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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 4AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 4

The following stories from the January 28, 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 - Multiengine Interest
A high-time multiengine pilot/owner and a flight instructor trying to build multiengine time could make the perfect flying duo. Multi-rated mentors can pass along years of real-world experience and valuable piloting skills to a CFI to help launch his or her professional career. Having a second pilot at the controls of a twin also increases safety. "This helps them out, and it helps me out. It works for them, and it works for me, too," said mentor Ron Belok in Mark Twombly's October 2002 AOPA Flight Training column, "Continuing Ed: Multi Mentor." Belok has helped jump-start numerous CFIs' careers. Learn how to become a mentor, or find one, through AOPA's Project Pilot.

My ePilot - Other Interest
The Soaring Society of America (SSA) announced its Soaring Hall of Fame inductees for 2004. Gunter Voltz has been soaring for 75 years and has soloed more than 400 students. And at the age of 88, he still is teaching soaring, according to SSA. John 'Birdman' Byrd competed in soaring contests for more than 30 years and was a member of the U.S. Soaring Team during four world gliding championships. The society is honoring the late Leonard Niemi (1917-1995) as the Historical Candidate. Niemi, along with a partner, organized Arlington Aircraft and manufactured the Sisu racing glider. The inductees will be honored at the SSA National Convention in Ontario, California, February 9 through 12.

My ePilot - Sport Pilot Interest
The first batch of sport pilot examiners is ready to give checkrides. The group of eight finished the sport pilot examiner initial course last week. They completed initial sport pilot and sport pilot flight instructor evaluations and reviewed sport pilot regulations, practical test standards, and the examiner handbook. Examiners approved to give sport pilot checkrides are William Bardin and Brian Carpenter, California; John Beaman and Bob Bleadon, Oregon; Roy Beisswenger, Illinois; Eric Johnson, Arizona; and Larry Littlefield and Romke Sikkema, Florida. The FAA's Light Sport Aviation Branch plans to have the examiners' contact information posted on its Web site today. The Light Sport Standardization Board met this week to evaluate candidates for its next sport pilot examiner initial course, set for March 21 in Sebring, Florida.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Executing a well-flown short-field landing proves that a pilot has learned and can combine numerous flying skills. But don't judge how well you flew the maneuver strictly by its gratifying completion: Touching down at minimum control airspeed, at or within 200 feet of a specified point, as mandated by the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards. A good short-field landing is a specialized procedure that results from a stabilized approach, with the aircraft properly configured and trimmed for the recommended airspeed. This allows the pilot to use small adjustments of power or pitch to ensure a successful outcome.

Once mastered, a short-field landing isn't something to save for the flight test or occasional practice flights to smaller airports. Use it on a cross-country flight if you must land on a longer, intersected runway. Executing a short-field landing could also help if air traffic control requests you to "expedite" (see the Pilot/Controller Glossary in the Aeronautical Information Manual), allowing you to exit the runway at a taxiway close to the approach end.

Before selecting a short-field landing for a given situation, you need to know what is reasonable to expect from your aircraft-and yourself. Study the pilot's operating handbook, then add a safety margin allowing for pilot experience and performance-eroding aircraft wear and tear. If the approach must overfly an obstacle, consider adding a safety margin such as the "50-50 Solution" offered in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings . In all cases, be ready to perform a go-around (the subject of the July 25, 2003 "Training Tips") if the approach is not working out as planned. Add short-field landing skills to your bag of tricks and see your piloting confidence grow!

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Planning to fly an aircraft whose cockpit sports Garmin G1000 integrated glass-panel avionics? Get a jump on this new technology with Sporty's latest DVD, "Flying the Garmin G1000." The 37-minute DVD uses flying footage (narrator Richard Collins flies Sporty's G1000-equipped Cessna 182) to show the viewer how the system operates and how best to use it in the air and on the ground. "Flying the Garmin G1000" is available for $24.95 and may be ordered online, or by calling 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 recently flew a night flight in preparation for my private pilot certificate. Can you give me any guidance as to which lights should be used and when?

Answer: Professional pilots are trained that standardized usage of certain lights can increase situational awareness, especially on the ground at large airports. Whenever the master switch is on, the position (navigation) lights should be illuminated. Prior to engine start, the red beacon lights should be turned on to alert the ground crew and other pilots that the airplane is ready to move. When taxiing, the pilot should turn on the taxi light. However, when not in motion, many pilots turn the taxi light off to make it easier for others to know the aircraft is not moving. Only when cleared onto the runway should strobe lights be turned on. Finally, when cleared for takeoff, every exterior light is turned on for maximum visibility. Because lighting equipment varies in general aviation aircraft, these procedures may need to be modified. The main goal is to see and be seen, especially considering the FAA's heightened sensitivity to runway incursions (situations that create collision risks on the ground) these days. More information is available on AOPA Online.

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