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Copyright ï¿½ 2002 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| GETTING THE WEATHER |
Preflight preparation is never complete without a thorough–and timely–weather briefing. Oftentimes pilots receive a standard briefing from FAA flight service station specialists as the cornerstone of their planning. The standard briefing's contents are analyzed in the January 2001 AOPA Flight Training .
You should view procuring weather information as a continuing process that affects in-flight decision making, right up until the wheels touch the ground. On a local flight, this may consist of little more than visual observation and monitoring each new local automatic terminal information service (ATIS) broadcast or the automated weather observation system (AWOS) to keep you up to date on wind changes or a possible convergence of the temperature and dew point (causing fog to form). On a cross-country flight, weather changes at the destination, or unexpectedly strong headwinds, could force diversion to an alternate, requiring you to stay abreast of en route conditions and get Notices to Airmen (notams) for any alternate landing place.
Aeronautical chart symbols provide pilots with frequencies and locations of flight service stations that can be contacted by radio for in-flight updates. "In those cases where you need to obtain a preflight briefing or an update to a previous briefing by radio, you should contact the nearest AFSS/FSS to obtain this information," advises the Aeronautical Information Manual . "In addition, the specialist will recommend shifting to the flight watch frequency when conditions along the intended route indicate that it would be advantageous to do so," the AIM says.
Some information must be specifically requested by a pilot during a briefing, including activity along military training routes (MTRs) and military operations areas (MOAs) within 100 nautical miles of the flight plan area, a review of the Notices to Airmen publication (for long-standing notams), density altitude data, and "information regarding such items as air traffic services and rules, customs/immigration procedures, ADIZ rules, search and rescue, etc." See the AIM for details.
Online weather resources can keep you aware of general trends between. See "Weather on the Web" in the January 2002 AOPA Flight Training . Maximize the value of any briefing by applying the techniques offered in the March 2002 AOPA Flight Training discussion, " High Performance Briefing." Watch the weather, and enjoy your flight!
| Your Partner in Training |
|A great way for new pilots to learn signage and test their runway safety knowledge is by logging on to AOPA Online. Sponsored by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, this interactive runway safety program educates pilots about ground operations and runway incursion avoidance. If you need more information, call our experienced pilots–available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern to answer your questions toll-free at 800/872-2672. |
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 |
| GA URGED TO BE ALERT FOR SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES |
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) last Friday notified AOPA that an advisory has been issued for the general aviation community to "focus care in taking appropriate security precautions." While this is not a new concern, AOPA members can serve an important role by remaining alert for suspicious activities at an airport or in flight. Individuals observing anything suspicious should report it to an FBI field office or local law enforcement officials. "Although the TSA alert does not cite any credible information on timing, targets, or methods of attack, we ask that members assist the government by maintaining a higher degree of sensitivity for activities that seem out of place," explained Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of Government and Technical Affairs. "Likewise, it is important that pilots avoid temporary flight restrictions as the FAA had emphasized in a letter sent to airmen last month."
LIBERTY XL-2 GETS NEW COWL, GOES ON TOUR
The Liberty XL-2, a two-seat single-engine piston aircraft, received a newly designed cowl last month. This week, the XL-2, powered by a Continental IOF-240-B, 125-horsepower engine, stopped in Frederick, Maryland, on its “USA Tour.” The XL-2 incorporates numerous technologically advanced features, including a single-lever FADEC (full authority digital engine control), Vision Microsystems engine instrument display, and the choice of several panel options from Garmin and UPS Aviation Technologies. The basic VFR-equipped XL-2 lists for $116,500, with certification expected in November. For more, see the Web site.
ANOTHER WINNER FINISHES SIM TRAINING
Stacey Kotrla of Flower Mound, Texas, has completed her simulator training at CAE SimuFlite to earn a type rating in the Cessna Citation V business jet. Kotrla, a flight instructor at Classic Aviation in Addison, Texas, won a scholarship for the training during the thirteenth annual International Women in Aviation Conference last March. CAE SimuFlite’s scholarship program is designed to promote business aviation to young aviators across the country.
| Inside AOPA |
| FAA, AOPA INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE RUNWAY SAFETY |
The FAA is moving forward with several recommendations to improve runway safety. Last year, the FAA tasked a group comprised of flight service station (FSS) briefers, other FAA employees, and union representatives with the development of a strategy that would allow flight service to leverage its contact with general aviation pilots to raise awareness and prevent incursions. AOPA was the only representative from the industry. The recommendations include assigning a full-time FSS representative to the National Runway Safety Program; educating all FSS employees about runway safety by integrating runway safety training into the FSS initial qualification course; and having FSSs start issuing runway safety information. To implement the final recommendation, the FAA will likely convene an additional workshop to best determine the methodology for getting important information to pilots.
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| Training Products |
| EXAM PREP CD-ROMs AVAILABLE |
Pilots in training can prepare for the private pilot and instrument rating oral exams with CD-ROMs from Sporty's Pilot Shop that each contain more than 420 typical oral exam questions, divided into specific topics and including the suggested answers for each question. More than 135 images are included to aid the learning process. The oral exam prep CD-ROMs are available for $39.95 each by calling Sporty's at 800/543-8633 or visiting the Web site.
| Final Exam |
| Question: I’m returning to flying after a long break and hope to finally get my private pilot certificate. My question concerns aviation fuel color. Seems to me that I remember that when doing my preflight before, I would always check to see that the fuel in my aircraft was green in color. Now, my instructor tells me to check to see that it is blue. What happened to green? |
Answer: There are two grades of aviation gasoline (avgas) currently produced for civil use–80-octane and 100LL (low lead). The American Society for Testing and Materials establishes the grades and color specifications for fuels. Grade 80 is red in color and may not be available in all geographic areas. Grade 100 was green but has been replaced by 100LL, which is blue in color. You didn’t mention how long it has been since you last took lessons, but chances are blue 100LL was not in use. For more information on fuel, take a look at FAA Advisory Circular 20-43C, Aircraft Fuel Control .
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 |
| ASF ANNOUNCES WEATHER QUIZ |
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has produced a new online weather quiz. Test your knowledge of aviation weather concepts, as well as weather flying tactics. Also provided are links to some of the foundation's online aviation weather resources.
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPAï¿½Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The Upward Air Show takes place August 24 and 25 at Chippewa Valley Regional Airport (EAU). Air Force Thunderbirds, Navy Leap Frogs, Lima Lima T-34 Demonstration Team, and other acts. Contact Stan Carpenter, 715/839-0373, or visit the Web site.
Sussex, New Jersey. The Sussex Airshow takes place August 23 through 25 at Sussex Airport (FWN). For more information, contact Paul Styger, 973/875-7337, or visit the Web site.
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 Atlanta and Reno, Nevada, on August 17 and 18. Clinics are also scheduled in Long Beach, California; Newark, New Jersey; and Reston, Virginia, on August 24 and 25. 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 Schools will take place in Frederick, Maryland, September 7, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 8. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in South Holland, Illinois, August 19; Peoria, Illinois, August 20; Rockford, Illinois, August 21; and Waukegan, Illinois, August 22. The topic is Single-Pilot IFR. For the complete schedule, see AOPAï¿½Online.
To make submissions to the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For comments on calendar items, e-mail [email protected].