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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 22AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 22

The following stories from the June 3, 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 - Turboprop Interest
The turboprop market seems "firmly entrenched," according to AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Thomas A. Horne. Horne covered the turbine aircraft segment for AOPA's special section "The State of General Aviation" in the June 2005 AOPA Pilot and pointed out some of the major trends. "One is a sustained high level of recent demand for turbine-powered airplanes-after the pronounced slump of three years ago," he reported. "This in turn has pumped up the used turbine market, as more buyers hunt down recent-model trade-ins." Read Horne's article, "Turbine Market: Turbine Power," for the scoop on EADS Socata TBM 700, Pilatus PC-12, Extra EA-500, and Beechcraft's King Air line of turboprop twins.

My ePilot - Experimental Interest
Every pilot learns how an engine works during flight training. For those who would like to know and understand the intricate details of the engine they plan to use in their aircraft, building one at an engine build center could be the answer. Superior Air Parts Inc. announced that its XP-360-Plus Engine was recently assembled by a student at its engine build center in Coppell, Texas. During the build school, participants learn the function of each part and why it is installed a certain way. The XP-360-Plus Engine uses hydraulic roller lifters to reduce friction and improve performance of the roller tip, according to the company. For more information, visit the Web site.

My ePilot - Renter Interest
Renting an aircraft can have its advantages-particularly if you have a good relationship with the fixed-base operator providing your rental. Building that positive relationship will take time. "But with a little research and some strategic questions, you can secure the best renting relationship," writes Julie K. Boatman in "The Right Rental," February 2001 AOPA Pilot. Boatman provides examples of questions to ask about the company's track record, policies, aircraft maintenance, and others to help you get a better idea of whether you want to do business there. She also provides guidance on the checkout, insurance, and more.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Any pilot who carefully prepares a flight route, and navigates it precisely, is unlikely to experience interception by a military aircraft or stray into unauthorized airspace. But it's still your responsibility to be familiar with intercept procedures and be prepared to respond appropriately. "You can expect an abrupt introduction to formation flight with military or law enforcement aircraft if you violate a temporary flight restriction (TFR) or enter a prohibited area. Get a full briefing and notams before every flight, and be aware of any TFRs along or near your route," Jill W. Tallman advised in the June 2003 AOPA Flight Training article "Flying Smart: Aviation Speak: Intercept Procedures."

An excellent place to begin your review is Chapter Five, Section Six of the Aeronautical Information Manual, titled National Security and Interception Procedures. Here you'll find two tables explaining the meanings of signals and responses, such as the simple but easy-to-understand rocking of wings by the aircraft involved in an interception. Note that one table covers signals initiated by the interceptor and responses by the intercepted aircraft, while the other describes communications initiated by the intercepted and responses from the interceptor. Pay attention to the chapter's caution that peacetime procedures may be altered during "increased states of readiness." A summary of these intercept procedures is available on AOPA Online. You can also download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's intercept procedures card and take it with you when you fly.

If intercepted, tune your radio to the emergency frequency, 121.5 MHz, and set your transponder to 7700 unless otherwise instructed. A related suggestion for cockpit management comes from the March 28, 2003, Training Tips: "If you have two communications radios in your aircraft, consider using one to monitor 121.5 MHz on your next flight-especially if your flight will take you near any TFRs or other sensitive airspace." Also remember, as John Yodice urged in his "Pilot Counsel" column in the July 2001 AOPA Pilot, that "until radio communication has been established, the intercepted aircraft should continue to comply with and use visual signals."

Interception should never be necessary. But if it does happen, your composure and cooperation will be critical to defusing a volatile situation.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Instrument training translates to many hours spent flying with view-limiting devices. Sporty's offers a new alternative if you prefer a device that resembles a set of goggles as opposed to a plastic hood. The lenses of the Instant IFR Training Glasses are frosted to simulate IFR conditions, and they can be worn atop regular eyeglasses or sunglasses. Each pair comes with a carrying case and a five-year warranty and sells for $14.95. Order them online from Sporty's 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 thought I had recently completed an IFR cross-country flight toward the instrument rating requirements under FAR 61.65(d). We flew instrument approaches at three airports, but because we did not land at any of the airports, my instructor says the flight cannot be logged as cross-country time. Can AOPA clarify what counts as cross-country time?

Answer: Your instructor is correct. According to FAR 61.1(3)(ii), cross-country time for an instrument rating (in an airplane) means that the flight must include a landing at a point more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure. In your case, because you did not actually land at any airport during your flight, other than returning to the departure airport, you may not log this flight as cross-country time toward the instrument rating. For more information, see Kathy Yodice's discussion of cross-country time in the May 2004 AOPA Flight Training and AOPA's subject report, Logbooks and Logging Time .

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