The following stories from the July 20, 2007, 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 - Student Interest, Training Tips
The July 13, 2007, Training Tips discussed flight within the Mode C veil extending outward 30 nautical miles from the primary airport within Class B airspace. What if your future flying plans require you to train or even solo inside Class B airspace itself?
There's much to know before going. Special rules cover clearances, aircraft equipment, and VFR weather minimums. Some airports in Class B airspace are off-limits to pilots who have not yet earned a private pilot certificate. Training in the airspace receives special treatment in the federal aviation regulations. And remember that before entering Class B airspace, you must be certain that you have received a specific air traffic control clearance into the airspace. (See the section "Airspace in Detail: Class B" in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor Airspace for Everyone.)
Pilot requirements for flight in Class B airspace must satisfy one of two conditions found in Chapter 3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM):
No person may take off or land a civil aircraft at an airport within Class B airspace or operate a civil aircraft within Class B airspace unless:
(a) The pilot-in-command holds at least a private pilot certificate; or
(b) The aircraft is operated by a student pilot or recreational pilot who seeks private pilot certification and has met the requirements of 14 CFR Section 61.95.
That regulation, covering student solo flights in Class B airspace, requires that you receive ground and flight training on the Class B airspace you plan to enter, as well as flight training "in the specific Class B airspace area for which solo flight is authorized." Study the regulation carefully to understand its other requirements. Make sure that your logbook has all required endorsements, and that they are dated within the 90-day period preceding the date of the flight in that Class B airspace. Regardless of these provisions, note in the AIM that 12 primary Class B airports require at least a private pilot certificate to take off or land. Round out your knowledge by reviewing Kathy Yodice's " Legal Briefing" article on Class B airspace from the June 2000 AOPA Flight Training.
B stands for Busy. Now you're ready to tackle Class B airspace.
My ePilot - Training Product
FOLDING AIRCRAFT STEP STOOL
It's hard to get a handle on preflight when you're stretched to the limit to check the fuel or clean the windshield. One alternative to the bulky (and often flimsy) step stools you find at your local discount store is the Folding Aircraft Step Stool from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty. The four-pound folding stool is crafted from oak veneer over hardwood, and it folds flat to fit into aircraft baggage compartments-so you can easily take it along on your next cross-country flight. It will also store easily in your car's trunk between lessons. The stool is 16 inches high, and the standing area is 11 by 11 inches. The stool sells for $44.95 and may be ordered online or by calling 877/477-7823.
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: While listening to air traffic control (ATC) during my cross-country flights, I've heard the word "heavy" after the aircraft call sign. What does this mean?
Answer: ATC classifies aircraft as heavy, large, and small for the purposes of wake turbulence separation minimums. An aircraft is designated heavy if its takeoff weight is greater than 255,000 pounds; large if its takeoff weight is greater than 41,000 pounds but not more than 255,000 pounds; and small if its takeoff weight is equal to 41,000 pounds or less. Additional information on wake turbulence and aircraft designations is discussed in the Aeronautical Information Manual and the AOPA Flight Training article, "Caution: Wake turbulence."
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to [email protected] or call the Pilot Information Center, 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.