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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 9, Issue 6AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 9, Issue 6

The following stories from the February 9, 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
Some pilots get their instrument ratings with the intentions of flying in hard IFR, while others get it simply to become better pilots. AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Thomas B. Haines points out that many pilots, including himself, use the instrument rating to stay out of the weather. Read how he maneuvered around severe weather on a flight from Florida to Maryland this past spring in "Waypoints: Out of the weather," in the June 2006 AOPA Pilot.

My ePilot – Turbine Interest
Cessna Aircraft Company will sponsor the Citation GT (Grand Touring) 1 cup in 2007 during the upcoming season's Fédération International de l'Automobile (FIA) GT Championship run in Europe and countries around the world. Officials of the racing association said people attracted to sports car races are the same as those needing business jets. All of the cars running in the Citation series will carry the Citation logo. The Citation championship is spread over eight rounds, with the winner of each round receiving three flying hours in a Citation aircraft.

My ePilot – Student Interest, Training Tips
At all stages of a flight, the pilot receives clues about wind. What those clues mean to that pilot is the product of training. Even in the level cruise portion of a flight, don't ignore clues about winds aloft and surface winds. The unexpected sight of altocumulus standing lenticular (ACSL) clouds along the route might suggest the presence of strong winds and severe turbulence. (See the March 14, 2003, Training Tips article "Don't mess with mountain waves.") That would warrant checking in with Flight Watch for a weather update.

Smoke emanating from smokestacks gives evidence of the speed and direction of surface winds; so does blowing snow. Gusts may appear as ripple patterns on bodies of water or in the motion of trees bordering open fields. Knowing the character of the wind down below during cruise flight could be life-saving in case of an engine failure, because picking out an emergency landing field is only half the battle. The pilot also must know which way to approach to avoid overshooting.

Cross-country flying and related flight planning trains a student pilot to calculate the magnetic headings to fly to maintain the plotted course, given expected wind drift. If the actual headings flown are significantly different, or if groundspeed varies from planned values, what is the wind doing? When landing with an expected crosswind, you must be able to recognize that there will either be a headwind component or a tailwind component on the base leg. Did you plan your traffic pattern to compensate for its effects? Pilots learn about the effects of surface winds when practicing ground-reference maneuvers. "They aid the pilot in analyzing the effect of wind and other forces acting on the airplane and in developing a fine control touch, coordination and the division of attention necessary for accurate and safe maneuvering of the airplane," according to Chapter 6 of the Airplane Flying Handbook.

Let a designated examiner give you pointers on how the time-tested S-turns, turns around a point, and rectangular-course maneuvers should be flown in Dave Wilkerson's March 2003 AOPA Flight Training column "Checkride: Ground reference insights." Keep track of what the wind is doing, and you'll be ready to make the right decisions when it counts.

My ePilot – Training Product
Whether you are at the private, instrument, or commercial level, visual references can be a great help when it comes to learning maneuvers. Sporty's has produced a series of guides adapted from the Sporty's Academy Maneuvers and Procedures Handbook, and each provides step-by-step instructions and diagrams for performing maneuvers required on the pertinent checkride. Recreational and Private Pilot Maneuvers Guide covers takeoffs and landings, stalls, slow flight, ground reference maneuvers, emergencies, and more; Instrument Pilot Maneuvers Guide provides information on holding procedures and precision and nonprecision approaches; and Commercial Pilot Maneuvers Guide includes power-off accuracy approaches, lazy eights, eights on pylons, chandelles, steep spirals, and more. You can order one for $16.95 each, or all three for $39.95. 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: My friend has gotten me interested in learning to fly. He is currently training for an instrument rating, while I am just getting started on sport pilot flight training. I have researched the FAA regulations and cannot find why my friend can log pilot-in-command time, but I cannot.

Answer: Your friend can log time as pilot in command (PIC), even though he is not instrument rated, because he is a certificated pilot with privileges to fly the aircraft he is flying. FAR 61.51(e) allows certificated pilots to log PIC time when they are the sole manipulators of the controls in an aircraft they have privileges to fly. With that said, the same regulation also allows a student pilot, like yourself, to log PIC flight time when working on your solo sport pilot aeronautical experience requirements (i.e., five hours of solo flight time for the airplane single-engine land rating). Additional information on logging time can be found at AOPA Online.

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