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Copyright © 2003 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| CRITTERS ON BOARD |
No pilot should proceed too far into training before hearing about the birds and the bees-and how you may be transporting them aloft as stowaways hidden in the nooks and crannies of your aircraft. Spring is the time when such discoveries are most common, but at any time, an aircraft that has sat inactive should be regarded suspiciously. Intruders can be much smaller than a bird. "Looking through the AOPA Air Safety Foundation database over the past 25 years, we found more than 20 accidents attributed to insects in fuel vent lines, pitot tubes, carburetors, and other sensitive places. It's quite likely that there were some unexplained engine stoppages caused by insects blocking vents," advises AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg in his Safety Pilot column titled "Bugged," in the May 2003 AOPA Pilot.
Watch the goings-on at an airport with a good supply of tied-down airplanes on a spring day. You'll see birds import nesting materials through astonishingly tiny openings in engine cowlings and flight-control surfaces. Cowl plugs and pitot-tube covers help-but don't become complacent. Make the effort to find hidden surprises during preflight inspections, even if that means confronting ergonomic drawbacks of your aircraft's design. (Take the trouble to preflight a difficult-to-inspect aircraft whether or not you are checking for creatures dwelling within.) "If you can't see into the fuel tanks on a high-wing aircraft, use a step stool. The same is true if you need a little extra elevation to look for bird nests in the tail or if your arms won't reach the oil filler cap under the cowling," advises Kevin Donnelly in his July 2001 AOPA Flight Training feature, "Perfect Fit."
If your efforts result in a discovery, attempt to determine the extent of any damage. "Snakes, rodents, birds, and other creatures have caused havoc aboard flying machines of every variety. Such intruders can jam control cables, destroy electrical wiring, degrade fuel cells, and incite massive corrosion," notes Dave Wilkerson in his "Checkride" column in the November 2000 AOPA Flight Training.
Dennis Baer found out that his newly purchased aircraft had become "The Great Flying Wasp Condo" during a period of inactivity. Read his tale in the "Learning Experiences" department of the June 2002 AOPA Flight Training magazine. Then make a beeline for your airport, and enjoy the flights of Spring!
| Your Partner in Training |
|"My local FBO has the aircraft insured; why do I need non-owned coverage?" This is a question that we get from students on a regular basis. The FBO's policy does not protect you; it protects the FBO. If you damage the aircraft, the FBO's insurance company may come after you personally to recover what it paid the FBO. More important, you should have insurance designed to shield you from the really large liability claims that could result in the unlikely event that you're ever involved in an accident. For more information, see AOPA's Pilot's Guide to Insurance or visit the AOPA Insurance Agency's Web site. |
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 |
| ONLINE AVIATION CAMP DIRECTORY AVAILABLE |
Looking for an aviation camp or day program for an aspiring pilot? Dominik Strobel recently launched a searchable online database that lets you sort through listings using a range of different criteria, including academic/nonacademic, flying/no-flying, age group, gender, affiliation, country and state, scholarship availability, and others. The database currently includes some 170 programs in eight countries. Camp directors and webmasters can add basic listings free of charge. For more information, see the Web site or e-mail Strobel.
FLORIDA PILOTS SCORE JOB INTERVIEWS
Sixteen senior pilot/instructors at Phoenix East Aviation, Inc., in Daytona Beach, Florida, are being considered for jobs at Continental Express Airlines. The 16 candidates interviewed for first officer positions with the airline, Phoenix East said in a news release. They received their training, certificates, and additional flight experience as students and then instructor pilots at Phoenix East Aviation, which utilizes a career placement service to arrange job interviews.
'DESTINATION: AVIATION' DAY CAMP AT SUN 'n FUN
An educational day camp program that uses aviation as its focus and as a motivational tool will be held this summer in Lakeland, Florida, according to the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In. Destination: Aviation is designed for boys and girls entering grades six through nine this fall. The campers will learn basics of aviation through a curriculum that includes presentations by astronauts, educators, and pilots. Programs will be conducted in four five-day sessions beginning June 2 through 6 and ending July 21 through 25. The weekly tuition is $200. All sessions will be held at the Sun 'n Fun Aviation Complex at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. For more information or to register as a student or teacher, see the Web site or call Sherry Abels at 863/644-2431, extension 221.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA PRESIDENT SEES CLEAR SKIES FOR GENERAL AVIATION |
AOPA President Phil Boyer told an audience of Washington, D.C., insiders May 27 that at least one sector of the aviation industry has a bright future. According to Boyer, the future for general aviation is CAVU-ceiling and visibility unlimited. Boyer told the Aero Club of Washington that everything from piston single-engine aircraft sales to avionics installations to new student pilot starts indicates an industry that is still moving ahead in spite of a generally poor economy. A key indicator of the GA sector's overall health is the total number of pilot certificates held and the number of new student pilot certificate issuances. Both numbers showed healthy increases from 2001 to 2002. Shipments of single-engine piston aircraft are up some 6 percent in the first quarter of 2003 as compared to a year ago, and the number of FAA aircraft registrations through April 2003 is running several hundred ahead of the same time period last year. For more, see AOPA Online.
MEIGS FIELD BATTLE HAS ITS UPS AND DOWNS
Merrill C. Meigs Field in Chicago will be protected from further damage by the city of Chicago at least through June 4 as AOPA and Friends of Meigs continued legal proceedings in their efforts to reopen the airport. Friends of Meigs' lawsuit against the city was dismissed late last week by a state court, which removed a temporary restraining order prohibiting the city from going ahead with its demolition of the field, but an Illinois appellate court granted a stay on the action. Meanwhile, AOPA has proposed a buy-out plan that would allow the city to purchase the field from the Chicago Park District with funds obtained through the FAA's Airport Improvement Program. For more information on the latest developments surrounding Meigs Field, see AOPA Online.
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| Training Products |
| FLIGHT DYNAMICS ANNOUNCES FLIGHT TRAINER V3.0 |
Flight Dynamics, a provider of flight training software, has released the latest version of its Flight Trainer software series. The programs include navigation training, quizzes, and navigation simulations (ADF, VOR, HSI, and DME) for private and instrument pilots, as well as ground reference maneuver training and simulation (traffic patterns, s-turns, turns about a point, eights on pylons) for private and commercial pilots. The software shows the airplane in a given maneuver or course alongside several cockpit instruments and navaids with the appropriate indications for each phase of that maneuver. Pilots can package the training aids that they need for prices ranging from $34.95 (for the ground reference maneuvers only) to $119.95 (for the works). For more, see the Web site.
| Final Exam |
| Question: On my sectional chart, there is a white box with magenta borders in a Military Operations Area. It shows the letters "CTC" followed by a frequency. What is this? |
Answer: The white boxes with magenta borders are depicted on current sectionals. They are meant for VFR aircraft flying in that area, giving them information enabling them to contact air traffic control without the need for other publications. The letters "CTC" stand for "contact" and the information following is the facility and frequency that should be used. A good source of information on charts is the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide . You may also be interested in reading two articles from Flight Training magazine, "Chart Basics" and "How to Read a Sectional Chart."
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 |
Today is the last day to order that perfect Father's Day gift for that special pilot or aviation enthusiast, and be guaranteed that it will arrive in time. Click here to search hundreds of images, select your favorite, and place your order. Your high-quality print will be shipped directly to your doorstep. Of course, you can still download your favorite images to use for wallpaper or send a personalized e-card.
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|Looking for the most convenient location to take an FAA knowledge test? The updated state-by-state directory of authorized testing centers is available at AOPA Online. Click here to download. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Frederick, Maryland. The thirteenth annual AOPA Fly-In and Open House takes place June 7 at AOPA headquarters, located on Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK). Join us for the largest fly-in event on the East Coast. Visit AOPA Online for details.
Alice, Texas. The Wings of D-Day CAF Airshow takes place June 7 at Alice International Airport (ALI). Honoring Veterans of all eras with an exciting aerial display, aerobatics, and lots of static airplanes. Gates open at 7 a.m. for a waffle breakfast and 10 a.m. for the airshow. Contact Tom Reynolds, 361/563-4723; Ed Mickley, 361/882-9556; 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 Phoenix, Minneapolis, and Austin, Texas, June 7 and 8. Clinics are also scheduled in San Jose, California, and Columbus, Ohio, June 14 and 15. 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 Frederick, Maryland, June 7. Topics vary; for complete details, see AOPA Online.