AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 5, Issue 25

June 24, 2005

To view the AOPA ePilot archives, click here.

Volume 5, Issue 25 • June 24, 2005
In this issue:
Experience a cross-country air race on AOPA Online
Purdue Airport named aviation historical site
Light-sport airplanes visit AOPA headquarters

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Training Tips
TOWBARS TO THE RESCUE
Maybe you fly from a swanky flight school where your training aircraft always awaits you just the way you need it, fueled to your specifications, engine oil levels full, windshield sparkling. Perhaps you aviate in more of a do-it-yourself environment where you see to your own needs, including sometimes having to move your airplane onto the ramp with the help of your instructor or a line attendant. In either case, once you start flying to new destinations, you can be sure that you will someday find yourself maneuvering your aircraft on a crowded ramp into a tight parking spot. To avoid damaging your aircraft or someone else's, and to maneuver into tight parking most effectively, there's nothing like a towbar. Make sure you have one aboard. Then haul it out and use it when parking or preparing to depart from snug surroundings.

"Towbars are essential gear for ground handling, and untold numbers of prop spinners have been damaged when someone decided to move an airplane by pushing on the spinner. The damage may not be immediately apparent, but chances are good that the backing plate will be weakened or cracked by this kind of maneuver. Likewise, horizontal stabilizers have been damaged when someone lifts the nose of an aircraft to pivot it around," wrote Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, in his February 2001 "Instructor Report" column in AOPA Flight Training. That may seem surprising considering how often some pilots manipulate aircraft this way. A look at your aircraft's pilot's operating handbook (POH), however, will probably reveal a recommendation to use a towbar when possible. And the foundation's Safety Advisor on propeller safety also argues persuasively against using the prop as a ground-handling device. Download it from the AOPA Online Safety Center.

Consult your aircraft's POH to learn the limits on how far you can turn the nosewheel during a tow. For example, the 1980 Cessna 152's limit is 30 degrees. After positioning for parking, complete the process by securely tying down the aircraft, as discussed in the January 23, 2004, Training Tips. Later, when preparing to depart from tight quarters, haul out the towbar again and position your aircraft for an engine startup that will respect the safety of people and property nearby.

Your Partner in Training
You've decided to learn to fly this summer. Now for the big debate: Should you learn to fly at a towered or nontowered airport? Get some practical advice and insight from the archives of AOPA Flight Training magazine. For additional information on learning to fly, see AOPA Flight Training Online. Still have questions? Call our aviation experts at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time.

As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online and AOPA Flight Training Online. Login information is available online.

Flight Training News
EXPERIENCE A CROSS-COUNTRY AIR RACE ON AOPA ONLINE
If you're looking for excitement mixed with pilot camaraderie, an air race is hard to pass up. But if you couldn't make it to this year's all-female Air Race Classic-or you lack the basic required equipment to compete-you can still find out what's happening. AOPA Pilot Technical Editor Julie Boatman joined a team of racers competing in the twenty-ninth annual event and has posted photos and updates on AOPA Online. Read her insider's reports from the four-day race.

PURDUE AIRPORT NAMED AVIATION HISTORICAL SITE
Purdue Airport in West Lafayette, Indiana, the nation's first airport to be owned and operated by a university, will be named to a list of historical aviation sites on June 25. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is recognizing the airport for significant contributions to the history and development of the aviation industry and space exploration. The recognition ceremony is part of a week of activities surrounding the Air Race Classic. John Norberg, a senior writer at Purdue who has chronicled the university's history in aviation, says many people refer to Purdue as the "Cradle of Astronauts" because of 22 alumni who have been chosen for the space program. But, he says, you could also call Purdue the "Cradle of Pilots": "To this day, if you fly on a commercial plane, there is a good chance that there is at least one Purdue graduate in the cockpit."

GAMA CHOOSES AVIATION EXCELLENCE AWARD RECIPIENT
Andrew Cousins of Newberry, South Carolina, is the 2005 recipient of the Edward W. Stimpson Aviation Excellence Award. The annual award is sponsored by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Cousins is bound for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University this fall, where he plans to earn a bachelor's degree in aeronautical science and hopes to become a corporate pilot. GAMA's panel of aviation professionals chose Cousins because he maintained a solid scholastic record while taking college courses and participating in church- and community-related activities.

TEN-MONTH SUSPENSION FOR PENNSYLVANIA PILOT
Hayden "Jim" Sheaffer and the FAA reached an agreement in which Sheaffer will surrender his private pilot certificate for 10 months following a May 11 incident during which he and a student-pilot companion violated restricted airspace around the nation's capital. In exchange for Sheaffer's agreement to drop his appeal of the revocation of his certificate, the FAA will permit Sheaffer to reapply for his privileges after 10 months instead of the usual 12. The FAA took no action against student pilot Troy Martin, because Sheaffer was the only one who could have been pilot in command (although the FAA also contended that Sheaffer wasn't current to carry a passenger). For more, see the story on AOPA Online.

Inside AOPA

LIGHT-SPORT AIRPLANES VISIT AOPA HEADQUARTERS
A new generation of aircraft from around the world converged on AOPA headquarters at Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland on Monday during a special light-sport aircraft event. Airplanes made in Italy, Australia, the Czech Republic, and the United States lined AOPA's ramp. The event, organized in conjunction with the Light Sport Manufacturers Association, was designed to help AOPA staff members become better acquainted with this new category of aircraft. See photos of the airplanes and learn more about their flight characteristics on AOPA Online.

HOW SAFE IS LEARNING TO FLY?
Student pilots-and their instructors-are actually less likely to have a fatal accident than already-certificated pilots, according to a new study by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Flight Instruction Safety: An In-Depth Look at Instructional Accidents also identifies the four phases of instructional flight most likely to result in accidents. Flight training accounts for 22 percent of flying but is only responsible for 13 percent of the accidents. While it's no surprise, most of the accidents occurred during the takeoff and landing phases of flight. The report covers both dual and solo flight. Download the document from the AOPA Online Safety Center.

AN ADDED INCENTIVE TO RENEW YOUR CFI CERTIFICATE
Renew your pilot certificate in July or August and receive a free Maneuvering Flight-Hazardous to Your Health? DVD valued at $19.95 from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. This is for in-person Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic (FIRC) attendees only. See AOPA Online for complete FIRC information.

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
TRY SOME NEW TRIP IDEAS ON LAMINATED MAP
If your flight school needs some functional wall decor, here's a full-color plastic laminated map of the United States that shows time zones, selected VORs, and landmarks like major cities, rivers, mountains, lakes, national parks, and ski areas. Obviously it doesn't depict such things as temporary flight restrictions and other prohibited airspace, so you'll need to purchase the appropriate charts for a journey, but this map could provide a starting point by allowing you to mark tentative routes in grease pencil, then wipe them away. It measures 26 inches by 52 inches and sells for $38.50. Order it online from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty.

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.

Final Exam
Question: I am not yet a pilot, and I am interested in earning a sport pilot certificate. Does AOPA have information on what training is required?

Answer: A sport pilot applicant will need to have at least 20 hours of total flight time and 15 hours of flight training from an instructor, plus meet other aeronautical knowledge training requirements. Unlike other pilot certificate levels (i.e., recreational, private, commercial, or airline transport pilot) that require a pilot to hold a medical certificate, the sport pilot certificate requires the pilot to hold a valid U.S. driver's license. For additional information, read AOPA's recently updated publication, Learning to Fly and see AOPA's Sport Pilot Web page.

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 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 images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online.

What's New At AOPA Online
"Are we there yet?" Get timely tips on traveling safely and comfortably with children, family, and pets in AOPA's updated aviation subject report.

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

ePilot Calendar
UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS:
Marysville, Ohio. The Ohio Aerobatic Open takes place June 25 and 26 at Union County (MRT). Ohio IAC Chapter 34 hosts its annual aerobatic contest. Primary through unlimited pilots will be competing for first- through third-place trophies. Barbeque lunch served on Saturday for $5. Visit the Web site.

Davenport, Iowa. The Quad City Airshow takes place June 25 and 26 at Davenport Municipal (DVN). Featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds with Iowa native Lt. Col. Michael Chandler. Visit the Web site.

Denver, Colorado. The Rocky Mountain EAA Regional Fly-in takes place June 25 and 26 at Front Range (FTG). Enjoy a weekend of aviation fun and education for the whole family. The event features aircraft displays, children's activities, aviation exhibits, safety seminars, Young Eagles, a daily airshow, and more! Contact Rick Brohl, 303/507-8460, or visit the Web site.

Medford, Oregon. The 2005 Rogue Valley Air Festival takes place June 25 and 26 at Rogue Valley International-Medford (MFR). A family air festival with static displays of military, antique, experimental, special-interest, and other aircraft. Contact PRO 1 Events, 888/776-3868, or visit the Web site.

Benton, Pennsylvania. The "Out Among The Stars" Bluegrass Festival takes place June 30 through July 3 at Benton (PA40). The festival is on the Benton Rodeo Grounds, which is collocated on the airport. Bring your RV or your airplane. Sleep under a wing after going to the jams until the wee hours. Contact Cecil, 908/464-9495, or visit the Web site.

Boise, Idaho. Wings of Freedom 2005 takes place July 5 through 7 at Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Field (BOI). The Collings Foundation brings its Boeing B-17 and Consolidated B-24 to Boise for three days! Tours are available: adults $8, children $4, rides $400 (tax deductible). Contact Ponderosa Aero Club, 208/344-5401.

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

FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Portland, Maine, and Memphis, Tennessee, July 9 and 10. Courses are also scheduled in Jacksonville, Florida; Pittsburgh; and Seattle, July 16 and 17. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.

AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled to take place during EAA Airventure, July 28 through 30 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The topics vary-for a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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