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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 7AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 7

The following stories from the February 13, 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 - Other Interest
LanShe Aerospace has reintroduced the LA-4-200 EP amphibious airplane to the company's line of certified aircraft. The four-place EP is the predecessor to the Lake 250 and with its smaller engine is more economical to operate than the company's Renegade 2. It also features a lower base price of $299,000 compared to $449,000. The EP has a useful load of 920 pounds compared to the Renegade 2's 1,200 pounds. For more, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Professional Pilot Interest
The average new hire at a major airline in 2003 was a civilian pilot, 34.6 years old, with 5,419 total hours, an airline transport pilot certificate, and a four-year college degree, according to a database of statistics compiled by AIR, Inc. The statistics were drawn from interviews with 180 civilian and 57 pilots with military experience conducted throughout 2003. Civilian pilots represented 68 percent of those hired by airlines last year. Civilian new-hires at the major airlines ranged in age from 27 to 42, according to AIR, Inc. For more information, call 800/JET-JOBS (800/538-5627) or visit the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Any well-used training aircraft displays certain recognizable signs of wear. Some of the evidence of exposure to the flight environment simply detracts from an aircraft's appearance, but other symptoms could become safety issues. A rotating propeller sometimes must be taxied over gravel surfaces or loose pavement. Inevitably, small nicks may appear on the blade's leading edge. Pilots are trained to look for this damage during preflight inspections, but not much emphasis is always placed on this checklist item's importance. "Despite its crucial role on the airplane, the propeller seldom gets more attention than a minor sunburn. Watch some pilots preflight and you'd think that the task requires little more than counting blades and looking for beach ball-sized nicks," writes Marc Cook in "Blade Watch," a discussion of propeller maintenance that appeared in the June 1996 AOPA Pilot. Don't fall into the mindset he describes.

Why the fuss? "Any visible damage to a propeller should be repaired. Dings, nicks, and scratches can be starting points for tiny cracks and/or corrosion that could grow and, in the worst case, lead to blade failure," notes columnist Mark Twombly in "Flying Smart: What It Looks Like" in the February 2000 AOPA Flight Training. For a complete discussion of the propeller's aerodynamic design and function, click here to download Chapter 3 of the new Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Remember to respect the prop and exercise caution when in its vicinity during preflight inspections, and during start-ups; see "Airplane Savvy: Basics for Beginners" in the November 2001 AOPA Flight Training.

A well-maintained propeller is more efficient than its haggard counterpart-but did you know that a well-balanced, well-cared-for prop can lend its feel-good qualities to the pilot sitting behind it? "More than one pilot has reported that the effects of getting his propeller balanced has made flying fun again simply because of the reduced fatigue associated with a smooth-running airplane," writes Steven W. Ells in "Smooth Moves" in the November 2003 AOPA Pilot. Read his article to learn how props are maintained, and how to spot the symptoms of an out-of-balance propeller.

Checking the condition of your trainer's prop may seem to be merely a minor item on your aircraft checklist, but a careful pilot is attentive to every detail.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
The FAA's Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge has been revised and updated. This venerable book, a reference tool for student pilots and flight instructors for 25 years, covers principle of flight, aircraft and engine structure and systems, charts and navigation, weather theory, and much more. The latest edition-FAA H-8083-25, which replaces Advisory Circular 61-23C-features new, full-color illustrations, plus a revised section on aerodynamics that had previously been published in the FAA's old Flight Training Handbook. You can order an advance copy for $29.95 from Aviation Supplies and Academics, Inc. Orders will ship after February 23. For more information, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: Where can I find a list of aircraft type designators? DUATS is not accepting what I type in.

Answer: AOPA Online offers Appendix A of FAA Order 7110.65N Aircraft Type Designators. Appendix B is for helicopters, and Appendix C is for homebuilt aircraft.

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