AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 4, Issue 28

July 9, 2004

Volume 4, Issue 28 • July 9, 2004
In this issue:
Pay gap between single-, multiengine CFIs narrows
New device to minimize drag seeking patent
GA aircraft aren't 'killing machines,' Rockefeller told

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Copyright © 2004 AOPA.

Training Tips
THE STERILE COCKPIT
Sterile cockpit-have you heard that term? You may know it as an airline policy that forbids casual conversation by flight crews during high-workload operations. Actually, it is more than a policy-it is mandatory. "Federal Aviation Regulations Part 121.542, which applies to air carrier operations, makes it illegal for flight crewmembers to engage in nonessential conversation during critical phases of flight (which include taxi, takeoff, landing, and all other flight operations conducted below 10,000 feet, except cruise flight)," explains Barry Schiff in his June 1996 "Proficient Pilot" column in AOPA Pilot magazine.

Sterile cockpit procedures are not mandatory for general aviation pilots, but why not adopt them? Distractions cause mishaps. All pilots are susceptible to distraction, sometimes by passengers, as you will observe upon earning your private pilot certificate. Combine that truth with a new pilot's eagerness to take friends for an airplane ride, and adopting sterile cockpit procedures as early as primary training makes sense. Apply the practice to preflight inspections, too. "Several senior instructors I know will not talk to anyone while doing a preflight inspection because of the distraction factor. Passengers and guests seem to have a knack for asking about something just as the pilot needs to focus on the primary task. This is the ground version of the sterile cockpit," writes AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg in ASF's January 2001 "Instructor Report." Speaking of the ground, remember that taxiing (see "Power Walking" in the November 2003 AOPA Flight Training) is a sterile-cockpit occasion despite temptations to sightsee and chitchat.

You can adopt sterile cockpit rules right away. Your instructor can help by pointing out the correct occasions and by simulating distractions safely. Using your CFI as a passenger surrogate, practice briefing future riders (including your flight test examiner) about your sterile cockpit rules. What should this briefing include? "Explain to your passengers that at certain times you will be completing checklists or communicating on the radio. Advise them that you will need them to be quiet, and let them know as these periods arise," explains Robert Rossier in "Training Topics" in the September 1999 AOPA Flight Training. These sterile cockpit moments are in addition to the flight operations discussed above.

It's never too soon to practice professionalism. Sterile cockpit is a great start!

Your Partner in Training
The key to a good preflight is to understand what you are checking and why you are checking it. One overlooked switch (such as a boost pump) can make the difference between safety and disaster. The pre-solo flying skills section of AOPA's new Flight Training Web site explains how proper preflighting will help you leave potential problems on the ground.

Do you have a question? Call our experienced pilots-available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern toll-free at 800/872-2672. AOPA Flight Training Members have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. Login information is available online.

Flight Training News
PAY GAP BETWEEN SINGLE-ENGINE, MULTIENGINE CFIs NARROWS
The gap between the average hourly rate for single-engine flight instructors ($18.29) and multiengine instructors ($20.14) is narrower than in previous years, according to the National Air Transportation Association 2004 Compensation Report. Numbers for the report were pulled from 309 responses with wage and salary data for 10,926 employees and managers. The survey also found that the difference in pay between captains and copilots of turboprops remained unchanged from 2003: Captains earned $31.02 per hour and copilots, $22.42. Chief flight instructors landed at the lowest end of the managers' salary spectrum with earnings of $2,845 per month, which is 10 percent lower than reported salaries in 2003. Flight operations managers were the highest paid at $6,013 per month, up 5.5 percent. The monthly salary statistics were compiled from data for 771 managers in 13 different positions.

NEW DEVICE SAID TO MINIMIZE DRAG AWAITING PATENT
Utah State University has applied for a patent for an invention that purportedly minimizes drag on aircraft. The Twisteron technology was invented by Utah State professor Warren F. Phillips and tested during the 2003 National Design, Build, and Fly competition. Utah State students designed and built an airplane using Twisterons and won first place. Their aircraft experienced a 20-percent reduction in drag during steep turns and a 7-percent reduction in level flight. Twisterons work by twisting the wings during flight using a precise formula to reduce drag.

Inside AOPA
GA AIRCRAFT AREN'T 'KILLING MACHINES,' ROCKEFELLER TOLD
AOPA responded quickly when Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) called aircraft "killing machines" at a congressional hearing and said large corporate aircraft could inflict half the damage seen on September 11, 2001. "More than 70 percent of the general aviation aircraft fleet are small, single-engine aircraft with six or fewer seats, typically weighing less than a small economy car with the ability to carry even less cargo," AOPA President Phil Boyer wrote Rockefeller. "They have less than 1 percent the mass of a large airliner." Boyer illustrated his points with pictures of the suicide crash of a Cessna 172 into a Tampa office building and the crash of a Cessna 150 on the White House grounds. "While I would prefer that these accidents had not occurred, they underscore that these aircraft do not present a threat to the nation," Boyer said. For more details, see the news story at AOPA Online.

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FAA LEGAL ACTION
FAA enforcement actions are on the rise. Legal claims for airspace incursions have increased more than 150 percent. Where do pilots turn for affordable legal protection when they unwittingly violate FAA rules? AOPA's Legal Services Plan. We offer affordable legal protection for student/private pilots and flight instructors. Enroll now. See AOPA Online or call 800/USA-AOPA.

HAVE YOU UPDATED YOUR AOPA MEMBER PROFILE?
To make the most of your membership and allow us to serve you better, please visit AOPA Online and update your personal member profile.

Training Products
PUT SUMPED FUEL IN ITS PLACE WITH SPORTY'S WASTE FUEL CAN
If your flight school students are dumping sumped fuel onto the tarmac during preflights, the Environmental Protection Agency soon could be knocking on your door. Better to give them a safe place to put waste fuel, such as Sporty's Waste Fuel Can, a leakproof polyethylene can that is prominently labeled "Dump Fuel Here." It comes in a two-gallon size for $105 or a five-gallon size that sells for $120. For more information or to order, see the Web site or call 800/SPORTYS (800/776-7897).

Final Exam
Question: I know that in just a few flight hours I will be cut loose to do my first solo. I'm looking forward to it but am also a little nervous. What information does AOPA have about the first solo flight?

Answer: AOPA has an online publication, Learning to Fly, which has lots of information on the various stages of flight training. The chapter on "Solo" will be of immediate interest to you, and the rest of the publication will be useful to you in the coming months. Also, be sure to take a look at AOPA's brand-new Flight Training Web site, which puts a wealth of information on soloing at your fingertips. Good luck and congratulations on the progress you're making in your flight training.

Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to askft@aopa.org 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.

Picture Perfect
The AOPA Online Gallery allows you to download your favorite aviation 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
Planning to take an FAA knowledge test in the near future? Download a list of testing sites from AOPA Online to find locations near you.

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

ePilot Calendar
FLYING DESTINATIONS THIS WEEKEND:
Nashua, New Hampshire. Aviation Safety Education Days takes place July 10 and 11 at Boire Field (ASH). Free programming for pilots and nonpilots, and a look at the FAA's own piece of history, its DC-3. Contact Julie Seltsam, 781/238-7389, or visit the Web site.

Heber City, Utah. The Heber Valley Air Show and Fly-in takes place July 10 at Heber City Municipal-Russ McDonald Field (36U). OK3AIR and the Heber Valley Air Museum present the Bombers. See the B-24 and B-17 grace the skies of beautiful Heber Valley. Bring family and friends for an exciting Saturday of history, flybys, and aerobatics. Contact Thorn Butler, 801/359-4840, or visit the Web site.

NEXT WEEKEND:
Casselton, North Dakota.
Planes on the Plains 2004 takes place July 18 at Casselton Robert Miller Regional (5N8). It's the eighteenth annual fly-in of EAA Chapter 317. Boy Scout pancake breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact Bob Miller, 701/347-5519, or visit the Web site.

La Grande, Oregon. The Celebration of Flight 2004 Fly-in takes place July 17 at La Grande/Union County (LGD). Events include a pancake breakfast, competition flying, scenic rides, safety seminar, PACE program, and other family fun events. Contact Katherine Bliss, 541/963-2070.

To submit an event to the calendar or to 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 Clinic is scheduled in Jacksonville, Florida, July 17 and 18. Clinics are also scheduled in Portland, Maine; Newark, New Jersey; and Memphis, Tennessee, July 24 and 25. 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 School will take place in Memphis, Tennessee, July 25. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 28 through 31. For complete details on topics and schedules, see AOPA Online.

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