May 1, 2007
Julie K. Boatman
If you're old enough, you may recall self-paced Jeppesen Sanderson training programs at your local flight school. An audiotape would present information and beep periodically to advance a coordinated filmstrip. Jeppesen is returning to that market with its first product, transition training for new Cirrus owners.
The technology has changed a bit since the era of filmstrips, and is Web based. Teaching and learning theories have changed, too. The new course integrates risk management, single-pilot resource management, and decision-making concepts. It also teaches flow patterns, used to perform cockpit checklist items in an orderly progression across the panel. Although those early Jeppesen talking filmstrips did include scenario training (the creation of a real-world flight to introduce key concepts and technology), the new course takes that concept to new levels and customizes the course to individual pilot needs. There is also a course for instructors that promotes standardization of Cirrus training.
New to flying and to the Cirrus? Your online course will be different than that of the high-time pilot preparing for instrument training. The $600 online course is coordinated with flight training and can cost a total of $3,000 in the course of a year (which includes flight instruction in the airplane). The goal is to get Cirrus pilots thinking about a long-term approach to training. A new Cirrus pilot might purchase the online course, then take a few days of training at the factory, follow that three months later with an online refresher course, and nine months after that, take a skills proficiency check in the airplane. Another important goal is to reach owners of used Cirrus aircraft who may not be aware of factory training.
Instructors can check online to see how a pilot is progressing with the course, and determine what areas gave the pilot trouble. The training creates a record that becomes part of the pilot's history.
Each online course takes eight hours to complete and includes 12 months of access to the online course and a three-month subscription to Jeppesen's Internet Flight Planner. Jeppesen isn't saying whether it has other aircraft manufacturers in mind for additional transition training programs, but many of the modules such as risk assessment are generic and can be used with courses for other models of aircraft. — Alton K. Marsh Price: $600 Contact: 800/525-7379 or 303/328-6934; e-mail: email@example.com
2006 National Flight Instructor of the Year Rich Stowell specializes in spin and upset recovery training. He saw a need for a comprehensive text that would address spins through aviation history, take a look at the accident data and training curricula, and come to conclusions about what we need to do to ensure our safety and proficiency for stalls and spins in airplanes. The answer to that need is Stowell's new book The Light Airplane Pilot's Guide to Stall/Spin Awareness.
Stowell begins with a historical perspective, giving an overview of spins and how they have related to aircraft certification and aeronautical knowledge. Then he delves into accident statistics, including studies of stalls and spins over the years. Stowell draws from many of them to make his case: Pilots need to take charge of their spin education, because the current flight-training curricula given in the United States don't adequately address the problem.
Stowell explores the spin envelope with a section on spin research involving several popular makes and models of aircraft, plus the physiology and human factors relating to spins, and spin flight-test requirements.
You'll learn stall and spin dynamics, procedures, and the PARE spin recovery checklist (power — off; ailerons — neutral; rudder — full and opposite direction of spin; and elevator — through neutral).
Stowell also discusses spin-resistant designs such as those built by the Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Co. and Cirrus Design. Appendices show spin data for several aircraft, including a section on the Piper Tomahawk (a 1970s' trainer), information on spins in light twins, and the text of Advisory Circular 61-67C, "Stall and Spin Awareness Training."
A more complete education on spins has not been compiled in one book. Price: $34.95 Contact: 800/869-6627 or 805/525-2037; www.richstowell.com
Flight1 Aviation Technologies, a division of Flight1 Software, provides world-class flight simulation programs for general aviation applications, including flight schools and pilot training.
The latest development from Flight1 Tech is its Avidyne FlightMax Entegra EXP5000 PFD Interactive Courseware, a DVD-based program that helps pilots of aircraft with Avidyne's "glass cockpit" primary flight displays (PFDs) understand the system. The course focuses on the EXP5000 installed in various Cirrus, Columbia, and Piper aircraft models.
Avidyne FlightMax Entegra EXP5000 PFD Interactive Courseware assumes the user is already a pilot, but both students and new instrument pilots should find the program useful with the aforementioned training aircraft, especially when used with an instructor's guidance. The course makes for an excellent ground-school session — or several — as well as home study.
The FITS-accepted course progresses through a system overview, use of the PFD in various flight regimes, and the PFD's failure modes and emergency operation. Through video and audio, the course covers the smallest details of the PFD in depth, and tests the user at the end of each segment. You must answer eight of the 10 questions correctly before you can proceed in the course. A certificate of completion can be printed out upon finishing the course. Price: $149.95 Contact: 877/727-4568; www.flight1tech.com
Aircraft Spruce & Specialty offers Gentco nitrogen tire inflation systems for light aircraft that allow for utilization of this inert gas. The systems include a high-pressure tank with stand, a 6-foot hose, a single-stage regulator, and a tire inflator with a dial pressure gauge. Price: $247 and $329; $144 for accessory kits Contact: 877/477-7823 or 951/372-9555; www.aircraftspruce.com
Control Vision has released the latest version of its AnywhereMap software for personal digital assistants (PDAs), which includes 40 customer-driven enhancements to the product. The company also offers the HP iPaq 5915 Travel Companion in packages with its flight-planning, moving-map, and weather software. Price: from $795 for 5915 packages Contact: 800/292-1160; www.anywheremap.com
Unless otherwise stated, products listed have not been evaluated by AOPA Pilot editors. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors. However, members unable to get satisfaction regarding products listed should advise AOPA. To submit products for evaluation, contact: New Products Editor, AOPA Pilot, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, Maryland 21701; telephone 301/695-2350. Links to all Web sites referenced in this issue can be found on AOPA Online.
FAA Information and Services,
Safety and Education,
Pilot Health and Medical
The FAA on Feb. 23 issued a special airworthiness information bulletin recommending preflight inspection of Robinson R44 and R44 II main rotors.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) talks about the Pilots Bill of Rights II, which includes a provision to allow private pilots to fly an aircraft with up to six seats, weighing up to 6,000 pounds, VFR or IFR, without a third class medical certificate. The bill also reforms the NOTAM system, and provides more legal protections for pilots accused of regulatory infractions.
AOPA told lawmakers that a tax-abatement bill introduced in Nevada would stimulate aviation business and make more services available to members.
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