The following stories from the December 1, 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 -Instrument Interest
INSTRUMENT APPROACHES WITHOUT AN ALTIMETER
Failed artificial horizon? Failed directional gyro? Those failures are serious, but at least you have other instruments that can provide the same information. What about a failed altimeter? "Flying on instruments without current altitude information rapidly creates a feeling of helpless anxiety," writes Barry Schiff in the June 2000 AOPA Pilot article "Proficient Pilot: An ailing altimeter." "It takes little time to appreciate that the altimeter is the only flight instrument for which there is no backup or redundancy during IFR conditions." How would you handle setting up for or flying an instrument approach without an altimeter? Read Schiff's article for tips on how to handle this emergency.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
ATC UP CLOSE
Visualizing air traffic control (ATC) at work is mysterious for new pilots. What does the airport look like from a tower controller's perspective? When you contact an approach controller or air route traffic control center to request radar flight following, where is that controller located? What do they see on radar after you activate your transponder on the assigned code?
Take a trip to visit an FAA facility and meet the folks who work traffic in your airspace. You might find yourself face to face with someone whose voice sounds familiar from your flying. Educating pilots about ATC is a mission of the FAA. "Pilots are encouraged to visit air traffic facilities and familiarize themselves with the ATC system. On rare occasions, facilities may not be able to approve a visit because of ATC workload or other reasons. It is, therefore, requested that pilots contact the facility prior to the visit and advise of the number of persons in the group, the time and date of the proposed visit and the primary interest of the group. With this information available, the facility can prepare an itinerary and have someone available to guide the group through the facility," advises Chapter 4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual.
Seeing ATC up close will add clarity to your understanding of its different facilities' various functions. For example, "The basic function of an airport air traffic control tower is, in the FAA's own words, to provide for a 'safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of traffic on and in the vicinity of an airport.' That means tower controllers are responsible primarily for sequencing traffic, both departing and arriving, to avoid conflicts on the runways. That's different than the lateral and vertical separation of aircraft in the air that approach and air route traffic control center controllers achieve with the use of radar," Mark Twombly explained in "Continuing Ed" in the July 2002 AOPA Flight Training.
Even now in the era of heightened security, a new pilot can get the benefit of this kind of exposure to ATC, as reported in the November 26, 2004, news item "Pilot Access Is Renewed at FAA Facilities."
My ePilot - Training Product
LITTLE PILOT LOGBOOK HELPS TO CAPTURE FLYING MEMORIES
If you have a young aviator in the family or know of a youngster who's interested in aviation, how do you help to nurture that enthusiasm? AOPA member Asavn Gupte, who flies frequently with her private pilot husband and their son (who took his first flight at the age of 3 months), has designed a flying keepsake journal specifically for children. The Little Pilot Logbook is an 8.75-by-5.75-inch spiral bound book with flight log pages, but it also features places to record memorable stories and display photos, including on the front cover. The Little Pilot Logbook sells for $24.95. For product and purchasing 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: Can I count flight training I received in a foreign country by a foreign flight instructor toward my U.S. pilot certificate?
Answer: Yes. FAR 61.41 states that a flight instructor authorized by the authority of a foreign contracting state under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is allowed to provide flight training that would count toward fulfilling FAA requirements as long as it is done outside the United States. The instructor can endorse your logbook only for the training provided (endorsements for exams are not allowed).