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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 8, Issue 11AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 8, Issue 11

The following stories from the March 17, 2006, 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 - Instrument Interest
Whether you fly frequently in actual instrument meteorological conditions or are a little rusty, you should develop a personal minimums checklist. Although weather conditions should be a large part of your personal checklist, it shouldn't be your only concern. "Because personal minimums are yours alone, any number of factors can weigh into your decision," explains Julie K. Boatman in "Tiptoeing into IFR" in the August 2003 AOPA Pilot. Also consider your familiarity with the aircraft you will be flying. Determine your level of proficiency and with what approaches you are most comfortable. Creating a personal minimums checklist can help you improve your aeronautical decision-making skills and keep you out of a situation beyond your capabilities.

My ePilot - Other Interest
Talk about being efficient. Pilot Andy Keech of Washington, D.C., set seven records in only two flights this February in the autogyro 1,100- to 2,200-pound category. The National Aeronautics Association has confirmed the preliminary results of his flights from North Little Rock Municipal in Arkansas. On his first flight, Keech set three closed-course (starting and finishing at the same point) records: one for distance over a closed-course without landing and two speed records. On the second flight, Keech flew a 100 km closed course track at North Little Rock to set a speed record and then departed for North Carolina to set a distance-without-landing record of 673 miles. That day, he also set a time to climb to 3,000 meters and an altitude record.

My ePilot - Sport Pilot Interest
Light sport aircraft sales, maintenance, and sport pilot flight training will be offered at U.S. Fight Academy at Denton Municipal in Denton, Texas. signed a working agreement with the facility, which will offer LSAs like the Breezer and C42. According to, two Breezers are on order and should be delivered to U.S. Flight Academy in May. The company will serve as an import and assembly facility and will test-fly the aircraft, provide checkouts, ferry the aircraft, and provide training. currently has 14 regional centers nationwide and plans to double it to 28.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Do you keep a journal of your flight training? Doing so could be a valuable addition to your studying routine. All student pilots keep logbook records of flight time counting toward training requirements, but that's different. An honest-to-goodness journal records your experiences and impressions while they are fresh in your mind, informally. Was there more turbulence than expected today? How well did you hold altitudes and courses? How were your radio communications, traffic patterns, and landings?

Recording solo flight details can preserve insights and give you goals for next time, whether you opt for a private journal, or one that you share with peers. The March 10, 2006, Training Tips article "Lessons Learned Solo" examined a student pilot's reflections on the challenges of a solo cross-country flight, as discussed in the AOPA Aviation Forums. For example, you might remind yourself, on your next cross-country, to climb out of uncomfortable springtime thermal turbulence sooner. Or to recheck weather before departing on the return leg. Or to close that VFR flight plan on time.

Dual training flights lend themselves to journal entries, too. "I started keeping a flight notebook a few weeks into my ground training seven years ago when I started lessons. It was a way to capture the nuggets instructors shared after a flight. The notebook became just as valuable as the textbook when studying for the written and flight tests... It's also a nice way to reflect on the flight," an AOPA member wrote in a July 2004 letter to the editor of AOPA Pilot magazine.

What started as a training aid became a labor of love. The letter writer continued, "After seven years of keeping the notebook, I can't imagine landing, parking, and jumping into my car! Flight is magical to me and I like savoring the experience. My notes reflect new challenges-like the first time I had to do a 360 in the pattern and when I've done something dumb like leaning the engine to off on my first solo cross-country!"

Start your flying journal now and treasure the record always.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
If you have a Bose first-generation headset, a new cord/intercom upgrade is available from Sporty's. The update provides the benefits of Bose's latest technology, including longer battery life, a new auto shutoff feature, and a fully flexible microphone boom. The upgrade includes a new cord, ANR battery box, volume controls, and microphone boom. Prices range from $164 to $199.95, depending on the model. For more information, see the Web site or call 800/SPORTYS.

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 am a student pilot training for my private pilot certificate. Why is it that my friend, who is training for her instrument rating, can log pilot-in-command time when flying with her instructor, but I cannot?

Answer: FAR 61.51 on pilot logbooks defines what entries are required in your logbook as well as what time can be logged under certain conditions. FAR 61.51(e) details specifically how a pilot can log pilot-in-command time. One way a private pilot, like your friend, can log PIC time is when she is the sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft for which she is rated or has privileges. You, as the student pilot training for a pilot certificate, are not yet "rated" in the aircraft, but you may log PIC time during your solo flights, provided you have valid solo endorsements from your instructor. For additional information on logging time, read AOPA's subject report.

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