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| Training Tips |
| GETTING THE WEATHER |
Few student pilots are lucky enough to have a Federal Aviation Administration flight service station at their home airport. If you are one of the lucky ones, a walk-in briefing at the counter of your FSS should be the starting point for each training flight. (See tips on using the services of your local FSS in the September 1992 AOPA Flight Training.) If the nearest facility is at some distance, visit it soon. Meanwhile, continue to receive telephone briefings (800/WX-BRIEF) before each flight, and use such resources as AOPA's online weather.
FSS specialists are the hand-picked "support staff" who keep pilots informed, and therefore flying safely, day in and day out. Ever wonder how to become a flight service specialist? Learn how, and read what the specialists want pilots to know about their work, in the August 1998 AOPA Pilot).
Not only do they provide weather briefings, these are the folks who advise you of Notices to Airmen (notams) affecting your departure airport, route of flight, or destination. They accept and file flight plans, and are the first to sound the alarm if an airplane is overdue. They receive and disseminate pilot reports (pireps) that can prove the best information available on conditions along a particular route. They broadcast hazardous weather alerts on selected navaids. See a full description of the FAA's weather services in the Aeronautical Information Manual . Study your sectional chart and note the various radio frequencies on which a flight service station can be contacted in flight for weather updates and other information. Weather can change in a hurry–see the September 1999 AOPA Flight Training for some examples. It's nice to know there are folks whose job it is to keep you up to date. See how you and your instructor can integrate flight service resources into your flying as discussed in the June 1996 Flight Training.
One of the hardships pilots faced after the tragedies of last September 11 was the banning of in-person visits to flight service stations by pilots. Fortunately, access was regained at most locations in early March. Since then, many a grateful pilot has made better use of the local FSS, and has become reacquainted with the old friends (and fellow pilots, in many cases) who work there.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Your AOPA membership offers many resources to help you earn your wings. Our extensive collection of subject reports, for instance, is a library of information right at your fingertips. Do you have a question about choosing a flight school or an instructor? Of course, if you have any questions after visiting our site, call 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. For login information click here.
| Flight Training News |
| 'ePILOT' TO ADD EXCLUSIVE WEEKEND WEATHER FORECAST |
Beginning next Friday, AOPA ePilot will include an exclusive weekend weather forecast prepared by Meteorlogix, the official weather provider for AOPA Online. Meteorologists there will prepare a weekend outlook for six regions of the continental United States, as well as outlooks for Alaska and Hawaii. ePilot subscribers will receive the forecast for the area where they live. The forecasts will include a summary of the anticipated weather's impact on general aviation flight activity.
SCHOOL OPENS 3 NEW FACILITIES
Airline Transport Professionals Inc., which provides accelerated pilot training, has opened three new training centers. They are located in Bowling Green, Kentucky; Lakeland, Florida; and Long Beach, California. ATP now offers pilot training in 21 U.S. locations and operates a fleet of 75 aircraft. For more information, visit the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA SCOLDS FOX NEWS FOR NUKE PLANT SECURITY STORY |
AOPA President Phil Boyer sent a strongly worded letter to Fox Broadcasting Company CEO Roger Ailes on Monday, denouncing a story that ran on Ailes's Fox News Channel last week. In the televised story, reporter Douglas Kennedy claimed he and his crew hired a pilot and rented a plane from a flight school, and were able to loiter over the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in New York for 20 minutes without anyone raising an alarm. But the flight school says they were approached by Fox News to do a story on ground escape routes from the plant. The pilot contacted New York Center prior to the flight, received permission from the manager on duty, was assigned a discrete transponder code, and during the flight, remained above 2,000 feet agl and in contact with air traffic control at all times. "Your staff misrepresented themselves and the facts to obtain a sensationalistic story that unfairly alarmed a trusting public," Boyer said. Fox responded almost immediately and stood by their story. See AOPAï¿½Online.
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| Training Products |
| THUNDERSTORMS AND AIRPLANES |
Want to know more about flying during the summer, when the chances for thunderstorms are good in most of the country? Check out Thunderstorms and Airplanes: Flying Defensively in Thunderstorm Country by prolific aviation writer Richard Collins. A new edition of the book is available for $19.95 from Aviation Supplies and Academics. For more information or to order, visit the Web site or call 800/426-8338.
| Final Exam |
| Question: Would you please provide me with an example of a properly completed VFR flight plan form? What is DVFR? What am I suppose to put in the "Remarks" section? |
Answer: Section 5-1-4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual provides an excellent explanation of each block of the FAA Flight Plan form for VFR flights. As for your specific questions, a DVFR flight plan is filed for VFR flights into a Coastal or Domestic Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). The DVFR flight plans are for security purposes. The "Remarks" section is used for information pertinent to ATC or the clarification of other flight plan information. Items of a personal nature are not accepted in this block. Download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's printable online flight planning form. For more information on filing a VFR flight plan, you may want to read "To File or Not to File" from AOPA Flight Training magazine.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to [email protected] or call 800/872-2672.
| Picture Perfect |
|Jump to the AOPA Online Gallery to see the featured airplane of the day. Click on the link for details on how to capture wallpaper for your work area. See AOPA Online. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|Looking for a summer camp to keep alive your child's spark for aviation? See our list of programs on AOPA Online. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| Check your weekend weather on AOPA Online. |
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
West End, Grand Bahama. The West-End Fly-in takes place May 3 through 5. See and explore where Christopher Columbus discovered the new world. Contact 242/346-6500 or visit the Web site.
Woodridge, New Jersey. The Twenty-Ninth Annual New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame Induction Dinner takes place May 3 at the Fiesta Ballroom. This year's honorees are Fred Feldman, Harry Hamlen, Oliver LeBoutillier, and AOPA Pilot columnist Barry Schiff. Contact Pat Reilly at 201/288-6344 or visit the Web site.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The McDonald's Air and Sea Show takes place May 4 and 5 at Fort Lauderdale Beach. This salute to the U.S. military will feature the Blue Angles, Golden Knights, and more. Visit the Web site for more information.
Chicago, Illinois. The Third Annual Touch the Sky Benefit hosted by the Friends of Meigs Field takes place May 4 at the Adler Planetarium. Contact Ann Marie Arzt or visit the Web site for more information.
For more airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For more events, see Aviation Calendar of Events
ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Irvine, California, and Pensacola, Florida, May 4 and 5. Clinics are scheduled in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Kansas City, Missouri, and Albany, New York, May 11 and 12. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see AOPA Online.
ASF PINCH-HITTER GROUND-SCHOOL COURSES
(Pinch-Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitterï¿½ Ground School will take place in Fort Lauderdala, Florida, on May 12. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Spruce Pine, North Carolina, May 4 and 5. The topic is mountain flying. For more information, visit the Web site.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact [email protected].