Aviation 101

This is interesting for the student pilots out there. Embry-Riddle is offering a free Aviation 101 class.

From the website:

AVIATION 101 is comprised of nine video lessons, which will introduce you to a variety of topics in aviation.
Aircraft Systems
Flight Instruments
Radio Communication & ATC
Aviation Weather
Performance and Navigation
No matter your age or your goals, whether you are taking your first steps toward an aviation career, or if you are an experienced pilot, AVIATION 101 has something for you! Be sure to share this course with anyone who may also be interested in aviation!

Check it out!

Updating the Written Tests

That may be the case if the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Group’s Airman Testing Standards and Training Working Group – (ARAGATS&TWG?) – has it’s way.

From AOPA:

“….the ARAGATS&TWG Group—have requested that the FAA remove knowledge test questions about obsolete terms and technologies. The questions were provided from members of the working group.

Other subjects that they asked be removed are the inertial navigation system, transcribed weather broadcasts, on-airport flight service stations, composite moisture stability charts, incorrect terms in winds aloft forecasts, and instrument approach plates with outdated and obsolete components.

“The working group further recommends that once these terms and associated questions are no longer issued on the FAA Knowledge Exams, the FAA issue a formal notice so training providers can remove the terms/technologies from the training process,” they wrote.”

Looks like no more questions on TWEBs or LORAN. You will be missed!

License to Learn

Steve Tupper gets a commercial ticket, it’s a good read for those training for a checkride:

“If you’d asked me in March if I thought that I’d be a commercial pilot now (and in gliders no less), I’d have chuckled at you. But here I am, one of the nation’s newest commercial pilots. I went in for the checkride on June 26 at Livingston County Airport (KOZW) near Howell, Michigan. I felt ready. I got through the three-hour oral with the authority of a Navy Chief. I flew the first 90% of the practical test like a champ, including shutting down the engine in flight (required for the ride when you’re doing your ride in a motorglider – don’t try this with your average single-engine airplane) and getting a restart. Then we came back in to the airport for the landings. I needed to do a no-spoiler landing, a precision landing, and an emergency abort.”

Read the whole story here.

Updated Flight Review Guidelines

EAA highlights the new circular that is out on Flight Reviews and Insrument Proficiency Checks:

“The FAA Safety Team has released an updated advisory circular for flight review and instrument proficiency check….Revised AC 61.98B, Currency Requirements and Guidance for the Flight Review and Instrument Proficiency Check, will help aviators become proficient in what is required today to ensure the safety of flight.”

Read the whole article here.

You Will See the Questions

A little over a year ago, the FAA decided to change some of the questions for the knowledge test. It wasn’t such a big deal until lots of people started failing because they had never seen the questions before.

After a big kerfuffle, the FAA has shifted gears and AOPA has the story:

“The FAA has embraced the majority of an advisory committee’s recommendations for improving its testing materials in a prompt show of its support for the joint effort with the aviation industry to improve pilot knowledge tests.

In a meeting with industry representatives June 18, the FAA announced its plan to implement most recommendations of the Airmen Testing Standards and Training Aviation Rulemaking Committee, which in a new report offered nine ways the agency can enhance the content of airmen knowledge tests and improve testing methods.”

Read the whole report here.

Night Currency

Are you ready for night flying? ccimage courtesy of dlkinney on flickr

As the days start to get progressively shorter, it’s time to turn our attention to what it takes to be current for night flight:

§ 61.57 Recent flight experience: Pilot in command
Night takeoff and landing experience…no person may act as a pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers during the period beginning 1 hour after sunset and ending 1 hour before sunrise, unless within the preceding 90 days that person has made at least three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop during the period beginning 1 hour after sunset and ending 1 hour before sunrise, and–
i. That person acted as sole manipulator of the flight controls; and
ii. The required takeoffs and landings were performed in an aircraft of the same category, class, and type (if a type rating is required).

Translated: This evening, one hour after sunset, you can go up solo in N1061X and do three takeoffs and landings to a full stop. Then you’re current. Tonight’s sunset is at 6:28pm local time, that means you can start working on currency an hour later as everyone else tunes into the Cardinals game.

Minimum Safe Altitude

Here’s one that got me during my oral exam for my Sport Pilot checkride. What is the minimum safe altitude? I said, 500 feet from any obstacle in a rural area or 1,000 feet above and 2,000 feet horizontal separation in an urban area. But this is what I forgot:

Sec. 91.119 — Minimum safe altitudes: General.
Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

I forgot the part about “anywhere.”

Bruce Landsberg does an excellent job talking about minimum safe altitudes in this blog about the low approaches some pilots seem to be compelled to do over runways.