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Copyright © 2004 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| GREAT COMMUNICATORS |
How's the communication in your cockpit? Not your interactions with air traffic control-this refers to communication between you and your flight instructor. When you practice a maneuver or technique, do you have a clear idea of what you are doing, and why? When you ask questions, are you satisfied with the answers? Sometimes what seems like a learning problem is actually a communications problem. Identifying it can save you time and money on flying and get a stagnant training program moving again.
"Since communication is important to instruction, it follows that instructors must be good communicators. Of course, that's not always the case," wrote Jeff Falkner in the "Instructor Tips" column "Say What You Mean" in the July 1999 Flight Training. He added, "Even though you may use the right words for you, they may not be the right words for your students, who may pick up incorrect inferences from your choice of explanations and misinterpret what you thought was perfectly clear."
This can be a problem both in the classroom and in the cockpit. "We need to listen carefully to the words we use. Early in my career, as we were coming to the end of a long, power-on approach to a major airport, I said, 'Shut it down,' meaning 'power off.' The student heard 'Go around,' and he went to full power and launched us right into the path of an airplane landing on a crossing runway," recalls flight instructor Budd Davisson in "CFI to CFI," August 2004 AOPA Flight Training.
If there is a communications block shaping up, face up to it. You are a paying customer, and your instructor owes you his or her best efforts. "Commitment reveals itself in professionalism, skill, preparedness, command of the subject, and the communication skills necessary to transfer that knowledge to you," notes the November 8, 2002, "Training Tips" article, "Checking on Your Flight Instructor." Click here to see the discussion of the student/instructor relationship and related links. Then, if you believe action is needed, consider the five steps to conflict resolution recommended in A Failure to Communicate on the new Flight Training Web site. Learning to fly should be fun, but be all business when it comes to keeping your training on track.
| Your Partner in Training |
|The sudden wind shifts (or wind shear) caused by microbursts is especially dangerous to aircraft near the ground because a sudden shift from a headwind to a tailwind decreases lift and the aircraft can strike the ground. Find out more about what clouds are, how they form, and the major factors that dictate their appearance from "The Weather Never Sleeps: Cloud Watching," October 2000 AOPA Flight Training. If you have any questions after visiting our site, call 800/USA-AOPA weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time. |
As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. Login information is available online.
| Flight Training News |
| FAA RELEASES SPORT PILOT RULE |
Earning a pilot certificate could be a little easier now for some whose medical history created a barrier to learning to fly. The FAA on Tuesday issued the new Sport Pilot and Light-Sport Aircraft rule, which creates a new pilot certificate that requires a minimum of 20 flight training hours, instead of the minimum 30 for the recreational and 40 for the private pilot certificate. It also allows many pilots to fly low-powered, lightweight aircraft like a J-3 Cub without needing a current third class medical certificate-a valid driver's license will suffice. However, those pilots who have had their medicals suspended, revoked, or denied will still need to be reviewed by the FAA. The rule, which takes effect September 1, on its surface appears to make learning to fly easier and less expensive. "With all things governmental, the devil is in the details," AOPA President Phil Boyer said. "AOPA's experts will be standing by to review the rule line by line so that we can give you definitive answers about what you can and cannot do." For more details, see AOPA Online. The full text of the ruling can be downloaded. Be aware that the document is 112 pages.
FLORIDA MAN WINS SPORTY'S SWEEPSTAKES SKYHAWK
Most of us contemplate learning to fly "before" we acquire an airplane, but for A.C. Douglass of Tallahassee, Florida, it was just the opposite: He became a student pilot upon learning July 14 that he was the winner in Sporty's 2004 Skyhawk Sweepstakes. Douglass's order for Serengeti sunglasses was drawn as the winning entry from among thousands of orders to Sporty's Pilot Shop. The sweepstake rules stipulate that the winner of the 2004 Cessna Skyhawk (or a member of his or her immediate family) must be a pilot or student pilot on the day of the drawing. Within three hours, the retired IBM field manager had visited an aviation medical examiner, obtained a medical and student pilot certificate, and faxed proof of his new student pilot status to Sporty's. Douglass says his wife is thrilled that he won the Skyhawk. His pilot friends are sort of happy for him. "They wish they would have won this airplane instead of me," he says.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA RECEIVES TRIBUTE FROM ROBINSON HELICOPTER |
While in California for a series of Pilot Town Meetings last week, AOPA President Phil Boyer paid a visit to Robinson Helicopter Company, the world's largest manufacturer of civilian helicopters, and received a tour of the Torrance plant from Frank Robinson, founder, president, and chairman. Robinson paid tribute to AOPA for the association's ongoing efforts to keep general aviation flying. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Robinson made significant contributions to AOPA's General Aviation Restoration Fund, which supported the creation of the GA Serving America campaign. See the complete story on AOPA Online.
AIRCRAFT RENTERS: ARE YOU COVERED?
With new lower rates, a renter's insurance policy from the AOPA Insurance Agency is now more affordable and will allow you to fly with confidence. "For as little as $95 per year, you can get protection for bodily injury and property damage liability," said Greg Sterling, executive vice president and general manager of the AOPA Insurance Agency. "And for only $125 more, you can add $5,000 in coverage for aircraft damage liability, which will often meet an FBO's deductible." Renter's insurance from the AOPA Insurance Agency has coverage options to fit your needs and budget. For more information or to purchase a policy, see the Web site or call 800/622-AOPA (2672).
HAVE YOU UPDATED YOUR AOPA MEMBER PROFILE?
To make the most of your membership and allow us to serve you better, please visit AOPA Online and update your personal member profile.
| Training Products |
| COMPANY OFFERS KNEEBOARDS WITH MULTIPLE FUNCTIONS |
For those who are seeking more functionality out of their kneeboards, Marty Scott hears your plea. An engineer and a pilot, Scott came up with a kneeboard design based on a "wish list" of features from pilots. Several prototypes and pilot feedback sessions later, the Orga-Knee-Zer was born. It's designed to provide a seven-ring binder on a stable platform with an independent writing surface, and it has a built-in pencil sharpener and combination flashlight/pencil holder, among other features. There are different models for different size cockpits. Order online from Scott Wings Inc. or from AvShop.
| Final Exam |
| Question: I'm just about finished with my training for the private pilot certificate and am considering buying a used aircraft. What resources does AOPA have that would help me in making that decision? |
Answer: AOPA has a publication online, Tips on Buying Used Aircraft , which provides helpful information on how to choose the right aircraft, cost of maintenance, prepurchase inspections, financing, and insurance. Also, AOPA's Aircraft Valuation Service (Vref) will give you a price range of various aircraft to consider. In addition, AOPA offers members an Aircraft Financing Program as well as aircraft owners insurance.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to [email protected] or call the Pilot Assistance Hotline, 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.
| Picture Perfect |
|Jump to the AOPA Online Gallery to see the featured airplane of the day, or 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 |
|Do you know your notices to airmen (notams) as well as you should? Do you know which types of notams you will get in a standard weather briefing, and which notams you have to specifically request in an abbreviated briefing? Get the straight information in AOPA's Aviation Subject Report, Notams and Temporary Flight Restrictions . |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| FLYING DESTINATIONS THIS WEEKEND: |
Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. Lock Haven Airfest takes place July 24 at William T. Piper Memorial (LHV). Fly-in/drive-in breakfast, Staggerwing and Stearman rides, music, and free admission. Contact Dave Rodgers, 570/893-8889.
Lakeport, California. Lake County Airmen's Air Fair takes place July 24 at Lampson Field (1O2). Features all aircraft of interest, antiques, classics, experimentals, and special interest cars. Contact Glen Claypool, 707/277-9058.
Oshkosh, Wisconsin. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2004 takes place July 27 through August 2 at Wittman Regional (OSH). The world's largest general aviation gathering, with more than 10,000 airplanes, 700 exhibitors, and 500 forums and workshops. For more, see the Web site.
To submit an event to the calendar or to 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 Clinic is scheduled in Atlanta, August 7 and 8. Clinics are also scheduled in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Fort Worth, Texas, August 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 Fort Worth, Texas, August 15. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 28 through 31. For complete details on topics and schedules, see AOPA Online.