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Copyright © 2003 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| GETTING OUT OF THE PATTERN |
This is a time of year when student pilots see how much activity the world of flight has to offer, and meet new friends who are at similar stages of their own training. From fly-ins and seminars to first solos and flying to new cross-country destinations, general aviation shines in spring and summer.
Aside from the social benefits of meeting your peers, there are educational advantages as well. It is reassuring to know that the challenges you face during training have been successfully confronted by others. Learning how someone else overcame a training obstacle could present you with a solution. Meeting fellow student pilots might also provide you with an opportunity to ride along as an observer and watch during a dual instructional flight, as suggested in the March 1998 AOPA Flight Training article "Park and Ride" and the May 24, 2002, "Training Tips" article titled "Backseat Driver."
Remember that even while riding in the backseat, you can contribute to the safety of the flight as an extra set of eyes. To review effective scanning and collision avoidance techniques, read the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Collision Avoidance Safety Advisor ( click here to download).
Studies support the common-sense notion that peer groups, or "networking," can create a supportive training environment, whether you are training at a big school or at the local airport. Women pilots-still a small percentage of all pilots-may find this to be of special significance, writes Julie K. Boatman in "Staying the Course," in the June 2002 AOPA Flight Training.
"Students should find support groups, whether established formally on campus, or derived from study groups for a given class. If you are a student, look at the classes ahead of yours for a mentor, or among graduates of your program-particularly if you know someone in your chosen career. Female student pilots learning to fly outside the university environment can adapt this concept by networking with other female students-and certificated pilots-at their flight school or FBO," she writes.
It's even possible that your peer group could come from your own family, as related in Mary Sue Musser's letter in the November 2002 AOPA Flight Training. In it she describes how her husband's return to aviation provided her, as she approached age 67, with "a new lease on life"-by learning to fly.
| Your Partner in Training |
|The cost of flight training can be an impediment to realizing your dream of learning to fly. AOPA now offers an additional program to help you cover the cost of your flight training. It's called the AOPA Flight Training Funds program, with credit lines up to $25,000 and competitive rates. The program offers flexible terms and predictable payments, so you can choose the number of months you want to pay off your account-from 36 to 72-guaranteeing no surprises to your monthly budget. Click here to learn more. You'll also find articles in the AOPA Flight Training archives that offer ideas for cutting the cost of learning to fly, such as the tips discussed in "10 Ways to Save on Flight Training" in the May 2000 issue of the magazine. |
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 AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION UNVEILS NEW ONLINE COURSE |
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has unveiled a new online training program, Know Before You Go: Navigating Today's Airspace , designed to help pilots navigate safely and legally through the ever-changing airspace environment. The free interactive program helps pilots to understand what's required of them no matter what type of airspace they're in, and it's great for students as well. The program teaches about everyday airspace issues, as well as the challenges of security-related flight restrictions. Topics include how to interpret notams; how to operate safely in and around temporary flight restrictions, air defense identification zones, and flight restricted zones; how to avoid getting intercepted by military aircraft; and what to do in the event of an intercept. For more information about other ASF programs, see AOPA Online.
UND USES NEW SCHWEIZER HELICOPTERS TO TRAIN CADETS
Schweizer Aircraft Corp. delivered two 300C piston-powered helicopters to the University of North Dakota's John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, the company announced. The helicopters, part of UND's Army ROTC flight training program, are used to train U.S. Military Academy cadets. Thirty-two cadets are traveling to UND this month to complete a four-week introductory helicopter training course, in which they will log approximately 19 hours of flight time and 40 hours of academic training. The goal is to train each cadet through solo. UND has used 300Cs in its Army ROTC training program for the past 20 years, according to Al Palmer, director of flight operations at UND.
WISCONSIN PROGRAM GIVES STUDENTS FREE TRAINING
Wisconsin Aviation Academy Inc., a nonprofit aviation program based in Janesville, has begun its third year of an innovative program aimed at providing no-cost flight training to qualified eighth grade and high school students in the Beloit area. The program has 45 enrollees this year, and five or six of those will earn their private pilot certificate this summer, according to Tom Morgan, executive director and founder of the program. Participants are required to maintain a grade-point average of at least 2.5 to participate, "but we strive for excellence and encourage them to aspire to greater things," Morgan says. The program's goal is to have minorities, females, and students from low-income families make up 70 percent of its population, he says. A flight training course for adults defrays some of the costs of the youth program, whose participants and families are asked to volunteer at fund-raising activities throughout the year. For more information, see the Web site or e-mail Morgan.
| Inside AOPA |
| BILL INTRODUCED TO REPEAL MICHIGAN BACKGROUND CHECKS |
Michigan State Representative Steven Ehardt (R-83rd) has introduced
legislation to overturn that state's criminal background check requirement for flight students established last year. The bill got a boost yesterday when opponents agreed to a compromise. The compromise adds language requiring student pilots to get their student pilot certificates before beginning flight training. AOPA Vice President of Airports Anne Esposito and AOPA Regional Representative Bill Blake have been in Michigan over the course of the last two weeks pushing for passage of Michigan House Bill 4704, which would repeal the background check requirement and substitute a number of commonsense security requirements for flight schools. "While AOPA will continue to press its federal lawsuit to overturn the current law, our hope is that Rep. Ehardt will be able to eliminate the law with this new legislation," said Andy Cebula, an AOPA senior vice president. "We are extremely appreciative of the efforts by Rep. Ehardt, his staff, and the bill's cosponsors, representatives Daniel Acciavatti, Jack Brandenburg, Fran Amos, and David Robertson."
MEIGS FIELD SUFFERS LEGAL, LEGISLATIVE BLOWS
An Illinois appeals court May 30 lifted an emergency temporary restraining order that had prevented the city of Chicago from doing more damage to Merrill C. Meigs Field. The court reversed its previous decision on the Friends of Meigs lawsuit and lifted an emergency restraining order that would have protected the airport until June 4. AOPA has decided to withdraw its federal lawsuit because it has become clear that no matter what the court ultimately decided, it would not force the city to reopen the airport. Meanwhile, proposed legislation aimed at saving Meigs has remained stuck in committee and the full state legislature never had an opportunity to vote on it. "These were bitter and significant losses, but we're still continuing to fight," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. Other AOPA actions against the city are proceeding, including a complaint to the FAA about the city's violation of federal regulations and a similar complaint with the state of Illinois. For the latest on Meigs, see AOPA Online.
NEW JERSEY AVIATION OFFICIAL LAUDS AOPA's AIRPORT WATCH
New Jersey's highest-ranking aviation official wants the state's public-use airport managers to take an active role in promoting AOPA's Airport Watch. Director of Aeronautics Thomas Thatcher sent a letter to all of the state's public-use airports, explaining the program and urging them to take an active role and set a strong example at the state level. The Division of Aeronautics purchased 200 Airport Watch signs that will be distributed free to New Jersey public use aeronautical facilities, Thatcher said. For more information on Airport Watch, see AOPA Online.
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| Training Products |
| FLIGHT TIMER/CHRONOMETER FROM ASA |
A multifunction Flight Timer designed for pilots of all experience levels is now available from Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc. The ASA Flight Timer offers multiple timer functions, count-up and count-down capabilities, an elapsed trip timer, and a digital notepad for squawk codes or frequencies. The timer can be used to calculate time to the next waypoint, fuel tank changes, turns when holding, or an instrument approach, ASA says. Pilots can set and store up to 12 separate approaches or time three events simultaneously using a push-and-rotate dial located on the Flight Timer's face. It has several mounting options. The timer sells for $49.95. For more information, see the Web site.
| Final Exam |
| Question: It's summer and our local AWOS has started reporting density altitude. I know this means poorer aircraft performance, but what can I do to mitigate its effect? |
Answer: Here are three common-sense tips: Fly early, as performance is generally better in the morning when the temperature is cooler than it will be in the afternoon. Also, fly light--if the density altitude is high and your strip is short, don't take on full fuel; land and fill up at a nearby airport with a long runway. Finally, fly lean-for density altitudes above 3,000 feet, lean the mixture to peak rpm before takeoff. Be sure to follow the engine manufacturer's recommendations for leaning. Lots of additional information is available in Density Altitude , AOPA's subject report on the topic. If you fly in the mountains, also check out A Pilot's Guide to Mountain Flying, an AOPA publication full of tips and techniques for safe mountain flying operations.
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 |
|It's been said that the only constant about weather is that it's always changing. As you train you'll learn why you need to continually evaluate the weather you're flying into. Read about how the pilot of a Cessna Skylane found out that his aircraft was no match for a cumulonimbus and learn why you should stay well clear of summer weather monsters in Never Again Online: Hitting the Wall . "Never Again Online" highlights lessons learned unexpectedly by pilots, and is similar to the "Learning Experiences" column in AOPA Flight Training. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Newburgh, New York. The New York International Air Show takes place June 14 and 15 at Stewart International Airport (SWF). Navy Blue Angels, antique aircraft, and a lot more. Huge anniversary celebration of aviation. For more information, 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 San Jose, California, and Columbus, Ohio, June 14 and 15. Clinics are also scheduled in Orlando, Florida, and Reston, Virginia, June 28 and 29. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Renewal 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 Columbus, Ohio, June 15. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 30 through August 2. Topics vary; for complete details, see AOPA Online.