The following stories from the August 3, 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 - Student Interest, Training Tips
EN ROUTE AWARENESS
How deep are your aircraft's tanks? A startling question; not something you'd ponder while on the ground at one of your stops on a cross-country flight.
Or would you? After landing, a pilot has many things to attend to, especially on a multi-leg flight. Personal needs, some food, and ordering fuel come first. Next it is time to update your weather briefing and review flight planning items such as your departure course line and checkpoints as well as the radio frequencies for the next leg. Does the new weather information require that you change your cruise altitude, or that you take on extra fuel based on recalculated estimated groundspeeds? Check pireps. They're first-hand observations and can provide the best update on flight conditions.
Ground delays can crop up as you seek out food, fuel, and weather. Should you amend your VFR flight plan to reflect a later estimated time of arrival? File multiple legs separately, but do file and activate a VFR flight plan. Maximizing your flight plan's efficiency while avoiding common errors is made easy following the useful tips in the October 2003 AOPA Flight Training article "Paper Trail."
If you are departing a nontowered airport and want to request radar flight following, the correct frequency and the controlling ATC facility can be found in such sources as this listing for Dillant-Hopkins Airport (EEN) in Keene, New Hampshire, in AOPA's Airport Directory Online. Contact Boston Center on 123.75 MHz to request traffic advisories. When you arrived here, you monitored EEN's automated weather station on 119.025 MHz. Do so again before departure.
As for the depth of those fuel tanks: You know that you should check your new fuel load for water or other contaminants. But doing so immediately after refueling may not work. How long should you wait? "According to industry standards, the minimum safe settling time for aviation fuel is 15 minutes per foot of depth of water. Therefore, if your aircraft has fuel tanks that are 6 inches in depth, the minimum wait time should be 7.5 minutes," was the reply to a Frequently Asked Question on AOPA Online.
Ground time isn't down time on a cross-country. Stay aware and informed en route.
My ePilot - Training Product
FREE SAMPLES OF KING VIDEOS NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE
YouTube may have its share of video clips of teenagers lip-synching to pop songs, but it now has someone you'll actually want to watch: John and Martha King. The Kings have placed two-minute segments from 22 King Schools' courses on YouTube, free of charge. Samples include Cleared for Flying the Garmin G1000, Flying the Garmin 430/530, Takeoffs & Landings Made Easy, Taming Stalls & Spins, Night Flying, The Complete Airspace Review, and more. If you want more after you've sampled the videos, you can always surf over to King Schools and purchase the complete programs.
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: If a student pilot wants to obtain a student pilot certificate and solo on his or her sixteenth birthday (required by FAR 61.83), and the birthday falls on a weekend when aviation medical examiners are usually not conducting aviation physicals, can the combined student pilot/medical certificate be issued early?
Answer: The aviation medical examiner can issue the certificate early, provided the applicant is medically qualified, but no more than 30 days before the sixteenth birthday. The medical certificate must include the limitation "NOT VALID UNTIL (MONTH, DAY, AND YEAR OF 16TH BIRTHDAY)."