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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 44AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 44

The following stories from the November 4, 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
Dassault Aviation designed its newest aircraft, the Falcon 7X now in test flight, in a darkened auditorium in Saint-Cloud, France, where engineers sat before a 10-foot-high screen wearing 3-D glasses. Engineers told the Los Angeles Times the process cut $300 million from development costs. The engineers used joysticks to manipulate the aircraft, rotating it and flipping it as if it were in the room. They also designed the machine tools needed to manufacture the aircraft. The $40 million jet can carry eight passengers and three crewmembers. Boeing bought the Dassault software to design the 787, a 250-passenger airliner that will enter service in 2008, the newspaper reported.

My ePilot - Helicopter Interest
Schweizer Aircraft delivered its 1,000th helicopter on October 21 to BC Helicopters in Abbotsford, British Columbia. BC purchased a 300CBi, its eleventh new 300CBi since 2001. At a ceremony, President Paul Schweizer called the delivery "a momentous day in company history." The transition of the 269 Series-of which the 300BCi is a part-from Hughes Helicopters to Schweizer Aircraft in 1983 "has been a true success story," he said, adding that Schweizer has revitalized and expanded the 269 helicopter series program.

My ePilot - Instrument Interest
As winter approaches and the weather begins to deteriorate (in most parts of the country), it is time to sharpen those instrument flying skills. Even if you regularly file IFR, chances are most of that time isn't spent in hard IFR conditions. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's "Instrument Flying Resources" offers a variety of free resources to help pilots maintain knowledge needed for IFR flying, including two online instrument flying courses, four Sporty's Safety Quizzes, and a Safety Advisor. A low-cost DVD on Single Pilot IFR is also available to help you keep your skills in peak condition. After refreshing and testing your knowledge on the ground, grab a safety pilot or flight instructor on a clear day and practice shooting instrument approaches. Go to new airports, shoot unfamiliar approaches, and fly the full approach.

My ePilot - Piston Single-Engine Interest
Want the inside scoop on the general aviation piston-engine market? AOPA covers in depth piston aircraft in "Piston Market: All Ahead Full" in the June 2005 special issue of AOPA Pilot. Learn about the latest in glass cockpit technology, ballistic parachute systems, and airbags; how competition is heating up in the tailwheel industry; and piston aircraft from light sport aircraft, to experimentals, to helicopters.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
The October 28, 2005, Training Tips article "Low Voltage" discussed how a pilot flying in visual conditions should cope with a potential electrical failure, acting quickly to conserve power to run aircraft systems before landing. But what if it is already too late, and the electrical system completely fails? You will have to do some quick thinking and make decisions that may not at first seem obvious.

The immediate concern is how you'll fly the airplane. Navigation and communications radios and the transponder won't work. Neither will electrically operated flaps, fuel boost pumps, nor any electrically powered gyro instruments. So navigation will be strictly visual. Your arrival will be unannounced, and your landing will be without flaps. Which brings up the question: Where should that landing be? If you are coming home to a tower-controlled airport, you may recall that there are procedures for communicating, involving air traffic control's use of light signals as described in Chapter 4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. Could you interpret those signals right now, without review?

In any case, is that kind of arrival the best plan? It's a judgment call. If the airport is very busy (or resides in controlled airspace requiring a transponder) diverting to a nearby, familiar nontowered airport might be worth considering. Diverting, a task on the private pilot practical test, was discussed in the June 28, 2002, Training Tips. There could be traffic at your alternate destination too, so stay alert. Also, absent surface wind reports, give the windsock a good look.

While juggling tasks, remember that aircraft control comes first! Electrical failures are annoying and inconvenient, but they do not affect your aircraft's ability to fly-something to keep at the forefront of your thinking. "Now that I have my private pilot certificate, and I am well past the tension of that day, I have the luxury of being glad for my electrical failure. I know that whatever happens, just fly the airplane," a student pilot wrote, reflecting on an electrical-failure incident in "Learning Experiences: Where Did Everybody Go?" in the April 2004 AOPA Flight Training. Fashion a plan for this unlikely occurrence, and then execute it with confidence if the need should ever arise.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
You recently became a private pilot, and you have the plastic certificate to prove it. Now what? If you aren't sure what to do with your new ticket, take a look at LeRoy Cook's suggestions in 100 Things to Do With Your Private Pilot's License, a skill-building handbook aimed at helping new pilots discover all the joys of flying. Order online for $19.95 from Marv Golden Pilot Supplies.

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: After I complete the checkride for my pilot certificate, how long is my temporary certificate valid?

Answer: FAR 61.17 states that a temporary pilot, flight instructor, or ground instructor certificate or rating is issued for up to 120 days, at which time a permanent certificate will be issued to qualified applicants. The temporary certificate will expire based on the expiration date on the certificate, upon receipt of the permanent certificate, or upon receipt of a notice that the certificate or rating you applied for is denied or revoked. If you have not yet received a permanent certificate by the time your temporary certificate expires, contact the FAA's Airmen Certification Branch to find out the status of your application processing. Your designated pilot examiner and/or local FAA flight standards district office can reissue another temporary certificate until you receive your permanent pilot certificate.

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