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Copyright © 2006 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
You soloed-congratulations! The happy day arrived with the right combination of your sharp flying, favorable weather, and traffic conditions at the airport. After more solo sessions supervised by your instructor, it may be possible for you to head to the airport and take out the trainer on your own. To make that a safe and satisfying experience, your instructor should define in your logbook the conditions under which your approval to fly solo is in force. Doing so is in keeping with the solo requirements for student pilot provisions of the Federal Aviation Regulations. One of the limitations in the regulation prohibits solo flight "in a manner contrary to any limitations placed in the pilot's logbook by an authorized instructor."
Weather conditions-wind, ceilings, and visibility-are common limitations. But there could be others. Your instructor might require you to activate a VFR flight plan on every solo, or that you solo in a particular trainer in your school's fleet. You could be limited to paved runways if your airport has paved and sod or grass runways. Crosswind conditions may create a situation where the total wind is within your limits but the crosswind component isn't: A 10-knot breeze down the runway is far less of a concern than a 10-kt crosswind. On that subject, there's no such thing as too much crosswind practice, either before you solo or at any time during your flying career. Review techniques, and follow a link to a calculator for determining the crosswind component on your runway, in the March 7, 2003, Training Tips.
Remember that in a strong wind, taxiing with the correct control deflections will keep you upright; ignoring proper technique causes trouble. "Aircraft are most vulnerable when taxiing downwind, but no matter which direction the aircraft is taxiing with respect to the wind, flight controls must be positioned to reduce the wind effects," AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg wrote in his July 1999 AOPA Flight Training column "Learn Your Limitations."
Solo flying is a joy and a milestone, and it is a serious responsibility. Be sure to adhere to any solo limitations scrupulously.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Your first introduction to a general aviation training aircraft is called a "preflight." This is your opportunity to become an expert on the aircraft you'll fly throughout your training as you and your instructor carefully scrutinize control surfaces, landing gear, rivets, and much more. Augment your preflight knowledge by researching your particular trainer. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has type-specific aircraft reviews of the most popular airplanes in general aviation. Find yours on AOPA Online. |
Have a question for our technical specialists? Call the Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern. 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 |
| STATE OF THE UNION TFR TO CLOSE 3,000 SQUARE MILES OF AIRSPACE |
A temporary flight restriction that encompasses the entire Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) will be in place from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on January 31-the evening of President Bush's State of the Union address. No GA aircraft will be allowed to fly inside the 3,000-square-mile ADIZ during that time. Airlines will be permitted to fly, and IFR flights to Washington Dulles International and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall airports will be permitted. For more details, including a graphic of the TFR, see AOPA Online.
GLASS-COCKPIT SKYHAWKS DELIVERED TO KENT STATE UNIVERSITY
Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, took delivery of two Cessna 172 Skyhawks equipped with Garmin G1000 integrated glass flight decks on January 18. Kent State is the latest university in Ohio to offer flight students training in aircraft that are equipped with fully integrated flight instruments and avionics. Kent State is giving its students the opportunity to train with some of the same navigation systems found in the newest corporate jets and airliners, said Isaac Richmond Nettey, senior academic program director of aeronautics. This will enhance student transition in Kent State's Bridge Program with Continental Express, he added.
DOWLING COLLEGE RECEIVES $3 MILLION GRANT FOR VIRTUAL AIRPORT
Dowling College's School of Aviation has learned it will soon be getting a $3 million grant from NASA, which will go to enhance and upgrade the college's virtual airport. The School of Aviation, located in Brookhaven, New York, participates in the FAA's Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative, a major source for new air traffic controllers. The college received a $1.7 million grant from NASA last year to develop a virtual airport with control tower, airspace, and radar. That is expected to be tested this spring, with classes slated to begin in the fall. The latest grant is earmarked for a virtual airport operations environment, including airport systems, roadways, terminals, and taxiways. For more information about the program, see the Web site.
ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY SEEKS ATC PROGRAM
Arizona State University Polytechnic is looking to join the small number of colleges and universities that offer FAA-approved undergraduate programs in air traffic control. ASU has asked the FAA to certify its program under the agency's Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI), established in 1990 to allow selected colleges and universities to train controllers to meet increasing hiring needs. If it gets certification, which is not assured, ASU would add five to seven courses to its curriculum. And if it doesn't get the FAA nod, the university plans to offer them anyway. "As long as we're not advertising that the program has a CTI designation before we have it-I don't see anything wrong with that," said Bill McMurray, professor and chairman of the aeronautical management technology department. An FAA spokesman said the agency has not granted approval, adding that "should the FAA decide to expand the AT-CTI program, we will use a competitive process and all interested colleges will have an opportunity to apply."
OKLAHOMA CFI GETS CHICKASAW NATION SCHOLARSHIP
Edward K. Philley III of Bixby, Oklahoma, a flight instructor and student at Tulsa Community College, is the recipient of this year's $5,000 Pearl Carter-Scott Aviation Scholarship. It comes from an endowment fund established by the Chickasaw Nation in cooperation with the Wiley Post Heritage of Flight Center (formerly the Curtiss-Wright Wiley Post Hangar Inc.). It is named in honor of Pearl Carter-Scott, a pioneer Oklahoma aviator who learned to fly at age 12 under the tutelage of Wiley Post, who set two trans-global speed records in the 1930s and helped to pioneer high-altitude flight by developing the first practical pressurized suit. The Wiley Post Foundation will honor Philley and former Army Golden Knight Cheryl Stearns at a ceremony on January 27. Stearns, a record-setting parachutist who is now a first officer with US Airways, will be presented the Wiley Post Spirit Award.
| Inside AOPA |
RAMP CHECKS: DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO?
An increasing number of AOPA members have called the Pilot Information Center to report that they have been "ramp checked," or stopped by an FAA inspector. He may decide to check you and your aircraft because he's observed something unsafe, or it may simply be a random check. You can expect the inspector to show you his identification and ask to see your pilot and medical certificates. "Nobody likes being ramp checked, but the regulations do allow FAA inspectors to do it at their discretion," said Woody Cahall, AOPA vice president of aviation services. "But a ramp check doesn't have to be particularly painful if you understand the rules and exercise some common sense. " A polite response and a cooperative attitude go a long way toward minimizing any hassles, he noted. See the complete story, including what you are and are not required to do if you're the subject of a ramp check, on AOPA Online.
'DO THE RIGHT THING' AND ATTEND THE FREE SEMINAR
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's newest safety seminar, "Do the Right Thing-Decision Making for Pilots" is getting rave reviews for taking a fresh approach to an old topic. "I thought more about decision making in a single night than I have in all my years of flying," said one pilot. "The scenarios kept me on the edge of my seat. Watching those guys back themselves into a corner really made me stop and think about the times I've gotten away with some pretty bad choices," said another. The seminar takes direct aim at poor pilot judgment, the root cause of many-if not most-general aviation accidents. The lively two-hour seminar reveals no-nonsense strategies for breaking the accident chain early. Then, using compelling interactive DVD scenarios, you'll get an opportunity to practice your skills by making choices. The seminar continues through May. Check the schedule to see when it's coming to your area.
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 FLIGHT TIMER OFFERS FEATURES FOR VFR, IFR PILOTS
Do you have the time? Sporty's Deluxe Flight Timer offers a range of features designed for use by VFR and instrument-rated pilots alike. These include an easy-to-read screen with large numbers, wide buttons that are easy to press, and a backlit function for night flying. Two independent timers count up or down, and each has an alarm with flashing red light-emitting diodes to announce the timer's expiration so that you don't have to rely on a sound alarm in a noisy cockpit. The timer includes a holder with a swivel clip for attaching it to a kneeboard. It runs on two AAA batteries, which are not included, and sells for $24.95. 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: On an aeronautical chart, what does the numerical designation of a military training route (MTR) represent? |
Answer: FAA Order 7610.4K on special military operations details how the numerical designation of an MTR is created. The MTR will have a prefix of "IR" or "VR." Operations on an "IR" route will be IFR, while operations on a "VR" route will be completed VFR, though visibility must be at least 5 miles and the ceiling must be at least 3,000 feet for the flight. The route number that follows the prefix corresponds with the region in which the route's entry point is located. There is a chart you can use to identify the region. There will be three numbers if at least one segment of the route is above 1,500 feet agl and four numbers if all segments on the route are below 1,500 feet agl. A letter suffix may follow the numbers if alternate route segments have been established. For additional information on MTRs you can read Chapter 3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual and 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 |
|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 |
|Got a question about the sport pilot regulations? Wondering if your flight training for the private pilot certificate can count toward a sport pilot certificate? Take a look at our new Frequently Asked Questions section, divided into categories aimed at student pilots and already certificated pilots. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| FLYING DESTINATIONS NEXT WEEKEND: |
There are no national events listed for this week.
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 Louisville, Kentucky; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Dallas; February 11 and 12. Clinics are also scheduled in Sacramento, California; Melbourne, Florida; and Nashua, New Hampshire; February 18 and 19. 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 Atlanta, January 30; Maryville, Tennessee, January 31; Smyrna, Tennessee, February 1; and Germantown, Tennessee, February 2. The topic is "Do the Right Thing-Decision Making for Pilots." For more details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.