, meteorologist Jack Williams explains in the February 2001 AOPA Flight Training column "The Weather Never Sleeps." Winds aloft forecasts (FD) include temperatures as illustrated in Figure 11-7 in Chapter 11 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge which can be downloaded from AOPA Online. Note that temperatures are not given for levels that are within 2,500 feet of a surface station's elevation.

While in flight be sure to carefully monitor your aircraft's outside air temperature gauge. If the temperature is near freezing and precipitation seems likely, take a quick, safe route back to the airport before the first raindrops fall.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Three instrument flight rules (IFR) risk management videos are combined on one DVD in the latest addition to Sporty's Air Facts series. IFR Risk Management includes "IFR Weather Briefing," which explores weather briefing strategies for a safe IFR flight; "IFR Crew of One," which focuses on how a solo pilot can best handle the various phases of IFR flight; and "Datalink Weather," an examination of Nexrad imagery and text weather reports on multi-function displays. The DVD sells for $25. Order the complete series of 30 Air Facts subjects on eight DVDs for $100, or browse the selection with a free sampler DVD. 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'm a student pilot in central Florida. I noticed on my Jacksonville Sectional chart that there is a hash-marked black line similar to a military operations area (MOA). However associated with this line is a floor and ceiling symbol in black similar to Class B and C airspace. What does this line indicate?

Answer: The chart is identifying an instrument flight rules (IFR) military training route and MOA within which the Department of Defense (DOD) conducts periodic operations involving unmanned aerospace vehicles. These vehicles are escorted by military tactical-type aircraft which exercise override flight control of the unmanned vehicles as needed. Pilots should treat this area just like any other MOA. Status of these routes and areas may be obtained by contacting the associated FAA/DOD facility on the designated frequencies along the routes or as depicted on the bottom of your chart adjacent to the MOA information. If you need further assistance on charts and how to utilize them, consult the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide . Find out what AOPA's position is concerning unmanned aerial vehicles on AOPA Online.

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