AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 3, Issue 52

December 26, 2003

Volume 3, Issue 52 • December 26, 2003
In this issue:
Elevated terrorist threat level restricts some flying
Daniel Webster College opens testing center
AOPA promotes benefits of GA in TV ad campaign

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Copyright © 2003 AOPA.

Season's Greetings! On behalf of all AOPA employees, the AOPA ePilot team extends to you our best wishes for the holiday season and the coming year. AOPA is closed today so that the association's staff can spend time with their families. In addition, AOPA will close at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, December 31, and will be closed January 1 and 2.

Training Tips
A REASONABLE BALANCE
The utility of general aviation aircraft is readily apparent during the holidays as families fill the seats, load baggage compartments, and head off to visit loved ones far away. Experienced pilots can quickly determine whether the weight to be carried is acceptable, based on the aircraft's "useful load." It is harder-but equally important-to know that the aircraft is loaded within acceptable center of gravity (CG) limits. Click here to download a review of these terms and the discussion of weight and balance in Chapter 3 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

The CG is defined as a "a point at which an airplane would balance if it were suspended at that point." What is the effect of the CG moving forward or aft? See the answer to Question 3 of "25 Questions" in the December 2001 issue of AOPA Flight Training. If you load the airplane beyond its CG limits, you risk compromising its stability and handling characteristics. An aft-of-limits condition could prevent you from recovering from a stall or a spin. Unexpected changes in aircraft behavior surprised one student who recounted his "Learning Experiences" in the March 2003 AOPA Flight Training.

Loadings don't have to be extreme to exceed limits as related in the "Small airplane, big student" dialog between Rod Machado and a private pilot in the September 2001 AOPA Flight Training. Remember also that the CG may change as fuel is burned! Will an airplane that is acceptably loaded before takeoff remain so throughout the flight? To know, compute weight and balance for your expected conditions at both the beginning and conclusion of your flight.

Don't become the kind of pilot Richard Hiner of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation warns CFIs about in his December 1999 "Instructor Report" article, saying, "The last time many pilots do a weight-and-balance calculation is for their checkride. They have a vague notion of what their airplane will carry, and they assume that as long as they don't load an iron anvil into the baggage compartment, the CG is reasonably in range." Then see the September 2003 "Safety Pilot" feature "Loaded" by ASF Executive Director Bruce Landsberg for some insights into the risks they take.

Orville and Wilbur Wright first grappled with CG and stability, as discussed in the October 2003 AOPA Flight Training feature "Seeking Out Stability." Let their discoveries-and the lessons learned by many pilots thereafter-guide your preparations for safe and efficient flying.

Your Partner in Training
Perhaps your family isn't too keen about your love of flying. Or you may have a friend or family member who will be a frequent passenger. Whatever the scenario, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation is a pioneer in introducing nonpilots to the thrill of flight, and its Pinch-Hitter(R) Ground School is designed to increase one's understanding and enjoyment of flying. For a course near you-or to order the course on videotape-see AOPA Online.

As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. For login information, click here.

Flight Training News
ELEVATED TERRORIST THREAT LEVEL RESTRICTS SOME FLYING
The government raised the terrorist threat level to orange on December 21, and as a result issued several security-related flight restrictions that affect the Washington, D.C., area. In addition, waivers nationwide for operating over major sporting events have been suspended. Pilots are strongly encouraged to obtain a briefing and check notices to airmen before every flight. If you see suspicious activities and/or vehicles around an airport, report them to law enforcement or call the AOPA's Airport Watch hotline toll-free at 866/GA-SECURE. For details of the security restrictions, see AOPA Online.

DANIEL WEBSTER COLLEGE OPENS TESTING CENTER
Daniel Webster College in Nashua, New Hampshire, is now a certified testing center for Computer Assisted Testing Service (CATS). FAA knowledge tests are available for pilots and flight students in the community as well as Daniel Webster aviation students. The center is located in the Anne Bridge Baddour Library Learning Resource Center. For more information, call 603/546-1500 or e-mail. AOPA members can download a $10 discount coupon to present to any participating CATS center from AOPA Online.

Inside AOPA
AOPA PROMOTES BENEFITS OF GA IN TV AD CAMPAIGN
Television ads promoting the value of general aviation to the public are running all this week on The Weather Channel. AOPA is sponsoring the advertisements to tell the public about the benefits GA brings to their lives and promote the association's educational Web site, General Aviation Serving America. The commercials will air more than 100 times between December 21 and January 4 and are expected to reach more than 32 million viewers.

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Training Products
UPGRADE FROM VIDEOTAPE TO DVD WITH KING SCHOOL OFFER
Got a King Schools ground school course on videotape gathering dust in the closet? King Schools will buy back your course at half its current value when you purchase a new course of the same title on DVD. For more information see the Web site or call 800/854-1001.

Final Exam
Question: If the straight-line distance to a destination is less than 50 nautical miles, but the required distance (because of a prohibited or restricted area) is greater than 50 nm, is the flight considered cross-country for the purpose of logging flight time?

Answer: No, it must be a straight-line distance between two points. FAR 61.1(b)(3)(ii) defines cross-country flights, for the purpose of obtaining a certificate or rating, as those that include a point of landing that is a straight-line distance of more than 50 nm from the original point of departure.

Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to askft@aopa.org or call 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.

Picture Perfect
The AOPA Online Gallery allows you to download your favorite images to use for wallpaper, send a personalized e-card, and order high-quality prints to be shipped directly to your doorstep. Search the hundreds of fabulous images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online.

What's New At AOPA Online
Looking for the closest location to take an FAA knowledge test? Download an updated list of testing centers from AOPA Online.

Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix.

ePilot Calendar
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
Wickenburg, Arizona. The Monthly Barbecue and Horseback Ride takes place January 3 at Wickenburg Municipal (E25). Start with a two-hour horseback ride through the beautiful Sonoran Desert, then come back to the airport for our monthly barbecue. Reservations are required for the horseback ride. Contact airport staff, 928/684-5690, or visit the Web site.

Lawrenceville, Georgia. A Pancake Breakfast and Aviation Program takes place January 3 at Gwinnett County-Briscoe Field (LZU). This month's program is "The NASA Experience." Contact Joel Levine, 770/394-5466.

Middle River, Maryland. The Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum Speaker Series takes place January 5 in the Lockheed Martin Auditorium. Featured speaker is Roy Taylor, a television pilot/reporter for WBAL, on local electronic newsgathering by helicopter. For more information, contact 410/682-6122, or visit the Web site.

To submit an event to the calendar, or search all events, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online .

ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in San Jose, California, and Portland, Oregon, January 3 and 4. Clinics are also scheduled in Detroit; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Seattle; January 10 and 11. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Renewal Online.

ASF PINCH-HITTER GROUND-SCHOOL COURSES
The next Pinch-Hitter® Ground Schools take place in Portland, Oregon, January 4, and Charlotte, North Carolina, January 25. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Reno, Nevada, January 5; Sacramento, California, January 6; Santa Rose, California, January 7; Oakland, California, January 8; and San Jose, California, January 9. The topic is Maneuvering Flight-Hazardous to Your Health? For complete details, see AOPA Online.

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