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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 52AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 52

The following stories from the December 30, 2005, 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.

My ePilot - Personal/Recreational Interest
It's not too soon to begin planning your fun flying events for next year. U.S. Air Race Inc.-which annually sponsors the 1,800-nautical-mile Marion Jayne Air Race, plus an air cruise and two one-day 300-nm events-has announced its routes for 2006. Races are planned for July 16 to 23. The Marion Jayne will launch from Hutchinson, Kansas, to the eastern plains of Colorado, and to Rapid City, South Dakota. After an overnight stop, teams will proceed to Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota before crossing the finish line in Wisconsin. The 300-nm events will be held in Kansas and Wisconsin. The routes contain almost no special-use airspace, according to U.S. Air Race President Patricia Jayne Keefer. For more information, see the Web site. A free entry kit will be available January 1.

My ePilot - Professional Pilot Interest
AirTran, Continental, JetBlue, Southwest, and UPS will be recruiting pilots at an airline pilot job fair hosted by AIR, Inc. The job fair is set for January 28 in Dallas. The job fair is expected to draw more than 400 prospective pilots. AIR, Inc. says that recruiters from more than 15 national, regional, fractional, and foreign airlines will be on hand. The event features a career seminar, career enhancement workshops, and an airline forum in which attendees can learn from the airline recruiters what future hiring plans look like. For more information, see the Web site or call 800/538-5627.

My ePilot - Sport Pilot Interest
Advocates hailed the new sport flying regulations as a cheaper, quicker way to get flying enthusiasts into the air. And at least one flight school promised that its intensive training program could turn out sport pilots in one week. Mid-Atlantic Sports Planes of Basye, Virginia, announced on December 20 that it had done exactly that. Davin Coburn, a science editor at Popular Mechanics, earned his sport pilot certificate after logging 22 hours. Coburn had passed the knowledge test before he set foot on the ramp, and his flight instructor called him "intensely focused, highly motivated, and a quick study." But Coburn, 26, was the first to admit it wasn't a cakewalk. In a news release from the flight school, he said, "This was a working vacation. It's one I'll remember for the rest of my life, but at no time did it involve lounge chairs or drinks that come with umbrellas. I flew when I could, and generally studied when I couldn't. The harder you work beforehand, the less your instructor will have to dwell on the basics."

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Arrival and departure in airspace bustling with traffic, discussed in the December 23, 2005, Training Tips, can be both hectic and exhilarating for a pilot. It's also essential training. At the far end of the spectrum is airspace-and there's a lot of it out where a pilot flying visually is on his or her own. Cruising with the radios quiet is great fun, allowing time to enjoy the view and the ride. But here, too, a pilot has ample opportunities to have an early warning system to inform you when a change of plans is needed. This is important anywhere, as Thomas A. Horne discusses in the August 2000 AOPA Pilot article "Escape Chutes: What's Your Way Out?"

There are resources available, even when squawking transponder code 1200 and with no assigned frequency set on your com radio. Put other frequencies to work! Airports you pass by have automated weather broadcasts to alert you to local cloud cover and surface winds. On common traffic advisory frequencies (CTAF) at those airports, pilots may discuss conditions. Maybe you aren't receiving radar flight following, by choice or because you are too low for coverage. There is usually an air route traffic control (ARTCC) or approach/departure control frequency covering the airspace-a source of current altimeter settings (see Chapter 7, Section 2 of the Aeronautical Information Manual) and alerts to hazardous conditions. You may also hear pilots giving ride reports-that is, turbulence estimates-to a controller. Navaids appropriately labeled on sectional charts offer hazardous in-flight weather advisory service (HIWAS) reports and transcribed weather broadcasts (TWEBs).

Your chart shows frequencies for contacting Flight Service along your route; you can monitor weather briefings being delivered or pilot reports being filed. The En route Flight Advisory Service (EFAS) is generally available on 122.0 MHz. Tune a spare radio to the well-monitored emergency frequency of 121.5 MHz, discussed in the March 28, 2003, Training Tips.

Pick some routes to study on sectional charts. Think about how you would stay informed, or establish contact, from the remotest places. Now you're ready to tackle the quiet side of the airspace in which we fly.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Gleim Publications, publishers of the aviation training manuals with the bright red covers, offers free instructional tools and other goodies for flight instructors. CFIs who provide a certificate number and e-mail address will be added to Gleim's online CFI Directory. In return, they'll receive an analysis of changes to the practical test standards, a flight maneuver analysis sheet, discounts on Gleim products, and more. For more information, see the Web site.

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.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: How long is my student pilot certificate valid, and what do I do if it expires?

Answer: Federal Aviation Regulation 61.19 details the duration of pilot and instructor certificates. A student pilot certificate expires 24 calendar months from the month in which it was issued. The duration of your student pilot certificate is commonly mistaken to have the same duration as your medical certificate, if applicable. They are considered two separate certificates even though they may be on the same piece of paper. If your student pilot certificate has expired, you can have it reissued by contacting your local flight standards district office (FSDO) or a designated pilot examiner (DPE). An aviation medical examiner may not reissue a student pilot certificate. For additional information, visit AOPA Online.

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