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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 9, Issue 13AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 9, Issue 13

The following stories from the March 30, 2007, 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 – Own/May Own Interest
Mooney Airplane Company announced March 27 that AmSafe Aviation Inflatable Restraints retrofit kits are available for all M20M, M20R, and M20S aircraft and certain M20J and M20K aircraft. The kits can be installed in about one week on the front and rear seats, front seats only, or rear seats only (if the front seats are already equipped). Prices start at $6,900 for two seats and $10,800 for four seats. The airbag system comes standard on new Mooney Acclaim, Ovation 2GX, and Ovation3 aircraft.

My ePilot – Piston Multiengine Interest
The buyer's market continues for piston multiengine airplanes, according to Vref, the aircraft value reference. Average values for the 1982 Beech B55 Baron, 1990 Beech 58 Baron, 1981 Cessna 310R, 1981 Piper Aztec, and 1990 Piper Seneca III shot up and reached a peak of nearly $270,000 in late 2001. Then on the backside, there was an even steeper descent, stabilizing momentarily at $230,000 in 2005. Prices have continued to drop in 2007, dipping below $214,000 for the first quarter of 2007. For pressurized twins, average values have continued on a stabilized descent to $326,400 after a fall from nearly $440,000 in late 2000. Vref looked at the 1982 Beech 58P Baron, 1982 Beech Duke, 1982 Cessna 340A, 1982 414A, and 1982 421C. Perform your own aircraft valuations using AOPA's free service on AOPA Online. Also, see Vref's Web site.

My ePilot – Turbine Interest
The third Pratt & Whitney Canada customer to order a jet engine designed especially for the emerging very light jet (VLJ) market has taken delivery. Embraer has received the first two PW617F engines (1,615 pounds of thrust) for its Phenom 100 that will enter service next year. Entering service this year are the PW615 engine (1,350 pounds of thrust) on the Cessna Citation Mustang and the PW610S (900 pounds of thrust) on the Eclipse Aviation 500 jet. While all the engines are from the same -600 family, the pounds of thrust vary with each manufacturer due to airframe weight. The manufacturers want the lowest thrust possible that will meet performance specifications yet avoid excessive fuel consumption. The engine is capable of producing from 900 pounds to 3,000 pounds of thrust.

My ePilot – Student Interest, Training Tips

The devil's in the details, it is often said about complicated ideas. Landing an aircraft in a crosswind certainly qualifies as a complicated idea, made up of many individual piloting actions. Think about it: When landing in a crosswind, you perform all the elements of a normal landing—flying a stabilized final approach, performing a roundout, then flaring—while also making the extra aileron inputs needed to keep the aircraft from drifting off the center line, and holding enough opposite rudder to keep your machine pointed where it is going.

Then there's the touchdown, and here is where many well-flown crosswind landing approaches fall apart. Maybe you flew a wing-low final approach, or perhaps you flew a crabbed final and transitioned to wing-low in the final seconds. Either way, when you touch down, it will be on only one of the main landing gear tires. That's right: You land on one wheel, the upwind wheel, and then you roll along like that (still holding crosswind rudder and aileron controls) and let the other main, and the nosewheel, come down as you decelerate. This idea makes new pilots uneasy; they tend to raise the lowered wing and plant the downwind wheel on the ground too soon, making directional control difficult. "Done right, this results in a landing on one of the main wheels, and a sharp pilot can keep it on one wheel for a few seconds until the airplane settles on the other main and the nose," Chip Wright explained in the April 2007 AOPA Pilot feature "Flying Seasons: Slipping, Crabbing, and Bouncing." See the article's six tips for successful crosswind landings.

If a pilot's-eye view of a wing-low approach would help, look at the photograph accompanying the March 7, 2003, Training Tips article "Crosswinds—Again!" See also the article's discussion of a student pilot's question about that trickiest element of a crabbed crosswind landing approach: the transition from crab to wing-low before touchdown. And to round out your ground study of this and other methods of landing when the wind is blowing, check out the articles from AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training on "Windy Flight Operations." From weather to technique to training suggestions, it's all there.

My ePilot – Training Product
Are you learning to fly in a glass-cockpit Piper or Cirrus with the Avidyne Entegra EXP5000 Primary Flight Display, or do you plan to transition into one soon? Flight1 Aviation Technologies' new DVD-based program, Avidyne FlightMax Entegra EXP5000 PFD Interactive Courseware, helps pilots to understand the system. It covers the smallest details of the PFD in depth and tests the user at the end of each segment. The course, which has been accepted by the FAA's FITS program, assumes the user is already a pilot but also is helpful to students, especially when used with an instructor's guidance. The course costs $149.95; for more information see the Web site or call 877/727-4568.

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: While studying aircraft weight and balance, I'm realizing the overall importance of staying within the airplane's limitations. Which FAA regulations cover operating limitations?

Answer: FAR 23.1583 "Operating Limitations" states that the airplane flight manual must contain the following operating limitations: airspeed, powerplant, weight, center of gravity (CG), maneuvers, maneuver load factor, minimum flight crew, kinds of operations, maximum operating altitude, maximum passenger seating configuration, allowable lateral fuel loading, baggage and cargo loading, systems, smoking, and types of surface. A thorough preflight should always include a weight and balance determination. Operating an airplane when it's overweight, or when the weight is distributed so that the CG is beyond the front or rear limits, is unsafe and also renders the aircraft unairworthy, since it's being operated outside the limits stated in the type certificate. For more information, review the articles, "Checkride: Sure it'll fly!" and "Airframe and Powerplant: How Much Does Your Airplane Weigh?"

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