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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 4, Issue 44AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 4, Issue 44

Volume 4, Issue 44 • October 29, 2004
In this issue:
Piper, tailwheel Web forums launch
Northwest aviation luminary honored
New citizenship check rule creates confusion

The ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by
Cessna Pilot Centers

Cessna Pilot Centers


DTC Duat



King Schools

MBNA Credit Card

MBNA Deposit Program

Garmin International

AOPA Insurance Agency Renters Insurance

Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA Aviation AD&D Insurance

Cessna Cleared for Approach program

AOPA Aircraft Financing Program

New Piper Aircraft

Minnesota Life Insurance


AOPA Insurance Agency Owners Insurance

Pilot Insurance Center

AOPA CFI Sign-up

Comm1 Radio Simulator

AOPA Legal Services Plan

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Copyright © 2004 AOPA.

Training Tips
Spring forward, fall back. Everybody knows the drill. Say goodbye to daylight-saving time (and to most daylight in some places) and revert to standard time until next spring. Remember, on Sunday morning (or better yet, the night before), to turn back all those clocks in the house and the car.

Time changes can affect your flying, too. Weather forecasts and observations are not directly affected because, as you know, they are given in Universal Coordinated Time, known as Zulu time, as explained in the July 11, 2003, Training Tips. But now you must modify how you convert your local standard time to a 24-hour clock value that will end in a Z. Do you remember how to make the adjustment?

"To convert Zulu to local time, if the United States is on standard time, subtract five hours from Zulu to get Eastern Time, six hours for Central, seven hours for Mountain, and eight hours for Pacific Time. If the country is on daylight-saving time, subtract one hour less for each time zone," explains Jack Williams in his February 2003 AOPA Flight Training column "The Weather Never Sleeps."

The combination of darkness arriving at an earlier hour and more total hours of darkness presents some very practical planning concerns for pilots. For example, if you are heading east into a different time zone in the afternoon, thereby "losing" an hour as far as local time is concerned (but not Zulu time, which is unchanged), be sure to take this into account when considering the local sunset time at your destination. Time zones and related navigational issues are discussed in Chapter 14 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

Study sample weather and navigation questions from the Private Pilot Knowledge Test for examples of how Zulu time is applied to flight planning, then get used to converting standard times to Z values—and the reverse—with some practice calculations of your own. An added tip from the Handbook: Time zone boundaries and correction values are printed on aeronautical charts. The boundaries may be irregular in places because "communities near the boundaries often find it more convenient to use time designations of neighboring communities or trade centers." Be sure you know which time zone your destination is in before adjusting local time to Zulu time.

Your Partner in Training
As an AOPA member, you also have access to AOPA's flagship publication— AOPA Pilot magazine. Visit the AOPA Pilot magazine archives on AOPA Online for a wealth of information right at your fingertips. From training information to safety articles to legal issues to aviation careers—and more—be sure to take advantage of this additional AOPA member benefit to get the most out of your training.

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
Web-savvy pilots now have two new meeting places to congregate. Piper Chat is a bulletin board with forums divided into specific areas: tailwheel, single-engine (PA-28 variants), "super singles" (Six/Lance/Mirage/Meridian), and twins. There are also forums on product reviews, upcoming Piper events, and fly-ins. It's free to use, but you must register to post or reply to messages. If you speak tailwheel, you may want to surf over to, the site of the newly created Tailwheel Pilots Association, which has nearly 900 registered users. The site offers forums on numerous popular tailwheel makes, including Stinson, Luscombe, and Taylorcraft, plus classified ads, chat, and a photo gallery. Membership is $1.99 per month or $15 per year.

Seattle's Museum of Flight paid tribute to a local aviation legend on October 16, inducting the late Elmer Hansen into its Pathfinder Hall of Fame. Hansen's piloting career spanned seven decades. He began flight instructing in 1936; in 1940 he was designated as one of the first Civilian Pilot Training Program flight examiners, during which time he helped to standardize flight instruction throughout the Northwest. In World War II, he trained nearly 1,000 military pilots, including some who later joined the Women's Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) program. After the war, Hansen opened a seaplane base on Lake Washington, joined The Boeing Company in sales and later customer relations, and continued to teach in his spare time. He was still providing flight instruction and had logged more than 19,000 hours at the time of his death in June.

Inside AOPA
As Transportation Security Administration (TSA) chief David M. Stone learned directly last week from AOPA members during AOPA Expo, that the new citizenship check rule has stirred up a firestorm of frustration and confusion within the general aviation community. Record numbers of pilots and flight instructors are telling AOPA that they are upset that there was no advance warning or education on the rule that requires pilots to verify citizenship with instructors before they train for additional ratings or certificates. Non-U.S. citizens are also required to be screened by the TSA. "I do not understand how they expect everyone to comply with the rule when they provide you with no information on how to do so. I have called the TSA help desk four times with different questions, and the only question they answered was where to register our school," said one instructor. Other instructors, meanwhile, are complaining that they are not trained in security and should not be put in the position of verifying citizenship documents. AOPA has also heard from many of the 82,452 pilots who are resident aliens. They are saying that the TSA's new process requiring them to submit to fingerprinting, background checks, and having their photos taken is redundant because resident aliens have already received extensive immigration and homeland security screening. "We are taking these concerns directly to the top of the TSA and making sure our friends in Congress weigh in at the agency," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "This rule must be changed." For more information on the specifics of the rule, see AOPA's regulatory brief.

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
The process of buying a used aircraft can be broken down into nine steps, according to How To Buy A Used Airplane, a newly released DVD from Aviation Media Inc. The DVD presents food for thought on the general stuff (for example, why buying a high-wing versus a low-wing may not be just a matter of personal preference), then moves without delay into the specifics, taking the viewer over virtually every inch of an airplane to describe what you should and should not find. While the DVD focuses primarily on the prepurchase inspection, it also touches on what to look for in a prepurchase flight, and some general treatment is given to title searches and aircraft insurance. The DVD sells for $24.99. Order it from the Web site.

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: While traveling on the airlines during a recent vacation, I brought along my handheld GPS in order to keep track of where we were and how long it would take to get to our destination. However, when I started to use it, the flight attendant advised me that I could not operate it and had to put it away. Why wasn't I allowed to use the GPS?

Answer: The FAA addresses this in 14 CFR Part 91 Section 91.21, "Portable electronic devices," which applies to air carriers and other aircraft operating under instrument flight rules. You may be surprised to learn that there are only four allowable electronic items listed in the regulation (portable voice recorders, hearing aids, heart pacemakers, and electric shavers). All other electronic devices are permitted only if the operator or pilot in command of the aircraft has determined that they will not cause interference with the navigation or communication system of the aircraft in which they are to be used. Advisory Circular 91.21-1A says the PIC/operator can conduct an operational test without sophisticated equipment to determine whether or not the electronic device causes interference. Download the AC for a simple testing technique that could be used in rental aircraft by the renter-pilot, lessee, or owner-operator to make the determination.

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
What's the latest development on the Sport Pilot and Light-Sport Aircraft initiative? Find newly released documents, effective dates, and FAA guidance on AOPA Online.

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

ePilot Calendar
Sebring, Florida. The U.S. Sport Aviation Expo takes place October 28 through 31 at Sebring Regional (SEF). The inaugural event will bring together aircraft and related exhibitors and people interested in light-sport aircraft and sport pilot opportunities. Contact Robert Wood, 863/655-6444 ext. 117, or visit the Web site.

West Des Moines, Iowa. The 2004 Iowa Aviation Conference takes place November 3 and 4 at the University Park Holiday Inn. Featuring Rod Machado ($98 advance registration). Contact Iowa Public Airports Association, 515/239-1691, or visit the Web site.

Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
Women Take Flight, Past and Present, takes place November 7 at Bradley International (BDL). The New England Air Museum and the New England Ninety-Nines will host an all-day event honoring women in aviation at the Air Museum. Open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., general admission. Contact Caroline D'Otreppe, New England Air Museum, 860/623-3305, or visit the Web site.

Camden, South Carolina. The Celebrate Freedom Festival 2004 takes place November 6 and 7 at Woodward Field (CDN). The air and ground show honors America's veterans and features vintage military aircraft. The Thunderbirds will perform November 6. Contact Anna Amick, 803/772-2945, 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 .

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Reston, Virginia, November 6 and 7. A clinic is also scheduled in San Diego, November 13 and 14. 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 Concord, California, November 1; Palo Alto, California, November 2; Fresno, California, November 3; and San Luis Obispo, California, November 4. The seminar topic will be "GPS: Beyond Direct-To." For complete details, see AOPA Online.

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