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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 4, Issue 53AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 4, Issue 53

Volume 4, Issue 53 • December 31, 2004
In this issue:
Going strong and growing stronger, AOPA looks back
ERAU inks airline training deal
WAAS means safer approaches for instrument pilots

The ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by
Cessna Pilot Centers

Cessna Pilot Centers


Cessna Cleared for Approach program


Minnesota Life Insurance


AOPA Insurance Agency Owners Insurance

Pilot Insurance Center

AOPA CFI Sign-up

Comm1 Radio Simulator

AOPA Legal Services Plan

King Schools

MBNA Credit Card

Garmin International

AOPA Insurance Agency Renters Insurance

Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA Aviation AD&D Insurance

Do not reply to this e-mail. Got news? Contact ePilot. Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].

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Copyright © 2004 AOPA.

Training Tips
You phoned the doctor's office to schedule an aviation medical examination. They have two openings: Friday, December 31, or Friday, January 7. Which should you take? Does it really matter? If time is not of the essence, and the two dates are equally convenient, take January 7. Say you are applying for a third class medical certificate and are under 40 years of age. Your medical expires "at the end of the 36th month after the month of the date of the examination shown on the certificate," according to Federal Aviation Regulation 61.23(d). If you are over 40, the third class medical expires at the end of the twenty-fourth month. Medicals can be expensive. Take yours early in the month, and it is like getting an extra month's value out of your medical over each expiration cycle. Above all, take this responsibility seriously. "Forgetfulness is no excuse in the eyes of the FAA, which treats paperwork obligations very seriously," advises Kathy Yodice in "Legal Briefing," April 2004 AOPA Flight Training.

Since this newsletter is reaching you on the last day of the year (and of the month, of course), this is a good time to issue a reminder that medicals are not the only expiration dates that a pilot must track. Moreover, not all expiration cycles are calibrated in the same time units. You must be sure that your flight instructor renews your authorization to solo every 90 days. When going for your private pilot practical test, you must have logged three hours of flight prep within the preceding 60 days. Be sure that your logbook is well kept and can show your compliance as discussed in the May 9, 2003, "Training Tips." Knowledge tests are valid, like medicals, until the end of the twenty-fourth calendar month after the month when you took the test. Aeronautical charts become current, and expire, on specific days published on the cover of the chart.

Are you, as the pilot of your aircraft, responsible for making sure that required aircraft maintenance inspections have not lapsed? Indeed you are. For details, see "Legal Briefing: Maintenance Inspections" in the November 2002 AOPA Flight Training.

Here's wishing you continued fun flying and learning as your logbook entries begin to bear the date 2005!

Your Partner in Training
Wow! You passed your private pilot checkride! You've spent months learning new skills and successfully jumped so many hurdles-so now what? What can you do to receive more valuable training? Try bumming rides from pilots flying other makes and models of airplanes, or get checked out in different airplanes. And continue to fly short cross-country flights. Take some friends along, keep the distances to fewer than 100 nautical miles, and fly to some fun destinations. This is a good way to build time and continue flexing the navigational skills that you worked so hard to develop during training. For more ideas, take a look at "After the Private" in the September 2001 AOPA Flight Training. When pursuing a new rating, remember that the regulations for logging pilot-in-command time may vary. You'll find the rules laid out in "Legal Briefing: The PIC Question" in the August 2002 AOPA Flight Training.

Do you have a question? Call our experienced pilots-available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern-toll-free 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
The 215 employees of AOPA have one goal, year after year-finding ways to make your flying safer, more affordable, and more fun as you work your way toward earning a pilot certificate and beyond. As we look back on our information, education, and advocacy efforts for 2004, we want to thank you for your support and tell you about some of the work we've done on your behalf. "AOPA is going to end the year with a record number of members-more than 403,000, and a record high renewal rate," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "That's particularly gratifying, because it is a vote of confidence in what the AOPA staff are doing for the members day in and day out. You cannot underestimate the power of 403,000 pilot voices, united in their determination to keep general aviation growing and strong." But it certainly has been a year of challenges. When we started the year, we made your top priorities our own-protecting airports, beating back user fees for air traffic services, bringing reason to security rules for GA, reducing the number of temporary flight restrictions, helping put GA-friendly politicians in office, putting a dent in rising insurance costs, and finding more ways to reduce the cost of flying. For more on what AOPA has done for you, see AOPA Online.

Students in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Commercial Airline Pilot Training (CAPT) program now can be assigned to a flight-crew duty position in as little as eight months after completing the program. The New Hire Bridge Program agreement with Focus Air, a cargo carrier that covers the Pacific Rim, allows selected CAPT graduates to be employed as a flight follower in Focus Air's flight operations center for six to eight months. Then the graduates can train for 12 to 18 months to become Boeing 747 flight engineers. They also may train to become Boeing 747 first officers. The New Hire Bridge Program has CAPT perform all new-hire screening for Focus Air. CAPT has one of the most thorough screening processes in the industry, according to ERAU. The CAPT program accepts students without any flight experience and takes them through a 12-month course in which they earn certificates and ratings ranging from the private pilot to DC-9 series type rating.

The University of North Dakota is working to increase the number of American Indian students in its aviation program. The university is beginning to raise money to fund five annual scholarships for American Indian aviation students, according to the Grand Forks Herald. So far, the State Board of Higher Education has approved $25,000, but it could cost $775,000 each year to fund the program. Students could use the scholarships as early as next fall. UND also is looking to increase the number of students at its Williston, North Dakota, flight program. University officials say the scholarship program could play a key role in that increase. Students who receive the scholarships will have the option to attend the Williston program.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is inviting children ages 6 to 17 to explore their love for aviation and art by entering the 2005 International Aviation Art Contest. This year's art contest theme is "Create an Air Show Poster: More Than 100 Years of Human Flight." Winning artwork will be displayed at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. The top three state winners will go on to compete for the national awards in Washington, D.C. Winners of the national competition will vie for international honors. But you better hurry. The contest deadline is January 10. Download an application online.

Inside AOPA

Did you know AOPA's medical certification staff can track the progress of your medical application, help to resolve issues with the FAA, or simply guide you through the medical certificate labyrinth? What's more, the medical certification staff has improved its services to keep your information secure. New encryption software ensures all member medical status inquiries that AOPA submits to the FAA have the highest degree of privacy protection available. The association also installed a customized database that allows staff to track member medical cases as they're routed through the FAA's certification process. And members can now submit a request for a status check online. See the news story on AOPA Online.

An instrument landing system (ILS) approach is the easiest and safest kind of approach. Even for a VFR pilot, following the ILS needles at night means you won't hit anything unseen on your way down to the runway. However, only a little more than 700 U.S. airports have a traditional ILS. If you have WAAS-capable avionics, you can fly an ILS-like approach to your airport today, even if it doesn't have an ILS. That's because the WAAS, or wide area augmentation system, improves the accuracy and integrity of the GPS signal to provide vertical guidance so that the pilot can fly a pseudo glideslope on a straight-in GPS approach. AOPA has been pushing for WAAS for nearly 10 years and this year successfully lobbied Congress to fully fund its development and operations. You can learn more about WAAS and which avionics manufacturer has WAAS-capable equipment on AOPA Online.

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
Do you have room in your aviation library for more than 850 publications? Few of us do, which is probably at least one reason behind 2005 Pro Flight Library from Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc. The electronic aviation library holds on a single CD-ROM a complete Federal Aviation Regulations/Aeronautical Information Manual, more than 700 advisory circulars, the Instrument Flying Handbook, Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Airplane Flying Handbook, Aviation Weather Services, and every airworthiness directive issued since 1941, to name a few. You can view full text of all publications, print selected text, simultaneously search multiple publications, compare new and old text in newly revised passages, and place electronic bookmarks. System requirements are Windows 98 or higher. The CD sells for $79.95 and can be ordered online or call 800/272-2359.

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: My instructor told me to be sure to get my logbook signed by someone when I land at each airport while flying my solo cross-country flights. I have been searching for this requirement in the rules but am having no luck finding it. Can you help, please?

Answer: You are looking for a regulation that does not exist; there is no rule requiring a student pilot to obtain a signature upon landing at each airport. However, it is a customary practice at some flight schools, and instructors may ask you to do this to verify that you did land at the airports. The requirement in 14 CFR Part 61 Section 61.51(b) is that you properly record the flight in your pilot logbook and sign the page attesting to it, since you will be using that time toward your private pilot certificate.

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
Are you Sport Pilot ready? The FAA Sport Pilot Practical Test Standards for airplane, gyroplane, glider, and flight instructor are now available for download from AOPA Online.

Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix.

ePilot Calendar
Upland, California. The 30th Annual Pomona Valley Air Fair takes place January 8 and 9 at Cable (CCB). See exciting aerobatic routines, along with classic and antique airplanes and cars. Contact Gary Hart 909/238-4508, or visit the Web site.

To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online .

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Baltimore, and Detroit, January 8 and 9. Clinics are also scheduled in San Jose, California; San Antonio; and Seattle, January 15 and 16. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Renewal Online.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Reno, Nevada, January 3; Sacramento, California, January 4; Santa Rosa, California, January 5; and San Jose, California, January 6. The seminar is GPS: Beyond Direct-To. For complete details on topics and schedules, see AOPA Online.

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