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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 14AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 14

The following stories from the April 8, 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 - Piston Single-Engine Interest
Wouldn't you like to be sure that if you lose your engine on takeoff, you'll be able to land safely on the remaining runway? You can by calculating your "accelerate-stop distance," a technique that multiengine pilots follow. This is the "distance it will take to accelerate to liftoff speed, experience the failure of one engine, and still brake to a complete stop on the remaining runway," explains Charles Wright in "A new look at takeoff performance: 'Accelerate-stop' for singles," in the March 2003 issue of AOPA Flight Training.

My ePilot - Jet Interest
Testing has begun on a new Cessna Citation CJ2+ (model 525A), which features Williams FJ44 engines with digital engine controls and Collins Pro Line 21 avionics. The single-pilot-certified aircraft uses the same airframe as the CJ2. The first flight was completed on April 2 in Wichita. Cessna is hoping for FAA certification by December, allowing deliveries to begin in 2006. The CJ1+, CJ2+, and CJ3 will be built on the same production line now used by the CJ1, CJ2, and CJ3 aircraft, allowing for savings in manufacturing costs. Workers will be able to easily switch from one model to the next based on order volume. The CJ2+, typically equipped, sells for $5.7 million.

My ePilot - Turboprop Interest
It is your responsibility-as the aircraft owner or operator-to make sure that your turbine-powered aircraft is airworthy each time you fly. Keeping it airworthy can be demanding. The FAA requires frequent inspections and preventive maintenance, and keeping up with the various schedules for inspections can be difficult. If you choose to use a maintenance record tracking system, make sure you update your data with each maintenance action, said John Sheehan in "Turbine Pilot: Turbine Aircraft Airworthiness" in the November 2003 AOPA Pilot. Sheehan also provides a handy list that can help you determine if your aircraft is airworthy. If you are unsure whether you have complied with any of the items on his list, check your records because your aircraft might not be airworthy.

My ePilot - Instrument Interest
During instrument flight, you have three primary instruments for each maneuver-which instruments depends upon the type of maneuver. However, if you fixate on those three instruments, your navigation and communication responsibilities won't receive enough attention, explained Ralph Butcher in Part 3 of his "Instrument Scan" series in the June 1998 Flight Training. Once you are established in flight and don't have to make many attitude or power changes, you can "fine-trim" the aircraft so that you can fly hands off and adopt a less fatiguing circular scan, Butcher said. However, you might not always reach his fourth step of fine-trimming the aircraft because with each attitude or power change, you must start your scan from step one.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
What safety item is mandated in the federal aviation regulations, listed prominently on aircraft checklists, and frequently overlooked by pilots? The answer is seatbelts and shoulder harnesses. So don't skim over this seemingly mundane item in training. Also, unsecured belts left dangling outside in the air stream may suddenly slap the fuselage. It can be startling, to say the least.

As students' habit patterns emerge, flight instructors may slyly leave a belt or harness unbuckled to see if they "get caught." Flight test examiners expect checkride applicants to deliver required briefings on use of belts and harnesses. They may ask, "Do we have to wear these throughout this flight?" How will you answer?

Part of the answer concerns the briefing. "Under FAR 91.107(a), the pilot in command is responsible for ensuring 'that each person on board the aircraft is briefed on how to fasten and unfasten that person's safety belt and, if installed, shoulder harness.' This briefing must be given before takeoff," explained attorney/pilot Kathy Yodice in her "Legal Briefing" column in the January 2004 AOPA Flight Training. This "could be vital to the inexperienced passenger. Sometimes in an emergency, a panicky passenger is unable to unfasten his or her seatbelt."

The best time to administer the briefing is when passengers board. FAR 91.107 says that "except as provided in this paragraph, each person on board a U.S.-registered civil aircraft (except a free balloon that incorporates a basket or gondola or an airship type certificated before November 2, 1987) must occupy an approved seat or berth with a safety belt and, if installed, shoulder harness, properly secured about him or her during movement on the surface, takeoff, and landing." In other words, before taxiing.

Under FAR 105, pilots "at crewmember stations" must wear seatbelts and shoulder harnesses "during takeoff and landing, and while en route," unless the shoulder harness would interfere with required duties. It is true that pilots are not required to enforce seatbelt use by other persons on board at times other than those noted under FAR 107-but why not do so for safety?

Depending on aircraft age, combinations of belts and harnesses vary. Some are described in the December 2004 AOPA Flight Training feature "Practice Some Restraint." Know the hardware, then use it in advancement of pilot responsibility and safety.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Aviation Media is offering aviation enthusiasts an opportunity to upgrade their video libraries and spread the word about general aviation at the same time. According to Aviation Media, owners of its popular Wonderful World of Flying videotape series can return the tapes to the company and for an additional $200 upgrade to the DVD version. Aviation Media, meanwhile, will donate the videotapes to high school or college libraries where they will hopefully spur enthusiasm among a new generation of pilots. For more information, see the Aviation Media Web site.

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 I need to visit an aviation medical examiner (AME) before I solo in order to get an FAA medical issued to me. Is there a reason why I can't visit my personal physician?

Answer: You may visit your personal physician for your FAA flight physical if he/she is an FAA-designated aviation medical examiner. However, AOPA's Medical Certification staff doesn't recommend it. As an FAA-designee, your physician is placed in an awkward position as both your treating physician and your AME. If you visit your treating physician as a patient with a medical problem that you don't yet wish to reveal to the FAA, you actually have reported the condition by making it known to your doctor/AME. Even though the AME may not pass that information on to the FAA, that does happen, and it creates a potential problem that you have to deal with sooner than you might normally have to. It's generally better to use your AME only for your FAA examination. For more information, read the Pilot's Guide to Medical Certification.

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