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Copyright © 2004 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| RCOs |
The cross-country solo flight has been going well. Your flight planning proves accurate concerning winds and groundspeed, and you locate the unfamiliar airport. It's a good feeling, right? But as you prepare to head out on the second leg, it would be helpful to have fresh weather information and update your VFR flight plan.
But how? If the airport sits in a remote location, the usual frequencies for contacting flight service or flight watch may not be usable, nor may there be a telephone or wireless service. There may still be a way: an RCO. The abbreviation stands for remote communications outlet. "These outlets serve flight service stations and allow you to contact a flight service specialist by relaying your signal through the outlet when distance or obstacles would make direct radio communication impossible," explains Elizabeth A. Tennyson in "Aviation Speak" in the March 2001 AOPA Flight Training. If there is an RCO along your flight path or at the destination, you will see it depicted on aeronautical charts. Download the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide illustration of symbols, frequencies, and how to identify the flight service station to which the RCO relays your call. RCO frequencies are also noted in airport listings in AOPA's Airport Directory Online and the Airport/Facility Directory.
Some FSSs may operate more than one RCO on a particular frequency (such as 122.3 MHz), so make sure to include the name of the RCO in your call-up. Click here to see the example of correct phraseology for an RCO-based call to flight service in the Aeronautical Information Manual. Note that these RCOs are stand-alone installations designed for two-way communication. They are different from the remote transmitters co-located with VORs described in the April 4, 2003, "Training Tips" that allow you to transmit on a com channel (often 122.1 MHz) and monitor the response from the FSS on the VOR frequency. (Remember to turn up the nav volume when you use this method!)
RCO chart symbols can be obscure and easy to overlook, but when you need a way to communicate, knowing that one is available can make all the difference.
| Your Partner in Training |
|"The AOPA Pilot Information Center is one of the best benefits of membership. The staff is always professional, prompt, helpful, and courteous." Members have great things to say about using AOPA's Pilot Information Center-an exclusive free member benefit with a team of experts at your service Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time. Our team offers aviation technical and medical certification support, assistance with pilot concerns, flight planning help, information on aircraft, and answers to your medical certification questions. And remember, the only "stupid" question is the one that's not asked. Call toll-free 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 |
| FLIGHT SCHOOL GETS SIMULATOR WITH TWO GPS OPTIONS |
If your flight school's training fleet uses GPS units made by different manufacturers, but the flight simulator you're about to purchase has only one GPS option, what do you do? If you're Nick Frisch, manager of Galvin Flying Service's flight school in Seattle, you convince the simulator manufacturer to find a solution. Next month Galvin takes delivery of a Frasca 142 that is configured to let the user work with either a Bendix/King KLN-94 or a Garmin 430 in the cockpit. "The way you train is the way you fly, so we wanted to offer familiar GPS equipment in the simulator" to all students, Frisch said. Frasca International says the dual-GPS option is now available for all customers.
AIRSHOW GROUP OFFERS FLIGHT TRAINING SCHOLARSHIPS
The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) Foundation sponsors five aviation-related scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 for those beginning or furthering their aviation or aerobatic training. Official application forms are available from the foundation's Web site. Scholarship winners will be announced in November. The scholarships honor airshow performers who have lost their lives, including Jan Jones; Daniel Heligoin and Montaine Mallet of the French Connection; Charlie Hillard; Leo Loudenslager; and two members of the Red Baron Squadron. The application deadline is September 1.
AERO CLUB TO HONOR ROBINSON HELICOPTER CEO
Frank Robinson couldn't sell his concept of a small, low-cost training helicopter to the major aircraft companies. Undeterred, he founded his own company in 1973. The Robinson R22 now holds every world record in its class for speed, distance, and altitude, and it is used extensively for flight training as well as for business and personal use. The Aero Club of New England will honor Robinson's achievements at an award ceremony on June 11 in Boston. The Godfrey L. Cabot Award recognizes individuals or teams who have made unique, significant, and unparalleled contributions to aviation or space flight. For more information on the event, see the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA AT 65: GOING STRONG AND GROWING STRONGER |
The world's largest general aviation organization turned 65 this month, but there are no plans for retirement. Then as now, AOPA's continuing mission is to protect GA through education, information, and advocacy. Learn about these efforts and the history of the association 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 |
| NEW BOOK EXPLAINS IT ALL |
Despite its title, Richie Lengel's Everything Explained for the Professional Pilot is neither a learn-to-fly manual nor a how-to book on landing an airline job. It's best characterized as a resource, addressing in outline style the flight-related subjects of airspace, airport operations, navigation, communication, weather, flight rules, and approach procedures. A significant amount of space is devoted to explanations of professional flying issues. Lengel also includes a convenient compilation of conversions, formulas, and aeronautical rules of thumb. The book sells for $59.95 and may be ordered online.
| Final Exam |
| Question: I was studying a sectional chart recently and came across the letters "UC" next to a tower symbol. Can you tell me what this means? |
Answer: Obstacles under construction are indicated by the letters "UC" immediately adjacent to the symbol. If available, the above ground level height of the obstruction is shown in parentheses. You'll find a great deal of detailed information on chart symbols online in the National Aeronautical Charting Office's Chart User's Guide, which you can download from AOPA Online.
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 |
|Need a special gift for a very special dad? The AOPA Online Gallery has the answer. Hundreds of beautiful images from AOPA Pilot are a mouse click away. And for a limited time, AOPA members qualify for a 50-percent discount on 8-by-10-inch prints (regularly $34). 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 |
|Even a highly experienced pilot can find himself wingtip to wingtip with an F-16 if he unknowingly violates restricted airspace. "Never Again: Talk to Somebody" vividly illustrates why requesting flight following is a good idea for VFR pilots on cross-country flights. See the June 2004 issue of AOPA Pilot. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Columbia, Missouri. A Salute to Veterans takes place May 29 and 30 at Columbia Regional (COU). P-38J Lightning Porky II to join other vintage and modern military aircraft and three parachute teams. Contact Ken Hines, 573/881-7469, or visit the Web site.
Marfa, Texas. Wings & Wheels in West Texas takes place May 28 through 30 at Marfa Municipal (MRF). Airplanes, gliders, classic cars, motorcycles, and vintage tractors gather at this annual fly-in event near the Davis Mountains of west Texas. Contact Burt Compton, 800/667-9464, or visit the Web site.
Frederick, Maryland. The AOPA Fly-In and Open House takes place June 5 at AOPA headquarters at Frederick Municipal (FDK). Visit your organization's headquarters and meet the AOPA staff dedicated to serving the GA industry. For details, call 800/USA-AOPA, or visit the Web site.
Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The Twelfth Annual Manitowoc County Airshow and Balloon Rally takes place June 5 and 6 at Manitowoc County (MTW). Featuring top military and civilian performers, seaplane fly-in, warbirds, and hot air balloons. Transient aircraft welcome; free breakfast for all arriving pilots. Seaplane beaching available. Contact Curt Drumm, 920/794-3150, or visit the Web site .
Galveston, Texas. The Gulf Coast Wings Weekend takes place June 4 and 5 at Scholes International at Galveston (GLS). The Texas Aviation Association will present over 100 hours of Wings safety seminars. Contact Tre Deathe, 512/454-9476, or 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 San Jose, California, and Minneapolis, June 5 and 6. A clinic is also scheduled in Columbus, Ohio, June 12 and 13. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Renewal Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled for the AOPA Fly-In and Open House in Frederick, Maryland, June 5. For complete details on topics and schedules, see AOPA Online.