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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 8, Issue 31AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 8, Issue 31

The following stories from the August 4, 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 - Piston Single Engine Interest
Transitioning to a high-performance or complex aircraft is one way to increase your skills as a pilot and add new makes and models of aircraft mastered to your logbook. Making the transition also can open up new doors: A host of destinations that you never would have considered before now seem tangible. Check out AOPA's subject report on transitioning to high-performance and complex aircraft. It includes articles on what it takes to move up and a chart with examples of aircraft that require a high-performance or complex endorsement.

My ePilot - Piston Multiengine Interest
Are two engines better than one? Or do two engines double your chances of having an engine failure? Regardless of your stance on the twins vs. singles debate, it is important to find out whether a twin or single best fits your flying needs. AOPA's Pilot Information Center has compiled articles from AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training into a single area online. The articles discuss multi- and single-engine flying and, of course, touch on that age-old debate.

My ePilot - Helicopter Interest
Bell Helicopter recently announced its Professional Pilot Program (P3), which is designed to meet market-specific training requirements as well as each individual pilot's skill level. "While the P3 provides a generic course outline, the flight training program is tailored to each pilot's experience, operational needs, and overall aptitude or ability," said P3 Program Manager Randy Rowles. To be eligible for P3, you must have at least 1,000 hours of helicopter flight time and have trained at a Bell Training Academy Initial and Recurrent training school within the past two years. For more information, download the P3 brochure.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
With all the effort a student pilot must put into learning operating requirements for flying in controlled airspace, it is important to remember that there is still plenty of uncontrolled airspace out there. Playing by the rules in that space requires know-how too. Uncontrolled (Class G) airspace affords extra freedom, for example being able to practice dual takeoffs and landings under weather conditions rendering airports in controlled airspace unavailable. But along with that freedom comes risks posed by the generally lower visibility and cloud separation standards that apply.

Sometimes it even takes a sharp eye and a keen sense of airspace logic to know that Class G airspace is present. That's because of the vertical layering of airspace; when Class G airspace is located under one of the classes of controlled airspace on the familiar color-coded sectional charts, those charts (and flight publications) must provide other ways of letting you know that the uncontrolled airspace lies beneath. Examples of this aspect of interpreting airspace depictions are given in "The Thin Magenta Line" in the February 2005 AOPA Flight Training. "The coding needs to be studied carefully. This uncontrolled airspace can be found in some heavily trafficked areas. As we will see, in uncontrolled airspace we may often operate with as little as one-mile visibility and/or clear of clouds. This is especially true during the daytime and at low altitudes," wrote John Yodice in the "Pilot Counsel" column of the December 2005 AOPA Pilot, the second column of a two-part series on airspace. Take special note of his helpful tip for simplifying the rules, thus staying in compliance with weather minimums in all airspace types. For a detailed explanation of airspace, download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Airspace for Everyone Safety Advisor.

A related issue: What happens to the airspace classification at a tower-controlled airport after a part-time control tower closes for the night? Check your understanding against the discussion in the "Quiz Me!" section of the August 3, 2001, ePilot newsletter.

Know the operating rules for the airspace you'll cross. Then know how to find it along the routes you fly.

My ePilot - Training Product
Control Vision has extended its online flight data program,, to pilots who happen to be away from their Internet connection. Through the Flight Data Access Card, pilots can use their cell phones to receive text messages regarding current fuel prices and weather information for thousands of airports. The service, offered by subscription, costs $49.95 per year, $29.95 for six months, and $19.95 for three months.

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: When checking the fuel on preflight, what exactly am I looking for?

Answer: When preflighting your airplane, you always want to make sure you visually check the quantity to ensure you actually have what you planned for. Before the first flight of each day or after refueling, you want to ensure that you check samples of the fuel in the fuel tanks, fuel lines, and strainers. Make sure that the fuel is the right color or grade and there aren't any contaminants like water or solid particles of any sort. Lastly, for those aircraft that use avgas, the fuel has a distinct odor, so it's a good idea to check this, too. Learn more at AOPA Online about checking fuel samples and refueling procedures. For a more complete overview, download the Air Safety Foundation's Fuel Awareness Safety Advisor.

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