AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 5, Issue 21

May 27, 2005

To view the AOPA ePilot archives, click here.

Volume 5, Issue 21 • May 27, 2005
In this issue:
FAA revokes Pennsylvania pilot's certificate
AOPA Fly-In procedures a must-read for pilots
Watch for suspicious activity at GA airports

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Training Tips
COURSE LINE
Nothing about a cross-country flight is more basic, or more informative, than the line on a chart representing the route that flight will take: its course line. Why is a little line so big on information?

Its length represents the distance you'll fly, measured in nautical miles. Its bearing, corrected through several calculations to a compass heading, allows you to select an altitude using the hemispheric rule (discussed in the February 7, 2003 Training Tips), considering limiting factors such as terrain elevation. Your course line may cross different classes of regulated airspace (review Chapter 3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual), requiring you to comply with communications responsibilities or avoid restricted areas. One of the most valuable, least-appreciated benefits of careful course line scrutiny is that it gives you an excellent idea of how close you will come to alternate airports while aloft. Survey those fields as you prepare for your flight.

The line on your sectional chart will alert you to the need to look up other information. What if your line penetrates a National Park Service or U.S. Forest Service area? How do you identify such boundaries? Find the appropriate information along the margins of your sectional chart. Note that aircraft are requested to maintain at least 2,000 feet above such areas. Other data provided on the information panels of your chart include frequencies for control towers or approach control and operational details, including altitudes and hours of use, of restricted areas and military operations areas (MOAs). Augment this information by checking notices to airmen (notams) during your preflight briefing.

Now you and your instructor can do even more to get ready for cross-countries using AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner, which was the subject of the "Instructor Report" column in the February 2004 AOPA Flight Training. Manually chart some practice routes, plug in forecast winds aloft for your groundspeed and fuel calculations, then check your work against this versatile program's output. "Especially in areas where temporary flight restrictions are common and ever-changing in dimension, review these theoretical routes often to impress on your new pilots the urgency of getting up-to-date information about flight restrictions," the article counsels instructors. With so much information at your disposal, any pilot's cross-country planning can be thorough and efficient.

Your Partner in Training
The FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) is the best reference for learning good air traffic control communication skills and phraseology. Your most important lesson as you learn to use the right words is learning not to be afraid of using the wrong words. Regardless of the form it takes, communication is the goal. Read more on effective communication in the archives of AOPA Flight Training . Still have questions? Call our aviation experts at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time.

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
FAA REVOKES PENNSYLVANIA PILOT'S CERTIFICATE
The FAA has revoked Hayden "Jim" Sheaffer's private pilot certificate following the May 11 incident in which Sheaffer and a friend flew into restricted airspace over the nation's capital. In its eight-page revocation, the agency found that Sheaffer failed to properly prepare for the flight, lost situational awareness throughout the flight, penetrated multiple layers of restricted and prohibited airspace, didn't respond properly to intercepting aircraft, and failed to take physical control of the airplane from an inexperienced passenger. He has been ordered to surrender his certificate. After one year he can apply for a new certificate provided he passes a written and practical test. He has the right to make an immediate appeal to the NTSB. In a May 24 appearance on NBC's Today program, Sheaffer's attorney said he'll file an appeal. For more, see the complete story on AOPA Online.

AOPA FLY-IN PROCEDURES A MUST-READ FOR PILOTS
If you're planning a trip to AOPA's Fly-In and Open House on Saturday, June 4, you'll want to take several precautions. The fly-in typically is an extremely busy event, and that's why Frederick Municipal Airport, normally a non-towered facility, gets a temporary control tower from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Be sure to fly the published holding pattern to avoid restricted airspace. Download the holding pattern information. For more information, see the fly-in procedures on AOPA Online.

EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM SHIFT TO HAVE NO EFFECT ON TRAINING
Foreign flight school students in the United States should notice little difference over the next two years as the flight training portion of the Exchange Visitor Program transitions from the U.S. Department of State to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). "The flight training program is being transitioned to the DHS, but not eliminated, as some flight schools had worried," said Luis Gutierrez, AOPA director of regulatory and certification policy. "A source from the U.S. Department of State has told AOPA that the change will be in program management only and that foreign flight school students still will be able to participate under their J-1 Visa. A notice explaining the transition will be published within the next few months. The Exchange Visitor Program allows foreign nationals to temporarily live in the United States for educational or professional purposes, including flight training.

CESSNA APPOINTS PILOT CENTER IN AUSTRIA
Cessna has chosen JA Flight School at Oberwaltersdor Airport to be its first Cessna Pilot Center in Austria. JA's fleet of single-engine aircraft includes two 172R Skyhawks, three 172S Skyhawk SPs, a 182T Skylane, and a turbocharged 182T Skylane.

CIVIL AIR PATROL TO APPEAR IN FLIGHT SIMULATOR ADD-ON
The Civil Air Patrol is partnering with a software manufacturer to produce an add-on package for Microsoft's Flight Simulator. Packaging will include information on CAP and its aviation-based mission. CAP will receive royalties that will be used to fund its youth development programs. CAP's corporate partner, Abacus Software, has published other add-ons, including "Chopper Havoc!" "Flight Deck 3," "FS Repaint," "FS Design Studio," and "EZ-Landmark." Abacus says the CAP program will be available this summer. For more information, see the Web site.

CORRECTION: Robert Vallier, the British pilot who will fly to all 50 states in 2006, was incorrectly identified in a story that appeared in the May 20 edition of ePilot Flight Training Edition. We regret the error.

Inside AOPA

BOYER PROVIDES GA PERSPECTIVE ON WEATHER SERVICE BILL
AOPA President Phil Boyer appeared on ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings last Thursday in a story about proposed legislation that would restrict public access to the National Weather Service (NWS). Boyer presented general aviation's opposition and explained that obtaining weather data is a critical part of preflight planning for pilots. "Forty percent of all fatalities are caused by weather-related factors," Boyer said. The proposed bill, introduced by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), would prohibit the NWS from offering any "product or service that is or could be provided by the private sector." On the newscast, Boyer demonstrated how he uses a computer to access weather data as a routine and necessary part of preflight planning. See AOPA Online.

WATCH FOR SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY AT GA AIRPORTS
As the flying season kicks into high gear, general aviation airports become a hubbub of activity, particularly during long holidays like Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July. During this increased activity, remember to be alert for anything suspicious. AOPA's Airport Watch Program provides a security checklist of suspicious activities, a toll-free hotline to report questionable activity, and a guide that teaches pilots how to secure their aircraft. Report suspicious activity on the government-provided toll-free Airport Watch hotline (866/GA-SECUR[E]). If immediate action is needed, call 911. AOPA partnered with the Transportation Security Administration to develop a nationwide Airport Watch Program to help keep GA airports secure. 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
JEPPESEN SCHWEIZER KIT AIMED AT HELICOPTER PILOTS, STUDENTS
Student pilots of fixed-wing aircraft are familiar with "kits"-books, software, and/or other learning tools packaged together. Here's one for the rotary-wing student: the Jeppesen Schweizer Helicopter Training Program Private/Commercial Standard Student Kit, available from JoePilot.com. The kit's helicopter training manual is tailored to the Schweizer Model 300CB but can be used in any helicopter training program. Included in the $210.43 price are a workbook, FAR Part 141 training syllabus, file folder, FAA testing materials, FAR/AIM book, and a Schweizer 300CB information manual, all in one bag.

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: During one of my recent solo cross-country flights, I heard a pilot request "flight following." Can you tell me what this means?

Answer: Flight following is an air traffic control service that provides traffic advisories to VFR pilots as controller workload permits. (Providing services to IFR flights is the priority for ATC.) To request flight following, contact the nearest ATC facility such as an approach control or center. After telling them who you are, where you are, and where you are headed, you will be assigned a transponder code. You then become a radar target on the controller's screen, identified by your transponder code. ATC will advise you of traffic that might conflict with your route of flight. Even though ATC is providing traffic advisories, you, as pilot in command, are still responsible for traffic avoidance, so maintain your traffic scan at all times! For more information, read "VFR Traffic Advisories."

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 images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online.

What's New At AOPA Online
Logging flight time should ordinarily be a straightforward exercise, but when pilots get together, questions arise, particularly when logging pilot-in-command time. See the updated subject report on AOPA Online.

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

ePilot Calendar
UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS:
Bridgeport, Connecticut. Corsairs Over Connecticut takes place June 2 through 5 at Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial (BDR). Celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the end of World War II, nine Chance Vought F4U Corsairs return for a veterans salute. Other displays include World War II aircraft, military vehicles, and historic re-enactors. Call 203/380-2902, or visit the Web site.

Galveston, Texas. A Gulf Coast Wings Weekend takes place June 3 and 4 at Moody Gardens Hotel. Event features Wings safety seminars, trade show, awards breakfast, and banquet in the Lone Star Flight Museum. Contact Tre Deathe, 512/454-9476, or visit the Web site.

Spokane, Washington. An Aviation Weekend takes place June 3 and 4 at Felts Field (SFF). Featuring innovations in flight, educational seminars, product demonstrations, wings to wishes flight, and a World War II gala benefit hangar dinner. Contact Teri Mathis, 509/252-2954, or visit the Web site.

Danville, Virginia. SATS 2005: A Transformation in Air Travel takes place June 5 through 7 at Danville Regional (DAN). The demonstration will highlight the capabilities of the Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS). The event will open with a dynamic fly-in, followed by two days of technology demonstrations, service provider displays, and more. 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.

FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Phoenix, and San Jose, California, June 4 and 5. Courses are also scheduled in Orlando, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina, June 11 and 12. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.

AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled to take place during the AOPA Fly-In & Open House on June 4 in Frederick, Maryland. The topics vary-for a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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