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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| GOT OIL? |
An aircraft engine without oil is like...well, let's not go there. To avoid going there, give oil the attention that it deserves on preflight inspections. Look up recommended oil levels for your training aircraft. Know the recommended oil viscosity for the temperature range for the current season's flying. Because engine problems frequently reveal themselves as abnormal readings on oil-system gauges, remember to scan oil temperature and pressure gauges frequently in flight, and know something about their design. Most oil temperature gauges are electric. Strange indications (unaccompanied by odd oil pressure readings) may merely indicate a chafed, short-circuited wire. That's not true of oil pressure gauges, however.
"In most trainers, the oil pressure gauge is mechanical and is connected to a port on the engine by a small-diameter oil line. A restrictor inside the line keeps oil loss to a minimum and reduces the amount of oil inside the cabin in the event of a line break. Inside the instrument, you'll find a curled-up Bourdon tube resembling a watch spring. As the oil pressure increases in the engine and thus in the tube, the Bourdon tube tries to unwind itself. This movement is translated by a link to the needle on the face of the instrument," Marc E. Cook explained in the May 1999 AOPA Flight Training column, "Engine Gauges: Form and Function."
Student pilots learn that critically low oil pressure is a signal of imminent engine failure. Look for a place to land immediately and try to get down before you lose power. Less is said about high oil pressure-is that a problem? Too much can be as bad as too little, explains Steven W. Ells in the April 2005 AOPA Pilot article, "Find the Right Balance." Note that something as innocent as an engine start without preheat, and with too much power, in very cold weather can cause trouble.
What about oil leaks? It depends. So make sure you check on the cause, as Peter A. Bedell counseled a pilot in "No Dumb Questions: Are Oil Leaks OK?" in the May 2000 AOPA Flight Training. Also see his discussion of what changes in an engine's rate of oil consumption mean.
You are required to demonstrate knowledge of the oil system on the private pilot practical test. Understanding your oil system is also a good way to assess the mechanical condition of an aircraft you may fly.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Beautiful, sunny days with calm winds can create annoying turbulence as bubbles of warm air begin rising, creating thermals. Early in the morning before the sun heats the ground, or late in the afternoon as it's cooling off, the air will be smoother. If you have basic knowledge of what causes turbulence, you can avoid it. Find out more on AOPA Online. |
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. As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online and AOPA Flight Training Online. Login information is available online.
| Flight Training News |
| NTSB CONFIRMS AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION STATS: 2004 SAFEST YEAR |
The NTSB has made official what the AOPA Air Safety Foundation first told you last month; 2004 was general aviation's safest year yet. The NTSB reported Tuesday that GA accidents decreased from 1,741 in 2003 to 1,614 in 2004. There were 312 fatal accidents, down from 352. The accident rate decreased from 6.77 per 100,000 flight hours in 2003 to 6.22 in 2004. The fatal accident rate decreased from 1.37 to 1.20. "According the Air Safety Foundation's database and analysis, that's the lowest number of accidents and the lowest accident rate since 1938," said Bruce Landsberg, Air Safety Foundation executive director. "Clearly, we're doing something right, but when it comes to safety, we can always do it better." And one of the latest tools to help pilots fly more safely is the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's new Online Safety Center.
FAA NAMES 2005 CFI OF THE YEAR
John Anthony Teipen of St. Louis, Missouri, has been named 2005 CFI of the Year for this year's FAA General Aviation Awards Program. Teipen is a Master CFI who has been flight instructing since 1996. He is an independent instructor in the St. Louis area specializing in tailwheel endorsements and spin training in his 1969 Bellanca 7ECA Champion. Teipen also teaches in the aviation program at St. Louis Community College and is an aviation safety counselor and a designated pilot examiner in airplanes and gliders. The General Aviation Awards Program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and several industry sponsors, including AOPA, the Experimental Aircraft Association, National Association of Flight Instructors, Women in Aviation, and National Business Aviation Association.
SAFETY COUNSELOR, TECHNICIANS HONORED
Michael Cheever Church of Costa Mesa, California, has been lauded as Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year in the FAA GA Aviation Awards Program. Church is chief flight instructor and president of Sunrise Aviation at John Wayne-Orange County Airport. He has been a safety counselor for 16 years. Michael O'Brian Branham of Bella Vista, Arizona, was named Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year. Branham is maintenance manager for Wal-Mart Stores; he helps to maintain Wal-Mart's fleet of more than 20 corporate aircraft. The Avionics Technician of the Year is Charles Allen Hanner of Lincoln, Nebraska. He is avionics line team leader for Duncan Aviation at Lincoln Airport. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will present the national awards in July at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
COLLEGE STUDENTS WIN 2005 GAMA AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
Scott R. Winters and Stefanie Gates are this year's recipients of the Dr. Harold S. Wood Award for Excellence, sponsored by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. The event recognizes students who demonstrate academic excellence while promoting aviation on campus and in their community. Winter is a senior at the University of Minnesota. A CFI with a commercial rating, he is a teaching assistant at the university's weather analysis laboratory and is active in the Aviation Club and Storm Chasers Club. Gates is a junior at Purdue University and is pursuing a career as a professional pilot. A CFI with commercial and single-engine land and sea ratings, she is a member of the Purdue University Flight Team and the Louisville, Kentucky, chapter of The Ninety-Nines.
SCHOLARSHIP FUND CREATED IN MEMORY OF AVIATION STUDENT
A scholarship fund has been created to assist women who are pursuing an aviation degree at Metro State College in Denver. The fund commemorates the life of Nadia Barghelame, who, along with two passengers, died December 17, 2004, while piloting a twin-engine Cessna 421. Barghelame was a professionally ranked tennis player who had earned multiengine, instrument, and commercial ratings. Barghelame and her sister founded an online prescription drug business in 2003. She was pursuing an aviation degree at Metro State and planned to fly for a commercial carrier. For more information about the scholarship fund, call 888/247-8558.
| Inside AOPA |
ALLOW PILOTS TO USE CELL PHONES IN FLIGHT, AOPA SAYS
General aviation pilots should be able to use cell phones in the cockpit while they're airborne. And they should be able to do it now, AOPA has told the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC is considering rules to allow cell phones and other wireless devices to be used in the air. "Cell phones and other wireless technologies are invaluable tools for obtaining updated weather and other information in flight," said Randy Kenagy, AOPA senior director of advanced technology. The risk of interference with aircraft avionics for the typical GA flight is very slight, he said. For more, see the complete story on AOPA Online.
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 |
| LEARN ALL ABOUT AIRSPACE WITH SPORTY'S CD-ROM |
Airspace-the classes, the dimensions, the radio and equipment requirements-often proves to be one of the most challenging lessons for the student pilot. It's a complicated set of requirements that can be difficult to remember. A new computer tutorial from Sporty's, Virtual Airspace, aims to turn the complex subject into a meaningful, three-dimensional lesson. The program covers all classes of airspace as well as special-use airspace. Virtual Airspace runs on Windows and is available for $19.95. Order online or call 800/SPORTYS.
Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.
| Final Exam |
| Question: I just started training for my private pilot certificate, with hopes of someday becoming a professional pilot. Can AOPA provide any guidance on flying careers? |
Answer: AOPA's Guide to Flying Careers provides detailed information on various flying careers, including flight instructing, air taxi, airlines, business flying, agricultural flying, and many others. It includes articles from both AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training magazines discussing the aviation industry, how to get your foot in the door, and how to prepare for an interview. In addition, AOPA has subject reports on Aviation Colleges and Universities and Aviation Loans and Scholarships and offers Flight Training Funds to help finance your flight training.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Pilot Information Center, 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 images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|Most pilots learned to fly in a training aircraft with conventional electromechanical gauges on the instrument panel (often colloquially referred to as "steam gauges"). But more flight schools and FBOs are renting aircraft with state-of-the-art glass-cockpit technology, and AOPA's 2005 Commander Countdown Sweepstakes aircraft will sport a new glass instrument panel. You can learn more about glass-cockpit technology and how to fly it by reading AOPA's updated aviation subject report. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS: |
Jasper, Texas. The Jasper Airshow takes place April 2 and 3 at Jasper County-Bell Field (JAS). Two days of World War II and modern military aircraft flying, parachuting, professional aerobatic flying, balloon rides, and much more. Free aircraft parking. Gates open at 9 a.m. both days. Contact Debbie Foster, 409/384-2626.
Nashua, New Hampshire. The New England Aviation Expo takes place April 9 at Daniel Webster College, adjacent to Boire Field (ASH). The event is free and open to the public. It will feature exhibits and classes for all aviation enthusiasts, but is designed specifically to educate and promote the safety of general aviation. Contact Karen Goff, 603/879-6807, or visit the Web site.
Valdosta, Georgia. The Moody AirFest 2005 takes place April 9 and 10 at Moody Air Force Base (VAD). Civilian and military airshow demonstrations, including Patty Wagstaff and a Combat search and rescue demonstration. Contact the Airshow Hotline, 229/257-5636, or visit the Web site.
Shreveport, Louisiana. The Wings Over the Red II Airshow takes place April 9 at Shreveport Downtown (DTN) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The airshow and fly-in features aerobatic pilots Steve Culp, Gary Boucher, Dave Leedom, and W.T. Coleman. Food, fun, and free! Contact George Carroll, EAA Chapter 343, 318/797-5205.
Lakeland, Florida. The Sun 'n Fun Fly-In takes place April 12 through 18 at Lakeland Linder Regional (LAL). A celebration of flight with thousands of aircraft of every size and shape, plus hundreds of educational activities, daily airshow, and lots more! Visit the Web site for more information. And don't miss a Pilot Town Meeting with AOPA President Phil Boyer on April 14, and AOPA Day on April 15! AOPA members receive a $5 discount on admission and the chance to win prizes.
To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Indianapolis, and Cincinnati, April 9 and 10. Courses are also scheduled in Denver, Chicago, and Salt Lake City, April 16 and 17. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Fairfield, New Jersey, April 5; and Frederick, Maryland, April 6. The topic is "Weather Wise." For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.