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Action Alert: We Need Your Story
General aviation is facing its most serious challenge in its 100-year history. Proposed user fees in the president’s budget, growing urban pressures on GA airports, onerous security proposals, and a lack of commitment to fund FAA operations and airport improvements is what we’re facing. We can’t stand by and let others define us. We must take action—and that begins with your story. Personal accounts of how GA makes a difference to you, your business, and your community, and how GA impacts jobs and the economy in your area, are critical to the campaign we are launching. Real stories from real pilots will make the difference in letting policy-makers in Washington, D.C., know what’s at stake. We need you to join the fight by helping us tell our story. Take action—tell us your story!
Read the question!
A sample question on the Private Pilot Knowledge Test asks:
“Under what conditions may an aircraft operate from a satellite airport within Class C airspace?
Which did you choose? Flying into Class C airspace is straightforward: Your aircraft must be equipped with an altitude-encoding transponder and a two-way radio. You must establish communication with air traffic control before entering. Flying from isn’t always so simple—which the knowledge test question highlights. The pivotal word in the question is “satellite.” Looking up the applicable Federal Aviation Regulation, here is what you find:
“Departing flight. Each person—
The first section does not apply; in that case the pilot is in contact with ATC before takeoff. The second part gives the pilot leeway to depart a nontowered satellite airport and contact ATC “as soon as practicable after departing.” Answers A and B can be eliminated because (a) there is no flight plan requirement, and (b) monitoring ATC is insufficient to satisfy the airspace’s mandatory two-way communication requirement, discussed in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Safety Advisor Airspace For Everyone . Seeing precise regulatory language such as “as soon as practicable” is a frequent clue to a correct answer on a test question. But you may still encounter gray zones in your understanding. Kathy Yodice discussed an example in “ Departing nontowered airports” on the AOPA Flight Training Web site. That’s why studying thoroughly, then reading questions carefully and eliminating false leads helps to boost your knowledge test score.
YOUR PARTNER IN TRAINING
When you're getting checked out in a new aircraft, learn as much about the systems as you can, and always consult the manufacturer's checklist to ensure that nothing is overlooked. Read more about conducting a thorough and knowledgeable checkout in this article from AOPA Flight Training. And don't forget, you also have access to the archives of AOPA Pilot for articles providing additional tips and recommendations on getting the right rental.
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.
Arlynn McMahon of Versailles, Ky., a Gold Seal flight instructor who specializes in training CFI candidates, has been named 2009 National CFI of the Year. McMahon is chief flight instructor at Aero-Tech at Lexington-Blue Grass Airport. She is one of a group of aviation professionals recognized by the General Aviation Awards program, a cooperative effort between the FAA and industry sponsors. McMahon is the author of Train Like You Fly: A Flight Instructor’s Guide to Scenario-Based Training, and provided editorial assistance for the newly revised “FAA Aviation Instructor’s Handbook.” In 2008 she provided insights into sport pilot flight training when she discussed light sport aircraft for a series of articles that appeared in AOPA Flight Training. McMahon is a CFII, MEI, and AGI, as well as a Cirrus certified instructor, a Cessna factory authorized FITS instructor, and a designated pilot examiner for sport pilots. McMahon and other industry recipients of the GA Awards will be honored in July at EAA AirVenture 2009 in Oshkosh, Wis.
Like a blockbuster sweeping the Oscars, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s interactive courses recently dominated a communications awards competition, with nine courses taking home a total of 11 trophies. Known as the Addys, the annual awards honor cutting-edge work in a variety of categories, including Internet-based interactive media. The foundation has been honored with Addy awards in previous years, but the 2009 haul is unprecedented. In addition to numerous gold and silver prizes, the honors included a “best in show” judge’s award for a unique course that, in the judge’s own words, takes a traditionally dry topic and makes it compelling and amusing. Read more and see a complete list of the winning courses on AOPA Online.
ASA launches Learn to Fly blog
Aviation Supplies and Academics (ASA) has launched a new Learn to Fly blog that will feature tips, tricks, and stories from featured ASA authors. AOPA Flight Training readers will recognize several of the names, including Contributing Editor Greg Brown, who writes the monthly “Flying Carpet” column, and writer/graphic artist David Diamond, who has provided numerous illustrations for the magazine’s feature articles. Other contributors include Paul Hamilton and Laurel Lippert. Topics will include picking the right airplane to fly; what to do on bad weather days; and flying better with more than one CFI.
Florida flight school gets multiengine training approval
Cams Flight, a flight school located at St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport in Florida, recently received FAA Part 141 approval for its commercial multiengine training course. Multiengine training is conducted in a Piper Seminole equipped with Garmin 430 WAAS GPS. Part 141 training for single-engine land private and commercial certificates and instrument rating is also available.
Buying an airplane is a stressful endeavor. Never mind the money that you hand over; getting there is most of the battle. One must-do step along the way is a title search. If you should buy an airplane with a lien, you’ll be responsible for it. Protect yourself with a search from AOPA Aircraft Title Services. A title search lets you know the airplane’s lien status, as well as the incident/accident history, the database of major alterations or repairs, and the name and address of the current owner. With AOPA Aircraft Title Services, a telephone call and a few forms take all of the guesswork and stress out of the deal. For more information, call 800/711-0087.
SKWOOSH seat cushion from Marv Golden
Once you get out of the pattern and start your cross-country training, you’ll realize the utility of a general aviation airplane. Depending on where you go, you could spend hours in the cockpit. The SKWOOSH seat cushion was designed for flight personnel to prevent numbness in the legs and bottom. The cushion folds to fit in a flight case for compact storage. It weighs 8 ounces, and when unfolded measures 15 inches by 10-1/2 inches by 1 inch. The seat sells for $39.99 from Marv Golden Pilot Supplies.
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 started my flight training in 1975 but never finished it. I have just decided to start training again and am wondering if AOPA has any resources to help get me up to speed?
Answer: AOPA has a subject report, Getting Back into Flying , to get you back in the air. It includes information on obtaining your airman medical, finding a flight instructor, recent flight experience, preparing for a flight review, a summary of regulatory changes year by year, and much more. You may also want to explore the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s free online interactive courses. These hour-long presentations cover various topics and bring you up to date on the latest technologies, regulations, and procedures.
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
Do you like films about flying? Documentaries about yesterday’s fearless aviators and today’s passionate pilots are slated for completion in 2009 and 2010. Find out how you can help bring these projects to fruition on AOPA Online.
Pilots love to take photos, and they love to share them with other pilots. Now you can upload your flying photos to our brand-new online gallery, "Air Mail." Share your special aviation images, or view and rate more than 1,000 photos and counting. Highly rated photos will get put into rotation on the AOPA home page!
AVIATION EVENTS & WEATHER
Want something to do this weekend? Wanting to plan 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.
Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in San Mateo, Calif., March 28 and 29; Atlanta, Ga., Northbrook, Ill., Salt Lake City, Utah, and, Ashburn, Va., April 4 and 5; Denver, Colo., Indianapolis, Ind., and, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 18 and 19; San Diego, Calif., Tampa, Fla., and, Boston, Mass., April 25 and 26; Pensacola, Fla., and Houston,Texas, May 2 and 3. 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 Gaithersburg, Md., March 25; Pittsburgh, Pa., March 30; New Cumberland, Pa., March 31; Bethlehem, Pa., April 1; Plymouth Meeting, Pa., April 2; Blacksburg, Va., April 13; Clayton, Mo., and Danville, Va, April 14; Warrensburg, Mo., and Richmond, Va., April 15; Springfield, Mo., and Hampton, Va., April 16. 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].
Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller | Contributors: Warren Morningstar, Alton Marsh