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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 4, Issue 20AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 4, Issue 20

Volume 4, Issue 20 • May 14, 2004
In this issue:
April pilot hiring slows, 2004 numbers still strong
Robinson sales on the rise
TSA suspends pilot security rule


MBNA Credit Card

Garmin International

Garmin International

AOPA Insurance Agency Renters Insurance

Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA Aviation AD&D Insurance


Minnesota Life Insurance


AOPA Insurance Agency Owners Insurance

Pilot Insurance Center

AOPA Legal Services Plan

King Schools

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Copyright © 2004 AOPA.

Training Tips
A new pilot wrote in with a suggestion to write an article about departing from Class C and B airports. You see, his first flight into Class C airspace (see description and procedures in Chapter 3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual) did not go well. Arriving wasn't the problem; he knew what to expect. But the departure went awry.

Planning an on-course heading of 063 degrees, he did not anticipate being assigned a different initial heading out of the radar-controlled environment. He mistook the instructions. This was compounded when, after being scolded for flying 065 degrees instead of the assigned 165 degrees, he became distracted and violated an altitude restriction. "The idea of being told to depart on a heading that was more than 100 degrees from my intended track never occurred to me," he wrote.

Why the different heading? Possibly for traffic. Say you are departing a tower-controlled airport in Class C airspace. Another, faster aircraft is waiting to take off after you. You might receive an initial vector designed to clear the departure course for the next takeoff. After traffic was no longer a factor, you would be instructed to "proceed on course."

Once alert to such possibilities, the departure procedure is not complicated. "Most busy airports-usually Class B or C-have a clearance delivery frequency," wrote David Montoya in the January 1999 AOPA Flight Training feature "ATC Communications." "Before you call ground control, you should contact the clearance delivery controller. For VFR departures, the request is similar to that for taxi clearances. You tell the controller who you are [your aircraft's N number], where you are on the airport, and where you want to go; i.e., 'west departure' or your destination airport." You will be assigned a transponder code and a departure-control frequency (if more than one is in use), and you will be instructed to contact ground control when ready to taxi.

"After takeoff from a Class B or C airport, the tower will hand you off to (radar) departure control," explains Robert N. Rossier in the July 1997 Flight Training feature "High Anxiety, Avoiding the Blue Airport Blues." Read the article to see his other tips for flying into and out of blue airports.

The story ends happily. After the flight the pilot contacted the approach/departure facility to discuss what happened. The controller was "very helpful," allowing the pilot to identify his own error of inexperience: "I guess that because I wanted/expected to hear 063, I somehow mistook 165 as 065," the pilot concluded. A learning experience-one which, handled professionally by all, advanced learning and helped a new pilot keep up his confidence.

Your Partner in Training
Students tell us that one of the most valuable benefits of their free six-month membership is AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner. The Real-Time Flight Planner allows you to overlay your route with active temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) and current weather, tap into AOPA's Airport Directory Online for the latest information on 5,500 public-use airports and 7,000 FBOs, plan a route while your flight plan and navigation log are created automatically-ready to print in kneeboard format and to file online with DUAT-and more.

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. AOPA Flight Training Members have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. Login information is available online.

Flight Training News
Pilot hiring for April dipped below March levels but still remained robust compared to 2003, according to information compiled by AIR, Inc. The airlines hired 851 pilots in April, down from 975 in March. In 2003 the airlines hired 395 pilots per month. The national airlines hired 380 pilots, while jet operators hired 229, non-jet operators hired 90, and the major airlines hired 38 pilots. AIR, Inc. said its figures indicate the industry is just 1,559 pilots away from reaching the 4,743 hired in all of 2003. For more information about AIR, Inc.'s hiring survey, see the Web site.

Robinson Helicopter Company led the way in helicopter production with 158 new helicopter deliveries in first quarter 2004, according to the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). Robinson delivered 104 R44s and 54 R22s in the three-month period, which is an 82-percent increase over the 57 R44s and 30 R22s it shipped in first quarter 2003. Bell Helicopter followed with 16 deliveries while Sikorsky had eight. Robinson now employs more than 1,000 workers, up from 600 early last year. The company is also to complete a factory building in July that will almost double its manufacturing floor space. This should shorten the six-month order backlog on both models, the company said. For more information, visit the Web site.

The Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance (AWAM) presented three awards during the Women in Aviation International conference in Reno, Nevada, in March. Stephen Harms, a lecturer at San Jose State University in San Jose, California, was named Teacher of the Year. He is a Gold Seal CFI who teaches airframe, powerplant, and flight operations students and also maintains a fleet of rental aircraft for a local flight school. Student of the Year was Christi Garner, who is enrolled in Atlanta Technical College in Georgia and aspires to an airline career after graduation. The Beyond All Odds award, which honors an individual who has overcome personal obstacles to achieve a successful career in aviation, was given to Janice Whittaker, an engineer at American Airlines.

Inside AOPA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has suspended enforcement of a rule that allowed it to revoke a pilot's certificate for alleged security risks. AOPA had opposed the rule because it did not afford pilots the constitutional right to due process-if an individual's certificate was revoked, his or her only avenue of appeal was to the TSA, the same agency that ordered the revocation. Following intense lobbying efforts by AOPA, Congress ordered the TSA to develop a new appeals process. For more, see the media release on AOPA Online.

Now that spring is here and summer is on its way, more and more pilots will be taking to the skies over the next few months. If you rent or borrow aircraft, make sure you have the proper insurance coverage. Many pilots have found out the hard way that an FBO's insurance policy only covers the FBO, not the renter pilot. Visit the AOPA Insurance Agency or call 800/622-2672 for more information.

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
Douglas Ritter is widely known in aviation circles as an authority on survival skills and equipment. He founded the nonprofit Equipped to Survive to promote awareness of survival emergencies. Now he has designed a pocket-size pack to hold some 15 items that could prove indispensable while waiting for help following an off-airport landing. They include a fire starter, tinder, whistle, reflective signal mirror, a compass, and much more. The gear comes in a pouch that weighs less than 4 ounces. The Pocket Survival Pak by Adventure Medical Kits retails for $27.50 and is sold online at and A portion of each purchase goes to Equipped to Survive.

Final Exam
Question: How often is a VOR aligned with magnetic north?

Answer: The National Aeronautical Charting Office (NACO) provides an answer on its Web site under "Frequently Asked Questions." In response to the question, "Why is there a difference between the magnetic variation for the airport and the VOR located at the same airport?" NACO says, "Although periodic maintenance is performed as needed, a re-slaving to match the isogonic value requires a total navaid shut down, realignment, and a re-certification flight check. Only when the navaid is out of tolerance by at least +/-6 degrees will a re-slaving procedure be initiated allowing the navaid and airport magnetic variation to match again."

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
Looking for a unique gift for Father's Day? The AOPA Online Gallery can help! For a limited time, members can order 8-by-10-inch prints for 50 percent off the regular price. Search through hundreds of beautiful images and choose the perfect gift for dad. Order by June 7 to guarantee delivery by Father's Day (June 20). Of course, you can still download your favorite images to use for wallpaper or send a personalized e-card. For more details, see AOPA Online.

What's New At AOPA Online
Pilots who are being medicated for high blood pressure must submit a current cardiovascular evaluation the next time they visit an aviation medical examiner to renew a medical certificate. Find out what's involved in the AOPA Medical Certification Department's updated subject report on hypertension.

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

ePilot Calendar
Lumberton, North Carolina. The Mid-Atlantic Fly-In and Sport Aviation Convention takes place May 14 through 16 at Lumberton Municipal (LBT). A new grass-roots aviation event in the spirit of the great traditional fly-ins of years gone by. Contact Dale Faux, 863/709-9390, or visit the Web site.

Columbia, California. The Twenty-eighth Annual Gathering of Luscombes takes place May 21 and 22 at Columbia (O22). Hosted by the Continental Luscombe Association. Contact Jim or Patti Sani, 559/888-2745, or visit the Web site.

Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Tenth Annual Twin Cities RV Fly-In takes place May 22 and 23 at Anoka County-Blaine (Janes Field) (ANE). Fly-in breakfast (both days), pig roast and hangar dance Saturday night and a wide array of aviation activities. 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 .

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Sacramento, California, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, May 22 and 23. Clinics are also scheduled in San Jose, California, and Minneapolis, June 5 and 6. 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 Upton, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island, May 17; Billerica, Massachusetts, and White Plains, New York, May 18; Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Poughkeepsie, New York, May 19; and Morristown, New Jersey, May 20. For complete details on topics and schedules, see AOPA Online.

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