March 7, 2014
March 7, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 10
Nearing an area of Class C airspace astride your VFR cross-country course, you ponder a decision: Climb above its ceiling to maintain your direct line of flight, or skirt the airspace to one side?
There's another option—one that your flight instructor may have been encouraging you to employ: Establish communications with the approach control facility and fly through the airspace.
What's the best call for today's flight? Scattered higher clouds make the "climb above its ceiling" option undesirable. Flying an end run around the airspace seems complicated and wasteful of time and fuel. So you give approach a call at the checkpoint specified on your sectional chart—and are pleased when ATC responds with your N number, a transponder code, and, shortly after that, the words, "Radar contact."
ATC's next words take you somewhat by surprise: Although the airport on which the airspace rests is abuzz with traffic, the approach controller requests that you "proceed through the area, cross midfield."
On this particular day the controller wants you to fly directly over the airport, perhaps at a specified altitude, and perhaps because it's a better way to keep you clear of the airport's most active arrival and departure paths. In any case, your confidence dealing with the situation comes from having studied the sectional chart, and made it a point to review the equipment and communications requirements for "arrival and through flights" for the airspace. (You also are pleased to have passed your instructor's flash quiz that asked whether the requirement for a Mode C transponder applies above the Class C airspace. It does, up to 10,000 feet.)
What happens once you exit the Class C airspace? That, too, offers a number of scenarios: It may be possible to continue with radar flight following as you pass from one ATC facility's airspace into another's. Or you may be instructed to "squawk 1200," the VFR code, and possibly given a radio frequency for later use to contact another radar facility farther along your course.
A convenient feature of routes where radar flight following is available from takeoff to touchdown is that your communications requirement for Class C airspace is met as soon as you are handed off to the appropriate controlling facility and establish two-way communications. Note that for Class B airspace, that is not the case. An ATC clearance must be obtained before operating in the airspace.
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a rule imposing local certification requirements for flight schools training foreign students despite opposition from AOPA and local aviation groups.
Can there be such a thing as a second first solo? A fixed-wing pilot tests the theory in a helicopter.
Apps of the week
Developers provide updates on aviation apps and mobile websites that handle the FAR/AIM, FBO fuel price checks, flight planning, and the Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS).
Banyan Air Service at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport is hosting the latest Garmin Seminar Series on March 20 at 6:30 p.m. The series will cover the latest avionics for aircraft and helicopters including the G1000, G600, G500, G500H, GTN 750, aera 796, and Garmin's GDL 88 and GDL 39 ADS-B solutions.
Traverse City-based Northwestern Michigan College's aviation division is now offering helicopter pilot training. Five students have begun training through TC Helicopters, a local company that offers helicopter training, sightseeing, and commercial services. Most students are expected to begin with fixed-wing training that the college already offers and then transition to helicopters. As with fixed-wing aircraft, students can sit for several helicopter exams including private, instrument, and commercial.
Weather is the most dynamic variable that affects your flying. Learn to cope with its changing conditions by digging into the Air Safety Institute's WeatherWise Safety Advisor, and you'll appreciate how official reports and forecasts compare with what you'll see from the cockpit.
High school, college, and flight training students, along with veterans and women, are eligible for scholarships with upcoming deadlines.
An AOPA 2013 Flight Training scholarship winner, Rodney McKnight, earned his private pilot certificate on March 3.
No matter the aircraft, all have their limitations, and none are completely immune from icing. This is especially true for general aviation aircraft not approved for "known icing." Take a flight up the East Coast in an IFR-equipped Cessna 172RG and consider what you would do when faced with the icing conditions in this Air Safety Institute quiz.
Take the quiz...
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 8 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.
AOPA Live This Week
In this episode, find out what a $100-per-flight user fee proposal in the White House budget could mean for general aviation. Plus, a new technology promises to ease helicopter pilots' workload in one of the most dangerous flying environments—instrument conditions over the open seas near an oil rig. And a mother and daughter discover the joys of flight.
AOPA Live This Week®, March 6...
Delta Air Lines on Feb. 14 paid its employees more than $500 million in earned profit sharing, the highest in company history, to recognize their performance in 2013. Employees' individual payouts will equal 8.26 percent of their eligible 2013 earnings. The $506 million in shared profits is being distributed with $91.7 million in Shared Rewards, monthly bonuses Delta employees can earn for meeting corporate operational goals throughout the year, for a total payout of $598 million.
Flight attendants at Alaska Airlines, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), on Feb. 14 voted down a tentative agreement with management. "Alaska Airlines flight attendants have collectively declared today that management's proposal fails to address the needs of flight attendants and does not reflect our true worth," said Jeffrey Peterson, AFA president at Alaska Airlines. Negotiations began two years ago, and in May 2013, AFA filed for mediation with the National Mediation Board.
For more aviation career news, see the Flight Training website.
Many lines of aircraft evolve into a diverse family, adding size, power, and technological advances along the way. A twenty-first century example is the Lancair line of kit-built aircraft, founded by Lance Neibauer. It all started with a prototype in 1984, and moved along through the two-seat Lancair 320 and this Lancair 360 model, evolving with ever-speedier designs. Indeed, Evolution is the name of Lancair's pressurized, four-seat 760-shaft-horsepower turboprop that began to sell as a kit in 2009. Redmond, Ore.-based Lancair now estimates total kits sold as numbering 2,100 aircraft.
The fifth edition of Max Trescott's G1000 Glass Cockpit Handbook is now available. Trescott shares tips for unlocking the potential of the avionics and frees learners from the distractions of the cockpit, allowing them to focus on gaining the skills necessary to put the G1000 to use in any flight environment. The cost of the book is $34.95.
Author Jason Schappert has released an evergreen copy of his book, The FAR/AIM In Plain English. Schappert breaks down the complex "government speak" of the regulations into conversational English and focuses on the regulations that apply to sport and private pilots. The edition will never expire, as readers will be able to subscribe for free updates as regulations change. The cost of the book is $27.97.
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.
Over-the-counter medications may help with symptoms of seasonal illnesses, but side effects of some may have an impact on flying.
Whether you are buying your first aircraft or your tenth, you are probably excited and a bit nervous. It's best to follow a checklist, and AOPA has an excellent free resource.
It's never too early to start thinking about the flying you'd like to do when the weather warms up. Chip Wright offers suggestions that will make you a better pilot—and are a lot of fun.
A rigid (or sometimes called hingeless) rotor system is capable of transmitting high bending forces to the main rotor shaft. When a pilot makes a cyclic movement causing the main rotor disc to tilt, the fuselage wants to follow.
Can you describe a scenario where the potential for destabilization is intrinsic to the procedure—and where a precision approach can morph into something less on short notice?
Instrument approaches may receive all the glory, but should you find yourself departing an unfamiliar airport at night with low visibility and no radar coverage, you'll reconsider not giving those pesky obstacle departure procedures (ODPs) more thought. Too many accidents have occurred because pilots have ignored published ODPs or failed to adhere to them correctly. Learn more about this often overlooked procedure and why you should consider making it standard for every IFR departure.
Take the quiz...
What is the purpose of "stall strips" on the leading edge of a wing?
A stall strip may be used to cause a stall to occur prematurely at a specific portion of the wing. In wing design, it is beneficial to have the stall begin at the wing root. If the inboard section of the wing stalls before the outboard section, the ailerons will remain effective longer during the stall. This gives the pilot better roll control during the stall recovery.
Got a question for our technical services staff? Contact AOPA.
Aviation job board
Allen Corporation of America is seeking light twin instructors to support an established flight program currently located in Fort Worth, Texas. Instructors will, as part of a flight operations team, provide instruction and checkrides within the FAA's established light twin multiengine/single-engine event-based currency (EBC) program as well as provide recurrent training in both the Piper PA-44 and Cessna 172 aircraft.
See the full job description...
AOPA career opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an accounting operations supervisor, event planner, Air Safety Institute intern, director of insurance business operations, and member services representative. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities,
visit AOPA Online.
Mar 8-9 - Baltimore, Md.; and Orlando, Fla.
Mar 15-16 - San Mateo, Calif.; and Virginia Beach, Va.
Apr 5-6 - Denver, Colo.; Cincinnati, Ohio; San Diego, Calif.; Tampa, Fla.; and Indianapolis, Ind.
Apr 12-13 - Atlanta, Ga.; Waltham, Mass.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Ashburn, Va.
For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the Air Safety Institute's new Online eFIRC.
Mar 10 - Greenville, S.C.; Northbrook, Ill.; and Eugene, Ore.
Mar 11 - Portland, Ore.; Bolingbrook, Ill.; and Decatur, Ga.
Mar 12 - Huntsville, Ala.; Seattle, Wash.; and Rockford, Ill.
Mar 13 - East Peoria, Ill.
Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Want something to do this weekend? Planning an aviation getaway? See AOPA's enhanced calendar of events. Now you can filter events by date range, airport ID, state, or region. 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.
Apr 26 — San Marcos, Texas. San Marcos Municipal Airport (KHYI). AOPA Fly-in.
May 31 — Indianapolis, Indiana. Indianapolis Regional Airport (KMQJ). AOPA Fly-in.
Jul 12 — Plymouth, Massachusetts. Plymouth Airport (KPYM). AOPA Fly-in.
Aug 16 — Spokane, Washington. Spokane Felts Field (KSFF). AOPA Fly-in.
Sep 20 — Chino, California. Chino Airport (KCNO). AOPA Fly-in.
Oct 4 — Frederick, Maryland. Frederick Municipal Airport (KFDK). AOPA Homecoming.
Nov 8 — Brunswick, Georgia. Malcom McKinnon Airport (KSSI). AOPA Fly-in.
AOPA's online photo gallery allows you to upload your own aviation photography as well as view, rate, and comment on others' photos.
Take a look, and submit your own photos!
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South Central and Western United States: Zane Lewis, 214/789-6094
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