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Holiday weekend flying
Long holiday weekends are a great time to accomplish major components of a flight-training program, or even make a final push toward your flight test before school or work resumes next Tuesday. Looking down from cruise altitude, pilots savor the view and give thanks that they are not trapped on the crowded interstate highway network.
But like the highways, skies and airports become busy places—especially during the last gasp of summer vacation. As you plan your cross-country routes and study the airports you plan to visit over the Labor Day weekend, give extra attention to the traffic-avoidance resources at your disposal on those routes. This includes arrival procedures such as traffic patterns, altitudes, and frequencies at nontowered airports. Study airport diagrams and taxi routes. And whether you are receiving radar assistance or just practicing see-and-avoid techniques, know how to scan for traffic. As the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Safety Advisor Collision Avoidance: Strategy and Tactics discusses, “The most important tool pilots have to see and avoid other aircraft is their vision. But simply looking out of the cockpit isn’t enough. Pilots need to know how to look and what to look for, which requires an understanding of the limitations of human vision and tactics to compensate for its deficiencies.”
How you navigate is part of knowing where collision hot spots may exist. VORs draw traffic from all directions. Keep your eyes outside, especially when your "to" indication is about to change to "from"! Barry Schiff discusses the relationship between navigation technology and collision risk in his July 2008 AOPA Pilot "Proficient Pilot" column. (Does he consider the risk higher or lower when a pilot navigates with the precision provided by GPS? Check out his column for the answer, which may surprise you.)
Some student pilots are reluctant to call air traffic control and request radar flight following, or are unsure how the program works. In fact, interacting with ATC is easy and welcomed, and it builds your confidence as a participant in the system. A helpful start is to review the feature article " VFR Traffic Advisories " on AOPA Flight Training Online.
Fly safely and move your training forward over the last big weekend of summer!
YOUR PARTNER IN TRAINING
How sharp is your understanding of wake turbulence? What is the proper procedure when you're following a heavy aircraft on approach? Take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Quiz on wake turbulence to expand your knowledge from the privacy of your own personal computer. And for guidance on wake turbulence, note Chapter 7, Section 3, of the Aeronautical Information Manual .
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.
The Cessna 150 that breached restricted airspace near Washington, D.C., last week was the same airplane that caused the evacuation of the White House in 2005. The 1970 Cessna 150 was being flown by a student pilot on a solo cross-country. He departed from Smoketown, Pa., and, while en route, “got confused,” according to a spokesman for the Vintage Aero Club, which owns the airplane. After entering the Washington, D.C., Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA), he was intercepted by Coast Guard helicopters and escorted to an airport within the SFRA, The Associated Press reported.
Just as flight schools occasionally upgrade their rental and instructional fleets, so too does the military. In late August, Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Florida saw the arrival of new T-6B trainers that will replace the T-34C Turbo Mentors that had been used to train pilots for the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. The new trainers feature glass cockpits with head-up displays and six multifunction displays, and a military instructor said the updated technology will help pilots step up into the cockpit of a Joint Strike Fighter, according to a report in the Santa Rosa Press-Gazette.
Georgia flight school gets new helicopter
Superior Flight School of Atlanta took delivery of a Schweizer S-300C helicopter from Sikorsky Global Helicopters. The flight school recently introduced rotary-wing training to its program and already has an S-300CB on the flight line, with plans to acquire a second S-300C. Both models are light piston aircraft suitable for a variety of missions. The piston S-300C has a 950-pound useful load, according to the manufacturer.
Wondering what’s happened to AOPA Expo? To build on Expo’s ever-expanding popularity, AOPA took a close look at its annual fall event and gave it a major overhaul to take it to the next level. This year, we’re reaching for the summit—AOPA Aviation Summit. In many ways, AOPA Aviation Summit will be similar to the Expo you’ve been familiar with for more than a decade: an exhibit hall filled with hundreds of pilot products, dozens of educational seminars, and a state-of-the art aircraft display. But that’s just a fraction of AOPA Aviation Summit. Read more >>
Alamo offers weekend savings to AOPA members
Planning a weekend getaway? Rent your car from Alamo for as little as $20 per weekend day. AOPA members can take advantage of this special offer until Oct. 31. Plus, you can get the special weekend rate starting as early as 9 a.m. on Thursdays. Make your reservation online for a weekend road trip today, or call 800/462-5266 and mention contract ID 7015015. As with all member products, renting your car from Alamo supports AOPA by generating revenue that is reinvested to fund our advocacy efforts and keep your membership dues low.
‘Pilot’s Manual: Access to Flight’ textbook images
Flight instructors who are using ASA’s Pilot’s Manual: Access to Flight, an integrated private and instrument training curriculum, now have an additional teaching tool. The book’s collection of images, illustrations, and figures is being made available separately as a classroom teaching tool. Available for download only in PowerPoint, the collection includes more than 900 slides that can be viewed collectively or inserted as individual slides in a presentation so that instructors can customize their training. The collection sells for $49.95 and may be ordered online from ASA.
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: A few friends and I are considering forming a flying club. Does AOPA have any resources available to assist us in forming a flying club, finding an appropriate airplane, and completing the purchase?
Answer: Yes, AOPA has all the tools, information, and resources you need! We have a helpful flying clubs Web section that will guide you through the entire process and help you formulate the operating agreement that is key to a successful club. Our section on buying a used aircraft will walk you through the entire process of buying an airplane, from locating just the right aircraft through the pre-purchase inspection and completing the required paperwork. AOPA also offers aircraft insurance, financing, and title and escrow services. For individual assistance, AOPA’s aviation technical specialists are able to assist you over the phone at 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672).
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.
what's new online
When training for the instrument rating, there’s no substitute for flying in actual instrument conditions. But how much realism is too much? Find out what happens when an instrument student and his CFII find themselves in the middle of a black wall of convective activity in the latest installment of “ Never Again Online.”
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 calender 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 Phoenix, Ariz., and Sacramento, Calif., Sept. 12 and 13; Baltimore, Md., and Richmond, Va., Sept. 19 and 20; Colorado Springs, Colo., and Seattle, Wash., Sept. 26 and 27. 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 Wichita, Kan., and Morristown, N.J., Sept. 14; East Hartford, Conn., and Oklahoma City, Okla, Sept. 15; Rogers, Ark., and Newton, Mass., Sept. 16; Little Rock, Ark., and Manchester, N.H., Sept. 17. 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: Alyssa Miller | Contributor: Alton Marsh