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Copyright © 2003 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| COLLUSION LEADS TO OCCLUSION |
Cold fronts, warm fronts, and stationary fronts tend to capture the weather headlines when you're learning to fly, and thorough comprehension of the weather that each can serve up is essential knowledge for a pilot. But there is another kind of frontal weather that can occur when a fast-moving cold front overtakes and runs beneath a preceding warm front. This is an occluded front, and the weather that it produces can be interesting indeed. The National Weather Service defines an occluded front as a "complex frontal system that occurs when a cold front overtakes a warm front. Also known as an occlusion."
An occlusion brings with it both good news and bad news, writes meteorologist Jack Williams in his October 2002 "The Weather Never Sleeps" column, in AOPA Flight Training. "An occluded front is an area where warm, cold, and cool air masses are in conflict and can bring a combination of the kind of weather found in both warm and cold frontal zones. While an occluded front can bring really nasty weather, it's also normally the last stage of a middle latitude storm."
Like other fronts, occlusions are plotted on surface analysis charts and the surface panels of low-level significant weather prognostic charts, using standard symbols found in Section 11 of FAA Advisory Circular 00-45E, Aviation Weather Services ( click here to download). A vector accompanied by a number depicts the direction and speed of frontal movement.
Discuss with your flight instructor the implications you could face any time a front is expected to pass during, or shortly before or after, a planned flight. The August 2002 "Wx Watch" column titled "Frontal Scope-out" in AOPA Pilot gives pointers on how to make a prudent decision, and it provides a "Decoding a Front" table.
AOPA Pilot Editor-at-Large Thomas A. Horne in his January 2000 "Wx Watch" column asks if there is a lack of emphasis on weather knowledge in pilot training-and he challenges pilots to go beyond simple preparation for the Private Pilot Knowledge Test in their study. Being able to interpret the implications of an occluded front in your preflight forecast, after researching the materials suggested here, is one way to meet his challenge.
| Your Partner in Training |
|The medical certification resource page on AOPA Online is the starting point if you need information about medical certification issues. Although you do not need an FAA medical certificate to begin your flight training, you must obtain one before you can solo. For most pilots a basic medical exam is required, but some common medical conditions can complicate the process. This page provides answers to common aviation medical concerns, searchable listings of aviation medical examiners and FAA-approved medications, and TurboMedical, an online application designed by AOPA to help streamline your medical certification experience. |
Do you have a question? Call our experienced pilots, available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time toll-free at 800/872-2672. 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 |
| FOR THE FUN OF FLYING |
Ever felt the need to express your love of flying? Now's your chance, and you might win something, too. Flightcom is celebrating its twentieth anniversary with its "For the Fun of Flying" essay contest. Each 50-word essay is to begin with the phrase, "For me, the fun of flying is...." Flightcom will award headsets, intercoms, and accessories for the best 20 essays. The grand-prize winner will receive four Denali ANR headsets. Flightcom will do the initial judging while the AOPA Pilot editorial staff will select the finalists. Essays will be judged on content, creativity, writing style, and proper use of language. The contest begins October 1 and ends November 30. See the Web site for entry forms and contest details.
LIBERTY XL2 MOVES CLOSER TO CERTIFICATION
Liberty Aerospace is one step closer to FAA certification of its XL2 two-seat aircraft. The FAA has awarded a type inspection authorization to the company, and type certification is anticipated in October, the company announced. Liberty says the XL2 will be the first certificated piston-powered light aircraft with a FADEC (full authority digital engine control) engine. The XL2 is being marketed as a training aircraft and will sell for a base price of $129,500. It is said to have a payload of 603 pounds, a range of 600 miles, and a cruise speed of 132 kt. For more information, see the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA TAKES IT TO THE 'THEATER COMMANDERS' |
In a rare opportunity, AOPA senior staff members met with the FAA's nine regional administrators in Washington last week to discuss key AOPA member issues and provide the FAA's regional leaders with a national perspective on general aviation topics. In addition to expressing strong opposition to privatizing air traffic control and separation services, AOPA provided the association's perspectives on flight restrictions, modernization, emerging advanced technologies, and provision of flight services. "This meeting was good for AOPA and its members," said Andy Cebula, an AOPA senior vice president. "We had all of the regional administrators in one room where we could tell them what concerns GA pilots. These are essentially the 'theater commanders' for the FAA, responsible for implementing and enforcing the agency's rules and regulations throughout the country."
AOPA SEEKS MEMBER INPUT ON RENTER'S INSURANCE
Say you rent an aircraft and something happens. Do you know what the deductible is? Chances are it's going to be pretty expensive and, guess what, you'll likely get stuck with it. And what if you're a flight instructor and a student dings an airplane, then what happens? These are all important questions that pilots deal with. Now help us help you by completing our online survey about nonowned-aircraft liability insurance. AOPA is interested in your opinions. See the survey page.
Changing your mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.
| Training Products |
| AVIONICS TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE FROM AEA |
Your aircraft's audio panel doesn't seem to be working properly. Is it a malfunction, or did you forget to turn up the volume? Download a free pilot's avionics troubleshooting guide from the Aircraft Electronics Association. It gives general troubleshooting advice as well as specific pointers for navaids (loran, radar, DME, ADF, GPS, and VOR/ILS), transponders, radios/intercoms, and autopilots, and may be downloaded from the AEA Web site. The Pilot's Guide to Avionics, which is basically a directory of AEA member repair stations, manufacturers, and distributors, also has chunks of useful information about how to prolong the life of your avionics equipment and how to safeguard it against theft. See the Web site to request a free copy.
| Final Exam |
| Question: What's the difference between a turn indicator (also called the turn and slip indicator, the turn and bank indicator, or the needle and ball) and a turn coordinator? |
Answer: Both instruments are actually two instruments in one, work on similar principles, and offer similar information on direction and rate of turn. Each has a ball whose movement indicates slipping or skidding in a turn. However, the turn indicator's needle shows only rate of turn, while the turn coordinator's miniature airplane shows rate of turn and also rate of roll. Here's an example of their difference: If you are in a slip and one wing is lower than the other, but your heading is straight, the turn indicator's needle will indicate a left or a right bank. The turn coordinator, on the other hand, will "understand" that the heading is straight, and the miniature airplane's wings will remain level. Both instruments will show the ball off to one side. Learn more online in the article "Banking On The Turn Coordinator" from the July 1995 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 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 |
Does your future include a career in aviation? Take a look at the newly revised AOPA's Guide to Flying Careers . You'll find insights on choosing the right school, segments of the industry that hold the most promise in today's economy, and other topics.
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Midland, Texas. The FINA-Commerative Air Force Airshow 2003 takes place September 27 and 28 at Midland International (MAF). Celebrating 100 years of powered flight with the Canadian Snowbirds, B-29 Superfortress, and many more. Gates open at 7:30 a.m., airshows begin at 1 p.m. each day. Contact 915/563-1000, or visit the Web site.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Aerospace America International Airshow takes place October 3 through 5 at Will Rogers World (OKC). Friday night show, other performances all day Saturday and Sunday. Aerobatic performers, warbirds, modern military aircraft. General aviation aircraft welcome. Contact Lois Lawson or Don Schmidt, 405/685-9546; or visit the Web site.
Prescott, Arizona. Prescott Air Fair 2003 takes place October 4 at Ernest A. Love Field (PRC). Featuring Red Tail P-51, B-17, Super Connie, Trimotor, DC-3, Scott Crossfield, and Tuskegee Airmen. Embry-Riddle Alumni will bring F-18s, Harriers, F-16s, Blackhawk helicopters, hot air balloons, and many more. Contact David Roy, 928/777-4747 or click here to download more information.
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 Ontario, California, and San Jose, California, October 4 and 5. A clinic is also scheduled in Wichita, Kansas, October 11 and 12. 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 takes place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, October 26. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled inAOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Albuquerque, New Mexico, September 29; Tucson, Arizona, October 1; Mesa, Arizona, October 2; Northbrook, Illinois, October 6; Batavia, Illinois, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, October 7; Rockford, Illinois, and Northglenn, Colorado, October 8; and Peoria, Illinois, October 9. The topic is Say Intentions: When you need ATC's help. See AOPA Online for complete details.