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Copyright © 2006 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
VISUAL PILOTS, INSTRUMENT WEATHER
When you reach the stage within the private pilot training program that covers controlling and maneuvering an airplane solely by reference to instruments, you will be doing a lot more than merely meeting one more aeronautical experience requirement. The minimum three hours of flight training in this topic should make up a brief but attention-getting mini-course on the perils that a non-instrument pilot straying into instrument meteorological conditions will face.
To satisfy the experience requirement, you must log "three hours of flight training in a single-engine airplane on the control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to instruments, including straight and level flight, constant airspeed climbs and descents, turns to a heading, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, radio communications, and the use of navigation systems/facilities and radar services appropriate to instrument flight." A true encounter with instrument conditions could easily require a non-instrument pilot to perform all those tasks.
The point of this training is that something called "spatial disorientation" makes it hard-or impossible-for a pilot not trained in instrument flying to keep control and escape to safety. "What is spatial disorientation? Technically, it is an erroneous sense of one's position and motion relative to the plane of the Earth's surface. Practically speaking, it's an incorrect sense of position, attitude, or motion in relation to what is actually happening in the airplane. Still a little confused? One of my students put it nicely when he said that it's just not knowing which way is really up when you're flying," explained Richard J. Hackman, O.D., in the February 2002 AOPA Pilot feature "Which Way Is Up? Spatial Disorientation-A Primer."
While training, sample a variety of flight conditions: smooth air, turbulence, day dual lessons, night dual lessons. Start with short periods, then build up your ability to stay "on the gauges" longer. Remember that learning to believe your instruments is essential. For more ideas about your basic instrument training, and other reference materials, see the February 8, 2002, Training Tips.The practical test will require you to demonstrate three or more of five instrument-flying tasks. But let the training prove the importance of using your judgment and situational awareness to protect you from ever having an inadvertent encounter with instrument meteorological conditions.
| Your Partner in Training |
Students tell us that one of the most valuable benefits of their free six-month membership is AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner (RTFP). The RTFP allows you to overlay your route with active temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) and current weather, tap into AOPA's Airport Directory Online for the latest information on 5,500 public-use airports and 7,000 FBOs, plan a route while your flight plan and navigation log are created automatically-ready to print in kneeboard format and to file online with DUAT-and more.
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 |
NTSB OFFERS FALL INTERNSHIPS
College students, here's a way to add some pizzazz to that resume: The National Transportation Safety Board is looking to fill internships at duty locations around the country this fall. And while you won't get paid, you will get some hands-on experience assisting aviation accident investigators, helping them on lower-profile general aviation accidents. Internship duties include assisting in the on-scene portion of the investigation as well as conducting post-accident research needed to develop the accident sequence of events and a proposed probable cause. Eligible applicants should have at least a private pilot certificate and 50 hours pilot-in-command time; 200 hours PIC with a commercial certificate is preferred, and helicopter PIC time is desirable. The deadline to apply is August 30. For more information, see the Web site.
EMBRY-RIDDLE TEAM WINS ENGINEERING DESIGN COMPETITION
A team of 20 undergraduate students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University took first place in the junior/senior design category of a national engineering competition. Dubbed "AutonoNAS," the project is envisioned as an unmanned flight system that can autonomously taxi, take off, navigate, and land multiple aircraft. The simulated environment would provide collision avoidance and routing from an airplane's departure to its destination. The Embry-Riddle team competed against 20 other teams representing 13 other colleges at the American Society of Engineering Education Southeastern Section annual meeting, held April 2 through 4, at the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa.
SPORTY'S SAFETY QUIZ: CLASS B AIRSPACE
Intimidated by Class B airspace? Been awhile since you last reviewed the rules for Class B airspace operations? If so, the featured Sporty's Safety Quiz is for you. Each Sporty's Safety Quiz offers a quick, easy, and interactive way to assess and expand your knowledge. Plus, you can earn a chance to win a Sporty's Air-Scan V Aviation Radio/Scanner. Already taken this quiz? Challenge yourself with another Sporty's Safety Quiz topic in the "Previous Quizzes" section.
| Inside AOPA |
ENCOURAGE YOUR AME TO PICK UP THE PHONE
The FAA's Aerospace Medical Certification Division is trying a new approach to reduce the medical certification backlog-and the division needs your help to make it happen. "Previously, when AMEs (aviation medical examiners) had any doubt about a medical condition, they were told to defer the application," said Gary Crump, AOPA director of medical certification. "Now, they are being encouraged to check with their regions for possible approval over the telephone to issue the certificate before deferring to Oklahoma City." AOPA has been advocating this approach for several years, because it has the potential to increase the number of pilots who can leave their AME's office with a medical certificate in hand. And even if the AME does have to defer the application to the regional flight surgeon, it will get back to the pilot sooner than if it had been deferred to the Aerospace Medical Certification Division in Oklahoma City. Regional flight surgeons have the authority to review and approve some deferred medical applications, Crump said. "Active involvement of the regions can have a positive impact on the queue of cases awaiting review in Oklahoma City." 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 |
LEARN MORE ABOUT AIRSPACE, WEATHER WITH SPORTY'S DVD
Need a tutorial-or a refresher course-on airspace or weather? Sporty's latest DVD, Airspace and Weather Format Review, combines the two topics in one resource. The program uses 3-D graphics and animation to illustrate today's complex airspace. It explains the various classes of airspace and their operating rules, dimensions, and charting symbols. Included is a discussion of temporary flight restrictions, national security areas, military intercept procedures, and the Washington, D.C., ADIZ and its laser-based Visual Warning System. The weather portion of the DVD examines the ICAO weather formats and abbreviations of METARs and TAFs. Viewers will learn to read and interpret aviation weather reports and extract additional clues that they provide about atmospheric conditions. The program also covers the basics of ASOS and AWOS reports and includes an interactive on-screen weather decoder for more than 1,500 weather contractions. The DVD sells for $29.95 and may be ordered online or by calling 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: What is the difference between a VASI and a PAPI? |
Answer: A visual approach slope indicator (VASI) and a precision approach path indicator (PAPI) are designed to provide visual descent guidance information during an approach to a runway. The lights in both systems are usually placed on the left side of the runway and visible from about five miles during the day and up to 20 miles at night. Typically these systems provide a glidepath of 3 degrees unless adjustments need to be made for obstacle clearance. One difference between the two systems is in how the lights are arranged. A VASI may consist of two, four, six, 12, or 16 light units arranged in bars referred to as near, middle, and far. Typically you'll see a two-bar format with either two, four, or 12 light units containing red and white lights. A PAPI has only a single row of either two or four light units containing red and white lights. A PAPI also provides a pilot with trend information on an approach. To view examples of these two systems and to learn how to interpret the lights you see, review the Chapter 2 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. For more information on the VASIs and the PAPIs, visit 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 |
|The venerable Piper J-3 Cub trained a generation of pilots for whom taildragger flying is the only way to fly. Now two different companies are seeking to re-create the Cub experience with new production aircraft based on a classic design-with some modern twists. Read all about it in the May issue of AOPA Pilot. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS: |
Rochester, New York. Rochester WINGS 2006 takes place May 5 and 6 at Greater Rochester International (ROC). New York's largest aviation expo and fly-in. Free admission, seminars, exhibits, airport tours, Young Eagle rides, aircraft displays, motion simulator, warbird rides, and more. Contact Brian Blazey, 585/463-3815, or visit the Web site.
Temple, Texas. The Central Texas Airshow takes place May 5 through 7 at Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional (TPL). Shows all three days, with an exciting night show on Friday. Contact Beth Ann Jenkins, 512/869-1759, or visit the Web site.
Anchorage, Alaska. The Alaska State Aviation Trade Show & Conference takes place May 6 and 7 in the FedEx Maintenance Hangar at Ted Stevens Anchorage International (ANC). With 19,000 attendees, this show is slated as Alaska's largest general aviation event. Over 250 exhibitors, aircraft display, and safety conference. Free and open to the general public. Contact Dee Hanson, 907/245-1251, or visit the Web site.
Baltimore, Maryland. The Baltimore County Community Waterfront Festival takes place May 13 at Martin State (MTN). The Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum presents the aviation and space portion of the festival at the Lockheed Martin property from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Featuring an aircraft display, exhibitors, and more! Contact John Tipton, 410/682-6122, 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 Sacramento, California; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Houston, May 20 and 21. Clinics are also scheduled in San Jose, California, and Orlando, Florida, June 3 and 4. 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 East Hartford, Connecticut, May 13; Providence, Rhode Island, May 15; Billerica, Massachusetts, and Poughkeepsie, New York, May 16; Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and White Plains, May 17; and New York, New York, May 18. The topic is "Do the Right Thing-Decision Making for Pilots." For more details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.