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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 42AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 42

The following stories from the October 21, 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 - Professional Pilot Interest
The airlines hired 969 pilots in September, bringing the year-to-date total to 8,319. That's just over 1,000 pilots shy of the total number of pilots hired in all of 2004 (9,382), according to hiring data compiled by AIR Inc. The national carriers led the way in hiring for September, taking on 317 pilots. The majors hired 217 pilots, and non-jet operators hired 118. Jet operators hired 92 pilots, and fractionals picked up 80. For more information about AIR Inc., see the Web site.

My ePilot - Multiengine Interest
Whether you are training for a multiengine rating or are working your way up the aviation ladder to a flight crew position, the specialists in AOPA's Pilot Information Center have compiled resources to make your transition run smoothly. In the "Advanced Flight Training" section of the online Pilot Information Center, you can review practical test standards, find a designated examiner near you, and even figure out how to finance your training.

My ePilot - Turboprop Interest
Raytheon Aircraft and the FAA are concerned about a faulty part in various models of Beechcraft King Airs that can prevent the main landing gear from extending. The problem stems from General Machine-Diecron actuator nut assemblies that are only installed in electrical/mechanical main landing gear systems. The military experienced a parts failure in a King Air 200, resulting in a gear-up landing. Raytheon has issued a service bulletin and recalled the parts from its suppliers. The FAA issued a special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) and is considering an airworthiness directive (AD) to recapture the remaining 100 or so unaccounted for parts. Download the SAIB from AOPA Online.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
If you are the curious type, you have probably spent time poking around in the pilot's operating handbook for the training aircraft you fly. There, among the technical data, you may have noticed a published value for the aircraft's "wing loading." Perhaps you also remember hearing or reading that certain aircraft handle turbulence well because of their high wing loading. Why?

You'll need to go beyond the simple definition of wing loading to understand its relevance to your flying. Wing loading is a way of expressing how much weight each square foot of wing area must lift, and is usually given at the aircraft's maximum gross weight. Here is a wing loading formula from AOPA's Handbook for Pilots : Wing loading (lb/sq ft)=aircraft gross weight (lb)/wing area (sq ft). A Cessna 172N at gross weight has a wing loading of 13.2 lb/sq ft. A Cessna 182S has a wing loading of 17.8 lb/sq ft. Both aircraft have the same total wing area, but the C-182 at gross weight is 800 pounds heavier than the C-172.

"As you might imagine, these numbers vary significantly among aircraft types and are skewed by various design choices. For instance, a Cessna 150, with some 157 square feet of wing holding up a mere 1,600 pounds, has a wing loading of just 10.9 lb/sq ft; it is at the lower end of the production-airplane scale in this regard," Marc E. Cook wrote in his enduring feature "Loaded Questions," from the July 1997 AOPA Pilot magazine. "Wing loading for single-engine airplanes tends to top out at around 25 lb/sq ft, mainly because the regulations call for a 61-knot maximum landing-configuration stall speed for singles." Read the article and learn how you can infer much about your aircraft's performance from its wing loading.

So wing loading is a fixed value at a given weight? Not exactly. The effect of an aircraft's center of gravity (see the December 26, 2003, Training Tips) on wing loading and stability is "not generally realized," according to Chapter 3 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Download the chapter to see its informative, illustrative discussion.

Wing loading demystified. Goes to show how some research into an obscure detail can shed new light on how to fly.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
So you're taking the sport pilot route to a pilot certificate, and you'd like some help preparing for the knowledge test. King Schools has added a Sport Pilot Exam Course on CD-ROM to its line of home-study courses (which now spans private pilot, instrument, commercial, and CFI/CFII). Each kit includes the CD-ROMs, a course book, all available sport pilot knowledge test questions, unlimited random practice tests, a sign-off form for the knowledge test, a personalized graduation certificate, and a bonus FAR/AIM CD-ROM. The price is $179. For more information or to order, see the Web site.

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: What is LAHSO?

Answer: LAHSO is an acronym for "land and hold short operations." Chapter 4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual describes the pilot and controller responsibilities of LAHSO. Air traffic control uses this procedure, which can involve landing aircraft simultaneously on intersecting runways, to increase airport capacity and efficiency, but it requires pilot participation. Student pilots and pilots not familiar with LAHSO operations should not accept a LAHSO clearance. The pilot in command should only accept a LAHSO clearance if he or she determines that the aircraft can land and stop safely within the available landing distance (ALD). The Airport/Facility Directory has a listing of all airports in the specified region that conduct LAHSO operations, including the landing runway, the hold-short point, and the available landing distance. For additional information on LAHSO, see AOPA Online.

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