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Copyright ï¿½ 2002 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| DISTRACTIONS ON THE FLIGHT TEST |
When preparing for your private pilot practical test, you and your instructor will measure your performance against published standards that leave no doubt as to whether your flying makes the grade. But whether it is a short-field takeoff, a soft-field landing, or other maneuver being tested, your examiner will also judge your ability to divide attention between necessary tasks while you prevent distractions from interfering with your piloting. Dealing with distractions is not one of the areas of operation or tasks in the FAA's practical test standards. But careful reading of the PTS ( click here to download) reveals that examiners must use distractions "to evaluate the applicant's ability to divide attention while maintaining safe flight."
How examiners distract you–perhaps by dropping something on the floor, speaking at an inappropriate time, or shutting off a radio–is up to them, so it behooves the trainee to be focused and disciplined. Don't react, or respond to the examiner's ill-timed comments, just to be polite when the demands of the flight should come first. This is especially important during takeoffs and landings when many pilots observe "sterile cockpit" rules. Surface operations are a significant focus of pilot testing today because of continuing efforts to reduce runway incursions. They too may be compromised by distractions, as discussed in the July 2001 AOPA Flight Training.
One way to keep distractions from impeding flight test performance is to understand how small things make the difference. See the discussion bearing that title in an AOPA Air Safety Foundation newsletter article to determine if any of the recommended strategies are for you. Of course, distractions can and do occur without an examiner's help. Problems such as doors popping open in flight, or pilot preoccupation with an errant gauge or queasy passenger, have started the chain of events that can lead to accidents. Learn from the account of one distracted flight, including a frank self-critique by the pilot, in the January 2002 AOPA Flight Training.
Speaking of passengers, see the July 2002 AOPA Flight Training for a look at how "The Silent Passenger" called stress can be a distracting influence–so much so that it is one of the items on the "I'm Safe" checklist many pilots use to determine their own personal fitness to launch on a flight. Consider stress levels as you plan future flights, to ensure that you accumulate a long and accident-free flying record.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Perhaps your family isn't too keen about your love of flying. Or maybe you have a friend or family member who will be a frequent passenger. Whatever the scenario, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation is a pioneer in making nonpilots comfortable in small airplanes. ASF's Pinch-Hitterï¿½ Ground School is designed to increase one's understanding and enjoyment of flying. For a course near you (or to order the video version), go to AOPA Online. |
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 |
| AOPA DONATES N.C. PILOT FACILITY ONï¿½BEHALFï¿½OFï¿½MEMBERS |
AOPA, the National Park Service, and the First Flight Centennial Foundation broke ground this week on an all-new pilot facility at First Flight Airport, part of the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. AOPA donated the funds on behalf of its membership to build the new facility, which will be the only permanent structure built at the historic site to remain following the centennial of powered flight celebrations in 2003. It will serve all general aviation pilots who fly in to the historic site. "Sponsorship of the permanent pilot facility is a very appropriate way for AOPA members to honor the Wright brothers' legacy and the generations of pilots who have followed them in flight," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. The schedule calls for the structure to be completed and dedicated this December. It will include a pilot briefing room complete with telephones, wall-mounted navigation charts, space for flight planning, computerized weather, and flight planning equipment. See AOPAï¿½Online.
AOPA SEEKS HALT TO STUDENT CHECKS IN MICHIGAN
AOPA asked a federal judge on September 6 to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the State of Michigan from enforcing a new law requiring felony background checks for flight school students. AOPA filed suit August 2, contending that the state law is unconstitutional and preempted by federal authority. "If every state set its own aviation security policy, we'd end up with a patchwork of conflicting state laws that do nothing to make us more secure, but do everything to inconvenience and harm innocent citizens," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. AOPA has taken active steps to enhance general aviation security and filed a petition with the FAA that would require pilots to carry government-issued photo IDs when operating an aircraft. In addition, AOPA and the aviation industry have presented a 12-point plan to enhance aviation security nationwide.
ERAU SHOWCASES NEW AVIATION FACILITY
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University showed off the new aviation building on its Daytona Beach, Florida, campus with an open house last Saturday. The three-story, 75,000-square-foot building includes computer and flight tutoring labs, an air traffic control simulation facility, and air traffic management research capabilities, among others. For more information, see the press release.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA LAUNCHES AD BLITZ TO EDUCATE PUBLIC ON GA |
AOPA is launching a major advertising campaign to direct nonpilots to a new Web site that tells the truth about general aviation. Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, public misunderstanding of what GA is and all that it does has been an obstacle to overcome, said AOPA President Phil Boyer. Beginning Monday, AOPA will turn obstacle into opportunity with nationwide newspaper ads promoting GA Serving America , the Web site created using $500,000 donated by thousands of AOPA members to the General Aviation Restoration Fund. "This is the largest advertising campaign, especially directed at opinion leaders and the general public, that we have ever conceived," Boyer said. "We developed them to teach the general public and politicians how vital a role GA plays in the nation's daily life. The GA Serving America Web site does just that, and the ads will draw people to it." See the series of five ads and the publication schedule on AOPA Online.
Changing your mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.
| Training Products |
| CONSIDERING THE INSTRUMENT RATING? |
Are you thinking about taking on the instrument rating as soon as you complete your private pilot certificate, or already working on the rating? The "Instrument Oral Exam Guide," written in a question-and-answer format similar to the oral portion of the instrument checkride, has been updated to reflect regulatory, procedural, and training changes. It's available for $9.95 from Aviation Supplies and Academics online or by calling 800/426-8338.
| Final Exam |
| Question: I'm just getting started in my flight training and I'm trying to learn the various systems of my aircraft. What are the gyro instruments in my plane? |
Answer: There are three gyroscopic instruments in general aviation aircraft. They are the attitude indicator, the heading indicator, and the turn coordinator. The attitude indicator provides information about the aircraft's pitch attitude and bank angle. The heading indicator provides the same information as your magnetic compass but is less subject to acceleration and turning errors and turbulence. The turn coordinator provides information on the airplane's yaw and roll movements. Most gyroscopic instruments are powered by air flow created by an engine-mounted vacuum pump, but some are electrically driven. More information on these instruments can be found in the following AOPA Flight Training articles; "The Attitude Indicator," "Banking on the Turn Coordinator," and "Heading Out."
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 |
| ASF ONLINE IFR REFRESHER GOOD FOR STUDENTS, TOO |
A new AOPA Air Safety Foundation online refresher course for instrument-rated pilots will also be helpful to new pilots beginning or contemplating training for the instrument rating. The free interactive course uses Flash technology to take pilots through a realistic IFR cross-country flight, exploring how specific IFR regulations apply to various real-life instrument-flying scenarios. Among the challenges of the flight are diverting to an alternate airport, suffering communications failure, and evaluating the weather. The course was developed with a generous grant from the William H. Donner Foundation.
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPAï¿½Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Spartanburg, South Carolina. An exhibition by the Canadian Snowbirds takes place September 26 at Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport (SPA). Join us for this exciting exhibition–the only appearance by the Snowbirds in the Southeast. Tickets are available the day of event only. Proceeds benefit Warbirds of South Carolina. For more information, call 864/574-3433.
Compton, California. The ninth annual Compton Air Fair takes place September 28 at 901 W. Alondra Boulevard. Sponsored by the California Black Aviation Association. Many attractions, including a Coast Guard helicopter demo, remote control model demos, parachute jumping, static aircraft display, exotic modern aircraft, entertainment, and great food. Contact Art Bennett, 661/722-4079 or 310/111-1111.
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 Clinic is scheduled in Baltimore, on September 28 and 29. Clinics are also scheduled in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Corpus Christi, Texas, on October 5 and 6. 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 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 Eugene, Oregon; Philadelphia; and San Antonio, Texas, on September 23; Gresham, Oregon; Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania; and West Houston, Texas, on September 24; New Cumberland, Pennsylvania; Addison, Texas; and Everett, Washington, on September 25; Latrobe, Pennsylvania; Fort Worth, Texas; and Seattle, on September 26; and Austin, Texas, on September 27. 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].