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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.
| Training Tips
| GUARD THE THROTTLE
Exemplary piloting technique shows itself in attention to detail, reflecting well on the student pilot and the flight instructor who taught you your cockpit skills. An example is how carefully a pilot "guards" the throttle during takeoffs, landings, and maneuvers such as slow flight and stall entries. Guarding the throttle refers to using the locking mechanism designed to keep the throttle setting from slipping, and then keeping a hand on the throttle during critical flight phases for safety. This is consistent with recommended operating practice. The pilot's operating handbook for the Cessna 152 (1980) recommends using its throttle friction lock after setting takeoff power, and adds, "Similar friction lock adjustments should be made as required in other flight conditions to maintain a fixed throttle setting."
Timing throttle adjustments is more efficient if you are ready when the need arises. "If the student maintains the stabilized approach and keeps one hand on the throttle during the approach, landings become much smoother as well as safer," noted Bill Cuccinello in the January 2004 AOPA Flight Training Instructor Report.
Guarding the throttle could prevent inadvertent power changes when practicing emergencies such as the simulation of an engine failure after takeoff. "Instructors can add a margin of safety to this emergency demonstration by selecting carburetor heat on, which will cause a slight reduction of rpm, and following up with the statement 'Engine failure!' The left-seat pilot should already have his hand on the throttle at the takeoff power setting, minimizing the risk of the instructor's somehow reducing power by an inadvertent throttle reduction," wrote Joel Stoller in the September 2002 AOPA Flight Training feature "Crisis Management 101."
And when troubleshooting a power loss, include the throttle on your list of possible causes. "Perhaps the tachometer will show a reduction in power-maybe because the throttle friction lock has inadvertently backed off, or maybe because you've picked up some carburetor ice," wrote Thomas A. Horne in the January 1998 AOPA Pilot feature "Instrument Insights: Balancing the Juggling Act."
Set your throttle, tighten the friction lock, then guard it during critical operations for safe and precise flying!
| Your Partner in Training
|Did you know that student pilots who join AOPA are three times more likely to complete their flight training? Membership includes unlimited access to aviation information by phone (800/USA-AOPA, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time) or from Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you're not already a member, join today and get the pilot's edge. Login information is available online.
| Flight Training News
| 2004 GA ACCIDENTS LOWEST ON RECORD
General aviation has never been safer, and accident statistics for 2004 prove it. Last year saw the fewest GA accidents since record keeping began in 1938 and the lowest number of fatal accidents since 1945, according to preliminary data from the NTSB. The total number of GA accidents dropped 8.4 percent compared to 2003, while the number of fatal accidents declined 11.4 percent. The numbers also improved for instructional flying, with total accidents down 11.7 percent and fatal instructional accidents down 50 percent. (There are very few fatal instructional accidents in any year. Last year there were 17.)
AIRLINES BEGIN RECALLING FURLOUGHED PILOTS
Airlines are getting back into hiring mode. Continental, Northwest, and United all plan to slowly call back furloughed pilots throughout the year, according to AIR, Inc. The callback is partly because of mandatory age 60 retirements and some early retirements, explained Kit Darby, president of AIR, Inc. Meanwhile, Southwest, America West, and JetBlue are projected to continue hiring. Darby also predicts a strong pilot movement from passenger carriers to cargo carriers. FedEx and UPS are expected to hire a combined total of more than 400 pilots this year. "They [cargo carriers] are expected to grow faster and remain more stable than the passenger airlines in the future," Darby said.
BE A PILOT NETS NEARLY 33,000 PILOT PROSPECTS IN 2004
Nearly 33,000 prospective new pilots were registered in 2004 for a $49 introductory flying lesson at one of 2,114 flight schools, Be A Pilot said. The program's 2004 TV advertising brought in more than 23,600 prospects. TV spots with person-to-person testimonials won more viewer response for the advertising dollar, Be A Pilot said, noting that the cost per TV-generated pilot prospect fell 7.8 percent last year, "reversing multi-year escalation in advertising costs." For more information on Be A Pilot, or to download a certificate for a $49 introductory flying lesson at a participating flight school, see the Web site.
AVIATION 'EARLY TAKEOFF' CAREER PROGRAM BEGINS IN DAYTON
Sinclair Community College, in Dayton, Ohio, has launched a new program that permits high school students to start flight training and take college-level aviation classes in preparation for an aviation career. Students enrolled in the Early Takeoff Program start out taking core classes in aviation subjects, which can be applied toward an associate of applied science degree in aviation technology. Career opportunities include professional pilot, aircraft mechanic, and managing an aviation business. Early Takeoff enrollees take flight instruction through Delta Connection Academy at Dayton International Airport.
'MISSION: POSSIBLE' NOW COMES IN A BOX
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's newest interactive program, "Mission: Possible," is now available as a Seminar-in-a-Box. Flying clubs, pilot groups, flight schools, and others can learn how to deal with military lights-out training, now being conducted in many military operations areas around the nation. The Seminar-in-a-Box includes a DVD based on the interactive online course, presenter notes, and copies of the Air Safety Foundation's printed Lights Out Safety Advisor. The seminar is free, but there is a $24.95 shipping and handling charge. To order, call 800/638-3101 or see the Air Safety Foundation's Web site.
| Inside AOPA
AOPA STAFF MEMBERS SIFT THROUGH MOUNTAIN OF STATE BILLS
AOPA's regional affairs staff members have been sifting through a mountain of state bills-more than 6,600 so far-to make sure there are no surprises for general aviation lurking within the fine print, and to provide support for measures that would benefit GA. AOPA would like to see laws enacted in every state to provide zoning protection for airports and universal real estate disclosures, where potential homebuyers would have to be told that there is an existing airport nearby. Staff members are monitoring about 240 bills that may have some interest to AOPA members. There are about 107 bills in the various state legislatures that would have a direct impact on GA. For more details, see 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
| NEW BOOK SEEKS TO EXPLAIN FLIGHT TRAINING PROCESS
People who are thinking about learning to fly usually have lots of questions before they even schedule a discovery flight. "How much will it cost? How long will it take? What can I do with a pilot certificate?" Flight Training: Taking a Short Approach was written for the student-pilot-to-be. It aims to explain the flight training process and prepare the reader for what will happen at the airport. Author David Diamond is a private pilot and graphic artist whose distinctive 3-D illustrations have appeared in many AOPA Flight Training articles. The 292-page soft-cover book sells for $39.95 and can be ordered online from Aviation Supplies and Academics, Inc.
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'm a student pilot preparing to take my long solo cross-country flight. While planning my flight, I noticed several military operations areas (MOAs) along my route. Am I allowed to fly through these areas?
Answer: Although you are legally allowed to fly through a MOA without an ATC clearance, extreme caution should be exercised if the MOA is active or "hot." Before entering an active MOA along your planned route of flight, contact the controlling agency or flight service for traffic advisories on the frequency listed on the sectional chart or in the Airport/Facility Directory appropriate for that area. Military flight operations in an active MOA can include low-level high-speed flying, air combat tactics, formation training, aerobatics, and other maneuvers. More information is available in Chapter 3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual and in a free online course from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, "Mission: Possible."
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
|Is an FAA knowledge test on your horizon? Download the latest Airman Knowledge Testing Centers list to find a convenient location. AOPA members receive a $10 discount at any CATS FAA Testing Center. Click here for details.
| Weekend Weather
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix.
| ePilot Calendar
| UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS:
Melbourne, Florida. The Florida Tech 2005 Aviation Symposium takes place February 24 through 26 at the Florida Institute of Technology College of Aeronautics at Melbourne International (MLB). Don't miss hours of seminars, banquet featuring speaker Erik Lindberg, and a variety of aviation day activities! Contact Milo Zonka, 321/863-1812, or visit the Web site.
Puyallup, Washington. The Twenty-second Annual Northwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show takes place February 26 and 27 at the Western Washington Fairgrounds. This event features a keynote address by AOPA President Phil Boyer, two large exhibit halls, and hours of aviation seminars. Call 866/922-7469, or visit the Web site.
Mesa, Arizona. The 2005 ASU Aviation Expo takes place March 4 and 5 at Williams Gateway (IWA). Hosted by Arizona State University's Aeronautical Management Technology Department and co-host Fighter Combat International Emergency Maneuver Training. Contact Wayne Tripp, 480/727-1691, or visit the Web site.
Las Vegas, Nevada. Aviation Industry Week takes place March 8 through 10 at Sands Expo and Convention Center. Aviation Industry Week is the premiere event for the business of aviation. The event is host to AS3, GSExpo International, NATA's 2005 Annual Convention, and PAMA's thirty-fourth annual aviation maintenance symposium. Call 800/827-8009, 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 .
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Phoenix; Ontario, California; and Orlando, Florida, March 5 and 6. A course is also scheduled in Virginia Beach, Virginia, March 12 and 13. 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 Detroit, February 28; Bowling Green, Ohio, March 1; Columbus, Ohio, March 2; and Knightstown, Indiana, March 3. The topic is "Weather Wise." For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.