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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 10AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 10

The following stories from the March 11, 2005, 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
Proper eye movement can be the key to a successful instrument scan. If you are glancing haphazardly at instruments, you might not gather all the pertinent information. In the second installment of Ralph Butcher's Instrument Scan series in the April 1998 Flight Training, he explains how to scan the turn coordinator and vertical speed indicator, what he calls the "fine tuning" instruments. Butcher also recommends two eye movement techniques: music and circular scans. With the music scan, establish a beat (and one and two) that will give you the proper timing to look at your instruments. Always return to the attitude indicator on the "and." For the circular scan, move your eyes in an oval path from one instrument to the next. The music scan should be used when changing attitude or power; the circular scan when maintaining constant attitude and power.

My ePilot - Turboprop Interest ~
You may not need to take 19 friends on a hamburger run any time soon, but for the record there is a new FAA-certified twin turboprop on the market. Poland's PZL Mielec (Mielec is the city where it is produced) has already sold 50 Skytruck aircraft worldwide and is stepping up efforts in the United States. One of the aircraft, powered by two 1,100-horsepower Pratt and Whitney PT6A-65B engines, has arrived in Naples, Florida, to be used as a demonstrator. The headquarters will be moved to Immokalee Airport near Naples as soon as facilities are complete. FAA examiners from Kansas City were recently trained to test applicants for type ratings in the 16,535-pound aircraft that claims a maximum cruise speed of 190 knots. Its signature features are the ability to carry 4,400 pounds internally and more than 600 pounds in an external pod, or to carry 19 passengers, and do it off short strips. It will be fitted with a Chelton electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) soon. Customers are nearly all commercial and government operators, although a pilot in Alaska wants to put one on floats for fishing trips.

Sport Pilot Interest ~
The FAA has released Form 8710-11, the Airman Certification and/or Rating Application-Sport Pilot. The form is available at AOPA Online. Examiners and instructors should use this form when performing sport pilot certification and ensure that it is accurate before sending it to Airman Records (AFS-760). As of the end of February, 104 airman, instructor, and examiner sport pilot knowledge tests had been administered. And a total 52 sport pilot airman exams were given without any failures. The FAA also has updated its list of sport pilot designated examiners. You can search for an examiner on the Light Sport Aviation Branch Web site.

Other Interest ~
Glider pilots racing in the Open Class in Europe will have a rather intimidating foe this year. A group of famous, race-winning glider pilots commissioned German designers to develop a giant ship, capable of a new level of cross-country performance. It's called the eta (lowercase) after the seventh letter in the Greek alphabet. The glider has a 31-meter (101-foot) wingspan, making it the largest sailplane in the world. The eta will be flying in national and international competitions throughout the 2005 season. The first eta made its maiden flight in 2000. The glider syndicate behind the project is about to start production on Serial No. 7 and plans to pursue European type certification. Officials said they would pursue FAA certification if there is sufficient interest in the United States. For more on the project, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Aborted takeoff-sounds pretty dramatic, doesn't it? The idea calls to mind hectic action and screeching tires. That doesn't have to be the case. Changing your mind about lifting off is an option any time you are rolling on the runway but something doesn't look or feel right about letting the airplane fly. You will, however, have to make up your mind quickly. Having considered the possibility helps to make a rejected takeoff one of seven "be ready ahead of time" situations described by Wally Miller in his June 2002 AOPA Flight Training feature "Don't Go There: Avoid Bad Situations By Creating Good Ones." Discuss how to handle a rejected takeoff with your instructor. A starting place is found in Miller's summary of the essentials and his cautionary note: "Maintain directional control. It's almost intuitive to retard the throttle(s) and apply brakes, but what seems to cause most accidents on aborted takeoffs is that pilots fail to maintain directional control. They run off the side of the runway and hit an obstacle."

What might indicate aborting a takeoff? An engine problem, certainly. An animal, ground vehicle, or other aircraft could suddenly appear on the runway up ahead. Strong crosswinds or simply failing to use sufficient rudder on the takeoff run to prevent left-turning tendency could cause loss of directional control. If not arrested promptly, this could lead to trouble, as Christopher Parker discusses in the April 2003 AOPA Flight Training Instructor Report. Also, did you plan properly for the performance you can expect on takeoff? High density altitude robs your engine of performance, as reviewed in Section 3 of AOPA's Handbook for Pilots. Know before you roll, especially on a high-elevation, short runway.

Opting to abort, or reject, a takeoff is rarely necessary if the pilot and aircraft are both prepared for flying. But knowing the option is available adds a safety margin to the takeoff and lets a pilot make fast decisions and carry them out confidently.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Power-off landings don't faze glider pilots since every landing is a power-off landing. Sporty's has released another DVD in its "What You Should Know" series, and this installment focuses on making the switch from powered aircraft to gliders. Transition to Gliders discusses the FAA training requirements, shows glider launch methods (including in-flight footage of three different launches), and explains how control inputs affect the aircraft, among other topics. The 98-minute DVD is available for $39.95 from Sporty's. Order online or call 800/SPORTYS.

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 recently looked at a METAR (aviation routine meteorological report) for my airport and noticed some unusual indications. It read, where the wind is normally reported, "22015G25KT 180V270." What does that mean?

Answer: The report indicates that the wind is currently coming from the southwest at 15 knots with gusts to 25 kt. The second set of numbers indicates that the wind direction is unpredictable with direction varying between south and west. The "V" between the numbers shows the variable nature of the winds. For more information, consult chapter two of Advisory Circular 00-45E, Aviation Weather Services .

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