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| Training Tips |
Have you ever looked at Box 13 on the FAA's flight plan form and wondered who uses it and why? Perhaps it was explained to you that Box 13, which allows a pilot to designate an alternate airport (or airports) for a flight destination, does not apply to you. It is filled in by instrument-rated pilots filing an IFR flight plan when an alternate to the desired destination is required because of weather conditions.
But not so fast—Box 13 (download the flight plan form) can be of use to a student pilot too. "Because you are a VFR pilot does not mean you can't list an alternate on the flight plan. Most VFR pilots assume that no alternate is needed. But what if the winds are unfavorable at the original destination? Are you just going to hope that your skills and your aircraft can handle a 20-knot direct crosswind? It is better to land at an airport where runway alignment is more favorable. However, in-flight planning usually means a paper tornado in the cockpit. If winds are iffy at the destination, why not designate a VFR alternate on your VFR flight plan?" wrote Alton K. Marsh in his May 2001 AOPA Pilot feature "Ounce of Prevention: Quick and Legal Flight Planning."
Clearly from that discussion, adding an alternate to your flight planning provides a measure of safety to your method and becomes a reason to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of airports you might someday designate as alternates. (Remember when planning solo flights that you may only land at airports for which your flight instructor has endorsed your logbook.) Considering alternates in advance will also make it easier to handle the diversion task on the private pilot practical test (download the practical test standards). A diversion is simply a decision to proceed to an alternate because of systems difficulties or weather conditions en route or at the destination. Once you've passed that practical test with flying colors, having the habit of considering alternates will boost your safety margins when, as a certificated private pilot, you begin giving rides to friends and family. So give Box 13 some attention the next time you plan a cross-country, or even a local flight.
| Your Partner in Training |
Forms, forms, and more forms! From AOPA services to selected FAA, Customs, FCC, and NTSB forms, you can find nearly everything on AOPA Online. If we don't have what you need, the Pilot Information Center specialists will be able to direct you to a source. Call 800/872-2672 toll-free on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern, or e-mail [email protected].
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 |
WHERE'S THE PRESIDENT? YOU SHOULD KNOW
It's political campaign season. Do you know where President Bush is? If you're a pilot, your answer to that question needs to be at the top of your preflight planning list. The president has been to seven different cities in the last week, and from now until Election Day, you can expect Air Force One to be landing in every corner of the country. Everywhere he goes, the president takes with him some 9,600 cubic miles of airspace with special access rules and an interior "no-fly" zone. How can you avoid these presidential temporary flight restrictions (TFRs)? AOPA makes it easy for you. Check the top of AOPA Online. They're listed in the red bar. For more details, see the complete story on AOPA Online.
HELICOPTER OPTION ADDED TO OREGON SCHOOL PROGRAM
Central Oregon Community College (COCC) in Bend, Oregon, has added a professional helicopter pilot option to its aviation program. Leading Edge Aviation at Bend Municipal Airport will provide the flight instruction. The flight school operates Robinson R22 and R44 models and Bell 206 helicopters. COCC will provide ground courses for college credit, allowing students to complete the program with an associate's degree as well as all flight certificates and ratings through instructor. The aviation program, begun in 2005, now has more than 60 students enrolled and "has grown past our expectations," said John Miller, COCC aviation program coordinator. "We are confident the same success will be seen from our helicopter program." For more information, see the Web site.
HOW NOT TO RUN DRY
Did you know that poor fuel management has caused more than 1,700 accidents in the last decade? The irony is that such accidents are among the most easily prevented. Reading the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's newly updated Fuel Awareness Safety Advisor is one way in which you can avoid incurring a fuel-related emergency. It contains simple tips for avoiding fuel exhaustion/starvation incidents and also tells you what you need to know about aircraft fuel systems, leaning, auto gas, safe refueling, and other topics.
| Inside AOPA |
AOPA PROVIDES FACTS IN WAKE OF NEW YORK ACCIDENT
Although many questions remain about Wednesday's incident involving New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and flight instructor Tyler Stanger, AOPA has been at the forefront to make sure the media understand general aviation. Thursday morning, AOPA President Phil Boyer appeared live on CNN's American Morning with anchor Miles O'Brien, a pilot and AOPA member. Speaking from AOPA's headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, via the association's TV studio and satellite uplink, Boyer told the TV audience that a car or a truck would be a much more effective terrorist weapon than a small aircraft. "No small plane has been used as a weapon of terror," Boyer said. Then a few hours later, Boyer took CBS correspondent Bob Orr and camera team flying in Boyer's Cessna 172, to help him understand airspace. The previous evening, Boyer was interviewed by ABC World News. The AOPA media team also authored a response to a USA Today editorial that appeared October 12. The newspaper raised questions about what its editorial writers view as a failure to address general aviation security. You can file your own comments about each piece on the Web pages. The AOPA media team has so far talked to more than two-dozen top media outlets from the United States, Japan, France, and more.
KNOW WOULD-BE PILOTS? BRING THEM TO AOPA EXPO!
As a student pilot or a flight instructor, you're in a great position to share your passion for flight. There's no better way to do that than to bring a friend to AOPA Expo in Palm Springs, California, and show them the very best that general aviation has to offer. You'll have them hooked while touring the largest static aircraft display ever at an Expo, and you'll wow them with all the cool gear you can find in the exhibit hall. But be sure you don't miss the free, informative, and fun session with pilots Erik Lindbergh and Mark Grady. Hear how Lindbergh, grandson of Charles A. Lindbergh, didn't actually start flying until a friend encouraged him to start. And learn how—and why—you can do the very same thing for a friend to help them earn their wings. You'll have a great time, and the future pilot you bring will be clamoring for their first flight as they hear about the excitement, benefits, and conveniences of GA. Project Pilot's hour-long Invitation to Fly sessions with Erik Lindbergh are scheduled for 3 p.m. on Thursday, November 9; 11 a.m. on Friday, November 10; and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 11. For complete information on Expo, 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 |
ASA INTRODUCES SYMPHONY TRAINING KIT
If you're learning to fly in a Symphony two-place aircraft, be advised that there's a student pilot kit developed just for you. The Symphony Student Pilot Kit, now available from Aviation Supplies and Academics, is based on ASA's Private Pilot Virtual Test Prep DVD course and The Complete Private Pilot Syllabus. It includes Bob Gardner's The Complete Private Pilot as the primary textbook, as well as ASA's FAR/AIM and Private Pilot Test Prep books. Finally, the kit comes with the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards, Private Oral Exam Guide, and Visualized Flight Maneuvers for High-Wing Aircraft, as well as a fiberboard E6-B flight computer, an Ultimate Rotating Plotter, and a standard pilot logbook. All materials are packaged in an ASA briefcase. The kit sells for $249. For more information or to order, see the Web site or call 800/272-2359.
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: Since starting my flight training, I have been amazed at the unique communications between ATC and pilots. I can't imagine how much practice it must take to become comfortable understanding and comprehending the fast-paced aviation talk. Do you have any suggestions to help me become more comfortable on the radio? |
Answer: Gaining confidence in communicating with ATC starts with learning and using correct aviation phraseology on a regular basis. AOPA's subject report, ATC Communications, offers helpful hints on talking the talk. One of the articles, "Learning the Right Words," is specifically geared toward learning the basics. Additional information can be found in the FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), Chapter 4, Section 2.
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. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS: |
Atlanta, GA. The Great Georgia Airshow takes place October 14 and 15 at Peachtree City-Falcon Field (FFC). Performers scheduled include Jim LeRoy, Red Eagle Air Sports, Heritage Flight, F-16 demonstration, Horizon Blue Aerobatics, U.S. Air Force Viper East team, The Flying Farmer, and more. Contact 678/478-4630, or visit the Web site.
St. Petersburg, FL. The St. Petersburg Airfest takes place October 21 and 22 at Albert Whitted (SPG). Featuring top name aerobatic performers, warbirds, military demonstrations, static display, plus a special salute to the military. Join us at the airport AOPA helped save. Contact Steve Tolliver, 813/917-1967, 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 Clinic is scheduled in Windsor, CT, October 21 and 22. Clinics are also scheduled in Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Wichita, KS; Nashville, TN; and Corpus Christi, TX, October 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 Cleveland, October 15; Morgantown, WV, October 16; Charleston, WV, October 17; and Fairbanks, AK, October 21 and 22. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.