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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| CONGESTION IN THE PATTERN |
Even quiet airports have rush hours. Spikes in activity follow predictable schedules at some fields, but elsewhere, surges in activity are random. Training in arrival procedures and distraction avoidance means you're ready no matter how busy the traffic pattern.
Consider this situation at a nontowered airport. (Review this Safety Hot Spot from the AOPA Online Safety Center.) A student pilot departs at midday on a cross-country, with the field deserted and the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) silent. Hours later, monitoring CTAF from many miles out suggests that all is as before. But as the student enters the traffic pattern, everything changes. Put yourself in this cockpit and bring the flight to its conclusion.
Someone calling from another training airplane radios that he is taxiing to the runway. Will he get there before you land? An arriving Cessna 152 radios an entry to the downwind leg. Logically this aircraft would show up behind you, but be wary. (See the July 3, 2003, " Training Tips: Taming Nontowered Airports.") Verifying that your landing light is on for all to see, you turn base. Your position broadcast brings an answer from a helicopter arriving on a path that will take it across the final approach course-normal, but something to watch during your descent. A Piper single calls in from five miles west. No factor, but if you need to perform a go-around, you'll want to know its position. You turn final with four other aircraft to think about.
Complicated, but manageable. You spot the helo passing ahead and below. There's good separation, but you shallow your descent slightly, delaying throttling back to idle power until you are clear. (Making such decisions is a key skill for new pilots. See Dave Wilkerson's " Checkride: Patterns of Safety" in the September 2000 AOPA Flight Training.) Now the Cessna pilot has lost situational awareness and is asking whether he is number two to land, or number three. You know the answer, but you need to focus on flying.
Fighting distraction, you touch down, never relinquishing your concentration on speed and directional control. You expeditiously but carefully taxi to the nearest runway exit point.
Nicely done! Quite the learning experience but, for the well-trained pilot, routine.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Perhaps you began your training last summer and spent some time on the ground thanks to the winter weather. By now you've probably accumulated enough hours and experience to take your private pilot checkride. Or perhaps you're just beginning your training, but you already have those "checkride jitters." The FAA's Private Pilot Practical Test Standards (PTS) tells you everything you must be able to do on your checkride, and you can download the PTS from AOPA Flight Training Online. While you're there, check out the section devoted to preparing for the flight test. |
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 |
| DIAMOND MARKETS SIMPLIFIED DIAMOND STAR |
Diamond Aircraft's fixed pitch propeller version of the Diamond Star is expected to receive FAA certification in mid-May. The company said the DA40-FP is attractive to flight schools because of its lower acquisition and operating cost and simplified operation and maintenance. Airline Transport Professionals already has ordered 10 aircraft. Diamond said that it also could be popular with private owners who would like to put the aircraft on leaseback. The DA40-FP features a carbureted Lycoming O-360-A4M engine and is based at $187,800. Diamond plans to begin delivery of the aircraft in June.
CAE WINS AIRLINE, FAA TRAINING CONTRACTS
Montreal-based CAE has signed two more training agreements with U.S. clients. The two agreements are worth about $14 million over five years. CAE will supply initial training on Airbus A320 aircraft to USA 3000 Airlines, a Philadelphia-based carrier that operates flights from Northeastern and Midwest cities to Florida, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. CAE also has inked a deal with the FAA to provide initial and recurrent training to more than 150 FAA pilots. They'll be trained on business aircraft, including the King Air 300, the Hawker 800, the Bombardier Challenger 601 and 604, and the Bombardier Learjet 60. For more information about CAE, see the Web site.
AOPA SWEEPSTAKES WINNER EARNS MULTIENGINE RATING
He's off and flying. Roy Wilbanks, winner of AOPA's 2004 Win-A-Twin Sweepstakes Comanche, passed his checkride for the multiengine rating on April 22. His examiner, Carroll Joye, says Wilbanks did a "fantastic job." See photos on AOPA Online.
ATP BEEFS UP TWIN FLEET
Airline Transport Professionals Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida, welcomed on April 21 the third of five New Piper PA-44 Seminoles ordered this year. The remaining two will be delivered in May. Students in ATP's Career Pilot Program fly Seminoles for most of their training, which includes a 75-hour multiengine cross-country phase that prepares them for first officer positions with regional airlines, ATP said. With the addition of these five, the Seminole fleet will number 65. For more information about ATP's training programs, see the Web site.
OLDER PILOTS' ACHIEVEMENTS MAKING HEADLINES
Late-blooming aviators-the folks who learn to fly a little later in life-seem to be generating some positive headlines lately. USA Today reported this week on an 80-year-old Ohio pilot who regularly takes his friends for $100 hamburgers in his Beechcraft Bonanza. Roger Levering learned to fly in his fifties so that he and his wife, who suffered from multiple sclerosis, could travel more comfortably. They flew more than 4,000 hours together before her death in 1994. The story is available online. Heading down to South Carolina, the Spartanburg Herald Journal recently featured Roger Amidon, who is learning to fly at Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport. Amidon signed up for flying lessons on November 29, 2004-the day he turned 90. On a related note, AOPA has initiated a major effort to help older pilots get insurance. See AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
AOPA DEFENDS MEMBERS' INTERESTS AT FAA FUNDING FORUM
There should be no doubt in the aviation community about where AOPA members stand on user fees-no, no, and NO! That was the clear message that AOPA leaders delivered at the high-level FAA funding forum in Washington, D.C., Monday and Tuesday. Because tax revenues are declining while the FAA's costs are increasing, transportation officials have called for an overhaul of the FAA's funding mechanisms when Congress reauthorizes the aviation trust fund in 2007. And while the prevailing opinion at the forum seemed to be that user fees were the "solution" to the FAA's budget woes, AOPA President Phil Boyer said, "The FAA must get its costs under control first." AOPA called on the FAA to request recommendations from the industry on cost reductions, noting that the association had stepped up to the plate by supporting the FAA's efforts to find more efficient ways to provide flight service information and its plans to decommission underused NDB approaches. See AOPA Online.
BOYER TOUTS NEED FOR WEATHER SERVICES ON ABC NEWS
AOPA President Phil Boyer wants to be sure the public knows that having access to free government weather products is critical for aviation safety, and that's what he told ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings in an interview Wednesday. "There is nothing more important to pilots than weather," Boyer said. "Forty percent of all fatal general aviation accidents have weather as a contributing factor. While many pilots use services such as The Weather Channel for long-range planning, free government services offered by the National Weather Service provide crucial information specifically useful for pilots." Boyer was interviewed as part of a story about proposed legislation that would prohibit the National Weather Service (NWS) from offering any "product or service that is or could be provided by the private sector." The legislation, introduced last week by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who also was interviewed by ABC, is not the first time NWS products have been threatened by so-called "non-compete" efforts. See AOPA Online.
AOPA DELIVERS CHECK TO AIR SERV FOR TSUNAMI RELIEF
AOPA President Phil Boyer presented a check for $25,000 last week to Air Serv International, the humanitarian organization that has been working on the front lines of tsunami relief efforts in Southeast Asia. Shortly after the earthquake and tsunami hit the region on December 26, AOPA established a fund in partnership with Air Serv to help the organization fly relief workers and supplies to disaster-stricken areas. AOPA members have donated nearly $100,000 to the fund. Combined with AOPA's matching pledge, nearly $125,000 has been raised. See the complete story 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 |
| SPORTY'S ADDS CLIMB RATE FUNCTION TO ELECTRONIC E6B |
If you've been thinking about upgrading your flight computer to an electronic model, Sporty's offers an incentive to make the switch. Its electronic E6B now lets you calculate the required rate of climb. Enter the groundspeed and the required climb rate, and the E6B calculates the climb requirement in feet per minute. For now, the function is available only on the electronic E6B ($59.95) and E6B software for the Palm operating system ($19.95). It will be available on Sporty's flat E6B within a year. Order online from Sporty's or call 800/SPORTYS.
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: My instructor and I have been debating whether a terminal radar service area (TRSA) is a type of controlled airspace. Can AOPA provide clarification on this? |
Answer: According to the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), Chapter 3, Section 5, Paragraph 3-5-6, terminal radar service areas were never designated as controlled airspace from a regulatory standpoint because the establishment of TRSAs was never subject to the FAA's rule-making process. Consequently, TRSAs are not contained in 14 CFR Part 71 nor are there any TRSA operating rules in 14 CFR Part 91. The primary airport within the TRSA becomes Class D airspace. The remaining portion of the TRSA overlies other controlled airspace, which is normally Class E airspace beginning at 700 or 1,200 feet agl and established to transition to/from the en route/terminal environment. Pilots operating under VFR are encouraged to contact the radar approach control and avail themselves of the TRSA services. However, participation is voluntary on the part of the pilot. See AIM Chapter 3, Airspace, for details and procedures.
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 images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|AOPA's air traffic links page is a treasure trove of information for the student pilot who is learning about the air traffic control system. You'll find links to air route traffic control centers, airport traffic control towers, automated flight service stations, and terminal radar approach control facilities. Some sites have links to live ATC feeds; others offer menus of radio frequencies, detailed descriptions of services offered, and even photos of fly-ins. See AOPA Online. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS: |
Dallas, Texas. The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) Forty-ninth Annual Trade Show takes place April 28 through 30 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. The meeting will feature timely business topics as well as an exhibit area offering the latest technology. Contact Tracy West, 816/373-6565.
El Cajon, California. The Wings Over Gillespie Airshow takes place April 29 through May 1 at Gillespie Field (SEE) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Featuring a salute to Midway. The battle, the aircraft, the carrier, and the legendary men and women of our armed forces. Contact Steven Real, 619/518-5895, or visit the Web site.
Florence, South Carolina. The Mayfly Airshow and Fly-in takes place April 30 at Florence Regional (FLO). Numerous performers, military static line, and classic car/motorcycle show. Fly-in patrons encouraged. Peterbuilt jet trucks race down the runway. Contact Florence Chamber of Commerce, 843/665-0515, or visit the Web site.
Temple, Texas. The Central Texas Airshow takes place May 6 through 8 at Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional (TPL). Nonstop entertainment available for all ages. View modern and vintage aircraft and everything in between. Call 512/869-1759, or visit the Web site.
Peachtree City, Georgia. The Second Annual World War II Day takes place May 7 at the Historical Airpower Facility at Peachtree City-Falcon Field (FFC). Hosted by the Dixie Wing of the Commemorative Air Force from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact Chris Madrid, 678/364-1110, or visit the Web site.
Kansas City, Missouri. The Aerospace Medical Association Seventy-sixth Annual Scientific Meeting takes place May 8 through 12 at the Hyatt and Westin Crown Center. Topics include aircrew alertness in long-haul operations, fatigue research, FAA seminars for AMEs, clinical case presentations, and more. Call 703/739-2240, ext. 107, 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.
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Pensacola, Florida; Schenectady, New York; and Houston, May 14 and 15. Courses are also scheduled in Sacramento, California; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; and Kansas City, Missouri, May 21 and 22. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Milpitas, California, May 2; Oakland, California, May 3; Santa Rosa, California, May 4; and Sacramento, California, May 5. The topic is "Weather Wise." For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.