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

The following stories from the February 18, 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
During multiengine training, you repeatedly practiced single-engine flying-now that you have the rating, it doesn't mean you can relax. Your single-engine skills need to stay sharp in the event you lose an engine. Continuing to work periodically with an instructor to push your single-engine skills to the next level can help increase your safety. And if you encounter an actual emergency, you likely will feel more confident while going through the recovery procedures. Read how a thorough checkout in a Cessna 310 taught Patrick de la Garza he could handle a single-engine situation in "Learning Experiences: Twin Terror" from the December 1998 Flight Training.

My ePilot - Experimental Interest
The all-composite, single-engine Comp Air Jet made by Aerocomp Inc. recently returned to its home base at Merritt Island Airport in Florida after extensive flight testing. The company had been testing the aircraft in Titusville, Florida. The jet has reached speeds up to 244 knots indicated airspeed. The company expects to conduct altitude tests between 18,000 and 29,000 feet msl for the next two weeks. The company also is working to install air conditioning and pressurization systems. The jet is three-quarters of the way through its flight-test program. Estimated cost for the experimental kit, including airframe and engine, is $399,900. The finished cost could range from $550,000 to $600,000. Aerocomp plans to offer a builder-assist program for owners. For more information, visit the Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
It's unavoidable. Sooner or later, anyone who learns to fly will cope with turbulence. So why not sooner? Turbulence in its common forms is a normal part of flying; getting used to its piloting challenges and putting its discomforts in context shouldn't be delayed. Learning strategies for minimizing exposure to turbulence-for example by climbing above convective currents on warm, fair days-will influence your flight planning and in-flight decisions such as altitude selection. Convective layer turbulence will become more common as the weather warms. It is explained and illustrated in Chapter 10 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

Wind is another ingredient in turbulence production. But not always. "Wind speed alone doesn't create turbulence. Changes in wind speed and direction are the culprits when your flight begins to feel like the air has potholes, maybe even craters," writes meteorologist Jack Williams in "The Weather Never Sleeps: Lumps, Bumps, and Bruises" in the February 2005 AOPA Flight Training. However, wind combined with rugged or ragged terrain is a red flag for turbulence, as Thomas A. Horne described in the May 2002 AOPA Pilot article "Appalachian Weathermakers." "Just think of water flowing over rocks in rapids. Air, like water, is a fluid, and when it flows past obstacles it's deflected upward, then downward in a wavelike pattern. The pilot recognizes this when the airspeed fluctuates and the vertical speed indicator leaps up and down-and his or her head hits the headliner." Tighten that seatbelt!

You will find other turbulence indicators when gathering preflight weather information. Winds aloft forecasts may hint at wind shear when wind speeds or directions between adjacent levels vary drastically. Frontal passage may bring turbulence. With certain cloud formations visible, turbulence is on the prowl. Altocumulus standing lenticular clouds (ACSLs, discussed in the March 14, 2003 "Training Tips") tell of mountain waves and suggest severe turbulence or worse. Fresh pilot reports may be your best source of information. Pilots characterize turbulence or "chop" as light, moderate, or severe.

Pilots can't help but bump into turbulence. Let good flight planning and some training in choppy air boost your confidence, and smooth your passage.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Gleim Publications says its new Sport Pilot Kit contains "everything you need (except airplane and instructor)." The kit is designed to help you expedite your training for the sport pilot certificate and save you some money by bundling the products. For $149.95, you receive a copy of the Federal Aviation Regulations/Aeronautical Information Manual, the Sport Pilot Practical Test Standards, Gleim's Pilot Handbook, Sport Pilot Flight Maneuvers and Practical Test Prep, Sport Pilot FAA Knowledge Test book and related software, Sport Pilot Syllabus, a logbook, plotter, flight computer, and a bag to carry everything. Plus, you get access to Gleim's sport pilot online ground school-which costs $99.95 by itself. For more information, 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: I recently received a third class medical/student pilot certificate from my aviation medical examiner (AME) so I can solo. Because I did not reach my fortieth birthday on the date of my medical examination, my medical is valid for 36 months; but my student pilot certificate is only valid for 24 months. Do I have to go back to the AME to get another student pilot certificate after it expires, even though my medical will still be valid for another 12 months?

Answer: No, you will not need to return to your AME until you need another medical. You can obtain your student pilot certificate from a designated pilot examiner or FAA inspector. For more information, download the FAA document.

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