The following stories from the July 4, 2003, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information customized to their areas of interest by updating their member record file online.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips HOLIDAY FLIGHT PRECAUTIONS
For many general aviation pilots, long holiday weekends are an ideal time to fly. The rare combination of great weather, time off, and long hours of summer daylight is hard to beat.
Good enough-but don't let the carefree mood lead you into careless flying. Many other pilots are thinking along the same lines as you are; be extra watchful for opposing traffic. (Download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Collision Avoidance Safety Advisor
and compare your preparatory measures to its collision avoidance checklist.) "Another common cause of near misses en route is encountered when aircraft take the same routes and altitudes into and out of airports," wrote David Montoya in his December 2001 AOPA Flight Training
feature titled "Avoiding Close Calls."
"This problem is often much worse in the mountains, along the coast, through busy airspace, and over and near points and events of great interest. I counted 17 aircraft circling over the Golden Gate Bridge fireworks display the last Fourth of July. Isn't it safer to watch the fireworks from the ground?"
As Montoya noted, it is tempting-if not necessarily advisable-to combine training or cruising flights with observation of such demonstrations as holiday parades or fireworks. Be sure you are in compliance with the minimum safe altitude requirements of Federal Aviation Regulation 91.119
, which decree that pilots must maintain "over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement," or over "any open-air assembly of persons," an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.
Remember-those altitudes are a "minimum." Higher is surely better. But your responsibilities do not end there. Could your route be affected by a temporary flight restriction (TFR) or a notice to airmen (notam) restricting access to the airspace, or the altitudes you must fly when traversing it? Review TFRs, and review information about the notam system, in the May 16, 2003, "Training Tips."
Remember the heightened security climate. Prudent flying includes steering clear of any opportunity for straying into trouble, as AOPA President Phil Boyer reminds pilots in his "President's Perspective"
column in the September 2002 AOPA Flight Training
. That said, take advantage of leisure time and good weather to make big strides toward your training goal! My ePilot - Training Products GLEIM ADDS WEATHER PORTAL TO WEB SITE
Here's another Internet-based tool to help you make the right go/no-go decision. Gleim Publications recently launched an aviation weather site that is a portal to the National Weather Service. You can click through to radar images depicting the continental United States, plus Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and Puerto Rico. The clean, simple page design promotes user-friendliness, letting you access area forecasts, TAFs, METARs, and winds-aloft info for all U.S. reporting stations, and extended forecasts for nearly every city in the United States. Check it out online
. My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam Question:
How do I find information on obtaining loans and scholarships for flight training? Answer: AOPA's Flight Training Funds program
is available to both student and certificated pilots; it offers great flexibility to tailor your training according to your needs. AOPA also offers a 5% FBO rebate on purchases at qualified FBOs, and a 5% discount on all purchases from Sporty's Pilot Shop when you use the AOPA credit card
. In addition, you will find a list of available aviation scholarships
on AOPA Online as part of the subject report, Aviation Loans and Scholarships
The June 20, 2003, edition of "Final Exam" incorrectly stated that underwater pressure doubles with every 33 feet of depth. Pressure increases one atmosphere per 33 feet of additional depth. ePilot Flight Training Edition
regrets the error.