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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 8AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 8

The following stories from the February 25, 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
Eclipse Aviation announced last week that its Eclipse 500 very light jet expanded its flight envelope from 72 to 230 knots, up to 3 Gs, and to altitudes of 17,500 feet. Pilots also have tested systems including flight controls, fuel, electrical, and pressurization. The aircraft's electrically actuated landing gear and emergency gear extension have been tested at speeds ranging from 88 to 200 kt. The electrically actuated flap system has been tested at 72 to 200 kt. Two more Eclipse 500 jets are expected to enter flight testing later this quarter. For more updates, visit the Web site.

My ePilot - Other Interest
Parachute and aviation industry groups are pushing the FAA to have the repacking period for parachutes extended by 60 days. The Parachute Industry Association and the United States Parachute Association have started an initiative that would require parachutes to be repacked every 180 days instead of the current 120 days, according to the Soaring Society of America, whose members are required to wear parachutes in sanctioned soaring competitions. The groups say that modern parachutes are constructed with materials that are more sensitive to repetitive handling and will hold up better if they are handled less often. The consortium believes that there would likely be at least a three-year trial period before a formal petition for a permanent change in the regulations is submitted to the FAA.

My ePilot - Sport Pilot Interest
The FAA last week accepted the first set of industry-developed consensus standards for light-sport aircraft. These are the technical standards manufacturers will be using to produce ready-to-fly and kit-built aircraft. Of the nine standards that are required for each category, six have been approved for airplanes and powered parachutes. Other standards were approved for gyroplanes and lighter-than-air aircraft. Work on the rest of the standards is continuing before manufacturers can sell the aircraft. For more sport pilot information, see AOPA Online.

My ePilot - Professional Pilot Interest
Airlines are getting back into hiring mode. Continental, Northwest, and United all plan to slowly call back furloughed pilots throughout the year, according to AIR Inc. The callback is partly because of mandatory age 60 retirements and some early retirements, explained Kit Darby, president of AIR Inc. Meanwhile, Southwest, America West, and JetBlue are projected to continue hiring. Darby also predicts a strong pilot movement from passenger carriers to cargo carriers. FedEx and UPS are expected to hire a combined total of more than 400 pilots this year. "They [cargo carriers] are expected to grow faster and remain more stable than the passenger airlines in the future," Darby said.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Exemplary piloting technique shows itself in attention to detail, reflecting well on the student pilot and the flight instructor who taught you your cockpit skills. An example is how carefully a pilot "guards" the throttle during takeoffs, landings, and maneuvers such as slow flight and stall entries. Guarding the throttle refers to using the locking mechanism designed to keep the throttle setting from slipping, and then keeping a hand on the throttle during critical flight phases for safety. This is consistent with recommended operating practice. The pilot's operating handbook for the Cessna 152 (1980) recommends using its throttle friction lock after setting takeoff power, and adds, "Similar friction lock adjustments should be made as required in other flight conditions to maintain a fixed throttle setting."

Timing throttle adjustments is more efficient if you are ready when the need arises. "If the student maintains the stabilized approach and keeps one hand on the throttle during the approach, landings become much smoother as well as safer," noted Bill Cuccinello in the January 2004 AOPA Flight Training Instructor Report.

Guarding the throttle could prevent inadvertent power changes when practicing emergencies such as the simulation of an engine failure after takeoff. "Instructors can add a margin of safety to this emergency demonstration by selecting carburetor heat on, which will cause a slight reduction of rpm, and following up with the statement 'Engine failure!' The left-seat pilot should already have his hand on the throttle at the takeoff power setting, minimizing the risk of the instructor's somehow reducing power by an inadvertent throttle reduction," wrote Joel Stoller in the September 2002 AOPA Flight Training feature "Crisis Management 101."

And when troubleshooting a power loss, include the throttle on your list of possible causes. "Perhaps the tachometer will show a reduction in power-maybe because the throttle friction lock has inadvertently backed off, or maybe because you've picked up some carburetor ice," wrote Thomas A. Horne in the January 1998 AOPA Pilot feature "Instrument Insights: Balancing the Juggling Act."

Set your throttle, tighten the friction lock, then guard it during critical operations for safe and precise flying!

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
People who are thinking about learning to fly usually have lots of questions before they even schedule a discovery flight. "How much will it cost? How long will it take? What can I do with a pilot certificate?" Flight Training: Taking a Short Approach was written for the student-pilot-to-be. It aims to explain the flight training process and prepare the reader for what will happen at the airport. Author David Diamond is a private pilot and graphic artist whose distinctive 3-D illustrations have appeared in many AOPA Flight Training articles. The 292-page soft-cover book sells for $39.95 and can be ordered online from Aviation Supplies and Academics, Inc.

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'm a student pilot preparing to take my long solo cross-country flight. While planning my flight, I noticed several military operations areas (MOAs) along my route. Am I allowed to fly through these areas?

Answer: Although you are legally allowed to fly through a MOA without an ATC clearance, extreme caution should be exercised if the MOA is active or "hot." Before entering an active MOA along your planned route of flight, contact the controlling agency or flight service for traffic advisories on the frequency listed on the sectional chart or in the Airport/Facility Directory appropriate for that area. Military flight operations in an active MOA can include low-level high-speed flying, air combat tactics, formation training, aerobatics, and other maneuvers. More information is available in Chapter 3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual and in a free online course from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, "Mission: Possible."

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