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Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
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Tel: 800/USA-AOPA or
Copyright © 2003 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| AIRSPACE IS FOR EVERYONE |
When you practice takeoffs and landings at your airport, other aircraft come and go. You may observe that not all of them fly the traffic patterns that you are learning; it is explained to you that these are aircraft arriving on instrument flight plans or practicing instrument approach procedures. The pilots use terminology that you have not heard before on the radio, and they frequently make "low approaches," rather than landing, before leaving the pattern again.
You were assured that you have equal right to the airspace you share with them, but you may still feel uncertain. To understand these other citizens of your local airspace, review the Aeronautical Information Manual Section 4-3-21 on practice instrument approaches. Note that the AIM cautions pilots practicing instrument approaches to be "particularly alert for other aircraft operating in the local traffic pattern or in proximity to the airport."
A good way to learn what instrument procedures may be in use at your airport is to check AOPA's Airport Directory Online. Ask your instructor to interpret the information for you and explain what these operations will mean to your flying. Doing so will demystify all that activity around you-and you will see that the publications used in instrument flying contain information useful to all pilots.
Especially in conditions of marginal visibility, aircraft operating under instrument flight rules (IFR) and visual flight rules (VFR) need to be aware of each other, particularly in the least-controlled airspace ( click here to review airspace classes in Section 4 of AOPA's Handbook for Pilots. As Earl C. Downs notes in his feature article "IFR Without the Clouds" in the February 2003 AOPA Flight Training, "Class G airspace only requires VFR flyers to have one mile's visibility and to remain clear of clouds (daytime) to take off and land. IFR pilots on an instrument approach may be sharing the airspace with VFR pilots in what is pretty crummy weather. Class E airspace requires three miles' visibility and a ceiling of at least 1,000 feet for VFR pilots to operate. This adds safety at these nontowered Class E airports when IFR and VFR traffic mix."
Airspace was created to be shared. Know what others are doing, and share it with confidence!
| Your Partner in Training |
|Perhaps your family isn't too keen about your love of flying. Or maybe you have a friend or family member who will be a frequent passenger. Whatever the scenario, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation is a pioneer in introducing nonpilots to the thrill of flight. ASF's Pinch-Hitter® Ground School is designed to increase one's understanding and enjoyment of flying. For a session near you-or to order the video course-go to AOPA Online. |
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 |
| NEW ASF SAFETY ADVISOR HELPS PILOTS IN DISTRESS |
You're flying solo, the weather deteriorates unexpectedly-what do you do? You don't have to make the decision alone; assistance from air traffic controllers is as close as the push-to-talk button. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has just produced the Say Intentions...When You Need ATC's Help Safety Advisor, a publication that outlines ATC services for pilots in urgent or distress situations. It includes advice for GA pilots on how best to take advantage of those services. Did you know that using the emergency frequency, 121.5 MHz, or the 7700 transponder code may not be your best course of action? The new publication was developed as an integral part of ASF's newest safety seminar of the same name, which debuts May 12 and will be presented in some 70 locations nationwide this year. Click here to download the Safety Advisor online.
BE A PILOT LAUNCHES 2003 TV AD CAMPAIGN
Be A Pilot-the aviation industry's program to encourage people to learn to fly-launched its latest television advertising campaign this week. Nearly $1 million in national television advertising will buy some 2,000 commercials that will air through September on at least seven national cable channels. Eight new Be A Pilot commercials will air on Discovery Channel, ESPN2, ESPN News, ESPN Classic, and Discovery Wings on digital cable. Be A Pilot ads will also air on CNBC, the new Tech TV network, and Discovery Science. The new commercials will feature aircraft in action, adventure settings, and more exciting flight maneuvers, as opposed to the lifestyle message that was communicated in 2002's spots, Be A Pilot said.
CABLE SERIES TELLS STORY OF LEARNING TO FLY
Learning to Fly, a series that chronicles a student pilot's experiences learning to fly, will debut beginning Monday night on Discovery Wings, a digital cable channel. In the first episode, flight instructor Dave Lammers familiarizes student pilot Kyle Guyette with the Cessna 172 in which she will train, and she makes her first takeoff. Four more original episodes will premiere April 29 through May 2, showing at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern time each day. Highlights include the fundamentals of flight on Wednesday, takeoffs-including crosswind takeoffs-on Thursday, and stalls on Friday. After next week, the series will move to its regular time, Sunday nights at 9 p.m. and 12 a.m. Eastern, beginning May 11. A full schedule is available online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA ASKS JUDGE FOR FINAL RULING ON MICHIGAN LAWSUIT |
AOPA on Tuesday asked a federal judge in Michigan to issue a summary judgment in the association's lawsuit against the state's pilot background check law. "The State of Michigan does not dispute the facts of this case," said AOPA attorney Kathy Yodice. "All that remains is for the court to decide whether or not, as AOPA contends, federal law preempts the state's background check law under the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause [Article VI, Clause 2]. Today's motion asks the judge to proceed straight to his ruling." Both the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration have written letters supporting AOPA's position. In its filing, AOPA argues that the Michigan law is preempted both because of the pervasiveness of federal regulation in aviation safety and security matters as well as setting pilot eligibility standards, and because the state law conflicts with federal efforts to create a uniform national standard. See AOPA Online.
'TOP MAN' LISTENS TO AOPA's AIRSPACE CONCERNS
AOPA "kicked it up a notch" on Monday as AOPA President Phil Boyer took general aviation pilots' concerns about airspace restrictions to the top man for aviation in the Department of Homeland Security. Boyer and AOPA Senior Vice President Andy Cebula went deep inside the Homeland Security's fortress-like compound to talk with Asa Hutchinson, undersecretary for border and transportation security. And Boyer made it clear that airspace restrictions like the Washington Metropolitan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) or the proposed 30-nautical-mile "presidential movement" flight restriction aren't working. Hutchinson opened the meeting by saying that Homeland Security's mission was to improve security, to operate in the most efficient manner, and to satisfy the customers. "We can't judge on how you're doing on security," Boyer replied, "but on efficiency and customer satisfaction, you're not doing well-at least as far as pilots and air traffic controllers are concerned." See AOPA Online.
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| Training Products |
| WINDSHIELD CLEANING KIT AVAILABLE FROM SPORTY'S |
The federal aviation regulations permit aircraft owners to do some maintenance work on their airplanes, and keeping a windshield clean and scratch-free is one of those tasks. Sporty's Windshield Care Kit is endorsed by LP Aero Plastics, a leading manufacturer of training aircraft windshields and windows. The kit includes a 7.5 ounce container of antistatic/antifog cleaner and polish for normal cleaning and maintenance; a 7.5-ounce container of antistatic plastic scratch remover to clean off insects, haze, or minor blemishes, and 50 12-by-12-inch low-lint wipes. The kit is $21.95, and an optional bag to hold it is $12.95 (plus $8.50 to personalize with a pilot's initials). For more information or to order, call 800/SPORTY'S or visit the Web site.
| Final Exam |
| Question: I'm just beginning to start training for my private pilot certificate. I have asthma and know that the FAA doesn't allow you to take certain medicines. Before I go and get my medical exam, where can I find a list of all the medicines that I might be able to take for my condition that are approved by the FAA? |
Answer: AOPA has long provided a list of FAA-accepted medications. Using this list, you can look up a particular drug by name and see if it is acceptable to the FAA. This list of medications has now been enhanced. You can still look up a particular drug by name. But now, you may also search the list by a particular type of medication or the medical condition for which you are being treated. In your case, just look up "asthma" in the "what medical condition does this drug treat" listing and click on "search." The result should be a listing of medications currently acceptable to the FAA for the treatment of asthma. In addition, the medical certification section of AOPA Online provides a wide variety of subject reports on various medical conditions.
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 |
|Could you be one of AOPA's Airport Support Network volunteers? Click here to see a state-by-state listing of airports that are in need of these important individuals, and find out how ASN volunteers help AOPA to protect GA airports. |
| Weekend Weather |
See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix.
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Fort Lauderdale, Florida. McDonald's Air and Sea Show takes place May 3 and 4 over Fort Lauderdale Beach. This two-day extravaganza includes world-class military and civilian air, water, and entertainment activities. The show will feature the Air Force Thunderbirds and the Canadian Snowbirds. Visit the Web site or call 954/527-5600 ext. 4.
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 Irvine, California; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Kansas City, Missouri; May 3 and 4. Clinics are also scheduled in Sacramento, California; Albany, New York; and Houston; May 10 and 11. 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 Scotia, New York, Dublin, Virginia, and New Bern, North Carolina, May 12; Fredericksburg, Virginia, North Syracuse, New York, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, May 13; Henrietta, New York, Danville, Virginia, and Jamestown, North Carolina, May 14; and Hendersonville, North Carolina, Melfa, Virginia, and Cheektowaga, New York, May 15. Topics vary; for complete details, see AOPA Online.