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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 3, Issue 35AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 3, Issue 35

Volume 3, Issue 35 • August 29, 2003
In this issue:
Military intercepts for TFR violators raise concerns
CAE Simuflite awards training scholarships
AOPA returns to its roots for Expo 2003


Garmin International

Comm 1 Radio Simulator

Sporty's Pilot Shop


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Training Tips
Haze-every pilot must take it into consideration when evaluating weather information. Whether included in a METAR observation or a pilot report (pirep) as a cause of reduced visibility, haze is sometimes the only bad news on an otherwise potentially excellent day for flying. But don't let that lull you into underestimating the phenomenon.

What is haze? The National Weather Service defines it as "a suspension in the air of extremely small, dry particles invisible to the naked eye and sufficiently numerous to give the air an opalescent appearance," wrote Jack Williams in his October 1999 AOPA Flight Training column, "The Weather Never Sleeps." You may know from your studying that "good" weather such as high pressure and associated atmospheric stability-as explained in Williams' March 2003 column-create the conditions most conducive to dense accumulations of haze. He cautions: "Just because the air is stable, don't assume that flying is going to be great. True, the ride could be smooth, but you could run into poor visibility." And that's even without a cloud in the sky!

So while it may be generally true that high pressure systems are "good" and lows are "bad" for VFR flying, remember to consider exceptions to the rule. Is the high now sitting above your region becoming a "blocking high"? That could mean a long stretch of bad flying weather, as AOPA Pilot Editor-at-Large Thomas A. Horne explains in his August 2003 article, "Air Blocks: Why Some Highs are Bad News." The risk is not just getting lost or violating minimum visibility requirements for flying under visual flight rules-although that is serious enough. You can review the VFR requirements provided online in Section 4 of AOPA's Handbook for Pilots.

Haze, just as surely as a cloud encounter, could cause spatial disorientation and loss of aircraft control if all outside visual references were to disappear. For more on what could happen in such a situation, see Christopher L. Parker's August 2002 AOPA Flight Training article, "The Oldest Trap in the Book."

Bad weather can develop when conditions seem favorable to flying, and this possibility can make go/no-go decisions challenging-or even difficult. Learn from one pilot's discovery of that truth in "Learning Experiences" in the January 1997 Flight Training. Then use AOPA's wealth of insights about haze to stay clear of trouble in your own flying.
Your Partner in Training
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation promotes safe pilots and safe skies through its many safety awareness programs. Test your knowledge by taking any of the free AOPA Air Safety Foundation safety quizzes on subjects ranging from collision avoidance to interception procedures to spatial disorientation. These quizzes can help you to become a safe and proficient pilot.

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
Two intercepts during recent presidential trips to the Pacific Northwest and Great Lakes regions are raising concerns that pilots who get caught where they're not supposed to be don't know how to respond. "Sixty-nautical-mile-wide presidential movement TFRs [temporary flight restrictions] continue to be the norm when President Bush travels outside the Washington, D.C., area," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "AOPA believes those TFRs are excessively large and continues to push security officials for more realistic dimensions. But until that happens, GA pilots have got to know about and avoid the TFRs, and know what to do if they're intercepted. The consequences of not knowing could be deadly." The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has prepared a handy card that provides the intercept procedures that could save your life, since the military pilots have shoot-down authority. Click here to download the card from AOPA Online, learn the information carried on it, and carry it with you when you fly. ASF also has an online course for navigating in today's complex airspace environment called Know Before You Go .

CAE SimuFlite awarded four Cessna Citation initial pilot training scholarships to university aviation students, the company announced August 27. The recipients were Robert W. Baker, University of Arizona; Michael J. Cole, Baylor University; and Brandy S. Hearting and Lance J. Koch, both of Kansas State University. The scholarships, awarded through the University Aviation Association, are intended to provide additional industry-based training opportunities to university aviation students and broaden their awareness of corporate aviation career paths.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University sent a team of instructor-pilots to spin school-unusual attitude/upset recovery and spin training provided by FCI Emergency Maneuver Training in Mesa, Arizona. The ERAU pilots flew an Extra 300L aerobatic aircraft in which they learned to operate with an increased awareness of upset scenarios and were taught early recognition and decisive recovery techniques, according to an FCI news release. "I plan to go to Daytona Beach and transfer as much as I possibly can from this program to our program," said Wesley Treco, flight standards/training manager at ERAU's Daytona Beach, Florida, campus. For more information on FCI's programs, see the Web site.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation's Division of Aviation is cosponsoring a Super Wings Weekend in Goldsboro, North Carolina, from October 17 to 19. Events are planned for pilots, aircraft mechanics, and high school students interested in aviation careers. Aviation safety topics include weather, pilot preventive maintenance, and military midair collision avoidance. Mechanics can learn about human factors for maintenance, among other topics. High school students will get a chance to view aircraft displays and talk to flight crews, mechanics, and other aviation professionals. For more information, see the Web site.
Inside AOPA
As aviation prepares to celebrate the centennial of powered flight later this year, AOPA is returning to the site of its own birth, Philadelphia, for AOPA Expo 2003, October 30 through November 1. "In 1776, our nation's founding fathers met in Philadelphia to begin a grand experiment," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "One hundred sixty-three years later, in 1939, AOPA's founding fathers gathered at Philadelphia's Wings Field to begin another experiment. In 2003, both experiments are still going strong." See AOPA Online.

Florida's Martin County is prohibited from closing Witham Field in Stuart, according to AOPA. The association says it will fight any attempt to move or downsize the airport. County commissioners are preparing to discuss a report on the future of the airport that considers only three options: downsizing, relocation, or closure. But AOPA and the FAA will win in a fight to keep Witham Field open, because the county recently accepted federal airport improvement funds that come with airtight grant obligations, AOPA Vice President of Airports Bill Dunn told Martin County Commission Chairman Michael DiTerlizzi. For more, see AOPA Online.

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Training Products
It's great fun to pilot a Learjet 45 or Boeing 737 through the virtual landscape of a PC-based flight simulation program. But what if you crave to polish your skills on something that you actually fly in real life-say, a trusty Cessna 152? sells a Cessna 152 add-on to "Microsoft Flight Simulator" in its "General Aviation Collection." It features both a 3-D virtual cockpit and a 2-D instrument panel with interior views; you can use either or switch between them. You also get to hear authentic 152 engine noises, switch clicks, and gyro sounds. The download is available for $19.95. also sells add-ons of other aircraft such as the Piper Archer II and the Cessna 310. See the Web site for more details.
Final Exam
Question: Can you tell me how I find an airport's traffic pattern altitude (TPA) if that information is not included in the Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD)?

Answer: Traffic pattern altitudes can range between 600 and 1,500 feet agl. Some airports that have mixed traffic may have several TPAs-for example, one for light aircraft, another for heavier aircraft, and perhaps a third for helicopters. Chapter 4-3-3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) states that 1,000 feet agl is the recommended pattern altitude unless established otherwise. It is the airport management that "establishes otherwise." The A/FD lists traffic pattern altitudes that are different from the 1,000-foot general recommendation. So, if no TPA is listed for a particular airport, the 1,000-foot recommendation would apply. However, sometimes airport management decides to set or change a traffic pattern altitude (within the parameters of 600 to 1,500 feet) and the new TPA is not listed in the A/FD. AOPA's Airport Directory Online updates this information with airport surveys and questionnaires. But, if in doubt, you should call the airport.

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

Looking for a way to defray the cost of aircraft ownership? AOPA has updated The Pilot's Guide to Multiple Ownership: Co-Ownership and Flying Clubs. See AOPA Online.

Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix.
ePilot Calendar
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.

Northampton, Massachusetts. The Hot Air Balloon Championship takes place September 5 through 7 at Northampton Airport (7B2). Dozens of hot air balloons launching mornings and evenings along with balloon, airplane, and helicopter rides; vintage aircraft; skydiving; teddy bear parachute drop; and more. Contact Dick Guisto, 413/584-7980, or visit the Web site.

Warner Robins, Georgia. The Robins Air Force Base Open House and Airshow takes place September 6 and 7 at Robins AFB. Featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the Starfighters, Ed Hamill, and more. Contact Maj. Kurt Raffetto, 478/327-0531, 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 .

(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.

(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.

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.

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