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Getting safety down cold
With the cooling of the weather comes a seasonal change in aircraft operating procedures. Colder weather preparations to fly can be time-consuming; approach them with patience. If you’re the airport early bird who takes advantage of quiet times to fly, some simple strategic planning will speed you aloft.
Going to be cold in the morning? Call the evening prior and ask to have your trainer placed in that nice, warm hangar—near the door—overnight. Don’t have the line crew yank it outside too early. It might still cool down and accrete frost.
Be sure you have reviewed your aircraft’s procedures for cold-weather engine starts and performed them under supervision by your flight instructor before going it alone. And here’s a question: What special safety considerations should be addressed during cold-weather starts? “During a cold-weather start, particularly on a carbureted engine, having a fire extinguisher nearby is not a bad idea,” AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg wrote in “ Industrial-strength preflight” in the February 2001 AOPA Flight Training.
You checked and confirmed that a fire extinguisher is present in the aircraft. Do you know how it works? Rod Machado discussed fire extinguisher dos and don’ts in the February 2003 AOPA Flight Training . (Robert N. Rossier discussed what to do if a fire does break out during startup in this article on AOPA Flight Training Online.)
An alternative to cold-weather starting is to schedule an engine preheat when you make that phone call to arrange your morning flight. And think about timing. Get that preheat when you are just about ready to fly. Then, don’t dawdle! It won’t take long on the ramp in a chill wind for the effectiveness of the preheat to be lost.
Aloft now, check the outside air temperature gauge regularly. Why? This is the time of year when freezing rain is more likely. If warmer air lies above below-freezing air (a temperature inversion) and rain starts, the precipitation could freeze upon striking the skin of an aircraft. Know the temperatures aloft, making special note of the freezing level, on that next fine flight of fall!
YOUR PARTNER IN TRAINING
It's almost time for your cross-country solos, so in preparation you'll be planning and flying cross-countries with your instructor. The use of aeronautical charts is key at this point in your training. Log on to AOPA Online and you'll find the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide to be a useful learning aid and reference tool. If you have any questions, don't forget that our experienced pilots are available to answer your questions at 800/872-2672 (800/USA-AOPA) weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time.
Did you know that student pilots who join AOPA are three times more likely to complete their flight training? Membership includes unlimited access to aviation information by phone (800/USA-AOPA, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time) or from AOPA Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you’re not already a member, join today and get the pilot’s edge. Login information is available online.
In the wake of a Nov. 6 accident involving a Zodiac CH601XL aircraft, the FAA issued a special airworthiness information bulletin recommending that before further flight the aircraft be brought into compliance with a safety directive/safety alert from Aircraft Manufacturing & Design, which manufactures the airplanes. AOPA strongly urges pilots not to fly any of the CH601XL or CH650 aircraft in the special light sport, experimental light sport, and experimental amateur-built categories until they have complied with the directive. Read more >>
Nov. 20 is the deadline for submitting an application for one of the more than 40 scholarship offerings available from Women in Aviation, International (WAI). There are scholarships for all levels of flight training, college tuition, type ratings, and much more. You must be a member of WAI to submit an application, but WAI’s membership is open to men and women. For more information and an application, see the Web site.
Pilots’ group accepting scholarship applications
The National Gay Pilots Association has designated $15,000 to be awarded in student scholarships during 2010. Scholarships of between $3,000 and $4,000 are available to students pursuing an aviation career as a professional pilot. The scholarships are merit based; criteria include demonstrated academic ability, financial need, and active participation in matters of social justice and the betterment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Scholarship awards will not discriminate on the basis of an applicant's sexual orientation. Applications are due March 1, 2010. For more information, see the Web site.
AOPA, NAFI tout benefits of dual membership
AOPA and the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) on Nov. 7 launched a program to demonstrate to flight instructors the value in and importance of belonging to both organizations. AOPA President Craig Fuller and NAFI Executive Director Jason Blair signed an agreement to promote AOPA membership to many NAFI members who are not yet part of AOPA, and NAFI membership to many of the active flight instructors who are AOPA members but do not yet belong to that organization. “NAFI really focuses on the particular needs of the flight instructor,” said Fuller, “while AOPA can offer a wide range of services and aid to flight instructors, from our legal service plan to our fantastic aviation technical specialists who can help instructors find answers to those vexing questions students are prone to ask.” Read more >>
AOPA Aviation Summit spotlights aviation powerhouses
They came from statehouses and Capitol Hill, from government offices and industry boardrooms, and from hangars throughout the United States. Pilots and aviation enthusiasts from across the nation convened at AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Fla., Nov. 5 through 7 to celebrate general aviation and get involved in the future of flying. At the Tampa Convention Center, 7,294 people attended informational forums, checked out the latest in general aviation technology, and heard industry leaders' plans for the future; thousands more watched the festivities and participated online. In addition, members of the Tampa community and pilots from all over streamed into Peter O. Knight Airport for the activities at Airportfest, pushing total attendance at Summit close to 8,000. Read more >>
If you didn’t make it to AOPA Aviation Summit 2009 last week, we’ve compiled the best moments from our extensive live Web streams into one presentation for you. See the unveiling of AOPA’s 2010 sweepstakes airplane; watch interviews with SR-71 pilot Brian Shul and airshow champion Patty Wagstaff, and more on AOPA Online.
Air safety fans unite on Facebook
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has arrived on Facebook. Become a fan to keep up with the latest Air Safety Foundation products, share your thoughts with other fans, and find out about upcoming events and safety seminars. The page brings together links to online courses, safety quizzes, Real Pilot Stories, blogs, Pilot Safety Announcements (PSAs), safety articles, and other resources. Support the foundation and network with other aviation enthusiasts— become a fan today!
ASA instrument ground school gets high-def makeover
ASA’s "Instrument Pilot Virtual Test Prep" has been revised and updated to include new content and high-definition video footage. The course is offered in widescreen format and includes both standard-definition DVD and high-definition Blu-ray discs, ASA said. Topics include weather concepts and services; flight instruments; navigation; regulations and procedures; departure, en route, arrival, and approach; and test tips. The ground school is designed to play on a television/computer DVD or Blu-ray player and is compatible with both PC and Macintosh DVD/Blu-ray systems. The course sells for $199.95 and may be ordered online.
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.
Question: I'd like to use my Cessna 152 to get my instrument rating. For navigation equipment, the airplane has a single nav radio and VOR indicator. Can it still be used under instrument flight rules?
Answer: Yes, technically, it does meet the minimum requirements for IFR flight, since it is equipped in accordance with FAR 91.205 (d). According to the regulation, the aircraft is required to be equipped with “two-way radio communication and navigation equipment suitable for the route to be flown.” However, your Cessna 152 is not the best set-up for instrument training. While a single nav radio meets the requirements, you will likely find it difficult to complete an actual flight under instrument flight rules with such minimal equipment.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail [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.
Pilots love to take photos, and they love to share them with other pilots. Now you can upload your flying photos to our online gallery, “Air Mail.” Share your special aviation images, or view and rate more than 2,000 photos and counting. Highly rated photos will get put into rotation on the AOPA home page!
AVIATION EVENTS & WEATHER
Want something to do this weekend? Planning an aviation getaway? See your personalized online calendar of events . We’ve enhanced our calendar so that with one click you can see all of the events listed in the regions you selected when personalizing ePilot . Now you can browse events listed two weeks to a few months out to make your planning easier. You can also bookmark the personalized calendar page to check it as often as you want. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.
Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Anchorage, Alaska, Albuquerque, N.M., and Reston, Va., Nov. 21 and 22; Denver, Colo., and Orlando, Fla., Dec. 5 and 6; Northbrook, Ill., Dec. 12 and 13; San Jose, Calif., Baltimore, Md., and Detroit, Mich., Jan. 9 and 10. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Can’t make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Burbank, Calif., and White Plains, N.Y., Nov. 16; Ontario, Calif., Nov. 17; Costa Mesa, Calif., Nov. 18; San Diego, Calif., Nov. 19; Marietta, Ga., Dec. 1; Birmingham, Ala., Dec. 2; Pensacola, Fla., Dec. 3; West Palm Beach, Fla., Dec. 7; Tampa, Fla., Dec. 8; Towson, Md., Dec. 9. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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Editorial Team : ePilot Flight Training Editor : Jill Tallman | ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown | Contributor: Alton Marsh