July 6, 2007
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In this issue: University of Cincinnati students receive scholarships AOPA's Cardinal opens its engine data logs Too hot to fly? Try an online course
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FUEL EXHAUSTION A student pilot who dedicates long hours to studying federal aviation regulations, cross-country planning, and aircraft performance may wonder how any pilot could encounter "fuel exhaustion." The truth is that running out of fuel is a continuing, avoidable piloting problem.
Under visual flight rules, a pilot must comply with this minimum standard from the federal aviation regulations: "No person may begin a flight in an airplane under VFR conditions unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming normal cruising speed—
"(1) During the day, to fly after that for at least 30 minutes; or
"(2) At night, to fly after that for at least 45 minutes."
Note that flight planning is a factor in this computation. The pilot must be aware of expected groundspeeds and the rate of fuel consumption associated with the selected cruise power setting. He or she must also know, not guess, how much fuel was in the aircraft at departure. See the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor, Fuel Awareness , to learn about fuel management.
Making good in-flight decisions is the next protective measure, as flight instructor Philip Moskal noted in the June 29, 2007, Training Tips. Click here to see his advice.
Building margins of error into your planning is a great insurance policy against fuel exhaustion. True, performance charts in your pilot's operating handbook gave you the values to plan. "But footnotes to the charts warned that the information was conditional. On loading. On outside air temperature being 'standard.' On using something called the 'recommended lean mixture for cruise.' And common sense told you that an old training aircraft with dings on its wings and an engine almost due for overhaul wouldn't slip through the ether exactly as it did when those charts were drawn up decades ago. The real lesson was that one way or another you, as a pilot, would have to stay on the good side of all these choices, considerations, and concerns," advised the June 2004 AOPA Flight Training feature " How not to run out of gas."
Extra-careful preflight is required for night flying. Organizing the cockpit (which includes making sure you have flashlights and plenty of fresh batteries to power them), choosing checkpoints, pondering emergency situations—the challenges are greater, but so are the freedoms. The special skills of night flying can only be acquired and maintained by taking frequent night flights. See the October 2002 AOPA Flight Training and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Hot Spot on night flying for more information.
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.
UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI STUDENTS RECEIVE SCHOLARSHIPS Three University of Cincinnati students who are enrolled in the professional pilot program have been awarded scholarships from Sporty's for the 2007-2008 academic year. They are Matt Bengel, 20, of Cincinnati; Alex Glueck, 29, originally from Farnborough, United Kingdom, and now residing in Cincinnati; and Steve Warther, 18, of Cincinnati. Bengel received a $5,000 Sporty's Scholarship funded by The Sporty's Foundation. His professional plans include a flying career with the military reserve and an airline. Glueck and Warther were each awarded $5,000 Vorbeck Aviation Scholarships. Glueck plans for a corporate flying career, and Warther hopes to fly either for the military or for a corporate employer.
COMM1 OFFERS FREE TRAINING POSTER TO FLIGHT SCHOOLS Attention flight schools: e-publishing group, developers of the Comm1 Radio Simulator product line, would like to send you a free poster that covers the basics of VFR phraseology. The company shipped more than 2,500 posters in an initial mailing to flight schools around the country. The 36-inch by 24-inch poster displays important frequencies and real-life communications scenarios. If you would like a copy, contact e-publishing group at 888/333-2855, or visit the Web site.
ABLE FLIGHT SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT EARNS CERTIFICATE Able Flight, a nonprofit organization that seeks to help disabled individuals learn to fly, has seen one of its very first scholarship recipients realize that goal. Brad Jones of Ty Ty, Georgia, passed his sport pilot checkride in June, just a few days after the one-year anniversary of the accident that left him partially paralyzed. Jones completed a month-long training program at Hanson Air Group at Cobb County-McCollum Field in Kennesaw, Georgia, flying a Sky Arrow. "It has boosted my confidence and what I feel I can do," Jones said. "Life is challenging for me every day, and I feel now that I am a pilot, there's nothing I can't do." For more information on Able Flight, see the Web site.
PROJECT PILOT MENTOR SHARES FUN, SUCCESS WITH FUTURE PILOT Encouraging student pilot Lee Welton throughout his flight training has been a rewarding experience for AOPA Project Pilot Mentor Bob Weingarten. "The greatest part of mentoring another, especially a friend, is that your success becomes their success," said Weingarten, adding that he believes in mentoring because "any new endeavor, whether recreational or business, can be lonely and intimidating." Welton, who completed his first solo in May, and Weingarten work for the same company where they met almost 10 years ago and continue to share their daily adventures with their peers. "A novice's experiences are legitimized and critiques mean a whole lot more coming from someone with whom you've established a positive relationship," said Weingarten. Support other future pilots through AOPA Project Pilot.
THE SWEEPS CARDINAL OPENS ITS ENGINE DATA LOGS Depending on what instrumentation your training airplane has, you soon learn what parameters are normal for the engine, such as oil temperature and pressure, exhaust gas temperatures, and cylinder head temperatures. Because we have a J.P. Instruments multi-probe engine monitor installed in the 1977 Cessna Cardinal we're refurbishing for this year's AOPA sweepstakes, we can keep a close eye on the engine as we break it in following installation. You can take a look at the logs we've posted in this week's sweepstakes update.
TOO HOT TO FLY? TRY AN ONLINE COURSE For those days when it's simply too hot (or too many thunderstorms are in the forecast) to climb into the cockpit, we offer another way to keep your head in the flying game: completing one of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online courses. If you haven't looked at the foundation's courses lately—or ever—you're in for a treat. There are now 14 full courses (and several minicourses) on topics as diverse as GPS, engine and propeller, airspace, weather, and runway signage. The fun, interactive graphical presentations are a good way to spend time on the ground when you can't fly. Most take 30 to 45 minutes, but your progress is saved so that you can leave and come back without losing your place. View the entire selection of online courses.
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.
'TEACHING CONFIDENCE IN THE CLOUDS' In a field awash with training products aimed at student pilots of all levels, along comes a product from Aviation Supplies and Academics, Inc., designed not for the student, but for the teacher—specifically, flight instructors who teach instrument flying. Teaching Confidence in the Clouds, by Tom Gilmore, is described as an instructor's guide to using desktop flight simulators. The book was written to offer real-life applications of computer desktop flight simulators and flight training devices as they relate to current methods of instrument training. It includes scenario-based training concepts, assignments, and instructor tips. It sells for $19.95 and can be ordered online from ASA.
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.
Question: While I'm comfortable in the cockpit performing the various piloting tasks my instructor has taught me, I would like more information on decision making and how to recognize changes in flight that could impact safety if not addressed early on.
Answer: The FAA's DECIDE model can help you evaluate each situation and determine the best course of action, as well as to ascertain how that decision might affect other phases of the flight. As the flight progresses, you can continue to evaluate the outcome of the decision. The "decide model" consists of several steps: Detect the fact that a change has occurred; Estimate the need to counter or react to the change; Choose a desirable outcome for the success of the flight; Identify actions that could successfully control the change; Do the necessary action to adapt to the change; and Evaluate the effect of the action. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor, Do The Right Thing—Decision Making For Pilots , discusses more on this important pilot skill.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to email@example.com 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.
Watch an AOPA Pilot Online video, an interactive version of a story in the magazine, as ground-based pilots take an unmanned aerial vehicle on a Customs and Border Protection mission. In July's AOPA Pilot, author Jason Paur gives you an inside look at how General Atomics pilots fly the aircraft, known as "The Predator," in "Beyond the Border: UAVs are unmanned but not unpiloted." Visit AOPA Pilot Online for other new audio and video features.
Cape Girardeau, MO. The Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival takes place July 6 and 7 at Cape Girardeau Regional (CGI). Contact Bruce Loy or Angie Ahrens, 573/334-6230.
Roswell, NM. The Roswell Airfest 2007 takes place July 6 and 7 at Roswell International Air Center (ROW). Contact Jennifer Brady, 505/347-5703.
Lompoc, CA. The Twenty-third Annual West Coast Piper Cub Fly-In takes place July 6 through 8 at Lompoc (LPC). Contact Bruce Fall, 805/733-1914, or visit the Web site.
Mattoon, IL. The Annual Wings Weekend takes place July 13 and 14 at Coles County Memorial (MTO). Contact Dale Rust, 217/524-5269.
Tarkio, MO. The EAA Annual Flying Circus and Congressional Fly-In takes place July 14 at Gould Peterson Memorial (K57). Contact Brooks, 660/244-6927.
Grand Junction, CO. The Commemorative Air Force Open House takes place July 12 at Walker Field (GJT). Contact Collin Fay, 970/254-0444.
To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Newark, NJ, and Memphis, TN, July 21 and 22. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
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AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.