November 4, 2011
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In This Issue: MTSU fleet back in service Training vet opens new Piper facility Aeromedical matters
You are flying back to your tower-controlled home airport from a cross-country flight. Before you can establish contact, your com radios quit—and it’s a peak traffic period at the destination. What if there’s a nontowered airport nearby, and you are authorized to land there on practice flights—which airport would you choose?
Suppose you plan a cross-country flight, but on the morning of the trip the weather forecast includes the code FZDZ among conditions that could be encountered. What if the flight service specialist briefing you for your trip informs you that a military operations area (MOA) astride your route will be “hot” all day?
One sure way for a designated pilot examiner or your flight instructor to assess how well you learned lessons about aeronautical subjects is to pose what-if scenarios for you to consider, and then offer a course of action. Working with what-ifs on your own is a great way to move the building blocks of your acquired knowledge around—possibly even finding a way out of being stuck on a difficult question.
What you are mastering during these exercises is correlation, the highest of four levels of learning (rote, understanding, application, correlation). It’s the one that shows that you can apply what you know to real-world flight operations and challenges.
How important is it to achieve that highest level? It’s imperative for safety—not to mention passing muster on your flight test.
“Pilots do not fly by rote alone, and DPEs have marching orders to test to the correlation level of learning as much as possible,” Bob Schmelzer wrote in the October Flight Training feature “Do over: 6 reasons why checkrides go south.”
So, a forecast including freezing drizzle (FZDZ) is a strong no-go indicator. Correlate that information with the big picture by discussing weather patterns where you could expect it.
Flying in an MOA is permitted during periods of activity. It’s your call whether to change your route.
As for the opening scenario: Whether to squawk 7600 and land at that busy towered airport with assistance from light-gun signals or divert is a judgment call that could depend on other factors including surface winds, notices to airmen, ground transportation, and communications. Weigh the what-ifs, and make a good call.
All aviation colleges are not alike. Some programs are small, others are large; and the aircraft you will fly can vary widely among schools. How can you figure out what’s best for you? Try the Aviation College Resources at Flight Training Online, and don’t forget to search the website for pertinent articles.
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 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.
Most of the Middle Tennessee State University fleet is back in service following an encounter with hail that affected all but three aircraft. The university’s aviation department was hosting a regional flight competition when the hailstorm occurred. MTSU had grounded its fleet, which includes 17 Diamond trainers, to assess the damage to the Diamonds’ composite airframes. As of Oct. 28, all but four of the 17 Diamonds had been returned to service and the remaining four were expected to be operational this week. “The bottom line is that the Diamond airframes suffered very little damage in comparison to the metal aircraft and the minimal structural damage that did occur was quickly repaired,” said Wayne Dornan, chairman of MTSU’s Department of Aerospace.
Tapping into his past experience managing SimCom’s Piper training operation, Bill Inglis has opened Legacy Flight Training LLC in the terminal building at Florida’s Vero Beach Municipal Airport. When SimCom moved its Piper training operation to Orlando, Inglis established Legacy Flight Training to give customers the option of continuing to train next to the Piper factory. Read more >>
Has it been a while since you studied flight physiology? Since your health may affect your next flight, it’s a good idea to stay on top of all things medical. See if you can answer these questions confidently: Do you need a current medical certificate to act as safety pilot? What’s the difference between hypoxia and carbon monoxide poisoning? To brush up on the facts and examine the medical side of things take the Air Safety Institute’s latest safety quiz, sponsored by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Take the quiz >>
Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) recently acquired a Redbird Flight Simulations simulator to help train mission pilots for challenging conditions in remote parts of the world. MAF trains at Idaho backcountry airstrips to simulate mountainous terrain in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The simulator supplements the training by enabling an MAF instructor to introduce weather and other variables such as low oil, instrument malfunctions, or engine failure.
Winter flying brings the joy of snow-swept landscapes, higher climb performance, and no bugs to wipe from the leading edges. But hidden in this magical flying season also lies the potential for airframe ice. The best way to deal with this possibly deadly scenario is to avoid it altogether. Take the WeatherWise: Precipitation & Icing online course from the Air Safety Institute and learn about the potential ice-inducing weather conditions you should steer clear of, as well as how to react if you get caught with ice building around you.
A new, free membership benefit offers AOPA members discounts on anything from headsets to car rentals. Aviation and nonaviation companies offering discounts on products and services will be featured in the AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts program. Discounts from companies such as Aircraft Spruce, PilotEdge, PilotMall, and Sporty’s Pilot Shop can save you enough money to pay for your membership—and get back in the air more often. Read more >>
AOPA’s rescue knife packs a lot of features into a small space, making it ideal to carry in a flight bag or in a pocket. Although the blade is just three inches in length, it is strong enough and sharp enough to cut rope, rubber hose, and more. The knife also features a protected blade for safe seatbelt cutting. When not on a flight, the knife is a handy tool to keep in your hangar for any number of tasks. The knife makes a great stocking stuffer and is available for $27.95 at the AOPA Store. The sale of all AOPA merchandise helps support the crucial initiatives to ensure the future of general aviation.
You know you want to use your iPad in the cockpit, but beyond that you’re clueless. What else do you need? Sporty’s iPad Starter Kit could get you going. The basic kit ($149.95) includes a dual Bluetooth GPS, kneeboard, charger, and cleaning cloth. The deluxe kit ($299.95) has the dual Bluetooth GPS, iPad flight desk, charger, backup battery, screen protector, and cleaning cloth. Order either kit online or call 800/SPORTYS.
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: Can I still get a medical if I am unable to pass the color vision test during my visit with the aviation medical examiner (AME)?
Answer: Yes, you can. If you fail to pass the pseudoisochromatic color plate test during your FAA physical examination, the AME may issue your medical certificate with the limitation, “Not valid for night flying or color signal control.” You can opt to have the restriction removed at a later date by taking one of several FAA-approved alternative pseudoisochromatic color plate tests. Your local optometrist or ophthalmologist might have one or more of the alternative tests available. A university with a medical vision program might have the allowed alternative tests as well. Check out AOPA’s Vision—Color Restriction Removal subject report for more information on color vision and flying.
Got a question for our technical services staff? Email email@example.com 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.
In this week’s Flight Training blog, Chip Wright discusses how takeoff performance affects departure payloads, or why you were asked to send your luggage on another flight last year. (Hint: It involves more than "weight and balance.")
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a director of media relations, AOPA Live producer/videojournalist, Web business analyst, medical certification assistant, associate editor–Web, associate editor–Web/ ePilot, .Net developer, aviation technical specialist, and manager of airspace and modernization. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
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 8,500 photos (and growing). Photos are 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 in your region to make 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 include an event or to search all events in the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA Airports.
The next Air Safety Institute Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 5 and 6; Anchorage, Alaska, San Diego, Calif., and Ashburn, Va., Nov. 12 and 13; Albuquerque, N.M., and Austin, Texas, Nov. 19 and 20; and Denver, Colo., Orlando, Fla., and Northbrook, Ill., Dec. 3 and 4. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Can’t make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars are scheduled in Pikeville, N.C., Nov. 5; Ypsilanti, Mich., and Jamestown, N.C., Nov. 7; Charlotte, N.C., and Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 8; Fletcher, N.C., and Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 9; Indianapolis, Ind., Nov. 10; Costa Mesa, Calif., Nov. 14; Ontario, Calif., Nov. 15; and San Diego, Calif., Nov. 16.
Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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Editorial Team: ePilot Flight Training Editor : Jill W. Tallman | ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown | Contributor: Alton K. Marsh Production Team: Melissa Whitehouse, Lezlie Ramsey, William Rockenbaugh, Mitch Mitchell
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