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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 3, Issue 45AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 3, Issue 45

Volume 3, Issue 45 • November 7, 2003
In this issue:
Why you should always check notams
AOPA helps to save Florida airport
Pilots flock to Philly for AOPA Expo 2003


Garmin International

Comm 1 Radio Simulator

Sporty's Pilot Shop


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Training Tips
A student pilot planning a solo cross-country flight is selecting checkpoints along the route ( click here to download Chapter 14 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, from AOPA Online). For the first, he has penned a hash mark on his chart where two roads intersect west of a long lake. Is this a good choice?

If he takes off and immediately turns on course, sure. But what if air traffic control vectors him elsewhere, for traffic? What if it's hazy? What if a bump knocks his chart to the floor during the climb?

His flight instructor offers a suggestion: Why not use the lake itself as the checkpoint? It can be spotted instantly and positively identified. Better, if checkpoint #2 fails to show up, the lake will be visible astern for reorientation or a return home. That should satisfy the practical test standard of an "easily identifiable en route checkpoint" to the examiner administering your private pilot checkride some day soon. "The airplane, your workload, the day's visibility, and other conditions will weigh heavy on what you should call an easily identifiable checkpoint. Your examiner wants to see you display good judgment above wishful thinking," writes Dave Wilkerson in his July 2002 AOPA Flight Training commentary "Checkride: Cross-country testing."

When you're studying your chart, think about prominent land forms or man-made structures in the area. What stands out on the chart may be innocuous on the ground, or vice versa. Mostly you will navigate with sectionals, sometimes terminal area charts. World Area Charts (WACs) are less user-friendly. "The symbology is nearly identical (although less detailed) to that of the sectional and terminal charts, but WACs are little used in flight training because their extremely large area of coverage and tiny geographical details are most useful only for very long flights," explained David Montoya in his June 2002 AOPA Flight Training feature "Art of the Chart."

Heading into unfamiliar territory? Glean some hints about checkpoints by researching aerial photos as suggested in the August 2003 AOPA Flight Training feature "View from Above."

In the November 2003 AOPA Flight Training, you'll find a pilot's discussion of checkpoints in "Flight Forum". Then jump to Wally Miller's September 2003 AOPA Flight Training feature "Getting from Point A to Point B" for the rest of the cross-country flying story. Choose your checkpoints carefully, and have a great flight.
Your Partner in Training
"I've hit a bird, lost engine power, and need to make an emergency landing." A mid-air collision with a bird is something that every pilot wants to avoid. For a better understanding of bird behavior and some common sense advice and avoidance tips, see AOPA Online.

As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. For login information click here. If you need additional assistance, call our experienced pilots-available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern to answer your questions toll-free at 800/872-2672.
Flight Training News
The FAA is mulling options to replace a heavily used radio navigation aid that burned to the ground in wildfires raging in Southern California. The Fillmore VOR (FIM), located northwest of the Los Angeles basin, is the primary navaid for traffic from northern California and the Pacific Northwest heading into Southern California. There isn't enough of the VOR structure left for use even as a VFR checkpoint. The FAA says the area has good radar and radio coverage, so for now air traffic controllers are vectoring traffic along the route to compensate for the loss of the VOR. Longer term, the FAA is trying to decide whether to put up a mobile temporary VOR or rebuild the facility from the ground up. This is a dramatic reminder of the importance of checking notams and obtaining a complete briefing before every flight.

The polls have closed, the votes are in, and the only losers in the battle over St. Petersburg's Albert Whitted Airport are the developers who were eying the property for high-rise condos. "AOPA is absolutely committed to saving airports," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Just as we fought for Meigs Field, AOPA will battle to stop any local government from destroying a vibrant, taxpayer-supported airport. And we'll do more than just issue a press release. We have, and we will, commit significant resources to the fight." For Albert Whitted, AOPA spent more than $100,000 and put "boots on the ground" to help local airport supporters win the election battle to preserve the airport. The referendum to close the airport was defeated by a vote of nearly three to one. For more information, see AOPA Online.
Inside AOPA
More than 9,000 people traveled to Philadelphia last week to visit AOPA Expo 2003, the association's annual convention and trade show. While at Expo, visitors had a chance to hear FAA Administrator Marion Blakey speak at the opening general session, see 60 static aircraft on display at nearby Philadelphia International Airport, and view the products of some 500 exhibitors. Near year, Expo returns to the West Coast; it will be held in Long Beach, California, in October 2004. If you didn't make it, check out AOPA's Expo coverage on AOPA Online.

Pilots in the Mid-Atlantic region are still contending with the Washington Metropolitan Area Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), but a new online guide from AOPA can help. It includes step-by-step procedures for ADIZ operations, whether you're flying through it, stopping inside it, or trying to do pattern work from one of the airports located within the ADIZ. It also explains new departure and arrival procedures to 14 airports along the ADIZ's perimeter, unveiled November 1 for a two-month test. AOPA President Phil Boyer reminds pilots that "Every successful, uneventful GA flight in the ADIZ bolsters our cause. And every infraction sets us back. So please, take advantage of the new rules, but don't abuse them."

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Training Products
When instrument students begin learning to fly real-world approaches, radio communications presents a new set of challenges. To meet those challenges, Sporty's Pilot Shop has updated its Chicago O'Hare IFR audio program and put the presentation on audio CD. The program features a flight in Sporty's Piper Aztec from southeastern Ohio to Chicago O'Hare International. Hear the preflight planning, as well as actual pilot/controller exchanges, explanations, and IFR tips along the way. The 80-minute CD sells for $12.50. Order online or call 800/SPORTYS.
Final Exam
Question: Now that daylight savings time has ended for the year, my after-work flight training is flown partly in daylight, and partly in darkness. For the purposes of logging day and night hours, when does "night" begin as defined by the regulations?

Answer: For the purposes of logging time, according to FAR 1.1, "night" means the time between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight, as published in the Air Almanac and converted to local time. The U.S. Naval Observatory has a helpful table that will calculate this exact time for any location. Remember, however, that the regulation for "night currency" defines "night" differently. To meet the night takeoff and landing experience requirement in FAR 61.57, "night" means the period of time beginning one hour after sunset and ending one hour before sunrise. So, if you want to use your night takeoffs and landings to meet night currency requirements, be sure you wait at least an hour after sunset to do them.

Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to [email protected] or call 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, 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
If you are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus but your condition can be controlled by diet alone, you may be eligible for airman medical certification. An updated report on the subject, Diabetes Specifications, is available from AOPA Online.
Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix.
ePilot Calendar
El Monte, California. The El Monte Air Fair takes place November 8 and 9 at El Monte (EMT). Event honoring veterans runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, featuring vintage aircraft. Contact the Air Fair hotline, 626/448-6129.

Fort Worth, Texas. The American Yankee Association South Central Grumman Fly-in takes place November 15 at Hicks Airfield (T67). Join us for a great home/hangar cookout and a short tour of a special World War II museum belonging to one of the residents. Meet at the Rio Concho restaurant ramp parking area. Contact Mike Reddick, 817/439-0234, 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 .

(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Anchorage, Alaska; and Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 15 and 16. Clinics are also scheduled in San Diego, and Baltimore, November 22 and 23. 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 Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 16, and San Diego, November 23. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

An AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminar is scheduled in Frederick, Maryland, November 12. The topic is Say Intentions: When you need ATC's help. Safety Seminars will resume in January 2004. See AOPA Online for complete details.

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