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Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition, Vol. 7, Issue 30

To view the AOPA ePilot archives, click here.

Volume 7, Issue 30 • July 27, 2007

In this issue:
Buyers line up for Cessna SkyCatcher
Allegro LSA touching down at flight schools
FAA launches FSS comment line, thanks to AOPA

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

Sponsored by ExxonMobil Aviation Lubricants


Mooney Airplane Company


Bose Survey

Fly Exxon Elite


Scheyden Eyewear

Minnesota Life Insurance

AOPA Aircraft Financing

Garmin International

Airline Transport Professionals

AOPA Insurance Agency

King Schools

Pilot Insurance Center

Sign up for AOPA Project Pilot

Lockheed Martin

AOPA Online Travel


AOPA Credit Card


JP Instruments

Comm1 Radio Simulator

Avemco Aviation Insurance

Do not reply to this e-mail. Got news? Contact ePilot. Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].

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Copyright © 2007 AOPA.

Training Tips

Radio frequencies assigned for aviation communications have distinct purposes. Using them otherwise can inconvenience fellow pilots and disrupt flight operations. Some frequencies get more respect than others. For instance, every pilot learns the emergency frequency 121.5 MHz. Frequencies assigned to air traffic control facilities such as control towers and approach/departure controls are found on aeronautical charts and in AOPA's Airport Directory and the Airport/Facility Directory.

Any pilot who has attempted to request an airport advisory on a nontowered airport's common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF), only to be blocked by other aviators having a leisurely chat on the channel, understands the problem of frequency misuse. A gentle reminder to switch to an air-to-air frequency is in order if the abuse is causing operational problems. Don't allow the disruption to distract you from pilot duties.

What frequency should those pilots have used? Frequencies designated for air-to-air communication are 122.75 MHz and 122.85 MHz (see the June 16, 2006, issue of ePilot Flight Training Edition). Tables giving air-to-air frequencies (also used at private airports not open to the public) and unicom/multicom frequencies are found in Chapter 4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. Note that the air-to-air frequency assigned for general aviation helicopters, 123.025 MHz, is different from those used by fixed-wing aircraft.

This raises a point from the real world of flying: Do you know how to operate your aircraft radio on all available frequencies? "We changed our CTAF at the Nevada County Air Park from 123.0 MHz to 122.725 MHz nearly three years ago, and as we still monitor the old frequency, we still have to advise aircraft of the 'new' frequency—at least three or four times per month. Also interesting is how many times we have to repeat back (for some pilots) the frequency. Many times they repeat back '122.7' or '122.75,' and a few don't even know how to select the 25-kHz spacing on their radios," wrote Sherm Hanley of Nevada City, California, in a letter published in the April 2005 AOPA Flight Training's Flight Forum.

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor, Operations at Nontowered Airports , offers more communications tips. Correct communications are not just efficient, but contribute greatly to safety.

Your Partner in Training

If you're like most student pilots, radio communications can be particularly daunting. In fact, learning the ways of the radio can be as tough as the basic task of mastering control of the airplane. Read AOPA's aviation subject report on "ATC Communications" for some "com sense" advice. If you have any questions after visiting our site, call 800/USA-AOPA weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time and speak to one of the experienced pilots in the Pilot Information Center.

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

There's no lack of interest for Cessna's new 162 SkyCatcher. In just the first two days at AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the company took 400 orders for the light sport aircraft. That's equivalent to selling one airplane every 30 seconds during normal show hours. The airplane was selling for an introductory price of $109,500 at the show. It will go up to $111,500 later on. Cessna had drummed up interest last year at Oshkosh by showing off a proof-of-concept version of the airplane. So who's the typical buyer? According to Cessna officials, 80 percent of the buyers are flight schools/FBOs. The rest are private individuals who are downsizing from more expensive and complex aircraft, want to own their first new airplane, want to learn to fly, or want to inspire their children to take wing. In related news, Jack Pelton, chairman, president, and CEO of Cessna Aircraft, has joined the board of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, and the company has become one of the organization's members. For complete news and photo galleries from the show, see our Oshkosh news section.

An Ohio teacher has received this year's A. Scott Crossfield Aerospace Education Teacher of the year award. Marcus Petitjean received the award and a $1,000 cash stipend July 20 at a reception hosted by the National Aviation Hall of Fame, which oversees the program as part of its SkyReach education initiative. Petitjean, who teaches in the local school system of Russia, Ohio, was selected for his approach to engaging students in the application of math and science combined with industrial arts, and eventually flying skills, through re-creating the achievements of the Wright brothers. Class projects have included a 1902 Wright Glider replica, which students constructed and flew successfully at Jockey's Ridge near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has approved the Commercial Airline Pilot Training Program (CAPT) accelerated pilot program operated by Flight Training Services International. Veterans who signed up for the Montgomery GI Bill may be able to receive reimbursement of tuition if they enroll in the program. CAPT offers a full-immersion, one-year program designed to prepare individuals with little or no flight experience for a commercial airline career. For more information on veterans' eligibility, contact the CAPT Veterans Affairs officer at 877/577-2278 or 386/586-6560.

Flight schools in Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey, Arizona, and West Virginia are using Allegro light sport aircraft to complement their training and rental fleets, according to Fantasy Air USA, a U.S. distributor of the aircraft, which are built in the Czech Republic. Among those utilizing Allegros are Lucky Dog Aviation, near Chicago; Plane Guy's Aviation, near Oshkosh, Wisconsin; L & L Light Sport Aviation near Albany; Mill Pond Aero near Trenton, New Jersey; Falcon Executive Aviation in Mesa, Arizona; and Marathon Aviation in Fort Ashby, West Virginia. Fantasy Air, located at the Sanford-Lee County Regional Airport, also has a flight school that offers accelerated and traditional sport pilot training.

Inside AOPA

Oshkosh has proved to be the ideal place for two brothers, Craig and Les Gallagher, to join other pilots who share the same love of flying. Sound familiar? It's all about inspiring each other to continue taking to the skies. Read more about the Gallaghers and how, by joining AOPA Project Pilot, mentoring has been easy, fun, and keeps them motivated to continue doing what they enjoy.

What were your first cross-country flights like (if you're at that stage of your training)? Now that we have much of the refurbishment complete on the 1977 Cessna Cardinal we're giving away for this year's sweepstakes, we're exploring the country with the Cardinal, much like you're journeying out into your region with your training airplane. Join us as we talk about the flight last week in which we flew the airplane up to AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. And come see the airplane at the show, which continues through this weekend. We'll have a special forum on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the airplane—we'll see you there!

Acting on an AOPA suggestion, the FAA has activated a toll-free "flight service comment line" (888/FLT-SRVC or 888/358-7782) for pilots to comment on service they receive from the Lockheed Martin flight service station (FSS) system, operated under contract with the FAA. "It was clear to me that this type of immediate feedback would be the only way to track down and fix all of the problems and errors," AOPA President Phil Boyer said. "Lockheed Martin's performance metrics were doing a much better job in tracking system-wide averages, but individual pilot complaints to AOPA showed us that the metrics weren't telling the full story about the quality of the briefings." Boyer had suggested the complaint hotline during a meeting with Lockheed Martin officials earlier this month. The FAA says the 888/FLT-SRVC hotline will record comments as voice messages. Pilots can leave a message of up to three minutes. Pilots can also report FSS problems on the FAA's Web site and Lockheed Martin's Web site. 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

Flight bags come in all shapes and sizes, but when you're just starting to learn to fly, sometimes basic is best. The Student Pilot Bag from Banyan Aviation's Hangar 63 online store features seven exterior pockets, three small exterior pockets for pens or small flashlights, an interior key clip, a removable shoulder strap, and a double zipper opening. It sells for $33.20 and comes in black. Order the bag online.

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 understand it's my primary responsibility as the acting pilot in command to ensure the aircraft is airworthy before every flight, but I am not fully up to speed on airworthiness directives (ADs). Does AOPA have any information to help me better understand ADs?

Answer: ADs are officially discussed within Part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations and apply to four different aircraft categories: airframe, engines, propellers, and appliances. A primary safety function of the agency is to require correction of unsafe conditions found in an aircraft. The unsafe condition may exist because of a design defect, maintenance, or other causes. Airworthiness directives specify inspections you must carry out, conditions and limitations you must comply with, and any actions you must take to resolve an unsafe condition. ADs are divided into two primary categories: those of an emergency nature requiring immediate compliance prior to further flight, and those of a less urgent nature requiring compliance with a specified period of time. Certain ADs will be issued with a requirement for repetitive inspections that must be completed within a specified time. Ultimately, it is the aircraft owner's or operator's responsibility to ensure compliance with all pertinent ADs in order to determine airworthiness before flight.

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

Are you up to the challenge of visiting all the airports in your state? It's a tremendous feat that doesn't have to be done all at once. Georgia Air National Guard Lt. Col. Jeff Thetford's passion for general aviation motivated him to complete a three-year journey to all 106 airports in Georgia—even with a few deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan stuck in there. "My advice to anyone would be to set a goal and go after it," said Thetford. "Lots of folks early on thought it was not doable." Read about Thetford's journey in "Military officer salutes GA," the latest installment in the Joy of Flight.

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.

Wadena, MN. The Wings and Wheels Over Wadena Airplane Fly-In and Car Show takes place August 4 at Wadena Municipal (ADC). Contact Darrel Janson, 218/639-4769.

Eastsound, WA. The Twenty-third Annual Orcas Fly-In takes place August 3 through 5 at Orcas Island (ORS). Contact Barbara LaBrash, 360/376-5403.

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 Long Beach, CA, and Fort Worth, TX, August 4 and 5. Clinics are also scheduled in Atlanta; Champaign, IL; Reno, NV; and Allentown, PA, August 17 and 18. 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 Ann Arbor, MI, July 30; Perrysburg, OH, July 31; Whitehall, OH, August 1; and Indianapolis, August 2. The topic is "Regulations: What every pilot should know." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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