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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 51AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 51

The following stories from the December 23, 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
Since Sino Swearingen received FAA certification for its SJ30-2 jet in October, West Virginia and Texas officials have been vying for the added jobs that will come with the company's ramp-up to full production. Sino Swearingen currently employs about 180 workers in Martinsburg, West Virginia, where the jet's fuselage and wings are produced and then shipped to the company's San Antonio facility for final assembly. The company employs almost 500 workers at the Texas facility. Sino Swearingen Chairman and Chief Executive Ching-Chiang Kuo said moving all of the jet's production work to West Virginia was unlikely, according to The Charleston Gazette. The company is asking West Virginia for funds to support the training of new workers and is working a deal with Texas officials to expand its current facility.

My ePilot - Own/May Own Interest
One of the simplest ways to keep rust from eating away at your engine's inner parts is to fly regularly. "More engines rust out than wear out, especially for general aviation pilot/owners who may only fly 100 hours or fewer a year," writes Steven W. Ells in "Your Engine-Use It or Lose It" in the November 2000 AOPA Pilot. Flying at least one hour a week will get the engine up to normal operating temperature, which lubricates the engine's parts and gets rid of any moisture that has built up in the oil. If you will not fly much during these cold months, winterizing your aircraft is essential. Ells provides information on kits that are available. "Take action now," Ells advises, "and spend next year's flying money on gas rather than engine repairs."

My ePilot - Other Interest
The three-dimensional real-time animation of glider flight paths could transform competitive gliding into a spectator sport, according to the Soaring Society of America. Until now, glider racing wasn't "the best spectator sport," writes Nathan A. Ferguson in "Big Brother Watches Over" in the June 2004 AOPA Pilot. "Once they're gone, they're gone, and they won't return until after 5 p.m." But New Zealand-based Animation Research Ltd. is using real-time computer graphics to allow spectators to "watch" the entire race. The company did this for yachting in the America's Cup. Data transmitted by GPSs installed in the gliders will be used to create the graphics. The technology will be used during the New Zealand Gliding Grand Prix, January 21 through 29.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Recent Training Tips stories focused on climbing out on the proper departure track, leveling off, and proceeding on course ready to navigate and communicate. When flying a departure in busy terminal airspace, preparedness includes knowing who you should contact when the "handoff" from the tower comes. Have the right frequency ready. Set it in a second com radio or as the second frequency in a radio with primary and backup-frequency capability before you call the tower for takeoff.

Ground control and tower frequencies are easy to find on navigation charts and in directories. More elusive are frequencies to use after takeoff from a busy terminal airport when told to contact departure control, or when using radar services on arrival, although some are charted as boxed notes such as at boundaries of Class C airspace. See the May 3, 2002, Training Tips "Using Radar Services."

Consult the frequency listings printed on a panel of your sectional chart, or check the airport's communications frequencies in the Airport/Facility Directory. "An 'R' within a circle identifies the frequency for radar services. The listing begins with the name of the facility (e.g., Boston, Cleveland, Denver, or Philadelphia) followed by 'APP CON' (approach control), 'DEP CON' (departure control), or 'APP/DEP CON' (approach and departure control). Simply call the appropriate controller on the published frequency and ask for radar services," wrote Robert N. Rossier in the July 1999 AOPA Flight Training feature "All You Have to Do Is Ask: Radar Services for VFR Pilots." These should be noted on your flight log.

At some airports airspace is divided into sectors using different frequencies. Know which sector contains your route-but listen alertly for frequency assignments that differ from what you'd expect.

Reminder: Even in busy airspace with radar controllers working your flight, scan vigilantly for traffic. Radar does not pick up all traffic, such as low-level flights originating at outlying airports. Radar targets of aircraft without transponders may be reported as traffic "type and altitude unknown." Controller workload may limit service, as described in the March 1999 AOPA Pilot feature "Looking for the Traffic."

Every flight is a sequence of events. Knowing what comes next will keep those high-workload phases manageable and fun.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Have you resolved to slim down for the new year? Zuluworks, makers of cockpit organizers, kneeboards, and bags, had a similar notion with its line of Zuluboards kneeboards-hence the introduction of the Mini-Z. It's 50 percent smaller than the full-sized Zuluworks kneeboards ( read a review from the August 2003 issue of AOPA Flight Training) and comes with a set of five Zulucards, the laminated cards that carry flight information and memory joggers. The Mini-Z is available in ballistic nylon or waxed canvas in a variety of colors. The base price is $34.95, which includes a set of five Zulucards and a flight pad. If you don't need Zulucards or a pad, there's also an Economy Mini-Z starting at $24.95. 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: This past weekend I flew a cross-country flight and landed at an unfamiliar airport. As I taxied for departure, I noticed a sign describing noise abatement procedures. Am I required to comply with the procedures? Where do I find information on them prior to arriving at the airport?

Answer: Yes, if there is a local municipal ordinance for an airport's noise abatement policy, it can be legally enforced. As pilots, we should always abide by any noise abatement procedures. You can find the noise abatement policy for an airport listed in AOPA's Airport Directory Online. You can also find the noise policies and procedures listed on the back of Jeppesen instrument approach charts, and the Airport/Facility Directory lists them under "airport remarks." Towered airports with noise abatement procedures often use the ATIS broadcast to advise pilots when the procedures are in effect. For additional information on noise abatement procedures, see AOPA Online. To find out more on noise and airport planning, download AOPA's Guide to Airport Noise and Compatible Land Use .

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