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‘Track’ is key
The Feb. 11 Training Tip presented a sample knowledge test question on a radar traffic advisory issued to a pilot flying northbound in a calm wind:
Answer: The northbound pilot would look west (at the 9 o’clock position, off the left wing tip) to spot the traffic. And because the reported traffic is already off your wing tip at a distance of two miles, headed in the opposite direction from you, no conflict exists. But you should still scan for it and advise ATC that you are looking for the traffic.
Why did the question include the condition of a calm wind?
Depending on the winds aloft, the pilot receiving the traffic advisory might be flying with a wind correction angle. That would affect whether the traffic appeared at the 9 o’clock point or another position as seen from the cockpit.
The air traffic controller issuing advisories does not know the winds aloft. “Since the radar controller can only observe aircraft track (course) on the radar display, traffic advisories are issued accordingly, and pilots should give due consideration to this fact when looking for reported traffic,” explains Section 4-1-15 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. See the illustrations of induced error in the position of traffic.
Aircraft track is discussed in Chapter 15 of the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. “The direction in which the aircraft is pointing as it flies is heading. Its actual path over the ground, which is a combination of the motion of the aircraft and the motion of the air, is its track. The angle between the heading and the track is drift angle.”
Whenever heading and track differ, expand the area you scan when ATC calls traffic.
“Whether or not you see the traffic, keep looking,” wrote Robert I. Snow in “VFR traffic advisories” on the Flight Training website. “One time the traffic may pass 6 miles away and never be seen. The next time, however, the traffic may turn toward you and pass very close, and thanks to the controller's advisory, you'll already be looking for him.”
Looking for traffic is a pilot’s duty. Knowing where to look takes skill.
YOUR PARTNER IN TRAINING
Nobody enjoys taking an FAA knowledge test, but we'll try to make it a little easier for you. The Pilot Information Center has links to test questions, test guides, and testing centers. Then, when you're ready to take the test, be sure to download a coupon for a $10 discount through CATS Testing Centers. You can use the discount at any of the more than 400 CATS authorized centers around the world. Print the coupon from AOPA Online.
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.
Flight training with a sport pilot instructor should be allowed to count toward the aeronautical experience requirements of higher certificates, AOPA told the FAA in a petition for a change to the regulations. Sport pilot training was intended to be a lower-cost entry into aviation and to act as a stepping-stone for some pilots into higher certificates, AOPA and other groups told the agency. Read more >>
The National General Aviation Awards Committee has announced this year’s regional award winners. The winners become finalists for the national awards, which will be announced by March 1. The awards are a government- and industry-sponsored program to recognize flight instructors, maintenance and avionics technicians, and FAA Safety Team representatives. AOPA is a sponsor of the program. See the complete list of winners.
Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted an early spring, but for most of us there’s still plenty of frosty weather in store. If you’re planning to fly in it, be sure to check out the recorded version of the Air Safety Institute’s “Cold Weather Ops” Webinar on AOPA Live®. Hosted by AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg, the program takes a practical look at coping with frigid engines, frosted wings, snowy taxiways, and ice-filled clouds. Watch AOPA Live>>
Aviation art/writing contest open to girls, women
Girls and women of all ages are encouraged to enter essays, drawings, and paintings of first flights—actual flights or how the creator imagines a flight would be—in contests sponsored by Women of Aviation Worldwide. Women of Aviation Worldwide Week takes place March 7 to 14. Winners will receive $100 toward a flight lesson. For entry deadlines and requirements, see the website.
Wisconsin flight school joins Women of Aviation Week events
Am I High Aviation LLC, a flight school at Stevens Point Municipal Airport in Stevens Point, Wis., is joining the national Women of Aviation Week events by offering discounted rides and a free movie on March 13. The flight school will offer $20 rides and will screen Monika Petrillo’s documentary Flyabout. Am I High Aviation specializes in accelerated private and instrument training.
Connections, career opportunities at WAI
Women in Aviation, International’s annual conference will give pilots, controllers, mechanics, and other aviation professionals and enthusiasts an opportunity to connect with other women in the industry Feb. 24 to 26 in Reno, Nev. This year’s theme is “Inspire, Enthuse, Innovate,” and the conference will immerse participants in the tactics and strategies necessary for successful aviation careers. Read more >>
Get a mountain flying checkout
Flatland flyers listen up! Want an incredible flight experience? Try mountain flying. But before you sign up with a qualified flight instructor for some exhilarating flight training, get prepared with the Air Safety Institute’s interactive Mountain Flying online course. You’ll be able to experiment with the effects of density altitude on aircraft performance and get to see what it’s like to traverse mountains during the daylight and at night. Take the course now >>
Help support AOPA’s mission with the AOPA Credit Card
One notable AOPA member product, the AOPA Credit Card from Bank of America, is critical to the association’s mission. Each time a purchase is made with the AOPA Credit Card, vital funding is generated and returned to AOPA. If you’re shopping for groceries or a birthday gift, or putting fuel in your tank, each purchase you make is directly contributing to the mission of AOPA. The WorldPoints rewards program allows you to earn one point for every dollar you spend on purchases that you can use to redeem for cash, gift cards, and other rewards. Plus, you will earn two points for every dollar you spend on select AOPA products and services and purchases at more than 4,000 participating FBOs. Read more >>
Prostate cancer and robotic surgery
An emerging technological advance in the treatment of prostate cancer utilizes robotic surgery to remove the gland. Dr. Jonathan Sackier explains the science behind this methodology in a follow-up to some of his recent “Fly Well” columns. AOPA members enrolled in the Medical Services Program receive information like this and more in an e-mail newsletter. Enroll in the program today.
‘So You Want to Fly Seaplanes’ app
You’ve been hearing all about floatplane flying from your friends and wondering what the fuss is about. Sporty’s Pilot Shop’s new app, So You Want to Fly Seaplanes, takes you to one of the best-known havens for floatplane instruction: Jack Brown’s Seaplane Base in Florida. Fourteen video segments are used to help illustrate the maneuvers required for the FAA checkride, taxi techniques, and water takeoffs and landings. The app may be used on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. It sells for $29.99.
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: Where can I find the location of a VOR receiver checkpoint?
Answer: An FAA VOR test facility (VOT) transmits a test signal that provides users a convenient means to determine the operational status and accuracy of a VOR receiver. Checkpoints consist of certified radials that should be received at specific points on the airport surface or over specific landmarks while airborne in the immediate vicinity of an airport. Information on how to conduct a VOR receiver check is provided in Section 1-1-4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. Locations of VOR test facilities are given in the airport/facility directory. Ground and airborne checkpoints are listed by state and airport. Other options for performing a VOR equipment check are listed in FAR 91.171.
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.
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an aviation technical specialist, financial analyst, 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 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; Burlingame, Calif., and King of Prussia, Pa., March 19 and 20. 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 Northglenn, Colo., Feb. 21; Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 22; North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Feb. 23; Rochester, Minn., and Portland, Ore., March 7; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Seattle, Wash., March 8; Bedford, Mass., and Bellevue, Neb., March 9; Olathe, Kan., March 10; Ypsilanti, Mich., March 14; Cleveland, Ohio, March 15; Columbus, Ohio, March 16. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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Editorial Team: ePilot Flight Training Editor : Jill W. Tallman | ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown | Contributor: Alton K. Marsh