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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 11AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 11

The following stories from the March 18, 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 - Multiengine Interest
If you lost one of the engines on your twin, would you be able to make it to an airport and land safely? Barry Schiff points out in the May 2003 AOPA Pilot article "Better off single?" that despite the poor engine-out performance of many light twins, they often can be landed safely-even at an airport that is above the single-engine ceiling. "A published ceiling usually applies only when at maximum-allowable gross weight, an improbable condition considering fuel burned en route," he explained. If the twin weighs less than gross, it often can maintain an altitude that is double its published engine-out service ceiling. Read Schiff's article to learn how a Piper Seminole performed on one engine.

My ePilot - Professional Pilot Interest ~
Airline pilot hiring through February 2005 was 6 percent higher than the same period in 2004, according to a hiring survey released March 10 by Air, Inc. The airlines hired 1,420 pilots, compared to 1,335 hired during the first two months of 2004. However, the monthly total number of pilots hired dipped slightly, from 764 in January to 657 in February. The national airlines hired 227 pilots in February, followed by the majors, which hired 197. Non-jet operators hired 95 pilots and jet operators hired 57, while fractional operators hired 47. For more information on Air, Inc., see the Web site.

My ePilot - Piston Single-engine Interest ~
You don't have much time to make a decision during an engine-out after takeoff. By practicing various engine-out procedures at altitude, you can figure out the power and altitude information you need to decide whether to land on the remaining runway, at a suitable area straight ahead, or turn back to the runway. At altitude, power back, hold your best glide speed, and see how much power it takes to maintain level flight. If you lose partial engine power after takeoff, you will know what is needed to maintain level flight at a certain density altitude. Also, figure out how much altitude you lose when you turn 210 degrees-what it takes to turn back and line up with the centerline on the runway. For more tips, read "One Good Turn," in the January 1999 Flight Training.

My ePilot - Jet Interest ~
The Citation Mustang is expected to make its first flight sometime this spring, according to Cessna. The company successfully completed mating the wing to the fuselage of the Citation Mustang prototype in February. Cessna has been testing the engine, avionics and autopilot, environmental system, flight controls, and landing gear. The next milestone for the jet will be a full power engine run on the aircraft, which is scheduled later in March. It is the last major test before the maiden flight.

Bombardier's customer support organization announced several initiatives designed to make service for its Learjet, Challenger, and Global Express airplanes more effective and responsive. Customer service representatives will expand their duty hours to become a 24/7 operation, and 92 more avionics, structures, and mechanical technicians will be hired. As for parts, two new "super warehouses" will be established-one in Chicago, one in Frankfurt-and Bombardier says it will deliver the majority of high-priority AOG (aircraft on ground) components within 12 hours of receiving a request. Moreover, Bombardier's training budget in 2005 will be double that of 2004's. To provide more access to Bombardier's service network, three more service facilities will be added. Bombardier Vice President of Customer Support David Orcutt announced the new moves at a March 11 conference at Bombardier's Hartford, Connecticut, service center.

My ePilot - Other Interest ~
It's almost time to start searching for those thermals. After a long winter break, make sure you are up to snuff on your soaring hand and in-flight signals. Communication between the glider pilot and the ground crew or tow plane pilot is vital. If you need a refresher, you can review soaring signals in the diagrams on the Memphis Soaring Society's Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
If first impressions are as important as most people claim, you'll want to make a good impression with the orderliness of your cockpit. Aesthetics aside, a secure, well-organized cockpit is a sign of a safe pilot. That's why how you prepare your cockpit and cabin for flying is examined in Area of Operation II, Task B of the private pilot practical test. Download the practical test standards.

"Whatever your cross-country plans, and whatever aircraft you fly, your flight-aid materials should be arranged so that they are secure, at hand, and ready. Most examiners have tested the applicant who, having leveled off at cruise altitude, asked the examiner to take the flight controls so the applicant could reach behind the seat and rummage in his flight bag for items that should have been efficiently in place before takeoff," wrote designated pilot examiner Dave Wilkerson in "Checkride: Safe, Handy and Ready" in the May 2000 AOPA Flight Training.

There is much more to cockpit management than arranging your pilot supplies. After exhibiting your knowledge of cockpit management, the second objective of the task is to ensure that "all loose items in the cockpit and cabin are secured." Why? Turbulence or a hard landing could shake something loose, placing it out of your reach, interfering with the controls, even adversely affecting the aircraft's center of gravity. It is the third objective that covers those actions you may associate more closely with the term "cockpit management": organizing your pilot materials and equipment "in an efficient manner so they are readily available." Folding a chart so you can see your course line is a good example. Radio frequencies should be written on your route plan in expected order of use, a suggestion from the December 14, 2001, Training Tips article "Ready for Takeoff." Preparing for a night flight? Make sure flashlights are at hand and will work when needed.

The fourth objective requires that the pilot brief passengers on use of safety belts, shoulder harnesses, doors, and emergency procedures. But don't stop with a briefing: Resolve to manage your future passengers' safety and security throughout each flight. That's what cockpit management is all about.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Mixing it up-trying new and different things-is a good way to keep your flying skills fresh and interesting after the private pilot certificate, and seaplanes offer a whole new wet world of aviation to explore. Seaplane Operations, by Dale DeRemer and Cesare Baj, covers basic and advanced techniques for floatplanes. Aviation enthusiasts may want to peruse it simply for its historical and contemporary photographs of floatplanes, amphibians, and flying boats in use today, as well as little-known seaplanes throughout history. Order it online for $34.95 from Aviation Supplies and Academics.

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: When flying in the traffic pattern, my flight instructor recommends that I fly 1,000 feet above ground level (agl), but I've heard other instructors teaching their students to fly 800 feet agl. I'm a bit confused on this issue and want to know if AOPA can help straighten this out.

Answer: Traffic pattern altitudes for propeller-driven aircraft can range from 600 through 1,500 feet agl, according to Chapter 4-3-3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). The AIM also recommends using a 1,000-foot-agl pattern altitude unless a different altitude has been established for the airport. If a traffic pattern altitude (TPA) is not listed for a particular airport, the 1,000-foot recommendation would apply. Sometimes airport management decides to set or change a traffic pattern altitude (within the parameters of 600-1,500 feet), and the new TPA is not listed in the Airport/Facility Directory. AOPA's Airport Directory Online updates this information through airport surveys and questionnaires. But if in doubt, we recommend you call the airport. For more information, download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Operations at Nontowered Airports Safety Advisor.

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