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| Training Tips |
| AIRPORTS (AND PILOTS) TO THE RESCUE |
Flight activity at airports tends to settle into a familiar routine. But unusual events like natural disasters can turn a quiet airport into a nerve center for rescue or relief efforts. All pilots are responsible for knowing how to interact efficiently with the participating aircraft.
When Hurricane Jeanne became the fourth severe storm to slam Florida in 2004, helicopters became major players in relief operations. At times like this, fixed-wing pilots are expected to use their knowledge of how to operate with helicopters in the airport vicinity. If such an event happened in your area, there could also be a notice to airmen such as the one put into effect in Florida, encouraging pilots not involved in relief efforts "to avoid navigating through and/or loitering within common knowledge disaster areas in order to avoid causing interference with disaster relief efforts under way."
In ground studies you learned right-of-way rules applicable to aircraft, discussed in the May 2, 2003, "Training Tips". You could face a question about them on your private pilot knowledge test or flight test, such as: How would you interact with a helicopter if your aircraft and the helicopter were both taking off or landing at the same time? At a tower-controlled airport, guidance is provided in Chapter 4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM): "Insofar as possible, helicopter operations will be instructed to avoid the flow of fixed-wing aircraft to minimize overall delays; however, there will be many situations where faster/larger helicopters may be integrated with fixed-wing aircraft for the benefit of all concerned." At a nontowered airport, "each pilot of a helicopter or a powered parachute must avoid the flow of fixed-wing aircraft," states one of the flight rules in Part 91 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.
You already know how to avoid wake turbulence (see "The Weather Never Sleeps: Wake Vortices" in the August 2002 AOPA Flight Training) when taking off or landing behind larger aircraft. Helicopters can generate hazardous rotor downwash. See AIM Chapter 7 for tips on how to avoid it.
How you adjust to a sudden change in the type or volume of activity at your airport could have a direct impact on rescue or relief operations. Do your part to get help to those who need it!
| Your Partner in Training |
|Filing VFR flight plans regularly is good training for pilots who will later complete an instrument rating and fly IFR. FAR 91.103 begins by stating, "Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar with all available information concerning that flight." Read more on preflight action from an attorney's perspective in the August 2003 issue of AOPA Pilot. |
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 |
| COMPANY OFFERS OWNERSHIP DEAL FOR LIGHT-SPORT AIRCRAFT |
With dates set for the release of Sport Pilot Practical Test Standards and sport pilot student applications, more companies are offering aircraft for those students to use for training. Letsfly.org, based in Idaho, announced its cooperative light-sport aircraft ownership program. Students can take lessons in an aircraft that they are flying to own, in which up to half of each flight hour is credited toward ownership. An initial investment of $900 is required. Cost per flight hour varies by airplane but runs about $28 wet. Initially, the company will offer a Zephyr and the Zodiac CH 601 and CH 701. A Zephyr is available at the Idaho flight center for demonstration flights. Letsfly.org has more than 60 centers across the United States. For more information, visit the Web site.
'BROWN CONDOR' TAKES WING TO PROMOTE AVIATION
A group of aviation enthusiasts, including a Tuskegee airman, has formed a nonprofit organization whose goal is to promote careers in aviation among African Americans in the Greater Cincinnati community. According to a story in the September 30 Cincinnati Enquirer, the group, called Brown Condor, is educating children about aviation while seeking to provide affordable flight training and helping pilots continue with follow-up training. The group purchased an interest in a Cessna 172 through a partnership with Co-Op Aircraft Services, an FBO based at Blue Ash Airport. Members raised $30,000 to help several students get started with flight training. Students pay about $59 per hour for wet aircraft rental and instructor time; the average expense is $114 per hour. National airline pilot organizations estimate that 2 percent of the nation's 145,000 commercial pilots are African American.
| Inside AOPA |
| BOYER TAKES MEMBER CONCERNS OVER 'ALIEN RULE' TO CONGRESS |
AOPA President Phil Boyer took members' frustration over the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA's) alien flight training rule directly to Congress Thursday morning. Boyer told Rep. John Mica, chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, that the rule takes something that should have been a straightforward, commonsense security measure and creates an impractical regulation with far-reaching consequences. Mica's committee wrote the law that requires TSA to check for terrorists among the foreign nationals applying for flight training in the United States. But the committee was concerned primarily with large aircraft that have the potential to do significant damage. Boyer asked for Mica's help in deferring application of the parts of the rule governing training in smaller aircraft until TSA and the industry can resolve some of its problems. See AOPA Online.
FAA GOES AFTER CHICAGO FOR CLOSING MEIGS FIELD
Faced with a $33,100 fine and the possibility of another $4.5 million in penalties for illegally closing Meigs Field and misusing restricted airport funds, Mayor Richard Daley and the City of Chicago predictably went into "spin" mode this past weekend. The FAA announced last Friday that it was planning to sanction the City of Chicago following its investigation prompted by a formal complaint by AOPA. The agency concluded that the city failed to provide proper notification to the FAA when it snuck in the middle of the night to carve Xs in the runway. And the FAA said the city may have misspent some $1.5 million in federal grants and airline passenger tax revenues intended for Chicago O'Hare International, instead using the money to pay contractors to rip out Meigs' runway. That "irked" Daley, reported the Chicago Tribune. Daley said he closed Meigs because of security concerns, adding, "I don't think small planes should be flying whatsoever in the metropolitan area, especially in the City of Chicago." See AOPA Online.
WANTED: CFI INPUT
Attention flight instructors: Do you plan to attend AOPA Expo 2004? If so, please consider participating in AOPA Flight Training's second annual CFI Roundtable. It will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 23, in Room 103C of the Long Beach Convention Center. E-mail AOPA for more information.
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 |
| VISIT REMOTE MOUNTAIN AIRSTRIPS WITH ONLINE VIDEOS |
If a trip to a remote backcountry airstrip isn't in the cards this year (let alone the training required to operate in such a challenging environment), you can still dream. Orion Air Ground Videos, a division of Airstrip Trailhead Preservation Task Force, offers four online mountain flying videos. You can buy a three-day subscription to view one video for $7.95. Destinations depicted include Big Creek and Cabin Creek in Idaho, Bandera State in Washington, and Meadow Creek and Schafer in Montana. Some of the video footage includes real-life distractions (like downdrafts) encountered by the pilots. But remember, watching a video about flying into a mountain airstrip doesn't qualify you to load up the Skyhawk and attempt it yourself. See the Web site for more information.
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: Is the wind direction reported by an automated surface observation system (ASOS) given in reference to true or magnetic north? And do you know how many ASOSs there are in the United States? |
Answer: Like the numbering of runways, wind direction is given in degrees relative to magnetic north when the information is transmitted locally by radio (and via telephone) or it goes to Flight Watch. More than 1,000 U.S. airports now have an AWOS (automated weather observation system), an ASOS, or, at some of the bigger airports, an ATIS (automatic terminal information service). All of these systems measure, collect, and broadcast data to help meteorologists, pilots, and flight dispatchers prepare and monitor weather forecasts, plan flight routes, and provide necessary information for takeoffs and landings. For more information, see "Don't Always Tell It Like It Is" from the August 2004 edition of AOPA Flight Training.
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 fabulous images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|Planning to take an FAA knowledge test? Download the latest list of FAA testing centers from AOPA Online. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| FLYING DESTINATIONS THIS WEEKEND: |
St. Petersburg, Florida. Suncoast AirFest 2004 takes place October 9 and 10 at Albert Whitted (SPG). Featuring top-name aerobatic performers, military flybys, and static display aircraft as well as World War II and vintage aircraft performances. Contact Steve Tolliver, 813/917-1967, or visit the Web site.
Peachtree City, Georgia. The Great Georgia Airshow takes place October 9 and 10 at Peachtree City-Falcon Field (FFC). Acts include Jim Leroy, Shockley Jet Truck, Jimmy Franklin, A-10 Heritage Flight, warbirds, and more. Contact Jerry Cobb, 678/478-4630, or visit the Web site.
Maricopa, Arizona. The Copperstate Regional EAA Fly-in takes place October 7 through 10 at Phoenix Regional (A39). The thirty-second annual fly-in features educational forums, workshops, airshow, demonstration flights, vendor displays, food court, and children's activities. Visit the Web site.
Pompano Beach, Florida. Air Fair 2004 takes place October 16 and 17 at Pompano Beach Airpark (PMP). Join our family entertainment weekend featuring static displays of military and civilian aircraft and vehicles. Contact Robert Tash, 954/782-7287 or 954/803-5722, or visit the Web site.
Gordonville, Texas. The Cedar Mills Eighth Annual Safety Seminar and Splash-in takes place October 15 through 17 at Cedar Mills (3T0). Forums presented by the FAA, SPA, aviation instructors, and representatives of aviation equipment manufacturers and avionics industry. Seawings and Wings credits. Flying events scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Contact Rich Worstell, 903/523-4899, 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 .
ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER COURSES
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Courses are scheduled in Columbia, South Carolina, and Corpus Christi, Texas, October 16 and 17. Courses are also scheduled in Las Vegas, and Nashville, Tennessee, October 23 and 24. 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 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Tampa, Florida, October 12; Lake Worth, Florida, and Pensacola, Florida, October 13; New Orleans, October 14; Alexandria, Louisiana, October 15; and Pikeville, North Carolina, and Lynchburg, Virginia, October 16. Topics vary. For complete details, see AOPA Online.