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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 24AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 24

The following stories from the June 17, 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
Grob Aerospace located in Germany has completed a prototype of its Grob SPn eight-passenger, all-composite utility jet. Grob says it plans to have the jet certified first in Europe in early 2007, then in the United States in mid-2007. It will be approved for single-pilot operation under commuter rules. Aerospace International News reported that the price will be $7.1 million. The company claims it is the world's first all-composite private jet. AIN said the long-range cruise speed will be 375 knots. Grob said the range with one pilot and eight passengers is 1,670 nm. Sales and maintenance will be handled by another European group, ExecuJet Aviation Group.

My ePilot - Multiengine Interest
Whether you do a multiengine refresher at your local airport or travel to a flight school or instructor who specializes in multi instruction, you'll be focused on knocking the rust off your piloting skills. If you travel to another city for your refresher, check out the nearby attractions-either to help you unwind at night or for a short break after an intense session filled with engine outs. AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton K. Marsh traveled to Cleveland to fly with Charlie Wentz for his refresher. "With all those Wentz Workouts, it was nice to have interesting attractions within walking distance where I could take a break," writes Marsh in the September 2003 AOPA Pilot feature, "The Duchess of Cleveland."

My ePilot - Personal/Recreational Interest
Thought about making a $100 hamburger run to an airport you haven't visited yet? Looking for an airport with nearby attractions for the entire family? AOPA's Airport Directory Online can help you find the perfect destination. The advanced search function allows you to search for airports with a restaurant on the field, nearby attractions, camping, a particular type of fuel, and more. Narrow the search by selecting a specific state or setting a radius around the departure airport. If you select more than one criterion, your returned results will include only those airports that meet all of the criteria selected. See AOPA Online.

My ePilot - Helicopter Interest
Bell Helicopter announced this week at the Paris Air Show that its Bell 210, a civil certified version of the U.S. Army UH-1H, is expected to receive FAA certification by the end of June. The 210, which meets the Army's requirements for a light utility helicopter, is projected to cost about $3 million and have an operating cost less than $650 per hour. Bell Helicopter used a refurbished UH-1H fuselage, components from the Bell 212, and a Honeywell T-53-517B engine to make the 210.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
General aviation airports become busy places during summer. Traffic patterns become packed with aircraft on good-weather days. Some simple but effective operating practices will promote safety and efficiency in the pattern.

Taking off on a bright sunny day, the last thing many pilots think of doing is switching on the aircraft landing light. But you should-and the next time you spot other traffic thanks to that pinpoint of illumination against a backdrop of sky or ground, you'll become a believer. The FAA thinks so highly of using landing lights in traffic patterns and when operating below 10,000 feet that it gave the safety tip a name-Operation Lights On-and a paragraph in the Airport Operations chapter of the Aeronautical Information Manual.

What else can you do to be a good citizen of your traffic pattern? Be predictable. Of course this means complying with a controller's arrival instructions in a tower-controlled airport traffic pattern, and flying the specified pattern at nontowered airports (see the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Operations at Nontowered Airports Safety Advisor). For guidance, see Rod Machado's January 2004 AOPA Flight Training commentary "Since You Asked: Pattern Entry Puzzle."

Many student pilots ask: What should you do if you find yourself getting too close to an aircraft you are following in the pattern? Unexpected maneuvers or non-standard patterns create collision hazards-avoid them. An alternative that seems obvious but is surprisingly under-employed is to slow down! For inexperienced pilots, the urge is strong not to deviate from speeds, configurations, and power settings that you were taught for the pattern. This is called "rote learning"; breaking this habit is a milestone. After all, you also learned how to fly your aircraft at other speeds lower than cruise but safely above minimum controllable airspeed. Use them. Clinging to the usual speeds may lead you to extend your downwind leg far beyond any reasonable point for turning base, making it unlikely you'd be able to glide to the runway after an engine failure. Failing to adjust speed could also create difficulties for any traffic following you. For more, download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Collision Avoidance Safety Advisor.

Active patterns offer up multiple opportunities for decision making, as described in the August 2003 AOPA Flight Training feature "An Hour in the Pattern." The best way to become comfortable is to get out and practice!

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
David Schlafman, a 25-year gold seal flight instructor, has created FAAEZTest's Sport Pilot Encyclopedia, an all-in-one reference for sport pilots studying for the practical and knowledge tests. The publication comes in a newsprint tabloid format, and it contains all the pertinent test questions, Schlafman's witty explanations, and appropriate references to the Aeronautical Information Manual, Federal Aviation Regulations, and other FAA publications. Sport Pilot Encyclopedia is revised "every time the FAA issues a new test," according to Schlafman. He encourages user feedback and promises to list as future contributors those who add to the publication (or alert him of any errors). Order online for $9.95 from Pilotshop USA.

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: Can I use a flight-training device on my personal home computer to log instrument flight time?

Answer: The guidelines for logging time on personal computer-based aviation training devices (PCATDs) are specified in AC 61-126, Qualification and Approval of PCATDs . In order to log instrument flight time with a flight training device that is installed on your personal computer, it must be an FAA-approved PCATD, and you must be accompanied by an authorized instructor in accordance with FAR 61.51(g). For more information, read AOPA's subject report on flight training devices.

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