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Copyright © 2003 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| IDENT ETIQUETTE |
Sometimes while receiving VFR traffic advisories from air traffic control (discussed in the May 3, 2002 edition of this newsletter's Training Tips, which you can review online) you will be instructed by the controller to "ident"-that is, to press the IDENT button on your transponder. The request might come at initial contact, once you have been assigned a transponder code, or later in your flight.
Why does the controller want you to press IDENT? "This causes the radar return from your aircraft to brighten on the controller's screen, making it easier for him or her to identify you in a crowd. You should never engage the IDENT button unless you have been asked to do so by air traffic control," explains Elizabeth A. Tennyson in the April 2000 "Flying Smart" column in AOPA Flight Training. For an air traffic control perspective, see Joel Stoller's feature article "Great Expectations: What ATC Expects You to Know Before You Go" in the June 2003 AOPA Flight Training.
If the transmission capability of your com radio fails, the IDENT button may help you to continue communicating with ATC. "The ident feature can re-establish communication if you lose the ability to transmit but can still hear the controller's voice. When you realize your transmissions are not heard, enter (transponder) code 7600. The controller will reply with 'November Four-Four-Six-Seven-Golf, if you hear this transmission, ident.' You respond by pushing the IDENT button," writes Ian Blair Fries in "Return to Sender," from the April 2003 AOPA Flight Training.
Transponders can also fail. Since they are required equipment in many classes of airspace, what is a pilot to do? Columnist Mark Twombly's experience with that problem is related in the February 2002 column "Continuing Ed: Transponder Inop" in AOPA Flight Training.
Your flight-test examiner (and controllers) will expect you to operate this system correctly. "Never push the IDENT button unless requested! Some pilots have been taught to press ident after setting their initially assigned code, but this is not the correct procedure," warns Fries. Indeed, Aeronautical Information Manual Section 4-1-19 on transponder operation instructs pilots: "Activate the 'ident' feature only upon request of the ATC controller."
Study the information cited above. Then, next time you push the IDENT button, both you and the controller will have a clearer picture of what is going on.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Take advantage of the many resources that AOPA membership offers you. AOPA's Web site provides you with an abundance of information, including a variety of informative publications that have been produced by AOPA's Aviation Services department. Subjects are drawn from real-life concerns of AOPA members, as heard by our staff in answering more than 100,000 member calls for help every year. From flying careers to medical certification to reducing the cost of flying, you'll find these guides to be a must-read as you continue to learn to fly. |
As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. Click here for login information.
| Flight Training News |
| 1 MILLION YOUNG EAGLES CARRIED ALOFT |
The Experimental Aircraft Association reached its goal last week of flying 1 million young people before the December 17, 2003, centennial of powered flight. The Young Eagles program, in which volunteer pilots take children on brief introductory rides, was started in 1992 to introduce aviation to young people. Participants receive a certificate signed by the pilot and Gen. Chuck Yeager, and they can also add their names to "The World's Largest Logbook" at the Young Eagles Web site. Young Eagles flights have been flown from every public-use airport in the United States, as well as many private strips. The program will continue after December 17.
ONLINE DOCTORATES NOW POSSIBLE FOR EMBRY-RIDDLE GRADS
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) Extended Campus and North Central University (NCU) are teaming up to provide ERAU graduates "seamless access" to doctoral degree study via the Internet. Under an agreement announced in October, NCU, an accredited online distance learning institution, will offer a doctoral degree program in business administration with an emphasis on the aviation or aerospace industry along with bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in psychology and business administration. The agreement also permits any NCU student who has completed master's-level coursework through the ERAU Extended Campus to pursue the aviation/aerospace doctoral degree. See the Web sites for more information on ERAU Extended Campus or NCU.
| Inside AOPA |
| NEW SECURITY GUIDELINES HIGHLIGHT AOPA's AIRPORT WATCH |
AOPA's Airport Watch program is a main component of new general aviation airport security guidelines presented to the Transportation Security Administration this week. The guidelines ( click here to download) were drawn up by the GA Airports Security Working Group of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, whose members included numerous aviation organizations as well as representatives from airports, the FAA, and TSA. The guidelines were designed for use at all types of GA airports ranging from backcountry airstrips to busy GA reliever airports. Chief among the recommendations is that airports establish AOPA's Airport Watch program or one like it. See the complete news story at AOPA Online.
AOPA DONATES $20,000 TO ERAU SCHOLARSHIP FUND
AOPA this week presented Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) with a $20,000 donation to the AOPA Career Pathways Scholarship Fund. Each year AOPA contributes a percentage of the AOPA membership dues of every ERAU alumni to the scholarship fund. Some 4,300 AOPA members are Embry-Riddle graduates. AOPA has contributed approximately $90,000 to the fund since its establishment in 1997.
Changing your mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.
| Training Products |
| UPDATED HANDBOOK EXPLAINS FLIGHT MANEUVERS |
The Visualized Flight Maneuvers Handbook for High Wing Aircraft has been updated to reflect the latest changes to the FAA's private pilot, commercial pilot, and CFI practical test standards. It includes new maneuvers-the steep spiral and 180-degree power-off accuracy approach and landing-recently added to the commercial pilot and CFI practical test standards. The 62-page handbook is 5 by 8 inches and wire-bound for easy access; it's available from Aviation Supplies and Academics for $19.95. Versions of the handbook also are available for low-wing aircraft, and for the Diamond Katana. For more information, visit ASA's Web site or call 800/426-8338.
| Final Exam |
| Question: My flight instructor and I were discussing how to properly inform ATC how much fuel remains on board an aircraft. Should you include all usable fuel or should reserve fuel not be included, and does ATC want to know the fuel amount, or the flying time left? |
Answer: The Pilot/Controller Glossary in the Aeronautical Information Manual provides the answers in its definition of "fuel remaining," which follows: "A phrase used by either pilots or controllers when relating to the fuel remaining on board until actual fuel exhaustion. When transmitting such information in response to either a controller question or pilot-initiated cautionary advisory to air traffic control, pilots will state the APPROXIMATE NUMBER OF MINUTES the flight can continue with the fuel remaining. All reserve fuel SHOULD BE INCLUDED in the time stated, as should an allowance for established fuel gauge system error."
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.
| Picture Perfect |
|Looking for a unique gift this holiday season? Order high-quality prints from the AOPA Online Gallery. Search the hundreds of fabulous images, select your favorite, and with just a few keystrokes, a beautiful print will be shipped directly to your doorstep! Order by December 15 for guaranteed holiday delivery. Of course, you can still download your favorite images to use for wallpaper or send a personalized e-card. For more details, see AOPA Online. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|Is an aviation degree at a college or university on your horizon? Take a look at AOPA's updated aviation subject report on Aviation Colleges and Universities . This compilation of articles discusses the finer points of picking a school, examines the relatively new option of online "distance learning," and offers time-management tips for the busy student. You'll also find a link to AOPA's Aviation College Database. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
McArthur, Ohio. A Fly-in Chili Dinner and Safety Seminar takes place November 30 at Vinton County (22I). Breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon. FAA safety seminar begins at noon, chili dinner served until 3 p.m. Contact Nick Rupert, 740/384-2649.
To submit an event to the calendar, or search all events, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online .
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, Chicago, and Lincoln, Nebraska, December 6 and 7. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Renewal Online.