The following stories from the October 27, 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
Much of the excitement of aviation comes from planning and executing your own flight, on your own terms-you pick the perfect FBO (cheap fuel and a good restaurant) and decide what sights you want to see. Ride along with Mark R. Twombly and his Twin Comanche partners as they fly from Kansas City, Missouri, to Las Vegas, Palm Springs, California, and back to Kansas City in "Pilotage: West with the twin" in the January 2003 AOPA Pilot.
My ePilot - Turbine Interest
VLJ PILOTS: LEARN FROM A PREVIOUS GENERATION
With the recent certification of the Cessna Mustang and Eclipse 500, along with announcements of several upcoming very light jets (VLJs) last week at the National Business Aviation Association convention, these jets will be flying their owners across the country in no time. As this new breed of aircraft continues to emerge, pilots should take a look back and learn some lessons from those who flew a previous generation of single-pilot light business jets. Patrick R. Veillette researched the most common accidents that occurred from 1991 to 2002, including approach and landing, controlled flight into terrain, and engine loss. Read his article, "The Very-Light-Jet Evolution," in the May 2005 AOPA Pilot.
My ePilot - Renter Interest
ESSENTIAL PILOT GEAR: PORTABLE SURVIVAL KIT
Unlike aircraft owners, renter pilots don't have the luxury of outfitting the aircraft they fly with survival gear. However, renters can create a portable survival kit that is as easy to throw in the airplane as a flight bag. Phil Scott lists the essential items that should go in every survival kit in "Survival Instincts" in the October 2005 AOPA Pilot. He also discusses how to purify drinking water, start a fire, and cook; lists Web sites dedicated to wilderness survival; and references books, including the U.S. Army Survival Manual FM 21-76, offer additional tips.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Fall has many charms. It's a great time to fly. There's the World Series, and in even-numbered years such as 2006, national elections. Those occasions don't seem related to general aviation-but nowadays they are. Large gatherings such as sporting events should alert pilots to possible flight restrictions. AOPA's Pilot Information Center has compiled a list of stadiums and schedules for major sporting events. And with political campaigns under way, temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) pop up on short notice in unlikely places. "There seems to be an increasing risk that a TFR will affect your flight sometime soon, sometimes because the TFR lies in the vicinity of your flight path so you will have to plan your navigation around it, and sometimes because you will have to take specific action to find out that it exists," Kathy Yodice advised in the August 2004 AOPA Flight Training "Legal Briefing" column.
Why can a TFR pop up so suddenly that a conscientious pilot could miss it? Much changed in the post-9/11 aviation world. "One of these events was not so obvious. It took the form of bureaucratic small print buried in the Federal Register. A rule change enacted September 11 expanded the FAA's power to issue temporary flight restrictions. This tiny rule started an unfortunate and unintentional chain of events that has led to the TFR dilemma now facing all general aviation pilots and airport operators," AOPA President Phil Boyer wrote in "President's Position: TFRs" in the March 2002 AOPA Pilot. Reading about how the process evolved will give you valuable perspective.
AOPA Online is helping members cope with the risks by maintaining a TFR page. Also, see the news story, "Where's the commander in chief? Your pilot certificate depends on knowing the answer." It gives this advice: "Plan your flight with AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner. You can see all of the TFRs plotted on a map and 'rubber band' your route to go around them. Most importantly, call flight service just before you take off, and ask for the latest notams. Sometimes presidential and security TFRs can pop up on short notice and may not be displayed on our flight planner."
It boils down to this: Plan all flights carefully, then check often for pop-up TFRs.
My ePilot - Training Product
LEATHER FLIGHT BAGS AVAILABLE FROM PILOTMALL.COM
So, you've been carrying that battered old briefcase-that-doubles-as-a-flight-bag throughout your training. Now it's time to upgrade to a new bag. Pilotmall.com has a new selection of soft leather flight bags in various sizes and colors. Choose from small, medium, large, or backpack style. Prices run from $149 to $199. Order online or call 800/249-5730.
CORRECTION: The correct Web link for Max Trescott's glass cockpit training courses mentioned in last week's newsletter is www.pilotlearning.com. ePilot Flight Training Edition regrets the error.
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: With winter approaching, can you tell me the best way to remove frost from my aircraft during my preflight inspection?
Answer: You can rub the frost off with a cloth (but this can be time consuming), or you can push your airplane into a warm hangar to let it defrost. Just be sure the aircraft is dry before you move it back outside. Some chemical spray products can be used, but be careful to use the right spray in the right place. For instance, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation points out that deicing sprays made for automobile windows cannot be used on aircraft windows. For more information on deicing your aircraft, download the ASF Safety Brief Cold Facts: Wing Contamination.