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The following stories from the March 27, 2009, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information tailored to their areas of interest by updating their preferences online.


‘Correct and complete’

The March 20, 2009, “ Training Tip: Read the question!” dissected a sample question on the Private Pilot Knowledge Test, evaluating each of the three answers that a student pilot taking the exam would have to choose between. Elements of correctness are often found in more than one answer on a multiple-choice test. Take care to make the best choice.


How? In the case of FAA knowledge tests, the answer you choose should “completely resolve the problem” posed in the test question. That’s the guidance provided by none other than the FAA itself in its Recreational Pilot and Private Pilot Knowledge Test Guide publication. It explains, “From the answers given, it may appear that there is more than one possible answer; however, there is only one answer that is correct and complete. The other answers are either incomplete, erroneous, or represent common misconceptions.” Remember also that the questions you find awaiting you on your test are independent of each other. That means that “a correct response to one does not depend upon, or influence, the correct response to another.”


In the May 2008 AOPA Flight Training feature “ Quiz Me: Strategies for passing your FAA knowledge test,” Karen Kahn discussed ways to keep completeness in mind when tackling challenging test questions—especially those requiring calculation or working with the supplemental data provided: “Aircraft performance charts, which have been the downfall of many an FAA test taker, have always had their exceptions listed in the footnotes of the individual chart. You can be sure that the FAA will include an incorrect answer for the unwary who forget to consider all the information and fail to ‘add 10 percent for each four knots of tailwind’ or some other crucial statement hidden in the fine print,” she said.


So look at the material carefully before choosing your response. Does it “completely resolve the problem”?


You need a minimum passing score of 70 percent on your knowledge test. But strive for higher! Your score sheet will be part of the impression you make when you present yourself for your flight test. See the Dec. 8, 2005, “ Training Tip: Test scores matter.” A shining knowledge test score will dazzle your flight test examiner, too.


Film screen protector for Garmin 696/695

GPS displays can be a magnet for fingerprints and scratches. If you carry a Garmin 696/695 GPS, Sporty’s now sells a pre-cut film screen protector that you can peel and stick to the glass. The film is scratch-resistant and anti-reflective. The screen protector is $29.95. Purchase it 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: How do I control runway lighting from the airplane when approaching a nontowered airport?


Answer: As you approach a nontowered airport with pilot-controlled lighting, you should key the microphone seven times. This will turn the system on to its highest intensity. If the lights are already on, you should still key the mic seven times to restart the timer, giving you the full amount of time. Once you are closer to the airport, you can click the mic three times to reduce the light intensity to low, or five times for medium intensity. Make sure you are transmitting on the correct frequency as some airports have a separate frequency for the pilot-controlled lighting. Test your airport lighting IQ with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Quiz on airport lighting.


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.

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