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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 5AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 5

The following stories from the January 30, 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 - Piston Single Interest
Poor judgment combined with a strong desire to get home can be deadly. The pilot of a Piper Tri-Pacer proved this point when he died trying to get home in bad weather. See the report by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, prepared exclusively for ePilot readers.

My ePilot - Jet Interest
It is already the rule in most of the world, but within a year aircraft operating over southern Canada and the United States will have to install extremely accurate altimeters if they want to operate between 29,000 and 41,000 feet. (They must be accurate to within 25 feet at 30,000 feet.) The new FAA DRVSM rule (domestic reduced vertical separation minima), set to take effect in the United States on January 20, 2005, allows aircraft to fly en route with only 1,000 feet of vertical separation, instead of today's 2,000-foot requirement. Ametek Aerospace now offers its AM-250 barometric altimeter with a built-in autopilot interface to comply with the rule. Already certified on a variety of business aircraft, the unit recently gained FAA approval for use on older Cessna Citation 500 aircraft. For more information, visit the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
One of the first things you learned about being a pilot was always to perform a thorough preflight inspection of your aircraft. This included using a fuel sampler to drain some avgas from each tank and examine it for contamination; proper grade, as indicated by the color of the sample; and the possible presence of water in the tank. But after that, what did you do with the fuel sample?

For many years pilots simply dumped their fuel samples on the ramp or the grass at the airport-see Mark Twombly's "Sumping and Dumping" in the February 2003 AOPA Pilot-and moved on to the next step in their preparations to fly. But times are changing, and how! Some estimates placed the amount of aircraft fuel-much of it leaded-dumped on ramps in a year in the millions of gallons. Environmental enforcement agencies have taken notice, and in some cases, clamped down hard.

This new awareness has led to the development of products that allow fuel to be separated from contaminants and returned to the tank, as described in the May 2003 AOPA Flight Training . At many airports pilots will also notice a new feature-fuel disposal containers placed at strategic locations in hopes pilots will take the extra few steps and seconds required to keep yet another fuel sample out of their community's ground water. As Dale Smith noted in "Think Tank", the August 2003 AOPA Flight Training article on fueling procedures, "It's a little extra work, but it could save you from paying a big fine to the [Environmental Protection Agency]."

As always, good citizenry involves sacrifice. Don't let this minor inconvenience deter you from a comprehensive inspection of your fuel system. Also remember, as Robert Rossier points out in his 1997 Flight Training feature "Fuel Check", that taking the all-important fuel samples from each tank is only one part of a careful attempt to detect problems associated with the fuel supply. It may seem like a mere drop in the bucket, but practicing proper fuel disposal is an excellent way for pilots to befriend the environment and set an example for others as to how individuals can make a difference every day.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
The list of supplies for a new student pilot can appear endless. AvShop has packaged most of the essentials into bundles and claims you will save up to 25 percent over the cost of buying these items separately. First Solo DVD Pack comes with the ASA Virtual Test Prep FAA knowledge test training course and sells for $389; First Solo Pack, for those who will take an in-person ground school course, comes with Gleim's Private Pilot Written Exam Test Prep and sells for $319. Both bundles include an AvShop Design A400 ANR headset; a FAR/AIM; the FAA Private Pilot Practical Test Standards; a metal E6-B and plotter; a Jeppesen logbook; a certificate for a personalized First Solo plaque to commemorate the big day; and a flight bag to carry it all. Check it out online.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: Where can I find a list of all the different V-speeds?

Answer: A list of V-speed abbreviations is found in Federal Aviation Regulation 1.2-scroll down the alphabetized list to the V's. For more information on V-speeds and their effect on aircraft safety and performance, see "Airspeed-There's More To It Than Going Fast."

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