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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 53AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 53

The following stories from the December 31, 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 - Instrument Interest
Many pilots have downloaded the free FAA approach charts from AOPA's Airport Directory Online. AOPA is now able to provide the effective dates on the charts while still retaining the unique smaller file size for quicker downloads. See AOPA Online.

My ePilot - Multiengine Interest
Multiengine aircraft naturally are more complex and require more systematic planning to operate than do single-engine airplanes. However, transitioning from a single-engine aircraft to a twin can be easier if you've already formed good basic flying habits. AOPA's Checkout in a Multiengine Airplane handbook also can ease your transition. You'll find a wealth of information on different types of takeoffs and landings, go-arounds, emergency procedures, engine failures, propeller feathering, performance characteristics, and more.

My ePilot - Own/May Own Interest
Want to buy an aircraft, but don't have the financial means to do so? How about finding a partner to share the costs associated with ownership? Finding a partner isn't always easy, though. You need to find someone who has similar interests when it comes to flying. Finances, what type of aircraft the two of you will buy, and where it will be based are just some of the issues you and your potential partner will need to discuss. Learn more about selecting a partner to share ownership of an aircraft in Robert Snow's April 1997 Flight Training article, "How to pick a partner: Finding the right person to share an aircraft."

My ePilot - Jet Interest
The FAA has issued a notam reminding pilots flying at and above Flight Level 290 that starting January 5, they should use new aircraft equipment suffixes (/Q or /W) in their flight plans to show that their aircraft have been certified for reduced vertical separation minima (RVSM) operations. And beginning January 20, when new high altitude aeronautical charts become effective, the amount of vertical separation between aircraft operating at high altitude will be reduced from 2,000 feet to 1,000 feet. Aircraft and pilots operating between FL290 and FL410 must be RVSM certified. "AOPA argued for a phased implementation beginning at the higher altitudes, so our members who operate high-end aircraft would have additional time to make the necessary modifications," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of Government and Technical Affairs. "But the airlines had to retrofit their entire fleets and persuaded the FAA that they needed to see the cost benefits sooner rather than later." See AOPA Online.

The new Raytheon Hawker Horizon has reached two major milestones. The FAA granted the aircraft a provisional type certificate last week, and Raytheon Aircraft delivered the first Horizon to Wichita businessman Jack DeBoer. Raytheon Aircraft CEO Jim Schuster called the Horizon the "newest, most technically advanced super-midsize business aircraft available." The composite fuselage can accommodate a two-person crew and up to eight passengers. It has a maximum speed of Mach 0.84 and a maximum range of 3,400 nautical miles. Raytheon claims better performance for the Horizon than what was anticipated when the aircraft was first announced.

My ePilot - Sport Pilot Interest
The Sport Pilot Practical Test Standards (PTS) have just been released. Along with the procedures already in place for student sport pilot applications and the availability of knowledge test questions, the new standards provide key information that flight instructors need to train students. The PTS is available for download from AOPA's sport pilot Web page and from the FAA. These documents could be updated and corrected as the sport pilot initiative progresses. Now that the practical test standards for the sport pilot certificate are out, the FAA is preparing its designated pilot examiners. "Sport pilot is moving toward full implementation, and updates to the program are coming almost weekly," said Rob Hackman, AOPA manager of regulatory and certification policy. "AOPA's sport pilot page is the best resource to use to stay current with the latest information. And the technical specialists in AOPA's Pilot Information Center (800/USA-AOPA) are prepared to answer any sport pilot questions."

My ePilot - Other Interest
Pilots completing Bell Helicopter's customer training program will be flying at a new location. The company is moving its training academy to its customer center at Alliance Airport, north of Fort Worth, Texas. The center has 18 modern classrooms, three overhaul labs, flight training devices, and more than 41,000 square feet of hangar space for hands-on maintenance training. The company also has a new landing strip and helipads dedicated to autorotation and emergency procedures flight training that are located within minutes of the training academy. Courses for pilot ground and flight training, along with maintenance training, will begin at the new location January 10. For more information, visit the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
You phoned the doctor's office to schedule an aviation medical examination. They have two openings: Friday, December 31, or Friday, January 7. Which should you take? Does it really matter? If time is not of the essence, and the two dates are equally convenient, take January 7. Say you are applying for a third class medical certificate and are under 40 years of age. Your medical expires "at the end of the 36th month after the month of the date of the examination shown on the certificate," according to Federal Aviation Regulation 61.23(d). If you are over 40, the third class medical expires at the end of the twenty-fourth month. Medicals can be expensive. Take yours early in the month, and it is like getting an extra month's value out of your medical over each expiration cycle. Above all, take this responsibility seriously. "Forgetfulness is no excuse in the eyes of the FAA, which treats paperwork obligations very seriously," advises Kathy Yodice in "Legal Briefing," April 2004 AOPA Flight Training.

Since this newsletter is reaching you on the last day of the year (and of the month, of course), this is a good time to issue a reminder that medicals are not the only expiration dates that a pilot must track. Moreover, not all expiration cycles are calibrated in the same time units. You must be sure that your flight instructor renews your authorization to solo every 90 days. When going for your private pilot practical test, you must have logged three hours of flight prep within the preceding 60 days. Be sure that your logbook is well kept and can show your compliance as discussed in the May 9, 2003, "Training Tips." Knowledge tests are valid, like medicals, until the end of the twenty-fourth calendar month after the month when you took the test. Aeronautical charts become current, and expire, on specific days published on the cover of the chart.

Are you, as the pilot of your aircraft, responsible for making sure that required aircraft maintenance inspections have not lapsed? Indeed you are. For details, see "Legal Briefing: Maintenance Inspections" in the November 2002 AOPA Flight Training.

Here's wishing you continued fun flying and learning as your logbook entries begin to bear the date 2005!

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Do you have room in your aviation library for more than 850 publications? Few of us do, which is probably at least one reason behind 2005 Pro Flight Library from Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc. The electronic aviation library holds on a single CD-ROM a complete Federal Aviation Regulations/Aeronautical Information Manual, more than 700 advisory circulars, the Instrument Flying Handbook, Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Airplane Flying Handbook, Aviation Weather Services, and every airworthiness directive issued since 1941, to name a few. You can view full text of all publications, print selected text, simultaneously search multiple publications, compare new and old text in newly revised passages, and place electronic bookmarks. System requirements are Windows 98 or higher. The CD sells for $79.95 and can be ordered online or call 800/272-2359.

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: My instructor told me to be sure to get my logbook signed by someone when I land at each airport while flying my solo cross-country flights. I have been searching for this requirement in the rules but am having no luck finding it. Can you help, please?

Answer: You are looking for a regulation that does not exist; there is no rule requiring a student pilot to obtain a signature upon landing at each airport. However, it is a customary practice at some flight schools, and instructors may ask you to do this to verify that you did land at the airports. The requirement in 14 CFR Part 61 Section 61.51(b) is that you properly record the flight in your pilot logbook and sign the page attesting to it, since you will be using that time toward your private pilot certificate.

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