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AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition - Volume 8, Issue 26AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition - Volume 8, Issue 26

Volume 8, Issue 26 • June 27, 2008

In this issue:
Era Helicopters opens training center
Parks College student receives GAMA scholarship
Runway safety should be top of mind for pilots

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Training Tips

Whether heading out to fly, or returning to land, one bit of information every pilot needs is an answer to the question, "What's the active runway?" At towered airports you'll get the answer on the automated weather recording or when ATC replies to your call-up with instructions: "Taxi to Runway 33." At nontowered airports, procedures are less formal, but usually the correct course of action is clear. Automated weather will provide surface winds. The fixed-base operator may respond to your request for an airport advisory with runway information. Or monitoring the common traffic advisory frequency may reveal which runway is "active."

Occasionally the runway in use seems badly matched to the winds. It could be that a student pilot is getting a lesson in crosswinds. Or a large aircraft may opt to use the longest runway available. Now you have a decision to make. "Remember, this is a nontowered airport. The fixed-base operator providing you with active-runway information is not an air traffic controller and cannot require you to land on a runway that you consider inappropriate, if, for example, winds favor another," explained the Sept. 16, 2005, "Training Tip: Airport Advisory."

Scenarios like that are common. "Whenever a student asks me what the active runway is, my response is to shrug my shoulders and reply, 'I don't know, you're the one landing the airplane, not me. If it were my landing to do I would probably pick the runway with the most favorable wind conditions," said one flight instructor in "Instructor Reports: Pattern Operations Revisited." The article also discusses the provocative case of a business jet and a single-engine training airplane seeking to use opposite ends of the same runway, a situation that raised challenging questions for all pilots.

What if the winds are calm? Then the runway choice is yours-in most cases. Prepare to fly by always checking AOPA's Airport Directory for any special procedures, such as this requirement in effect at Bar Harbor, Maine (BHB): "durg VFR conds when wind speed is less than 5 knots as rprtd by AWOS or UNICOM; all acft using ry 4-22 shall tkof & lnd ry 22."

If there's an active runway, make sure it is also the correct runway to use.

Your Partner in Training

Your solo, cross-country, and night-flight requirements have been met. You've passed the FAA knowledge test. Your maneuvers are proficient; you handle routine and emergency cockpit chores with confidence and competency. Time to think about your private pilot practical test! View the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards on AOPA Online, and be sure to read this article about filling out the FAA's interactive Form 8710. If you still have questions, call the Pilot Information Center 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. Login information is available online.

Flight Training News

Era Helicopters in Lake Charles, La., has opened a 7,694-square-foot training facility. The Era Training Center features two Frasca helicopter flight training devices, classrooms, and custom briefing areas. The company offers training programs for corporate aircraft owners, medical flight services, airborne law enforcement personnel, and other rotorcraft professionals, as well as private pilots. For more information, see the Web site.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association has named Eric J. Schradar, a recent graduate of Parks College of Saint Louis University, the 2008 recipient of the Dr. Harold W. Wood scholarship. The program is named in honor of the founder and past executive director of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association. At Parks College, Schradar was president and team captain of the Flying Billikens in 2008, and in 2006 was key in leading the team to its first national flight team competition appearance in eight years. He is a commercial pilot and flight instructor.

Sporty's recently announced that it is offering its complete flight training courses for the private pilot, recreational pilot, transition to private pilot, and instrument rating online. The interactive courses feature 3-D animations, step-by-step checklists, video, and more. "Even people with limited computer experience will easily handle this course," said Eric Radtke, president of Sporty's Academy. "And the beauty of it not being a download or video rental means that Sporty's can continuously update the course as regulations and advisories change. This ensures that the student has immediate access to new and revised material." For more information, visit Sporty's Web site.

Historically, general aviation operations account for the majority of runway incursions. To improve that record, pilots need to maintain vigilance and situational awareness while operating in the airport environment. Test your knowledge of airport signage and pavement markings, progressive taxi instructions, land-and-hold-short operations, and more with the latest AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Quiz. Then study the runway environment with the foundation's free runway safety resources, including an online course, flash cards, and airport taxi diagrams.

Inside AOPA

The AOPA Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer made its way from its home base of Frederick, Md., to Osage Beach, Mo., last weekend for the annual Cherokee owners fly-in and convention. Find out how the airplane performed and how it stacks up to your training airplane in this week's sweepstakes update.

As the economy and fuel prices force pilots to look for ways to lower the cost of flying, there is good news on the aviation insurance front. Recognizing the improving general aviation safety record on a large number of GA aircraft types, aviation insurance underwriters are offering rate reductions. While not all aircraft will see rate reductions, and certain state restrictions may apply, many GA piston aircraft owners could see savings. Read more on AOPA Online.

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

Studying for a knowledge test? Aviation Supplies and Academics has unveiled, a dedicated Web site for airman knowledge tests. The site features actual FAA questions in a realistic simulation and performance graphs that let you review explanations and answers for the entire test. You can take up to five practice tests. Submit two tests with an 80 percent score or better, and you can get a sign-off from ASA to take your knowledge test. The site costs $14.95 to join, which gives you complete access to practice exams for general airframe, powerplant, sport, private, instrument, flight instructor, ground instructor, fundamentals of instructing, flight engineer, and airline transport pilot. You can also try a free demo before purchasing. See the Web site for more information.

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 difference between condensation and sublimation?

Answer: Condensation is the conversion of a vapor to a liquid. Sublimation is a conversion of a solid to a vapor with no intermediate liquid stage. The reverse of sublimation is known as deposition. Frost is an example of deposition frequently encountered by pilots. Interested in learning more about weather? Take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's free online weather course.

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.

What's New Online

Are pilots afraid of heights? AOPA Online Managing Editor Nate Ferguson ponders the question in his latest blog entry. Find out what other pilots think and share your own thoughts.

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 or send an e-postcard. For more details, see AOPA Online.

Weekend Weather
ePilot Calendar

Sanford, Maine. An airport open house and car show takes place June 28 at Sanford Regional (SFM). For more information, contact Evan R. McDougal, 207/432-0596.

Gardner, Kan. A vintage fly-in takes place June 28 at Gardner Municipal (K34). For more information, contact Jeff Sullens, 816/729-3151.

South Lake Tahoe, Calif. An airshow takes place June 28 at Lake Tahoe Airport (TVL). For more information, contact Rick Jenkins, 530/542-6182, or visit the Web site.

Concrete, Wash. An open cockpit day takes place June 28 at Concrete Municipal (3W5). For more information, contact Jim Jenkins, 360/770-4848, or visit the Web site.

Basye, Va. A fly-in takes place July 5 at Sky Bryce (VG18). For more information, contact Kevin Brennan, 240/888-3603, or visit the Web site.

Burlington, Iowa. The American Yankee Association annual convention takes place July 7 through 10 at Southeast Iowa Regional (BRL). For more information, contact Don Cochran, 913/856-4075, or visit the Web site.

Arlington, Wash. A fly-in takes place July 9 through 13 at Arlington Municipal (AWO). For more information, contact 360/435-5857, 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 San Jose, Calif., June 28 and 29; and in Newark and Pittsburgh, July 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 Wichita, Kan., Ypsilanti, Mich., and Germantown, Tenn., on September 8. Topics vary-for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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