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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 8, Issue 6AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 8, Issue 6

The following stories from the February 10, 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 - Jet Interest
The Spectrum 33 twinjet took to the air for the first time last week since its first flight on January 7. Adjustments had been made to some of the aircraft's systems after its first flight. Spectrum's chief test pilot Bill Davies and second-in-command pilot Ian Hollingsworth made two flights February 2, totaling almost one hour of flight time. During the short flights, Davies said the aircraft exhibited excellent yaw characteristics during turns, took off in less than 800 feet, and touched down at 85 knots with 15 degrees of flaps. The twinjet is expected to cruise up to 415 knots at 45,000 feet. The company said it expects to receive FAA type certification in 2007 or 2008.

My ePilot - Light Sport Aircraft Interest
Flight Design USA, distributor of the low-wing CT light sport aircraft, delivered 45 CTs to U.S. customers in 2005. An equal number of deliveries is scheduled for early 2006, according to Flight Design USA President Tom Peghiny. "We're delivering aircraft at a pace of eight per month, and we anticipate increasing that number in coming months," he said. The German manufacturer of the CT is increasing its production capacity, and Flight Design USA has added a national sales and service network, he said. For more information, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Own/May Own Interest
How big must an airplane's N number be? Can you keep a 2-inch N number if your airplane is repainted? How can you change your N number? Find out the answers in the aviation subject report, "Aircraft 'N Number' Markings." If you want to change your N number, get creative. In recent history, AOPA has given each of its refurbished sweepstakes aircraft a clever N number: The 2005 Commander 112A sweepstakes aircraft N number was N112WN (112 and Win). The 2006 Cherokee Six will be N164U. Stay tuned to the sweepstakes update page to track the project.

My ePilot - Turboprop Interest
The FAA is proposing to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for some Mitsubishi Heavy Industries MU-2B series airplanes. This proposed AD would require owners to change the "flight idle blade angle." The FAA said it wants to prevent confusion in blade-angle settings, which could lead to asymmetric thrust situations in certain flight conditions. The FAA estimates that the proposed AD would affect 148 airplanes in the U.S. registry at a cost of about $400 each to fix. The comment deadline is March 17. Download the AD.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Before you are approved to fly solo in your training aircraft, you must receive and log flight training in 15 maneuvers and procedures set forth in Section 61.87 of the Federal Aviation Regulations covering solo requirements for student pilots. Item 10 on that list deals with "stall entries from various flight attitudes and power combinations with recovery initiated at the first indication of a stall, and recovery from a full stall." What is the difference between the two instances of stall recoveries given? And what are the indications of a stall?

As your airplane approaches its critical angle of attack during entry to a stall, its responsiveness to your control manipulation decays. The oncoming stall may be heralded next by aerodynamic buffeting that you can feel through the controls, or by activation of the mechanical stall warning. Sometimes-especially if the entry was hesitant or too gradual-the airplane may simply develop a sink rate despite the pilot's efforts to maintain the original flight attitude. Any of these are "indications" that a stalled angle of attack has been reached. Don't wait for the mechanical stall warning to confirm what you otherwise sense-this is a common error. If the task is to recover at the first indication of a stall, do so! When you practice recoveries from full stalls, the entry will progress beyond those early indications. The resulting stall reaction will be more pronounced; the aircraft may pitch down abruptly or buffet strongly. Learning the various methods of recognition and the appropriate means of recovery is a vital pilot skill, discussed in depth in Chapter 4 of the Airplane Flying Handbook (AFH). (Take a glance at the chapter's discussion of a recognition method known as "kinesthesia.")

Your flight instructor will teach you how to recover effectively from stalls with a minimum loss of altitude-a requirement when you demonstrate stall recoveries on your flight test-while avoiding a secondary stall (explained in the AFH chapter given above). Gauge your technique against the recovery method described by Rod Machado in "Nix the Negative Gs" in his October 2005 AOPA Flight Training commentary.

Practice the 15 required maneuvers and procedures with your instructor until you are sharp and confident. Then move on to one of flying's greatest thrills-solo!

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
"If you have to lean forward to see over the instrument panel, you aren't sitting correctly," says a local flight instructor. Fortunately this is a problem easily remedied, thanks to manufacturers like Oregon Aero, which specializes in seat cushion systems for all kinds of aircraft. And for those who rent aircraft and need a seat cushion that they can take with them, Oregon Aero offers the Portable Universal Softseat Cushion System. Cushion bases in sizes ranging from half an inch to 2 inches start at $109. Also available are portable lumbar support cushions that can be zipped to the bases ($46), and combination cushion bases with adjustable lumbar support ($179). For more information or to order, call 800/888-6910, or 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: Why should my scan for traffic differ when flying during the day compared to flying at night?

Answer: Your scan should change when flying from day to night because of how your eyes "see." What your eyes "see" is a result of light striking the retina located at the back of the eye. The retina is made up of both cones and rods. The cones are mainly concentrated in the center of the retina, with the highest concentration in the fovea located behind the retina. The cones allow you to perceive color and also allow you to look straight at an image and enable you to focus on it. Therefore, when flying during the day, your best vision is looking directly at an object. Rods are much more sensitive than cones and are much better in dim light or at night. Rods are concentrated outside the fovea and are largely responsible for your peripheral vision. Because rods are located outside or around the fovea, there is a blind spot when looking directly at an object at night. Therefore, off-center viewing at night is best. See AOPA Online for additional information on vision while flying and night flying tips.

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