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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 8, Issue 3AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 8, Issue 3

The following stories from the January 20, 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 - Helicopter Interest
The Sikorsky S-76C++, an improved version of the S-76 series, recently received FAA certification, paving the way for a S-76D model in 2008, according to Sikorsky Aircraft. Two Turbomeca Arriel 2S2s power the C++ and produce a maximum cruise speed of 155 knots. The helicopter has a range of 345 nautical miles and fuel consumption of 626 pounds/hour when set at the long-range cruise speed of 137 kt at 4,000 feet. The S-76C++ often is used for corporate transportation, emergency services transportation, search and rescue, law enforcement, and transportation for offshore oil support.

My ePilot - Light Sport Aircraft Interest
Sport Aircraft Works announced its SportCruiser last week at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida. Flight testing of the aircraft is complete, and the company expects to receive light sport aircraft (LSA) certification in March. The aircraft has a Rotax 912S engine, a cruise speed of about 113 knots, and a fuel burn of less than 5 gallons per hour. Sport Aircraft Works has priced the aircraft in the mid-$60,000 range. First-time or inactive pilots who take delivery of a new SportCruiser from Sport Aircraft Works can get free flight training, according to the company. For more information, visit the Web site.

The first flight of an unusual proof-of-concept design was made December 30 in Titusville, Florida. Advanced Aero, based at the Florida/NASA Business Incubation Center in Titusville, has designed a twin-boom aircraft with an inverted V-tail. An engine and pusher prop is mounted behind the single-seat cockpit. The future production model will have two seats. The company says the pusher engine provides undisturbed thrust. No pricing information was announced.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
How do you prepare for your flight lessons? You check the weather. You bring along all the charts, publications, and pilot gear you'll need. But there is a lot more to it than that. Preparation for a cross-country flight should require the careful study of the planned route and dedicating a few practice sessions on the ground to work up flight logs and performance calculations.

A flight session consisting of ground reference maneuvers and steep turns should be preceded by consulting your training materials on the principles behind those maneuvers, plus a look at the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards (PTS) so you'll know what tolerances-governing altitude, bank angles, roll-out headings, and so forth-not to exceed. Speaking of the PTS, it also provides some valuable guidance for pilots who want to be on the same page as the examiner about how all tasks and knowledge elements should be performed or demonstrated on flight test day. Under the title of each task in the PTS are references to the official texts. Some of the tasks, such as ground reference maneuvers, have only one text listed as reference material. For those maneuvers the reference is FAA-H-8083-3, the Airplane Flying Handbook (AFH). Other tasks list multiple references. Not all the references are training texts. Note that for the performance maneuver, steep turns, the references are the AFH and the pilot's operating handbook (POH) for your training aircraft. Why the POH? Because the maneuver can impose a high load factor on the aircraft, and the POH will provide the correct airspeed to use-one that will not exceed the aircraft's design maneuvering speed.

The PTS is your "everything you need to know" guide to your practical test, as discussed in the April 5, 2002, Training Tips. Regardless of the study aids you use-and they come in an excellent variety of formats and media-a good policy for the conscientious student pilot or flight instructor is to consider no flight-test task completed until the references given in the PTS have been thoroughly reviewed as well.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
If a knowledge test is looming, it's essential to study and prepare. Sporty's "Test Prep Guides" on CD-ROM have a new "flashcard" function that let you answer questions without looking at the answers to truly test your knowledge. A click on the screen will let you know if you were correct. You can view tables, charts, or figures on the screen, or print them out ahead of time to help you study more effectively. All "Test Prep Guides" let users take randomly generated timed practice tests and create individual study sessions in which you can choose only the topic you need to review. Software is available for private/recreational pilot, instrument, and commercial knowledge tests. Each is $39.95. 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: As I learn about airspace I'm having difficulty understanding what a TFR is. Can you explain it to me?

Answer: Absolutely. The FAA will issue a temporary flight restriction (TFR), as necessary, by notam for several reasons. Chapter 3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual outlines the purpose for establishing a TFR along with reference to the specific regulations that apply in FAR 91. Reasons for a TFR are to protect persons or property and provide a safe environment in the vicinity of a disaster area, a hazard area, a major sporting event, an aerial demonstration, or a space operation, and to protect the president, vice president, or other public figure. It is important to obtain a complete weather briefing prior to any flight as a TFR can be issued with very little notice, and it usually is not depicted on any published aeronautical chart. AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner shows graphical depictions of TFRs where specific location information is provided in the notam. Existing and anticipated TFRs are listed on AOPA Online. For additional information and requirements for flying in the National Airspace System, take the online course, Know Before You Go , and download the new airspace flash cards provided by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.

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