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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 48AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 48

The following stories from the December 2, 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
Sure you've walked through aircraft displays at airshows and open houses, but have you thought about putting your twin on display? Even if your aircraft doesn't have a snazzy paint scheme or the latest avionics, the public will be interested. "Big, noisy warbirds may be the sizzle that lures people to an airport open house, but the public should know that it's the plain-spoken, owner-flown, piston-powered singles and twins that bring home the bacon at their local field," writes Mark R. Twombly in the April 2003 AOPA Pilot article "Pilotage: Best of Show", as he recounts putting his co-owned Piper Twin Comanche on display at an open house at Page Field in Florida. Twombly recommends creating a poster-size spec sheet to set by your aircraft.

My ePilot - Professional Pilot Interest
One quality that every professional pilot must possess is good airmanship. It's also a quality that needs to be taught to every student pilot. "Airmanship is an older, less popular term than professionalism. It's rarely talked about these days. But airmanship is not gone, though it may have been forgotten," writes Christopher L. Parker in the February 2000 AOPA Flight Training Instructor Report "Instructor Tips: Reviving Pride in Piloting". Parker reminds pilots, "Good airmanship is taught by example, by demonstration, and by offering your students the knowledge that you've gained through your own experience." You can help student pilots learn airmanship by becoming a mentor.

My ePilot - Other Interest
Indian balloonist Vijaypat Singhania claims to have reached a record-breaking altitude of nearly 70,000 feet during a 150-mile flight from Bombay south to Panchale, India, according to The Associated Press. But it could be weeks before the flight is officially declared a world record. The Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), headquartered in Switzerland, told ePilot that Singhania's feat must be recognized as a national record by the Aero Club of India before it can be submitted to FAI for a world record. Instruments that were sealed inside the balloon's capsule will be examined to determine the exact height reached. The altitude Singhania must beat is 64,997 feet, which was set in Texas in 1988 by Per Lindstrand of Sweden.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
The November 25, 2005, Training Tips discussed techniques for maintaining directional control during the ground run portions of takeoffs and landings. How well a pilot maintains directional control shows in whether the aircraft remains on the centerline of the runway while moving on the ground. Once airborne, something referred to as the "extended centerline" of the runway is your guide to proper positioning during the climbout after takeoff. "During the initial climb, it is important that the takeoff path remain aligned with the runway to avoid drifting into obstructions, or the path of another aircraft that may be taking off from a parallel runway," explains Chapter 5 of the FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook ( download 2.85 megabyte file).

It takes special focus to keep your ground track positioned along the extended centerline during this high-workload phase. "The sideways drift on climbout is caused by the same factors that put us off track everywhere else in the pattern. The wind, of course, is a big factor but certainly not the only one. Even on a calm day, it's easy to look back during the crosswind turn and find that we're off centerline. Why? It's usually a combination of letting a wing drop just a degree or two below level flight without making a correction and letting the ball slide off center by not correcting properly for P-factor, torque, slipstream, etc.," Budd Davisson wrote in the August 2001 AOPA Flight Training feature "Looking Down: Ground Track in the Pattern." Tracking correctly means establishing a crab angle into the wind once you are safely clear of the ground. Remember that wind speed and direction changes with altitude; your crab angle may require adjustment as you climb.

Suppose your takeoff clearance included instructions to "fly runway heading"-how should you comply? It starts with knowing the exact magnetic heading of the departure runway. "When cleared to 'fly or maintain runway heading,' pilots are expected to fly or maintain the heading that corresponds with the extended centerline of the departure runway. Drift correction shall not be applied; e.g., Runway 4, actual magnetic heading of the runway centerline 044, fly 044," explains the pilot/controller glossary within the Aeronautical Information Manual.

Details count! Display your skill by knowing and showing the safest, most precise takeoff and departure techniques.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Does your flight school offer an aircraft with the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit technology on the rental line? Are you considering buying an airplane with G1000 avionics? King Schools now offers an interactive CD-ROM course aimed at providing glass cockpit proficiency. "Cleared for Flying the Garmin G1000" covers VFR and IFR operations, navigation, communications, loading and activating instrument approaches, departure and arrival procedures, systems, what to do when things go wrong, and best operating procedures. It contains seven CD-ROMs and runs about four hours before interactive questions. When you've completed the course, you can print out a certificate for a checkout instructor, FBO, or insurance company. The course sells for $249 and may be ordered online.

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: It appears as though all of the weather reports and charts that provide cloud information only provide cloud bases. Are there any reports or charts that provide cloud top information?

Answer: Yes. A pirep (UA) is the only report that may include cloud top information if the pilot provides it. Though a radar weather report (SD) and a radar summary chart do not provide cloud top information, they do provide information on the top of precipitation, which could be very useful in your flight planning. For additional information on these and other weather reports and charts, view Advisory Circular 00-45E and the Aeronautical Information Manual, Chapter 7. You can access aviation weather reports and graphics, provided by Meteorlogix on AOPA Online. To learn how to provide a pirep, take the SkySpotter online course provided by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.

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