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Copyright © 2003 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| DON'T MESS WITH MOUNTAIN WAVES |
It is a cold, clear winter day with some cross-country flying on your agenda. The weather forecast is acceptable: unrestricted visibility, surface wind within your limits, winds aloft in the 20-knot range at the altitudes you expect to fly. The briefing did turn up one unusual item: an observation included in a pilot report ( click here to see the August 2002 "Training Tips" discussion of pireps). A pilot flying near your destination reported a single "ACSL" visible to the northwest. Is that relevant to your plans? Why did someone feel the need to issue a pilot report on one solitary cloud?
"ACSL" is a National Weather Service abbreviation for a cloud type known as "altocumulus standing lenticular clouds." They may indicate the presence of a mountain wave and related severe or extreme turbulence (click here to read about mountain waves in Section 7-5-5 of the Aeronautical Information Manual.
It is not necessary to be flying in the vicinity of mountains to encounter this phenomenon caused by "stable" air flowing strongly (40 kt or more) over peaks. See Jack Williams' column "The Weather Never Sleeps" in the March 2003 AOPA Flight Training for a discussion of conditions associated with atmospheric stability or instability. And don't be lulled into thinking that mountain waves only concern pilots flying in the western states. "I've seen satellite imagery that shows parallel lines of lenticular and other cloud streets that extend from the Appalachians all the way to the Atlantic Coast. Think of it: up to 300 miles' worth of miserable turbulence," writes Thomas A. Horne in "Appalachian Weathermakers" in the May 2002 AOPA Pilot. He adds, "When you consider all the airports, airways, and population centers east of the Appalachians, plus all the fronts that move across this terrain, then you get a good idea of how often mountain-induced turbulence and wave action affect flights along the East Coast."
Any pilot, then, should be familiar with the ideas and pilot techniques given in the collection of articles available online in AOPA's A Pilot's Guide to Mountain Flying . Turn that knowledge to practical use as embodied in the mountain-flying checklist in AOPA's Handbook for Pilots. Then be ready for mountain wave conditions, even if your flying takes you nowhere near the mountains!
| Your Partner in Training |
|"The only dumb question is the question not asked." The aviation experts at AOPA's toll-free Pilot Information Center are available five days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time to answer your questions on all aspects of flying. No question is too trivial-our staff is here to help you become a safe and knowledgeable pilot. Call 800/USA-AOPA today. |
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 |
| WAI TO HONOR 100 INFLUENTIAL WOMEN IN AVIATION |
One hundred women who have forged opportunities within aviation and aerospace will be honored at the International Women in Aviation Conference, March 20 to 22 in Cincinnati. Those being honored include Martha King of King Schools; former FAA Administrator Jane Garvey; aircraft manufacturing CEO June Maule; and space shuttle commander Col. Eileen Collins. "We want to make sure that the world knows more women than Amelia Earhart have made a difference in aviation and aerospace," said WAI President Peggy Chabrian. For more information or to register for the conference, visit the WAI Web site or call 386/226-7996.
AIR FORCE, ERAU TEAM UP TO PROVIDE SCHOLARSHIPS
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the U.S. Air Force have partnered to fund scholarships worth more than $100,000 each for electrical engineering students at ERAU's Prescott, Arizona, campus. The new incentive program is for qualified electrical engineering students who are interested in becoming Air Force officers. A limited number of scholarships will be offered to qualified candidates based on four years of attendance at the university. More than $26,000 per year is available to cover the cost of tuition, room and board, books, and fees. The deadline for application is April 15. Call the admissions office at Embry-Riddle's Prescott campus at 800/888-3728 or e-mail.
HELICOPTER SCHOOL RECEIVES ACCREDITATION
Quantum Helicopters, of Chandler, Arizona, has received initial accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology. Quantum is one of five helicopter training schools in the country to receive national accreditation, according to a spokeswoman for the school. Headquartered in Chandler with a satellite location in Scottsdale, its fleet includes nine Robinson R22 Beta II helicopters and an R44 Raven II. It also offers training in the Eurocopter AS-350 A-Star and the AS-355 Twinstar. For more information, see the Web site or call 480/814-8118.
| Inside AOPA |
| FAA DENIES PETITION FOR DRIVER'S LICENSE MEDICAL EXEMPTION |
The FAA has denied AOPA's petition for exemption from the current medical certification rules for pilots limiting themselves to recreational pilot privileges. The petition would have allowed AOPA-member pilots exercising only recreational or student privileges to use a driver's license to meet the minimum medical requirement. The FAA told AOPA that it only wanted to evaluate the operations of sport pilots using a valid driver's license in lieu of a medical, and that it is premature to consider including recreational pilot operations. The FAA also said there is still some question about whether it will even allow the use of a driver's license to meet the third class medical requirement for Sport Pilot. See the news story at AOPA Online.
AOPA WORKS TO HEAD OFF STUDENT PILOT REGULATION IN NEW YORK
AOPA is opposing a bill introduced in the New York State Assembly that could have a negative effect on flight schools and prospective student pilots if it is passed. New York State Assembly Bill 3512 would require prospective student pilots to undergo criminal background checks before receiving flight instruction. AOPA Regional Representative Craig Dotlo is working to persuade a number of New York state legislators that the intent of the pending legislation has already been addressed by several FAA regulations and Transportation Security Administration rules. Dotlo also stressed that the state law might be inconsistent with FAA regulations and conflict with the federal government's mandate to maintain a single uniform system of regulations, which is essential to aviation safety.
AIRPORT WATCH PROGRAM GAINS MOMENTUM
State aviation leaders got a first-hand look at AOPA's Airport Watch program Tuesday during a presentation by AOPA President Phil Boyer to the Washington Conference of the National Association of State Aviation Officials. Boyer showed segments of videos from the program and urged the officials to assist their states' general aviation airports to make maximum use of all resources to maintain tight security in their locations. Each state or territory representative also received a kit of materials about the program. Click here for more information or to request a kit for your airport.
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| Training Products |
| METEOROLOGY TEXTBOOK FOR COMMERCIAL, ATP STUDENTS |
The latest in the "Ground Studies for Pilots" series of texts from Iowa State Press focuses on aviation meteorology. Intended for pilots who are prepping for commercial or airline transport pilot exams, the text explains all aspects of aviation meteorology that affect pilot decision-making and aircraft performance. The goal is to help students recognize and counter weather influences to ensure the safety of passengers and aircraft. Ground Studies for Pilots: Meteorology is written by R.B. Underdown and John Standen and is priced at $49.99. For more information or to order, visit the Web site or call 800/862-6657.
| Final Exam |
| Question: Where can I find the location of a VOR receiver checkpoint? |
Answer: An FAA VOR test facility (VOT) transmits a test signal that provides users a convenient means to determine the operational status and accuracy of a VOR receiver. Checkpoints consist of certified radials that should be received at specific points on the airport surface or over specific landmarks while airborne in the immediate vicinity of an airport. Information on how to conduct a VOR receiver check is provided in Section 1-1-4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. Locations of VOR test facilities are given in Airport/Facility Directories. Ground and airborne checkpoints are listed by state and airport. Other options for performing a VOR equipment check are listed in FAR 91.171.
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 |
|Are pireps the only source to get an idea of cloud tops in a general area? That was one of several questions recently posed to senior meteorologists at Meteorlogix, which provides weather information for AOPA Online. Find out the answer in the updated frequently asked weather theory questions section. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Cincinnati, Ohio. The fourteenth annual International Women in Aviation Conference takes place March 20 through 22 at the Dr. Albert B. Sabin Cincinnati Convention Center. For more information, visit the Web site.
Punta Gorda, Florida. The Florida International Air Show takes place March 22 and 23 at Charlotte County Airport (PGD). Performers include the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, World War I through Gulf War aircraft, aerobatics, and RC models. Contact Lionel D. Schuman, 941/255-4000 or 941/575-4589, 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 Baltimore; Orlando, Florida; and Ontario, California, March 29 and 30. Clinics are also scheduled in Boston, and San Diego, April 5 and 6. 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 Ontario, California, March 30. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Essington, Pennsylvania, March 24; Allentown, Pennsylvania, March 25; New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, March 26; and Cheswick, Pennsylvania, March 27. The topic is "The Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings." For the complete schedule, see AOPA Online.