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| Training Tips |
This is the time of year when it seems like everyone has a cold, including yourself. And if it is anything like the last one you had, it could mean days or even weeks of recovery and congestion. If you have read the discussions about aeromedical factors, you are familiar with the warnings about not flying while sick. Resist the temptation to dismiss this warning when faced with the rare opportunities to pursue your flight training during a long stormy winter.
Changes in ambient air pressure, combined with blocked ears or sinuses, are a recipe for serious problems if a pilot (or a passenger in an unpressurized aircraft) becomes afflicted. Problems usually occur during descent. "When the pressure outside your head is greater than the pressure in it, you feel like somebody has run a hot knife into your cheek. The pain can be excruciating, and I know of several accidents that have happened because of this," Senior Aviation Medical Examiner Al Parmet wrote in the March 1998 Flight Training feature "Medical Briefing: Don't Fly With a Cold."
This subject is discussed in Chapter 8 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. Note the chapter's warning about trying to use medicine to combat the problem: "An ear block is prevented by not flying with an upper respiratory infection or nasal allergic condition. Adequate protection is usually not provided by decongestant sprays or drops to reduce congestion around the Eustachian tubes. Oral decongestants have side effects that can significantly impair pilot performance."
A related issue is fatigue. If you are on the mend, but illness has left you weak and exhausted from lack of sleep or an unrelenting work schedule, you are not yet ready to return. Flying and fatigue don't mix, as discussed in the February 21, 2003, Training Tips article. See the article's review of the "I'm safe" acronym that pilots use to gauge their personal fitness for flight. Applying it to your piloting will help you protect yourself, and your future passengers, from the harmful effects of flying when your condition is in question.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Displaced threshold... empennage... MEL... MML... pirep... What does it all mean? Aviation is an industry of abbreviations, acronyms, and technical language. Especially helpful to newcomers to aviation is AOPA's Student Glossary for General Aviation . If you need more information, call our experienced pilots-available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern to answer your questions 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 TO DISCONTINUE FREE AWOS DATA SERVICE |
AnyAWOS, the service that connects callers to any automated weather reporting station or airport in the country with a public telephone number, is discontinuing free access to its service as of February 6. After that date, you'll have to subscribe for $5.95 per month. The company said it wasn't able to obtain any outside advertising to support the free service. Subscribers won't have to listen to advertisements when they dial in-at least for the short term. "It will stay that way if we get enough subscriptions to pay the bills, or we get another source of external funding," the company said on its Web site. AnyAWOS is moving forward with plans to enhance the service, including delivery of terminal area forecasts in voice mode. For more information, see the Web site.
TAYLOR SPORT GETS FAA NOD
Taylorcraft Aviation has revived a general aviation icon. The company recently received light sport aircraft (LSA) certification for its Taylor Sport, a derivative of the Taylor Cub. Powered by a Continental O-200 engine, it has a base price of $69,995. The company, based in La Grange, Texas, is also producing several type certified F22 models that have been out of production since 1992. For more information, see the company's Web site.
AVIATION PODCASTS COMING TO AN MP3 PLAYER NEAR YOU
As the popularity of MP3 players continues to grow, it's no surprise that aviation podcasts are proliferating. (Podcasts, for the uninitiated, are Web feeds of audio or video files downloaded from the Internet to a portable device.) Jason Miller, a CFI in Oakland, California, produces a weekly podcast called "The Finer Points." Recent topics have included aviation safety, Miller's tips for capturing and holding altitude when leveling off from a climb, and whether flight instructing pays a living. And then there's "Pilotcast," which bills itself as "The show by pilots, for pilots!" Its roundtable format, featuring "Pilot Dan," "Pilot Kent," and "Pilot Mike," is more ranging in nature; the December 30 edition focused on "problem pilots" and included a look at FAA aviation safety counselors.
| Inside AOPA |
FAA AGAIN SAYS NO TO POMPANO
No, we won't reconsider. That's what the FAA has told the City of Pompano Beach, Florida. It has been trying to restrict general aviation operations at Pompano Beach Airpark. AOPA had filed a formal complaint against the city over its efforts to limit or shut down flight training operations. The FAA sided with AOPA, ordering the city to stop efforts to unfairly restrict GA use of the airport. The city asked the FAA to reconsider, and the FAA said no. "The city has not provided a legitimate or valid reason for the FAA to provide the city with extraordinary special treatment," AOPA said in its legal response to the city's rehearing request. "The city engages in a persistent pattern of whimsical conduct contrary to its obligations under federal law, a pattern of conduct designed and intended to make the airpark unavailable to the public...." So once again, the FAA ordered Pompano Beach to suspend "the restrictions found to be contrary to the [city's] federal obligations." "The message is clear. AOPA and the FAA will not tolerate attempts to stop legal use of an airport with illegal regulations," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of airports. "Airport sponsors are on notice: We will come after you if you try to illegally restrict general aviation. Federal processes must be followed-something that Pompano failed to do."
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 |
NEW 'AIR FACTS' DVD FROM SPORTY'S EXAMINES ATC SYSTEM
Instrument pilots, instrument students, and pilots who simply want a better understanding of the air traffic control system may want to check out the latest "Air Facts" DVD from Sporty's. Understanding ATC-An Instrument Pilot's Perspective offers a look behind the scenes via a visit to Indianapolis Center and Syracuse Tracon. Meet controllers and take a look at the equipment they use as part of the ATC system. The DVD explains what controllers expect from pilots operating in the IFR system and what you should expect from them in all phases of flight. It is available for $25. A set of all 31 "Air Facts" titles on nine DVDs sells for $100. For more information, see the Web site 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: Occasionally I've heard pilots and air traffic controllers add the word "heavy" after the airplane call sign. Why do pilots and controllers do this, and what does the designation represent? |
Answer: Advisory Circular 90-23F, titled Aircraft Wake Turbulence, helps answer your questions. Pilots and controllers are to use the "heavy" designation if the airplane they are flying is capable of a takeoff weight greater than 255,000 pounds. This classification is important for air traffic controllers in providing appropriate wake turbulence separation to aircraft receiving traffic advisories. The other classes of aircraft are large and small. An aircraft whose potential takeoff weight is greater than 41,000 pounds but not more than 255,000 pounds is considered large. An aircraft whose takeoff weight is equal to 41,000 pounds or less is considered a small aircraft. For additional information on wake turbulence and how to avoid it while flying, view Chapter 7 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. Also, view AOPA Online for more information on the dangers of wake turbulence.
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 |
|Looking for some really fabulous aviation photography? All the air-to-air photos and beautifully detailed ground images used by AOPA Pilot magazine over the years are yours at the click of a mouse button. Download your favorite images to use for wallpaper, send an e-postcard, or order prints online. For more details, see AOPA Online. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|Do you rent different aircraft? If you switch back and forth, the latest installment of "Never Again Online" features vital words of wisdom from a pilot who thought he was familiar with the Cessna Cardinal he happened to be flying in nighttime instrument meteorological conditions, and what happened when the instrument panel began to go dim. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| FLYING DESTINATIONS NEXT WEEKEND: |
Lansing, Michigan. The Great Lakes International Aviation Conference takes place January 20 and 21 at the Lansing Center. Don't miss this event-more than 100 exhibitors, maintenance symposium, pilot seminars, avionics presentations, special airport manager/FBO sessions, and more. Saturday keynote speaker is Sean Tucker. For more information, 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 Charlotte, North Carolina, Sevierville, Tennessee, and San Antonio, January 21 and 22. Clinics are also scheduled in San Jose, California, and Seattle, January 28 and 29. 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 Mesa, Arizona, and San Antonio, January 23; Tucson, Arizona, and West Houston, Texas, January 24; Kearney, Nebraska, El Paso, Texas, and Ft. Worth, Texas, January 25; and Kearney, Nebraska, Albequerque, New Mexico, and Austin, Texas, January 26. Topics vary, for more details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.