The following stories from the September 1, 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 Multiengine Interest
MARKET DOWN FOR PISTON TWINS
The buyer's market continues for piston multiengine airplanes, according to Vref, the aircraft value reference. The question is, how many owners are willing to sell at these low prices? Average values for the 1982 Beech B55 Baron, 1990 Beech 58 Baron, 1981 Cessna 310R, 1981 Piper Aztec, and 1990 Piper Seneca III shot up and reached a peak of nearly $270,000 in late 2001. Then on the backside, there was an even steeper descent, stabilizing momentarily at $230,000 in 2005. Prices have continued to drop in 2006, dipping below $225,000 for the third quarter. For pressurized twins, average values have now somewhat stabilized at about $334,000 after a fall from nearly $440,000 in late 2000. Vref looked at the 1982 Beech 58P Baron, 1982 Beech Duke, 1982 Cessna 340A,1982 414A, and 1982 421C. Perform your own aircraft valuations using AOPA's free service on AOPA Online. Also, see Vref's Web site.
My ePilot - Turbine Interest
MARKET DOWN FOR PISTON TWINS
After hitting bottom in late 2003, average values for turboprop airplanes are on the rise, according to Vref, the aircraft value reference. Values for the 1985 Beechcraft King Air C90A, 1985 King Air B200, 1985 Cessna Conquest I, 1985 Cessna Conquest II, 1980 Piper Cheyenne II, and 1978 Twin Commander 690B hit a peak and leveled off at $1.2 million in 2000. That was followed by a steady drop to about $910,000 over the next few years. Since late 2004, values have rebounded, exceeding $1.1 million in the third quarter of 2006. Light jets, on the other hand, haven't had quite the recovery. Values for the 1991 Beechjet 400A, 1993 Cessna CitationJet, 1990 Citation II, 1990 Citation V, 1982 Falcon 10, 1985 Westwind II, and 1991 Learjet 31A markets hit a peak of about $3.2 million in late 1999 and held their values for a few years. That was followed by a steady plunge. Values have stabilized now at about $2.2 million. Perform your own aircraft valuations using AOPA's free service on AOPA Online. Also, see Vref's Web site.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
WHO HAS PRIORITY?
Long holiday weekends are a great time for solo practice, a series of flight lessons, or to finally log that long cross-country. Looking for ideas for a cross-country destination or an airport to visit on a dual flight? The August 18, 2006, AOPA ePilot newsletter provides links to resources. If weather cooperates, many pilots will head to the airport-meaning that you'll encounter lots of air traffic out there. As discussed in the August 25, 2006, Training Tips, keep a sharp lookout for traffic, even when relying on electronic navigation information or radar flight following from air traffic control.
Now you spot traffic. In the pattern of nontowered airports or over VORs are likely places, but it's possible anywhere. You are convinced that you must maneuver to avoid a conflict with the opposing aircraft. What's the right thing to do? Answering that question requires knowledge of right-of-way rules as in Federal Aviation Regulation 91.113. The rule gives procedures for scenarios, including aircraft converging, approaching head-on, overtaking, and landing. Review them-and remember, an aircraft in distress has priority over all. Complying means you must be able to resolve several issues promptly. For instance, if the aircraft are converging, the aircraft on the other's right has the right of way. How should you maneuver to avoid a head-on conflict? Alter course to the right. What if the aircraft are of different categories? The regulation gives the order of priority when it comes to right of way. Note the priority given over other engine-driven aircraft to an aircraft towing another aircraft. This is important if you are heading to an airport with glider operations. Always be sure you don't cut off another aircraft having the right of way in a traffic pattern.
See those other aircraft, but also, be seen. One way is to turn on your landing light, even in broad daylight, as recommended in the June 17, 2005, Training Tips article "Light it up, slow it down." Also note this requirement of right-of-way regulations: "When a rule of this section gives another aircraft the right-of-way, the pilot shall give way to that aircraft and may not pass over, under, or ahead of it unless well clear."
Then go out and take advantage of summer's last long holiday to move your training along.
My ePilot - Training Product
TACKLE MIC FRIGHT WITH GOLD SEAL COMMUNICATIONS CD
Do you clench up at the microphone? Does the prospect of talking to air traffic control cause you to think about flying somewhere else? If so, you're not alone. Many pilots and student pilots have difficulty transmitting on the radio. Enter Gold Seal, which has created a series of lessons in VFR radio communications on audio CD. Squawk VFR was culled from hundreds of hours of digitally recorded pilot/ATC communications. Each lesson is narrated by a Master CFI and includes real-world examples of radio dialogues in various types of airspace. In addition to airspace phraseology and requirements, the course covers flight following, lost procedures, and in-flight weather services. The package includes a second disk that teaches effective ways to get weather briefings from flight service station specialists. It sells for $24.95. For more information, 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: On my sectional chart there is a blue oddly shaped box with blue dots running along the inside of the line. What does this represent?
Answer: The box you describe is a special conservation area. For example, it could be a wildlife refuge or a national park. Pilots flying above one of these areas, as stated in Chapter 7 of the Aeronautical Information Manual, are asked to maintain a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet above ground level in order to limit aircraft noise and reduce potential hazards such as bird strikes. Some specially designated parks and wildlife areas have further restrictions; see the language for Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park. To help decode all of the chart symbols you see, view NACO's Aeronautical Chart Users Guide on AOPA Online.