The following stories from the September 15, 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 - Light Sport Aircraft Interest
REMOS TO RAMP UP PRODUCTION
Remos Aircraft GmbH plans to increase production of its Remos G-3 light sport aircraft (LSA) from is current 20 to 200 per year over the next three years. To expand production, the company recently established a production facility in Pasewalk in eastern Germany. The company currently has 27 local staff members working in the purchasing, construction, and manufacturing divisions of the company. By the end of next year, Remos Aircraft plans to have 100 employees. As AOPA reported at Oshkosh this summer, Sportsplanes.com will be the North American distributor for Remos Aircraft.
My ePilot - Instrument Interest
IMPROVE YOUR PROFICIENCY WITH IFR REFRESHER
Pilots know there's a big difference between being legal and being proficient. It's easy to see that just completing the FAA's regulatory requirements hardly makes one ready to tackle adverse weather conditions. AOPA Products Partner, Belvoir Aviation Group, acknowledges in its publication, IFR Refresher magazine, that proficiency adds a priceless level of safety and confidence to every instrument-rated pilot. In fact, a recent article by author David Ison suggests that pilots develop an IFR currency plan beyond what's called for by the FAA. He adds that with some minor modifications, the plan can easily be integrated into a pilot's regular flying routine. "With a good plan in hand, staying current and proficient isn't as hard as one would think," Ison writes. All AOPA members receive the best price available for the subscription, as well as for "On the Approach," a manual aimed directly at improving your proficiency. Visit AOPA Online for more information.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
It's time for your flight lesson, but you're running late today. The temptation to rush the preflight is strong. One of the most time-consuming items on the preflight checklist is sumping the fuel tanks and inspecting fuel samples. It's something you have done every flight lesson-check fuel for proper grade and for the presence of water, sediment, or other contaminants. Nowadays there is also the matter of proper disposal of the fuel sample (see the January 30, 2004, Training Tips article "Gas on the Grass").
Unfortunately, some pilots get in the habit of shortcutting the fuel inspection process. This despite knowing that unchecked fuel loads lead to many an aviation accident, perhaps after an aircraft is tied down on a ramp for an extended time or during a period of heavy rain. (Water enters through leaky or worn fuel-tank caps.)
It's common to meet student pilots who have dutifully inspected fuel samples but were never shown a contaminated sample during training. Depending on the amount of contamination and the circumstances of its entry, the unwanted substance can take a variety of forms. Here's the basic appearance of a suspect sample, given by Mark Twombly in "What It Looks Like: Fuel Contamination" in the September 2006 AOPA Flight Training. "Water is denser, and thus heavier, than avgas. That means water will sink to the bottom of the sample or, to look at it another way, the avgas will float on top of the water. If you detect a clear liquid at the bottom of the blue avgas in the fuel sample you've just drained from a tank, suspect water contamination. Continue taking samples until you are absolutely sure no water remains."
Some pilots keep their tanks filled as a hedge against water condensing inside partly empty fuel tanks. Check fuel even if your aircraft always sits inside a dry hangar with its tanks topped off. For more on fuel systems, download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Fuel Awareness Safety Advisor.
Now you're standing on the ramp, waiting, as the fuel attendant pumps avgas into your aircraft. How long should you wait before sampling the new fuel load? You'll find the answer in "Final Exam" in the September 6, 2002, ePilot Flight Training Edition.
My ePilot - Training Product
BOOK PROVIDES INSIGHTS ON FLYING TECHNIQUES
Ron Fowler's book, Lessons from the Logbook, is a collection of articles that originally appeared in Plane & Pilot magazine. Speaking pilot to pilot, the author picks up where initial pilot training leaves off and includes insights on all phases of flight, concluding with a section on recurrent training. Fowler offers guidance on night flying, what to do if you get stuck above or below a cloud deck, how to handle in-flight emergencies, and other topics. The book sells for $19.95 and is published by Aviation Supplies & Academics.
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: How long is an aircraft airworthiness certificate valid?
Answer: Under 14 CFR 21.181, a standard airworthiness certificate or a special airworthiness certificate for a primary, restricted, or limited category aircraft is effective as long as maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations are performed in accordance with Parts 43 and 91 of this chapter and the aircraft is registered in the United States. For more information on required documents, read the article from the May 2006 AOPA Pilot.