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AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition - Volume 8, Issue 14AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition - Volume 8, Issue 14

Volume 8, Issue 14 • April 4, 2008

In this issue:
UND gets flight school Mustang
College student survives crash, night on mountain
Test your knowledge of nontowered airport ops

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

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Training Tips

Most pilots spend most of their flying time operating in controlled airspace. But for the different classes of controlled airspace, there are varying degrees of control. The largest swath of controlled airspace isn't controlled beyond your obligation to observe weather requirements for VFR flight within its boundaries.

The basic differences can be summed up in the term "positive control." As defined in the Pilot/Controller Glossary of the Aeronautical Information Manual, positive control "means control of all air traffic, within designated airspace, by air traffic control."

Class A airspace, starting at 18,000 feet, is an example. Entry requires a clearance under instrument flight rules from ATC. Before airspace was classified by letters, Class A airspace was known as the positive control area. Pilots operate under positive control in Class B airspace, surrounding the busiest airports. You may not enter Class B airspace without a specific clearance from ATC. "Class B airspace provides for positive control of both VFR and IFR traffic. By enlarging the area of radar coverage, Class B airspace is able to provide separation to all aircraft through a mandatory communications requirement," explains the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor Airspace for Everyone.

Class C airspace, surface-based and centered on a towered airport with radar service, requires that communications be established, but specific clearance into the airspace is not required. In Class D airspace, centered on an airport with an operating control tower, there is also a requirement to establish two-way communications. The airspace reverts to Class E when the tower is not operating [ Class G if weather information is not available].

In the vast reaches of Class E airspace a pilot may fly with no ATC interaction—provided the appropriate weather requirements for VFR flight are satisfied. However, it is recommended that pilots make use of radar flight following when and where it is available. And nowadays it is prudent to check notams for temporary flight restrictions along any route.

Positive control can require different procedures for different kinds of flights in airspace such as the Washington Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

Your Partner in Training

It's almost time for your cross-country solos, so in preparation you'll be planning and flying cross-countries with your instructor. The use of aeronautical charts is key at this point in your training. Log on to AOPA Online and you'll find the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide to be a useful learning aid and reference tool. If you have any questions, don't forget that our experienced pilots are available to answer your questions at 800/872-2672 (800/USA-AOPA) weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time.

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

Cessna Aircraft Co. has delivered the first Citation Mustang to be used by a flight school to the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. The university will use the entry-level Citation jet for executive travel and flight training for undergraduate and contract students. UND celebrated the delivery and the fortieth anniversary of its flight program with an event in Wichita in which the new Mustang was displayed alongside a newly refurbished Cessna 150, which was one of the first two aircraft in UND Aerospace's fleet.

It's a scenario we all train for and hope we never encounter: an off-airport landing in rugged terrain. Rocky Mountain College student Andrew Scheffer lost power and landed last week on Big Pryor Mountain while on a training flight from Billings, Mont., to Powell, Wyo., according to a report in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune. Scheffer, an instrument-rated private pilot, spent a cold night wrapped in a jacket, wool cap, and orange tarp by the airplane, and then hiked out a mile in the snow the next morning and called his flight instructor on his cell phone. Rescuers found him a few hours later, and he was treated at an area hospital for frostbite, a mild concussion, and minor cuts and bruises. For more information on how to prepare for an off-airport landing, see Mark W. Danielson's article in the November 2002 AOPA Flight Training.

A former instructor with the defunct Silver State Helicopters has opened a flight school in New Braunfels, Texas. Derrick Smith has named his new venture Veracity Aviation and is reaching out to former students of the bankrupt Silver State to help them finish their training, according to a report in the San Antonio Express News. He currently has one helicopter in hangar space borrowed from a fixed-base operator at New Braunfels Municipal, and eight students are enrolled.

Inside AOPA

Nontowered airports aren't "uncontrolled"—they're pilot-controlled. Operating safely at nontowered airports requires vigilance, courtesy, and professionalism. Test your knowledge of nontowered airport ops with the latest Safety Quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The quiz covers standard and nonstandard pattern entries, appropriate procedures to announce your arrival and position in the pattern, and the common radio phrase that the Aeronautical Information Manual says shouldn't be used under any circumstances. What is it? Take the quiz to find out. When you're done, check out the foundation's other Safety Quizzes.

A Piper Archer is one of the best airplanes for learning to fly. And there's no better Archer than N208GG, AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes airplane. The paint, interior, and engine are all finished, and now it's time to introduce the glass! Imagine learning to fly with the world's first certified Aspen Avionics Evolution Flight Display 1000. Come see it for yourself next week as it makes its public debut at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Fla. Visit the sweepstakes page for all the details.

You probably receive life insurance coverage from your employer. But is it enough? Many pilots don't have enough life insurance, which can leave a family devastated in the event of a loss. No matter how many hours you have in your logbook, AOPA Term Life insurance has you covered with affordable rates and coverage that fits your needs. AOPA Term Life insurance, underwritten by Minnesota Life, is available exclusively for AOPA members. For 50 years, AOPA has worked with Minnesota Life to offer term life insurance specifically for pilots and is designed to give you as much flexibility as possible in choosing life insurance coverage. You will receive the coverage amounts you need at the best possible price. Get your free quote today.

Spring has arrived, and for many pilots that means less time on the ground and more time in the air. Unfortunately in today's climate for general aviation, every flight you take could put you at risk of violating any one of at least 700 relevant federal aviation regulations with which pilots are required to comply. Fortunately, as the thousands of AOPA members enrolled in the Legal Services Plan already know, for as little as $29 per year you can enjoy peace of mind every time you fly knowing that if a federal enforcement procedure comes your way, you'll have the best legal advice and support available anywhere. Read actual case studies from real pilots.

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

If there's anything as nerve-wracking as a checkride, it might just be a job interview for an airline or other commercial carrier. Here's where you're expected to pull out all your knowledge about any and all aircraft operations, the federal aviation regulations, and more. Ace the Technical Pilot Interview, by Gary V. Bristow, is a study tool aimed at helping you get to know material likely to be asked in an interview. The 346-page book includes nearly 1,000 exam-style questions and answers and more than 50 black-and-white illustrations. It sells for $19.95 at

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 kind of items should be included in block 11 (remarks) of a flight plan?

Answer: Pilots often place non-flight critical information relating to passengers or crew into the remarks section of a flight plan. However, comments should be limited to information pertinent to air traffic control (ATC) or to clarify other flight plan information, such as a particular call sign associated with the designator filed in block 2. Items of a personal nature are not automatically transmitted to every controller, so you don't need to include them. Specific ATC or en route requests should be made directly to the appropriate controller. More information on flight plans is available on AOPA Online.

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 you had $405 to spend on a 1.6-hour sightseeing flight, what would be your ultimate tour? Steven Greenberg took his brother, who wondered why Steven enjoys flying, on a flight around Hawaii and over the crater of Haleakala Volcano. "I told him that my philosophy was that whatever you can see you own a small part of...and seeing this jewel in the middle of the Pacific made us billionaires," he recalls in "High over the Valley Isle" in the latest installment of the "Joy of Flight."

Weekend Weather
ePilot Calendar

Various locations, Kan. The All Kansas Air Tour, a seven-day trek across Kansas, takes place April 1 through 8. For more information, contact Ed Young, 785/296-2553, or visit the Web site.

Ames, Iowa. The annual Ames/Iowa State University Fly-in Breakfast takes place April 5 at Ames (AMW). For more information, contact Kendall Craven, 507/272-4323, or visit the Web site.

Smyrna, Tenn. The Great Tennessee Airshow takes place April 12 and 13 at Smyrna (MQY). For more information, contact Lois Vallance, 615/459-2651, or visit the Web site.  

Palm Springs, Calif. The Doolittle Tokyo Raid Commemorative Program takes place April 12 at the Palm Springs Air Museum. For more information, contact Sheilah Reed, 760/778-6262, ext. 235.

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 Denver, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City, April 12 and 13; and San Diego, Chicago, and Indianapolis April 19 and 20. 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 Lakeland, Fla., April 12; Concord, Calif., and Clayton, Mo., April 14; Fresno, Calif., and Warrensburg, Mo., April 15; Salinas, Calif., and Springfield, Mo., April 16; Palmdale, Calif., April 17; and Hickory, N.C., April 19. The topic is "Top 5 Mistakes Pilots Make." There are also Safety Seminars scheduled in Lakeland, Fla., April 10 and 11. The topic is "Thunderstorms & ATC." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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