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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 7, Issue 10

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Volume 7, Issue 10 • March 9, 2007
In this issue:
Youth leadership organization adds aviation program
40 years later, pilot reenacts first solo
Become an in-flight weather resource

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

Sponsored by Mooney Aircraft Company


Comm1 Radio Simulator

Alamo Car Rental

Scheyden Eyewear

Minnesota Life Insurance

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Garmin International

Airline Transport Professionals

King Schools

Pilot Insurance Center

JP Instruments


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Copyright © 2007 AOPA.

Training Tips

You flew a precise departure from the terminal area, complying with rapid instructions from air traffic control (ATC) (see the March 2, 2007, Training Tips). While getting established on course, you contact departure control and begin receiving radar traffic advisories. This is a comfort, as it seems that there are numerous arriving and departing aircraft around you. But even when making use of ATC radar services, you know that you are responsible for spotting opposing traffic under visual flight rules (VFR). This requires carefully scanning of the airspace, keeping in mind the blind spots characteristic to your aircraft, as explained in Christopher L. Parker's March 2002 AOPA Flight Training feature "Beyond see and avoid: Reduce the midair collision risk with hot-spot vigilance."

When ATC does provide you with traffic advisories [ see Chapter 5 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM)], correct communications from the pilot are what make it a team effort. According to the following AIM-prescribed formula, the pilot:

  1. "Acknowledges receipt of traffic advisories.
  2. Informs controller if traffic in sight.
  3. Advises ATC if a vector to avoid traffic is desired.
  4. Does not expect to receive radar traffic advisories on all traffic. Some aircraft may not appear on the radar display. Be aware that the controller may be occupied with higher priority duties and unable to issue traffic information for a variety of reasons.
  5. Advises controller if service is not desired."

When a controller is monitoring traffic that you were unable to spot when it was called to your attention, you may get a follow-up communication informing you that the traffic is either "no longer a factor," or "no longer observed." Listen carefully to the wording; the meanings are very different. According to the AIM's Pilot/Controller Glossary, traffic that is no longer observed "is no longer depicted on radar, but may still be a factor."

Obviously, in that case, the pilot should maintain a lookout for the previously called traffic while scanning for any other airborne conflicts. Remember this on your flight test, and on all other flights, and give safety a big boost when flying under VFR.

Your Partner in Training

"Sometimes when I'm flying solo, I get so anxious that I almost freeze up. Is something wrong with me?" Almost every student pilot experiences a bit of anxiety at times when alone in the cockpit. These instances will decrease as you progress in your training and fly more frequently. The key is to not let your fears get in the way of your progress and keep you on the ground. Talk about it with your flight instructor, or with your fellow pilots via the AOPA Aviation Forums. Read more in this "Instructor Report" and on AOPA Online.

Have a question? Call our experienced pilots-available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern to answer your questions toll-free at 800/872-2672. 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

LeadAmerica, an educational organization that sponsors academic-based leadership programs for high school and middle school students, has added aviation and aeronautics to the selection of programs for summer 2007. Students who attend the aviation and aeronautics program at the University of Oklahoma will undergo ground school and fly a simulator. They will learn skills needed to plan a flight and receive training required to pass the private pilot knowledge test. For more information, see the Web site or call 866/394-5323.

Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida, has selected Kenneth P. Stackpoole to be its new dean of the College of Aeronautics. Stackpoole most recently was vice president for university relations at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and is a certificated flight instructor-instruments (CFII) for single- and multiengine aircraft and is a designated pilot examiner. He has 4,600 hours of flight time.

The next time you get out your logbook to study the entries and relive those happy moments, consider Gerald Griggs of Kansas. To commemorate the fortieth anniversary of his first solo flight on March 4, 1967, Griggs located the CFI who signed him off for that long-ago solo flight and recreated the event this week, according to a report in The Wichita Eagle. The flight instructor, Jim Schoerger, traveled 800 miles from Houston, Texas, to celebrate with his former student and even cut his shirttail (again). Griggs said he's done something each year to celebrate the day he soloed a Cessna 150 at age 16.

San Francisco pilot Chris Archer is still adding to his Web site, which lets students and renter pilots search for rental aircraft at fixed-base operations (FBOs) in their area. Archer launched the site about a year ago, starting with the state of California. Since then he's added Arizona, Hawaii, Florida, Texas, Kansas, and Colorado; he's also added a search function for light sport aircraft and glass cockpit aircraft. Archer says he spends weekends and weeknights improving the site. He's still working his way east, so if he hasn't reached your state, stay tuned.

Inside AOPA

The electrical system that powers the panel on your training airplane has developed over the decades into a system of elegant simplicity-or conscientious complexity, depending on the airplane. We're upgrading the 1977 Cessna Cardinal that we're refurbishing for AOPA's 2007 Catch-A-Cardinal Sweepstakes with modern safety features, such as an essential bus, while we keep it simple to understand and easy to fly. Learn how this system works in the latest update on AOPA Online.

What's a great real-time, in-flight resource for weather information? Pilot reports (pireps). These reports are created by pilots, for pilots, and they give you a "sneak peek" of actual in-flight conditions. To help you understand pireps and learn how to get and give them, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation has just released a brand-new course, SkySpotter: Pireps Made Easy . The course teaches you who to call and what to say when giving a pirep, along with how to estimate visibility and cloud height. It also covers how to report precipitation, turbulence, and icing. Now is the perfect time to become an active participant in reporting actual weather conditions.

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

Shopping for a new flashlight? Momentum Interactive offers the dual-intensity FliteLite pilot's light, a hands-free LED flashlight that clips onto a headset. It runs on AAA batteries (included) or an optional lithium battery pack. The unit retails for about $50, depending on the model of headset. For more information, see 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: What is the aircraft takeoff and landing criteria used by air traffic controllers when utilizing a single runway?

Answer: Air traffic controllers have minimum separation standards for aircraft using the same runway, making it possible for you to land on a runway that has another aircraft on it. The distance permitted between aircraft using the same runway is based on the category of aircraft. There are three aircraft categories: Category I includes aircraft that weigh less than 12,500 pounds with a single propeller-driven engine and all helicopters; Category II aircraft weigh less than 12,500 pounds with propeller-driven twin engines; and Category III encompasses all other aircraft. The specifics on separation for arriving and departing traffic are outlined in the FAA's Air Traffic Controllers Handbook .

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 flying bug bit David Malki in a pea-green Cessna 172, but it took a Valentine's Day present and a race against time to bring him into the ranks of pilots. Learn about the motivation that drew him to flight in the latest installment of "The Joy of Flight."

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

ePilot Calendar
Brownsville, TX. Air Fiesta 2007 takes place March 10 and 11 at Brownsville/South Padre Island International (BRO). Contact David Hughston, 956/541-8585, or see the Web site.

Vicksburg, MS. The United Stated Pilots Association Winter Fly-In takes place March 15 through 19 at Vicksburg. Contact Arnold Zimmerman Jr., 314/843-5155, or see 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 Clinic is scheduled in Phoenix, March 17 and 18. Clinics are also scheduled in San Mateo, CA; Orlando, FL; and King of Prussia, PA, March 24 and 25. 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 Rockford, IL, March 12; Deerfield, IL, March 13; Romeoville, IL, March 14; and Peoria, IL, March 15. The topic is "Say It Right! Radio communications for today's airspace." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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