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Copyright ï¿½ 2002 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| DIFFERENT AIRCRAFT |
If you have flown more than one aircraft during your training, you may have noticed that even two examples of the same make and model can be very different. Two externally identical airplanes, even of the same model year, may have so many differences–the navigation radios aboard, STOL (short takeoff and landing) modifications, or the presence of optional long-range fuel tanks, for instance–that operating limitations and handling may differ drastically.
You will be tested on your knowledge of the particulars for your aircraft. "Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar with all available information concerning that flight," says Federal Aviation Regulation 91.103 governing preflight action. Meeting this responsibility begins with a study of the operating and performance limitations of each aircraft you fly. This includes the pilot's operating handbook (POH), and up-to-date weight-and-balance figures. Both are required to be available in the cockpit along with the airworthiness certificate and registration papers. Not a generic POH or sample weight-and-balance sheet, but the actual numbers for this aircraft. As noted, they can vary considerably from average figures depending on installed equipment or modifications.
Weight and balance planning is particularly important and is a component of the Private Pilot Knowledge Test. You will probably have to perform a load calculation during the oral phase of your flight test, too, based on a scenario posed by your examiner. Review calculation methods, and the relationship between weight and balance and aircraft performance and stability, in The Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge ( click here to download). During your oral exam, or for home study, an excellent resource for definitions and weight-and-balance terminology is the AOPA Pilot's Handbook .
While these calculations are time consuming and can be redundant if you frequently fly the same airplane at similar weights and center-of-gravity (CG) positions, knowing whether you are within your useful load and CG moment envelope are essential. See the December 1999 AOPA Flight Training article "Calculating Weight and Balance in Advance" for convenient ways to apply these techniques in the field. Pilots flying older aircraft should add a margin of error for the loss of performance that comes with time and wear. See how in the AOPA Pilot discussion titled "Book versus Reality." If a "new" airplane has equipment that is new or unfamiliar to you, ask your instructor about its operation–you'll want to maximize its capabilities, and you'll have to be able to explain the installed equipment to the examiner when the day of your checkride arrives.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Here's the scenario: It's almost time for your cross-country solo, so in preparation you'll be planning and flying cross-countries with your instructor. The use of aeronautical charts is key at this point in your training. Log on to AOPA Online and you'll find the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide to be a useful learning aid and reference tool. If you have any questions, don't forget that our experienced pilots are available to answer your questions at 800/872-2672 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time. |
As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. For login information, click here.
| Flight Training News |
| HIGH SCHOOLERS TAKE OFF AT SUMMER CAMP |
Can you imagine flying an airplane for the first time during summer camp–as a high-schooler? A handful did just that, during Southern Illinois University Carbondale's weeklong Summer Wings Camp. Participants received ground training, logged simulator time, and on the camp's second day began flying airplanes. On the final day, the students were scheduled to plan and fly a 50-mile cross-country but storms cancelled the flight; students logged more simulator time instead. A maximum of 10 students can participate in the camp, which was last offered in 1988.
NEW HAMPSHIRE SCHOOL ADDS MORE CFIs
Daniel Webster College recently started training 25 new flight instructors in preparation for the incoming 2007 graduating class. This brings the flight instructor core at the Nashua, New Hampshire, college up to 50 flight instructors, supporting 275 Aviation Flight Operations majors. The school reports that inquiries about professional pilot careers have actually increased since September 11, 2001, and steady growth in the college's aviation program has created a need for new instructors. The new CFIs attend 18 credit hours of graduate-level courses to help them teach more effectively in the college's fleet, which consists of 19 Cessna 172s, four Grob 109B motorgliders, five Cap 10B aerobatic trainers, four Mooney M20Js, and three twin-engine Cessna T303s. Almost half of the new instructors are Daniel Webster graduates.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA SUES MICHIGAN OVER PILOT BACKGROUND LAW |
AOPA filed suit August 2 in federal court challenging a Michigan law requiring felony background checks for flight school students. "AOPA is a strong advocate for reasonable measures to enhance aviation security," said AOPA President Phil Boyer, "but the Michigan law is unneeded and violates federal law." AOPA contends that the state law is unconstitutional because it attempts to legislate in a field that is preempted by federal law. That's a violation of Article VI, Clause 2 (the "supremacy clause") of the U.S. Constitution. See AOPAï¿½Online.
SPORTY's HEAD BACKS AOPA's RECREATIONAL PILOT PETITION
Hal Shevers, founder of Sporty's Pilot Shop, has come out in strong support of an AOPA petition that would allow recreational pilots to use a driver's license as valid medical certification. Under the AOPA petition recreational pilots would be able to exercise their privileges without having to undergo an FAA third class medical examination every two or three years. The medical requirement is one of the biggest reasons why there are fewer than 400 recreational pilots in the United States today, 14 years after the certificate was established. See AOPAï¿½Online.
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| Training Products |
| GARMIN INTERACTIVE TRAINER INTRODUCED |
Pegasus Interactive, Inc., of West Chester, Pennsylvania, a manufacturer of interactive multimedia software, has introduced the Vflite GNS 530/430 Interactive Training Program. The "virtual instruction program" is intended to solve a problem common to sophisticated avionics like the popular panel-mount Garmin GPS/nav/com, said Dan Tauskey, Pegasus' president. "Once you learn them, if you don't use them you'll forget them. I put a [Garmin] 530 in my plane last year, and so I recognized the need for this." Designed to supplement Garmin's manuals, the program–which can be used on IBM PC-compatible or Macintosh computers–offers demo, training, and solo modes. Customer deliveries are scheduled to begin in late August. The standard version lists for $139.95 and the Plus version, which also tracks the user's progress and includes Garmin's simulation software on the CD, is $179.95. For more information, visit the Web site.
| Final Exam |
| Question: What is it called when you navigate by looking only at landmarks on the ground? Is it dead reckoning or pilotage? |
Answer: You are referring to pilotage, which is navigation by visual reference to landmarks. A pilot compares symbols on an aeronautical chart with features on the Earth's surface while flying from landmark to landmark. Skills needed by the pilot include an ability to select checkpoints, a knowledge of aeronautical chart symbology, and knowing how to relate those symbols to what they actually see on the ground. Dead reckoning (taken from "deductive reckoning") is the navigation of an aircraft solely by means of computations based on airspeed, course, heading, wind direction, groundspeed, and elapsed time from a known position. A pilot should be familiar with both types of navigation in addition to the more familiar forms of navigation such as VOR or GPS. For more information on both pilotage and dead reckoning see the following AOPA Flight Training articles: "Pilotage and Dead Reckoning"; "Life without GPS: How Did Lindbergh Ever Manage?"; and "E6B: It Does More Than Time, Speed, and Distance."
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to [email protected] or call 800/872-2672.
| Picture Perfect |
Jump to the AOPA Online Gallery to see the featured airplane of the day. Click on the link for details on how to capture wallpaper for your work area. See AOPA Online.
| What's New At AOPA Online |
| NEVER AGAIN |
A missing fuel cap sends fuel overboard and leads the pilot to a hairy approach through power lines after the engine quits. The moral? Don't rush. See the latest "Never Again Online"–similar to AOPA Flight Training's monthly "Learning Experiences" column–exclusively on AOPA Online.
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPAï¿½Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Teterboro, New Jersey. The Tri-State Aviation Expo takes place August 16 and 17 at the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum. Visit the Web site for more information.
Lancaster, Ohio. The Wings of Victory Airshow takes place August 16 through 18 at Fairfield County Airport (LHQ). Contact Bob DeLay, 614/846-2876.
Auburn, California. Thunder in the Sky 2002 takes place August 17 at Auburn Municipal Airport (AUN). Warbirds, classics, experimentals, airshow, and more. Contact Evan Wolfe, 530/885-4700, or visit the Web site.
For more airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For more events, see Aviation Calendar of Events.
ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Atlanta and Reno, Nevada, on August 17 and 18. Clinics are also scheduled in Long Beach, California; Newark, New Jersey; and Reston, Virginia, on August 24 and 25. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see AOPA Online.
ASF PINCH-HITTER GROUND-SCHOOL COURSES
(Pinch-Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitterï¿½ Ground School will take place in Dallas/Ft. Worth on August 11. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in South Holland, Illinois, August 19; Peoria, Illinois, August 20; Rockford, Illinois, August 21; and Waukegan, Illinois, August 22. The topic is Single-Pilot IFR. For the complete schedule, see AOPAï¿½Online.
To make submissions to the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For comments on calendar items, e-mail [email protected].