November 6, 2009
In This Issue: Tennessee aviation legend turns 100 72-year-old gets pilot certificate Rally speaks out for GA
The autumn bird migration is in full swing. Seasonal reporting programs and some spectacular news events make pilots aware that a bird-strike hazard exists. Especially now, it behooves pilots to assess the risk of colliding with a bird on any route of flight.
Where are conflicts with birds likely? “The altitudes of migrating birds vary with winds aloft, weather fronts, terrain elevations, cloud conditions, and other environmental variables. While over 90 percent of the reported bird strikes occur at or below 3,000 feet agl, strikes at higher altitudes are common during migration. Ducks and geese are frequently observed up to 7,000 feet agl and pilots are cautioned to minimize en route flying at lower altitudes during migration,” says an excerpt from the treatment of the subject in the Aeronautical Information Manual .
Migratory birds aren’t the only hazard. There’s risk all year. If an airport frequently has birds present or in the vicinity, that fact may be noted in its listing in the Airport/Facility Directory. For example, the airport remarks for the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport in Maryland contain this shorthand entry: “Deer/birds on and invof arpt.” Notices to airmen (notams) may also alert pilots to wildlife and bird activity.
Researching an airport with military aircraft on the field, you may see a “BASH” notice about increased bird activity. This refers to the military’s Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard Prevention Program.
BASH was discussed in the AOPA Flight Training article “ Avoiding bird strikes,” which also gives eight tips for avoiding encounters of the feathered kind. For example, you may know that landfills attract gulls. Did you know that they may circle a landfill as high as 1,000 feet agl? The article also describes the three major migratory U.S. flyways, and adds a caution: “While the major flyways are the birds' primary routes, numerous smaller routes exist throughout much of the country. Rivers, for example, are often migratory routes.”
If you are flying in a hot zone for bird activity, slow down and turn on aircraft lights. If you do experience a bird strike, fly the airplane! Later, tell the FAA about your encounter using the Bird/Other Wildlife Strike Report form.
So what kind of gear do you really need to learn to fly? Check out “Getting the gear you need” for the best tips on stocking your student-pilot flight bag. You'll learn how to find what you need at the right price. And don't forget, our Pilot Information Center specialists at 800/USA-AOPA are available to give you advice as well, every weekday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time.
Did you know that student pilots who join AOPA are three times more likely to complete their flight training? Membership includes unlimited access to aviation information by phone (800/USA-AOPA, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time) or from AOPA Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you’re not already a member, join today and get the pilot’s edge. Login information is available online.
Evelyn Bryan Johnson, the legendary Tennessee flight instructor and designated pilot examiner, turned 100 on Nov. 4. Johnson, who is better known to her many students over the years as “Mama Bird,” is the highest-time female pilot and highest-time living pilot in the Guinness World Records, with 57,635.4 flight hours logged. Although she’s no longer logging time aloft, Johnson continues to serve as manager of Moore-Murrell Airport in Tennessee. Read more >>
For 37 years, Richard Cornelius has been turning dreams into reality. Cornelius, a CFI, CFII, and MEI, has guided hundreds of flight students through training and helped keep Shelby County Airport in Alabaster, Ala., abuzz with activity. The Shelby County Aviation Association (SCAA) and the airport recognized Cornelius for his contributions to flight training and safety at a ceremony Oct. 28. Read more >>
Montana resident Valeria Valiquette recently earned her private pilot certificate at the age of 72, completing a journey that she first began in 1975. Valiquette and her husband, Ron, own a Cessna 182 that they purchased in 2008. “This has actually renewed our youth and enthusiasm for more adventure,” she told the Billings Gazette .
The attorneys general in Florida and 11 other states in which the defunct flight school Silver State Helicopters did business have reached an agreement that will permit many students who had taken out loans for training to have the majority of those loans forgiven. Silver State, which at its peak had schools in 34 locations, declared bankruptcy in 2008. When it closed its doors, its preferred provider had arranged more than $174 million in loans for more than 2,300 students nationwide, according to the Orlando, Fla., Sun-Sentinel .
Stay proficient! Don’t wait until your next flight review; take a free AOPA Air Safety Foundation online course today. Your progress is saved, so you can stop and later relaunch the course to pick up where you left off. Your transcript keeps track of your progress, including test scores. It also allows you to reprint a certificate of completion, suitable for framing. Most courses qualify for AOPA Accident Forgiveness and the FAA Wings program.
The excitement and enthusiasm surrounding the opening day of AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Fla., were capped off by the unveiling of the association’s 2010 sweepstakes aircraft: a brand-new Remos GX light sport aircraft (LSA). Summit attendees were the first to get a look at the Remos. AOPA President Craig Fuller, Remos Managing Director Corvin Huber, and Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association President Dan Johnson were on hand as the Remos was literally undraped on Nov. 5 in the exhibit hall of the Tampa Convention Center. The theme of next year’s sweepstakes is “Fun to Fly”—and the Remos, N210FN, is sure to live up to that promise. Read more >>
Few things are more important to a pilot than his or her medical certificate. And for student pilots training for the recreational or private pilot ticket—that medical is must-have for solo flight. AOPA on Nov. 5 announced its new Medical Services Program, geared toward helping pilots stay healthy and keep their medical. “Our new Medical Services Program allows AOPA to continue to offer members aeromedical certification assistance that is second to none,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller, “and it allows members to choose just the services they need.” Read more >>
Wearing their support for general aviation on their lapels and announcing it with signs, attendees at AOPA Aviation Summit gathered at Center Stage in the Tampa Convention Center exhibit hall Nov. 5 to show that restrictions and user fees can't stifle their passion for GA. The GA Serves America rally began with the crescendoing drumbeat of a five-piece band approaching through the exhibit hall and led into more live music, with speeches from National Air Transportation Association President Jim Coyne, AOPA President Craig Fuller, and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III. "If we do away with general aviation as we know it today, God help us, we'll never be able to get it back," Manchin said. Read more >>
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Computer screens are magnets, it seems, for oily fingerprints and scratches. So, too, are the screens in cockpit and portable GPS units. Keep things clean with screen protectors for the Garmin 296, 396, or 496, available from Pilotmall.com. The plastic screens, which sell for $16.99, are anti-reflective and removable. Order online or call 800/249-5730.
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.
Question: I have been making good progress in my private pilot training. Unfortunately, I seem to have a bad case of mic fright and usually jumble the radio calls. Does AOPA have any tips or advice to help me sound more like a seasoned aviator and less like a student pilot?
Answer: The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has developed a new, free interactive course to help you make better radio calls. Say It Right: Mastering Radio Communications is available online.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail 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.
Pilots love to take photos, and they love to share them with other pilots. Now you can upload your flying photos to our online gallery, “Air Mail.” Share your special aviation images, or view and rate more than 2,000 photos and counting. Highly rated photos will get put into rotation on the AOPA home page!
Want something to do this weekend? Planning an aviation getaway? See your personalized online calendar of events . We’ve enhanced our calendar so that with one click you can see all of the events listed in the regions you selected when personalizing ePilot . Now you can browse events listed two weeks to a few months out to make your planning easier. You can also bookmark the personalized calendar page to check it as often as you want. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.
To submit an event or to search all events in the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA’s Airport Directory Online.
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in San Diego, Calif., Atlanta, Ga., and Austin, Texas, Nov. 14 and 15; Anchorage, Alaska, Albuquerque, N.M., and Reston, Va., Nov. 21 and 22; Denver, Colo., and Orlando, Fla., Dec. 5 and 6; Northbrook, Ill., Dec. 12 and 13; San Jose, Calif., Baltimore, Md., and Detroit, Mich., Jan. 9 and 10. 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 are scheduled in Decatur, Ga., and Smithfield, N.C., Nov. 10; Huntsville, Ala., and Castle Hayne, N.C., Nov. 11; Burbank, Calif., and White Plains, N.Y., Nov. 16; Ontario, Calif., Nov. 17; Costa Mesa, Calif., Nov. 18; San Diego, Calif., Nov. 19; Marietta, Ga., Dec. 1; Birmingham, Ala., Dec. 2; Pensacola, Fla., Dec. 3; West Palm Beach, Fla., Dec. 7; Tampa, Fla., Dec. 8; Towson, Md., Dec. 9. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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Editorial Team : ePilot Flight Training Editor : Jill Tallman | ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown | Contributor: Alton Marsh
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