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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 33AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 33

The following stories from the August 13, 2004, 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 - Instrument Interest
The FAA has updated instrument approach charts, high and low altitude en route charts, some sectional and world aeronautical charts, and Airport/Facility Directories. Make sure you have current charts before you fly. AOPA's Airport Directory Online provides the current instrument approach charts from the digital U.S. Terminal Procedures Publications for free as part of your AOPA membership. See AOPA Online to view and download the charts. You can also store links to all the procedures for your favorite airports in your personal "My Procedures" area on AOPA Online.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
How efficiently are you using your flying time? Most student pilots must stick to a budget and look for ways to get more for their money. (See AOPA's Guide to Reducing the Cost of Flying. )

While opportunities described in the guide include discounted rental rates and scheduling strategies, you can also examine your current flying routine. How much "slack time" is built into your training? Although all time spent at the controls is valuable, costly intervals spent cruising to and from practice areas with your instructor, or between the airports you use for traffic pattern work, or at the end of a dual cross-country flight can be used creatively to help meet aeronautical-experience requirements.

Once you have been introduced to flight by reference to instruments, for example (see the February 8, 2002, Training Tips), you will need to log three hours of practice before being eligible to take your private pilot flight test. Under the Federal Aviation Regulations, this time must include "straight and level flight, constant airspeed climbs and descents, turns to a heading, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, radio communications, and the use of navigation systems/facilities and radar services appropriate to instrument flight." Night flying (see the February 1, 2002, Training Tips) is another flight-test prerequisite. If you can, set up a dual instructional session that begins in daylight and graduates into night flight-another realistic flight scenario. On any flight, day or night, use cruise legs to practice holding headings and altitudes within strict limits. Try a variety of cruise airspeeds. Sharpen your coordinated-flight skills (see the October 11, 2002, Training Tips). Tune in navaids to back up your pilotage.

Keep careful, properly endorsed logbook records. "You'll also need to show the examiner your logbook to prove that you accomplished the required flight training and you received and logged training within the preceding 60 days," wrote Kathy Yodice in her "Legal Briefing" column in the September 2003 AOPA Flight Training.

Challenge your instructor to keep an eye out for ways to maximize the value of your training dollar. You do the same! Getting the slack out of your slack-time flying will build your skills and ensure maximum performance for your flying funds.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
You Can Fly!, a new book by Greg Brown, an AOPA Flight Training contributing editor, and Laurel Hilde Lippert, offers a springboard for encouraging prospective pilots to fly and answers many questions that most students and new pilots have along the journey. It discusses prerequisites for learning to fly, gives some tools for pursuing your goal, and includes an intelligent discussion of the risks inherent in flying. Answers to the most commonly asked aviation questions are found throughout, with more in an appendix at the end. The full-color, soft-cover book includes photography by Tom Lippert. It sells for $19.95 and may be ordered online from Aviation Supplies and Academics.

Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: How often does an airport beacon flash in any given direction?

Answer: The airport beacon is designed to rotate at 6 rpm. Thus it would make one full revolution every 10 seconds, and since it has two lights-one green and one white-you will see a flash of light every five seconds. For more information, see page 1, paragraph 1 of Advisory Circular 150-5340-21, Airport Miscellaneous Lighting Visual Aids, which can be downloaded from AOPA Online.

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