October 28, 2011
In This Issue: NBAA awards scholarships Join ‘Flight Training’ editors for Facebook chat Want to avoid runway incursions?
You’re stuck. Something’s just not clicking, and it’s getting you down. Whether it’s an aerodynamic concept, a difficult bit of terminology, or that you can’t make a decent crosswind landing or hold altitude during a steep turn, frustration has set in. Progress isn’t happening, and time is marching on. What now?
First, take a deep breath, and behold the silver lining. Beneath the surprise and disappointment of a learning plateau, or an unnerving experience that has left you blocked, there’s already ample evidence of how far you have come—and will shortly go.
This is crunch time for your flight instructor. How is he or she responding to your crisis? Is there a plan? Addressing this challenge should be a goal-oriented, judgment-free process. Be candid. Examine whether the problem is an isolated occurrence or a symptom of shortcomings in teaching, course structure, the flight schedule, instructor-student dynamics, or your own approach to studying.
Then try magic. Often, a change of pace can make a problem that is eating away your optimism simply vanish. Take some time off. Focusing on life’s other obligations and pleasures can rob training frustrations of their immediacy and urgency.
On your return to the airport, fly with a different instructor once or twice. No matter what you do on those flights, it will redirect your thinking and refresh your perspective.
Arrange to ride as a back-seat observer on another student’s dual instructional flight. Your confidence in your own skill will return after witnessing someone else laboring to acquire it—guaranteed.
Talking it out with a peer may help. Fortunately, there is much support available if you reach out, whether in aviation discussion groups or within your local airport community. Then your biggest challenge will be weeding out the more off-label remedies that will inevitably be offered for what ails you. (That too is a learning experience.)
To revisit for a moment the issue of seeking another instructor’s assistance: Typically, CFIs command the respect of their students, who show loyalty by shunning other advice (and springing for the coffee after a flight). That’s admirable—especially buying the coffee—but don’t let blind loyalty bog you down when another point of view may solve the mystery. Your own instructor may even have a trusted mentor in mind for the job!
Is there frost on the pumpkins in your neighborhood? Is a review of cold-weather operations in order? See the many resources offered by the Air Safety Institute, including a recorded Webinar, safety publications, and online courses on precipitation and in-flight icing; and safety briefs on wing contamination and braking action. It’s all online.
Did you know that student pilots who join AOPA are three times more likely to complete their flight training? Membership includes unlimited access to aviation information by phone (800/USA-AOPA, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time) or from Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you're not already a member, join today and get the pilot’s edge. Login information is available online.
Five college students have received scholarships through the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the association announced Oct. 19. The five are studying aviation curricula at NBAA and University Aviation Association member institutions. They are Elyse Hildebrandt, a junior majoring in aviation flight science at Western Michigan University; Amber Lloyd, a junior at Purdue University majoring in professional flight technology with a minor in Japanese; Nicole Maillet, a senior majoring in aviation management at Florida Institute of Technology; Zachary Waller, a senior at the University of North Dakota majoring in unmanned aircraft; and Charles Zera, a senior majoring in flight science at Western Michigan University. Applications for the 2012 NBAA/UAA Janice K. Barden Aviation Scholarship were released earlier this year and are due to NBAA by Nov. 1. For more information or to download the application, visit the official Barden scholarship Web page.
Real-world emergencies are rare, but they don’t always happen to “other pilots,” and a little preparation can make a big difference when things start to go downhill. Join Air Safety Institute Chief Flight Instructor JJ Greenway and air traffic controller Andy Marosvari on Thursday, Nov. 3, at 3 and 8 p.m. Eastern time (noon and 5 p.m. Pacific) for a fast-paced hour of tips on handling critical situations in the cockpit, sponsored by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Register online >>
Join Flight Training Deputy Editor Ian J. Twombly and Associate Editor Jill W. Tallman for the very first Flight Training Facebook chat. The editors will take questions live from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Twombly and Tallman are ready to talk about the November issue of Flight Training or any other training topics you'd like to discuss. Simply log in to Facebook and go to the Flight Training page.
Florida high school student Daniel Beavers soloed in September at Peter O. Knight Airport in Tampa, Fla. What makes this more than your average solo story is that Beavers is a student at Robinson High School’s MacDill Aeronautical Academy, a career and technical program. And his flight lessons are funded by a grant from an anonymous Robinson alumnus who is an avid pilot, according to the South Tampa News & Tribune. The donor hopes to inspire other young people to learn to fly.
Elizabeth City (N.C.) State University’s aviation science program took delivery of a new Cessna 172 SP on Oct. 10, and the program took advantage of homecoming festivities to introduce its airplanes to the entire campus. Two 172s were parked outside Roebuck Stadium for alumni and students to view, the college said. ECSU says it is the only university in the University of North Carolina system that offers a bachelor of science degree in aviation science.
Runway incursions continue to plague general aviation; more than 75 percent of them are caused by GA pilots. More often than not, they are unintentional and simply the result of pilots' uncertainty as to where they need to be or what ATC expects them to do. What should you do if you find yourself in a taxi situation that you're unsure about? Ask ATC, brought to you by the Air Safety Institute, has the answer! Listen to a controller describe the most common mistake pilots make when it comes to runway incursions, and how you can avoid it. Watch AOPA Live® >>
Save $50 on a weekly rental at the airport when you include PC# 162820 in your reservation of an economy through full-size vehicle or small SUV. This offer is valid for vehicle pickup Oct. 15 through Dec. 15. A portion of all revenue generated will be returned to AOPA and reinvested to support the association’s daily efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of general aviation. Reserve your car today >>
AOPA makes buying holiday gifts for your pilot family and friends easy—and you don’t have to battle the mall crowds. The AOPA Store lets you shop for all kinds of AOPA merchandise from your computer. All items in the AOPA Store were selected and tested by pilots for pilots. Choose from among wallets, ramp pass inserts, watches, doormats, and dozens of other items. The proceeds from every sale benefit the work of AOPA. Your purchase could help save an airport, attract a new pilot, or affect legislation. To date, proceeds from the sale of AOPA merchandise have contributed $500,000 to AOPA’s efforts to keep GA flying safe and affordable. Visit the AOPA Store >>
Sporty’s has released a training syllabus that guides students through the process of using Microsoft Flight Simulator as a training tool. It includes 15 lesson plans, each with suggested maneuvers, completion standards, and study resources. Also included is a scenario disc that supports Microsoft Flight Simulator X. Both guide and disc integrate into Sporty’s complete flight training kit. The syllabus sells for $34.95. 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.
Question: The other day I flew over an airport with a segmented circle. I expected to see traffic pattern indicators; however, there were none. What gives?
Answer: A segmented circle without traffic pattern indicators implies that you should fly a standard left-hand traffic pattern for the runway in use. Left-hand traffic is standard, so in the absence of other indications a pilot should make all turns to the left. Right-hand traffic patterns, by default, are considered to be nonstandard patterns. For more on airport operations read the Air Safety Institute’s Safety Advisors on operations at nontowered airports and operations at towered airports.
Got a question for our technical services staff? Email 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.
Chip Wright discusses why the public holds pilots to a higher, nonscandalous standard; and Jill W. Tallman talks about the importance of conquering wind aversion in this week’s Flight Training blog.
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a director of media relations, AOPA Live producer/videojournalist, Web business analyst, medical certification assistant, associate editor–Web, associate editor–Web/ ePilot, .Net developer, aviation technical specialist, and manager of airspace and modernization. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
Pilots love to take photos, and they love to share them with other pilots. Now you can upload your flying photos to our online gallery, “Air Mail.” Share your special aviation images, or view and rate more than 8,500 photos (and growing). Photos are put into rotation on the AOPA home page!
Want something to do this weekend? Planning an aviation getaway? See your personalized online calendar of events . We’ve enhanced our calendar so that with one click you can see all of the events listed in the regions you selected when personalizing ePilot . Now you can browse events in your region to make planning easier. You can also bookmark the personalized calendar page to check it as often as you want. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.
To include an event or to search all events in the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA Airports.
The next Air Safety Institute Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Corpus Christi, Texas, Oct. 29 and 30; Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 5 and 6; Anchorage, Alaska, San Diego, Calif., and Ashburn, Va., Nov. 12 and 13; Albuquerque, N.M., and Austin, Texas, Nov. 19 and 20; and Denver, Colo., Orlando, Fla., and Northbrook, Ill., Dec. 3 and 4. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Can’t make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars are scheduled in Pensacola, Fla., Greenville, S.C., and Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 1; Birmingham, Ala., Atlanta, Ga., and Boise, Idaho, Nov. 2; Hunstville, Ala., Marietta, Ga., and Pocatello, Idaho, Nov. 3; Pikeville, N.C., Nov. 5; Ypsilanti, Mich., and Jamestown, N.C., Nov. 7; Charlotte, N.C., and Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 8; Fletcher, N.C., and Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 9; and Indianapolis, Ind., Nov. 10.
Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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