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Copyright ï¿½ 2002 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| FINDING A NEW INSTRUCTOR |
Many student pilots will encounter the need to switch flight instructors before completion of their training program. Their CFI may be moving away because of a new job opportunity, or may take a full-time position with a local corporate flight department or charter operator. Perhaps the decision to part company wasn't the flight instructor's at all–it was your call because you were dissatisfied with the way things were going. Now the question is: How can you hire a new CFI while avoiding whatever problems complicated the first relationship?
Obviously the departing-CFI problem is not an ideal situation, but do not be discouraged. The good news is that the need to change instructors crops up often enough that there is a large body of information and opinions available to help you. For instance, one oft-debated question is: Should you pick a young, enthusiastic CFI eager to find students to train, or wait and seek out an experienced old hand instead? See columnist Rod Machado's advice to a new student pilot on that subject in the February 2002 AOPA Flight Training.
There are other qualities to consider when making your choice. You know what you must do to complete your flight training, because you have reviewed the relevant regulations and test standards. Why not measure a potential instructor against his or her training standards? Eligibility and training requirements to become a certificated flight instructor are set forth in the Federal Aviation Regulations, Section 61.185, just as they are for pilots. CFIs must pass a flight test that is considered one of the most rigorous in general aviation (see one account of the exam in the January 1991 AOPA Pilot.
A flight instructor should be agreeable and easy to get along with in the close quarters of a cockpit, but he or she should also be meticulous in documenting your training and required logbook endorsements ( click here to download), as well as be skilled at teaching even the arcane aspects of aviation (see the September 2001 AOPA Flight Training Instructor Report for examples).
An article in the January 2002 AOPA Flight Training, "So You Want To be a Flight Instructor," discusses some of the qualities a flight school operator considers when evaluating new-hire CFI candidates. Borrowing from these experienced evaluators of CFIs may help you as a student to find the best teacher, as well as save you time and money should you need to pause your flight training to find a new instructor.
| Your Partner in Training |
|The FAA recently implemented new practical test standards (PTS) for the private pilot, commercial pilot, and flight instructor certificates. To learn what you need to know, visit AOPA Online. Still have questions? Call our aviation experts toll-free at 800/USA-AOPA 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 |
| ICAS SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE |
The ICAS Foundation, an affiliate of the International Council of Air Shows, is currently accepting applications for five scholarships. It offers five scholarships, each for $1,000, to individuals for various flight-training objectives, from tailwheel flying to obtaining aerobatic instruction. A complete listing of available scholarships is available on the foundation's Web site; the deadline for applications is October 15.
HELICOPTER SIMULATOR APPROVED FOR VFR TRAINING
The Professional Helicopter Simulator (PHS) manufactured by Flyit Simulators has received FAA approval for VFR training operations, the company has announced. The FAA allows up to 7.5 hours of simulator time toward the 30 to 40 hours required to receive a VFR helicopter rating, so use of the simulator could help to reduce a helicopter student's training expenses. The PHS has already been approved as a flight simulation device for IFR training. The simulator, which costs less than $100,000, is less expensive to maintain than an actual helicopter. For more information, see the company's Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
| FAA ACCEPTS AOPA PROPOSAL ON 9/11 TFRs |
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the FAA have accepted an AOPA-proposed compromise and softened the temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) around New York City for the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Instead of the three-day total ban on aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds operating within 30 nm of Ground Zero, the restrictions, announced yesterday, will allow GA aircraft to operate under instrument flight rules (IFR) only during most of the September 11 through 13 period. No flight training or VFR flights will be allowed. "All pilots recognize the need for national security," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "All we ask is that restrictions be reasonable and equitable. This time, it appears TSA and the FAA heard our 385,000 voices." In addition to the three-day restriction around Ground Zero, TFRs will be established around the New York, Pennsylvania, and Pentagon crash sites during the times of scheduled remembrance ceremonies on September 11 itself. For more information on the restrictions, and updates on any changes, check AOPA Online. All pilots are strongly encouraged to obtain a full briefing before any flights during this period.
STUDENT PILOT HAS RIDE OF LIFETIME IN AOPA SWEEPSTAKES
Patti Bennett confessed to being somewhat skeptical when she got an e-mail from AOPA saying she was one of the monthly winners in the Centennial of Flight Waco sweepstakes, but she's not skeptical anymore. "Even if I was the biggest chicken student pilot to ever have won this trip," said Bennett, a student pilot nearing her checkride, "it's changed me forever! I now have done loops, and barrel rolls, and hammerheads, and spin-recovery maneuvers. I came home and informed my instructor I would never complain about 45-degree steep turns again." The grand prize winner in the two-year AOPA Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes will receive a restored 1940 Waco UPF-7, which is an open-cockpit biplane–likely quite different from what you fly, this airplane was used as a trainer during World War II. Everyone who joins AOPA or renews their membership has a chance to win; you can get more details on AOPA Online. For a first-person account of Bennett's experience, see AOPAï¿½Online.
Changing your mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.
| Training Products |
|Are you looking for an aeronautical chart plotter that will last you a long time? Consider the Instrument Plotter with Holding Entry Calculator that's available from Sporty's Pilot Shop. The 8-inch plotter includes eight individual mileage scales and a compass rose to get you through your primary flight training–and a holding entry diagram that will be invaluable if you later tackle the instrument rating. The plotter will still be around; it's made of Lexan and carries a lifetime guarantee against warping or breakage. It is available for $4.95 from Sporty's Web site or by calling 800/LIFT OFF. |
| Final Exam |
| Question: How long after refueling should I wait to sump the tanks on my aircraft? |
Answer: According to industry standards, the minimum safe settling time for aviation fuel is 15 minutes per foot of depth. Therefore, if your aircraft has fuel tanks that are 6 inches in depth, the minimum wait time should be 7.5 minutes. For more information on fuel and fuel contamination, see the AOPA Pilot article "Clean and Bright." The AOPA Air Safety Foundation offers excellent information on the subject in its Fuel Awareness Safety Advisor, which can be downloaded from AOPA Online.
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 |
|Are you preparing to take your FAA private pilot knowledge test? AOPA has updated its list of computer testing centers for the required exam. Download the list from AOPA Online. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPAï¿½Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Lancaster, California. The fifth annual Old Fashioned Fly-in takes place September 14 at General William J. Fox Airfield (WJF). For more information, visit the Web site.
Bayport, New York. The annual Antique Airplane Club of Greater New York Fly-in takes place September 14 and 15 at Brookhaven Airport (HWV). Static display, flea market, and hangar party. Contact Roy Kieser, 631/589-0374.
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 Phoenix, and Boston, on September 14 and 15. A Clinic is also scheduled in Richmond, Virginia, on September 21 and 22. 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 Schools will take place in Phonix, September 15, and San Jose, California, October 13. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Albuquerque, New Mexico and East Windsor, Connecticut, September 9; Warwick, Rhode Island, September 10; Tucson, Arizona and Billerica (Boston), September 11; and Mesa, Arizona, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, September 12. 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].