The following stories from the August 18, 2006, 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 - Professional Pilot Interest
AIRLINE PILOT JOB FAIR COMING TO D.C. AREA IN SEPTEMBER
Airlines are predicted to hire 8,500 new airline pilots this year, down from the 10,203 pilots hired in 2005, according to Air, Inc. To help pilots put their best foot forward on job applications and during interviews, Air, Inc. offers job fairs throughout the year. Its latest job fair will take place September 23 at the Hyatt Regency Reston in Washington, D.C. Seminars on crew resource management, military-to-airline transitions, and interview techniques will be offered. Pilots also will get the chance to meet one-on-one with recruiters. So far, major carriers AirTran and JetBlue have signed up to attend, along with carriers in the national, jet/non-jet operator, fractional, and foreign markets.
My ePilot - Other Interest
AEROSTAR TO STOP MANUFACTURING HOT AIR BALLOONS
Aerostar International announced it will stop accepting orders for hot air balloon systems and major components after January 31, 2007. However, Aerostar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Raven Industries, will continue to provide technical and product support, sell repair parts, and offer education safety programs. Balloon manufacturing accounted for less than 4 percent of Aerostar's sales.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
What's the difference between a course and a radial when navigating by the VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) system? This confuses many pilots. As flight-training emphasis shifts away from VOR in favor of GPS, do you understand VOR courses and radials so that you can use or explain them properly? The April 4, 2003, Training Tips described how to achieve "VOR virtuosity."
A VOR radiates signals, known as radials, in all directions around the compass rose. While tracking a radial eastbound from the VOR with the omni-bearing selector set to 090, the course deviation indicator centered, and FROM showing on the To/From Indicator, a pilot is flying outbound on the 090-degree radial. So what happens if that pilot turns around and flies that same signal back to the VOR? He is still flying the 090-degree radial. The difference is that he is flying it inbound to the VOR. The needle stayed centered, but now the OBS is set to 270 degrees and the To/From indicator shows TO. Anytime you are flying to a VOR, your course is an inbound course; the radial you are flying is identified by the course outbound. A radial is defined by the Pilot/Controller Glossary as "a magnetic bearing extending from a VOR/VORTAC/TACAN navigation facility."
"OK," you say. "I got that wrong, so what? I got home, didn't I?" Perhaps. But misunderstanding causes problems. One way to announce your position to air traffic control is to respond correctly to the instructions, "Say your radial and DME (distance measuring equipment) from the airport." If you are flying inbound and mistake that course for the radial, ATC will look for you 180 degrees from your actual position. Fortunately, ATC knows that this is a common error and usually compensates for it. If this sounds like a mistake you may have made, review "The ABCs of VORs" in the December 2000 AOPA Flight Training.
Comprehending the difference between a radial and its reciprocal inbound course could avoid a bear trap on a practical test, earn you a higher score on a knowledge test, and even get you rescued more quickly some day after a mishap. Take the trouble to know!
My ePilot - Training Product
'LOST AND CROSSED' OFFERS TIPS TO KEEP YOU ON COURSE
Do you worry about getting lost on a cross-country? If so, you're not alone. Lots of factors can contribute to loss of situational awareness on a cross-country trip. These include haze, strong winds, or over-reliance on a GPS receiver to get you from Point A to Point B. For sensible suggestions on maintaining and reestablishing situational awareness on a cross-country, view the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Lost and Crossed DVD. The 35-minute presentation includes the use of air traffic control, VORs, and pilotage to keep new and student pilots from getting lost. Lost and Crossed is available through the ASF Store for $19.95 per copy.
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: When two same-category aircraft are converging on a nontowered airport for a downwind traffic pattern entry for the same runway, which aircraft has the right of way?
Answer: In the scenario you describe, if the two aircraft are converging at approximately the same altitude, the aircraft to the other's right has the right of way. For additional rules governing who has the right of way, you'll want to review FAR 91.113. For information on operations at nontowered airports, review Section 4-4-3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual and download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Operations at Nontowered Airports Safety Advisor.