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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 5, Issue 32AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 5, Issue 32

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Volume 5, Issue 32 • August 12, 2005
In this issue:
Iowa aviation program buys Cirrus SR20
Helicopter school expands Florida training facility
AOPA reminds pilots of sport pilot medical 'catch'


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Training Tips
If you think you had it rough during those early sessions learning how to take off and land your training aircraft, think of what the tires endured. Side loads during crosswind takeoff runs and touchdowns. Hard landings and bounces. It's amazing that they still look so good. But are they still as good as they appear? You have been taught to look for cuts, bulges, scuffs, and worn-out tread. And your preflight-inspection checklist advises you to "check for proper inflation." But to really know whether aircraft tires are ready for duty, you may need to be doing even more.

What is the correct tire pressure for your aircraft? Is it the same for the nosewheel as for the mains? If you have ever checked the pressure of your aircraft tires, or noted when they were last inflated, you are in a small but prudent minority. "Inflation problems dramatically reduce tire life. Even a slight amount of over- or under-inflation will accelerate wear and increase stress on the tire. A lightweight digital or dial-type tire gauge is a handy addition to your flight bag and is a much more scientific method than trying to guess whether the tire 'looks a little low.' Don't forget temperature effects. If the last time you checked pressure was August, you can be sure it won't be right on winter's first frosty morning," Dave Hensley cautioned in the "Instructor Report" column of the February 2004 AOPA Flight Training.

Tires do not suffer the worst stress during those challenging landings (unlike pilots). It is during fast taxiing, sharp cornering, or pivoting around a brake-locked wheel that a tire may be put to the test, C. Hall "Skip" Jones explained in "Rolling an Airplane" in the January 1998 Flight Training.

Surprised? Then take a glance back at Marc E. Cook's lively analysis of the demands that pilots put on tires and how designers cope. You will find it in the September 1997 AOPA Pilot article titled "Rubber Wonders." After that, you are sure to approach your next flight with new respect for "the little black donuts" on which your trainer rolls.

Your Partner in Training
"My flight instructor and I just don't click." Are you having problems with your CFI or your flight school? Talking about it could go a long way toward clearing things up. Before making a drastic move that could set back your training, read this article from the January 2004 AOPA Flight Training magazine. If you have additional questions, call the Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern.

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
Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville, Iowa, has purchased a Cirrus SR20 for its aviation program. "We are the first collegiate program in the United States to purchase the Cirrus for FAA Part 141 training," said Ron Duer, aviation/airport management program coordinator and chief flight instructor. "This plane was made specifically for Iowa Lakes." The SR20 features XM Satellite weather on its multifunction display panel and an automated flight director. Students can program a flight plan into the automated flight director, and at a specific altitude the program will take over and fly the airplane.

If you have 15 minutes, you can learn the basics of operating a Garmin 430/530 GPS receiver. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has launched the first in a series of online minicourses on panel-mounted GPS receivers. Unlike traditional training courses, the minicourse focuses on the basic functions used by a typical pilot in VFR flight. You'll learn how to enter communication and VOR frequencies, add GPS waypoints, and use the basic moving map functions. The course also includes a free downloadable quick-reference card to carry in the cockpit. The course is located in the AOPA Online Safety Center.

Helicopter Adventures Inc. in Titusville, Florida, has expanded its operations at Space Coast Regional Airport to include a new flight training facility. The building adds four classrooms plus 7,000 square feet of office and administrative space to the school's current location. Helicopter Adventures offers flight training for FAA and European Joint Aviation Authority ratings, and a military training program for U.S. allies modeled on the U.S. Army aviation program at Fort Rucker, Alabama. The school operates a fleet of more than 40 helicopters, including Schweizer 300CBs, Robinson R22s, and Bell 206 JetRangers. For more information, see the Web site.

What do airline hiring professionals look for in new hires? Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) is going to the source. ERAU and AirTran Airways are sponsoring a free workshop for airline recruiters on August 29 and 30 in Atlanta, and the focus will be on airline pilot screening and recruiting. Working with AirTran and other hiring professionals helps Embry-Riddle to develop screening best practices based on their input, according to Martin Schaaf, executive director of ERAU's Commercial Airline Pilot Training Program. The workshop takes place at the Alteon Training Center across from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. To register, call Lou Nemeth, 704/752-8088, or e-mail.

Inside AOPA
The sport pilot certificate and light sport aircraft are gaining popularity, especially as new aircraft are certified in the United States. But some confusion still surrounds the new sport pilot certificate and the pilot certification process. Pilots have been calling AOPA's Pilot Information Center because their medical certificates have been denied, which means they can't use their driver's license to medically qualify to fly as a sport pilot. "If your most recent application for medical certification was denied, suspended, or revoked, or if the most recent special issuance authorization was terminated or withdrawn, medical self-certification with a valid driver's license is not an option," said Gary Crump, AOPA director of medical certification. "Following a denial of a medical application or special issuance termination, you must reapply to the FAA and be granted a one-time special issuance medical in order to then medically self-certify with a valid driver's license." For more information, see the FAA's Web site.

Lockheed-Martin is on schedule to take over operation of the flight service station system on October 4 under a contract paid for and supervised by the FAA. AOPA supports the changes to the FSS program because they will provide significantly improved services for general aviation pilots-funded by aviation taxes, not user fees. Lockheed-Martin's contract guarantees phone calls will be answered within 20 seconds and radio calls will be acknowledged within five seconds. Briefers also will have access to an integrated database so that every briefer can get every piece of information that a pilot needs. There may be some service glitches during the start-up phase as FAA employees transfer to Lockheed-Martin and the contractor upgrades equipment. "Pilots should report any difficulties with FSS services to AOPA," said Andy Cebula, senior vice president of government and technical affairs. "We'll make sure the problem is reported and rectified." E-mail your comments to AOPA. For more, see AOPA Online.

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
Dauntless Software is known to the aviation community as developer of knowledge test prep, pilot logbook, checkride prep, and other programs. But it also maintains on its Web site a community section that features a grab bag of freebies such as checklists, VFR and IFR cross-country planning spreadsheets, weight-and-balance calculators, a VOR navigation simulator, and more. Checking what was available for the Piper Archer II and III, we found four checklists (Dauntless solicits contributions from the pilot community), a Safety Card suitable to give to passengers, and a pilot's operating handbook and performance planning spreadsheet for simulators only. To view free items, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

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: While practicing takeoffs and landings at my local airport, I frequently have close encounters with birds that fly around the airport traffic area. What is the recommended procedure for avoiding a bird strike?

Answer: According to section 7-4-1 of the Aeronautical Information Manual, a pilot should climb to avoid a bird strike because bird flocks will typically fly downward. If you observe a large flock of birds while in flight, consider reporting their current position, altitude, and general direction of flight to the nearest ATC facility or FSS, as well as to airport management. If you are involved in a bird strike incident, you can report it using an online electronic form. For more information on bird strikes and how to avoid them, read AOPA's subject report, Bird/Wildlife Strikes.

Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to [email protected] 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
If you are flying right seat with an experienced pilot in his aircraft, do you mention hasty preflights, low fuel levels, or other concerns-or do you keep quiet? Sometimes discretion isn't the better part of valor, as a Maryland pilot learned on a flightseeing trip in Alaska. Read his account in "Never Again Online."

Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix.

ePilot Calendar
Luray, Virginia. Luray Caverns 127th Anniversary of Discovery takes place August 12 through 14 at Luray Caverns (W45). Blues and bluegrass music, hot air balloons, grand illumination of caverns, artisans, crafts, and more. Contact Kenneth L. Painter, 540/743-6070, or visit the Web site.

McCall, Idaho. The McCall Family Fly-in takes place August 12 through 14 at McCall Municipal (MYL). Featuring seminars, family and children's activities, tours, static displays, fly-bys, pancake breakfast, and hangar party with live music. Contact Tammy Schoen, 208/334-8775, or visit the Web site.

Auburn, California. Thunder In The Sky takes place August 13 at Auburn Municipal (AUN). See warbirds, antique and classic aircraft, rotorcraft, military aircraft, vendors, food, and fun for the family, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact Susan Wozniak, 530/863-3497, or visit the Web site.

Massena, New York. Wings of Freedom-Saluting Those Who Serve takes place August 19 through 21 at Massena International-Richards Field (MSS). Featuring tours and flight experiences aboard Collings Foundation B24 and B17 aircraft, military equipment display, civilian aircraft, and memorabilia, etc. Contact Paul Haggett, 315/769-3525, or visit the Web site.

McMinnville, Oregon. The Northwest Antique Airplane Club Fly-in takes place August 19 through 21 at McMinnville Municipal (MMV). Don't miss the largest display of antique aircraft in the Northwest-more than 700 aircraft on display. Contact Carmen Eastman, 503/320-9120, or visit the Web site.

Rochester, New Hampshire. The Skyhaven Airshow 2005 takes place August 20 and 21 at Skyhaven (DAW). Includes military flybys, an A-10 demonstration, a 50-person sky-dive, and line-up of aerobatic acts headlined by Rob Holland. Contact OVA Staff, 603/332-0005, or visit the Web site.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The 2005 Cardinal East Coast Fly-in takes place August 20 at Lancaster (LNS). Join fellow Cardinal owners for seminars, food, and prizes. Contact Al Hubler, 717/367-7272, or visit 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.

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Champaign, Illinois, and Allentown, Pennsylvania, August 20 and 21. A course is also scheduled in Reno, Nevada, August 27 and 28. 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 are scheduled to take in San Antonio, August 15; West Houston, Texas, August 16; Ft. Worth, Texas, August 17; and Austin, Texas, August 18. The topic is "Single Pilot IFR." For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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