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Nov. 11, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition" newsletterNov. 11, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition" newsletter

AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition Volume 11, Issue 45 — November 11, 2011  

In This Issue:
Aerosim opens to the public
ATOP finds new home
When ‘up’ isn’t necessarily above you





The controlling agency

The Nov. 4 Training Tip noted the benefits of asking “what if” questions during flight planning, for safety and to correlate your knowledge on aeronautical subjects with real flight scenarios. For a pilot planning a VFR flight from Laconia, N.H., Municipal Airport to Dean Memorial Airport in Haverhill, N.H., a big what-if stands out at a glance at the course. What if the flight service specialist conducting the preflight briefing mentions that the Yankee One and Yankee Two Military Operations Areas (MOAs) are active? Would you scrub the flight, or change your route?

Remember from your ground study that VFR flight in an active MOA is permitted, with recommended procedures to maximize safety. ( Download these flashcards from the Air Safety Institute if you need a quick reminder.)

“Pilots operating under VFR should exercise extreme caution while flying within (an) MOA when military activity is being conducted. The activity status (active/inactive) of MOAs may change frequently. Therefore, pilots should contact any FSS within 100 miles of the area to obtain accurate real-time information concerning the MOA hours of operation,” explains Section 3-4-5 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. “Prior to entering an active MOA, pilots should contact the controlling agency for traffic advisories.”

How do you determine the controlling agency, and the frequency for contacting them?

Checking the navigation chart, in this case the New York Sectional Chart, you find tables of information about its special-use airspace. A table on MOAs identifies the Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) as the controlling agency for the Yankee MOAs, on frequency 135.7 MHz. The chart also provides altitudes of the MOAs and times of use—in this example “SR-SS” (sunrise to sunset).

A flight through an MOA may be many VFR pilots’ first contact with an ARTCC, an ATC facility that controls IFR flights in the en route environment and may provide radar traffic advisories to VFR aircraft.

See the legend of your region’s airport/facility directory for a list of ARTCCs and frequencies. For example, see page 364 of this A/FD for a list of ARTCC frequencies in the northern Midwest.

Having real-time information on activity in special-use airspace available to general aviation pilots is a priority for AOPA, and progress is being made toward that goal. Meanwhile, don’t reroute or cancel a flight in an MOA when contacting the controlling agency can speed you safely through.


Applying for a scholarship? Getting your name before the selection committee takes some effort. Review the tips for preparing a well-crafted application in AOPA’s subject report, and see the list of scholarships for possibilities you may not have previously considered.


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.


Aerosim opens to the public

Aerosim Flight Academy in Sanford, Fla., has opened its training courses to the public for the first time in five years. The academy, formerly known as Delta Connection Academy, offers career-oriented pilot training to nearly 600 students at four facilities. About 60 to 70 percent of the students are international students. Read more >>

ATOP finds new home

The Airline Training Orientation Program (ATOP) recently found two new airline partners. With the recent merger of United and Continental, the program was forced to look for new partners, and has found them with JetBlue and American Airlines. Starting next year, anyone can pay a little less than $500 and receive ground school and simulator time to get a unique introduction to airline training and the airline lifestyle. At JetBlue University in Orlando participants will be exposed to the Airbus A320, while at American Airlines Flight Academy in Dallas they will have the chance to experience the Boeing 737-800. ATOP has given more than 3,000 aspiring airline professionals and regular pilots the experience of seeing what airline life is all about.

When ‘up’ isn’t necessarily above you

Flying VFR into IMC is a scary prospect. In this case, while what you can’t see can hurt you, the bigger threat is spatial disorientation. That feeling of not knowing which end is up has led pilots to dangerously maneuver their aircraft, while believing they are in a safe, proper flight attitude. The consequences can be fatal. Take the Air Safety Institute’s safety quiz on spatial disorientation, sponsored by the AOPA Insurance Agency, and find out how much you know about what causes, and how to prevent, not knowing up from down.

Last call for WAI scholarships

The deadline to apply for scholarships through Women in Aviation International is Monday, Nov. 14. WAI is offering 68 scholarships valued at a total of $470,431. Men and women who belong to WAI may apply for up to two scholarships each. Recipients will be announced at the 2012 International Women in Aviation Conference, March 8 through 10, in Dallas. See the website for guidelines and applications.

Eastern New England Ninety-Nines offer scholarships

Pilots who live or study in one of the six New England states are invited to apply for one of three scholarships offered by the Eastern New England chapter of the International Organization of Women Pilots (The Ninety-Nines). The Katharine Barr Honorary Scholarship is open to both women and men and is for $1,500. The remaining scholarships are offered to women with at least a private pilot certificate and are for $1,500 each. Applications must be postmarked no later than Jan. 31, 2012. For criteria or applications, email the chapter or send a stamped, self-addressed business-size envelope to Olga Mitchell, 10 Glory Lane, East Falmouth, MA 02536.

New flight school opens in Marshall, Mich.

The manager of Brooks Field in Marshall, Mich., recently opened a flight school. John Riske told the Battle Creek Enquirer that he didn’t name the school after himself because his last name is pronounced “risk-ee” and he didn’t want to alarm potential clients. Marshall Flying Service offers flight instruction in a 1982 Piper Warrior.

Inside AOPA

Know before you go

Are you allowed to fly into a controlled firing area…how about a special flight rules area? For answers to these questions and to delve into other airspace such as ADIZ, MOA, MTR, TFR, and NSA, enter the Air Safety Institute’s Know Before You Go: Navigating Today’s Airspace online course. Tips, animations, and interactive quizzes test your newly acquired knowledge along the way. Shield yourself from inadvertently busting airspace: Take the course before your next cross-country flight.

New diabetes med receives FAA nod

The FAA has established certification procedures for a new injectable diabetes medication. Victoza is taken once daily and helps the pancreas make more insulin following a meal. The fine print for FAA medical certification is a little complicated, but AOPA Director of Medical Certification Gary Crump provides a synopsis in this selection from the AOPA Medical Services Program newsletter.

Emergency assistance health coverage fills the gap

A new program provides stopgap health coverage for the incidental expenses not covered by your medical plan. AOPA’s EA+ bridges the gap between what your medical plan covers and emergency expenses most health insurance plans never pay, for things such as emergency helicopter and ambulance evacuation. Read more >>


Partial panel instrument cover

When it’s time to simulate instrument failures, an instrument cover is a handy training tool. These black, self-adhering covers sold by are easily removed when training is finished. Each cover is $3.99 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: Is there any need to check notices to airmen (notams) when I’m only going on a local flight?


Answer: Yes, you should definitely check notams before any flight, regardless of whether you consider it local. This is all part of proper preflight planning, which is mandatory under FAR 91.103 and is also critical for the safe outcome of the flight. It would not be good to arrive at an airport low on fuel only to find the runway had been closed because of resurfacing. Notams contain time-critical information like runway closures, construction activity on an airport, changes in the status of navigational aids, radar service availability, and other information essential to flight operations. Notam information can be obtained by contacting a flight service briefer or by utilizing the FAA’s Direct User Access Terminal (DUAT) system via the Internet. The two companies that provide the online service for the FAA are DTC DUAT and CSC DUATS. For more on notams and getting the most out of flight service, take the Air Safety Institute’s online course, A Pilot’s Guide to Flight Service .


Got a question for our technical services staff? Email [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.


In this week’s Flight Training blog, Chip Wright discusses the differences between an FAA designated examiner and a check airman for an airline, and Jill Tallman shares a techie pilot’s opinions on protecting your logbook—an online logbook isn’t enough.

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a communications coordinator, manager of flight training programs, online product manager, AOPA Live producer/videojournalist, Web business analyst, medical certification assistant, associate editor–Web, associate editor–Web/ ePilot, aviation technical specialist, and manager of airspace and modernization. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Picture Perfect

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 8,500 photos (and growing). Photos are put into rotation on the AOPA home page!


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.

To include an event or to search all events in the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA Airports.

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

The next Air Safety Institute Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Anchorage, Alaska, San Diego, Calif., and Ashburn, Va., Nov. 12 and 13; Albuquerque, N.M., and Austin, Texas, Nov. 19 and 20; Denver, Colo., Orlando, Fla., and Northbrook, Ill., Dec. 3 and 4; and Baltimore, Md., Ypsilanti, Mich., Portland, Ore., and San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 7 and 8. 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 Costa Mesa, Calif., Nov. 14; Ontario, Calif., Nov. 15; San Diego, Calif., Nov. 16; Mesa, Ariz., and Jacksonville, Fla., Dec. 5; Tucson, Ariz., and Daytona Beach, Fla., Dec. 6; Tampa, Fla., Timonium, Md., and Albuquerque, N.M., Dec. 7; and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Dec. 8.


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].

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Editorial Team: ePilot Flight Training Editor : Jill W. Tallman | ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown | Contributor: Alton K. Marsh
Production Team: Melissa Whitehouse, Lezlie Ramsey, William Rockenbaugh, Mitch Mitchell

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