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Article Archive (362)

Monday, 30 March 2015 21:12

Louisiana’s Other Side: Shreveport

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It's more than just a mile from Texarkana, and it's more than just a relic from the steamboat days. April 2015- The surveyors were off—by a whole 30 miles—but the song is still popular. That song would be "Cotton Fields" recorded in 1940 by blues legend Lead Belly and covered by everyone from The Beach Boys, Elvis, Johnny Cash, and, of course, Creedence Clearwater Revival. Shreveport, La., a city with a metro area of over 350,000 residents, is now the economic center for a tri-state area known as "ArkLaTex." Shreveport today is revitalized in large part because of the introduction of riverboat gambling in the 1990s. With five casinos in the Shreveport-Bossier area, locals—and visitors (mainly from "Ark" and "Tex")—can find their favorite slot machines, games tables, and even a horseracing track. If a quiet day fishing by kayak is more your style, Shreveport can provide that, too. Several outdoor recreational areas, including Cypress Black Bayou in nearby Benton, provide visitors an opportunity to fish, swim, camp and explore. Bassmaster fishing tournaments are held frequently on the Red River, and this twisty-turny waterway is what geographically separates old-town Shreveport and Bossier City (pronounced "Bozhur"). The climate here is zone eight,…
Single-pilot light aircraft operations require good raining, sound procedures, excellent motor skills—and an awareness of our own cognitive bias. April 2015- Flying offers so many possibilities. As pilots we can pull our aircraft out of the hangar virtually anytime we want and sail to any horizon. It's a privilege that comes with immense responsibility. When we deploy our aircraft, we have tools to keep us safe. Combined with our training, these tools can take much of the risk out of operating aircraft. The term fail-safe is often used to describe many of our critical light aircraft components, and our Cessnas are built with intelligent systems that consider human factors and have ample safety margins. In many cases there are redundancies so if one system fails, another takes over. But what about the system between our ears? That system is responsible for thousands of tasks and decisions each and every flight. Fortunately for us, it works remarkably well. Through disciplined use of procedures, good training and excellent motor skills, we can maintain very high levels of safety. But our brains aren't without fault. Cognitive biasThere are several areas where our old dependable noggin can let us down in a big way.…
"If you're at 65 percent of power or so, 50 degrees rich of peak probably won't get you in trouble, and will give you close to maximum power for that manifold pressure and rpm. But the fact is that 50 degrees rich of peak will produce the absolute hottest possible temperatures for all parts of the engine." -John DeakinAdvanced Pilot Seminars April 2014- Prior to my first cross-country flight from Seattle (KBFI) to Arlington, Wash. (KAWO), I was told that we were going to lean the engine when we got up to cruise altitude. I was instructed to pull the mixture knob slowly aft until the engine started to get rough, then to push it back in until the engine smoothed out. Since those early days I've learned quite a bit more about leaning. The following is a general discussion on the basics of leaning; it is intended only to be educational. Always refer to your Flight Manual or POH for specific leaning instructions. Red knob basicsLeaning seems simple: since air density decreases as air temperature and altitude increases, and since the carburetors and fuel injection components on our airplane engines don't adjust for these density changes, pilots need to…
Hi Steve,I sent you a picture of a part I need for my Cessna 182 (photo, above). This part screws into the intake manifold above the carburetor. The hose for the manifold pressure gauge screws onto the part. My mechanic told me I need to change it, but I haven't been able to find the part number in my Cessna 182 parts manual. Can you help? —Brad Robinson Dear Brad,The part you're looking for is called an adapter assembly and the Cessna part number is 0750282-1. That's the part number for the item that connects the manifold pressure line to the engine according to the 1962-73 Cessna 182 parts manual. The list price for the part is over $400, although you may be able to get a used one from an airplane salvage company such as CFA supporters Wentworth, Dodson and Preferred Airparts; White Industries, Texas Air Salvage and others may also have it. KRN Aviation Services shows three on hand, according to its website. The part appears to be a standard AN flared tube-to-pipe thread aircraft part that has a short steel tube brazed on the pipe thread end. The only reason for the short length of tubing is…
Widespread fog prompts a change of heart about personal minimums on departure. April 2015- I have never been a fan of personal minimums—the idea that you should set limits for yourself short of what's required by the FAA. Particularly for instrument flying, if you aren't prepared to shoot an approach to minimums as specified on the chart, you shouldn't file, because you're going to have to deal with whatever weather develops.That's one reason for the "1-2-3" rule about specifying an alternate if the weather isn't forecast to have at least a 2,000-foot ceiling and three miles visibility for one hour before and after your planned time of arrival. But I've had a change of heart, at least in one respect: I've now set personal minimums for visibility and ceiling when departing on an IFR flight. That came about as a result of planning for a flight to Los Angeles with my wife during the fog season. We were in a relatively wet winter season here in California's Central Valley, which makes fog common. When there's no frontal weather, radiation fog is common most mornings and indeed sometimes builds up to persistent tule fog that can cover fairly large areas. Most…
Tuesday, 03 March 2015 21:28

Moving Up: Attaining Your Multi-Engine Rating

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Important things to consider about multi-engine aircraft and training. March 2015- The multi-engine rating is often a step in the training progression for pilots that are considering a commercial flying career. But it's also an important step for single-engine General Aviation pilots. Often these pilots would like to challenge themselves and take their experience to the next level. For many GA pilots, a multi-engine rating is a big feather in one's cap and one way to experience something more like "big time" aviation.No matter what category you fall into, a multi-engine rating is serious business. For those pilots that are considering a multi-engine rating and/or plan to move up to a larger twin engine airplane, I would like to pass along the knowledge I have garnered in my 46 years in aviation. RequirementsGenerally, all a pilot will need to begin working on a multi-engine rating is a private pilot certificate. However, I would recommend at least 400 hours of single engine experience and an instrument rating before you consider a multi-engine rating. You must know how the airspace system works and be able to operate within it.Per the FAA, the minimum requirements for earning your multi-engine rating are set in…
Tuesday, 03 March 2015 21:12

The ABCs of ELTs

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A clear understanding of FAR 91.207 is just the beginning for pilots looking at installing a new ELT. March 2015- "ELTs are specialized radio transmitters that sit in the aircraft and are designed to do nothing," says Joan Goodman, president of Emergency Beacon Corp. based in New Rochelle, N.Y. "And they should do nothing—that is, they are designed not to interfere [with other equipment]."That is, until they're needed. "In the event of an incident, the ELT will either trigger automatically, or can be manually activated," Goodman explained. Automatic ELTs begin transmitting an emergency distress signal only after a significant change in velocity of the aircraft.There are a number of companies that make 406 MHz ELTs for use in the United States. These include ACK, ACR/Artex, Ameri-King, Emergency Beacon Corp., Emerging Lifesaving Technologies and Kannad. Factors in the priceA 406 MHz ELT can be costly, and there are several reasons why. First, the parts play a big role. "The signal is so specific and so narrow, you need a very specific oscillator—and it's very expensive," Goodman told me. "If the price of the oscillator came down, prices on ELTs would come down."The testing process is also a factor in the final…
Tuesday, 03 March 2015 21:01

Restoration Rules of Thumb

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Have a DIY project in mind? Read these eight simple tips before you start. March 2015- As pilots, we have a responsibility to know our aircraft as well as we can, and one great way to learn about our airplanes is to complete a restoration project.Things like replacing bulbs, installing new seatbelts and new seats, repairing upholstery and decorative furnishings; as well as simple repairs and adjustments—and many other service actions which don't involve disassembly of the primary structure—are all permitted under the preventive maintenance section of FAR part 43, Appendix A. (We've recently added a link to the U.S. Government Publishing Office on CessnaFlyer.org. Look for "Browse e-CFR Data" under the Knowledge Base tab. There you can review FAR part 43, Appendix A and other regulations. —Ed.) Here are some general tips to keep in mind if you're contemplating a DIY project. 01. Define the scope of your project, and be realistic about your restoration skills and budget. If this is your first restoration project, you'll want to keep your project small and inexpensive.When you're planning, keep in mind that if you run into trouble you could have your plane down for weeks (or longer) while you get help.…
March 2015- Hi Steve,I have two top-of-the-line noise-canceling headsets that work great, but I prefer to fly my 1975 Cessna 210L without them.I've tried all the top brands and not one of these headsets is entirely comfortable. I suspect it's because I have an extremely large head. The reason doesn't matter; I just don't like anything on my head—especially something that applies pressure.So my question is, what can I do to make my airplane quieter? How much work is it, and what's the cost? —Bob Bighead Dear Bob,Good questions. And is it even possible to soundproof a light airplane? That's another good question.In-cabin noise levels can be reduced in varying degrees by the installation of ever more sophisticated solutions. There's just one caveat: every product installed must be at least flame resistant and must be self-extinguishing when tested in accordance with Appendix F as specified in FAR 23.853 and 23.856. These materials can be costly. Keep in mind, too, that any solution will add weight.
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