The following stories from the September 4, 2009, 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 -- Turbine Interest -
First STC-approved elliptical winglets delivered
Cessna and Winglet Technology LLC have teamed up to deliver the first supplemental type certificate-approved elliptical winglets for the Cessna Citation X. The winglets provide optimum lift distribution along the wingspan, reduce induced drag, increase range, and decrease fuel consumption. Replacement anti-collision and position lights come with the installation kits. The winglets cost $415,000, and another $178,000 for installation. Down time is four weeks. Although the first Winglet Technology retrofit kit was delivered to Cessna’s Wichita Service Center, plans are under way to offer installation at all nine Cessna Service Centers in the United States and Europe. Cessna has not released any performance information with regard to the winglets, but the stock Citation X advertises a top speed of 0.92 Mach.
Holiday weekend flying
Long holiday weekends are a great time to accomplish major components of a flight-training program, or even make a final push toward your flight test before school or work resumes next Tuesday. Looking down from cruise altitude, pilots savor the view and give thanks that they are not trapped on the crowded interstate highway network.
But like the highways, skies and airports become busy places—especially during the last gasp of summer vacation. As you plan your cross-country routes and study the airports you plan to visit over the Labor Day weekend, give extra attention to the traffic-avoidance resources at your disposal on those routes. This includes arrival procedures such as traffic patterns, altitudes, and frequencies at nontowered airports. Study airport diagrams and taxi routes. And whether you are receiving radar assistance or just practicing see-and-avoid, know how to scan for traffic. As the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Safety Advisor Collision Avoidance: Strategy and Tactics discusses, “The most important tool pilots have to see and avoid other aircraft is their vision. But simply looking out of the cockpit isn’t enough. Pilots need to know how to look and what to look for, which requires an understanding of the limitations of human vision and tactics to compensate for its deficiencies.”
How you navigate is part of knowing where collision hot spots may exist. VORs draw traffic from all directions. Keep your eyes outside, especially when your "to" indication is about to change to "from"! Barry Schiff discusses the relationship between navigation technology and collision risk in his July 2008 AOPA Pilot "Proficient Pilot" column. (Does he consider the risk higher or lower when a pilot navigates with the precision provided by GPS? Check out his column for the answer, which may surprise you.)
Some student pilots are reluctant to call air traffic control and request radar flight following, or are unsure how the program works. In fact, interacting with ATC is easy and welcomed, and it builds your confidence as a participant in the system. A helpful start is to review the feature article " VFR Traffic Advisories " on AOPA Flight Training Online.
Fly safely and move your training forward over the last big weekend of summer!
‘Pilot’s Manual: Access to Flight’ textbook images
Flight instructors who are using ASA’s Pilot’s Manual: Access to Flight, an integrated private and instrument training curriculum, now have an additional teaching tool. The book’s collection of images, illustrations, and figures is being made available separately as a classroom teaching tool. Available for download only in PowerPoint, the collection includes more than 900 slides that can be viewed collectively or inserted as individual slides in a presentation so that instructors can customize their training. The collection sells for $49.95 and may be ordered online from ASA.
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.
Question: A few friends and I are considering forming a flying club. Does AOPA have any resources available to assist us in forming a flying club, finding an appropriate airplane, and completing the purchase?
Answer: Yes, AOPA has all the tools, information, and resources you need! We have a helpful flying clubs Web section that will guide you through the entire process and help you formulate the operating agreement that is key to a successful club. Our section on buying a used aircraft will walk you through the entire process of buying an airplane, from locating just the right aircraft through the pre-purchase inspection and completing the required paperwork. AOPA also offers aircraft insurance, financing, and title and escrow services. For individual assistance, AOPA’s aviation technical specialists are able to assist you over the phone at 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672).
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to [email protected] or call the Pilot Information Center, 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.