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Copyright © 2003 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| FLYING AND FATIGUE DON'T MIX |
For most people, time invested in learning to fly must be carved out of a schedule packed with work, family commitments, and commuting-and subject to the availability of your aircraft and instructor. Opportunities to fly don't always present themselves at ideal times. The trick is to determine when a proposed flight lesson is merely inconvenient, and when it would be better to reschedule. A training milestone may be approaching, or weeks of bad weather may have slowed your progress-tempting you to fly despite stress, fatigue, or a lingering illness. That's the time to perform a self-evaluation covering your fitness for flight as discussed under Aeromedical Factors in Chapter 15 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge ( click here to download).
Can you pass the "I'm Safe" test? Those six letters remind pilots to avoid flying when affected by illness, medication, stress, alcohol, fatigue, or emotion. Some of these conditions are easier to recognize than others. Fatigue is easy to ignore until it presents itself by diminishing your ability to fly to your normal standards. The problem can startle you when you encounter it for the first time, but your instructor has seen it before. It can even be at the root of training slumps that some students encounter. See the July 26, 2002, "Training Tips" article.
"For either an instructor or a student to push the lesson past the point at which fatigue has begun to set in is not only counterproductive but can actually damage the learning process. Besides the fact that money and time are being wasted trying to cram more knowledge into a brain that is already temporarily saturated, flying too long can easily set back the student's progress and confidence," Budd Davisson counsels in his April 2000 AOPA Flight Training feature "Too Pooped to Party." Also, see Davisson's September 2001 AOPA Flight Training article, "25 Ways to Be a Better Pilot." Item 14 helps to fight fatigue: "Don't jump into your car, race out to the airport, and strap into the airplane without giving your mental and emotional state some thought. If necessary, after parking at the airport, sit in the car for a minute or two and try to push everything out of your mind but airplanes."
Then, tailor the day's session to be one that will send you home happy and revitalized!
| Your Partner in Training |
|Flight training devices (FTDs) are a great tool for learning procedures, or how an aircraft responds. Some personal computer-based trainers can be used for some training time required by a rating, and even flight sim games can be useful for demonstrating some VFR maneuvers to students. Learn more with resources compiled on AOPA Online. If you need more information, call our experienced pilots-available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern to answer your questions toll-free at 800/872-2672. |
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 |
| READING FOR THE ASPIRING PROFESSIONAL PILOT |
Have you always thought about applying to become an airline pilot? Trying to understand the hiring process? "Airline hiring isn't some kind of science. Typically, line pilots as well as a representative of the airline's personnel department interview prospective candidates," writes Peter A. Bedell in "Airline Aspirations," an article just published in the March issue of AOPA Pilot. Bedell recently completed the move from GA pilot to regional airline captain. "Some airlines employ tests that pry into your psyche to find desirable characteristics of prospective new hires. It's no secret that modern airline pilots are managers as much as they are pilots. Nowadays, management skills are just as important as flight time and experience." Read more insights gleaned from his experience in the article, either in the magazine or on AOPA Online.
DIAMOND RELEASES TEST DATA ON TWIN STAR
Early test results from Diamond Aircraft's new diesel-powered DA42 Twin Star now flying in Europe show a cruise speed of 181 knots at 10,000 feet and a total fuel consumption of 10.7 gph for both engines. The aircraft, likely to find use as a multiengine trainer, is powered by two 135-hp turbocharged Thielert Centurion 1.7 engines that burn Jet A fuel. The climb performance exceeded 2,000 fpm at 90 kt. North American deliveries are projected for mid-2004 at a target price of $360,000.
FLIGHTSAFETY UPGRADES HELICOPTER SIMS
A Bell 212/412 simulator used at FlightSafety International's Fort Worth, Texas, helicopter training center has been upgraded with an enhanced visual system, FlightSafety announced. The 212/412 is now certified at FAA Level C with the addition of a new high-definition visual system that provides the simulator with enhanced visual training realism, FlightSafety explained. The company plans to refit a Bell 222 flight simulator with a similar system, which is also incorporated in a second Cessna CJ2 business jet simulator-at FlightSafety's Wichita Learning Center in Kansas-that recently received FAA Level D certification.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA PLACES NATIONAL AD TO COUNTER FEARS ABOUT GA |
In its continuing campaign to counter public fears about general aviation, AOPA on Wednesday placed a national advertisement explaining that GA plays a key role in response to national emergencies. The ad, which appeared in the February 19 edition of USA Today, followed an episode of the Fox TV show 24 in which a terrorist cell attempted to use a small aircraft to detonate a nuclear bomb over Los Angeles. Headlined "Small Airplanes and TV Fiction," the ad noted that while in fiction a small airplane might be a tool of terror, "in the real world, general aviation aircraft will be flying to the rescue." The ad reminded readers that GA is an essential part of the nation's economy and transportation system. And the ad showed that GA pilots are working to improve national security by taking an active part in programs such as AOPA's Airport Watch. For more information, see AOPA Online.
Changing your mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.
| Training Products |
| NEW ASA BOOKS ADDRESS AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS, SEVERE WEATHER |
Two new offerings from Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc., are aimed at helping pilots better understand aircraft systems and how to stay out of severe weather. A Pilot's Guide to Aircraft and Their Systems, by Dale Crane, provides explanations and insight into the basic principles of flight, as well as what an aircraft, powerplant, and each of an airplane's systems do. Crane is a mechanic, pilot, engineer, FAA examiner, and aviation writer. Severe Weather Flying, by meterologist and weather research pilot Dennis Newton, is not focused on what to do once you've flown into severe weather, but rather on how to detect and therefore avoid it. Acknowledging that meteorology can be confusing, Newton discusses the fundamentals of weather and digs into the individual aspects of severe weather situations. The books sell for $19.95 each. For more information or to order, call 800/ASA-2FLY or visit ASA's Web site.
| Final Exam |
| Question: As I begin my flight training, I'm a bit nervous about using the radio. I never know how to address the facility that I'm calling. Is it "flight watch," or "unicom," or "something-something radio"? How do I know which term to use? |
Answer: When you are first learning to fly, some student pilots might find using the radio to be a bit intimidating. But the FAA does provide some excellent information for your use. You'll find a great table in Chapter 4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual that provides the call sign for each type of ground facility. For example, you asked about "flight watch," the call sign to use when calling an FAA Flight Service Station when requesting en-route flight advisory service. Also included in the same chapter is information on communicating the phonetic alphabet, numbers, altitudes, directions, speeds, and time. For more information on radio communication, you may find the following articles from AOPA Flight Training magazine of use: Christopher Parker's "Pilot/ATC Teamwork" and "Listen Up Out There!" by Karen M. Kahn.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to [email protected] or call 800/872-2672. Don't forget the archive of questions and answers from AOPA's ePilot and ePilot Flight Training. FAQs are searchable by keyword or topic.
| Picture Perfect |
The AOPA Online Gallery allows you to download your favorite images to use for wallpaper, send a personalized e-card, and order high-quality prints to be shipped directly to your doorstep. Search the hundreds of fabulous images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online.
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|Where's the closest FAA airman knowledge testing center? Download an updated list of test centers from AOPA Online. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Grand Forks, North Dakota. The twenty-eighth annual Upper Midwest Aviation Symposium takes place March 1 through 3 at the Hilton Garden Inn. Join hundreds of your peers in Grand Forks for a memorable experience that's both fun and educational. Contact Jim Lawler, 701/663-0669, or visit the Web site.
To submit an event to the calendar, or search all events, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For comments on calendar items, contact [email protected].
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 Philadelphia, and Lubbock, Texas, March 1 and 2. Clinics are also scheduled in San Mateo, California, and Phoenix, March 8 and 9. 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-Hitter® Ground School will take place in Phoenix, March 9. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Atlanta, and Eugene, Oregon, February 24; Portland, Oregon, and Maryville, Tennessee, February 25; Everett, Washington, and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, February 26; and Seattle, and Memphis, Tennessee, February 27. The topic is "The Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings." For the complete schedule, see AOPA Online.