Safety courses keep hectic student sharp between lessons

August 6, 2008

Running a business, racing motorcycles, and taking care of a farm limit the amount of time Carrie Tate can focus on flight training. Sometimes, she has to go two to three weeks without flying.

“It puts me at a disadvantage,” said Tate. But the Mount Vernon, Ark., resident found a new way to stay up to speed during the off times—studying with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s online courses.

During AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., last week, Tate stopped by AOPA’s Big Yellow Tent and got a demo of the foundation’s Know Before You Go course.

Tate said that she typically understands how things work; however, she was having difficulty wrapping her mind around airspace. That is until she took the course.

“The graphics are fantastic,” she said. “It [the airspace] made sense immediately.”

Tate also likes the convenience of the courses.

“I’m a night owl, so I can do it at midnight.”

While Tate flies with her husband Kerry, also a pilot, in their Piper Warrior II, most of the flights are in clear conditions, so she hasn’t had to learn much about how the weather can affect aviation yet. She plans to study the foundation’s series of Weather Wise courses to augment that part of her training.