Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

Epilot (25)Epilot (25)

AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition Volume 9, Issue 25 — June 19, 2009  

In This Issue:
New animation depicts runway incursion
Cessna to offer CFI safety training
Sporty’s picks SkyCatcher for 2010 sweeps

  FT News  |   Inside AOPA  |   TRAINING PRODUCTS   |   FINAL EXAM   



Wind-turbine hazards

Visualize an entirely new class of aeronautical obstructions springing up across the landscape—and sometimes even on the waters. These new hazards may sit on the highest ground for miles around. They can be found near airports, as well as on remote ridges. They occur in small groups, or in large clusters or “farms.” It’s not uncommon for them to touch traffic pattern height or better. For low-flying visual pilots, especially those arriving at airports under marginal conditions, it is imperative to know just where these wind-turbine hazards are and how many of them are arranged across the terrain.


This is not the first time that technological innovation has brought a new type of obstruction to the aviation scene. Pilots flying in recent years know that communications towers have frequently appeared in areas that had been obstruction-free. Now, wind turbines are making their appearance in high places as entrepreneurs strive to provide alternative means of power generation. The arrays of large windmills—literally towering hundreds of feet above the terrain—are impressive to behold, even when still under construction. See a description of turbines’ visual impact in the feature " Chris and Dan’s excellent adventure."


But it’s also critical to know their location and their vertical and horizontal extent, as the accompanying sectional chart excerpt in the vicinity of Mars Hill, Maine, clearly illustrates. Note that the wind farm is located just east of the Class E corridor associated with Northern Maine Regional Airport, and protrudes vertically approximately 400 feet above the airport’s 1,500-foot-msl traffic pattern.


Remember that the symbol “UC” next to an obstruction shown on an aeronautical chart signifies that the hazard is still under construction. So study the newest edition of your sectional chart carefully, and then expect rapid changes on the ground where wind power projects are under way.


Pilots can never have too much information about the airports to which they fly. Instrument-rated pilots have long known that U.S. terminal procedures—also known as instrument approach charts—are bountiful sources of such information. And you don't have to be instrument-rated to use them. For example, an airport diagram is part of every approach chart, and for VFR pilots, it is perhaps the chart's most informative component. AOPA's Airport Directory Online contains airport/taxi diagrams, current airport approach charts, and other important airport information available online only to AOPA members—and it's free!


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.


New animation depicts dangerous runway incursion

In a busy runway environment, simple misperceptions can have potentially devastating consequences. On the night of Feb. 15, 2008, as ground delays mounted and tensions increased at Boston Logan International, the flight crew of a Cessna 560 received instructions to cross Runway 27. The only problem: They were holding short of Runway 33L. Rather than query ATC, the crew rolled directly into the path of a departing Airbus 320 hurtling down the active runway. See what happened next in a new runway incursion animation, complete with actual ATC audio, from the FAA Office of Runway Safety and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.

Cessna to offer CFI safety training

Cessna is offering a new series of courses aimed at CFI safety that it is calling a CFI Safety Stand Down. According to the manufacturer, the stand down is a “training seminar designed for flight instructors, flight instructor candidates, and commercial pilots who may have an interest in becoming flight instructors.” The course will put an emphasis on covering new technology that Cessna thinks can enhance aviation safety. Run essentially as a flight instructor refresher clinic, the course will be 18 hours over two days and has received FAA approval for CFI renewal. Each session costs $200, which includes all materials. Future dates and locations are planned for this fall.

Sporty’s picks SkyCatcher for 2010 sweeps

Sporty’s Pilot Shop has chosen the Cessna 162 SkyCatcher for its 2010 sweepstakes aircraft. The SkyCatcher is a two-seat trainer and personal airplane in the light sport aircraft category, powered by a 100-horsepower Teledyne Continental O-200D engine and a composite propeller. The Cessna 162 is said to cruise as fast as 118 knots and as far as 470 nautical miles. The instrumental panel features a Garmin G300 avionics package. To be eligible for the sweepstakes, you must place an order with Sporty’s before May 10, 2010.

Minnesota teen earns helicopter certificate

A helicopter ride at age 14 was all it took to convince Ethan Plunkett that he wanted to learn to fly. He spent the next two years earning the money for lessons by doing odd jobs at his airport in Hibbing, Minn. Just a few months after his seventeenth birthday and with 55 hours of flight time, Ethan got his helicopter private pilot certificate. Read more >>

K-State student receives helicopter scholarship

Ryan Perez of Houston has received a maintenance technician scholarship from Helicopter Foundation International. Perez is a senior in aviation maintenance and technology at Kansas State University at Salina. The $2,500 scholarship was one of six awarded to students pursuing a certificate in airframe or powerplant maintenance, or both. Helicopter Foundation International works to help educate present and future generations of helicopter professionals and promote the helicopter industry as a career choice.

Inside AOPA

Record numbers join AOPA Legal Services Plan

More than 100,000 AOPA members are flying with newfound confidence, thanks to AOPA’s Legal Services Plan. They’re no longer flying with the fear of being on the wrong side of an FAA inspector. Thousands of FAA enforcement actions are issued annually, costing pilots big bucks, and in some cases even their pilot certificate. No matter how experienced a pilot is, the risk is still there. Violations can result from a simple miscommunication or misunderstanding, as these AOPA members can attest. Read more >>

AOPA Title Services offers experience, convenience

Are you thinking about purchasing an aircraft? Perhaps you’ve already found the perfect airplane and are ready to take that next step. If you’ve done your research, you know that next step should be a title search. What you may not know is just how easy it is to initiate one. Read more >>


AV8OR gets fuel, airport info

The AV8OR handheld GPS from Bendix/King by Honeywell is now available with fuel price and airport information from Airguide Publications’ Flight Guide. Restaurant, hotel, taxi, and discount information is included in the package, along with daily fuel price updates. The upgrade is part of a package that sells for a $99 annual fee. The AV8OR retails for $799 and is sold through authorized dealers; 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.


Question: I’ve always wondered how Victor airways are numbered. Is there any rhyme or reason to how the designators are assigned?


Answer: Yes, the FAA has a method for determining the designator for an airway. Routes below 18,000 feet begin with a “V” for Victor route, and routes above 18,000 feet begin with a “J” for jet route. Following the letter, there are numbers ranging from 1 to 999. Like in the interstate highway system, routes running east and west have an even number, and routes running north and south have an odd number. The specific number a particular airway receives is random.


Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail [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

If poking around the pattern in your trainer is getting a little old, sample a flight in an AirCam—a twin-engine experimental aircraft that gives the phrase “bird’s-eye view” a whole new meaning. See video footage and read the pilot report on AOPA Online.

Picture Perfect

Pilots love to take photos, and they love to share them with other pilots. Now you can upload your flying photos to our online gallery, "Air Mail." Share your special aviation images, or view and rate more than 2,000 photos and counting. Highly rated photos will get put into rotation on the AOPA home page!

AOPA career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a Director of Airspace and Modernization, an Aviation Technical Specialist, and 2009 Fall Interns for the AOPA Air Safety Foundation and AOPA Government Affairs. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.


Want something to do this weekend? Planning an aviation getaway? See your personalized online calendar of events . We've enhanced our calendar so that with one click you can see all of the events listed in the regions you selected when personalizing ePilot . Now you can browse events listed two weeks to a few months out to make your planning easier. You can also bookmark the personalized calender page to check it as often as you want. 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 Orlando, Fla., and Columbus, Ohio, June 27 and 28; Newark, N.J., July 11 and 12; Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn., July 18 and 19; Pittsburgh, Pa., July 25 and 26. 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 Oshkosh, Wis., July 29, 30, and 31; Germantown, Tenn., Aug. 31; Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 1; Maryville, Tenn., Sept. 3. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

Got news? Contact ePilot. Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].

421 Aviation Way
Frederick, MD 21701
Tel: 800/USA-AOPA or

Copyright © 2009 AOPA.

Member Tools : Send feedback | Update member profile | Change email address | Unsubscribe | ePilot Archive

Editorial Team : ePilot Flight Training Editor : Jill Tallman | ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller | Contributor: Alton Marsh

Related Articles