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Obstructions old and new
The Nov. 7, 2008, Training Tip discussed the hazard of power transmission lines near airports and when they loom as obstructions to emergency landing fields. To know what obstructions of any type present a hazard to your flight requires that a pilot continually update the available information about the routes he or she flies. The heights and locations of these obstacles constantly change along your route of flight, as does the ease with which you're able to detect them. New obstructions, such as wind turbines and telecommunications towers, frequently appear. Also, obstacle lighting may or may not be functioning as depicted.
Obstructions—especially those associated with construction projects—may even come and go on a temporary basis. Some of those are very close to airports, as this recent notice to airmen about Maine's Lincoln Regional (LRG) advised pilots: BGR 08/031 LRG OBST CRANE UNKN (225 AGL) 2600 E RWY 35. Note also the presence of a permanent obstruction northeast of the airport on the sectional chart excerpt that accompanies LRG's listing in AOPA's Airport Directory Online .
Review chart depictions of obstructions and note that their appearance depends on a number of factors, including their height above ground, whether they are single or group obstructions, and whether they are lighted or otherwise marked. In congested areas, only the highest obstructions may be depicted. Check the illustrations and explanations in the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide .
Obstruction lighting and marking may follow one of a variety of schemes, as explained in Chapter 2 of the Aeronautical Information Manual . The chapter describes five typical combinations of lighting and obstruction paint schemes, with lighting capable of being set at different intensities for day and nighttime conditions. (When lighting is out of service, a notam advises pilots of the hazard.)
Two items that appeared in the January 2008 AOPA Pilot demonstrate how hazards—including a too-tall building and a radio tower being reconstructed after being hit by an aircraft—may appear or reappear in locations posing dangers to pilots. This emphasizes the need all pilots have to stay informed about obstructions to air navigation, and to monitor the changes that inevitably, and sometimes rapidly, occur.
YOUR PARTNER IN TRAINING
When you prepare for a flight, you check your aircraft thoroughly to ensure that there are no problems. But do you also inventory your physical health and mental state of mind? Remember to run the "IMSAFE" fitness for flight checklist (Illness, Medication, Stress, Alcohol, Fatigue, Eating). Then read more about how stress can be an unwelcome passenger.
Did you know that student pilots who join AOPA are three times more likely to complete their flight training? Membership includes unlimited access to aviation information by phone (800/USA-AOPA, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time) or from AOPA Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you're not already a member, join today and get the pilot's edge. Login information is available online.
Col. Eric A. Boe, who will pilot the space shuttle Endeavor on its launch scheduled for Nov. 14, credits the Civil Air Patrol with helping him to achieve his career goals of becoming a fighter pilot and an astronaut. Boe is a former Georgia Wing cadet and current Florida Wing member. He soloed at 16 at a flight encampment conducted by the Georgia Wing and credits his cadet experience for solidifying his desire to fly. "That was my first real opportunity to fly an airplane by myself," he said. "CAP gave me that opportunity, and it really made a difference in the long term. It's always nice to have flown before you show up at pilot training." The shuttle is embarking on a 15-day mission involving repair work at the International Space Station, with four planned spacewalks.
When the economy takes a downturn, now may be the time to upgrade your flying skills so as to make yourself more marketable to potential employers. And if you need financial assistance to get that new type rating or certificate, scholarships can help. The Nov. 28 deadline for applying to the numerous scholarships offered by Women in Aviation International is quickly approaching. The 2009 offerings include Airbus A320, Citation Encore, and Boeing B737-800 type ratings, and Lear 31A and Citation aircraft training. There are opportunities for primary flight training financial assistance as well. You must be a member of WAI to apply. For more information, see the Web site.
At high power settings, propeller tips can approach the speed of sound. The hazard this presents to anyone wandering nearby is obvious, but it also places tremendous stress on the propeller components—10 to 20 tons of centrifugal load per blade. The latest safety quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation covers propeller design characteristics, preflight considerations, and key maintenance issues, as well as safe practices to avoid propeller-strike injury. Test your knowledge, then watch and listen as pilot Bruce Stanfield describes a hand-propping accident in this Real Pilot Story.
Long cross-country debrief: back from California
Flying the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer from AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Md., to San Jose, Calif., for AOPA Expo was great fun. Although a trip like this may seem daunting to most students and newly certificated private pilots, it's not hard when you break it down into pieces. Read this week's update for lessons learned on a great trip.
'Tis the season to take advantage of AOPA member benefits
During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it's easy to forget that AOPA membership provides you with discounts and rewards that come in handy at this time of year. So make sure you're aware of the benefits as you plan your holiday travel and do your shopping. And you can even increase your odds of winning a very special gift that is sure to make your flying experience in the New Year even more exciting and fun. Read more >>
Sporty's 'Garmin 696/695 Checkout' DVD
If you've plunked down the money for Garmin's new GPSMAP 696, you'll want to know all of the box's capabilities before you put it to work. AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman put the GPSMAP 696 through its paces for a review in the December 2008 issue, and he blogged his first impressions. Sporty's has released Garmin 696/695 Checkout, the latest in its What You Should Know series. The program promises to teach users how to navigate the main pages, learn handy shortcuts to manage screen brightness and extend battery life, and how to use flight plans and XM satellite weather to make strategic weather decisions in flight, for starters. The program sells for $29.95 and is available in DVD format or as an instant download from Sporty's Web site. Order online or call 800/SPORTYS.
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.
Question: It was very cold this morning, and I noticed some frost on my airplane. Am I allowed to fly with frost or ice on the airplane?
Answer: Ice, snow, and frost affect more than the wing's ability to generate lift. The additional weight can exceed your maximum takeoff weight and render your aircraft uncontrollable. While the regulations do not specifically prohibit Part 91 operators from flying with wing contamination, it could be viewed as a careless and reckless operation under FAR 91.13. Part 121 and Part 135 operators are strictly prohibited from flying with any wing contamination. For more information about the effects of ice and snow on your aircraft, read this article from AOPA Flight Training or review the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's information on aircraft icing.
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.
Postcards, AOPA's new online photo gallery, allows you to upload your own aviation photography as well as view, rate, and comment on others' photos. Your favorite aviation images from AOPA Pilot are still available online through this new gallery. Take a look, and submit your own photos!
AVIATION EVENTS & WEATHER
Want something to do this weekend? Wanting to plan an aviation getaway? See our online calendar of events. We've enhanced our calendar so that with one click, you can see all of the events listed in the calendar regions you selected when personalizing ePilot . Now you can browse events listed two weeks to a few months out to make your planning easier. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.
Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in San Diego, Calif., Atlanta, Ga., and Albuquerque, N.M., Nov. 15 and 16; Anchorage, Alaska, Nov. 22 and 23; Denver, Colo., and Chicago, Ill., Dec. 6 and 7; and Orlando, Fla., Dec. 13 and 14. 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 Alice, Texas, Nov. 15; Burbank, Calif., and Jacksonville, Fla., Nov. 17; Ontario, Calif., and Tampa, Fla., Nov. 18; Irvine, Calif., and West Palm Beach, Fla., Nov. 19; and San Diego, Calif., and Orlando, Fla., Nov. 20. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller | Contributors: Warren Morningstar, Alton Marsh