The following stories from the July 25, 2008, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information tailored to their areas of interest by updating their preferences online.
|My ePilot Training Tips|
How often have you flown in the traffic pattern during a practice session and been surprised to hear someone announce that he or she is entering the 45-degree downwind leg, or taxiing onto the runway for departure? In both cases, recommended procedure calls for an earlier first announcement. When flying inbound to land, the best practice as set out in the Aeronautical Information Manual is to make your first announcement over the CTAF and then when entering downwind, base, and final legs. A departing aircraft is expected to self-announce "before taxiing and before taxiing on the runway for departure."
Note that the arriving aircraft's self-announcements in the traffic pattern are to be made when entering downwind, base, and final. "Announcements made just before 'turning the corners' give other pilots in the pattern a definite place to look for traffic. Banking airplanes are easier for others at the same altitude to spot. High-wing aircraft should always pick up a wing and look before turning," says the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor Operations at Nontowered Airports .
An aircraft cockpit is a busy place during the arrival phase of a flight, so don't get preoccupied and omit that 10-miles-out self-announcement from your to-do list—even if you haven't yet found the field. "You may be 10 miles out and still have no clue where the airport is, especially if it is hidden amidst city clutter, but other pilots will be able to avoid you," Alton K. Marsh wrote in the February 2003 AOPA Pilot feature "Get Down!"
And whether arriving or departing, turn on that landing light as an additional safety measure.
SPORTY'S FLIGHT GEAR VFR TRI-FOLD KNEEBOARD
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|My ePilot Final Exam|
Question: I recently started flight training, and I am eager to make my first solo flight. What is required of me before my instructor will finally let me go?
Answer: After you have received and logged training for the maneuvers and procedures specified in Federal Aviation Regulation 61.87, you must demonstrate proficiency and safety as judged by a certificated flight instructor. This not only involves maneuvers and procedures, but also passing a pre-solo written exam covering the applicable sections of the federal aviation regulations, airspace rules and procedures, and the training aircraft's characteristics and limitations. When the CFI is satisfied that you are proficient and safe, he or she will endorse your student pilot certificate for the specific make and model of aircraft to be flown and endorse your logbook certifying that appropriate instruction has been given for solo flight. Now you're free! You'll quickly see that solo flights can be just as educational as instructional flights. Read about pilot Gary Frisch's first solo flight.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to email@example.com 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.