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Copyright © 2004 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| THE FULL FLYING PICTURE |
Some airports sit in isolation, far from the nearest town. Others exist in a dynamic setting, and a pilot landing there may find that much has changed since the last visit. In either case, a pilot is responsible for knowing what is afoot at today's destination airport-and it may take careful checking to get the full picture.
A good place to start is AOPA's Airport Directory Online . It contains the same database as the printed directory mailed to AOPA members, but it is updated every business day, and the online version enables you to print a kneeboard-sized page containing important airport data, as described in the August 2003 AOPA Flight Training. The online directory also offers links to airport diagrams and instrument approach charts. Here's a trick if you're having trouble finding a diagram for your destination airport-check the instrument approach charts, which normally include one.
Notices to airmen-read more about notams in Section 5-1-3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual-offered during your weather briefing advise of temporary obstructions such as construction cranes near the airport, intermittent runway closures for snow removal, and limitations such as ski-equipped aircraft only allowed on unplowed runways. You might see such common wintertime notams as this: "AP CLSD EXC 15 MIN PPR 123.0." Translated: "Airport closed except 15 minutes prior permission required on frequency 123.0 MHz." Permanently closed airports may have a large X painted on the end of each runway, or they may be depicted on aeronautical charts with an X over the airport symbol. Such fields remain valuable as checkpoints and possible emergency landing sites; see "Abandoned Airports" in the December 1999 AOPA Flight Training.
Now that the briefer at your automated flight service station, or your briefing using AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner-described in "TFR Not Recommended" in the January 2004 AOPA Pilot-has given you notams for your flight, there is one more source of notam data to be checked. The AIM explains that "an integral part of the notam system is the Notices to Airmen Publication (NTAP) published every four weeks." Note this important feature of NTAP: "Once published, the information is not provided during pilot weather briefings unless specifically requested by the pilot." Information published is expected to remain in effect for at least seven days after the publication date.
Sure is a lot of information out there. Even a friendly call to the fixed-base operator at your destination can pay dividends and provide an extra sense of welcome (ask about parking; at some busy airports, a parking reservation may be necessary). Before you fly, get the full picture, and then enjoy the ride!
| Your Partner in Training |
|AOPA Online's Aviation Subject Reports provide answers to a variety of frequently asked aviation-related questions, from aircraft airworthiness to winter flying tips. Click here to see the entire list. If you have a question or concern that's not addressed, call the Aviation Services team for assistance-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. For login information, click here.
| Flight Training News |
| TFRs SHRINK IN FOUR STATES |
More than half of the 13 so-called "permanent" temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) that were put in place following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, have been reduced in size. The move follows months of pressure by AOPA on the FAA, the Pentagon, and the White House. All four TFRs in Puget Sound, Washington-as well as three others in Hawaii, Oregon, and Utah-have been trimmed down. But six of the TFRs are unchanged, and all 13 remain in place. "Having the amount of restricted airspace in the national airspace system reduced is certainly a step in the right direction, and we're pleased that the Pentagon listened to our call to reevaluate the matter," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government affairs. But more work needs to be done, he said, noting that an air defense identification zone remains clamped over the nation's capitol.
AOPA FILES COMPLAINT OVER TRAINING LIMITATIONS
AOPA has filed a formal complaint with the FAA over limitations on aircraft operations at Pompano Airpark in Florida that, among other things, attempt to limit flight training. Since 1995, the City of Pompano Beach has prohibited all stop-and-go activities at the airport; restricted touch-and-go operations to between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays; and banned all touch and goes on weekends or legal holidays. Also prohibited are intersection takeoffs, prolonged running of aircraft engines between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., and manned glider flights. Now the city council has adopted even more restrictions for taxi-back operations. AOPA's formal complaint points out that all such operations are normal and are routinely conducted at other airports. The federal government deeded what became Pompano Airpark to the city as war surplus following World War II. The city must use the land as an airport without undue restrictions or the federal government can take back the land. For more, see AOPA Online.
AIR, INC. ACQUIRES ONLINE EMPLOYMENT REFERRAL SERVICE
AIR, Inc., an aviation career information service based in Atlanta, has acquired Aviation Employee Placement Service (AEPS), an online referral service that had been located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. AIR Inc. purchased AEPS from the Air Line Pilots Association, which had obtained the rights to AEPS through bankruptcy proceedings against the online referral service in early 2003, the company said. AEPS will continue to operate with the same name as an independent division of AIR Inc., the company said. For more information, see the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
| WHERE'S THE WACO? |
When will AOPA announce the grand prize winner of the 2003 Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes-the lucky person who will own a fully restored 1940 Waco UPF-7 biplane? Here's the latest: The names of 401,952 AOPA members plus thousands of postcard entries have been shipped to Grant Thorton, LLP, the accounting firm that will conduct the random drawing. Each member name or postcard has been assigned a number. Grant Thorton this week was to draw a number for the last monthly Waco ride and one for the Grand Prize. Once the winning numbers have been picked, and the names attached to them are verified, AOPA has the fun task of transporting airplane, camera crew, and AOPA President Phil Boyer to one location so that the winner can be awarded his or her prize. See AOPA Online for updates on the Waco giveaway, and read all about Win-A-Twin-the 2004 sweepstakes that will give away a fully restored 1965 Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche!
'ePILOT,' FLYGUIDES PARTNER ON TRAVEL IDEAS
AOPA ePilot, in partnership with Flyguides, is bringing one of AOPA Pilot magazine's most popular features to the Internet. Beginning next week, and continuing on the fourth Friday of each month, ePilot will feature a "Postcards Online" flying destination within a few states of subscribers' homes. "Now subscribers can receive in-depth travel features focusing on their region every month, designed specifically for ePilot by Flyguides," said Mike Collins, AOPA vice president of diversified products. Founded by pilots who combined their interest in flying with their travel guidebook publishing know-how, Flyguides, Inc., is the Web's most comprehensive general aviation travel resource. Travel guides will include information for everyone on board, to encourage GA travel for the whole family.
Changing your mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.
| Training Products |
| 'ART OF THE HELICOPTER' EXPLAINS ROTOR CONCEPTS |
The modern helicopter merges a surprising number of technologies, and, according to the publisher of Art of the Helicopter, that blend of disciplines renders a complete understanding difficult. Author John Watkinson seeks to illuminate the subject with clear and simple diagrams that aid verbal explanations of how helicopters are made, how they fly, and how to fly them. A helicopter pilot and technical writer, Watkinson defines technical terms and acronyms and also seeks to dispel old wives' tales-"for which there are plenty surrounding helicopters," according to publisher Elsevier. The book, priced at $99.95, will be available in February at bookstores or may be ordered online.
| Final Exam |
| Question: Is there a plain-language translation for METARs in your new Real-Time Flight Planner program? |
Answer: Yes. Within the AOPA Real-Time Flight Planner, click on the Weather tab, and request plain language for the METARs and TAFs. Ask for a Standard WX: Route or Area report, and check the box for the translation. The resulting weather report displays the coded METARs first; so you'll need to scroll about halfway down the report, past the notams, to find the plain-language translations.
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 |
|If gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a fact of your life, you will be relieved to know that the FAA allows certification at all classes for those who are diagnosed with it. A subject report is available from the AOPA medical certification department. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Houston, Texas. The Third Annual Pops & Props Gala and Silent Auction takes place January 17 at William P. Hobby (HOU). The evening features vintage aircraft, automobiles, and the Ronnie Renfro Orchestra. For more information, 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 .
ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Long Beach, California; Baltimore; and Charlotte, North Carolina, January 24 and 25. Clinics are also scheduled in Melbourne, Florida; New Orleans; and Fort Worth, Texas, February 7 and 8. 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
The next Pinch-Hitter® Ground Schools will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, January 25; and Sacramento, California, February 15. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Mesa, Arizona, and San Antonio, January 26; Tucson, Arizona, and West Houston, Texas, January 27; Fort Worth, Texas, January 28; and Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Austin, Texas, January 29. The topic is Maneuvering Flight-Hazardous to Your Health? For complete details, see AOPA Online.