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| Training Tips |
When general aviation pilots think about congested airspace, large tower-controlled airports and their surrounding terminal areas are what usually come to mind. But a glance at most sectional charts shows that even remote areas are crisscrossed by military training routes (MTRs) that can place your aircraft close to low-altitude, high-speed military traffic. Before you head out on a cross-country on a nice spring day, know whether MTRs along the route are "hot."
Any active-MTR operations will be flown at very high speeds. "In most cases, the FAA restricts civil aircraft to fewer than 250 knots indicated airspeed below 10,000 feet msl. But this isn't the case with military aircraft on MTRs. In fact, count on aircraft flying along these routes to be sailing well in excess of 250 knots," Ian Twombly said in the March 2006 AOPA Pilot "Answers for Pilots" column.
Are GA aircraft restricted from MTRs? "Nonparticipating aircraft are not prohibited from flying within an MTR; however, extreme vigilance should be exercised when conducting flight through or near these routes. Pilots should contact FSSs within 100 nautical miles of a particular MTR to obtain current information or route usage in their vicinity. Information available includes times of scheduled activity, altitudes in use on each route segment, and actual route width," explains Chapter 3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). Note the meaning of MTR route numbers and designations: Routes designated IR contain operations flown under instrument flight rules; VR routes are flown under visual flight rules.
The AIM passage notes that an MTR's "actual route width" should be checked. Charted appearance is deceptive. Routes may be 20 miles wide-and width may vary along an MTR. Cross an MTR as close to a perpendicular heading as possible to minimize your exposure, as recommended in the Air Safety Foundation's Collision Avoidance Safety Advisor. Also see the foundation's Mission: Possible online course for tips on navigating this special-use airspace.
This remains see-and-avoid flying, so don't count on Uncle Sam's pilots to spot you first. Indeed, not all military aircraft using MTRs are radar equipped. "A busted radar is not a go/no-go decision for many missions," wrote Tim Wright, who rode along on a training mission, then described it in the January 2005 AOPA Pilot feature "How Low Do They Go?"
Do your part to stay safe—with information, alertness, and caution.
| Your Partner in Training |
The FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) is the best reference for learning good air traffic control communication skills and phraseology. Your most important lesson as you learn to use the right words is learning not to be afraid of using the wrong words. Regardless of the form it takes, communication is the goal. Still have questions? Call our aviation experts at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 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 |
LSAs GAIN PROMINENCE AT SUN 'N FUN
There are now more than 75 models of light sport aircraft (LSAs) on the market. As proof of the new category's growing importance, they have their own special place by the front gate at this year's Sun 'n Fun, which runs through April 13. The newest was the Paradise from Brazil, commonly used in that country by ranchers to patrol their land. Representatives of Gobosh were there to explain the letters of their name to the curious: go big or stay home. LSA guru Dan Johnson said so far there has been no shakeout in the industry as new models continue to emerge. More expensive models (like the Gobosh at $127,000) represent more than 95 percent of the available models, but there are promises of less expensive models yet unannounced.
G1000 TRAINING AVAILABLE FROM JEPPESEN
Find it difficult to stay up to speed on the Garmin G1000 avionics system? Jeppesen announced at Sun 'n Fun this week that it is offering a $259.95 course called "Jeppesen G1000 Training—Core Functions and VFR Procedures." The company is expected to offer an IFR version by the end of May for $229.95. For the past year, the company has offered the Jeppesen CFI Toolset for $99.95, which helps instructors when transitioning "steam gauge" pilots to the Garmin glass flight deck.
REMOS CEO OFFERS PERFORMANCE, COST FIGURES
The Remos G-3 light sport aircraft can take what a student pilot dishes out and is more economical to operate than a Cessna Skyhawk, Chief Executive Officer Michael Meirer said recently. Addressing an audience of flight school representatives in Florida, Meirer said a German flight school has used a Remos G-3 since 1990. "It was rented for 3,500 hours and used for over 20,000 safe landings," he said. "After 4.5 years, it sold in 'like new' condition." The German school estimates that average cost over an eight-year period for a Remos was $12.49 per hour, with a fuel burn averaging 2.92 gallons per hour and oil consumption of 0.25 quarters per 100 hours, he said. "Comparing the operating costs of the Remos and their Cessna 172, the Skyhawk ran 2.5 times higher than the G-3," he added. The numbers show that the Remos' design has proven reliable and rugged, he said.
COLLEGE FLIGHT PROGRAM MAY RETURN TO MASSACHUSETTS AIRPORT
Aviation training for students of a Massachusetts college is expected to resume at New Bedford Regional Airport. Bridgewater State College officials are expected to announce that all of the school's flight training will resume at the airport, according to a report in SouthCoastToday.com. Bridgewater was without a centralized flight school as of August 2007 when Delta Connection Academy failed to renew its contract with the school, and training was split among other flight schools at New Bedford as well as at airports in Mansfield and Plymouth.
CESSNA DONATES AIRPLANE TO COLLEGE AVIATION PROGRAM
Cessna Aircraft Company donated a twin-engine aircraft to a technical college in Rome, Ga., to help get a new aviation program off the ground. Coosa Valley Technical College (CVTC) took delivery of a T303 Crusader that mainly had been used in Cessna's research and development program, according to a report in the Rome News-Tribune. CVTC kicks off its aviation mechanics and avionics program in the fall.
CORRECTION: A report in the April 4, 2008, edition of AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition concerning the off-airport landing of an aircraft piloted by a Rocky Mountain College student incorrectly attributed the incident to a power loss. The National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report indicates that the pilot entered rain and snow en route from Billings, Mont., to Powell, Wyo. While executing a standard-rate turn to return to Billings, he received a terrain warning on a Garmin 430 and pulled up, but struck terrain. AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition regrets the error.
| Inside AOPA |
MINICOURSE HELPS YOU TO GET THE MOST FROM FLIGHT SERVICE
The transition to the new Lockheed Martin-run flight service program hasn't exactly been trouble-free. Despite promises of improved service, pilots have often faced long hold times, sub-par briefer knowledge, and lost flight plans. Fortunately, things seem to be getting better, but there's still quite a bit of "new" in the new flight service. That's why the AOPA Air Safety Foundation partnered with AOPA's government affairs department to produce an interactive course that helps pilots get the most from this important safety resource. The minicourse takes about 20 to 25 minutes to complete and includes a helpful guide to using the system, both on the ground and in the air.
DON'T TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT—SEE FOR YOURSELF
AOPA's Get Your Glass Sweepstakes airplane is making its public debut this week at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in connection with the annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Florida. See the 1976 Piper Archer II with the world's first certified installed Aspen Avionics EFD1000 PFD for yourself. But if you can't make it in person, drop by online to see what others have to say about the exciting airplane.
DOUBLE YOUR REWARDS FOR AVIATION SPENDING
Whether you are buying groceries, paying utility bills, or renting an airplane, you'll be rewarded for every dollar you spend with the AOPA WorldPoints credit card from Bank of America. Of course, not all purchases are created equal. AOPA knows that aviation is an important part of your life, and we believe your credit card should reward your commitment to GA. So while you earn reward points—redeemable for travel, cash, merchandise, event tickets, and more—for every purchase you make, you earn double points for most aviation expenses. Read more on AOPA Online.
HAVE YOU UPDATED YOUR AOPA MEMBER PROFILE?
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 |
SPORTY'S GLASS COCKPIT INOP STICKERS
Student pilots training in steam-gauge airplanes know it's just a matter of time before their instructors cover up instruments, whether to remind them to look outside while flying or to understand the impact of equipment failure. If you're training in an aircraft equipped with glass-panel avionics, how do you "fail" a primary function display? Sporty's offers one method. Opaque static-cling covers will hide the attitude indicator, heading indicator, airspeed, and vertical speed, or you can custom-design your own using a whole-screen sheet. The covers are designed for use with the Garmin G1000 system. Each set includes one set of "inop" covers plus two blank sheets and sells for $29.95. Call 800/SPORTY's or order 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: When is a 100-hour inspection required?
Answer: Federal Aviation Regulation 91.409 is often confusing for both new and seasoned pilots. A common misconception is that all aircraft used "for hire" require a 100-hour inspection every 100-hour block of time. However, a CFI can instruct in an aircraft supplied by the student and get paid for it, without a 100-hour inspection; only a current annual is required. The 100-hour inspection is needed if the aircraft and the instructor are provided from the same entity. This encompasses most flight school scenarios. FAR 91.409 also allows the aircraft to be flown up to 110 hours when flying to the airport at which the inspection will take place. See AOPA's subject report on inspections for a more detailed explanation.
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. |
| Weekend Weather |
| ePilot Calendar |
UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS:
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.
Sanford, N.C. A seminar on navigating North Carolina's military airspace takes place April 23 at Sanford-Lee County (TTA). For more information, contact Paul Wilder, 919/776-2003.
Stillwater, Okla. Air Fest 2008 takes place April 19 at Stillwater Regional (SWO). For more information, contact Gary Johnson, 405/372-7881.
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.
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in San Diego, Chicago, and Indianapolis, April 19 and 20; Tampa, Fla., Cincinnati, and Boston, April 26 and 27; and Pensacola, Fla., Kansas City, Mo., and Houston, May 3 and 4. 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
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in 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; Hickory, N.C., April 19; Charlotte, N.C., April 21; Gilbertsville, Ky., and Fayetteville, N.C., April 22; West Lafayette, Ind., Worthington, Ky., and Castle Hayne, N.C., April 23; and Cranford, N.J., April 24. The topic is "Top 5 Mistakes Pilots Make." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.