The following stories from the February 3, 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 LOW-LEVEL GOTCHAS
Whether you are doing a low pass or flying over terrain that rises quickly, it is critical to stay alert, stay within your aircraft's performance envelope, and resist the temptation to do something foolish. "The primary factor in keeping low-altitude flight safe is the pilot's attitude," writes Julie K. Boatman in "A Momentary Lapse of Reason,"
in the April 2001 issue of AOPA Pilot
. Boatman uses telling examples of aircraft accidents to illustrate the importance of staying alert. Find out how a pilot performing a cattle check took out a cow and took off the right main landing gear of a Cessna 170, how an impromptu series of aerobatics during a low-level pass at an airport turned deadly, and how an experienced pilot failed to out-climb rising terrain. My ePilot - Jet Interest THIRD CESSNA CITATION MUSTANG TAKES FLIGHT
Cessna's third Citation Mustang made its maiden flight last Friday, one week ahead of schedule. Cessna Aircraft Company says the successful flight keeps the Mustang development and certification flight-test program moving toward FAA certification, which is expected late this year. The 90-minute flight brings the total number of flight hours for the entire program to 580. The third Mustang will be used for systems certification, function and reliability tests, and post-certification tests. The six-seat jet is expected to have a cruise speed of 340 knots and a maximum operating ceiling of 41,000 feet. My ePilot - Helicopter Interest ROBINSON HELICOPTER ANNOUNCES RECORD-SETTING YEAR
Robinson Helicopter claims that it has set the record for the most civilian helicopters ever produced in one year. The company manufactured 806 helicopters, including 563 of the civilian R44 Raven series and 243 R22s. Robinson said it hopes for an even better year in 2006 and expects its popular Raven II to continue leading the way. My ePilot - Renter Interest PREFLIGHT LIKE A TEST PILOT EVERY TIME YOU FLY
You might not perform all the maneuvers of a test pilot in the air, but you can preflight your aircraft with the same careful attention to detail that test pilots use before each flight. The key is to preflight an aircraft-particularly one you rent often and are familiar with-as if you have never seen it before, one Cessna test pilot told AOPA in the November 1999 AOPA Pilot
article, "Tips From Test Pilots."
What else do test pilots monitor? Trends. Keep track of your aircraft's fuel flow, cylinder-head temperature, stall speed, and other items to find out what your aircraft is telling you. My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips SOLO CHOICES
The January 27, 2006, Training Tips
described the limitations that a newly soloed student pilot may be required to observe during subsequent solo flights-limitations appearing as logbook notations made by the student's flight instructor. While these entries amount to constraints on your "freedom" to fly solo, you may still find your solo horizons expanding. Even before you head out on the solo cross-country flights required for flight-test eligibility, airports within 25 nautical miles of your home field may offer practice for solo landings and takeoffs. The circumstances permitting this are set out in FAR 61.89
"Solo flights may be made to another airport that is within 25 nautical miles from the airport where the student pilot normally receives training, provided-
(i) An authorized instructor has given the student pilot flight training at the other airport, and that training includes flight in both directions over the route, entering and exiting the traffic pattern, and takeoffs and landings at the other airport;
(ii) The authorized instructor who gave the training endorses the student pilot's logbook authorizing the flight;
(iii) The student pilot has current solo flight endorsements in accordance with 61.87 of this part;
(iv) The authorized instructor has determined that the student pilot is proficient to make the flight; and
(v) The purpose of the flight is to practice takeoffs and landings at that other airport."
Such flights are valuable experience builders and add focus to soloing. First, they offer a real-life terminal departure and a brief cruise phase followed by entry to a new traffic pattern. Also, they provide a quick alternative to a session planned to take place at your home base, should traffic there become uncomfortably heavy.
You'll be in charge and making decisions on these solos, so be alert. If in doubt about any situation and in contact with air traffic control, ask for assistance, as one new pilot had the good judgment to do, thereby avoiding a runway incursion as related in "Learning Experiences,"
June 2004 AOPA Flight Training
. And never forget that even as a student pilot under instructor supervision, you accept a serious burden of command responsibility; be sure that you are properly authorized to conduct any flight (see the June 4, 2004, Training Tips article "Fly Solo, Share Responsibility"
). My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products ULTRACADDIE PUTS COCKPIT TOOLS IN THEIR PLACE
The design team at Noral Enterprises doesn't subscribe to the "throw it in the back seat" school of cockpit organization. They've come up with the UltraCaddie, made to hold charts, pen and pencil, flashlight, fuel tester, and E6B flight computer "within easy reach and out of the way." The UltraCaddie is constructed of nylon and comes in three styles: with an over-the-seat strap; with two 2-inch Velcro straps that can be mounted over side panels; or with a belt clip that can be fastened to side panels. It comes in a variety of colors and costs $24.99. Order online
or call 877/996-6725. 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 navigating to a VOR/DME station, how do I know if both the VOR and DME systems are working properly? Answer:
When a DME
is co-located with a VOR, the specific DME frequency is paired with the VOR frequency so you only have to dial in one frequency, reducing the risk of errors. Both the VOR and DME have the same Morse code for identification, but they are broadcast at different intervals and with different tones. A VOR is working properly if you hear the Morse code every 10 seconds modulated at 1020 Hz. The DME code can be heard every 30 seconds and modulated at 1350 Hz. If you notice a gap in the broadcast and only hear a single code every 30 seconds, the DME is working properly, but the VOR is not. Be sure to check all notices to airmen (notams) with flight service before any flight so you are aware of any navigational aids that may be out of service. For additional information on utilizing your airplane's navigation equipment, visit AOPA Online