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Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition, Vol. 7, Issue 29

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Volume 7, Issue 29 • July 20, 2007

In this issue:
Embry-Riddle plans two career expos
Pireps: Weather information for pilots, by pilots
Project Pilot Student, Mentor learn the easy way

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

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King Schools

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Lockheed Martin

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Training Tips

The July 13, 2007, Training Tips discussed flight within the Mode C veil extending outward 30 nautical miles from the primary airport within Class B airspace. What if your future flying plans require you to train or even solo inside Class B airspace itself? 

There's much to know before going. Special rules cover clearances, aircraft equipment, and VFR weather minimums. Some airports in Class B airspace are off-limits to pilots who have not yet earned a private pilot certificate. Training in the airspace receives special treatment in the federal aviation regulations. And remember that before entering Class B airspace, you must be certain that you have received a specific air traffic control clearance into the airspace. (See the section "Airspace in Detail: Class B" in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor Airspace for Everyone.)

Pilot requirements for flight in Class B airspace must satisfy one of two conditions found in Chapter 3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM):

No person may take off or land a civil aircraft at an airport within Class B airspace or operate a civil aircraft within Class B airspace unless:

(a) The pilot-in-command holds at least a private pilot certificate; or

(b) The aircraft is operated by a student pilot or recreational pilot who seeks private pilot certification and has met the requirements of 14 CFR Section 61.95.

That regulation, covering student solo flights in Class B airspace, requires that you receive ground and flight training on the Class B airspace you plan to enter, as well as flight training "in the specific Class B airspace area for which solo flight is authorized." Study the regulation carefully to understand its other requirements. Make sure that your logbook has all required endorsements, and that they are dated within the 90-day period preceding the date of the flight in that Class B airspace. Regardless of these provisions, note in the AIM that 12 primary Class B airports require at least a private pilot certificate to take off or land. Round out your knowledge by reviewing Kathy Yodice's " Legal Briefing" article on Class B airspace from the June 2000 AOPA Flight Training.

B stands for Busy. Now you're ready to tackle Class B airspace.

Your Partner in Training

Do you calculate weight and balance before every flight? "My students often ask as they prepare the navigation logs and weight-and-balance data before a cross-country if 'real pilots' do all this paperwork prior to each flight. My answer is they should, but they often don't," flight instructor Richard Hiner wrote in " Calculating weight and balance in advance," in the December 1999 AOPA Flight Training. Prior to flight, the pilot is responsible for verifying that the aircraft is loaded safely, as too much weight, and/or an out-of-limits center of gravity, can cause serious performance issues. To avoid mishaps during your practical test for the private pilot certificate, read "Checkride: Sure it'll fly!" by pilot examiner Dave Wilkerson in the November 2006 AOPA Flight Training. Wilkerson highlights weight and balance considerations in preparation for the exam.

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

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will host a career expo at each of its residential campuses this fall. Each is expected to draw more than 150 employers in aviation/aerospace, business, engineering, and high-tech fields. The first expo is October 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Prescott, Arizona, campus. The second expo will be November 7 and 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Daytona Beach, Florida, campus. Job seekers can interview with AirSur, Lockheed Martin, National Air and Space Intelligence, and NAVAIR. Representatives from Continental, Southwest, and World Airways also will be on hand. For more information, or to register, see the Web site.

On a gray morning, a student pilot and flight instructor planned to get in some pattern work. The automated weather observation system (AWOS) reported ceilings several hundred feet above pattern altitude, so they proceeded. But when they got aloft, they soon realized that the AWOS was misleading—several patches of scud were hanging around, making it impossible to remain VFR in the pattern. So they landed, and the student's CFI filed a pilot report—or pirep. Pireps are real, firsthand weather reports from somebody who has been where you're going. When pilots help other pilots by giving pireps, everybody wins—but the system doesn't work unless you use it. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's recently updated SkySpotter: Pireps Made Easy online course gives you the information you need to effectively give and receive pireps. You'll learn how important they are for pilots (to aid in weather decision making) and forecasters (to help generate better forecasts).

His peers may be lifeguarding or standing behind a counter to earn some cash this summer, but 18-year-old Drew Patton of Kansas City, Missouri, is flight instructing at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport. Patton is a certificated flight instructor for ATD Flight Systems, according to a story in KC Community News. He has two students and teaches in a Piper Super Cub. Patton's family owns a Piper Lance. Patton is the sole pilot of the family and is a safe and conscientious pilot, his father said. Patton plans to attend William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, in the fall and will continue to fly and instruct part time.

Inside AOPA

We've put the Cessna Cardinal we're refurbishing for this year's AOPA sweepstakes through one monster of a preflight inspection prior to flying it up to Oshkosh. We've posted pictures of the process online and invite you to guess what picture goes with what part. If you can make it to Oshkosh, which runs from July 23 through 29, you can see the Catch-A-Cardinal in person to see if you can guess all the parts. Bring a printout of the gallery page to compete at our forums by the airplane at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 24, and Saturday, July 28.

It took fewer than 15 hours of instruction for AOPA Project Pilot Student Steven Kirslake to complete his solo. His Mentor, Tom Ivines, said he knew Kirslake would do well. "He flew it [Cessna 172] like a natural." For Ivines, mentoring his son-in-law was easy. "Mostly I just answered his questions"—questions that Ivines said he wishes he had answers to when he was taking lessons. "I would have asked for a mentor myself. Steve's questions would have been my questions years ago, it seems." The gray areas can be the same for all newcomers, and although Ivines had to find all the answers the "hard way," he was there so Kirslake did not. If you have questions during your flight training, sign up at AOPA Project Pilot to find a Mentor with the answers.

Are you and your instructor planning a trip to Oshkosh? Review these safety tips from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, including notam information. Thousands of pilots will be flying in, so remember to stay alert and watch for other traffic. Once you're at Oshkosh, plan to spend some time at the AOPA Big Yellow Tent. You can check out AOPA's Catch-A-Cardinal; fly challenging scenarios set up by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation on Microsoft Flight Sim X; learn about AOPA Project Pilot and the Airport Support Network; and take care of all your membership needs.

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

It's hard to get a handle on preflight when you're stretched to the limit to check the fuel or clean the windshield. One alternative to the bulky (and often flimsy) step stools you find at your local discount store is the Folding Aircraft Step Stool from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty. The four-pound folding stool is crafted from oak veneer over hardwood, and it folds flat to fit into aircraft baggage compartments—so you can easily take it along on your next cross-country flight. It will also store easily in your car's trunk between lessons. The stool is 16 inches high, and the standing area is 11 by 11 inches. The stool sells for $44.95 and may be ordered online or by calling 877/477-7823.

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: While listening to air traffic control (ATC) during my cross-country flights, I've heard the word "heavy" after the aircraft call sign. What does this mean?

Answer: ATC classifies aircraft as heavy, large, and small for the purposes of wake turbulence separation minimums. An aircraft is designated heavy if its takeoff weight is greater than 255,000 pounds; large if its takeoff weight is greater than 41,000 pounds but not more than 255,000 pounds; and small if its takeoff weight is equal to 41,000 pounds or less. Additional information on wake turbulence and aircraft designations is discussed in the Aeronautical Information Manual and the AOPA Flight Training article, "Caution: 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 Online

Be sure to stop by AOPA's Career Pilot pages, which have been updated with fresh content from the August 2007 issue of AOPA Flight Training magazine. You'll find articles on career development, professional training, career success stories, and the latest industry news.

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

ePilot Calendar
Oshkosh, WI. Attend EAA AirVenture from July 23 through 29 at Wittman Regional (OSH). While you're there, check out the AOPA Big Yellow Tent on AeroShell Square. Visit the Web site.

Palermo, NY. The Gulliver's Wilderness Ninth Annual Ultralight Fly-In takes place July 26 through 29 at Gulliver’s Wilderness Airpark. Contact Gary Gulliver, 315/598-1527, or visit the Web site.

Baker City, OR. The Wings Over Baker Friday night hangar dance and night glider performance takes place July 27, with a Huckleberry Breakfast on July 28 at Baker City Municipal (BKE). Contact Mel Cross, 541/523-4539, or visit the Web site.

To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Jacksonville, FL, and Pittsburgh, PA, July 28 and 29. Clinics are also scheduled in Long Beach, CA, and Fort Worth, TX, August 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 at Oshkosh July 25 to 28 in Oshkosh, WI. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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