October 6, 2006
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BIRDS Bird hazards are ever-present in aviation, especially at certain times of the year. It's estimated that 500 million to 1 billion birds fly over the country during migrations. So while conflict between aircraft and birds may seem random and unpredictable, that's not the case. There's a lot of history in the relationship. New pilots should be familiar with that information.
A good start is making sure you aren't the victim of a misimpression. "Pilots may associate bird activity with nesting activities: That's not the problem. The worst months for bird strikes are August through October, not spring, because young birds have grown up enough to learn to fly but lack air smarts," Alton K. Marsh explained in the August 2005 AOPA Pilot feature "Bird Strike! What to Do When a Bird Fills the Screen." To see the results of bird strikes, see the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's bird strike photo page.
Migratory seasons and known flyways aren't the only time and place for bird hazards. Here's another fact pilots should know: "About 90 percent of bird strikes take place on or around airports, usually while taking off or landing." This valuable information is a sample of what you'll find in the Bird Strikes Subject Overview on AOPA Online, prepared by the AOPA Pilot Information Center. The overview also suggests ways of recognizing and staying away from bird-hazard hot spots:
More information can be found in Chapter 7 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). The AIM also explains how to report incidents involving birds and encourages pilots to do so in the interest of increasing safety through knowledge.
It's not just other aircraft we're watching for when we look for opposing traffic. Birds are out there, too.
The key to a good preflight is to understand what you are checking and why you are checking it. One overlooked switch (such as a boost pump) can make the difference between safety and disaster. The pre-solo flying skills section of AOPA Flight Training Online explains how proper preflighting will help you leave potential problems on the ground. If you still have questions, call the Pilot Information Center (800/USA-AOPA) weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern.
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.
WILL IT FLY? TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE WITH SAFETY QUIZ From your very first flight lesson, when you're introduced to the various parts of an airplane, to the checkride and well beyond, you will think in terms of aerodynamics. It's a subject that some pilots love to hate, but it's hard to deny that a basic understanding improves piloting ability and enhances safety. Test your aerodynamic knowledge with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Quiz. If you have already completed this quiz, check out the archive.
MICHIGAN COLLEGE NAMES AVIATION PROGRAM DIRECTOR Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Michigan, has tapped Aaron Cook, a 2000 graduate and former staff flight instructor, to head up its aviation program. Cook will oversee the state's largest community-college-based aviation program, with 15 flight instructors and more than 75 students. He said the program is selling off older or underused aircraft and plans to acquire two new glass-cockpit aircraft in the next six months. New aviation curriculum offerings include tailwheel and floatplane training to begin this fall on a Piper Cub restored by the college and regional jet ground school starting next spring. For more information, see the Web site.
DOWLING COLLEGE STUDENT RECEIVES AVIATION SCHOLARSHIP Mike Curry, of Ridge, New York, has been awarded the Phillip Doherty aviation scholarship at Dowling College in Oakdale, New York. Curry is a senior at Dowling who is pursuing majors in aviation management and aeronautics/professional pilot. He also serves as a flight service technician through Dowling's work/study program. After graduating in June 2007, he plans to be a flight instructor with Dowling and eventually begin a career as an airline pilot. The Phillip Doherty scholarship was founded by Thomas J. Doherty, vice president, Eastern region domestic ground operations for FedEx Express, to honor the memory of his brother Phillip, who was a pilot.
VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE PHOTO It may not be November 7, but it's time to vote—for your favorite photos in the AOPA Pilot 2006 General Aviation Photography Contest. Go to the voting page to pick your favorite photograph in each of five categories: aircraft, airports, aerials, pilots, and altered. This vote will determine which entrants get to take home the money—$750 to the first-place winner in each category. The grand prize winner, chosen by AOPA Pilot editors, will receive an additional $1,000 for a total of $1,750. All winners will be announced in November at AOPA Expo in Palm Springs, California. Details about next year's contest will be available soon.
LOOKING FOR AVIATION WORK EXPERIENCE? Looking for valuable work experience? Interested in aviation safety education? Enjoy doing research, writing, and editing? There's still time to apply for the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's full-time spring internship. The intern will assist in developing upcoming safety education materials, including online courses, live safety seminars, and print publications. The intern will gain valuable experience and receive hourly pay and a generous stipend to assist with moving, housing, or flying expenses. The deadline for applications is Friday, October 27. See AOPA Online for more information, including details on how to apply. Can't miss the spring semester at school? The foundation is also accepting applications for the summer internship.
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.
KING SCHOOLS DVD EXAMINES WEATHER RISK MANAGEMENT Pilots don't deliberately take off and fly into weather that they know will be too much for them. What generally happens is that weather changes en route and pilots fail to notice and manage the changing weather risks. A new DVD from King Schools aims to help pilots recognize the risks associated with weather and its constantly changing reality and how to make weather-related decisions quickly. The lessons in Practical Risk Management for Weather include how to manage risks in poor weather; defining your personal weather minimums; using conservatism without guilt; safe flying in haze; and many others. The DVD runs 113 minutes before interactive questions and is approved for the FAA Wings and Avemco Safety Rewards programs. It sells for $49 and can be ordered online or by calling 800/854-1001.
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.
Answer: Although two-way communications is a requirement to operate in Class D airspace, you could contact the tower controller ( download a list of phone numbers and locations) for authorization beforehand. Chances are good you will receive light gun signals while operating in the airport environment, so brush up on your knowledge of the signals. While talking with the controllers, you will also get a chance to discuss any special operational considerations specific to the airport. FAR 91.129 and the Aeronautical Information Manual Chapter 3, Airspace, discuss the operational considerations of Class D airspace. Additional information can be reviewed in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Airspace for Everyone Safety Advisor.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.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.
Jackson, Tennessee. Skyfest Tennessee takes place October 7 and 8 at McKellar-Sipes Regional (MKL). Featuring the Air Force A-10A Thunderbolt II demonstration team, Air Force Heritage Flight, aerobatics performers Skip Stewart and Greg Koontz, and more! Contact Kathie Cothern, 731/664-4233, or visit the Web site.
El Paso, Texas. The Amigo Airshow and Fly-In takes place October 6 through 9 at Biggs Army Airfield (BIF). For the first time a fly-in will be held in conjunction with the airshow. Performers include the Canadian Snowbirds, U.S. Army Golden Knight parachute team, Jim Weber, Shockwave Jet Truck, F-15 Strike Eagle demonstration team, F-117A demonstration, F-16 West Coast demonstration team, and much more! Contact JP Moseley, 915/562 6446, or visit the Web site.
Atlanta, Georgia. The Great Georgia Airshow takes place October 14 and 15 at Peachtree City-Falcon Field (FFC). Performers scheduled include Jim LeRoy, Red Eagle Air Sports, Heritage Flight, F-16 demonstration, Horizon Blue Aerobatics, U.S. Air Force Viper East team, The Flying Farmer, and more. Contact 678/478-4630, or 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 San Jose, California, and Columbia, South Carolina, October 14 and 15. A clinic is also scheduled in Windsor, Connecticut, October 21 and 22. 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 in Greenville, South Carolina, October 9; Atlanta, October 10; Birmingham, Alabama, October 11; and Huntsville, Alabama, October 12. The topic is "Emergency Procedures." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Giving an injured U.S. Marine a taste of the freedom of flight set a Mississippi pilot on a course to do much more.
All aircraft heating systems should be inspected prior to seasonal use. Learn considerations specific to the combustion-based heater systems found in most twin-engine aircraft.
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