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Copyright © 2003 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| GLIDEPATH GUIDANCE |
A runway equipped with a full battery of lighting facilities is a technological marvel. To a student pilot, learning about runway lighting also introduces a new set of acronyms-VASI, PAPI, ALSF, and so on-into the pilot's vocabulary. Some components, such as visual glideslope indicators, are of immediate importance to a student. Others, such as runway edge lighting, taxiway lighting, and approach lighting systems, emerge in training when night flights begin.
Usually students first become acquainted with visual glidepath indicators such as the "VASI" (visual approach slope indicator). The introduction occurs, at any VASI-equipped runway, as soon as takeoff and landing practice begins. Most VASIs and similar devices provide a 3-degree glidepath visible from several miles out on final, even during daylight, allowing the pilot to set up a stabilized approach quickly. See a full description of VASI and other runway lighting systems in the AOPA Handbook for Pilots . Then see which systems are in use at airports you will visit in AOPA's Airport Directory Online .
Use of a VASI is a regulatory requirement at an airport with an operating control tower; you should be familiar with the requirements of Federal Aviation Regulation 91.129 and the related discussion by John Yodice in his "Pilot Counsel" column in the November 1992 AOPA Pilot.
No VASI or other glideslope guidance at your field? "When flying an approach to a runway not equipped with a VASI or PAPI, the pilot must use another means to maintain the proper glidepath. The most common method is called the spot landing method. By keeping a reference landing target in a fixed position on the windscreen, we maintain a flight path that takes us to that spot," says Robert N. Rossier in his February 2000 AOPA Flight Training feature, "A Solid Foundation for Landing." Of course, you'll learn to handle either method comfortably. Pointers on incorporating VASI information into the workload-intensive moments before landing may be found in Joel Stoller's April 2003 AOPA Flight Training feature "Panel Discussion." Have fun and test your understanding by taking the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online Airport Lighting Quiz.
Visual glideslope indicators exist to make your job easier. Take the time to help them help you!
| Your Partner in Training |
|To help pilots, student pilots, and instructors to better understand runway signage, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation-supported by a grant from the FAA-produced a runway incursion training program using a decidedly low-tech approach: flash cards that you can download. The flash cards will be especially helpful to pilots training at smaller, nontowered airports who are preparing to operate at larger, towered airports. |
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 |
| MAINE PRESIDENTIAL TFR CLOSES TWO AIRPORTS |
Two airports will be closed this weekend and 14 others will have operations curtailed because of a 30-nm-radius temporary flight restriction around the Bush family's seaside retreat in Kennebunkport, Maine. The TFR expands the existing prohibited area (P-67) to a 10-nm radius, closing Biddeford and Goosefair (a private facility) airports. It also restricts operations between 10 and 30 nm from Kennebunkport, affecting Portland International and 13 other airports. The TFR took effect Thursday afternoon and continues until noon local time on Monday, June 16. For more information and a graphic, see AOPA Online.
... 30-NM TFRs TO FOLLOW PRESIDENT AROUND COUNTRY
With the presidential race gearing up, it's important now more than ever to avoid creating a national incident with your airplane. So-called "presidential movement temporary flight restrictions" (TFRs) will be popping up all over the country in the coming months. For example, the FAA on Wednesday implemented a 30-nm-radius, 18,000-foot high TFR around Chicago for President Bush's visit there. It was significantly larger than the typical 5- to 10-nm-radius TFR when the president travels and impacted 16 airports during the three and a half hours it was in place. The only way to protect yourself is to diligently check notams, even for short flights. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has a new online interactive program, Know Before You Go , that reviews the whole modern airspace environment.
EMBRY-RIDDLE EQUIPS FLEET WITH TRAFFIC, WEATHER INFO
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is equipping 100 of its training aircraft in Florida and Arizona with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) technology from UPS Aviation Technologies to track its fleets. ADS-B-equipped aircraft digitally broadcast their positions derived from onboard GPS receivers to other ADS-B-equipped aircraft and ground stations. The information includes position, altitude, airspeed, and projected track, which can then be displayed on an aircraft's multifunction display or an air traffic controller's screen. "Successful implementation in Arizona and Florida could convince the FAA to complete the installation of ground stations throughout the country," said Sean Jeralds, chairman of the flight training program at Embry-Riddle's Prescott, Arizona, campus. The system can also display uplinked weather information.
FAA PREPARES TO HANDLE INFLUX OF SPORT PILOTS
The first concrete signs of the long-awaited Sport Pilot and Light-Sport Aircraft rule are taking shape in Oklahoma as the FAA gets ready to handle a potential flood of interest from manufacturers and pilots. The FAA announced last month that funding has been approved to establish a Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) Operations Program Office to implement the final rule that could come out later this year. Once the final rule is out, the FAA plans to certify an existing fleet of ultralight aircraft and pilots, estimated at 10,000 on both fronts. Over the next decade, the FAA expects 12,000 new pilots to seek sport pilot certificates and buy light-sport aircraft. In addition, the rule may generate 9,000 sport aircraft mechanics. The rule would allow pilots to obtain certificates by meeting much-reduced requirements, and may allow the use of a valid driver's license instead of a medical certificate, but pilots would also be under greater limitations. Sport airplanes would also limited to the proposed takeoff weight of 1,232 pounds, no more than two passengers, and a 115-knot top speed. A handful of already-certified airplanes would qualify.
| Inside AOPA |
| THOUSANDS BRAVE RAIN TO ATTEND THIRTEENTH AOPA FLY-IN |
More than 3,000 people turned out last Saturday for the thirteenth annual AOPA Fly-in and Open House despite weather that remained IFR. Some 2,700 drove in for the day, while nearly 120 aircraft came through the day's IMC conditions to attend. Another 45 aircraft arrived Friday to beat the bad weather. "The enthusiasm of the general aviation community never ceases to amaze me," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We were thrilled to see so many pilots and flying enthusiasts drive in when the weather refused to cooperate. It just goes to show you how vibrant general aviation really is." See the complete coverage on AOPA Online.
...ADIZ NOT GOING AWAY, BOYER TELLS FLY-IN GUESTS
The air defense identification zone around Washington, D.C., is not going away, AOPA President Phil Boyer told pilots at a seminar he hosted last Saturday at AOPA's thirteenth annual Fly-In and Open House. "Our biggest thing now is to try to work with the agencies to find operational solutions," he said. He outlined several of the proposals that the association has laid before the FAA and the TSA and said the agencies have indicated they're at least willing to consider the options. "During a meeting with the head of the Transportation Security Administration, Adm. James Loy, and other top officials earlier this week, we were told that getting back to the way things were September 10, 2001, will be a long way away," Boyer said. But he also related some promising developments from that meeting, noting that "One official told us, 'there were some things done in the wake of 9/11 that need rethinking.'"
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| Training Products |
| FLIGHT TRAINER v3.0 FROM FLYING DYNAMICS |
Flying Dynamics, a provider of flight training software, has released the latest version of its "Flight Trainer" software series. The programs include navigation training, quizzes, and navigation simulations (ADF, VOR, HSI, and DME) for private and instrument pilots, as well as ground reference maneuver training and simulation (traffic patterns, s-turns, turns about a point, eights on pylons) for private and commercial pilots. The software shows the airplane in a given maneuver or course alongside several cockpit instruments and navaids with the appropriate indications for each phase of that maneuver. Prices range from $34.95 for the ground reference maneuvers software to $119.95 for the works. For more information, see the Web site or call 650/627-8898.
| Final Exam |
| Question: I got my third class medical certificate on May 14, 2003. I am 39 years old. Since I will have my fortieth birthday in a few months, is my medical certificate good for 36 months or 24 months? |
Answer: Third class medical certificates are valid for 36 calendar months if you are under 40 years of age, and 24 calendar months if you are 40 years old or older. Since your medical certificate was issued while you were 39, it is valid for 36 calendar months-until May 31, 2006. If you have other medical questions, check out AOPA Online, where you can find answers to the most frequently asked aviation medical questions, along with a list of documents providing detailed information on medical subjects important to pilots.
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 |
|Thunderstorms can become a daily occurrence in warm weather. Students and low-time pilots should understand how to tell when conditions are right for thunderstorm development and how to avoid storms along your route of flight. AOPA's Thunderstorm Aviation Subject Report, a compilation of articles and publications from AOPA Pilot, AOPA Flight Training, and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, has been updated with new information. Read it at AOPA Online. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
La Crosse, Wisconsin. Deke Slayton Airfest 2003 takes place June 21 and 22 at La Crosse Municipal Airport (LSE). The Blue Angels head this year's airshow. Visit the large static display, including many current and vintage warbirds. For more information, see the Web site.
Grand Canyon, Arizona. The High Country Warbirds Fly-in takes place June 21 and 22 at Valle Airport (40G). Hear the roar of powerful engines over the Arizona high desert and see combat aircraft from World War II. Gates open at 8 a.m. For more information, contact 928/635-1000, or visit the Web site.
Lakeland, Florida. The World Aerobatic Championships take place June 25 through July 4 at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL). More than 60 participating pilots represent 15 countries. Contact Lisa Kaye Popp, 920/426-6574 or 920/426-6865, 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 Orlando, Florida, and Reston, Virginia, June 28 and 29. Clinics are also scheduled in Jacksonville, Florida, and Pittsburgh, July 12 and 13. 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 Schools take place in Pittsburgh, July 13, and New York City, July 20. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 30 through August 2. Topics vary; for complete details, see AOPA Online.