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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 3, Issue 48

Volume 3, Issue 48 • November 28, 2003
In this issue:
Aeronautical honor society poised to go national
Deadline nears for WAI scholarships
AOPA still troubled by FAA bill



Garmin International

Comm 1 Radio Simulator

Sporty's Pilot Shop

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Training Tips
As winter weather becomes a consideration for many of us, what are the surface conditions at your airport? Is SLR or WSR creating a BRAN situation on your runway? Is BRAG the order of the day, with just some IR and SNBNKS? If BRAF is on the runway, why is BRAP the condition on the ramp? What do these contractions mean?

These terms are found in the Aeronautical Information Manual's list of contractions used in notices to airmen (notams). Don't let them escape your attention during a preflight briefing! If SLR (slush on the runway) or WSR (wet snow on runway) has left it with BRAN (braking reported as nil), reconsider your plans. Even BRAG (braking reported as good) suggests caution because it could shortly change to BRAP (poor braking). Watch out for SNBNKS (snowbanks) raised along runway edges by airport plows.

"Braking action is described in four ways-good, fair, poor, or nil. When tower controllers have received runway braking action reports from pilots that include the terms poor or nil, they will issue a braking action advisory and the ATIS broadcast will include the words, 'Braking action advisories are in effect,'" explains Elizabeth A. Tennyson in AOPA Flight Training's December 2000 "Flying Smart" column. The AIM adds some advice for pilots reporting conditions: "When pilots report the quality of braking action by using the terms noted above, they should use descriptive terms that are easily understood, such as, 'braking action poor the first/last half of the runway,' together with the particular type of aircraft." Sometimes you will hear that the braking action was "reported by an airport vehicle." This means that a ground vehicle was sent out to test braking.

If you do not have the information you need, ask! Just adhere to the same standards of communication-brevity and clarity-that you would use in other transmissions as discussed in the November 2002 AOPA Flight Training feature "Talk Show".

Knowing surface conditions is half the battle. How you use your brakes is the other half, and it is a measure of proper taxi technique-the subject of this newsletter's December 7, 2001, Training Tips article. To sharpen your skills and avoid slippery situations, read Mark Twombly's October 2000 "Continuing Ed" column and the November 2003 AOPA Flight Training feature "Power Walking."
Your Partner in Training
Pilots can never have too much information about the airports to which they fly. Instrument-rated pilots have long known that instrument approach charts are bountiful sources of such information-and VFR pilots can use them, too, especially for their detailed airport diagrams. AOPA maintains a directory of current airport approach charts and other important airport information in the members-only section of AOPA Online-and it's free!

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
Alpha Omicron Alpha Aeronautical Honor Society (AOA), the first aeronautical honor society in the United States, is working hard to become a national organization and hopes to reach that goal in 2004. AOA was founded in 1998 at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Daytona Beach, Florida, campus, and was officially recognized the following spring. A chapter is planned for ERAU's Prescott, Arizona, campus next year, said AOA member Oswaldo Maitas-Oz. The organization needs chapters at five universities to qualify for national status, and has been approached by Ohio University, among others, he said. AOA members in Daytona Beach are active on campus-organizing a presentation by members of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds during the university's annual Wings and Waves airshow-and off campus in a variety of community service projects. For more information, see the Web site.

If you were considering applying for one of the many scholarships offered by Women in Aviation International, this is your last chance to get your paperwork in order. There are numerous opportunities ranging from internships with The Boeing Company to a tailwheel checkout at Maule Air Inc. in Moultrie, Georgia. Entries must be postmarked by December 5. Get all the details from the organization's Web site. In addition, AOPA Flight Training magazine is sponsoring two scholarships to attend the fifteenth annual WAI conference in Reno, Nevada, next March; for information on that opportunity, see AOPA Online.
Inside AOPA
The FAA budget bill passed last week by the Senate doesn't include long-term protection against privatizing air traffic control, so the issue will remain a concern for AOPA in the future. The budget bill does include language prohibiting the FAA from outsourcing any jobs currently performed by FAA employees until September 30, 2004. It also includes several provisions that are positive for general aviation-such as requiring a third-party review before the Transportation Security Administration can revoke an airman's certificate for security reasons. See AOPA Online.

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Training Products
Weight and balance calculations are an integral part of every flight. If you fly different aircraft or carry passengers-and their baggage-your calculations can vary significantly. But you need correct weights to prepare those calculations, and passengers can be notorious for shaving a few pounds from the actual figure when you ask for it. Sporty's has a lightweight digital scale that can measure up to 300 pounds. Priced at $39.95, the Passenger Scale runs on four AAA batteries and weighs less than two pounds-take it to the airport or even on your trip. For more information, see the Web site or call 800/SPORTYS.
Final Exam
Question: I've logged about 50 hours toward the private pilot certificate, and my logbook is getting full. Do I just tally up the column totals from the old logbook and transfer them to the new one? Do I need to have my instructors rewrite my training endorsements in the new logbook? Will I need to carry both of the logbooks with me when flying?

Answer: The usual way to handle this situation is to carry your totals over to the next logbook and mark it as Volume 2. The endorsements from the first logbook are still valid until their expiration date, so they shouldn't be recopied into the new logbook. According to FAR Part 61.51(i)(2), as a student pilot you are required to carry your logbooks with you on solo cross-country flights until you are certificated as a private pilot. At that point, you no longer need to carry them with you. It's a good idea to periodically make copies of each page of your logbook and keep them in a safe place for back-up purposes in case your logbooks are lost. For more information on logbooks, see AOPA Online.

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
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
With winter just around the corner, snow is a weather concern for pilots in many parts of the country. Find out what pilots are asking Meteorlogix senior meteorologists in the updated FAQs on weather theory, available on AOPA Online.
Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix.
ePilot Calendar
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.

Titusville, Florida. The Flight of Four takes place December 6 beginning at Space Coast Regional (TIX). Watch a formation of four warbirds as they tour Central Florida's aviation museums. For more information, visit the Web site.

Reno, Nevada. The National Agricultural Aviation Association Convention and Exhibition takes place December 8 through 11 at the Reno Convention Center. Join NAAA in celebrating the 100th anniversary of flight. See both fixed-wing and helicopters on display and more than 130 exhibitors of aerial application equipment. Contact Peggy Knizner, 202/546-5722, 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 Denver, Chicago, and Lincoln, Nebraska, December 6 and 7. Clinics are also scheduled in Orlando, Florida, and Austin, Texas, December 13 and 14. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Renewal Online.

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