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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 2AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 2

The following stories from the January 14, 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
Graveyard spiral. Coriolis illusion. Inversion illusion. The leans. All of these are well-known illusions caused by vestibular disorientation. Pilots must study these illusions and practice recovering from unusual attitudes with a full and partial panel to learn how to rely on instrument indications and ignore the conflicting barrage of information coming from various senses. But during high-stress situations, all of these conflicting signals can lead pilots to become more susceptible to panic and spatial disorientation. Your personality could play a role in how susceptible you are, according to Steven W. Ells in the October AOPA Pilot article, "Panic and the pilot: when reason flies out of the cockpit." Test your knowledge and learn more about spatial disorientation with the latest Sporty's Safety Quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.

My ePilot - Piston Single-Engine Interest
The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive for Bombardier-Rotax GmbH type 912 F, 912 S, and 914 F series reciprocating engines. This AD supersedes a previous AD and requires removing the existing part number oil dipstick from service and installing a new oil dipstick. It also requires similar actions to the previous directive. The AD becomes effective February 15. For more information, visit the Web site.

My ePilot - Experimental Interest
Van's Aircraft Inc. rang in the New Year with the number 4,000 in mind. That's because the number of confirmed, completed kits that have made first flights reached the milestone figure on December 27. Two more were reported the next day. Van's new RV-10 kits soon will add to the number of RVs flying. More than 300 RV-10 kits have been shipped, and the first ones are expected to be completed during the first half of 2005. An average of nearly three Van's Aircraft kits take to the air for the first time each day, according to the company.

My ePilot - Other Interest
Safe Flight Instrument Corporation received FAA supplemental type certification for its Powerline Detection System to be installed on Bell 206 series helicopters. The system detects the electromagnetic field radiating from live power lines and alerts pilots with an audible warning and red light. It can detect lines from any direction (vertical and lateral). The warning system detects large three-span wires from 2,500 feet to 3,000 feet away and single-span power lines from 1,200 feet to 2,000 feet away. The audible warning lets pilots know if they are flying toward, parallel to, or away from the power line. The audible clicks speed up as the helicopter flies toward the line and slow down when it heads away. The frequency does not change when paralleling the line.

My ePilot - Sport Pilot Interest
The FAA's Light Sport Aviation Branch (AFS-610) is ready to accept industry-developed training courses for light-sport aircraft (LSA) repair. Anyone who wants to submit course materials must comply with the requirements outlined in FAA Order 8000.84. See the FAA's Web site and look for the order by number. The order specifies the length of the training courses, how the course should be divided into practical training and lectures, passing scores for students, and more. For more information and updates, visit AOPA's Sport Pilot and Light-Sport Aircraft Web page.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Have you ever been momentarily confused about exactly who is flying the airplane-you or your instructor? This problem can arise, especially during flights that include instructors' demonstrations of maneuvers followed by student practice. However, a flight instructor and student who have worked out a method of communication for quickly and clearly transferring control will never waste costly flight time or place a flight at risk out of confusion. This is more than just good flight crew coordination. The Private Pilot Practical Test Standards (PTS) list "procedures for positive exchange of flight controls (who is flying the airplane)" among 11 special emphasis areas on which you will be evaluated throughout the flight test. You can download the PTS from AOPA Online.

Students and instructors should agree on a standard phrase to use during transfers. The terse "I have the airplane," is a frequent choice of CFIs when taking over, but the phrase "I have the flight controls" is used in the PTS. "You have the airplane" (or "you have the flight controls") is what you will hear when aircraft control is being released back to you. Give an appropriate confirming response as you relinquish or take control.

Be sure that a similar system is in place during your flight test, when you will probably be flying with someone new to your cockpit, as discussed in the "Instructor Report" column by Kristen Hummel in the November 2004 AOPA Flight Training.

Develop this very professional habit during your training, and you will be more alert to questions of command after you pass your checkride and begin flying with other pilots. The pleasant but sometimes ambiguous situation of two pilots flying together is analyzed in Wally Miller's April 2003 AOPA Flight Training feature "Assuming Command."

Even in training, transfers of command should be relatively infrequent. Instructors are warned that doing so too often interferes with their students' learning. "Intervene only when it's necessary to make a point, prevent an unsafe situation, or avoid an unpleasant meeting with the ground," counsels Rod Machado in his "Instructor Report" column in the February 2003 AOPA Flight Training.

So work out a method for transfer of control, rehearse your roles a time or two on the ground, then head out to fly, knowing that a safe, effective procedure for positive exchange of flight controls is in place in your cockpit.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Aviation Supplies and Academics Inc. has introduced a sport pilot logbook designed for students, pilots, and instructors who fly ultralights and light-sport aircraft, including hang gliders, paragliders, powered parachutes, weight-shift control trikes, and fixed-wing aircraft. Pilots can document preparations, flight conditions, and flight analyses in addition to the actual flight or instructional time. ASA maintains that your notes on each flight will help you to interpret weather more accurately by providing you with a reference to past conditions and the quality of the flight. The 98-page softcover, spiral-bound book sells for $19.95 and may be ordered online.

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 a student pilot working toward my private pilot certificate. Most of the free time I have to train is during the evening. Am I allowed to fly solo at night?

Answer: If your flight instructor provides you with the required training and logbook endorsements, you can fly solo at night. The presolo flight training requirements for a student pilot to solo at night can be found in 14 CFR Part 61 Section 61.87, specifically paragraphs (n), (o), and (p) under "Solo requirements for student pilots." Additionally, FAA Advisory Circular AC 61-65D provides flight instructors guidance for issuing endorsements for solo flight. However, your flight instructor might be reluctant to endorse you for solo flight at night because, although night flight training is required for the issuance of a private pilot certificate, night soloing is not required (see FAR 61.109, Aeronautical experience). Many flight schools do not permit student pilots to fly rental aircraft solo at night. For more information, see the Night Flying aviation subject report on AOPA Online.

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