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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 5, Issue 43AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 5, Issue 43

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Volume 5, Issue 43 • October 28, 2005
In this issue:
Air Force returning to pilot screening program
Schweizer delivers 1,000th helicopter
Pilots strongly resist ADIZ proliferation


Seattle Avionics


Pilot Insurance Center

Diamond Aircraft

MBNA Credit Card Program

Sporty's Pilot Shop

DTC Duat

Minnesota Life Insurance

Comm1 Radio Simulator

Scheyden Eyewear

King Schools

Garmin International

Cirrus Design

Do not reply to this e-mail. Got news? Contact ePilot. Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].

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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.

Help Prevent a Permanent ADIZ
Make your voice heard! There are only six days left before the comment period closes. Please take 15 minutes to help protect your freedom to fly—tell the FAA not to make the ADIZ permanent. See AOPA Online .
Training Tips

You are in cruise flight on a daytime cross-country when a warning on the panel catches your eye. Electrical power is being discharged and is not being replenished by the alternator. In some aircraft, you are alerted by a low-voltage light and the ammeter showing a discharge. In others, the total load on the alternator is displayed on the ammeter; alternator failure is indicated by a zero load. Meanwhile, the airplane is flying along strongly, thanks to the dual magnetos that are independent of the electrical system.

As the pilot, you have some decisions to make. "If the alternator has failed, must you land immediately? That depends on your situation, but for visual daytime flying the answer is 'not necessarily.' Battery life is the primary concern," Ralph Butcher explained in his "Insights" column in the May 2001 AOPA Flight Training.

Study your aircraft's pilot's operating handbook (POH) checklist for handling low-voltage occurrences. For example, alternator failure in a Piper PA-28-140E is detected by a zero reading on the ammeter. The pilot verifies the problem by activating an electrically powered device such as the landing light. If no increase in ammeter reading appears, the POH gives these steps: Reduce electrical load, check alternator circuit breakers, switch off the "alt" switch (in many aircraft this switch is half of the split-type master switch), then turn it back on after a brief interval. If the alternator remains offline, "maintain minimum electrical load and land as soon as practical. All electrical load is being supplied by the battery." Note the Butcher article's suggestion for protecting avionics from voltage spikes during this procedure.

How the pilot manages this load-shedding chore will determine whether electrical power is available for communication and navigation until landing, writes Steven W. Ells in his "Airframe and Powerplant" feature in the April 2003 AOPA Pilot.

On a related subject, generators once were the mainstay of light-aircraft electrical systems. They have been supplanted by alternators, which are generally lighter and more reliable over a broader engine-power range. The systems are compared in Chapter 5 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Know what's installed in your aircraft, and have a plan in case the bank account that is your electrical-power supply ever threatens to become overdrawn.

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

On November 1 the Air Force will drop its 50-hour private pilot certificate training program in favor of a 25-hour pilot screening program that it had used in the past. The U.S. Air Force Academy transitioned to the screening program last June. Presently civilian flight schools around the United States operate the 50-hour program for those who are not enrolled at the academy. They will now switch to a 25-hour program until it is taken over by a contractor yet to be selected. That single contractor will be chosen in coming months to operate the program at a single location.

Are you a flight instructor planning to attend AOPA Expo? If so, please participate in the annual AOPA Flight Training CFI Roundtable. This informal session allows flight instructors to tell the magazine what's on their minds, and what would make AOPA Flight Training more useful to instructors and their students. The roundtable is Saturday, November 5, from 11 a.m. to noon in Meeting Room 2 at the Marriott Tampa Waterside, adjacent to the Tampa Convention Center. For more information e-mail the magazine's editor, Mike Collins.

The U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, originally scheduled for October 27 through 30 in Florida, has been postponed until January 12 through 15. The U.S. Sport Aviation Expo Advisory Board feared that the impact of Hurricane Wilma would prevent them from staging a professional event at Sebring Regional Airport in Sebring, Florida. Exhibitors who did not wish to reschedule for the new January date were promised a full refund. For more information, see the Web site.

Schweizer Aircraft delivered its 1,000th helicopter on October 21 to BC Helicopters in Abbotsford, British Columbia. BC purchased a 300CBi, its eleventh new 300CBi since 2001. At a ceremony, President Paul Schweizer called the delivery "a momentous day in company history." The transition of the 269 Series—of which the 300BCi is a part—from Hughes Helicopters to Schweizer Aircraft in 1983 "has been a true success story," he said, adding that Schweizer has revitalized and expanded the 269 helicopter series program.

Christopher D. Wickens of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was presented the University Aviation Association's 2005 President's Award on September 29 for long-term commitment to aviation education and research. Wickens is professor emeritus of experimental psychology, head emeritus of the aviation human factors division, and associate director emeritus of the university's Institute of Aviation. He has published more than 410 journal articles, book chapters, research reports, and conference proceedings, and he has written or co-written eight books, including Flight to the Future: Human Factors in Air Traffic Control (with Mavor and McGee). "Wickens has made outstanding contributions in aviation education, aviation human factors research, and administration," said UAA President Henry L. Taylor. "His career has spanned more than 30 years, and his contributions have been numerous and substantial."

Family members of the late Marta Bohn-Meyer are forming a charitable foundation to honor the memory of the aerobatic pilot and NASA engineer. Once it secures tax-exempt status, The Marta Foundation's goal is to fund programs to encourage youth to pursue careers in science and engineering. Bohn-Meyer died September 18 while practicing an aerobatic routine in her Experimental-category Giles 300 aircraft near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She was a two-time member of the United States Unlimited Aerobatic Team and chief engineer at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center. Nonbinding pledges to the foundation may be made online via the Web site.

Inside AOPA

Pilots across the country are making their opinions known—they don't think the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) should be made permanent, and they definitely don't want ADIZs to spread to other parts of the country. "The message is being sent loud and clear: Making the ADIZ permanent makes no sense," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "But you can make the message even stronger by adding your own comments. The November 2 comment deadline is approaching fast—this is no time to sit back and let someone else take responsibility for protecting your freedom to fly." By noon on Thursday more than 13,150 people from across the country had heeded that call and filed comments with the FAA. Thousands—including members of Congress—also have asked the FAA for public meetings on the proposal, but the FAA has yet to respond. "I fail to understand how the FAA can ignore the voices of the people on this," said Boyer. "The FAA, Department of Transportation, and Homeland Security officials need to look pilots in the eye and hear directly how the ADIZ doesn't work and how it unfairly hurts general aviation." See AOPA's Member Action Center to submit your comments to the FAA.

AOPA Expo kicks off Thursday in Tampa, Florida, and the long-term weather forecast looks terrific. AOPA has pulled out all the stops this year, including a number of firsts that start with bringing a cabinet-level government official to Expo to talk in person with members. U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta will speak and answer members' questions during Thursday morning's general session at 9 a.m. in the Tampa Convention Center ballroom. AOPA's revamped aircraft display at Peter O. Knight Airport includes another first: A special section will be devoted to 16 light sport aircraft. Plus there are more than 70 hours of educational seminars and plenty of shopping opportunities with more than 540 exhibits. If you are flying to Expo, you can choose among three great airports with upgraded facilities: Vandenberg, Tampa International, and Peter O. Knight. Be sure to read the arrival procedures. See you there!

Clear blue skies, welcoming airport employees, and a free flight—the conditions were perfect for Ronda Wolfe's recent introductory flight in a Cessna 152 at Martin State Airport in Baltimore. Wolfe was one of 250 people who attended "How to Start Learning to Fly" seminars at the AOPA Fly-In in June. And she was one of 15 prospective pilots who won certificates for free introductory flights. AOPA sponsored these seminars to help potential student pilots start their flight training on the right foot. "The experience was life changing," Wolfe wrote in an e-mail to AOPA. "I am looking forward to more flights of freedom."

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation calendar program is a way to help support its free aviation safety programs. Anyone wishing to receive the 2006 calendar may do so by becoming a donor with a gift of $10 or more. For more information, call 800/USA-AOPA, or visit the Web site.

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 Instrument Rating Course on DVD has been re-edited and digitally remastered with new content. New features include expanded in-flight footage demonstrating instrument flight, with comprehensive explanations of GPS equipment and RNAV approaches. Also new are segments on glass-cockpit technology and other avionics advances. The course is designed to prepare an instrument student for the knowledge, oral, and flight tests for the instrument rating. Each task within the practical test standards is cross-referenced to where that subject can be found in the course. The Instrument Rating Course comes with a 60-page training course outline, an airport signs and markings guide, a practical test standards (PTS) booklet, and a graduation certificate. It sells for $229. Order online 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: The navigational aid identification box on a VFR sectional chart often has a letter "A," "T," or "H" encircled in the upper right-hand corner. What do the letters represent?

Answer: Those letters represent a type of weather broadcast that can be listened to over the navigational aid frequency. The "A" represents an automated surface observing system (ASOS) or automated weather observing system (AWOS) broadcast. The "T" represents a transcribed weather broadcast (TWEB). The "H" represents the hazardous in-flight weather advisory service (HIWAS). Chapter 7 of the Aeronautical Information Manual describes in detail each of these weather broadcasts along with the type of information they contain. An ASOS/AWOS provides surface weather observations for a particular airport. A TWEB is a prerecorded message with route-oriented data varying from METARs to winds aloft to in-flight advisories. HIWAS is a continuous broadcast of in-flight weather advisories like airmets, sigmets, and urgent pireps. For additional information on aeronautical chart symbols, see the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide on 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
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
The published instrument departure procedure for an airport can include vital safety information on such things as climb gradients, rates of climb, or obstacles in the path of flight. VFR pilots should know about these runway-specific procedures. Read all about them in "Secrets of Safe Departures" in the November 2005 issue of AOPA Pilot.

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

ePilot Calendar
Chattanooga, Tennessee. Airshow Chattanooga 2005 takes place October 29 and 30 at Lovell Field (CHA). Featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, Jim LeRoy, the Shockwave Jet Truck, and more! See the Web site for more information.

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 Clinic is scheduled in Cincinnati, November 5 and 6. Courses are also scheduled in Anchorage, Alaska, Atlanta, and Dallas, November 12 and 13. 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 are scheduled in Concord, California, October 31; Palo Alto, California, November 1; Fresno, California, November 2; and San Luis Obispo, California, November 3. Additional seminars will be held during AOPA Expo in Tampa, Florida, November 3 thorough 5. For topic information and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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