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Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
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Copyright © 2003 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| WEATHER WISDOM |
Pilots in training are exhorted to get as much information as possible about a proposed flight. So it can be frustrating when the result is confusion-not clarity-about whether to go ahead. Experience and continuing study of topics such as weather will make the process less mysterious; in the meantime, caution and "personal minimums" set by you and your instructor are good guides. See Jeff Pardo's feature article "Risk Management for New Pilots" in the October 2002 AOPA Flight Training.
It is also a good idea to understand the meaning of certain terminology used during weather briefings. It may look nice outside, but if the briefer uses the phrase "VFR not recommended," be alert, as Elizabeth Tennyson discusses in "Aviation Speak" from the January 2001 AOPA Flight Training. This phrase is commonly misunderstood by new pilots who have yet to accept the notion that they alone-not the briefer-are empowered to make the go/no-go decision. Briefers provide you with the information you need, but they cannot order you not to fly. Saying "VFR not recommended" is all they can do (even if there is a line of tornadoes hovering over the field). Sound complicated? Click here to read Rod Machado's response to a new pilot's question on judging the weather in the July 2001 AOPA Flight Training.
If, after you complete your briefing, you remain doubtful, it means that you need more information to resolve the conflict between wanting to go and satisfying yourself that you should. Perhaps the forecast (such as a lingering fog) says "stay," but your own observation (that the fog is breaking up) says "go." Maybe a forecast of light winds and calm conditions has been belied by a pirep of gusts and turbulence. Click here to view the August 30, 2002, newsletter's discussion of "The Benefits of PIREPs."
"It's the ones who don't question, who don't feel self-doubt, who are most apt to get in over their heads," counsels AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Thomas A. Horne in his article, "The Weather Never Sleeps: To Go or Not to Go," in the January 2000 AOPA Flight Training. So, listen to your doubts; don't disparage the fact that you are having them. Evaluating their meaning is a critical part of learning how to make sound aeronautical decisions!
| Your Partner in Training |
|The sudden wind shifts, or wind shear, caused by microbursts is especially dangerous to aircraft near the ground because a sudden shift from a headwind to a tailwind decreases lift and the aircraft can strike the ground. Find out more about what clouds are, how they form, and the major factors that dictate their appearance in an AOPA Flight Training article on AOPA Online. 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 |
| AOPA CONTINUES EFFORTS TO SAVE MEIGS FIELD |
AOPA has made significant progress in implementing the 12-point plan it announced late last week to save Chicago's Meigs Field. AOPA President Phil Boyer used a Wednesday hearing on the FAA reauthorization bill to urge members of Congress to step in and deal with the destruction of the airport. "We have received a higher volume of e-mails and phone calls about Meigs than about the closure of the entire national airspace system in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks," he told them. On Monday AOPA filed suit in federal district court to prevent "further illegal efforts to destroy Meigs Field." AOPA General Counsel John Yodice and Associate Counsel Kathy Yodice met with the acting FAA chief counsel and a senior attorney from the FAA's airports legal division, pressing the FAA to review all legal options that may be available to the agency to preserve the airport. AOPA has heard from many members who are planning to boycott the City of Chicago and any businesses located there-another element of AOPA's 12-point plan-until Meigs Field is reopened. For the latest information regarding the Meigs Field situation, see the special section added to AOPA Online.
UND ORDERS 10 NEW PIPER AIRPLANES
The New Piper Aircraft Company will supply 10 more new aircraft to the University of North Dakota, bringing the school's fleet of New Piper airplanes to 118. "Enrollment is up as much as 20 percent to 30 percent at many of the aviation schools we sell to," despite a weak economy, says New Piper President and CEO Chuck Suma. "As a result, many of our customers, including the University of North Dakota, are using increased revenue to place orders for more sophisticated training aircraft such as Piper Arrows and Seminoles." UND's most recent aircraft order is for eight Warriors, one Arrow, and two Seminoles.
WOMEN RECEIVE FLIGHT, MAINTENANCE SCHOLARSHIPS
CAE SimuFlite said it has awarded two scholarships for pilot training and maintenance training as part of a 17-year scholarship program aimed at promoting business aviation as a career choice for female aviators and aircraft maintainers. Deborah Ruth Blum of San Francisco, California, will receive initial pilot training plus a Citation type rating at CAE SimuFlite's Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport training center. Nichole Ann Cagnolatti of Long Beach, California, will attend CAE SimuFlite's initial maintenance training course for the Cessna Citation. The scholarships were announced at the Women in Aviation International conference in Cincinnati last month. CAE and the University Aviation Association will reveal four more recipients of Citation initial pilot training scholarships in May. For more information, call 800/527-2463 or visit the Web site.
ALASKA UNIVERSITY OFFERS CARAVAN SIMULATOR
Cessna Caravan operators in Alaska now can take simulator training at the University of Alaska in Anchorage. The university recently took delivery of a Frasca FAA Level B Caravan full flight simulator from Frasca International of Urbana, Illinois. The simulator will be used in the university's upper-level flight training curriculum as well as to train area pilots, Frasca said. "A large number of Caravan aircraft are based in Alaska, and the Caravan full-flight simulator will allow for simulator training without the pilots having to travel to a third-party flight training facility-saving time and money," Frasca said. For more information, see the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA MAKES IT EASIER TO CUT FLYING COSTS |
AOPA and MBNA America Bank, N.A., have worked together to improve the AOPA 5% FBO Rebate Program by developing an online request form. This new enhancement will allow AOPA credit card holders to request credit rebates via the Internet. Log in to MBNA's Web site and follow a few simple steps. The FBO Rebate Program, which offers a 5-percent credit rebate on purchases at qualified FBOs, began in 1997 and has returned more than $10 million to participating AOPA members.
CALIFORNIA COUNTY ASKS FOR STUDENT BACKGROUND CHECKS
Last week the San Diego (California) County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to ask the county's congressional delegation to write a federal law requiring criminal background checks for all flight students. In a letter to Supervisor Pam Salter, AOPA said, "No American citizens were involved in carrying out the terrorist acts of 9/11. Your proposal, if it had been in place at the time, would not have prevented this tragedy from occurring." By asking the county's congressional representatives to promulgate the rule, the county is at least acknowledging the federal role and jurisdiction in aviation security matters. AOPA pointed out in detail numerous restrictions and precautions already in place, including a bill that would expand the existing federal requirement for background checks to cover all foreign nationals seeking pilot training. The pilot certificate revocation rule for those who are deemed a national security threat is already in place.
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| Training Products |
| ASA OFFERS CAREER ADVICE FROM CHERYL CAGE |
Aviation consultant Cheryl Cage's career planning books and software are now available through Aviation Supplies and Academics, Inc. Her titles include Checklist for Success, Reporting Clear, Calm in the Face of Conflict, and The Resilient Pilot. Cage is a regular speaker at aviation conferences and most recently has been presenting business job search seminars to furloughed United Airlines pilots. For more information, contact ASA at 800/ASA2FLY or visit the Web site.
| Final Exam |
| Question: What does it mean when I receive a flashing red light gun signal from an air traffic control tower? |
Answer: If your aircraft is on the ground, the flashing red light is telling you to taxi clear of the runway in use. If your aircraft is in flight, the same signal means the airport is unsafe-do not land. Acknowledge receipt of a light gun signal by either moving the ailerons or rudder of your aircraft during the day, or by blinking the landing or navigation lights at night. Air traffic control tower light gun signals are explained in section 4-3-13 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. For more information on light gun signals, see "Operations at Towered Airports" from the November 1998 issue of Flight Training magazine.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to [email protected] or call 800/872-2672. Don't forget the archive of questions and answers from AOPA's ePilot and ePilot Flight Training. FAQs are searchable by keyword or topic.
| Picture Perfect |
The AOPA Online Gallery allows you to download your favorite images to use for wallpaper, send a personalized e-card, and order high-quality prints to be shipped directly to your doorstep. Search the hundreds of fabulous images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online.
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|Database updates are available for members who use AOPA's Airport eDirectory on their personal computer or personal digital assistant. Click here for downloading instructions and an overview of the update process. Click here to download a user's manual. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Orlando, Florida. The Aircraft Electronic Association's Forty-Sixth Annual Trade Show takes place April 24 through 26 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort Hotel. Contact Tracy West, 816/373-6565, or visit the Web site.
To submit an event to the calendar, or search all events, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For comments on calendar items, contact [email protected].
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 Tampa, Florida; Atlanta; and Reston, Virginia; April 26 and 27. Clinics are also scheduled in Irvine, California; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Kansas City, Missouri; May 3 and 4. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Renewal Online.
ASF PINCH-HITTER GROUND-SCHOOL COURSES
(Pinch-Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitter® Ground School will take place in Irvine, California, and Kansas City, Missouri, May 4. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Springfield, Missouri, April 28; St. Louis, April 29; and Springfield, Illinois, April 30. The topic is The Ups & Downs of Takeoffs and Landings; for complete details, see AOPA Online.