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Volume 8, Issue 47 — NOVEMber 21, 2008  

In This Issue:
FAA makes changes to medical form
Radio listeners grab 100 flights in 60 seconds
Breaking down the sweepstakes pieces

  FT News  |   Inside AOPA  |   TRAINING PRODUCTS   |   FINAL EXAM   



Getting ahead

If there's no such thing as too much crosswind landing practice in flight training, it's also true that studying aviation weather makes an excellent continuing ground training plan. That's the case even when you have no immediate plans to fly.


Because weather varies continually, keeping up with the changes and how they are communicated in weather reports and forecasts, will enhance your comprehension and save you time on future flying days. Weather reporting formats sometimes change, as Thomas A. Horne described in "Wx Watch: TAF Tune-up" in the August 2008 AOPA Pilot.


Make it your study routine to obtain practice weather briefings by telephone, writing down the information you receive so that you develop an efficient shorthand. (Sometimes you'll be getting weather in inconvenient locations.) When you're getting weather by computer, select realistic practice routes and destinations to study. Take time to study current notices to airmen (notams). You'll pick up valuable information such as navaid outages, communications frequency changes, runway closures, and temporary changes to airport operations. Sometimes temporary obstructions appear in the vicinity of airports or obstruction lighting goes out of service, as discussed in the Nov. 14 Training Tip.


Take the trouble to look up and interpret the fine details of the information you see. For example, what does the abbreviation PAEW stand for in this recent notam about conditions at DeWitt Field/Old Town Municipal in Old Town, Maine? "Rwy 4/22 AND RWY 12/30 PAEW IN SAFETY AREA."


The abbreviation tells you that personnel and equipment are working in the safety area around the airport's two intersecting runways. PAEW and other common abbreviations used in notams can be looked up in chapter five of the Aeronautical Information Manual.


Quick quiz: What would it tell you about an airport's Taxiway M if you saw "Twy M DCMSND" in a notam? Answer: Taxiway M has been decommissioned. Better not try to use it!


Add the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's WeatherWise Safety Advisor to your weather library for your home study. Many of your questions can be answered there and at AOPA Aviation Weather online.


At last—a plan to keep your training on track when cancellations can't be avoided, or when you just want to learn more about aviation.


Does it make financial sense for you, a student pilot, to buy a trainer? The market is soft at the moment, and there are lots of good buys, but aircraft ownership is a big step, and you'll want to explore all the pros and cons before you sign on the dotted line. Be sure to look at the ownership resources on AOPA Online, including an operating cost calculator, tips on buying used aircraft, and information on leases, clubs, and co-ownership.


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.



A Life Insurance Policy That Returns All of Your Premiums?

The Return of Premium Term Plan available from the Pilot Insurance Center features a level death benefit with fixed premiums and guarantees to pay back all premiums at the end of the policy.  A+ Rated Carriers. Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 or visit online.


Medical form includes new question on disability benefits

New applications arriving at your aviation medical examiner's office also feature new questions and terms. A new question, 18(y), asks pilots if they receive medical disability benefits. This change arose out of a congressional investigation into Social Security fraud. Answering "yes" doesn't necessarily indicate a disqualifying medical condition, but the medical condition that results in disability payments should be reported on the application. That information can be shared with other federal agencies thanks to an accompanying change in the Privacy Act Statement for the medical application. Read more >>

Radio listeners grab 100 flights in 60 seconds

A Denton, Texas, flight school booked 100 introductory flights in just one minute with the help of a promotional event through a Dallas radio station. U.S. Flight Academy worked with the station to offer introductory flights in light sport aircraft to the station's listeners for $40, half the normal price. The school then took five of the station's announcers aloft, and they subsequently raved about their experiences and promoted the flights as a bargain. Listeners were directed to a Web page at a specific date and time and, within a minute, had booked all 100 slots available. Read more >>

Florida student receives Careers in Aviation scholarship

Desiree Nicole White, of Mary Esther, Fla., received a $1,000 scholarship from Michelin Aircraft Tire in cooperation with Careers in Aviation. White plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and hopes to work in the aerospace industry. See the Web site for more information on scholarship opportunities through Careers in Aviation.

Build A Plane announces youth art competition

High school students assembled the flagship aircraft for Build A Plane, so it's appropriate that kids should be the ones to design the paint scheme. That's why the organization is sponsoring a youth art competition in which contestants are asked to design the paint scheme for the Glasair Sportsman 2+2. The winning designer will receive national recognition and an Apple iPod Touch. Entry forms are available on the Web site, and the deadline to submit a design is Jan. 31, 2009. Build A Plane promotes aviation and aerospace careers by giving young people an opportunity to build airplanes.



New Garmin GPSMAP 696 - $1 Shipping from Sporty's!

Garmin's best GPS yet, in stock at Sporty's combines advanced glass cockpit features with Garmin's biggest screen ever. Truly a portable multi-function display. Free online video demonstration available at Sporty's website

Inside AOPA

Breaking down the sweepstakes pieces

After a year's worth of upgrades, fixes, and other general improvements on the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Archer, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. We've done it all, from a newly overhauled engine to new wheelpants. See this week's sweepstakes update to learn how much many of the components cost and what it takes to install them on your airplane.

Heading home for the holidays?

AOPA offers great rates on airfare, hotels, and cruises through AOPA Online Travel. You can even save on your car rental from Alamo, Avis, and Hertz with special AOPA discounts and members-only coupons for free rental days, dollars off, and free upgrades. With member savings like those, your AOPA membership could pay for itself! So if you're planning to head home for the holidays, be sure to book your travel through the only program that not only saves you money, but supports general aviation. Book your trip today.


Qref media debuts new line of GPS checklists

GPS receivers are great, but their utility is limited if you don't know your way around the box. And, if you're a renter who changes airplanes from time to time, it can be challenging to keep on top of your avionics. Qref Media recently unveiled a new line of quick reference checklists for GPS and avionics systems. Most aviation systems are covered by available or soon-to-be-released titles for manufacturers such as Avidyne, Bendix/King, Garmin, Honeywell, Lowrance, L-3, and Magellan, according to Qref Media. The checklists are laminated and spiral bound, ranging in size from 27 to 48 pages with tabbed, indexed information. The checklists themselves are 4.25 by 8 inches so as to fit easily on a kneeboard. They are priced from $19.95 to $49.95. For more information, see the Web site.


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: I am a student pilot about to take my first solo cross-country flight. I was wondering if I am allowed to bring my husband along. Since he is not a pilot, would I still be able to count this as solo flight time?


Answer: Unfortunately, your husband will have to stay at home. FAR 61.89(a) prohibits student pilots from carrying passengers. Once you have earned your private pilot certificate, you can take all of your friends and family flying with you. The only time you can log solo flight time is when you are the sole occupant of the airplane (FAR 61.51).


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

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!


Which NASCAR driver is also a brand-new private pilot? Here's a hint: He drives the No. 45 car, and he might be looking for a ride outside the NASCAR series. Find out who in AOPA Pilot's "Reporting Points" blog.


Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a Vice President of Marketing, an Aviation Technical Specialist, a Business Analyst, and a Marketing Manager. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.


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.

To submit an event or to search all events in the calendar 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 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 Towson, Md., Dec. 2. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.





Scheyden Eyewear


Professional Instrument Courses



Minnesota Life Insurance

Diamond Aircraft

XM Satellite Weather



AOPA Aircraft Financing

Garmin International

Airline Transport Professionals

King Schools

Pilot Insurance Center

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Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller | Contributors: Warren Morningstar, Alton Marsh

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