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Copyright © 2003 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| SYSTEMS SNAFU |
More than one pilot has taken off after performing what seemed like a careful preflight inspection, only to discover that an undetected blockage in the pitot-static system was causing inaccurate instrument indications. If the pitot tube and outside static vents become clogged, which instruments would be affected? (This is the wording of a question that you might encounter on the Private Pilot Knowledge Test; click here to view a listing of sample questions). "A pitot tube blockage affects the airspeed indicator, which will drop to zero because no air pressure is entering the pitot tube," explained David Montoya in the February 2002 AOPA Flight Training feature "Mastering the Flight Instruments."
"A static port blockage affects the ASI, altimeter, and VSI," he continued. "The ASI will indicate a lower-than-correct airspeed when the airplane is at an altitude above where the blockage occurred, and a higher-than-correct airspeed when the airplane is at an altitude below where blockage occurred. The altimeter freezes on the altitude where the error occurred, and the VSI settles on zero fpm vertical velocity." (For a comprehensive discussion of the pitot-static system components and instruments, refer to Chapter 6 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Click here to download the chapter.
Many general aviation aircraft are equipped with a pitot heater and/or an alternate static source. It is also possible, if your aircraft is not so equipped, to bypass a blocked static port by breaking the glass on one of the instruments-usually the vertical speed indicator-thus venting the system to the cabin. In either case, slight corrections may be required when interpreting instrument readouts, as noted in the July 1997 Flight Training feature "Altimetry Basics," by Robert N. Rossier.
While the circumstances depicted above could be startling, they will be no problem for a pilot who can sense aircraft performance and maintain control by feel. This concept was discussed in the February 15, 2002, "Training Tips" article, "Airspeed Awareness." Just remember that whether the potential culprit is ice, mud, or an insect nesting in your pitot-static system, a little prevention goes a long way.
| 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 the basic task of mastering control of the airplane. Read on for some helpful "com sense" advice provided by this AOPA Flight Training article. 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 |
| PILOTS CAN GIVE FAA ADDRESS CHANGES ONLINE |
Remember Federal Aviation Regulation 61.60, which requires pilots to notify the FAA of a change in their permanent mailing address within 30 days? Pilots can now provide address-change information online, as an official alternative to mailing written notice. Simply open an online account on the FAA's Civil Aviation Registry Web site, which will give you access to change of address notification and other registry services. For more information, see AOPA's subject report and John Yodice's "Pilot Counsel: Change of address" in the March 2003 AOPA Pilot.
AST DELIVERS FTD TO KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
Kansas State University recently took delivery of a new flight training device from Aviation Simulation Technology Inc., AST announced. The AST 3000 incorporates a customized multifunctional generic cockpit that will permit the user to install any one of four aircraft models and cockpit configurations, which include the Piper Saratoga II HP and Seminole, Beech 1900, and Cessna Citation 550. It also features a full-color day/night/twilight visual system and a King Silver Crown IFR avionics suite, including a KLN 89B GPS. For more information, see AST's Web site.
CONTINUED MODEST AIRLINE HIRING FORECAST FOR 2003
During the first month of 2003, the airlines continued the modest hiring pace that characterized 2002. A total of 471 pilots were hired in January, according to Atlanta-based pilot career information firm AIR, Inc., which projects industry hiring of 7,075 new pilots this year. That projection represents a 21-percent increase over the 5,845 airline pilots hired in 2002. Kit Darby, president of AIR, Inc., said that 68 percent of airline pilots hired last year came from civilian aviation backgrounds. The average civilian-trained pilot hired by a major airline in 2002 was 35.1 years old and had 6,014 total hours, while the average military-trained pilot was older-38.4 years-and had less flight time, 4,286 hours. For more information, visit the AIR, Inc. Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA HELP FOR INSTRUCTOR DEPLOYMENTS |
Has your flight instructor been called up for military service? Your CFI's departure, for any reason, certainly would affect your flight training. AOPA's free flight instructor database can help any student find a replacement to continue training toward a private pilot certificate, an advanced certificate, or a rating. An AOPA member living near Camp Pendleton, California, noted that student pilots near military facilities are especially affected by the loss of CFIs. AOPA's online database includes about 6,500 instructors throughout the United States; instructors who would like to be included can sign up online.
AOPA OPPOSES RULE THAT COULD RAISE FLIGHT SIMULATOR COSTS
AOPA has filed comments opposing an FAA proposal that would place additional burdens on the use of flight simulators by general aviation flight schools. AOPA contends that the proposed rule would significantly increase the operational costs to GA flight schools without improving safety. While the FAA proposal does not cover personal computer-based aviation training devices (PCATDs), it would increase regulatory oversight of flight schools and establish a mandatory simulator quality assurance program. The association recommended that the FAA remove any applicability to Level 1 through Level 6 flight training devices, which would allow GA schools and training centers to continue to provide safe, effective, and economical simulation-based flight training under current regulations. "Without this relief, the rule could undermine the use of simulators as an effective GA training tool," said Melissa Bailey, an AOPA vice president. See AOPA's regulatory brief.
Changing your mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.
| Training Products |
| AIRPLANE INFORMATION MANUALS FROM SPORTY'S |
If you rent airplanes but don't have a pilot's operating handbook for the specific aircraft you fly, an airplane information manual could be your best friend. Airplane information manuals for a variety of aircraft and model years are now available from Sporty's. These original manuals include checklists, limitations, systems descriptions, and performance charts. Ranging in price from $24.95 to $49.95, manuals are available for the Cessna 150, 152, and 172, as well as the Piper Cherokee 140, 150/160, and 180; Archer II and III; Cadet; and Warrior II and III. Specify aircraft year when ordering. Call 800/SPORTYS or visit the Web site.
| Final Exam |
| Question: I suffer from hay fever and allergies. What medications can I use that won't be a problem for flying? |
Answer: The FAA allows the use of non-sedating antihistamine medications, including loratidine (Claritin) and fexofenadine (Allegra). Other prescription or "over the counter" (OTC) drugs might also be acceptable if there are no adverse side effects. At the time of your next scheduled FAA medical examination, if you're taking any medication(s), it's best to provide a report from your treating physician providing a summary of your condition and the medications being used. The AME can issue your medical at the time of examination provided the symptoms are under control, the medication is acceptable to the FAA, and there are no adverse side effects. AOPA provides a list of FAA-accepted medications, which includes medications generally "approved" by the FAA. In addition, before you go to your aviation medical examiner (AME), fill out AOPA's TurboMedical. This Web-based, interactive tool will help you prepare to obtain your medical certificate by providing pop-up informative boxes and warnings to guide you as you fill out the form.
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 |
|Updated files for AOPA's Airport eDirectory are available to download to your personal computer or personal digital assistant. For details and instructions, click here. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Titusville, Florida. The 2003 Tico Warbird Airshow takes March 7 through 9 at Space Coast Regional Airport (TIX). Sponsored by Valiant Air Command. Includes modern military fly-bys and demos, strafing runs, dogfights, and static display of vintage warbirds. Contact 321/268-1941, 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 San Mateo, California, and Phoenix, March 8 and 9. A clinic is also scheduled in Norfolk, Virginia, March 22 and 23. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see AOPA 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 Phoenix, March 9. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, March 3; Cleveland, and Columbia, South Carolina, March 4; Columbus, Ohio, and Greenville, South Carolina, March 5; Indianapolis, and Matthews, North Carolina, March 6; Burlington, North Carolina, March 7; and Stoneville, North Carolina, March 8. The topic is "The Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings." For the complete schedule, see AOPA Online.