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Copyright © 2004 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| REPORTING IN |
Sometimes on a cross-country flight when you are navigating by pilotage, dead reckoning, or ground-based navaids, you will have a general idea of your position but can only estimate the distance to the destination or the next checkpoint. You're on course, but you can't say whether that village below is the one 21 miles from the destination airport or the hamlet 20 miles out. Now it is time to contact approach control for arrival, stating your position and intentions as explained in Chapter 4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual: "Pilots of arriving aircraft should contact approach control on the publicized frequency and give their position, altitude, aircraft call sign, type aircraft, radar beacon code (if transponder equipped), destination, and request traffic information." What should you do?
If there are no visual checkpoints (see the August 6, 2004, "Training Tips") charted, you need another method. You want to be as exact as possible to aid the swift radar identification of your aircraft, especially if the terminal area is bustling. If you are tracking a VOR, one technique is to provide a position consisting of the radial on which you are flying and an estimated distance from the airport. If your aircraft is outfitted with DME (distance measuring equipment) give your radial and DME from the station. Be sure to give the radial-not the reciprocal (inbound) course.
Suppose you aren't tracking a navaid, but you can receive signals from multiple VORs. David Montoya offered another way to establish an exact position along your course in the December 2000 AOPA Flight Training feature, "The ABCs of VORs." "If you have two VOR indicators, tune each one to a different VOR frequency. Then center the CDI needles with a From indication and note the radials. Get out a chart and plot the extended radials. Where the lines intersect, there you are."
High controller workload or uncertainty where your radar return will appear may bring a request from ATC that you "ident" (see the November 21, 2003, "Training Tips") once you have been assigned a transponder code. Don't activate the ident function of your transponder unless requested to do so.
As in so many other areas of piloting, having multiple methods to get the job done is appreciated by ATC and smoothes the flow for everyone.
| Your Partner in Training |
|AOPA's online flight-planning resources, including the Real-Time Flight Planner, are available exclusively to members. The Real-Time Flight Planner integrates online flight planning, AOPA's Airport Directory, aviation weather forecasts and real-time weather, and flight plan filing. You have all the basic flight planning tools that you need. And if you have additional questions, our aviation experts are available to take your calls between 8:30 a.m and 6 p.m. at 800/872-2672. |
As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online and AOPA Flight Training Online. Login information is available online.
| Flight Training News |
| GAO REPORT PRAISES INDUSTRY, GOVERNMENT FOR SECURING GA |
A government watchdog agency has pointed out what general aviation pilots have known all along. The new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report notes that "the small size, lack of fuel capacity, and minimal destructive power of most general aviation aircraft make them unattractive to terrorists and, thereby, reduce the possibility of threat associated with their misuse." The report concludes that continued partnerships between the GA industry and the government-such as AOPA's Airport Watch Program-are vital to the long-term success of efforts to enhance security at the nation's nearly 19,000 GA landing facilities. See AOPA Online.
NEW CALIFORNIA CHARTS INCLUDE FREQUENCY CHANGES
California pilots and flight schools should be aware that new charts to be issued this month will include changes that affect your flying. Burbank AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Jackie Forsting reports that the Los Angeles Terminal Area Chart will display new frequencies for 12 different flight training practice areas. The Simi Valley and Santa Clarita practice areas and Santa Paula aerobatic area will have a new frequency of 122.775 for air-to-air communications for those who prefer not to communicate with Southern California Approach Control (SoCal). "This is especially important if you are transitioning through the aerobatic area near Santa Paula (which many pilots don't know exists)," said Forsting. A revised helicopter chart is anticipated, Forsting said, noting that this is a handy tool for fixed-wing pilots flying VFR in the Los Angeles Basin because it depicts many more landmarks than the terminal chart does. The charts' effective date is December 23.
MEIGS DESTRUCTION AN 'ABOMINATION,' SENATOR SAYS
If the City of Chicago thought lawmakers and the aviation community would quietly accept its claims that Meigs Field was an "abandoned" airport that had to be bulldozed, it's in for a surprise. In a December 8 letter to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), an AOPA member and active general aviation pilot, called the destruction of Meigs Field a "complete abomination" and Chicago's definition of abandoned property "alarming." He wrote that the city's use of federal funds to destroy a valuable general aviation airport was "insulting" and urged the FAA to continue its efforts to impose the maximum penalties allowed by law. "It's great to know that GA has powerful friends-and that they won't look the other way and allow this despicable deed to go unpunished," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It's important for Chicago and other cities to recognize that the aviation community won't stand by while our nation's air transportation system is torn apart." For more on Inhofe's letter, see AOPA Online.
FRASCA HELICOPTER FTD GETS FAA APPROVAL
Frasca International's helicopter flight training device (FTD) has received FAA approval for both VFR and IFR training. The TruFlite H can be reconfigured to Schweizer 300 and Robinson R22 and R44 models, as well as turbine single and twin helicopters. Frasca said the first TruFlite H was delivered to Silver State Helicopters, based in North Las Vegas, Nevada, which has ordered 10 units; other customers include the University of North Dakota and the New York Police Department. Frasca says the helicopter FTD uses technology developed for the company's Level 6 FTDs and Level C full flight simulators and can provide VFR training in maneuvers such as hover, autorotation, settling with power, dynamic rollover, and sloped landings. For more information, see the Web site.
OHIO UNIVERSITY GOES GLASS
Ohio University has purchased seven Piper Warrior III aircraft equipped with the Avidyne FlightMax Entegra integrated flight deck. The New Piper Aircraft says the purchase is its largest single sale of advanced glass-panel-equipped training aircraft to date. Dennis Irwin, dean of Ohio University's Russ College of Engineering and Technology, said the technology makes the aircraft all the more valuable as trainers. "Because this is the technology found in modern jets that students will fly in their careers, it makes sense, from both a teaching and economical standpoint, to acquire aircraft with this advanced avionics system," he said. The aircraft will be delivered in summer 2005.
| Inside AOPA |
AOPA TO RUN GA COMMERCIALS DURING HOLIDAYS
Once again AOPA will be reaching out to the public this holiday season with a series of TV commercials showing how general aviation benefits virtually every American, whether or not they've flown in small airplanes. The commercials will air more than 100 times during the busy travel period between December 20 and January 2 on the Weather Channel. The ads are expected to reach 36 million viewers and will promote AOPA's GA Serving America Web site. A complete schedule for the commercials will be posted on AOPA Online.
HAVE YOU UPDATED YOUR AOPA MEMBER PROFILE?
To make the most of your membership and allow us to serve you better, please visit AOPA Online and update your personal member profile.
| Training Products |
| GET READY FOR THE KNOWLEDGE TEST WITH SPORTY'S GUIDES |
Two new knowledge test preparation guides are now available from Sporty's Pilot Shop. The guides feature all published FAA test questions, answers, and explanations written by certificated flight instructors with the pilot in mind. The explanations are intended to be concise yet as thorough as possible, and they include reference sources for further study. The Private Pilot/Recreational Pilot Test Prep Guide is 270 pages and sells for $13.95; the Instrument Pilot Test Prep Guide is 480 pages and sells for $15.95. Each can be ordered online or by calling 800/SPORTYS.
Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.
| Final Exam |
| Question: During one of my solo cross-country flights I noticed that the VOR reception wasn't consistent; the To/From flag wouldn't display a firm indication. What are the limits of a VOR's reception area? |
Answer: The Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) offers a good description of the service volumes (i.e., reception strength) for the various types of VORs in the National Airspace System. There are three standard service volume (SSV) class designators for VORs: Terminal (T), Low Altitude (L), and High Altitude (H). Terminal VORs are received at altitudes of 1,000 to 12,000 feet above ground level at radial distances out to 25 nm; Low Altitude VORs-at altitudes of 1,000 to 18,000 feet agl and out to radial distances of 40 nm, and High Altitude VORs-from 1,000 to 60,000 feet agl with radial distance varying (depending on altitude) from 40 to 130 nm. More information is available in AIM Chapter 1, "Navigation Aids," Paragraph 1-1-8 Navigational Aid (NAVAID) Service Volumes.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to [email protected] or call the Pilot Information Center, 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 images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|Now that you have your private pilot certificate, when will you need to complete a flight review, once known as a "biennial flight review"? You cannot act as pilot in command without a current signoff for a flight review. Read all about it in AOPA's updated aviation subject report. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| FLYING DESTINATIONS NEXT WEEKEND: |
Due to the upcoming holiday, there are no calendar events for next weekend.
To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online .
AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Baltimore, and Detroit, January 8 and 9. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Renewal Online.