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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 2, Issue 20AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 2, Issue 20

Volume 2, Issue 20 • May 17, 2002
In this issue:
Future controller named college valedictorian
PTS study guide indexed to DVD course
Getting back into flying


Garmin International

AOPA Term life insurance

AOPA Insurance Agency Ad

King Schools

AOPA Flight Explorer

American Flyer Ad

Comm 1 Radio Simulator

Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA CD Special

AOPA Aircraft Financing Program

Elite Ad

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Copyright � 2002 AOPA.

Training Tips
One of the individual tasks you will have to complete during 10 hours of solo flying to become eligible for your Private Pilot certificate is performing landings and takeoffs at a tower-controlled airport. The requirement is found in the Federal Aviation regulations. The language explains exactly what you must do: "Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower."

If your training is taking place at a tower-controlled airport, you will probably satisfy this requirement as soon as your solo flying begins. It will require little additional preparation because you will already be familiar with towered-airport operations and communications. The pilot whose training is based at a nontowered airport may have to make a special trip to a towered airport to satisfy this requirement. Or it may be achieved during a solo cross-country flight. Either way, you will find it helpful to spend some dual-instruction time practicing at tower-controlled airports first. Augment this flight training with ground study focused on familiarizing yourself with the rules of the airspace class in which the towered airport of your choosing is situated as described in AOPA's Handbook for Pilots. This will also prepare you to satisfy Task D, Area of Operation 1 of the Practical Test Standards for the Private Pilot Flight Test, governing knowledge of the national airspace system. Click here to download.

Once you become comfortable communicating with air traffic control, it is often a pleasant surprise to discover that towered-airport operations usually allow the most direct possible arrival and departure routes, eliminating the need for the standardized traffic patterns employed for safety reasons at non-towered fields. This is true even at some of the busiest airports (See the March 2001 AOPA Flight Training article on learning to fly at a congested airport.)

Tower operations even occasionally show a lighter side, as revealed in a 1995 reminiscence in AOPA Pilot by veteran pilot and flight instructor William K. Kershner. But that's not to say that one environment is better for training than the other. Just be sure to get a healthy dose of both, as suggested in the January 2001 AOPA Flight Training article "Turf for Training." Have fun learning the art of towered-airport operations!

Your Partner in Training
If you're like most student pilots, radio communications can be particularly daunting. In fact, learning the ways of the radio can be as tough as mastering control of the airplane. Read on for some "com sense" advice. 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
Tarah Park of Manchester, New Hampshire, has been named valedictorian of Daniel Webster College's graduating class. Park, who is majoring in air traffic control, is a nontraditional student–although she is in her 20s, she is older than most college students, married, and a mother. "It's my dream" to be an air traffic controller, she said. Commencement at the college in Nashua, New Hampshire, which offers a variety of aviation and aviation-related degrees, is Saturday.

The Aviation Foundation, dedicated to promoting and preserving the science of aviation, will award one or more aviation career scholarships later this year. Anyone is eligible to apply, but residents of Western Pennsylvania will be given primary consideration. Pilot applicants must hold at least a Private Pilot certificate by September 1. For more information or to request an application, write the foundation at 2961 West Liberty Avenue, Suite 207, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 15216. Fall 2002 awards will be presented on October 6.
Inside AOPA
The Burbank (California) Airport Authority might use an FAA noise study to enact an overnight curfew at Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport (BUR), a tactic that raises serious concerns at AOPA. The proposal is contained in an ongoing FAA Part 161 study, which is typically used to implement noise procedures for older jet aircraft or large airliners. However, the Burbank proposal would close the airport to all operations between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.--the first time this process has been used to attempt a curfew affecting all aircraft. Even though this is only a draft, it raises questions about whether this is appropriate use of the FAA process. AOPA encourages members who use BUR to offer their comments on the financial impact of this proposal on their operations. See the Web site.

This year at AOPA's twelfth annual Fly-In, not only can you learn about spatial disorientation, you can experience it. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation will host a seminar on the dangers of spatial disorientation, how to recognize it, and how to deal with it. ASF and the FAA have just completed a study on spatial disorientation. Learn the results during the seminar, which is open to all pilots, not just AOPA members. The event is at the Frederick (Maryland) Municipal Airport on Saturday, June 1. For more information, see AOPA Online.

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Training Products
Sporty's Pilot Shop now offers a Practical Test Standards Study Guide for the Private Pilot certificate. It includes the complete text of the FAA's practical test standards, and indexes each PTS area of operation, task, and element to the appropriate segment of Sporty's Complete Private Pilot Course on interactive DVD. The guide is sent free with purchase of the DVD course. For more information visit the Web site or call 800/SPORTYS.
Final Exam
Question: I'm finally returning to flight training after a hiatus of about 14 years. One thing I'm having problems with is the change in weather reporting. METAR/TAF is totally strange to me. Any hints or ideas on how I can begin to understand this.

Answer: In 1996, the FAA replaced terminal sequence reports and terminal forecasts with the new formats of METAR (meteorological aeronautical radio code) and TAF (terminal area forecast), used by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) members. These two new formats give basically the same information but use a new language and abbreviations. As you get back into your training, it will just be a matter of learning the new abbreviations and reporting sequence of information. For help, you may want to look at AOPA's list of METAR/TAF Abbreviations or read the Flight Training article "TAF Takes Over." In addition, you may want to look at the recently updated AOPA report which will bring you up to date on many of the changes that have taken place in flying over the past years.

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
Have you seen AOPA Online's new look? The association's Web site launched a new home page this week that is a precursor to changes to come, including better searching capabilities.
Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA�Online, provided by Meteorlogix.
ePilot Calendar
Glenville, New York. The Empire State Aviation Museum Airshow takes place May 25 and 26 at Schenectady County Airport (SCH). Expected performers include the Blue Angles, Iron Eagles, Nikolay Timofeev, and a Canadian F-18 demonstration. Visit the Web site for more information.

Columbia, Missouri. Salute to Veterans Airshow takes place May 25 through 27 at Columbia Regional Airport (COU). Featuring Canadian Snowbirds, U.S. Army Golden Knights, A-10 Thunderbolt, and B-2 flyover. Visit the Web site for more information.

Frederick, Maryland. The AOPA Annual Fly-in and Open House takes place June 1 at AOPA headquarters on Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK). Mark your calendar for June 1 and plan to join AOPA for this event! Visit your organization's headquarters and meet the staff dedicated to serving the general aviation industry. For more information, call 888/462-3976 or visit the Web site.

For more airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For more events, see Aviation Calendar of Events

(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Phoenix, and San Jose, California, June 1 and 2. Clinics are scheduled in Columbus, Ohio, and Austin, Texas, June 8 and 9. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see AOPA Online.

(Pinch-Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitter� Ground School will take place in San Jose, California, on June 2. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Catonsville (Baltimore), Maryland, May 28, and Frederick, Maryland, June 1. Topics vary–for complete information, see AOPA�Online.

To make submissions to the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For comments on calendar items, e-mail [email protected].

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