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Adjusting to in-flight conditions is one of the important lessons of cross-country flying. That sure-bet weather forecast could miss the mark without scrubbing your flight.
Conditions could require you to change your route, for instance if a VOR you planned to use for navigation is out of service. Or lower ceilings might mean you must re-plan your cruise altitudes and recalculate groundspeeds and fuel burn.
If your original choice of altitude was influenced by airspace along your route, you may have to make other decisions. Perhaps cruising at 6,500 feet looked good because you could overfly some Class C airspace directly along your route of flight as discussed in the Jan. 14 Training Tip. But now, lower ceilings eliminate that option.
What to do? If you are properly equipped (with two-way communications and an altitude-encoding transponder) and follow procedures, why not plan to fly through the airspace rather than taking the long way around?
Is it necessary to ask permission? No. Before entering, you must establish two-way radio communications. As illustrated in the Aeronautical Chart User’s Guide , sectional charts show recommended VFR checkpoints, typically about 20 nautical miles out, where you should call in on a designated frequency if you are not already receiving radar flight following.
As you near the airport at the center of the Class C airspace, be alert for instructions to fly assigned headings or altitudes intended to separate you from arriving or departing traffic. You may also receive crossing instructions such as being directed to fly over the hub airport at midfield.
Why midfield? For easy visibility from the tower and from other aircraft, and to keep you clear of approach and departure paths. Turn on your landing light to make your trainer easier to spot.
Similar contact procedures can be used to transit Class D airspace where the altitude-encoding transponder requirement does not apply.
Understand how to transit the airspace, but worry that your radio skills will let you down? Take the Air Safety Institute’s interactive courses Say It Right: Mastering Radio Communication and Know Before You Go . They will give you the confidence you need to seek access to the airspace that’s the best choice for today’s flight.
YOUR PARTNER IN TRAINING
Is a solo in your future? Don’t wait until the last minute to apply for your medical certificate (if you require one—a medical isn’t needed for solo flight in a glider or if pursuing a sport pilot certificate in a light sport aircraft). AOPA has several resources to help you, ranging from reports on various health conditions to a database of aviation medical examiners. See the website to get started.
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 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.
On a freezing day in January 2009, Clay Presley stood on the wing of an Airbus A320 that had been ditched in New York’s Hudson River, waiting for boats to rescue him and the other 154 passengers and crew on US Airways Flight 1549. Two years and 10 days later, Presley soloed a Cessna 172SP. Read more >>
Piper Aircraft delivered 14 aircraft in December to Qatar Aeronautical College, a provider of airline training in the Persian Gulf. The school’s training campus is in Ras Abu Aboud near Doha International Airport, in the capital city of Qatar. Piper delivered four Seneca Vs and 10 Archer IIs, each equipped with Garmin glass-cockpit avionics. The retail value of the purchase is said to be $6.7 million.
If you’re submerged in the chilling grip of winter weather, you’re most likely concentrating on combating airframe ice. But, once the outside temperature warms up to a balmy 50 degrees Fahrenheit, icing is still possible in the form of carburetor ice. The Air Safety Institute’s Combating Carb Ice Safety Brief spells out when and why carb ice forms. And listen up if chilly outside temperatures are not your problem: If you thought that carburetor icing couldn’t occur with temperatures reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re wrong. Read on to understand this year-round icing risk.
Able Flight trains 18-year-old pilot
Able Flight, a nonprofit organization for people with physical disabilities, has graduated its newest and youngest pilot: 18-year-old Brandy Hofstetter. The young woman passed her sport pilot checkride in January after 34 flight hours. She has been paralyzed since the age of 17 months when she was injured in a car accident.
Scholarships for FBO workers offered
Employees at FBOs interested in aviation and science careers are encouraged to apply for scholarships from the Patrick Marzitelli Science and Aviation Fund. Two scholarships of $3,000 each will be awarded annually, one for flight training and another for science education. Read more >>
Aviation scholarship announced
A scholarship designed for a student pursuing a career as a professional pilot is available. The $7,000 scholarship is offered by the National Gay Pilots Association Education Fund. Applications will be considered based on demonstrated academic ability, financial need, and active participation in matters of social justice toward the betterment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Applications are due March 31, and the recipient will be announced in June.
Interested in instrument charts?
For many student pilots, as soon as the private checkride is finished it’s on to the instrument rating. If you’re curious about IFR flying—more specifically, about those cryptic white charts instrument pilots use—the Air Safety Institute’s free IFR Insights: Charts course is worth a look. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything: The course is meant primarily for instrument-rated pilots, but it can still give you a head-start on a future IFR education. Find it here >>
Affordable renter’s insurance
Selecting the right level of insurance for your needs can be daunting, especially if you’re a renter and unsure of the value of the aircraft you fly or the likely cost of repairs. How can you make the best decision while keeping your premiums affordable? The AOPA Insurance Agency offers comprehensive packages starting as low as $99. As an AOPA member you will get a 5-percent discount. Revenue from this program also helps AOPA offer additional benefits and funds important general aviation initiatives. Visit the insurance agency online or call 800/622-AOPA (2672).
Now available: AOPA Airports print edition
Due to the overwhelming demand for the print edition of the 2011/2012 AOPA Airports, AOPA has printed additional copies for purchase. AOPA has shifted financial resources from the print version of AOPA Airports to enhance its online directory and mobile versions in response to the preferences expressed by the majority of its members. However, the association recognizes that the print version still has high value to some of its members who have relied on it as a handy reference in the cockpit. The print edition is your perfect flight-planning companion. Carry it in your flight bag and take it with you wherever you fly! Order your copy now.
Pocket CO carbon monoxide detector
If you fly more than one aircraft and are concerned about monitoring carbon monoxide levels, the Pocket CO carbon monoxide detector can be carried around with you from airplane to airplane (and to your home or car). It fits on a key chain and weighs less than one ounce. The digital display shows the presence of CO in parts per million, and it can be set to trigger an 85-decibel audio alarm as well as a bright red light or vibration. The unit sells for $139.99 from Pilotmall.com.
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: When I moved last year, I filled out a change-of-address card, and sent it to the FAA in Oklahoma City; however, I never received a new certificate so my current pilot certificate still has my old address. Should I have received a new certificate with my updated address on it?
Answer: We get this question frequently, and the answer is no. The FAA will not send a replacement certificate for a change of address unless a new one is requested. There are several options for requesting a replacement certificate. One is to submit a signed, written request stating your name, date, and place of birth, Social Security number and/or certificate number, and the reason for replacement. You can also download a form from the FAA website to request a replacement. If you choose either of these options you will need to mail them to the FAA, Airmen Certification Branch, AFS-760, P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0082. Include a check or money order for $2 made payable to the FAA. If your current address is listed as a Post Office Box (POB), General Delivery, Rural Route, or Star Route, you must provide directions or a map for locating your residence. A third option is to make the request through Airmen Online Services. It is usually quick and easy and you will get your replacement certificate normally within seven to 10 business days. If you select the online option you will need to create an account first if you don’t already have one, but that only takes a few minutes.
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
“Return to Service”: What does this mean? Who can do it—and who can’t? Flight Training Deputy Editor Ian Twombly explains the concept behind return to service and the importance of a thorough preflight in this week’s Flight Training blog.
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an aviation education program developer, business analyst, financial analyst, IT project architect, program specialist—communications, and vice president of new product development and interactive marketing. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA 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 7,500 photos (and growing). Photos are 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 in your region to make 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 Air Safety Institute Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Sacramento, Calif., Louisville, Ky., New Orleans, La., and Fairfax, Va., Feb. 12 and 13; Melbourne, Fla., Nashua, N.H., and Las Vegas, Nev., Feb. 19 and 20; Oklahoma City, Okla., and Fort Worth, Texas, Feb. 26 and 27; Ontario, Calif., and Virginia Beach, Va., March 5 and 6; Phoenix, Ariz., Orlando, Fla., and Baltimore, Md., March 12 and 13. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Can’t make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars
Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars are scheduled in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 7; Tampa, Fla., Feb. 8; Ocala, Fla., Feb. 9; Melbourne, Fla., Feb. 10; Huntsville, Ala., Feb. 15; Decatur, Ga., Feb. 16; Greenville, S.C., Feb. 17; Northglenn, Colo., Feb. 21; Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 22; Rochester, Minn., and Portland, Ore., March 7; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Seattle, Wash., March 8; Bellevue, Neb., March 9; Olathe, Kan., March 10. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Got news? Contact ePilot. Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].
Editorial Team: ePilot Flight Training Editor : Jill W. Tallman | ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown | Contributor: Alton K. Marsh