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| Training Tips |
| ARE YOU 'GOOD TO GO'? |
A student pilot quickly learns that deciding if conditions are acceptable for flying is both art and science. Understanding the "big picture" of weather certainly helps, and when digesting the information from your weather briefing, the general behavior of high pressure systems, lows, cold fronts, warm fronts, and winds does follow certain predictable patterns. But not always. That's where experience comes in (see the March 1996 AOPA Pilot article that gives some real-world examples of how that experience is gained). Since you are not yet very experienced, the cautious approach, employing generous margins of error beyond the minimums specified in regulations, is good policy.
Some flights will require different considerations than others, as described in the April 1998 AOPA Flight Training. If you are a student pilot who has soloed and will be making additional solo flights to satisfy training requirements, your flight instructor will specify conditions beyond which you should not venture out alone. (If he or she hasn't done this, request it.) Although visual flight rules (VFR) as set out in the Federal Aviation Regulations may permit you to fly, let's say, in Class E airspace in daylight with three miles visibility (below 10,000 feet msl), your instructor might require better visibility, or that any cloud ceiling be at least several thousand feet above the surface. Or that surface winds be, let's say, 10 knots or less, reported and forecast, for the duration of your flight. Or that a designated maximum crosswind component not be exceeded. These limitations should be entered in your student pilot logbook. If you are headed out on a solo cross-country, your logbook must be endorsed for the flight. This certifies that your planning has been checked and that the flight can be completed under VFR. Review endorsements online.
Many new pilots develop a set of "personal minimums" they use to decide whether to fly. They continue to use them long after having acquired a private pilot certificate. See a discussion in the July 2000 Flight Training. For more on gaining experience safely, "Controlled Experiences" from the March 1997 AOPA Pilot helps point the way.
| 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. |
AOPA Flight Training members have free access to all of the features within AOPA Online. For members'-section login information click here.
| Flight Training News |
| NINETY-NINES WELCOME STUDENT PILOTS |
The Ninety-Nines, the international organization of women pilots, now welcomes female student pilots to join as Future Women Pilots. Founded in 1929 with Amelia Earhart as its first president, The Ninety-Nines have chapters in every state and seek to promote world fellowship through flight, preserve the history of women in aviation, and provide networking and scholarship opportunities for women. For more information visit the Web site or call 800/994-1929.
ATP ADDS NEW PIPERS
ATP, Inc., which offers accelerated pilot training, has taken delivery of the final two of 20 New Piper PA-44-180 Seminoles. All are equipped with horizontal situation indicators (HSIs) and Garmin GNS 430 moving-map GPS receivers. ATP's training fleet now comprises 75 aircraft in 21 U.S. locations. For more information visit the Web site or call 800/ALL-ATPS.
HOUSE COMMITTEE APPROVES GA RELIEF BILL
A House committee has approved a bill that would provide funds to aviation businesses that were hurt from recent airspace closures such as the September 11 terrorist attacks and the Winter Olympic Games. This week the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure overwhelmingly approved the General Aviation Reparations Act of 2001 (H.R. 3347) that would provide $2.5 billion in direct grants and $5 billion in loan guarantees. As expected, an amendment requested by committee Democrats was adopted to extend direct compensation to general aviation workers who lost their jobs as a result of the terrorist attacks. The bill must now be approved by the full House. Meanwhile in the Senate, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma is expected to introduce the companion bill to H.R. 3347 in the coming weeks.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA PUSHES FOR SIMPLE SECURITY SOLUTION |
AOPA last week petitioned the FAA to change the rules to allow for a simple, inexpensive pilot photo identification system that could be put into place almost immediately. AOPA said that the FAA should simply require that pilots carry a valid, government-issued photo ID along with their pilot certificates when in command of an aircraft. That photo ID could be a driver's license, passport, state ID card, or government agency photo ID card approved by the FAA administrator. "Since September 11, the need for a picture identification for pilots has been an important element in many security discussions," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "The FAA could satisfy that security concern with a simple stroke of the pen and with minimal cost to taxpayers." Boyer said that there has been a growing cry from Congress, national security officials, and the public for picture identification of pilots. "With this proposal, FAA could address that with no lengthy implementation process, no enormous FAA investment, and no financial or time costs to pilots." Last December, AOPA recommended a photo pilot ID as part of a comprehensive set of general aviation security measures. "This may be too simple for the government, but it sure makes good sense," Boyer said. "And make no mistake. Sooner rather than later, the government is going to require photo IDs for pilots. We're giving them a solution pilots can live with." For more information see AOPA Online.
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| Training Products |
| NEED A STUDY BUDDY? |
If you're studying for the FAA knowledge test and want to review the information, try the Sporty's Pilot Shop Study Buddy. This free online service is available at your convenience to help you practice for the test.
| Coming Up In AOPA Flight Training |
| AOPA Flight Training has a new look, and we can't wait for you to see it. The redesigned April issue will be mailed next week. The magazine includes articles on the latest in personal computer-based flight simulators, how to depart an airport surrounded by high terrain, and some important numbers that don't appear on your airspeed indicator. Look for it soon! |
| Final Exam |
| Question: The airport where I train has a VASI system, so I'm familiar with that type of glideslope indicator. But, can you explain the PAPI indicator to me? |
Answer: There are a number of visual glideslope indicators and the Visual Approach Slope Indicator (VASI) system may be the most familiar to pilots. The Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) is another type of indicator. It uses red and white light units that are installed in a single row of either two or four lights and is positioned to the left or right of the runway. If we take an example of a four-light PAPI system, four white lights indicate that your aircraft is high on the approach. Two red and two white would indicate that you are on the correct glideslope. Four red lights indicate that you are low on the glideslope. The various visual glideslope indicators are explained in the Aeronautical Information Manual . The following articles will also give you some insight on different visual glideslope indicators; "Approach Lights: A Guide to Visual Glideslope Indicators" by Dave Wilkerson and "Light Up Your Night: A Guide to Airport Lighting Systems" by Robert N. Rossier.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to [email protected] or call 800/872-2672.
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's taxiway diagrams have been updated. See AOPAï¿½Online. |
| 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 AOPAï¿½Online. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| Check your weekend weather on AOPA Online. |
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
Washington, D.C. National Air and Space Society lecture "The Fight for Air Superiority during World War II" takes place March 16 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Retired Col. Robert "Shorty" Rankin, USAF, and Gen. Gunther Rall, German Luftwaffe, share their experiences as WWII fighter pilots. See 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 Philadelphia and Lubbock, Texas, March 9 through 10. Clinics are scheduled in Orlando, Florida, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 16 through 17. 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 Phoenix on March 3 and Philadelphia on March 10. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Perrysburgh, Ohio, and Cheswick, Pennsylvania, March 6. Seminars are scheduled in North Canton, Ohio, and Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, March 7. Topic is spatial disorientation. For more information, visit the Web site.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact [email protected].