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Copyright © 2004 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| TIEDOWN TECHNIQUES |
What happens to your trainer between flights? Is it towed from the cold, gritty ramp into a warm, safe hangar? More likely, it sits outside, parked where space permits, only as well secured as the last pilot left it. How does the next pilot find the trainer after you have flown it?
Ground handling skills such as moving an airplane by hand, and tying it down, are not part of the training curriculum or flight test. But learn both tasks well. Safety is compromised by improper ground handling such as incorrect use of a towbar, as Mark Twombly explains in "Tow Limits" in the July 2003 AOPA Flight Training. Use a towbar whenever possible; pushing on a prop spinner or on the wrong airframe surface could be harmful. Twombly advises: "Next time you preflight the airplane, make it a point to closely examine the nose strut to determine the configuration of the steering mechanism and the condition of the tow-limiting components. Check the pilot's operating handbook for specifics on tow limits, and make sure that anyone who tows the airplane is aware of the limits and observes them."
Failing to securely tie down an airplane can lead to extensive, expensive damage if the wind kicks up. Never been coached on this? For some suggestions, take a look at "The Tiedowns that Bind" from the October 2000 AOPA Flight Training. Note this tip: "Keep three nylon lines of suitable length in your airplane for those times when you visit an airport with permanent anchors but no lines to lend to transient pilots."
Caring about these details of aircraft care reflects your professionalism and pride-whether you own, rent, or belong to a flying club. Also always verify that such gadgets as towbars or cowl plugs are removed before flying, especially if someone else has towed the aircraft into position for you. Your preflight inspection should cover this, but airplanes have become airborne with odd accessories attached, as a "Pilot Counsel" column by John Yodice in the June 1996 AOPA Pilot makes painfully clear.
The ideal arrangement for your trainer is a private hangar, as explained in Mark Twombly's April 2002 AOPA Pilot column "T-hangar Tales." But the reality is that for most training craft, a tiedown space is home, and it is the sense of community shared by all users that keeps the machinery ready for its next mission.
| Your Partner in Training |
|You'll find a vast collection of weather-related information at AOPA Online. FAA Advisory Circular AC00-45E explains weather service in general and serves as a source of study for pilot certification examinations. AOPA Online's weather page provides up-to-the minute weather and five-day forecasts. Be sure to check out the AOPA Flight Training and AOPA Pilot archives for additional reading. |
Do you have a question? Call our experienced pilots-available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time 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 |
| TRAINING SAFER THAN OTHER GA FLYING, ASF SAYS |
A new AOPA Air Safety Foundation (ASF) study on flight training safety has confirmed that instructional flight is actually safer than most other types of general aviation flying, especially personal aviation. But the study also pinpointed two areas of flight training with higher fatality rates: low-level maneuvering flight and failure to see and avoid (midair collisions). The study used the ASF Accident Database, the world's largest GA-only safety database, and found that one in three fatal accidents during dual instruction occurs during low-level maneuvering. Emergency procedure practice was the single most common scenario, accounting for about one-third of the low-level maneuvering fatalities. Another 16 percent of fatal instructional accidents involved a midair collision. The full study, the second in a series of special analyses by ASF, is available online. A previous ASF study on stalls and spins is available from the same Web page.
A FEATHER IN ERAU'S CAPT
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Commercial Airline Pilot Training (CAPT) Program has received FAA certification for an MD-90 EFD (enhanced flight deck) Level D full-flight simulator. The device replicates all operational ground and flight functions of the MD-90 EFD jet. After completing flight training in the simulator, CAPT program cadets receive a captain's type rating for an MD-90 EFD jet airliner. Launched in July 2003, the accelerated CAPT program trains first officer candidates to regional airline and corporate fleet standards within 10 to 12 months. For more information, see the ERAU Web site.
CHECKLIST MANUFACTURERS TEAM UP FOR ELECTRONIC VENTURE
Pilots who carry one or more CheckMate Aviation checklists in their flight bags now will be able to get the information in electronic format. CheckMate and Checklist Technologies announced a joint venture that will allow CheckMate's checklist data to be delivered electronically to pilots who use Checklist Technologies' electronic checklist. The technology, known as eCheckMate, is said to allow the pilot to focus on flying while completing the required checklists on Palm Operating System devices For more information, see the CheckMate or Checklist Technologies Web sites.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA CONDEMNS CBS AIRPORT SECURITY STORY |
AOPA President Phil Boyer condemned the president of CBS News for a television report that contained "slanted, incomplete, erroneous, and salaciously inflammatory" coverage of general aviation airport security. "Eye on America," which aired January 14, claimed that there is "no security" at GA airports and "nothing has been done" since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Boyer said the story was void of any evidence that GA should be considered a security threat. AOPA members were quick to come to GA's defense, sending hundreds of e-mails that took CBS News to task for airing uniformed, irresponsible material. For more, see AOPA Online.
COLORADO WOMAN WINS PRIZE JUST FOR SHOWING UP
Phyllis Wells of Penrose, Colorado, is the fourth quarter 2003 winner of a Sporty's handheld transceiver, the door prize for attending an AOPA Air Safety Foundation (ASF) safety seminar or flight instructor refresher course (FIRC). ASF and Sporty's award one transceiver each quarter. For more information, see the FIRC or seminar schedules.
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| Training Products |
| INTRODUCE A FRIEND TO FLYING WITH ASA DVD |
You have a friend who's interested in learning to fly. She's bursting with questions: How much does it cost? How long will it take? Start Flying! is a new DVD from Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc., that was designed to answer those questions and many more in a straightforward fashion. The 34-minute DVD covers experience requirements, associated costs, time commitments, training aids, FAA medical requirements, and more. The package includes a $49 introductory flight coupon from Be A Pilot. It sells for $24.95 and may be ordered online or by calling 800/426-8338.
| Final Exam |
| Question: Can I fly while taking medication for depression? |
Answer: No. None of the selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors like Paxil, Prozac, or Zoloft is permitted for use while flying. Pilots cannot exercise their airman privileges while taking any of these medications. For more information, search AOPA's online database of acceptable medications using "depression" as a search parameter.
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 |
|Has a scary experience in the cockpit left you with lingering fears and doubts about learning to fly? It happens to many people, including certificated pilots with hundreds of hours of flight experience. "But I'm Afraid of Flying" in the February 2004 AOPA Pilot will give you practical advice on dealing with fear, and certificated pilots will learn how to help friends and family members overcome misgivings about flying. See the article on AOPA Online. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
St. Augustine, Florida. An Aero Sport Open House takes place January 24 and 25 at St. Augustine (SGJ). This event will feature the New Spirit of St. Louis on display. Contact Valorie Miller, 904/824-6230, 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 Melbourne, Florida; New Orleans; and Fort Worth, Texas, February 7 and 8. Clinics are also scheduled in Sacramento, California, and Nashua, New Hampshire, February 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
The next Pinch-Hitter® Ground School will take place in Sacramento, California, February 15. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Atlanta, February 2; Maryville, Tennessee, February 3; Nashville, Tennessee, February 4; and Memphis, Tennessee, February 5. The topic is Maneuvering Flight-Hazardous to Your Health? For complete details, see AOPA Online.