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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| SERVICE CEILING |
What is the service ceiling of your training aircraft? What is the practical significance of this bit of performance information? The service ceiling of an aircraft is defined in Chapter 9 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge as "the altitude at which the airplane is unable to climb at a rate greater than 100 feet per minute." It is not, however, the highest altitude that the aircraft can achieve. That is the aircraft's absolute altitude, also discussed in Chapter 9. Many low-powered single-engine trainers have very respectable service ceilings. A 100-horsepower 1976 Cessna 150 Commuter's service ceiling is 14,000 feet.
Remember, however, that when air temperatures heat up, nonturbocharged aircraft engines lose ability to make power, so the service ceiling for such a day may be lower than published. That is, your aircraft will only be able to develop a fraction of the climb rate you'd expect on a cooler day at a given altitude. That is known as a high density altitude condition. Density altitude and other planning considerations associated with summer flying were reviewed in the May 31, 2002, Training Tips.
Service ceiling and absolute ceiling for an aircraft are listed in the performance specifications summary of many aircraft pilot's operating handbooks (POHs). A modified aircraft may have a service ceiling other than the one listed in its POH. If you move up to multiengine flying, you will encounter the notion that twin-engine aircraft have two service ceilings-the one defined above, and another for single-engine operation-this one providing only a 50-foot-per-minute climb rate!
Don't assume airplanes that are larger, faster, and more powerful than your airport's two-seat trainer fleet have higher service ceilings. A 1981 Piper Archer II service ceiling is listed at 13,650 feet. A 180-hp Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP (the subject of a feature article in the January 2003 AOPA Pilot by Nathan A. Ferguson) has a 14,000-foot service ceiling. The most important thing to remember is that as you approach your aircraft's service ceiling, your ability to out-climb obstacles, terrain, or an inadvertent encounter with bad weather is almost gone. Know the limits and avoid the problem.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Is a professional flying job in your future? Read AOPA's Guide to Flying Careers, written for people who envision themselves earning a living as a pilot, and learn about the possibilities. |
Still have questions? Call our aviation experts at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time. 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 |
| NBAA ANNOUNCES AVIATION SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS |
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has awarded $5,000 in scholarship funds to five college students to advance their professional development in business aviation. The recipients are Benjamin Cole, Matthew Collier, and Heather Lemmon, all of whom attend Southern Illinois University; Gamaliel Neyor, who attends Southeastern Oklahoma State University; and Darren Schultz, a senior at the University of North Dakota. Each receives $1,000. The NBAA UAA Janice K. Barden Aviation Scholarship annually awards a total of $5,000 to five undergraduates studying aviation-related curricula at NBAA and University Aviation Association member institutions. Applications for the 2005 scholarship are available at NBAA's Web site. The deadline is November 1.
DIAMOND TURBODIESEL TWINS ON TAP FOR UTAH COLLEGE
Utah Valley State College's aviation science program is expecting twins next year-a pair of Diamond Twin Star turbodiesel twin-engine aircraft. The aircraft will be the first two delivered in North America, according to Diamond. The due date is sometime in the first quarter of 2006, and a third will be delivered on an unspecified date. Each will feature a Garmin G1000 glass cockpit. They'll join a fleet of 17 two-seat Evolutions and three four-seat Diamond Stars at UVSC's Orem, Utah, campus.
BE A PILOT LANDS 250,000TH PROSPECT
Rick Roberson, a 50-year-old dairy farmer from Locke, New York, is the 250,000th prospective pilot to sign up for an introductory flight lesson through the Be A Pilot program. "I'm really excited about this flying business," said Locke, who first flew July 8. Meanwhile, private pilot Greg Sutliff of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has become Be A Pilot's first individual major sponsor. He donated $50,000 to the program. Be A Pilot has tapped airshow pilot Patty Wagstaff to promote the "Friend of Be A Pilot" program, which encourages individuals to donate to the organization. To learn more, see the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA OPPOSES PERMANENT WASHINGTON FLIGHT RESTRICTION PLAN |
AOPA is opposing an FAA proposal released Thursday that would codify flight restrictions in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area as "national defense airspace," replacing the current air defense identification zone (ADIZ). "AOPA recognizes the necessity to protect the national assets in the nation’s capital. The 15-nautical-mile-radius flight restricted zone (FRZ) does that," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "But we take strong exception to the FAA's proposal to make the temporary outer ring of Washington’s defensive airspace-the ADIZ-permanent." The proposal also reiterated the agency's statutory authority to pursue criminal prosecution against anyone who "knowingly or willfully violates" national defense airspace. "The ADIZ is operationally unworkable and imposes significant burdens on pilots and air traffic controllers alike," Boyer said, "yet the FAA proposal does a poor job of even justifying making the ADIZ permanent and does nothing to address the operational problems." See AOPA Online.
EXPO SEMINARS KEEP YOU SAFE, PROFICIENT, UP TO DATE
AOPA Expo 2005 isn't just another trade show. This is an event that's packed with knowledge-building seminars to keep your flying safe and proficient, and to make sure you're up to date on the latest technological advances in the cockpit. You can zero in on concerns like medical issues and affordable aircraft ownership, "Learn and Laugh" with AOPA Flight Training columnist Rod Machado, examine risk management with John and Martha King, and much more. AOPA Expo 2005 will be held November 3 to 5 in Tampa, Florida. For more information or to register, see 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 |
| PILOTMALL.COM INTRODUCES FLIGHT BAGS |
Pilotmall.com has launched a line of fabric pilot bags in assorted sizes so that you can pick the one that best suits your flying needs. One of the new designs is a backpack that has the features of a regular flight bag, including a padded headset case, transceiver and cell phone pouches, and a standard-size logbook holder. It measures 17 inches by 14 inches by 8 inches and comes in black or navy blue. It sells for $49.99. Other sizes are available ranging in price from $24.99 for a small headset bag to $49.99 for a large pilot bag. Order online.
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: I am interested in buying a used airplane to use for my flight training and have narrowed my search to a few different makes and models. Does AOPA have any airplane reviews to help me learn more? |
Answer: AOPA has a list of reviews from Adam to Zenith aircraft. AOPA also provides title services, insurance, and aircraft financing to help make your purchase a success. Click here for more information on AOPA's aircraft ownership resources.
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 |
|To obtain a private pilot certificate, you must pass the FAA knowledge test with a score of 70 percent or better. When you're ready to take the test, you can locate the most convenient FAA testing center by downloading the updated list on AOPA Online. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS: |
Detroit, Michigan. Thunder Over Michigan takes place August 6 and 7 at Willow Run (YIP). Yankee Air Museum's largest show of WWII bombers! Contact Don Brackett, 734/483-4030, or visit the Web site.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Black Pilots of America National Membership Meeting takes place August 11 through 14 at the Airport Sheraton Hotel Suites. Enjoy music, sites, food, entertainment and culture. Sponsored by the Roscoe Draper Chapter. Call 215/677-6711 for more information, or visit the Web site.
Luray, Virginia. Luray Caverns 127th Anniversary of Discovery takes place August 12 through 14 at Luray Caverns (W45). Blues and bluegrass music, hot air balloons, grand illumination of caverns, artisans, crafts, and more. Contact Kenneth L. Painter, 540/743-6070, or visit the Web site.
McCall, Idaho. The McCall Family Fly-in takes place August 12 through 14 at McCall Municipal (MYL). Featuring seminars, family and children's activities, tours, static displays, fly-bys, pancake breakfast, and hangar party with live music. Contact Tammy Schoen, 208/334-8775, or visit the Web site.
Auburn, California. Thunder In The Sky takes place August 13 at Auburn Municipal (AUN). See warbirds, antique and classic aircraft, rotorcraft, military aircraft, vendors, food, and fun for the family, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact Susan Wozniak, 530/863-3497, 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 Atlanta, and Fort Worth, Texas, August 13 and 14. Courses are also scheduled in Champaign, Illinois, and Allentown, Pennsylvania, August 20 and 21. 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 to take in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Eden Prairie, Minnesota, August 8; Springdale, Arkansas, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, August 9; Des Moines, Iowa, and Oklahoma City, August 10; and Wichita, Kansas, and Omaha, Nebraska, August 11. The topic is "The Last Five Miles." For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.