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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 6, Issue 42AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 6, Issue 42

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Volume 6, Issue 42 • October 20, 2006
In this issue:
Florida universities to expand space research
NASA announces aeronautics competition
Take the Busch Challenge; help increase GA safety

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

Sponsored by Mooney Aircraft Company


Scheyden Eyewear

AOPA Aircraft Financing

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Minnesota Life Insurance

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Training Tips

It's a brief, often cryptic sequence at the end of a long, detailed area forecast (FA). But the terse categorical outlook that appends the "VFR Clouds and Weather" section of an FA can speak volumes about whether a flight planned for the near future has a chance of launching.

Here's an example of a categorical outlook (OTLK). It appeared in an FA for the Northeast on AOPA's online weather when a complex weather system was approaching last week:

SERN NH...BKN060 TOP FL250. BECMG 1618 BKN015-025 BKN080 TOP 120
VT-RMNDR NH...BKN050 OVC080 TOP FL250. 20Z BKN030-050 TOP 160 BKN

The OTLK for southeastern New Hampshire was for instrument conditions due to low ceilings. The OTLK for Vermont and the remainder of New Hampshire was for marginal VFR (MVFR) conditions due to ceilings. And there was "WND"—that's wind. How much wind? "The cause of LIFR (low IFR), IFR, or MVFR is indicated by either ceiling or visibility restrictions or both. The contraction "CIG" and/or weather and obstruction to vision symbols are used. If winds or gusts of 25 knots or greater are forecast for the outlook period, the word "WIND" is also included for all categories including VFR," explains Chapter 7 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. That much wind in a forecast is worth knowing about, as Thomas A. Horne's "Wx Watch" feature "Windwise" in the April 2005 AOPA Pilot confirms.

When getting weather information six or more hours before a flight, request an outlook briefing from flight service. "The briefer will provide available forecast data applicable to the proposed flight. This type of briefing is provided for planning purposes only. You should obtain a standard or abbreviated briefing prior to departure in order to obtain such items as adverse conditions, current conditions, updated forecasts, winds aloft and notams, etc.," explains the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Download the chapter on weather theory.

It could be that the outlook briefing helps you make decisions regarding route of flight, altitude, and, possibly, the no-go decision in a timely way. So don't overlook the outlook briefing, and the categorical outlook in an FA, when researching weather before a flight. Read the fine print, and know the score!

Your Partner in Training

Just starting out on the path to a private pilot certificate? Wondering what each phase of training will bring for you and how to prepare for it? AOPA's Flight Training Online resources for student pilots lays it all out for you in a lively, easy-to-read format. Frequently asked questions, articles to enhance your flying skills, interactive online courses, briefings on important topics, and special features are included. All are grouped within the five major phases of student pilot training: pre-solo, solo, maneuvers, cross-country, and flight test prep.

Do you have a question? Call the experienced pilots in AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA. They're available to take your calls weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 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

Three Florida universities are teaming up to collaborate on space-related research and education programs. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida Institute of Technology, and Florida State University will combine their capabilities to pursue emerging research, technology development, and educational opportunities associated with government and commercial space and aerospace initiatives. The universities signed the agreement on October 5 in Orlando, Florida. The agreement includes the creation of a joint institute to coordinate their activities, which will be open to participation by other universities and will work to develop collaborative programs with government agencies such as NASA and Space Florida, as well as commercial aerospace firms.

High school and college students: Imagine what the nation's air and space transportation will look like 50 years from now. Put your ideas down on paper. If your entry or your team's entry is chosen, you could win a cash prize in a new aeronautics competition sponsored by NASA. High school students are challenged to imagine how our air transportation will evolve in 2057; college students are invited to propose solutions for complex technical problems in hypersonic and supersonic flight, subsonic fixed- and rotary-wing transport, or Mars entry, descent, and landing. Prizes range from $1,000 for the winning individual first-place high school entry to $5,000 for the winning first-place college submission. Entries are due in March 2007 (for high school contestants) and April 2007 (college). For more information, see the Web site.

Looking for an aviation-related job? Got an opening at your flight school or fixed-base operation? Pilot Journey, a flight training marketing program based in Nashville, Tennessee, is now accepting resumes and job listings to be posted on its Web site. The service is available free of charge to employers and job seekers. For more information, see the Web site.

Inside AOPA

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has received a $100,000 challenge grant from the Busch family of Anheuser-Busch Companies. The challenge is designed to raise $300,000, which will be used to expand outreach of general aviation safety education for all pilots. For each dollar donated to the Busch Challenge, the August A. Busch III Trust will give 50 cents, up to $100,000. "The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has developed some of the best safety education materials in GA," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "This grant will allow us to better communicate these dynamic resources to more and more pilots." AOPA members can help the foundation meet the challenge set forth by the August A. Busch III Trust, "and the skies will definitely be safer for all of us," he added. For more information or to donate to the Busch challenge, see AOPA Online.

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

Planning to get checked out in a glass-cockpit aircraft? Two new transition training courses are now available from Max Trescott, author of G1000 Glass Cockpit Handbook. The VFR course begins with a system overview and how to use the primary flight display, moving through radio operations, the engine indicating system, the multifunction display, flight planning, and autopilot use. Each section is followed by a short quiz. An IFR course is available. Each is $59.95 and can be downloaded from the Web site.

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: I was on a cross-country flight the other day. A thin layer of fog was lying over the top of a lake, which partially obscured the visibility in and around the immediate area. Is fog considered a cloud?

Answer: Although a non-flier would not typically identify fog as a cloud because it touches the ground, fog is indeed classified as a cloud. Its formation can be quick and possibly put you in the position of having to divert to an alternate airport. There are different types of fog that will be discussed during your training. For additional information on foggy conditions, review "All Fogged Up" from the May 2001 issue of AOPA Pilot.

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
If big iron is your passion, be sure to read our daily coverage from the National Business Aviation Association's annual meeting this week in Orlando, Florida, where you'll find news about the latest developments in business jets, the growing array of very light jets, and more.

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

ePilot Calendar
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.

DeLand, FL. Air Jam '06 takes place October 28 and 29 at DeLand Municipal-Sidney H. Taylor Field (DED). Featuring aircraft displays, biplane rides, skydiving demos, food, and live music. Hosted by EAA Chapter 635, CAF-Florida Wing, and Regional Airline Academy. Contact John, 386/774-8574, or visit the Web site.

Casa Grande, AZ. The Copperstate Fly-In takes place October 26 through 29 at Casa Grande Municipal (CGZ). See antiques, modern experimental, and homebuilt aircraft, attend forums from how to build an airplane to how to fly one safely, and taste many cuisines at the food court. Contact Bob Hasson, 520/400-8887, or visit the Web site.

Edwards, CA. The 2006 Open House and Airshow takes place October 28 and 29 at Edwards AFB (EDW). Edwards AFB hosts nearly one mile of static displays, including the CV-22, F/A-22, and more. Each day begins with a sonic boom by an F-16, and ends with the Thunderbirds show. Contact Edwards Public Affairs, 661/277-4127, 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.

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Wichita, KS; Nashville, TN; and Corpus Christi, TX, October 28 and 29. Clinics are also scheduled in Anchorage, AK, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Ft. Worth, TX, November 4 and 5. 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 Eugene, OR, and Charleston, SC, October 23; Portland, OR, and W. Columbia, SC, October 24; Seattle, October 25; and Everett, WA, October 26. The topic is "Emergency Procedures." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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