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Copyright ï¿½ 2002 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| AVOIDING RESTRICTED AREAS |
Pilots flying visually should always know where they are. This would go without saying even without the need to comply with restrictions placed on airspace recently in the interest of national security (see Flight Training News below). But nothing about piloting technique goes without saying–and saying again and again–in training. What student pilots and their instructors should know nowadays is that airspace restrictions may be here today, gone tomorrow. Your ground prep should be based on the most current information, as urged in a July 2002 AOPA Flight Training article on cross-country planning. Also, the FAA has recently instituted a visual waypoints program to help pilots better navigate congested terminal airspace. See the June 24, 2002, news item on the AOPA Web site.
Efficient visual navigation starts with using easily recognizable checkpoints–a form of navigation known as pilotage. Refer to Area of Operation VII, Task A of the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards ( click here to download). Note the requirement to follow "the preplanned course solely with reference to landmarks." Leave the fancy navigation gear at home, or OFF, when you practice. That mountain, or large lake, or industrial complex that can be seen from many miles away is an excellent choice of a checkpoint. Perhaps there is a river, or major highway intersection, or an airport that can serve as the next checkpoint along your route. Ideally you will pick a checkpoint that comes into view before the previous one fades away to the rear. Your points should also be visible off a wingtip if you happen to pass by to either side of it. (The PTS allows you to be three miles either side of your course line.)
Augment your pilotage by use of the magnetic compass to establish yourself on course and verify that you are making any needed course corrections. The humble, simple compass can be your most reliable navigation aid. See "In defense of the Compass" from the February 2001 AOPA Flight Training. You will also employ "dead reckoning" (part of the same PTS task) to estimate the time that should elapse between checkpoints based on the calculated groundspeed. And don't consider your planning complete until you have reviewed and practiced lost procedures detailed in the AOPA Pilot's Handbook, which can help you get re-established on course before you stray into restricted or prohibited airspace.
Plan your cross-countries carefully, have a safe flight--and stay out of restricted areas, old and new.
| Your Partner in Training |
|The only dumb question is the question not asked. Our aviation experts at our toll-free Pilot Information Center are available weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern to answer your questions on all aspects of flying. No question is too trivial–our staff is here to help you become a safe and knowledgeable pilot. Call 800/USA-AOPA today. |
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 |
| PILOTS URGED TO REMAIN VIGILANT |
Although the holiday weekend passed uneventfully, security officials are advising Americans to remain vigilant for activities that could lead to terrorist attacks. AOPA first reported the government's concerns on July 3, following conversations with the Transportation Security Administration. Last Friday, the government made public the concern that terrorists might turn to GA aircraft. 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. For flight schools, flying clubs, and others renting aircraft, the FAA has a series of suggestions that are useful for aircraft security. "Every pilot is part of a larger aviation community, and we need to protect our airports like we watch our own homes and neighborhoods," said Phil Boyer, AOPA president. "We ask all our members to help the government to make sure our airports are safe."
NINETY-NINES LAUNCH ONLINE CAREER RESOURCE
The Ninety-Nines Inc. has launched a new online career networking resource for women pilots. Called The Pro 99s Network, the Web page features career advice from pilot recruitment experts, job listings for the airlines and general aviation, and includes numerous links to aviation placement services, scholarships, organizations, and colleges. There is also access to a communications network for pilots to discuss everything from coping with furloughs to balancing work and family. See the Web site.
U.S. AEROBATIC TEAM MEMBERS COMPETING IN EUROPE
United States Aerobatic Team members Robert Armstrong of Athens, Georgia, and David Martin of Graford, Texas, arrived in Europe on Monday en route to Lithuania to participate in the thirteenth European Powered Aerobatics Championship (EAC 2002). The contest began Wednesday and will conclude on July 20. Both Armstrong (second place) and Martin (sixth place) placed in the top 10 at the last World Aerobatic Championships (WAC) in Burgos, Spain, in June 2001. That finish allows them an automatic berth on the 2003 U.S. Aerobatic Team, providing they compete in the European Championships. The overriding motive behind this policy is to allow top U.S. pilots to appear before the European judges more frequently than every other year at the scheduled WACs.
| Inside AOPA |
| FAA SENDS WARNING LETTER TO PILOTS |
With the recent, highly publicized airspace violations near the White House and Camp David fresh in the public's memory, the FAA is sending a strongly worded letter to pilots, reminding them of the obligation to avoid temporary flight restriction (TFR) areas. "Proper flight planning is crucial for every flight, and pilots must familiarize themselves with all notams and TFRs along their route of flight," says the FAA letter. AOPA had received anecdotal evidence from members about briefers who did not have or relay the newest or most accurate information. When given a chance to preview the letter, AOPA suggested language stressing the role of flight service briefers in making pilots aware of restrictions. The letter includes the Internet addresses of several sites that provide additional unofficial information on notams and TFRs, including AOPA Online. See AOPAï¿½Online.
AOPA ENCOURAGES GRAPHICAL TFR DESCRIPTIONS
The FAA has taken a step in the right direction for pilots. Recognizing the value of showing, as well as telling, pilots where they may not fly, the FAA is now posting graphical depictions of three of some 35 national security-related temporary flight restriction (TFR) notams on its Web site. "We've been pushing for this for more than two years. With the post-9/11 TFRs, this is even more critical," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs. "We're happy to see that the FAA finally buys in to the concept. Now they need to make graphical depictions of all TFRs readily available to pilots and flight service station briefers." See the Web site.
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| Training Products |
| ERASABLE HIGHLIGHTERS INTRODUCED |
Are you flying your cross-countries but find yourself buying new sectional charts before the old ones expire, because you've highlighted so many course lines on them that they're confusing to read? Erasable highlighters, now available from Sporty's Pilot Shop, may be just the ticket. Available in yellow, green, pink, orange, and blue, the highlighting can be erased with a standard pencil eraser. Individual highlighters are $1.95 each, and a set of all five is $8.95. To order, call Sporty's at 800/SPORTYS or visit the Web site.
| Final Exam |
| Question: Where do I find a complete list of aircraft color abbreviations that I need to use when filling out an FAA flight plan? |
Answer: AOPA's Online Flight Planning Service offers these abbreviations. Access the AOPA Flight Planning Service Main Menu–it's in the members-only section–and select "Flight Plans." Then choose the "File a Domestic" flight plan. Once there, in Box 16 "Color of Aircraft" there is a drop-down feature that will provide you with a complete listing of the proper aircraft color abbreviations.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to [email protected] or call 800/872-2672.
| Picture Perfect |
Did you know you can create a personal e-card using the images from the AOPA Online Gallery? Send one to a friend today. See AOPA Online.
| What's New At AOPA Online |
| ASF UPDATES SAFETY ADVISOR |
There are two kinds of airports: Those with operating control towers and those without. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Operations at Towered Airports Safety Advisor has been updated. Download your copy from AOPA Online.
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPAï¿½Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Dayton, Ohio. The Vectren Dayton Air Show takes place July 20 and 21 at Dayton International Airport (DAY). U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, Venom/MiG-17 "Iron Curtain" Dogfight, more. See the Web site.
Waupaca, Wisconsin. The Cessna Owner Organization Annual Gathering takes place July 20 through 22 at Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ). Contact Kurt Harrington, 888/692-3776, ext. 118, 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 Pittsburgh, and Seattle, July 20 and 21. Clinics are also scheduled in San Diego, Jacksonville, Florida, and Baltimore, July 27 and 28. 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 Jacksonville, Florida, and San Diego on July 28. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 24 through 27. The topics vary. 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].