The following stories from the June 10, 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 - Jet Interest FAA CERTIFIES NEW WILLIAMS JET ENGINE
Williams International has received FAA type certification for its FJ44-1AP turbofan engine. Two of them will be mounted on the Cessna Citation CJ1+. Williams said the engine delivers 2,100 pounds of takeoff thrust, an increase of 200 pounds of thrust compared with the previous FJ44-1 model. The new engine also delivers more efficient operation and comes with a longer-term warranty. My ePilot - Helicopter Interest SIKORSKY PLANS TO BUILD 'COAXIAL' HELICOPTER
Sikorsky Aircraft recently announced its plans to build a demonstrator helicopter with two rotors stacked on top of the aircraft. The company has dubbed it part of "a new class of coaxial X2 Technology helicopters." The helicopter features two counter-rotating rotors on the same vertical axis and a pusher prop on the tail. Sikorsky says it should cruise at 250 knots and have better vertical flight capabilities. The company plans to build the demonstrator at its Schweizer Aircraft subsidiary and have it flying by the end of 2006. For more information and to see an illustration of the helicopter, visit the Web site
. My ePilot - Instrument Interest FIND YOUR PERSONAL SIM
As common as computers and simulator software are today, more pilots are turning to sim programs they can run on their home computers. "The right desktop PC, properly equipped, will help you to learn and maintain your instrument skills while saving you big bucks," writes Wally Miller in "The Virtual Blue Yonder"
in the April 2002 AOPA Flight Training
. For those who have been thinking about purchasing a PC-based sim, Miller provides a checklist to guide you through the process and lists features that many programs include so you can rank your preferences. My ePilot - Piston Single-Engine Interest ENGINE OUT: CAN YOU LAND SAFELY?
From the beginning of training, pilots are taught how to handle emergency situations. Keeping those emergency skills honed is important-the key to a safe emergency landing depends partly upon the pilot's skill level. Alton K. Marsh provides examples of successful emergency landings in a Beech B36TC Bonanza and a Pitts S-2B in "In-Flight Emergencies: Engine out"
in the January 1999 AOPA Pilot
. "Both examples have one thing in common: The pilots knew how far their aircraft could glide because their skills were polished by daily experience," he explained. Before your next flight, study your aircraft's performance tables and refresh your memory of the emergency checklist. My ePilot - Professional Pilot Interest REGIONAL AIRLINES ARE HIRING PILOTS, FLIGHT SCHOOLS SAY
Many aspiring airline pilots aren't pursuing their dream career because of all the news about major airlines having financial difficulties, an Orlando-based flight academy said. Yet regionals are snapping up graduates at lower levels of experience today than in the past. Delta Connection Academy President Susan Burrell said student enrollments used to grow at 15 to 20 percent a year, but that has not been possible due to a misperception by potential students and their parents that the number of available pilot jobs is shrinking. She said she placed all of her last class in regional airline jobs, adding that requirements from regionals have dropped from 1,000 hours total time with 100 multiengine hours, to 700 hours total time and 100 multiengine hours. It used to take a student two years, from the time initial pilot training began, to reach the cockpit of a regional jet airliner, but now the time is 18 months, Burrell said. My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips SUMMER NIGHTS
With days of long-enduring sunlight upon us, don't forget to plan how you will meet the night-flying requirements of your training. This doesn't have to mean heading off to the airport at the end of your favorite prime-time television program when you'd usually be thinking about sleep. Instead, tape the TV show and schedule some sunset training flights that transition into nighttime flying as both a convenient and realistic way to get some night flying done. The requirements you must meet, and other aspects of night flying, were discussed in the February 1, 2002, Training Tips
For the requirements that must be completed exclusively at night-such as the three hours, and the dual 100-nautical-mile cross-country and 10 night takeoffs and landings-be sure that you are indeed flying at "night" as defined under the Federal Aviation Regulations.
By definition that is "between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight, as published in the American Air Almanac
," Kathy Yodice explained in her column
in the November 2004 AOPA Flight Training
. Since this is not a particularly accessible definition at the airport, she added this guidance: Consult the table on The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Web site
, or "if you can't access the Web site, a rule of thumb is to add a half-hour to official sunset and subtract a half-hour from official sunrise; you can usually get these times from your local newspaper or flight service."
Preflight preparation for a night flight means allowing for night fuel reserves, knowing what runway and approach lighting is available at destinations, and looking up whether control towers (and associated controlled airspace) will be in operation when you expect to arrive. Review with your instructor what personal equipment to bring along. Talk over the need for adaptation to darkness and how your eyes function in the dark. Do not be surprised if finding the destination airport is challenging-especially if it sits in the midst of bright urban lights. If it is rural, stay alert to wandering wildlife on runways.
Night flying has unique joys and challenges, as Mark Twombly describes in his March 2004 AOPA Flight Training
column, "Continuing Ed: Day into Night."
As usual when taking on a new flying experience, preparation is the key. My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products 'TAKEOFFS AND LANDINGS' BACK IN PRINT
If you've been searching for a copy of Leighton Collins' first book, Takeoffs and Landings
, look no further. Aviation Supplies and Academics is reprinting the book, calling it a comprehensive analysis and insight into the factors involved with each takeoff and landing: trim, control feel, flaring, correcting imperfections, airplane design characteristics, atmospheric conditions, pilot skill, airport design, and where the pilot's hands and eyes are at each phase. Collins founded Air Facts
magazine and contributed a chapter to Wolfgang Langewiesche's Stick and Rudder
. This edition includes an opening note by Collins' son, aviation writer Richard L. Collins, and new photography by Tom Lippert. Order it online
for $19.95. 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 planning my first solo cross-country flight to a towered airport and am looking for runway and taxiway diagrams, as well as information on airport arrival and departure procedures. Does AOPA have this kind of information online? Answer:
AOPA Flight Training Online offers free airport diagrams
for towered airports. In addition, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation has an illustrated guide sheet on airport and taxiway signage
and a downloadable Safety Advisor, Operations at Towered Airports
. For a really great learning experience, take the foundation's free online course, "Runway Safety."
And to review procedures for talking with air traffic control, read AOPA's publication, ATC Communications.