July 7, 2006
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'MY CFI IS LEAVING!' A common thread in the student pilot experience is the sudden, unexpected departure of a flight instructor. Whether the CFI moved on, up, or out, the student is midway through training, discouraged and facing uncertainty. Fortunately, you can anticipate this problem and, if not prevent it, keep it from becoming a threat to your training. It is also another of the many good reasons to have a mentor and participate in AOPA's Project Pilot program, which you can learn about on the AOPA Flight Training Web site.
What are your flight instructor's personal career goals in aviation? If the airlines or charter pilot employment are where their sights are set, and instructing is providing the experience needed to qualify, they'll be "out of there" when the right opportunity appears. There's nothing wrong with learning to fly from them in the meantime if they are dedicated teachers. (See Julie Summers Walker's tabulation of desirable qualities in a flight instructor in her April 2001 AOPA Pilot article "The Right Stuff: Choosing a Flight Instructor.") But you certainly have a right to know the situation, so you can look after your own needs. Ask about it when you begin the relationship. Even if your CFI has no immediate plans to make a job change, getting a sense of the general turnover rate of flight instructors at the school where you train can help you guard against a sudden disruption.
Something else you can do is to take note for possible future reference of the other flight instructors on hand at your school (or elsewhere). Do this either through your casual contacts, word-of-mouth evaluations by your fellow students, or these CFIs' occasional participation in your training program. Perhaps they have answered a question for you about the weather, or checked your cross-country planning, or given you a formal or informal stage check, a process described in the November 15, 2002, Training Tips. Did they seem like people you could do business with?
It's a cold fact that many working CFIs will move on when opportunity beckons. Take preventive measures now to keep this known reality of aviation from slowing you down!
Have you checked out AOPA's Flight Training Web site? The "Resources for Student Pilots" section offers a wealth of learning tools arranged according to the five major phases of flight training: presolo, solo, maneuvers, cross-country, and flight test preparation. Each phase briefs you for the next, making you a more informed and better prepared student. Are you on a quest to master landings? Take a look at what our experts have to say about solo flying skills in the solo section.
Do you have a question? Call the experienced pilots in AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA. They're available to take your calls weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern. 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.
WILDFIRE TFRs DOT COUNTRY With the onset of summer and dry weather conditions, wildfires are burning in nearly a dozen states throughout the West along with Florida and Alaska. As the wildfire season continues to rage, general aviation pilots are advised to check for temporary flight restrictions. The size of the TFR can vary depending upon the extent of the fire. During your preflight briefing, specifically ask the flight service briefer for TFRs along your route of flight. You can also get a quick, easy-to-understand overview of all current and upcoming TFRs with AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner, free to all AOPA members. To gather more information about wildfires along your route, visit the National Fire News Web site, which provides wildfire locations, sizes, and percent of containment.
CESSNA JOINS SPORT PILOT MANUFACTURERS GROUP The Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association announced last week that Cessna Aircraft has joined the organization, which represents manufacturers and importers of light sport aircraft. The announcement comes shortly after Cessna's revelation in June that it will bring a full-scale proof-of-concept light sport airplane to EAA AirVenture this month. "We are very pleased to welcome Cessna to membership in LAMA," said Tom Gunnarson, president of the organization. "We have all the important producers in the emerging light sport aviation industry, so as Cessna studies the opportunities, we believe that aligning with LAMA was the right thing to do." LAMA's 96 members include most manufacturers or importers of special light sport aircraft, kit manufacturers, and other businesses serving recreational aviation.
BLACK PILOTS' ORGANIZATION ATTRACTS TEENS TO AVIATION Minority teenagers around the country are getting a hands-on introduction to aviation, thanks to the efforts of the Organization of Black Airline Pilots, Inc. The association sponsors a yearly series of weeklong aviation camps for children aged 13 to 18. The Aviation Career Education (ACE) Camps provide a variety of activities, including orientation flights in powered and glider aircraft, trips to military and commercial airfields, visits to aviation museums, and seminars focused on career topics. Thirty-two boys and nine girls took part in an ACE camp held June 26 through July 1 in Dover, Delaware, at Delaware Airpark near Cheswold. The campers capped off a week immersed in aviation by taking introductory flights in airplanes from Delaware State University's aviation program, according to a report in The News-Journal.
A QUICK AND EASY WAY TO RAMP UP YOUR GPS KNOWLEDGE Want to learn more about global positioning system receivers? There's a quick and easy way to expand your GPS knowledge. Take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's GPS Minicourse , the flagship of the new series of ASF minicourses. In just five to 15 minutes, this self-paced course will teach you the most often used functions of the Garmin 430/530 GPS panel-mount series, including the panel and button layout; the com and VHF nav radio tuning, proper use of the "direct-to" function, the "nearest airport" functions, and selecting GPS waypoints. The course includes a free downloadable quick reference card that you can carry in the cockpit. Watch for new minicourses on other popular panel-mount GPS units. For a more in-depth look at GPS operations, see the full-length course, GPS for VFR Operations.
BE THE FIRST TO KNOW RSS feeds are now streaming from AOPA Online. That means you can be the first to see general aviation news and everything else new posted to www.aopa.org as soon as it appears. What's RSS? Well, think of it as a headline service beaming into your desktop or browser. You choose what you want to see (there are thousands of RSS feeds out there, including ours). We're currently offering two feeds. "AOPA News" gives you a headline and a summary of every news story we post on the AOPA home page and AOPA members home page. "What's New @ AOPA Online" gives you all the news, plus everything else new or updated. See AOPA Online for simple instructions on how to take advantage of the AOPA RSS feeds.
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.
INSTRUMENT COVERS: HANDY TOOLS FOR PARTIAL-PANEL WORK If you are an instrument student, you can be sure that plenty of partial-panel practice is on your syllabus. That's when your instructor "fails" one or more of the instruments by covering it up to see how you'll compensate in your scan. This is a good time to use an instrument cover of some type-such as a round piece of paper with a sticky side to keep it in place. Instrument covers also come in handy if one of your instruments should fail in VFR flight-cover it until you land so that you won't reference the faulty display. Aviation Supplies and Academics' instrument covers are white with a pale-blue ASA logo, sold in four packs of 25 notes each for $6.95. Order online or call 800/272-2359.
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.
Answer: The test results you receive after completing an airman knowledge test will have a list of codes, which represent a specific topic, for any questions you answered incorrectly. Advisory Circular 60-25G contains the material subject matter codes for the airman knowledge tests and a list of reference materials where you can review information on a particular subject. For example, if the code H963 is listed on your test results, it would indicate you incorrectly answered a question on weather charts. To review airman knowledge test guides and sample knowledge test questions, see AOPA Online. AOPA members receive a $10 discount at a CATS testing center for any FAA airman knowledge test.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.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.
Arlington, Washington. The 38th Annual Arlington Northwest EAA Fly-In takes place July 5 through 9 at Arlington Municipal (AWO). This annual extravaganza includes airshows, vendors, forums, exhibits, and camping. For more information, contact Betty, 360/435-5857, or visit the Web site.
Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival takes place July 7 and 8 at Cape Girardeau Regional (CGI). The event begins on Friday evening with a spectacular night show, and continues on Saturday with day and evening performances. Performers to include: Aeroshell aerobatic team, Skip Stewart Airshows, World Parobatic Swoop Team, and much more! Contact Bruce Loy/Angela Ahrens, 573/334-6230, or visit the Web site.
St. Joseph, Missouri. The Sound of Speed Airshow and Fly-In takes place July 8 and 9 at Rosecrans Memorial (STJ). U.S. Representative Sam Graves will host his third annual fly-in in conjunction with the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri National Guard. Contact Congressman Graves' office, 816/233-9818, or visit the Web site.
Fredericksburg, Texas. The 2006 American Yankee Association International Convention takes place July 10 through 13 at Gillespie County (T82). For owners of American, Grumman, Gulfstream, American General, and Tiger light aircraft. Convention activities range from seminars and clinics to competitions and social events. Contact Denny Arar, 415/267-4546, or visit the Web site.
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 Jacksonville, Florida, and Portland, Maine, July 15 and 16. Clinics are also scheduled in Pittsburgh, and Memphis, Tennessee, July 22 and 23. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
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