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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 4, Issue 6AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 4, Issue 6

Volume 4, Issue 6 • February 6, 2004
In this issue:
FAA to continue current DUATS briefings
ERAU student launches 'barnstorming' tour
AOPA meets with pilots on new Florida airport plan


Alamo Rental Cars

AOPA Insurance Agency Renters Insurance

Pilot Insurance Center

AOPA Legal Services Plan

King Schools

MBNA Credit Card

Garmin International

Comm 1 Radio Simulator

AOPA Aviation AD&D Insurance

Sporty's Pilot Shop


Minnesota Life Insurance


AOPA Insurance Agency Owners Insurance

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Copyright © 2004 AOPA.

Training Tips
The word airspeed requires one of three modifiers in any precise discussion in flight training-see "Flying Smart: Aviation Speak" in the March 2000 AOPA Flight Training. The first of these modifiers that most students learn is indicated. Indicated airspeed is the value you read from the airspeed indicator (ASI) in flight.

There is also calibrated airspeed (CAS). Instruments do not always give exact indications, and airspeed indicators are no exception. Especially at higher angles of attack, what you see on the ASI may vary from what you actually get; the difference will be found as calibrated airspeed values in performance charts in your pilot's operating handbook. One example is the chart giving stall speeds at various flap settings and center-of-gravity loadings. In most cases the differences between calibrated and indicated airspeed will be almost negligible in cruise flight.

Next there's true airspeed (TAS). When temperature and/or pressure vary from so-called standard conditions, true airspeed will differ from CAS. "Think of your airspeed indicator as being calibrated to be accurate at sea level on a standard day when the barometric pressure is 29.92 inches of mercury and the temperature is 59 degrees Fahrenheit," explains Thomas B. Haines in "The Truth About True Airspeed" in the September 1998 AOPA Pilot magazine. TAS is used for cruise-performance calculations. Click here to download Chapter Six of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge for a full discussion of the three kinds of airspeed values.

Those are the basics, but awareness of imprecise airspeed indications does not begin and end with the terms described above. How old are the instruments on your trainer's panel? Have they been calibrated recently? "As an airspeed indicator ages, it tends to become less accurate. Many pilots have only an approximate idea of how fast their aircraft move through the air," writes Barry Schiff in "Airspeed Algebra" in the May 1999 AOPA Pilot.

System failures are also possible. David Montoya described symptoms in the February 2002 AOPA Flight Training feature "Mastering the Flight Instruments." Some aircraft are more susceptible to this risk than others. In order for an aircraft to be flown under instrument flight rules, its pitot-static instruments (ASI, altimeter, and vertical speed indicator) must be checked every 24 months. Other aircraft may undergo less scrutiny. Regardless of what you fly, understanding airspeed means not taking what you read at face value.

Your Partner in Training
AOPA is your best training partner! Your membership offers many resources to help you earn your wings. Our extensive collection of subject reports, for instance, is a library of information right at your fingertips. Do you have a question about aviation terminology? You'll find the answer on AOPA Online. For example, you can learn the dos and don'ts of keeping a logbook. Still have questions? Call our aviation experts at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time.

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
The FAA will continue to use private-sector contractors to provide direct user access terminal system (DUATS) weather briefings and related flight services-which is good news for pilots, who will continue to receive the high level of service to which they've become accustomed. The agency had planned to integrate DUATS into a new system now being installed in automated flight service stations. The contractors, however, are providing better products at a lower cost than what the FAA had planned to offer through the integrated system. "The bottom line is, DUATS works, and the vendors are constantly striving to add user value to their products," said Melissa Bailey, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "Why fix something that's not broken?"

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student Jamail Larkins launched a 20-city "barnstorming" tour January 24. He'll fly a Cirrus SR20 to a different locale each week, where he'll visit schools and promote aviation careers. Larkins, 19, is the national spokesman for Careers in Aviation, which is partnering with Embry-Riddle in the event. Sponsors include Aeroshell, AirShares Elite, Cirrus, and Michelin. The tour kicked off in Lakeland, Florida; Larkins is set to visit middle schools in Atlanta; Chicago; Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio; Dallas, Denver, and Houston, Texas; Greenville, South Carolina; and Los Angeles, among others. For more information, see the Web site.

Environmental Tectonics Corporation's GAT-II flight training simulator has received FAA approval for use as a Level II flight training device. Level II means the simulator may be used for flight training and testing or checking maneuvers, procedures, or crewmember functions listed in the Practical Test Standards for a Level II device. The GAT-II line includes single engine, multiengine, helicopter, and regional jet versions, ETC said. Each supports VFR, IFR, and spatial disorientation training. Frederick Flight Center in Frederick, Maryland, recently acquired a GAT-II, and they are being used for spatial disorientation training at the University of North Dakota's John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences and Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. For more information, see the ETC Web site.

Inside AOPA
General aviation pilots in Panama City, Florida, are divided over the future of the airport-half would like to see the current facility relocated to a site 18 miles away, and half would like it to remain as is. AOPA representatives met with members of Friends of Panama City Airport the week of January 26 to discuss the issue. The current airport has been penned in by encroaching development and no longer meets FAA safety standards for runway protection and obstacle-free zones. The Panama City Airport Authority has placed a measure on the ballot for March 9 asking voters to approve a new airport.

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
You passed the private pilot checkride-no more dates with the FAA examiner until you're ready to add a new rating or certificate. In the meantime, you'll need to get a flight review every 24 months. Sporty's Pilot Shop has produced a new instructional DVD to help you prepare for the ground portion. Flight Review DVD covers regulations, weather reports and forecasts, airspace, aeromedical factors, aeronautical charts, and airport signs and markings. The 72-minute DVD sells for $24.95 and may be ordered online or by calling 800/SPORTYS.

Final Exam
Question: My instructor and I flew in to a rural airport recently and saw a segmented circle. Can you explain the information it gives?

Answer: Section 4-3-4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual discusses segmented circles. They are found at airports with no control tower and are a visual indicator giving information on the airport's traffic pattern, as well as wind or landing direction. It's located in a central position on the airport, easily seen by pilots in the air. A wind cone, sock, or tee is normally found within the circle and provides the pilot with information on wind or landing direction. You may also find landing strip indicators installed in pairs that show the alignment of landing strips, along with traffic pattern indicators that indicate the direction of turns when there is a variation from the normal left traffic pattern.

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
Would instrument training prepare you to fly the airplane if smoke in the cockpit prevented you from seeing the panel? Read how one pilot managed to get down on the ground safely by using his side windows for visual reference in the latest installment of "Never Again Online", an online series based on pilot experiences that is similar to "Learning Experiences" in AOPA Flight Training magazine.

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

ePilot Calendar
Punta Gorda, Florida. The Florida Aviation Expo and Trade Show takes place February 6 through 8 at Charlotte County (PGD). Check out all the latest aviation products, seminar programs by major manufacturers, new aircraft, flight demonstrations, antiques, classics, homebuilts, gyrocopters, military jets, and much more. Contact Jim Kantor, 941/637-8585, ext. 103, or visit the Web site.

Lansing, Michigan. The Great Lakes Aviation Conference takes place February 6 through 8 at the Lansing Center. A must-attend event for any pilot, mechanic, or FBO manager. More than 100 exhibitors, a big variety of seminars, and a presentation by AOPA President Phil Boyer. Contact Todd Smith, 248/348-6942, or visit the Web site.

Ames, Iowa. The Midwest Regional Aircraft Maintenance Symposium and Trade Show takes place February 13 and 14 at the Gateway Center Hotel. Sponsored by the Iowa Chapter of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA). Contact Phil Conn, 319/295-5221.

To submit an event to the calendar, or 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 Sacramento, California, and Nashua, New Hampshire, February 14 and 15. Clinics are also scheduled in Las Vegas and Oklahoma City, February 21 and 22. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Renewal Online.

The next Pinch-Hitter® Ground Schools will take place in Sacramento, California, February 15; and Las Vegas, February 22. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Lake Worth, Florida, February 16; Denver, and Melbourne, Florida, February 17; Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Fort Myers, Florida, February 18; and Tampa, Florida, February 19. The topic is Maneuvering Flight-Hazardous to Your Health? For complete details, see AOPA Online.

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