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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 3, Issue 12AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 3, Issue 12

Volume 3, Issue 12 • March 21, 2003
In this issue:
Remove 'Mickey Mouse' flight restrictions, AOPA says
FAA further supports AOPA's contentions in lawsuit
Civil Air Patrol to assist in Airport Watch program


Sporty's Pilot Shop


Garmin International

AOPA Legal Services Plan

Comm 1 Radio Simulator

Do not reply to this e-mail. Got news? Contact ePilot. Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].

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Copyright © 2003 AOPA.

Training Tips
Happy spring! It has been a rugged winter in much of the country, but warmer weather is on the way. Flying activity picks up at this time of year; indeed, a 20-degree increase in temperature over winter norms can make a big difference in comfort.

Twenty degrees of temperature increase has another effect on an air mass-it roughly doubles its capacity to hold moisture. Stated differently, as an air mass cools down by 20 degrees, it can hold only half as much moisture as before. To know how close an air mass is to its moisture condensation point, pilots must be aware of the temperature/dew point spread. You will find the temperature and dew point in METARs, or "meteorological aerodrome reports" and hear them in recorded terminal information broadcasts.

"When temperature reaches the dew point, water vapor can no longer remain invisible, but is forced to condense, becoming visible on the ground as dew or frost; appearing in the air as fog or clouds; or falling to the earth as rain, snow or hail," says the discussion of the temperature/dew point relationship in Chapter 10 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge ( click here to download). This process also extracts moisture from air inside a less-than-full fuel tank, so be sure to check your fuel for the presence of water before flying. "As we move into the warmer months of the year, keep an eye on dew points. Dew points above, say, 60 degrees F (15.5 degrees C) mean that not much cooling is needed to create fog or clouds," advises AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Thomas A. Horne in his March article "Dew Point Review." ( Click here to see the article.)

One obvious time to monitor the temperature/dew point spread is in the late afternoon when the air begins to cool. Ensure that you can land before fog forms-which can happen with surprising abruptness. Frontal passage can reduce the temperature/dew point spread to zero. Stay updated on current conditions and be skeptical of forecasts. See how one pilot's reaction to deteriorating weather resulted in a diversion; the experience was the subject of a "Learning Experiences" article in the April 2000 AOPA Flight Training magazine.

Review this topic and you will have no trouble answering dew-point questions on the Private Pilot Knowledge Test or your Private Pilot Practical Test. Nor will you be surprised by adverse conditions sometimes caused by the arrival of warmer weather!
Your Partner in Training
You began your training last summer, and you've made it through the winter weather. By now you may have accumulated enough hours and experience to take your private pilot checkride. Or, perhaps you are just beginning your training, but you already have those "checkride jitters." The Private Pilot Practical Test Standards tell you everything you need to know to prepare. See AOPA Online to learn more. 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
With the war under way in Iraq, AOPA is being watchful for any further airspace restrictions elsewhere in the country. Earlier this week when the national security threat level was increased from code yellow to orange, the FAA implemented an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over New York, similar to the existing one covering Washington, D.C. Both have created operational problems for pilots and controllers. The FAA also imposed flight restrictions over Disney theme parks in California and Florida. In an angry letter to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, AOPA President Phil Boyer said that the association had "reluctantly accepted" the airspace restrictions over New York and Washington because the tragic history of September 11, 2001, suggests a continued threat to these cities. But "the government pledged to use concrete, threat-based intelligence to issue airspace and other transportation restrictions," Boyer said, "and yet they concede there is no concrete threat to Mickey and Minnie. So why is general aviation being singled out this time?" Pilots are advised to obtain a full briefing and check notams before every flight; airspace updates will be posted on AOPA Online as necessary.

The FAA has reaffirmed its position that states are not allowed to impose restrictions on people seeking to learn to fly. Citing the new rules allowing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the FAA to revoke a pilot's certificate based on threats to national security, FAA Deputy Chief Counsel James Whitlow wrote, "We believe that the regulation of airman qualifications is appropriate only at the federal level, and these recent rulemakings by both the FAA and the TSA are further evidence of that." AOPA filed a lawsuit last August in federal court contending that a Michigan law requiring criminal background checks for flight students was unconstitutional. AOPA believes the most recent FAA letter is further evidence that Michigan's state law has indeed gone too far.

William Jeffery Edwards of Chesterfield, Missouri, was named the 2003 Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year. He was recognized by the General Aviation Awards Committee, a cooperative effort between the FAA and industry sponsors including AOPA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Women in Aviation International, and the Experimental Aircraft Association, among others. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will present the awards during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. A CFI since 1982, Edwards is an aircraft accident investigator and president of AvSafe, an aviation safety consulting company. A former naval flight officer and corporate pilot, he is a Master CFI. When his local airport, Spirit of St. Louis, was recently threatened with noise restrictions, he helped to lead an advocacy group that successfully reconciled the noise issues. He also serves as an FAA-designated pilot examiner as well as an aviation safety counselor.

Comair Aviation Academy Inc. has changed its name to Delta Connection Academy Inc., the organization announced March 12. The name change is intended to better reflect the school's expanding role in training flight crew candidates for possible hire by Delta Connection carriers. Based at Sanford/Orlando International Airport in Florida, Delta Connection Academy has satellite campuses at Jacksonville University and Broward Community College in Florida and recently added a third satellite campus at Bridgewater State College near Boston. The academy is a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines. For more information, see the Web site.
Inside AOPA
The Civil Air Patrol agreed to add its more than 63,000 members to the ranks of pilots who will be keeping an eye on their home airports under AOPA's Airport Watch program. "We welcome the opportunity to work with AOPA in this well-developed program," Maj. Gen. Rick Bowling, CAP national commander, said in a news release. "The training provided by AOPA will dovetail with our own CAP training to provide significant protection for general aviation in our country." AOPA President Phil Boyer said CAP's "participation and willingness to draw on the depth of their membership is important in this communitywide effort to report possible terrorist and criminal activities to law enforcement." The Civil Air Patrol's members perform search and rescue missions, homeland security, disaster relief, and other missions at the request of federal, state, and local agencies. For more information on how you can be a part of AOPA's Airport Watch, see AOPA Online.

AOPA has teamed up with Jeppesen to provide flight-planning software at the new 900-square-foot pilot facility at First Flight Airport, located at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. In addition to other resources for pilots, the facility will feature Jeppesen's FliteStar flight-planning software with VectorPlus Mapping Technology. This state-of-the art flight planner depicts routes with vivid graphics; the Route Wizard makes it easy to plan anything from a direct route to complex flights between multiple points. In related news, Microsoft has updated its program, Flight Simulator: A Century of Flight, to show the pilot facility in the background at the airport. AOPA donated the pilot facility on behalf of its members in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first powered flight. It will be the only new structure to remain at the park after the centennial of flight celebrations.

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Training Products
King Schools is offering a risk management course aimed at producing more safety-conscious pilots. Practical Risk Management for Pilots teaches specific, practical risk management tools pilots can use on every flight, according to John King, co-founder of King Schools. The course is formatted on two CD-ROMs, features 50 minutes of video, and includes interactive computer-based training. Avemco customers who complete it are eligible to receive up to a 5-percent insurance policy premium credit. Practical Risk Management for Pilots is $49 and can be ordered online or by calling 800/854-1001.
Final Exam
Question: I am very interested in learning to fly but have diabetes. Is it still possible for me to obtain my pilot certificate?

Answer: It is possible, depending on your individual circumstances. The FAA looks at how your diabetes is controlled and goes from there. Pilots with a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus controlled by diet alone are considered to meet the medical standards and are eligible for medical certification under the revised Part 67 medical standards. Medical documentation is required at the time of the FAA medical examination. Use of oral diabetes medication is disqualifying for medical certification under the regulations, but the application will be forwarded to the FAA, which will review the case under the Special Issuance provisions of the federal aviation regulations. For more, see AOPA's subject report, Diabetes Specifications: Oral and Diet Controlled . Individuals with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) may also be considered for certification under the Special Issuance provisions; some restrictions apply. See AOPA's subject report, Special Issuance Procedure: Insulin-Treated Diabetes Mellitus .

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
An interactive FAA Form 8710-1, Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application, is now available to AOPA members online. The interactive format checks your information as you input it to make sure you've completed all required fields before you print it out, sign, and give to your designed pilot examiner. You can store your data securely online to edit as needed.
Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix.
ePilot Calendar
Orlando, Florida. Flying Tigers Warbird Museum Annual Aviation Auction takes place March 30 at Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM). Tie down and fuel up on the way to Sun 'n Fun. Get the opportunity for incredible deals on memorabilia, equipment, artwork, and much more. Contact 407/933-1942, 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].

(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Boston, and San Diego, April 5 and 6. Clinics are also scheduled in Denver, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati, April 12 and 13. 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 Schools will take place in Ontario, California, March 30; and Boston, April 6. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Fresno, California, April 1; Lakeland, Florida, and El Monte, California, April 2; San Luis Obispo, California, April 3; and Lakeland, Florida, April 4. Topics vary, for complete details, see AOPA Online.

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