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Copyright © 2003 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| WHAT'S THE FREQUENCY? |
The aeronautical knowledge that you are now acquiring is a fascinating combination of broad concepts-such as aerodynamics and meteorology-and specific facts, such as the grade of fuel your airplane burns or the radio frequency to use in an emergency.
Difficult as some of these details are to remember, there are excellent reasons to try. The odds may be against your having to transmit on the emergency radio frequency of 121.5 MHz ( click here to review its uses and limitations in AOPA's Handbook for Pilots online. But if you are flying in an area affected by a temporary flight restriction, you may be asked to "guard" (that is, monitor) the frequency. If your emergency locator transmitter (ELT) activates for any reason, you will hear it on 121.5 MHz. If another aircraft's ELT has activated, air traffic control (ATC) may ask you to help locate the aircraft by listening on 121.5 MHz and reporting the ELT signal's strength. See the elements of a report and a review of ELTs in Chapter 6 of the Aeronautical Information Manual.
Most ATC facilities, as well as many airliners and military aircraft, monitor 121.5 MHz, although if you experience an emergency while already in communication with ATC on another frequency, do not switch unless radio contact has been lost. Follow the other procedures and suggestions outlined in David Montoya's article "In-flight Safety Review" from the January 2000 AOPA Flight Training.
Jot down the frequency on your flight log before departing on a cross-country. A student pilot who encountered deteriorating weather on a cross-country combined a prudent decision to return home and a request for help on 121.5 MHz when she became disoriented; the result was a safe landing. Read her firsthand account in the "Learning Experiences" column from the January 2001 issue of AOPA Flight Training magazine.
Another must-read is "A Tale of Two Flights" by AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Thomas B. Haines. It's his December 2001 account of flying in the era of heightened security following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; it offers insights into the ways ATC is using 121.5 MHz in today's flying. If you have two communications radios in your aircraft, consider using one to monitor 121.5 MHz on your next flight-especially if your flight will take you near any temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) or other sensitive airspace.
| Your Partner in Training |
|The FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) is the best reference for learning good ATC communication skills and phraseology, and it's available on AOPA Online. Your most important lesson as you learn to use the right words is "do not be afraid of using the wrong words." Regardless of the form it takes, effective communication is the goal. Read more in an article from the February 1997 issue of AOPA Flight Training magazine. Still have questions? Call our aviation experts at 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 |
| GA ACCIDENTS DOWN, ASF NALL REPORT SHOWS |
The just-released 2002 AOPA Air Safety Foundation Nall Report shows that general aviation suffered only 1,494 accidents during 2001, lower than any year since record-keeping began in 1938. The total includes 298 fatal accidents. This year's report also contains surprising findings about takeoff and landing accidents, which in 2001 accounted for 58 percent of all pilot-related GA accidents. Among other things, it reveals that airline transport pilots suffer a higher proportion of takeoff and landing accidents than student pilots, relative to each group's percentage in the pilot population. This ASF Nall Report is the first detailed analysis of 2001 GA accident information, focusing on fixed-wing aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds. The Nall figures may differ slightly from the recently released NTSB data because the report is based in part on preliminary data. Click here to download the report from AOPA Online.
NEW ASPEN APPROACH PROCEDURE
FlightSafety International has begun to train pilots on a new instrument approach course to help them comply with additional FAA requirements regarding the approach procedure for Runway 15 at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in Colorado. The training program provides the required training for the LOC DME Runway 15 instrument approach, FlightSafety said. Pilots using the new Runway 15 approach procedure are now required to receive two hours of ground school training and two hours of coordinated simulator training, and must conduct the approach in flight with a qualified pilot or FAA representative. The training is conducted on a Challenger 604 full-flight simulator at FlightSafety's Tucson Center. It may be requested at other FlightSafety locations and will be available on other full-flight simulators appropriate to a customer's aircraft, the company said.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA FIGHTS OVERREACHING GA RESTRICTIONS, BATTLES NJ ORDER |
In its ongoing battle against overreaching restrictions on general aviation, AOPA has once again taken on the state of New Jersey. Last Friday, the governor surprised the aviation community by announcing that the state was going to order that every aircraft parked at a New Jersey airport for more than 24 hours would have to be "secured or disabled" with a two-lock system by today. "While any aircraft owner certainly wants to make it difficult for someone to steal his aircraft or the valuable avionics inside, this order raised serious safety and economic concerns," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We had to get it 'fixed' so that it would meet security concerns without being an unreasonable burden on GA pilots." Boyer and Andy Cebula, a senior vice president, flew to the New Jersey capital and brought member concerns directly to state officials. AOPA got an interpretation of the order, under which the majority of aircraft flying in the state already comply (a door lock and magneto key count as two locks). A locked aircraft in a locked hangar meets the requirements. And aircraft have to be double-locked only if they're parked for more than 24 hours. Following the meeting with AOPA, the state agreed to purchase and distribute some 200 AOPA Airport Watch warning signs to the state's airports. For more, see AOPA Online.
NEW SAFETY SEMINAR TO SPOTLIGHT ATC RESOURCES
Student air traffic controllers in the aviation sciences program at the Community College of Beaver County, in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, performed several simulated ATC "saves" of GA pilots Tuesday as AOPA's Air Safety Foundation videotaped the action for an upcoming safety seminar. Say Intentions...When You Need ATC's Help will help pilots to understand how they can best use ATC and other resources in difficult situations. It is set to debut in May. CCBC's aviation program, based at Beaver County Airport, includes training in basic air traffic control procedures and piloting.
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| Training Products |
| MULTIENGINE TEST GUIDE FROM ASA |
The fourth edition of the Multiengine Oral Exam Guide, updated to reflect current practical test standards, rules, and operating procedures, has been published by Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc. The guide is written in a question-and-answer format to simulate the oral portion of the multiengine checkride. It lists popular questions from pilot examiners, along with comprehensive responses, and includes additional study questions at the end of each chapter. Multiengine Oral Exam Guide is priced at $9.95. For more information, see the Web site or call 800/ASA-2FLY.
| Final Exam |
| Question: What is the difference between "Mayday" and "Pan-Pan" and how they are used? |
Answer: These two terms are used by a pilot who encounters either a distress or urgency condition. According to Chapter 6, Section 3 the FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual, "distress" is a condition of being threatened by serious and/or imminent danger and of requiring immediate assistance. Distress communications have absolute priority over all other communications, and the word "Mayday" commands radio silence on the frequency in use. "Urgency" is a condition concerning the safety of an aircraft or other vehicle, or of person on board or in sight, but which does not require immediate assistance. Urgency communications have priority over all other communications except distress, and the "Pan-Pan" warns other stations not to interfere with urgency transmissions. For more information on emergency communications, read "How to Define an Emergency" from the March 1991 issue of Flight Training magazine.
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 you a proficient pilot, or a current one? Do you know the difference between "proficiency" and "currency"? A newly updated report compiled by AOPA's Aviation Services Department spells it out for you and shows you how the FAA's Wings program and recurrency training can make you a better and safer pilot. See Pilot Skills: Currency vs. Proficiency on AOPA Online. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Lakeland, Florida. The Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In takes place April 2 through 8 at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL). For more information, see the Web site.
Galveston, Texas. Gulf Coast Wings Weekend takes place April 4 and 5 at Scholes International Airport (GLS). Earn your FAA Wings pilot proficiency award. More than 60 hours of free aviation safety training, free admission to the Lone Star Flight Museum, and discounted fuel and room rates. For more information or to register, contact John McCoy, 281/230-5526, 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 Denver, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati, April 12 and 13. Clinics are also scheduled in Tampa, Florida; Atlanta; and Reston, Virginia; April 26 and 27. 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 Boston, April 6. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Lakeland, Florida, April 5 and 6. Topics vary; for complete details, see AOPA Online.