AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 5, Issue 19

May 13, 2005

To view the AOPA ePilot archives, click here.

Volume 5, Issue 19 • May 13, 2005
In this issue:
Mobile flight school hits the road in Maryland
Cirrus simulator features parachute scenario
Airspace violation holds lesson for all pilots

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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.

Training Tips
SOFT LANDINGS
When your training takes up soft-field approaches and landings ("Soft Takeoffs" were discussed in the May 6, 2005, "Training Tips"), don't think of them as a procedure to demonstrate on your practical test and then discard. This maneuver, designed to meet nine objectives in Area of Operation 4, task D of the practical test standards, might well be named "soft-field, rough-field, and off-airport landings." Download the PTS.

Two characteristics set soft-field landings apart from other landings. The touchdown must be made as gradually as possible to protect the landing gear and avoid directional control problems on uneven ground. Also, a soupy surface requires that the airplane be kept moving at sufficient speed to taxi. "This is really a neat game where, as the airplane tries to slow down and settle onto the runway, we keep adding just enough power to hang it in the air only inches above the runway. But we don't want to keep it there. Gradually ease the throttle back just a little and let the airplane barely touch. The throttle will stay where it is or will be slightly increased, as you try to soften the touchdown and keep the nose up. Slowly ease the power further back and let the wheels settle on the rest of the way," Budd Davisson wrote in the October 2002 AOPA Flight Training feature "Field Work."

The connection between soft-field techniques and precautionary landings is not always pointed out. AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Thomas A. Horne did so in his August 1997 feature "Discretion and Precaution." Unlike an emergency landing, which must be executed immediately, a precautionary landing is performed when the pilot has more time to choose a place to set down-preferably an airport. But not always. If the landing must be off-airport, "you'll probably need to perform a soft-field landing, so be sure to have that procedure firmly in mind," Horne counseled. His article reviews basic techniques.

So soft-field landings are the special way to land at the many unpaved airports out there. Performing them is also a valuable skill for safe completion of a precautionary off-airport landing. Knowing this, tackle the maneuver in training and give it the attention that it deserves!

Your Partner in Training
If you're like most student pilots, radio communications can be particularly daunting. In fact, learning the ways of the radio can be as tough as mastering control of the airplane. Read on for some "com sense" advice. If you have any questions after visiting our site, call 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
IS FRACTIONAL FLYING FOR YOU?
Do you aspire to fly professionally but aren't attracted to the routine nature of airline flying? Perhaps working as a pilot at Bombardier Flexjet-which sells fractional shares of business jets to individuals and corporations, and then manages and operates the aircraft for their owners-will be your objective. Flexjet, which marks its tenth anniversary this month, operates a fleet of 80 Learjet and Challenger aircraft, and employs 350 pilots. But you won't fly for Flexjet right out of flight school. The company's hiring minimums are 2,500 hours of total time, 500 hours multiengine, and 500 hours of turbine experience, explained David Gross, general manager of flight operations. And the company, which emphasizes customer service and the ownership experience, values people skills as highly as applicants' pilot credentials. For more information on Flexjet, see the Web site.

MOBILE FLIGHT SCHOOL HITS THE ROAD IN MARYLAND
A flight school on wheels? The Mobile Training Unit (MTU) is a motor home that recently hit the road in Maryland. Designed to provide flight training for groups of one to seven people, the MTU is equipped with audiovisual equipment, Internet access, and wireless network connectivity so that instructors and students can get weather briefings and file flight plans. It also sports flight and communications simulators. Harry Kraemer, president of Kraemer Aviation Services, says the goal is to keep training costs at or below the fees charged by traditional fixed-base flight schools. "We are keeping our costs low by partnering with national organizations such as Sportsplanes.com and regional organizations such as CoFlight Sport Aviation," he said. "These organizations help to reduce the overhead of attracting new students through local and national marketing programs and allow us to offer discounts on training materials and other benefits to our students." For more information on the MTU, see CoFlight's Web site.

CIRRUS SIMULATOR FEATURES PARACHUTE SCENARIO
You may have flown a flight simulator, but you probably haven't had the opportunity to simulate deploying a parachute. Certified Flyers of Morristown, New Jersey, will debut a Level D full-motion Cirrus simulator at an open house May 20 to 21. The simulator features an airframe parachute system deployment scenario, and training will emphasize the decision-making process that leads to a parachute deployment. If you want to sit in the real thing, Cirrus Design's mobile showroom also is scheduled to be on hand. For more information, see the Web site.

Inside AOPA

AIRSPACE VIOLATION HOLDS LESSON FOR ALL PILOTS
Pilots must take responsibility for every part of their flight, including understanding local airspace, conducting proper flight planning, and managing navigation. That's the lesson all pilots can take from Wednesday's incursion into the flight-restricted airspace around Washington, D.C. "Every pilot is responsible for proper flight planning, and in today's security environment you just can't afford to make mistakes," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. The White House, Capitol, and Supreme Court were among the buildings evacuated when Hayden Sheaffer, a certificated pilot but not a flight instructor, as some media reported, and Troy Martin, a student pilot, strayed into the air defense identification zone (ADIZ) and within three miles of the Capitol in their Cessna 150. The two were flying from their home base at Pennsylvania's Smoketown Airport, to a fly-in in Lumberton, North Carolina, when they were intercepted by military aircraft and diverted to Maryland's Frederick Municipal Airport. See AOPA Online.

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
While there's no excuse for violating such highly publicized, sensitive airspace, there's also no excuse for getting the facts wrong. That's why, in the hours after the incident, AOPA President Phil Boyer and members of the AOPA media relations staff focused on correcting the many factual errors and misconceptions appearing in news reports. AOPA staff spoke with dozens of television networks, local television and radio stations, newspapers, and wire services in an effort to correct the sometimes-outrageous statements being made by so-called aviation experts with little or no understanding of general aviation. "A Cessna 150 is an extremely small two-seat airplane. Even fully loaded it weighs significantly less than a Honda Civic," Boyer explained. "It's simply incapable of doing much damage." In one case, law enforcement authorities indicated that the airplane had been stolen. In fact, both men on board were part owners of the airplane and had followed their flying club's scheduling procedures for the trip. See AOPA Online.

AOPA OFFERS TOOLS TO ENHANCE YOUR FLIGHT PLANNING
With temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) popping up across the country, pilots can't afford to take off on a cross-country without proper flight planning. Student pilots are taught from the outset to gain all information relevant to that flight before takeoff. AOPA offers several online tools in one location to ease and speed your flight planning. You'll find AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner, which graphically depicts TFRs; AOPA's Airport Directory Online, complete with airport diagrams; a notam page of anticipated and live TFRs; and graphical and textual weather data. Free online safety courses and an ADIZ course utilize an interactive format to keep you actively engaged in learning about airspace, ATC communication, FARs, and more. AOPA also sends ePilot airspace bulletins, notifying you of TFRs in your area.

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
'GPS TECHNIQUES' DVD FEATURES GLASS-PANEL TECHNOLOGY
Sporty's has updated the GPS Techniques installment of its Air Facts series on DVD to include glass panel technology as featured in the Garmin G1000 and Avidyne Entegra systems. In-flight footage using a Cessna 182 and Cirrus SR22 provides practical applications of the new technology. The two-program DVD also includes "GPS Approaches," which takes the viewer through the intricacies of the GPS approach, and "GPS En Route," which examines the full potential of GPS, whether panel mount or handheld. GPS Techniques sells for $25. Order online or call 800/SPORTYS.

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'm considering buying a handheld GPS. Does AOPA have any information on the various units available on the market?

Answer: AOPA's subject report on GPSs and MFDs (multifunction displays) has a section on handheld GPSs that links to many product reviews from AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training. The report also includes general information articles on GPS as well as links to GPS software and training materials and cockpit display units. Also available is the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's GPS Technology Safety Advisor.

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
Seemingly minor malfunctions can combine to create an accident chain. That's the hard lesson a glider pilot learned in the latest installment of "Never Again Online."

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

ePilot Calendar
UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS:
Lumberton, North Carolina. The Mid-Atlantic Fly-in and Sport Aviation Convention takes place May 12 through 15 at Lumberton Municipal (LBT). Fun, flying, forums, workshops, and food. New sport aircraft area. Contact Dale Faux or David Barker, 910/739-6480, or visit the Web site.

Hondo, Texas. The EAA Southwest Regional Fly-in takes place May 13 through 15 at Hondo Municipal (HDO). Featuring exhibitors, forums, airshow, camping, programs, flying, and fellowship. Visit the Web site.

Tallahassee, Florida. The Capital City AirFest takes place May 14 and 15 at Tallahassee Regional (TLH). Military and general aviation fly-in. Warbirds, homebuilts, and experimentals wanted. Visit the Web site.

Shafter, California. A Warbirds In Action Airshow takes place May 14 at Shafter-Minter Field (MIT). World War II European Theater Aircraft and other warbirds. Also U.S. Air Force F-16 Heritage Flight. Visit the Web site.

Excelsior Springs, Missouri. The Seventeenth Annual Antique and Classic Fly-in takes place May 20 and 21 at Excelsior Springs Memorial (3EX). Antique/classic aircraft fly-in. Barbeque Friday evening, breakfast and lunch Saturday, overnight camping available. Contact Art Gentry, 816/630-2369, or visit the Web site.

Carthage, Texas. The Celebration of Flight BalloonFest 2005 takes place May 20 through 22 at Panola County-Sharpe Field (4F2). Friday and Saturday evening: hot air balloon glow and live music. Saturday morning: balloon flights, airplane fly-in, motorcycles, dune buggies, mud trucks, and food. Sunday morning: balloon flight. Gate benefits scholarship fund. Contact Shelley Caraway, 903/984-4393.

Montgomery, New York. AviationExpo '05 takes place May 21 at Orange County (MGJ). Sponsored by the Orange County Pilots Association, EAA Chapter 1280, and the Civil Air Patrol. See an exciting aircraft display featuring classic aircraft and cutting-edge technology. On display will be an historic Cessna 195, Pitts Special, L-39 Alabatross trainer, Cessna 182 with G-1000 panel, and Cirrus SR-22 and G-2. The afternoon will feature a safety seminar about flying the New York VFR corridor. For more information, contact Howard Kave, 845/562-1234.

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 Sacramento, California; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; and Kansas City, Missouri, May 21 and 22. Courses are also scheduled in Phoenix, and San Jose, California, June 4 and 5. 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 in Morristown, New Jersey, and Providence, Rhode Island, May 16; Billerica, Massachusetts, and West Harrison, New York, May 17; Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Latham, New York, May 18; and North Syracuse, New York, May 19. The topics vary-for a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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