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Copyright © 2003 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| SKILLFUL HANDLING |
Flying maneuvers well requires skill in fundamental aircraft control. A pilot having trouble maintaining altitude during cruise, ground reference maneuvers, or slow flight may be the victim of an undiagnosed flaw in his ability to level off from a climb or descent. Vanquish that difficulty and suddenly, performance of many maneuvers can improve.
Are you reducing power too quickly after leveling off? Low-powered trainers should be allowed to accelerate first. Are you fixating on a flight instrument rather than using outside references? It's a common problem and the subject of an "Instructor Report" article in the September 1999 AOPA Flight Training. "If you ever notice a pilot who seems to do very little in the way of controlling an airplane but still gets big results, it may be because that pilot knows an airplane will do most of the work if it is allowed to fly the way it was designed to," counsels "A Pilot's Guide to Airspeed" in the April 1999 AOPA Flight Training.
Light to moderate turbulence or "chop" causes many pilots to overcontrol. If this sounds like an area of concern to you, plan a lesson on rough-air technique, as recommended by Elizabeth Tennyson in the "Flying Smart" column published in the November 1999 issue of the magazine.
Review your technique and let these articles guide you in making adjustments. Then hold yourself to a high standard. The FAA Practical Test Standards for various pilot certificates and ratings may allow, say, 100 feet above or below the assigned altitude for a maneuver. Do not get in the habit of thinking of an altitude as a 200-foot range of acceptable values-that's not professional thinking. "The pro treats the level-off altitude as if it is an impenetrable ceiling," observes Mark Twombly in his October 2003 AOPA Flight Training commentary "Continuing Ed: Fly Like a Pro."
Small corrections to your technique and increasing your understanding can bring big changes, or even break you free from some of those frustrating training plateaus discussed in Earl Downs' June 2003 AOPA Flight Training feature "Sophomore Slump." Then move on swiftly to the next level of your training with a renewed sense of accomplishment and confidence.
| Your Partner in Training |
|As an AOPA member, you also have online access to articles from AOPA's flagship publication: AOPA Pilot magazine. Simply go to the AOPA Pilot archives for a wealth of information, organized by subject. From training information to safety articles to legal issues to aviation careers-and more-take advantage of this additional AOPA membership benefit to get the most out of your training. |
Do you have a question? Call our experienced pilots-available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern toll-free at 800/872-2672. AOPA Flight Training Members have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. For login information click here.
| Flight Training News |
| AOPA DEBUTS FREE ONLINE FLIGHT PLANNER |
If you've been looking for a sophisticated new flight-planning tool, look no further-and put your money away. Visitors to AOPA Expo 2003 in Philadelphia got a hands-on look at AOPA's newest member benefit, AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner; now you can see what everyone's talking about. Featuring the latest technology from Jeppesen, the Real-Time Flight Planner allows users to overlay their route on graphic depictions of weather and temporary flight restrictions. Just click and drag to rubber-band your route around TFRs, special-use airspace, Class B boundaries, and other areas you'd like to avoid. As you plan your route, a flight plan and navigation log are created automatically. Once you download the Real-Time Flight Planner application to your personal computer, you can store one pilot profile, two aircraft profiles, and up to five routes online. AOPA's original Online Flight Planning Service will be available through the end of this year. Students, talk with your instructor before you begin using this new service; he or she has a responsibility to make sure that you first can plan your flights using traditional techniques. Read more on AOPA Online.
FAA IMPROVES TFR WEB SITE
The FAA has revamped its Web site offering graphical depictions of temporary flight restrictions to enhance the information provided to pilots. The site includes a map that shows active TFRs nationwide and a list of published TFRs, each of which includes a link to a close-up of the TFR area overlaid on a sectional chart, as well as the text of the notam establishing the restricted area. AOPA President Phil Boyer noted that the association has been pressuring the FAA for two years to give pilots a clear picture of where these restrictions are located. "Many of the enhancements to the new site are the direct result of input from AOPA and AOPA members," he said.
ERAU, WESTERN MICHIGAN TAKE HONORS AT FLYING COMPETITIONS
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University students took home first- and third-place honors at the U.S. National Aerobatics Championship in September. Nathan Hanford and Gregory Bruyn were named national champions in the primary and sportsman categories, respectively, while Devon Pym won third place in the primary category. The students, who belong to the Sport Aviation Club at ERAU's Daytona Beach, Florida, campus, performed in a Pitts Special S-2B. Meanwhile, Western Michigan University's precision flying team, the Sky Broncos, were named overall champions at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's Region III competition in October. Capturing four of five top pilot positions, the team has qualified to participate in the national competition set for April 2004 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
FUN OF FLYING CONTEST DEADLINE NEARS
Ever felt the need to express your love of flying? Better hurry. Flightcom is celebrating its twentieth anniversary with its For the Fun of Flying essay contest. Each 50-word essay is to begin with the phrase, "For me, the fun of flying is...." Flightcom will award headsets, intercoms, and accessories for the best 20 essays. The grand prize winner will receive four Denali ANR headsets. Flightcom will do the initial judging while the AOPA Pilot editorial staff will select the finalists. Essays will be judged on content, creativity, writing style, and proper use of language. The contest ends November 30. See the Web site for entry forms and contest details.
| Inside AOPA |
| NEW ASF ONLINE COURSE SETS RECORDS |
More than 4,000 pilots have completed the newest AOPA Air Safety Foundation online course, Single-Pilot IFR, since its introduction in mid-October. The free interactive program has recorded 4,178 graduates. The 30-minute program includes dozens of useful hints for organizing cockpit resources, making in-flight decisions, and utilizing effective communication with ATC, according to ASF Executive Director Bruce Landsberg. Although the program is designed to meet the needs of instrument pilots, it contains tips and suggestions you will find useful as a student pilot. Click here to check out the course or review a complete list of free ASF online courses.
Changing your mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.
| Training Products |
| KNAPSACK-STYLE FLIGHT BAG HAS PILOT-FRIENDLY FEATURES |
You passed your checkride, and now you're ready to reward yourself for all those weeks, months, or even years of hard work. Pilotmall.com has debuted its latest pilot flight bag-a leather backpack with cell phone holder, identification holder, padded headset case, and transceiver pouch. It's available in six colors. The price is $149.95. For more information, see the Web site.
| Final Exam |
| Question: Could you clarify what kinds of contact lenses are acceptable for flying? |
Answer: Contact lenses that correct for distant vision only are acceptable to meet the vision standards for all classes of medical certificates. Contact lenses that correct for near visual acuity, as well as bifocal contact lenses, are considered by the FAA to be inappropriate for flying duties. Wearing one lens to correct for near vision and the other lens to correct for distance is also not acceptable. For more information, see AOPA's medical subject reports on vision.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to [email protected] or call 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.
| Picture Perfect |
|Looking for a unique gift this holiday season? Order high-quality prints from the AOPA Online Gallery. Search the hundreds of fabulous images, select your favorite, and with just a few keystrokes, a beautiful print will be shipped directly to your doorstep! Order by December 15 for guaranteed holiday delivery. Of course, you can still download your favorite images to use for wallpaper or send a personalized e-card. For more details, see AOPA Online. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|How do you find a flight school, or just the right person to teach you to fly? You could close your eyes and point your finger at a listing in the telephone book--or you can do a little research and make a smart decision. AOPA's newly updated aviation subject report, Choosing a Flight School and an Instructor , will give you some guidelines to follow as you proceed. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Fort Worth, Texas. The American Yankee Association South Central Grumman Fly-in takes place November 15 at Hicks Airfield (T67). Join us for a great home/hangar cookout and a short tour of a special World War II museum belonging to one of the residents. Meet at the Rio Concho restaurant ramp parking area. Contact Mike Reddick, 817/439-0234, 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 .
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 Diego, and Baltimore, November 22 and 23. Clinics are also scheduled in Denver, Chicago, and Lincoln, Nebraska, December 6 and 7. 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 San Diego, November 23. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.