AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 4, Issue 40

October 1, 2004

Volume 4, Issue 40 • October 1, 2004
In this issue:
Date slips for sport pilot student applications
UAA announces new scholarship
Boyer appeals to TSA chief to delay flight training rule

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Copyright © 2004 AOPA.

Training Tips
DISPLACED THRESHOLDS
When does a runway have different lengths for takeoff and landing? When the runway has a displaced threshold. "A displaced threshold is a threshold located at a point on the runway other than the designated beginning of the runway. Displacement of a threshold reduces the length of runway available for landings. The portion of runway behind a displaced threshold is available for takeoffs in either direction and landings from the opposite direction. A 10-foot-wide white threshold bar is located across the width of the runway at the displaced threshold. White arrows are located along the centerline in the area between the beginning of the runway and the displaced threshold. White arrowheads are located across the width of the runway just prior to the threshold bar," as illustrated in this excerpt from Chapter 2 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. Note the differences between a displaced threshold and a "relocated" threshold. A relocated threshold also shortens the available length of the "opposite direction" runway.

Information on any displaced thresholds can be found in AOPA's Airport Directory Online and the FAA's Airport/Facility Directory entry for the airport. See the symbol near the arrival end of Runway 27 in Hagerstown, Maryland. Click on "Terminal Procedures," then on "Airport Diagram," to find the available length of the runway. How much of Runway 27 is available for landing?

Some airports have multiple displaced thresholds, as this diagram of the Orange, Massachusetts, airport shows. The usual reason is because of obstructions near the runway's approach end. But there can be others, such as cracked pavement, as noted in the directory's information for this airport's Runway 14-32.

Runway markings won't be visible at night. What then? "If a runway has a displaced threshold, a row of green lights on both sides of the runway mark the location where the landing portion of the runway begins," writes Robert N. Rossier in the February 1999 AOPA Flight Training feature "Light Up Your Night: A Guide to Airport Lighting Systems."

A runway isn't always as long as it seems. Check for a displaced threshold—and the reason for it—to make a safe, sure arrival at your next destination.

Your Partner in Training
If you are now a private pilot or nearly there, you may be thinking about going straight into training for the instrument rating. The primary advantage is flexibility. With an instrument rating, clouds, precipitation, and below-VFR ceilings need not cancel your trip. This alone is reason enough to pursue the rating. Learn more about eligibility for the instrument rating (and the 50-hour cross-country pilot-in-command requirement) on AOPA Online.

Do you have a question? Call our experienced pilots—available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern—toll-free at 800/872-2672. As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online and AOPA Flight Training Online. Login information is available online.

Flight Training News
DATE SLIPS FOR SPORT PILOT STUDENT APPLICATIONS
The FAA has pushed back the date that it will start accepting sport pilot student applications. Originally slated for November 15, the new date will now be January 15, 2005, to give FAA's Oklahoma offices time to gear up to process the new forms. The actual student pilot application paperwork, FAA Form 8710-11, will be ready January 1. That form will be submitted to the local flight standards district office (FSDO) or to a designated pilot examiner. The new form is needed because sport pilots aren't required to carry a medical certificate. For recreational or private pilot students, the medical certificate also serves as a student pilot certificate. The practical test standards (PTS) for sport pilots are now expected to be available by early November, and aeronautical knowledge test by November 15.

SYMPHONY PREPARES TO RESTART PRODUCTION
Symphony Aircraft Industries (SAI) has plans to deliver its first aircraft since the former parent company, OMF Canada, declared bankruptcy late last year. SAI expects to make the delivery in December. AOPA President Phil Boyer got to try out the two-place airplane last week when SAI President Paul Costanzo visited AOPA headquarters with an IFR version of the Symphony 160. SAI is based in Three Rivers, Quebec, but American Symphony, a subsidiary based in Moline, Illinois, will act as the master distributor, taking delivery of aircraft built in Quebec and serving as a service and supply hub. SAI is now readying its supply chain and establishing a dealer network; some dealers who previously sold Symphonies have already signed on. SAI also aims for certification of the Symphony 250 four-seat aircraft, which it will pursue at its plant in Canada. The Symphony 160 starts at $129,600 for a VFR-equipped airplane and is geared toward the training market.

UAA ANNOUNCES NEW SCHOLARSHIP
The University Aviation Association (UAA) announced the establishment of the Dr. Paul W. De Vore Freedom of Flight scholarship. The scholarship is for college students to use for initial flight training at FAA Part 141 flight schools. The scholarship honors De Vore's contributions to aviation. In September 2001, De Vore flew solo across the contiguous United States, landing at 40 airports in 36 states to promote aviation scholarships. Criteria and applications for the scholarship will be available after July 1, 2005. For more information, visit the Web site.

FAA ISSUES NEW PTS STANDARDS FOR INSTRUMENT RATINGS
New practical test standards for the instrument rating become effective today, October 1. For the most part, the changes were made to address modern cockpits that feature electronic flight instrument displays and IFR-certified GPS receivers. The AOPA Pilot Information Center has gone through the PTS and provided color-coded highlights and summaries of the changes. Copies of these enhanced documents will also be distributed to all CFIs attending AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics starting in October. Download the PTS.

Inside AOPA
BOYER APPEALS TO TSA CHIEF TO DELAY ALIEN FLIGHT TRAINING RULE
AOPA President Phil Boyer has gone straight to the top to stop implementation of the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA's) "alien" flight training rule. "In my almost three years of working with TSA, I have never seen such an impractical idea," Boyer told TSA chief David Stone Thursday morning. "I implore you to delay implementation of this rule to give us the opportunity to work with you to bring sanity to it and help you accomplish your security goals." The phone call prompted an unscheduled meeting between top AOPA staff members and senior TSA policy officials. AOPA has already filed a formal petition to suspend the October compliance date for training in aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or less, while AOPA's attorney has submitted a five-page letter to TSA's chief counsel seeking clarification, explanations, and justifications for the rule's specifics. See AOPA Online.

HAVE YOU UPDATED YOUR AOPA MEMBER PROFILE?
To make the most of your membership and allow us to serve you better, please visit AOPA Online and update your personal member profile.

Training Products
PREFLIGHT PAL KEEPS TOOLS AT YOUR SIDE
Preflights can be a symphony of dropped pens, rolling fuel testers, and fly-away checklists as you maneuver around the airplane; darkness only adds to the fun of chasing dropped objects. The Preflight Pal from Noral Enterprises holds night preflight essentials (flashlight, fuel tester, pen/pencil, screwdriver) in a Cordura pouch that hangs from your belt on a Velcro strap. It comes in seven colors and sells for $15.60 from AircraftSpruce.com, which also sells a Night Preflight Pal Combo—the pouch, plus an Aviation Supplies and Academics flight light, red filter, and fuel tester—for $43.30. To order, 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.

Final Exam
Question: Why shouldn't I laminate my student pilot certificate? The FAA says it's OK to laminate a pilot certificate as long as it's signed. But my flight instructor says I shouldn't. Why?

Answer: You are correct that the FAA has given approval to laminate pilot certificates. But take a good look at the back of your student pilot certificate. There are places for numerous flight instructor endorsements such as those for solo or cross-country flights. If you laminate the certificate, it would be almost impossible for your flight instructor to supply future endorsements. So, it may be better to hold off. After you pass your private pilot checkride, the FAA will issue you a pilot certificate made of plastic, similar to a credit card.

Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to askft@aopa.org 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.

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
Thunderstorms are not something any pilot wants to tangle with. Read AOPA's updated subject report, Thunderstorm Avoidance, to learn how to steer clear of these monsters.

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

ePilot Calendar
FLYING DESTINATIONS THIS WEEKEND:
Middle River, Maryland. Airfest/Baltimore County Waterfront Festival takes place October 2 at Martin State (MTN) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Presented by the Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum. The Collings Foundation will be participating with its World War II B-17 and B-24 aircraft. Contact Gil Pascal, 410/682-6122.

St. Louis, Missouri. The Great War Fly-in takes place October 2 and 3 at Creve Coeur (1H0). Featuring a manned replica World War I fighter aircraft. Inspect the aircraft, talk to pilots and builders, and learn how to build your own World War I warbird. Contact Chris O'Neal, 314/638-1550, or visit the Web site.

Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta takes place October 2 through 10 at Balloon Fiesta Park. The most spectacular ballooning event in the world. Contact Pat Brake, 888/422-7277, or visit the Web site.

NEXT WEEKEND:
St. Petersburg, Florida. Suncoast AirFest 2004 takes place October 9 and 10 at Albert Whitted (SPG). Featuring top-name aerobatic performers, military flybys, and static display aircraft as well as World War II and vintage aircraft performances. Contact Steve Tolliver, 813/917-1967, or visit the Web site.

Peachtree City, Georgia. The Great Georgia Airshow takes place October 9 and 10 at Peachtree City-Falcon Field (FFC). Acts include Jim Leroy, Shockley Jet Truck, Jimmy Franklin, A-10 Heritage Flight, warbirds, and more. Contact Jerry Cobb, 678/478-4630, or visit the Web site.

Maricopa, Arizona. The Copperstate Regional EAA Fly-in takes place October 7 through 10 at Phoenix Regional (A39). The thirty-second annual fly-in features educational forums, workshops, airshow, demonstration flights, vendor displays, food court, and children's activities. Visit the Web site.

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

ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER COURSES
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Courses are scheduled in San Bernardino, California, Windsor, Connecticut, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, October 9 and 10. Courses are also scheduled in Columbia, South Carolina, and Corpus Christi, Texas, October 16 and 17. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Renewal Online.

ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in South Holland, Illinois, and Latham, New York, October 4; Northbrook, Illinois, and North Syracuse, New York, October 5; Rockford, Illinois, and Henrietta, New York, October 6; and Peoria, Illinois, and Cheektowaga, New York, October 7. Topics vary. For complete details, see AOPA Online.

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