The following stories from the May 12, 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 - Turbine Interest
CESSNA, FLIGHTSAFETY PROGRESS ON MUSTANG TRAINING PROGRAM
While Cessna Aircraft Company works through the testing and certification process on its new Citation Mustang single-pilot jet, the company is simultaneously working with FlightSafety International to develop a pilot training program. The initial training program will include two FlightSafety full flight simulators, which are expected to be delivered in the second quarter of 2007 to FlightSafety's Cessna Learning Center in Wichita, Kansas, and London Farnborough Training Center. A mentor services program will pair type-rated pilots with FlightSafety mentors for a period of time before they fly the aircraft single pilot. Distance learning, a Proficiency Index, and two avionics flight training devices also will be part of the program.
My ePilot - Piston Multiengine Interest
COMPANY OFFERS TURBOCHARGING KIT FOR BARON OWNERS
Merlyn Products has received FAA approval to offer a turbonormalizing kit for the C, D, E, and 58 models of the Beechcraft Baron. The kit, consisting of two Garrett turbos and other products, is said to provide sea-level power to 20,000 feet, double single-engine service ceiling, increase payload, and cut the time-to-climb numbers in half. Merlyn officials said the modification will not affect TBOs or warranties. The introductory price for the kit is $55,900, plus an installation fee of $6,000. Currently, the installations are only available at Merlyn's factory in Spokane, Washington.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
MINIMUM LOSS OF ALTITUDE
When a pilot recovers from a stall, one component under the practical test standards is to "return to straight and level flight with a minimum loss of altitude appropriate for the airplane." Why is this a requirement? Are you giving this element of the task the attention it deserves during training? Your designated examiner will most likely have it in mind. He or she might even ask if you know how much altitude your aircraft loses.
Stalls are always a potential hazard, but that's especially so during flight at high angles of attack. Flight at high angles of attack typically takes place close to the ground, during takeoff climbs and landing approaches when there isn't much margin of error regarding altitude. So, although recovery must focus primarily on restoring an angle of attack at which the aircraft responds to the pilot's inputs, conserving altitude also is the goal. This is true whether you initiate recovery at the first indication of a stall or when the aircraft is fully stalled. Can you tell one stall from the other? See the February 10, 2006, Training Tips article "Pre-Solo Stalls."
In training, you should practice some stall recoveries without the use of power to see how lowering the angle of attack restores controllable flight to a stalled aircraft (or a glider). But in a real-world stall recovery, especially at low altitude, power keeps you from losing unnecessary altitude and is an integral ingredient. "Usually, the greater the power applied, the less the loss of altitude," counsels the Chapter 5 discussion of fundamentals of stall recovery in the FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook . Yes, it's a balancing act: Lower the nose firmly, but not so much that you impose a negative-G load or descend excessively. Simultaneously add power, then level off, avoiding both undue altitude loss or a secondary stall caused by excessive or abrupt pitch increase.
To sharpen your skills and knowledge, read the information available on stalls in AOPA's online subject reports. Then take the quiz at the conclusion of the article titled "Avoiding the Stall/Spin Accident." "Minimum loss of altitude" sounds terse and technical, but it's a priority item in a stall recovery.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
'WEATHER WISE' DVD PROVIDES PRACTICAL WEATHER INFORMATION
Looking for a weather DVD that offers practical flying information as opposed to dusty old theory? Then try the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Weather Wise: Ceiling and Visibility DVD. The interactive program includes simple ways to perform a "validation check" on forecasts, and how to spot potentially erroneous forecasts before you take off. An interactive portion of the 46-minute program lets viewers apply their knowledge and "fly" a trip making all the major decisions about the flight. The DVD sells for $19.95 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: What is an airworthiness directive, and how does it compare to a service bulletin?
Answer: An airworthiness directive (AD) is issued by the FAA to aircraft owners or operators to notify them of an unsafe condition found to exist in a product of a particular type design. The product could be a particular make and model aircraft, engine, propeller, or appliance. Compliance with ADs is mandatory as stated in Part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. ADs prescribe the conditions and limitations, including inspection, repair, or alteration under which the product may continue to be operated. Download Advisory Circular 39-7C for additional information on ADs. A service bulletin is a manufacturer-recommended repair or replacement to an aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance. It is possible for a service bulletin to become mandatory if required by an AD or if the manufacturer makes changes to a specification sheet or type certificate data sheet, which are FAA-approved. To search for an AD and for more information, see AOPA Online.