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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 9, Issue 14AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 9, Issue 14

The following stories from the April 6, 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 – Instrument Interest
During the Aircraft Electronics Association's fiftieth annual convention and trade show in Reno, Nevada, last week, Aspen Aviations announced a reduced price for its AT300 Hazard Awareness Display. The company lowered the cost of the terrain awareness display by $1,000 to $2,995. The price reduction is intended to make the technology accessible to more pilots and aircraft owners, according to the company. Aspen Avionics also unveiled its new corporate branding campaign, "A New Way to Look at Avionics," along with a revamped Web site.

My ePilot – Own/May Own Interest
Pilots on the market for a new Mooney Ovation2 GX, Ovation3, or Acclaim have a few more options. Mooney Airplane Company and Jeppesen announced a deal March 30 that will allow customers to take delivery of their new aircraft with Jeppesen's NavData services and electronic charts preloaded onto their Garmin G1000 avionics systems. This will include all of the Jeppesen hardware and software needed to set up and maintain current NavData and electronic charts. Subscriptions will coincide with the aircraft delivery and will renew automatically unless the customer chooses otherwise. Options for navigational data for different areas of the United States and international locations will also be available. The cost of the bundle will be included in the aircraft purchase price.

My ePilot – Piston Single-Engine Interest
The good times, depending on your perspective, can't last forever for used light single-engine airplanes. Following a slight uptick in aircraft values over the past couple of years, there has been a drop-off toward the end of 2006 and on into the beginning of 2007. Vref, the aircraft value reference, looked at average values for the 1979 Tiger AA5B, 1983 Beechcraft C23 Sundowner, 1984 Cessna 172P, 1978 Cessna Cardinal, and the 1984 Piper Warrior and Archer. The average value peaked at about $64,000 in 2001 while the average value now stands at $56,330 for the first quarter of 2007. Values for complex single-engine airplanes have continued to decline. After peaking at $173,000 in late 2001, values have continued to drop. Looking at the 1982 Beechcraft Sierra, 1990 A36 Bonanza, 1978 Cessna 177RG, 1984 Cessna 182, 1984 Cessna 210N, 1990 Mooney M20M, 1990 Piper Arrow, and the 1990 Piper Saratoga SP, average values are now down around $144,380. Perform your own aircraft valuations using AOPA's free service on AOPA Online. Also, see Vref's Web site.

My ePilot – Turbine Interest
After hitting bottom in late 2003, average values for turboprop airplanes are on the rise, according to Vref, the aircraft value reference. Values for the 1985 Beechcraft King Air C90A, 1985 King Air B200, 1985 Cessna Conquest I, 1985 Cessna Conquest II, 1980 Piper Cheyenne II, and 1978 Twin Commander 690B hit a peak and leveled off at $1.2 million in 2000. That was followed by a steady drop to about $910,000 over the next few years. Since late 2004, values have rebounded, exceeding $1.2 million in the first quarter of 2007. Light jets, on the other hand, haven't had quite the recovery. Values for the 1991 Beechjet 400A, 1993 Cessna CitationJet, 1990 Citation II, 1990 Citation V, 1982 Falcon 10, 1985 Westwind II, and 1991 Learjet 31A markets hit a peak of about $3.2 million in late 1999 and held their values for a few years. That was followed by a steady plunge. Values have stabilized now at about $2.2 million. Perform your own aircraft valuations using AOPA's free service on AOPA Online. Also, see Vref's Web site.

My ePilot – Student Interest, Training Tips
Here's a visualization exercise. After performing a crosswind landing as described in the March 30, 2007, Training Tips, you are instructed: "Turn right next taxiway, contact ground control." How will you position ailerons and elevator for the wind during taxi?

Suppose you landed on a northerly runway with a 10-knot crosswind from the west. That's a left crosswind. When you landed, you were holding down the left wing (yoke to the left for left aileron up). As you turn right at the next taxiway, what happens to the crosswind component?

It becomes a tailwind component, requiring an adjustment of your controls. Add down elevator as illustrated in Figure 2-10 in Chapter 2 of the Airplane Flying Handbook.

Next, ground control instructs you to turn right onto the parallel taxiway and taxi to the ramp. Again, think about where the wind is coming from and how you should position the ailerons and elevator.

"It can be confusing remembering which way the ailerons should be positioned during a crosswind taxi, so I teach this memory aid: When you hold the yoke, your thumb points up; when the wind is coming from in front and to one side (a quartering headwind), point your thumb into the wind. When the wind is coming from behind, point your thumb away from the wind," Sue Critz wrote in the December 2004 AOPA Flight Training feature "Tackling Taxiing."

Another memory aid is the old mnemonic, "Thumb up, aileron up." During your next preflight, grasp the yoke with both hands, and turn it left and right. You will see that the up thumb points to the up aileron.

Spend some ground time diagramming wind and runway-bearing combinations and how you would handle them with the flight controls while taxiing. Soon your control deflections will become second nature, and your taxiing, safer.

My ePilot – Training Product
SureCheck Aviation, manufacturer of a broad line of aircraft checklists, now has a series of avionics checklists designed specifically for handheld GPS units. The company says it now has checklists for Garmin handhelds, including the GPSMAP 496, 396, 296, and 196. Checklists for the GPSMAP 295 and 195 are forthcoming. Each checklist ranges from 30 to 40 pages and includes full-color guides to every screen function. The spiral-bound checklists are printed in color with black and white inserts and are laminated with a non-glare finish. The 396 and 496 checklists are $29.95; the 295 and 296 are $24.95; and the 195 and 196 are $19.95. SureCheck products are sold by a variety of pilot shops and fixed-base operators. For more information, 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: I'm at the cross-country point in my flight training, and my instructor has been covering the basics of filing a flight plan. If a VFR flight plan is generally not required—unless flying through certain restricted airspace—what is the value of filing one?

Answer: Perhaps the greatest benefit of filing a VFR flight plan is that it's good insurance in the event of an off-airport emergency. Search and rescue services will be initiated if you are overdue at your destination airport and have not closed your flight plan with flight service. On the other hand, if you have an accident in a remote area and did not file a flight plan, it may be some time before you are either discovered or reported missing, and longer still until a rescue effort is begun. Be sure to cancel your flight plan within 30 minutes after your estimated time of arrival to avoid triggering an unwarranted search. You can cancel with flight service via telephone (800/WX-BRIEF) or AOPA's Real Time Flight Planner using your DUAT account. For more information, read the online article, "Paper Trail: Activating your flight plan just might save the day."

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