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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 8, Issue 9AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 8, Issue 9

The following stories from the March 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 - Renter Interest
If you rent an aircraft, and something happens to damage the aircraft or anyone on board, are you covered by the owner's policy? "The owner of the aircraft probably has insurance that covers damage to the aircraft and liability for renting the aircraft," writes Kathy Yodice, in "Legal Briefing: The renter's liability risk" in the May 2003 issue of AOPA Flight Training. "But the policy may not protect you-the person piloting the aircraft." As a renter, you can protect yourself with hull coverage, which will pay for damage done to the aircraft, and liability coverage, which will pay for claims from anyone injured or anyone whose property was damaged. Yodice also points out that you can help protect yourself by exercising good judgment, staying proficient, and adding flight time, including ratings or certificates. For more information about renter liability insurance, see AOPA Online.

My ePilot - Turboprop Interest
Pilatus Aircraft shipped 80 PC-12s in 2005, making it the top turboprop model shipped in 2005, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association's (GAMA) 2005 Statistical Databook. But Raytheon Aircraft remained the leader of the pack in total turboprop shipments in 2005 with 114. Raytheon, which offers more turboprop models than any other company, has been at the top for the past 10 years.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
As you prepare for your next solo flight, how good are your landings? Consistently so? If the wind increases or changes direction after you take off, can you cope?

Your instructor no doubt has confidence in you if he or she signed you off to solo. But it's how you feel that counts when the other seat is empty and the windsock is stirring. No problem if you have spent a healthy amount of time pounding out landings during recent dual sessions in the traffic pattern. And that means getting a good taste of a variety of wind conditions: crosswinds, winds of varying direction and intensity, winds that are steady, and winds that come and go unpredictably.

It's been mentioned in previous Training Tips articles that there is no such thing as too much practice for crosswind takeoffs and landings. See the December 28, 2001, and March 7, 2003, articles. This is not only quality training, but a valuable backup strategy for those days when other lesson plans must be scrapped (such as bad weather at a cross-country destination). More important, it is a regulatory obligation: One of the 15 maneuvers and procedures in which a student pilot of a single-engine airplane must demonstrate satisfactory proficiency and safety is "takeoffs and landings, including normal and crosswind," according to the Federal Aviation Regulation 61.87(d)(3).

Developing confidence and sure-handedness in crosswind landings will not only make you a better pilot-it will let you fly more, and enjoy it more. Consider this reminiscence from one student's pilot training: "I believed I completely lacked the precision and feel necessary to carry out such landings successfully and became frustrated every time I cancelled a solo flight because the wind made me uncomfortable. That concern haunted me until the very day of my checkride," wrote Mark Wilkinson in his May 2005 AOPA Flight Training memoir, "The Student Experience: Presolo." Fortunately, the will to learn and continue training, even after the pilot certificate had been won, brought about a happy ending.

"Satisfactory proficiency and safety" isn't just a regulatory phrase. It's a state of mind your training should put you in, every time you fly.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Helicopter student pilots might have noticed that there are literally hundreds of books available for those working toward certificates and ratings in fixed-wing aircraft, but that's not the case for rotary wing aircraft. Ryan Dale saw that need when he was acquiring a helicopter flight instructor certificate, and he's trying to fill the gap. The Helicopter Oral Exam Guide from Avionics Supplies and Academics was written to help prepare applicants for the oral portion of the helicopter private, instrument, commercial, flight instructor, and ATP checkrides. It's based on the ASA Oral Exam Guide Series by Michael D. Hayes and is meant to be used as a supplement to that series while allowing the applicant to get rotary-wing knowledge specific to his or her training needs. The 184-page soft cover book is $12.95 and may be ordered online.

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: What is the purpose of a soft-field landing?

Answer: The purpose of a soft-field landing is to have the wings support the weight of the airplane for as long as practical in order to minimize drag and stress on the landing gear. You will want to utilize this technique when landing on a surface like a grass, gravel, or snow-covered runway. Be sure to check your airplane's flight manual or operating handbook for specific procedures on how a soft-field landing should be performed. For additional information on soft-field landing technique and what to expect on your checkride, visit AOPA Online.

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