AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 4, Issue 7

February 13, 2004

Volume 4, Issue 7 • February 13, 2004
In this issue:
New Jersey pilot background check bill stalls
Airline new hires civilian pilots, college grads
First-ever AOPA day set for Sun 'n Fun fly-in

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Training Tips
IN THE NICK OF TIME
Any well-used training aircraft displays certain recognizable signs of wear. Some of the evidence of exposure to the flight environment simply detracts from an aircraft's appearance, but other symptoms could become safety issues. A rotating propeller sometimes must be taxied over gravel surfaces or loose pavement. Inevitably, small nicks may appear on the blade's leading edge. Pilots are trained to look for this damage during preflight inspections, but not much emphasis is always placed on this checklist item's importance. "Despite its crucial role on the airplane, the propeller seldom gets more attention than a minor sunburn. Watch some pilots preflight and you'd think that the task requires little more than counting blades and looking for beach ball-sized nicks," writes Marc Cook in "Blade Watch," a discussion of propeller maintenance that appeared in the June 1996 AOPA Pilot. Don't fall into the mindset he describes.

Why the fuss? "Any visible damage to a propeller should be repaired. Dings, nicks, and scratches can be starting points for tiny cracks and/or corrosion that could grow and, in the worst case, lead to blade failure," notes columnist Mark Twombly in "Flying Smart: What It Looks Like" in the February 2000 AOPA Flight Training. For a complete discussion of the propeller's aerodynamic design and function, click here to download Chapter 3 of the new Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Remember to respect the prop and exercise caution when in its vicinity during preflight inspections, and during start-ups; see "Airplane Savvy: Basics for Beginners" in the November 2001 AOPA Flight Training.

A well-maintained propeller is more efficient than its haggard counterpart-but did you know that a well-balanced, well-cared-for prop can lend its feel-good qualities to the pilot sitting behind it? "More than one pilot has reported that the effects of getting his propeller balanced has made flying fun again simply because of the reduced fatigue associated with a smooth-running airplane," writes Steven W. Ells in "Smooth Moves" in the November 2003 AOPA Pilot. Read his article to learn how props are maintained, and how to spot the symptoms of an out-of-balance propeller.

Checking the condition of your trainer's prop may seem to be merely a minor item on your aircraft checklist, but a careful pilot is attentive to every detail.

Your Partner in Training
Flight training devices (FTDs) can be a great way to learn how an aircraft responds or handles, and for practicing procedures. Even some flight simulator games, for instance, can be useful for demonstrating some basic VFR maneuvers to student pilots. Learn more on AOPA Online. If you need more information, call our experienced pilots-available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern to answer your questions toll-free at 800/872-2672.

As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. For login information, click here.

Flight Training News
NEW JERSEY PILOT BACKGROUND CHECK BILL STALLS
Thanks to a concerted blitz by AOPA staff, AOPA Eastern Regional Representative Bill Leavens, AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers, and AOPA members, New Jersey lawmakers have put off action on a bill that would require pilot background checks. It seems they are beginning to recognize that the federal government does in fact control the national airspace system, not individual states, and that there have been dramatic improvements in general aviation security. Despite the positive developments, AOPA will continue to push for the bill's withdrawal and will monitor New Jersey's legislative calendar to make sure it does not come up for action. See AOPA Online.

AIRLINE NEW HIRES SAID TO BE CIVILIAN PILOTS, COLLEGE GRADS
The average new hire at a major airline in 2003 was a civilian pilot, 34.6 years old, with 5,419 total hours, an airline transport pilot certificate, and a four-year college degree, according to a database of statistics compiled by AIR, Inc. The statistics were drawn from interviews with 180 civilian and 57 pilots with military experience conducted throughout 2003. Civilian pilots represented 68 percent of those hired by airlines last year. Civilian new-hires at the major airlines ranged in age from 27 to 42, according to AIR, Inc. For more information, call 800/JET-JOBS (800/538-5627) or visit the Web site.

BE A PILOT PROSPECTS UP IN 2003
Be A Pilot generated 34,056 pilot prospects in 2003, posting a modest increase over 2002, the organization said. The numbers represented a 1.3-percent increase over 2002, and a 4.3-percent increase over 2001. The Be A Pilot program, sponsored by the aviation industry, seeks to draw new people into aviation through television advertising and an educational Web site that offers a coupon for a $49 introductory flight lesson at a participating flight school. The Web site had 882,960 visitors in 2003, up 11 percent over the previous year.

Inside AOPA
FIRST-EVER AOPA DAY SET FOR SUN 'N FUN FLY-IN
If the Sun 'n Fun airshow and fly-in is on your list of aviation events for 2004, be sure to visit on AOPA Day-Friday, April 16. AOPA members will receive discounted admission to the event in Lakeland, Florida, and the first 5,000 members to stop by the big yellow tent will receive a free CD-ROM disk containing AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner and an electronic version of AOPA's Airport Directory. You'll also get a first look at this year's grand prize in the 2004 Win-A-Twin Sweepstakes, a 1965 Piper Twin Comanche. For more information, see AOPA Online.

Training Products
UPDATED 'HANDBOOK OF AERONAUTICAL KNOWLEDGE' FROM ASA
The FAA's Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge has been revised and updated. This venerable book, a reference tool for student pilots and flight instructors for 25 years, covers principle of flight, aircraft and engine structure and systems, charts and navigation, weather theory, and much more. The latest edition-FAA H-8083-25, which replaces Advisory Circular 61-23C-features new, full-color illustrations, plus a revised section on aerodynamics that had previously been published in the FAA's old Flight Training Handbook. You can order an advance copy for $29.95 from Aviation Supplies and Academics, Inc. Orders will ship after February 23. For more information, see the Web site.

Final Exam
Question: Where can I find a list of aircraft type designators? DUATS is not accepting what I type in.

Answer: AOPA Online offers Appendix A of FAA Order 7110.65N Aircraft Type Designators. Appendix B is for helicopters, and Appendix C is for homebuilt aircraft.

Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to askft@aopa.org or call 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.

Picture Perfect
The AOPA Online Gallery allows you to download your favorite images to use for wallpaper, send a personalized e-card, and order high-quality prints to be shipped directly to your doorstep. Search the hundreds of fabulous images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online.

What's New At AOPA Online
Texas pilot Mark Zeller thought he was being interviewed for a video about new pilots. He wasn't sure why AOPA President Phil Boyer suddenly appeared bearing a leather jacket emblazoned with the Waco logo. But it all became clear a few moments later as Zeller, a third-generation pilot, realized he had won the Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes Waco UPF-7. Read the complete story and see a video of the surprise giveaway on AOPA Online.

Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix.

ePilot Calendar
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
Ames, Iowa. The Midwest Regional Aircraft Maintenance Symposium and Trade Show takes place February 13 and 14 at the Gateway Center Hotel. Sponsored by the Iowa Chapter of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA). Contact Phil Conn, 319/295-5221.

Costa Mesa, California. The 2004 Aviation Maintenance Technicians and Safety Symposium takes place February 26 and 27 at the Orange County Fairgrounds. Join us for FAA and industry speakers, trade show and exhibits, and much more. Free to all aviation enthusiasts. Contact George Mahurin, 562/420-1755, ext. 136, or visit the Web site.

To submit an event to the calendar, or search all events, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online .

ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Las Vegas and Oklahoma City, February 21 and 22. Clinics are also scheduled in Louisville, Kentucky, and Reston, Virginia, February 28 and 29. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Renewal Online.

ASF PINCH-HITTER GROUND-SCHOOL COURSES
The next Pinch-Hitter® Ground Schools will take place in Las Vegas, February 22; and Louisville, Kentucky, and Reston, Virginia, February 29. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Las Vegas and Eugene, Oregon, February 23; Gresham, Oregan, February 24; Puyallup, Washington, February 25; and Seattle, February 26. The topic is Maneuvering Flight-Hazardous to Your Health? For complete details, see AOPA Online.

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