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Copyright © 2004 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| THE PURPOSE OF UNUSUAL ATTITUDE TRAINING |
The FAA's Private Pilot Practical Test Standards ( click here to download from AOPA Online) decree that during the checkride, a private pilot applicant must demonstrate six tasks concerned with flight solely by reference to instruments. Four cover basic maneuvers, and one deals with communications-all critical if a noninstrument-rated pilot is to survive an inadvertent encounter with instrument meteorological conditions. But it is when learning the remaining task, "recovery from unusual flight attitudes," that a student pilot discovers how quickly losing outside references can lead to losing aircraft control.
Flight instructors often introduce this lesson by having the student look down at the floor of the aircraft (to obscure the view outside) and sit through a series of maneuvers. At various times the student may be asked to say whether he or she senses a climb, descent, level flight, or a turn. Next the student is instructed to look back up at the instrument panel, interpret the indications, and "recover" the aircraft to stabilized straight-and-level flight. The Training Tips in the February 8, 2002, edition of this newsletter review the recovery sequences and discuss student pilots' instrument training. Usually the senses betray you during this process. The lesson is that it is imperative to trust your instruments, because responding to other sensory cues usually leads to catastrophic loss of control.
There are other methods of introducing this task, as Richard Hiner writes in the December 1999 "Instructor Report" in AOPA Flight Training. His observation: "The students, without exception, expressed shock at how their senses had misled them and how easy it is for the airplane to go out of control when you don't have outside references or instruments."
Ralph Butcher forcefully states the case in AOPA Flight Training's August 2003 article "Elementary Instrument Flying." "Remember, student pilot instrument training is for emergency use only. If you want to enhance these skills after you receive your private pilot certificate, enroll in a good instrument training program. Upon completion, you'll realize the inadequacy of the private pilot certificate's required three hours of instrument flight."
If this realization has not been strongly imprinted on you during your instrument work, ask for a further demonstration-then hone a skill that your safety consciousness will keep you from ever having to use.
| Your Partner in Training |
|When you're getting checked out in a new aircraft, learn as much about the systems as you can, and always consult the manufacturer's checklist to ensure that nothing is overlooked. Read more about preflight inspections-and going beyond the checklist-in an AOPA Flight Training back issue. And don't forget, you also have access to the archives of AOPA Pilot for articles providing additional tips and recommendations on preflighting an aircraft. |
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 |
| SPORT PILOT RULE CLEARS ANOTHER HURDLE |
The FAA has sent a proposed rule establishing the new Sport Pilot certificate to the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB)-the last step before the agency can issue the rule. If published, the rule will establish a new Sport Pilot certificate whose training requirements will be shorter and less expensive than those for the private pilot certificate. The Sport Pilot designation also would permit the holder to use a driver's license to meet medical requirements. Sport pilots would be able to fly any aircraft designated under a proposed light sport aircraft category. OMB has 90 days in which to decide whether or not the regulation would have any negative economic impacts. For more information, see AOPA Online.
AIR FORCE ACADEMY UPGRADES SIMULATORS
The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has upgraded its aging fleet of instrument flight training devices with eight Frasca T-6 simulators. The new devices are networked, which allows the cadets to simulate mission profiles in certain combat situations. The simulators' primary flight, navigation, and engine instrument displays are modeled after those in the front cockpit of the Raytheon T-6A Texan II. Frasca International, in Urbana, Illinois, makes flight training equipment for airlines, flight schools, universities, and military organizations. For more information, see the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA INSURANCE AGENCY RENTER INSURANCE RATES REDUCED |
The rising cost of insurance is often cited as one of the biggest financial issues facing pilots. By leveraging its position in the market, the AOPA Insurance Agency has been able to turn the tide-at least for aircraft renters. " The AOPA Insurance Agency can now offer aircraft renters insurance rates that are 22 to 28 percent lower than last year's," said Greg Sterling, AOPA Insurance Agency executive vice president and general manager. "As the largest light aircraft insurance agency in the country, we were able to work with major 'A-rated' underwriters to offer our members more affordable premiums. And the lower rates apply to both new and renewing policies. Plus, members renewing their AOPA Insurance Agency renter's policy can take advantage of an additional 10-percent discount if they were claim- and accident-free during the previous policy year." See AOPA Online.
AIRPORTS, USER FEES ARE 2004 AOPA PRIORITIES
With a membership of nearly 402,000, AOPA's top priority for 2004 is to protect the scores of general aviation airports under threat across the country. At the same time, the association will fight any effort to impose user fees on GA pilots. Other goals include finding more innovative ways to keep down the cost of flying and working to have long-term security-related temporary flight restrictions lifted. "Year in and year out, our members tell us they're concerned about the number of airports under threat," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It's their number one worry. But we can't become fixated. We'll keep our scan going-we'll deal with all of these issues and any other unforeseen problems that arise."
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| Training Products |
| COLORFUL CAPS MARK IMPORTANT CIRCUIT BREAKERS |
You check the circuit breakers of your training aircraft at least once (and probably two or three times) during each preflight, but do you know which circuit breaker belongs to which system? Circuit Breaker Caps from Sporty's Pilot Shop are plastic caps that come in red, green, or yellow. They snap over most pull-type breakers and can be color-coded to the electric trim, autopilot, or landing gear for quick identification in the event of a malfunction. Circuit Breaker Caps are $2.95 each ($2.25 each for three or more). For more information or to order, see the Web site.
| Final Exam |
| Question: Do you know the origin of the term "fixed-base operator" (FBO)? |
Answer: There are undoubtedly several ideas on the answer to this question, but here are a few. In the very early days of flight, aircraft mechanics would drive ahead of an aircraft to be ready to refuel and service it when it landed. Obviously this was difficult and expensive. As a result, by the mid-1920s, aviation service groups began to establish "fixed-base operations" where aircraft could land for service. A 1963 publication from the Small Business Administration, Starting and Managing an Aviation Fixed-Base Operation, states: "The term arose from the fact that whereas the airlines historically have been transient in nature, carrying passengers and cargo from one city to another, the operator of private aircraft for training, charter, and service was 'fixed' to a specific base."
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 |
|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 |
| NEVER AGAIN ONLINE |
A pilot delays his flight over Death Valley and makes an unplanned nighttime arrival. Without an alternate, he must cope with the situation he finds in Pitch Black, the latest installment of Never Again Online-an online series similar to "Learning Experiences" in AOPA Flight Training magazine. Read it on AOPA Online.
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Upland, California. The Pomona Valley Air Fair takes place January 10 and 11 at Cable Airport (CCB). Sponsored by EAA Chapter 448 and the Pomona Valley Pilots Association. Contact Gary Hart, 909/238-4508, 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
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Jackson, Mississippi; Rochester, New York; and San Antonio, Texas; January 17 and 18. Clinics are also scheduled in Long Beach, California; Baltimore; and Charlotte, North Carolina, January 24 and 25. 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
The next Pinch-Hitter® Ground School take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, January 25. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Van Nuys, California, January 12; Ontario, California, January 13; San Diego, January 14; and Costa Mesa, California, January 15. The topic is Maneuvering Flight-Hazardous to Your Health? For complete details, see AOPA Online.