Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 19AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 19

The following stories from the May 13, 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
Earning the instrument rating is a major task, but staying proficient can be almost as challenging and time consuming for those who don't fly IFR regularly. Taking the time to become proficient again can sharpen your basic flying skills and boost your confidence level, according to Steven W. Ells in "IFR and Out of Date" in the March 2003 AOPA Pilot. The Online Safety Center offers two free interactive courses, "Single-Pilot IFR" and "IFR Adventure: Rules to Live By" to help you learn and retain regulations and fly safely. You also can test your instrument knowledge with Sporty's Safety Quizzes.

My ePilot - Jet Interest
Citing rising costs in raw materials and problems with suppliers, Eclipse Aviation has raised the price of its Eclipse 500 jet to just under $1.3 million. Early buyers were able to get in for around $800,000 back in 2000. Eclipse officials said there has been a sharp increase in the cost of energy-based raw materials, particularly aluminum. Eclipse also had to replace some "underperforming" suppliers. "With this price adjustment, the Eclipse 500 is still priced 70 percent below today's current entry-level jets, with direct operating costs that are half that of those same aircraft," according to a news release.

My ePilot - Professional Pilot Interest
Whether you are an airline transport pilot, certificated flight instructor, or low-time pilot building hours, finding a flying career that fits your flying style could mean the difference between viewing your job as work and having fun every day. AOPA's Guide to Flying Careers offers an overview of aviation careers from airline to corporate aviation and from agricultural flying to aerial fire fighting. If you'd like to work for the government, the guide provides descriptions of jobs available with eight government agencies. It also includes articles from AOPA Flight Training, an overview of estimated salaries for various careers, required total times, and links to publications and associations that can provide you with tailored information.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
When your training takes up soft-field approaches and landings ("Soft Takeoffs" were discussed in the May 6, 2005, "Training Tips"), don't think of them as a procedure to demonstrate on your practical test and then discard. This maneuver, designed to meet nine objectives in Area of Operation 4, task D of the practical test standards, might well be named "soft-field, rough-field, and off-airport landings." Download the PTS.

Two characteristics set soft-field landings apart from other landings. The touchdown must be made as gradually as possible to protect the landing gear and avoid directional control problems on uneven ground. Also, a soupy surface requires that the airplane be kept moving at sufficient speed to taxi. "This is really a neat game where, as the airplane tries to slow down and settle onto the runway, we keep adding just enough power to hang it in the air only inches above the runway. But we don't want to keep it there. Gradually ease the throttle back just a little and let the airplane barely touch. The throttle will stay where it is or will be slightly increased, as you try to soften the touchdown and keep the nose up. Slowly ease the power further back and let the wheels settle on the rest of the way," Budd Davisson wrote in the October 2002 AOPA Flight Training feature "Field Work."

The connection between soft-field techniques and precautionary landings is not always pointed out. AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Thomas A. Horne did so in his August 1997 feature "Discretion and Precaution." Unlike an emergency landing, which must be executed immediately, a precautionary landing is performed when the pilot has more time to choose a place to set down-preferably an airport. But not always. If the landing must be off-airport, "you'll probably need to perform a soft-field landing, so be sure to have that procedure firmly in mind," Horne counseled. His article reviews basic techniques.

So soft-field landings are the special way to land at the many unpaved airports out there. Performing them is also a valuable skill for safe completion of a precautionary off-airport landing. Knowing this, tackle the maneuver in training and give it the attention that it deserves!

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Sporty's has updated the GPS Techniques installment of its Air Facts series on DVD to include glass panel technology as featured in the Garmin G1000 and Avidyne Entegra systems. In-flight footage using a Cessna 182 and Cirrus SR22 provides practical applications of the new technology. The two-program DVD also includes "GPS Approaches," which takes the viewer through the intricacies of the GPS approach, and "GPS En Route," which examines the full potential of GPS, whether panel mount or handheld. GPS Techniques sells for $25. 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'm considering buying a handheld GPS. Does AOPA have any information on the various units available on the market?

Answer: AOPA's subject report on GPSs and MFDs (multifunction displays) has a section on handheld GPSs that links to many product reviews from AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training. The report also includes general information articles on GPS as well as links to GPS software and training materials and cockpit display units. Also available is the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's GPS Technology Safety Advisor.

Related Articles