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Copyright © 2003 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| KEEPING TABS ON THE WEATHER |
How many early warning systems do you employ to stay informed of changing weather conditions during a flight? Updating your preflight briefing by contacting a flight service station by radio is always a good idea, as was described in the August 16, 2002, "Training Tips." If you are using radar flight following, any hazardous conditions developing in the area may be the subject of a broadcast alert. Another excellent source of information is the Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory Service (HIWAS). As explained in Chapter 7 of the Aeronautical Information Manual, HIWAS is "a continuous broadcast of inflight weather advisories including summarized AWW (Severe Weather Forecast Alerts), SIGMETs, Convective SIGMETs, Center Weather Advisories (CWAs), AIRMETs, and urgent PIREPs."
HIWAS broadcasts are made over selected VORs; when you set the VOR frequency in your nav radio and turn up the volume to verify the station identifier, you will hear the continuous voice HIWAS broadcast over the Morse code or spoken station ID. Check your VFR charts for the symbol used to identify a VOR with HIWAS. Make it a practice to note the HIWAS outlets you can use during your cross-country flights. It is important to know if HIWAS is available where you fly, according to AOPA's Handbook for Pilots , because in areas where HIWAS has been commissioned, "ARTCC, terminal ATC, and FSS facilities have discontinued the broadcast of in-flight advisories." Those ATC facilities will broadcast an advisory that conditions have changed, and recommend that pilots tune in HIWAS for details. The handbook offers a complete discussion of HIWAS.
Note: Never substitute HIWAS for a full and complete preflight briefing! Conditions are far too variable, as AOPA Air Safety Executive Director Bruce Landsberg illustrates in his May 2000 "Safety Pilot" column in AOPA Pilot. Rather, use HIWAS to augment that information as one of many informational tools at your disposal. A must-read is Thomas Horne's "Weather Watch" column from the October 2001 AOPA Pilot, in which he offers a series of specific guidelines for coping with and evaluating en route weather.
As the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed. Add HIWAS to your safe-flying toolkit.
| Your Partner in Training |
|AOPA offers a great deal of information resources on weather-related topics. Use AOPA Online's free aviation weather from Meteorlogix to help create a safe and efficient flight plan. Read the popular "Weather Watch" column from AOPA Pilot, as well as AOPA's subject reports on weather issues. |
Do you have a question? Call our experienced pilots, available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time toll-free at 800/872-2672. 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 |
| DIAMOND GIVES ERAU $20,000 FOR SCHOLARSHIPS |
Diamond Aircraft presented Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a $20,000 donation to its scholarship fund at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Embry-Riddle has purchased 10 DA40 Diamond Stars for use in its commercial aviation training program at the Daytona Beach, Florida, campus, as well as 35 DA20-C1s for the U.S. Air Force Academy introductory flight training program in Colorado Springs. "We are excited with our partnership with this professionally run aeronautical university," said John Gauch, vice president of sales and marketing for Diamond Aircraft. "With this donation, Diamond continues to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to flight training."
| Inside AOPA |
| CALIFORNIA AOPA MEMBERS DETAIL TFR PROBLEMS |
AOPA member comments to President Bush have made it crystal clear that the last-minute announcements of presidential-travel temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) in California last week created serious problems for them. Within a week of urging pilots to write Bush, AOPA had received more than 100 copies of letters sent to the White House. AOPA continues to battle with the federal government over timely dissemination of notams establishing TFRs because pilots need lead time to plan around the closed airspace. The impact on pilots outside and inside the Golden State was enormous based upon this sampling of the letters and operational-difficulty reports requested by AOPA. All the respondents voiced support for necessary security measures, but the government's inability to work with conscientious pilots drew their ire. "If you are not planning to bar every (rental) truck from entering the cities you visit, then please don't ban general aviation either," said a retired naval officer who flies clients for business and rents helicopters for aerial photography. An aerobatic pilot told the White House, "This is insane. The radius of the TFR is ridiculous. My practice area between the small towns of Santa Paula and Fillmore will have absolutely no effect on the president's visit, despite the fact that I might be grounded from flying even locally for the next two days. Even the TFR around Bush's ranch (in Texas) when he is not there is completely uncalled for. Stop blaming general aviation for perceived problems and go about fixing the real problems." For more information, see AOPA Online.
AOPA FIGHTS AIRPORT PRIVATIZATION
As officials in different parts of the country consider proposals that would turn airports over to private operators, AOPA is drawing a line in the sand. For example, AOPA continues to oppose a proposal to privatize New Orleans' Lakefront Airport. The American Airports Corporation (AAC) wants to transform it from New Orleans' primary general aviation reliever into a facility that caters to charters and corporate aircraft, squeezing small piston aircraft off the airport. Because airport privatization is becoming an issue elsewhere, AOPA has been working to ensure that pilots have a voice in determining what is best for their airport. This year, AOPA Legislative Affairs worked with Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), ranking Democrat on the House aviation subcommittee. He sponsored legislation that would require approval from 65 percent of based aircraft owners before an airport can be privatized. The legislation is awaiting final approval by Congress. See AOPA Online.
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| Training Products |
| NEED NEXT YEAR'S FAR/AIM? |
Gleim Publications, Inc. has released its 2004 edition of the Federal Aviation Regulations/Aeronautical Information Manual. It retails for $15.95. The company also offers a more compact version of the venerable aviation reference, sized 7 inches wide by 9 inches tall-perfect for students, flight instructors, and any other pilot who likes to carry a copy in his or her flight bag. For more information or to order, see the Web site or call 800/874-5346 or 352/375-0772.
| Final Exam |
| Question: If I leave a nontowered airport on a VFR flight and want to receive flight following, how do I go about getting it? |
Answer: You request flight following (the proper term is "VFR traffic advisories") over the radio from Center (an air route traffic control center or ARTCC), or Approach (a terminal radar approach control or tracon). Just state your call sign and position, and the words "request VFR traffic advisories." Air traffic control (ATC) provides the service on a workload-permitting basis. If they can assist, they will assign you a transponder code and alert you to other radar-identified traffic along your route. It's a big help, particularly on nice VFR weekends when there is a lot of flying activity, as well as in hazy summer conditions when visibility is not too great at altitude. But, remember that you, the pilot, are responsible to see and avoid other traffic, terrain, and obstacles. More information on traffic advisories and talking with ATC is available in AOPA's ATC Communications subject report.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to [email protected] or call 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, 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 |
|In the first quarter of 2003 the general aviation industry saw decreases in flight activity, pilot certification, aircraft shipments, and registration applications. See the latest AOPA General Aviation Trends report on AOPA Online. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Cleveland, Ohio. The 2003 Cleveland National Airshow takes place August 30 through September 1 at Burke Lakefront Airport (BKL). Featuring Navy Blue Angels, Firebirds Delta Team, solo aerobatics by Debbie Gary, classic air racers, military demonstrations, Army Golden Knights, and more. Visit the Web site or call 216/781-0747.
To submit an event to the calendar, or search all events, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online .
ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic is scheduled in Sacramento, California, September 6 and 7. A clinic is also scheduled in Phoenix, September 13 and 14. 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 takes place in Phoenix, September 14. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and Kansas City, Missouri, September 8; St. Louis, Missouri, and Allentown, Pennsylvania, September 9; Springfield, Missouri, and New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, September 10; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 11. The topic is Say Intentions. For complete details, see AOPA Online.