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AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition - Volume 8, Issue 16AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition - Volume 8, Issue 16

Volume 8, Issue 16 • April 18, 2008

In this issue:
Regionals take low-time pilots
Can you dance the towered airport tango?
Get the flight training you want, now

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Training Tips

Even if you never plan to fly in the vicinity of Class B airspace, depicted inside a blue-bordered box on your sectional aeronautical chart, it's a good idea to spend some time studying the VFR terminal area charts (TACs) for those important blocks of airspace.

The enhanced detail of TACs helps VFR pilots to navigate busy airspace safely and accurately. And if the day does come for you to make a dual training flight into Class B airspace, or if you fly to an airport within the blue border as a private pilot, a current TAC will be a must-have item.

Scale is what makes a TAC so useful. Each inch of chart covers 3.43 nautical miles, creating room for more details than appear on a sectional chart, which depicts 6.86 nm of airspace per inch. A world aeronautical chart (WAC) packs 13.7 nm into every chart inch.

"Having more space to work with, the TAC can show a lot more terrain details. It also shows Class B areas, altitudes, VFR corridors, and suggested VFR routes around the Class B layers as they apply to each area. If you fly to a Class B airport or an airport shown on the TAC, this chart is invaluable," Robert N. Rossier wrote in " Chart Basics."

Like most sectionals, TACs are revised semiannually; check the expiration date before flying. [WACs are revised annually. All are discussed in Chapter 14 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge .] Check out the VFR chart symbols from the NACO Aeronautical Chart User's Guide, which catalogs differences in the presentation of specific symbols and data on the charts used for VFR navigation.

Not for you because your home base is far from any Class B airspace? Knowing how to use TACs should still be a part of your study and flight test preparation, because you must be able to demonstrate ability to select and use appropriate charts for any cross-country flight assigned by your designated pilot examiner.

So get started by studying your area's nearest TAC in conjunction with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor Airspace For Everyone . Someday you'll be glad you learned how to navigate the busy airspace inside the blue box.

Your Partner in Training

Extra-careful preflight is required for night flying: organizing the cockpit (which includes making sure you have flashlights and plenty of fresh batteries to power them), choosing checkpoints, and pondering emergency situations. The challenges are greater, but so are the freedoms. The special skills of night flying can only be acquired and maintained by taking frequent night flights. See the October 2002 AOPA Flight Training and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Hot Spot on night flying for more information.

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

Delta Connection Academy in Sanford, Fla., has partnered with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) to allow students holding specific FAA certificates to apply for college credits toward a degree from ERAU. For example, a pilot with a commercial multiengine certificate could receive up to 36 credit hours toward a degree. Credit also is available for those with FAA airframe and powerplant mechanic or air traffic controller certificates. The agreement was announced last week at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla.

Media reports about the pilot shortage abound, but where is the shortage? At the regional, corporate, and charter levels, AOPA Flight Training columnist Wayne Phillips told prospective airline pilots during his seminar, "So, You Want to Be an Airline Pilot!" on April 12 at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Fla. Some regional airlines are considering pilots with 250 hours total time and 25 hours of multiengine time, he explained. While possible regional jet fleet reductions, mergers, bankruptcies, and the age 65 rule will have an impact on the airline industry, Phillips said, "Things will be improving once we weather the storm." For more information about aviation careers and advice from airline professionals, see AOPA Career Pilot online.

Bombardier Learjet Inc. has committed $300,000 to a new aviation training center located at Col. James A. Jabara Airport in Wichita, Kan. The funding goes toward scholarships and equipment for the center, which broke ground in March and is slated to open in early 2010, according to a report in the Wichita Business Journal . Wichita Area Technical College will be the managing partner of the aviation center, which will have capacity to train more than 1,500 students in aviation service and manufacturing and general manufacturing.

Inside AOPA

Towered airport operations can be an intricate dance of aircraft landing, launching, and moving along the ground. For operations to run smoothly, pilots and controllers need to know all the steps and pay close attention to their partner's cues. When a controller clears you to "taxi to" another runway, can you cross an intersecting runway? What does "cleared for the option" mean? Get the answers to these questions and more by taking the new AOPA Air Safety Foundation quiz. Delve deeper into the subject with this Safety Advisor. Still looking for a challenge? Check out the archive of past Safety Quizzes.

AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer was a big hit at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Fla., last week. Members loved the paint, and many had questions about additions such as the Speedpants and the Micro Aerodynamics vortex generators. In this week's update, we're answering those questions, including how fast the airplane cruises, how it handles, and what it's like flying the first certified installed Aspen Avionics EFD1000 primary flight display.

Whether you're just starting your flight training, getting ready to solo, or somewhere in between, make sure you have the funds to achieve your dreams with AOPA Flight Training Funds. It's the super-flexible, affordable way to fuel your passion. Plus, you can use it for anything else—avionics, pilot supplies, FBO expenses, or even nonaviation purposes—the choice is yours. See AOPA Online or call 888/628-7700 to apply today. Mention code FAAQAP.

AOPA members can receive special discounts and accident forgiveness when they purchase aircraft insurance through the AOPA Insurance Agency. "Everyone talks about flying safely, but we wanted to reward you for doing something about it," said Greg Sterling, AOPA executive vice president of non-dues revenue. "That's why qualified training can earn you accident forgiveness. With the accident forgiveness program, your premiums won't go up, even if the accident or incident was your fault." Just for being members, pilots can receive a 5-percent discount. By participating in at least two AOPA Air Safety Foundation training courses each year, they can also receive accident forgiveness and up to a $100 deductible waiver on certain policies. To learn more or to get a quote, contact the AOPA Insurance Agency at 800/622-2672 or visit the Web site.

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

Flashlights: Every pilot needs them, and you'll probably need more than one. A double-duty model like the Pilots 2 Color version offered by Aircraft Spruce and Specialty can be helpful for regular use and also to preserve your vision for night flying, because it features 20 white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and six red LEDs. Switch back and forth between the red and white with one button. Three AAA batteries that are included power the unit. It sells for $17.95 and can 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: Is my instructor required to have at least a second class medical certificate?

Answer: A certificated flight instructor is not required to have a second class medical. In fact, some operations do not require instructors to hold valid medicals at all. A CFI is only required to hold a valid medical when acting as pilot in command. For example, a CFI giving a flight review does not require a medical as long as the other pilot holds a valid medical and meets the recent flight experience requirements of 61.57 to be able to act as pilot in command. And in flight instruction situations where a valid medical certificate is required, a CFI only needs a third class medical. FAR 61.23 lists the operations requiring a valid medical. It is important to note, though, that even when the FAA doesn't require a medical, the insurance company may. Want to put your knowledge of medical certification to the test? Check out this Safety Quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.

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

Not all routine flights are predictable, as one pilot learned upon approach to landing at a familiar airport in South Carolina. "My effort to ace the landing had created a low approach speed, and the bird strike distraction was about to prove more ominous than a broken windshield. I pushed the yoke forward, birds going everywhere, the stall horn still blaring, and the airport coming up awfully fast," recalls Fleming Mattox in the latest installment of Never Again Online.

Weekend Weather
ePilot Calendar

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.

Cincinnati, Ohio. Lunken Airport Days and Warbird Fly-In takes place April 26 and 27 at Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Field (LUK). For more information, contact Cheryl Popp, 513/489-2022, or visit the Web site.

Jackson, Miss. An airfest and airshow takes place April 26 at Hawkins Field (HKS). For more information, call 601/939-5631 or visit the Web site.

Galveston, Texas. The eighteenth annual Spirit of Flight Airshow takes place April 26 and 27 at Scholes International at Galveston (GLS). For more information, contact Elizabeth Smith, 409/740/7722, 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 Tampa, Fla., Cincinnati, and Boston, April 26 and 27; Pensacola, Fla., Kansas City, Mo., and Houston, May 3 and 4; and Sacramento, Calif., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Albany, N.Y., May 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 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; Cranford, N.J., April 24; Boise, Idaho, and Cheswick, Pa., April 28; New Cumberland, Pa., and Salt Lake City, April 29; Towson, Md., and Bethlehem, Pa., April 30; and Plymouth Meeting, Pa., May 1. The topic is "Top 5 Mistakes Pilots Make." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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