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| Training Tips |
| POSITIVE EXCHANGE |
Have you ever been momentarily confused about exactly who is flying the airplane-you or your instructor? This problem can arise, especially during flights that include instructors' demonstrations of maneuvers followed by student practice. However, a flight instructor and student who have worked out a method of communication for quickly and clearly transferring control will never waste costly flight time or place a flight at risk out of confusion. This is more than just good flight crew coordination. The Private Pilot Practical Test Standards (PTS) list "procedures for positive exchange of flight controls (who is flying the airplane)" among 11 special emphasis areas on which you will be evaluated throughout the flight test. You can download the PTS from AOPA Online.
Students and instructors should agree on a standard phrase to use during transfers. The terse "I have the airplane," is a frequent choice of CFIs when taking over, but the phrase "I have the flight controls" is used in the PTS. "You have the airplane" (or "you have the flight controls") is what you will hear when aircraft control is being released back to you. Give an appropriate confirming response as you relinquish or take control.
Be sure that a similar system is in place during your flight test, when you will probably be flying with someone new to your cockpit, as discussed in the "Instructor Report" column by Kristen Hummel in the November 2004 AOPA Flight Training.
Develop this very professional habit during your training, and you will be more alert to questions of command after you pass your checkride and begin flying with other pilots. The pleasant but sometimes ambiguous situation of two pilots flying together is analyzed in Wally Miller's April 2003 AOPA Flight Training feature "Assuming Command."
Even in training, transfers of command should be relatively infrequent. Instructors are warned that doing so too often interferes with their students' learning. "Intervene only when it's necessary to make a point, prevent an unsafe situation, or avoid an unpleasant meeting with the ground," counsels Rod Machado in his "Instructor Report" column in the February 2003 AOPA Flight Training.
So work out a method for transfer of control, rehearse your roles a time or two on the ground, then head out to fly, knowing that a safe, effective procedure for positive exchange of flight controls is in place in your cockpit.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Every AOPA member-including those who have accepted AOPA's six-month introductory membership offer-has free, live access to our in-house flight instructors and aviation experts who are standing by to answer your questions. Call the AOPA Pilot Information Center Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time, toll-free at 800/872-2672. And check out our online Pilot Information Center Guides. Topics for these guides are drawn from the real-life concerns of AOPA members who call our staff for help more than 100,000 times every year. |
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 |
| STUDENT PILOT ENTERS KENNEDY SPACE CENTER PROHIBITED AREA |
A student pilot on his third solo flight inadvertently flew over Kennedy Space Center in Jacksonville, Florida, last week. The St. Augustine Record reported that 26-year-old Bryant T. Ryals departed Vero Beach Municipal Airport on January 6 en route to St. Augustine Airport. He became "disoriented by the clouds," according to a deputy with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff's deputies, contacted by NASA, were on hand to greet Ryals when he landed at St. Augustine. He was questioned and released.
DOT SECRETARY WARNS PILOTS ABOUT LASERS
Pilots are being asked to help law enforcement agencies track down individuals who shine lasers into aircraft cockpits. In a January 12 announcement, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta urged pilots to comply with the recommendations of a new advisory circular dealing with laser incidents. AC 70-2 recommends that pilots immediately report any laser incidents to air traffic controllers or, at nontowered airports, over the local unicom frequency. ATC will notify other pilots in the immediate vicinity through ATIS broadcasts and pass the information to law enforcement authorities. Oddly enough, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is currently evaluating the use of lasers to visually alert pilots who violate the security-restricted airspace around Washington, D.C. For more on reporting laser incidents, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
TSA's JANUARY DEADLINE FOCUSES ON ACTIVE CFIs
In response to questions posed by AOPA, TSA officials said Thursday that they want to focus on compliance, not enforcement, as a January 18 deadline approaches for flight instructors to receive security awareness training. If you are an active CFI engaged in any type of training, you must complete the security awareness course by Tuesday's deadline. If you have a current instructor certificate but aren't teaching or if your instructor certificate has expired, TSA encourages you to take the course. Active CFIs who miss the deadline should take the training as soon as possible. "This clarification from the TSA should help relieve the fears of CFIs who may discover, too late, that they've missed the training deadline," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs. "But that's no reason to put off taking the course. Every CFI, whether active or not, can benefit from an increased awareness of security issues-precisely the mission of this training course and programs like AOPA's Airport Watch." For more see AOPA Online. To help CFIs comply, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation has added the training at no additional cost to each of its Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics (FIRCs) nationwide, starting this weekend. To view the FIRC schedule, see AOPA Online.
CURRENT ALTIMETER SETTINGS REALLY MATTER
On the night of January 18, 2003, the pilot of a Piper Cherokee learned a hard lesson about correct altimeter settings when his airplane hit the water off the coast of Orcas Island, Washington. He was seriously injured and a passenger died. The airplane was destroyed. Read what went wrong in this special report prepared by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, exclusively for ePilot readers.
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 |
| ASA INTRODUCES LOGBOOK DESIGNED FOR SPORT PILOTS |
Aviation Supplies and Academics Inc. has introduced a sport pilot logbook designed for students, pilots, and instructors who fly ultralights and light-sport aircraft, including hang gliders, paragliders, powered parachutes, weight-shift control trikes, and fixed-wing aircraft. Pilots can document preparations, flight conditions, and flight analyses in addition to the actual flight or instructional time. ASA maintains that your notes on each flight will help you to interpret weather more accurately by providing you with a reference to past conditions and the quality of the flight. The 98-page softcover, spiral-bound book sells for $19.95 and may be ordered online.
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 working toward my private pilot certificate. Most of the free time I have to train is during the evening. Am I allowed to fly solo at night? |
Answer: If your flight instructor provides you with the required training and logbook endorsements, you can fly solo at night. The presolo flight training requirements for a student pilot to solo at night can be found in 14 CFR Part 61 Section 61.87, specifically paragraphs (n), (o), and (p) under "Solo requirements for student pilots." Additionally, FAA Advisory Circular AC 61-65D provides flight instructors guidance for issuing endorsements for solo flight. However, your flight instructor might be reluctant to endorse you for solo flight at night because, although night flight training is required for the issuance of a private pilot certificate, night soloing is not required (see FAR 61.109, Aeronautical experience). Many flight schools do not permit student pilots to fly rental aircraft solo at night. For more information, see the Night Flying aviation subject report on AOPA Online.
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 |
|Thinking about checking out in a faster, more powerful airplane? Don't just jump into the cockpit. Do your homework on the make and model and find a qualified instructor to work with you. These and other tips can be found in the aviation subject report Transitioning to High-Performance Aircraft on AOPA Online. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| FLYING DESTINATIONS THIS WEEKEND: |
La Verne, California. A New Year Antique Aircraft/Car Display takes place January 16 at Brackett Field (POC). This free event features classic, new, and homebuilt aircraft and cars, Stearman rides, and an on-site restaurant. Fly-ins welcome. Contact Yvonne, 626/576-8692.
Lansing, Michigan. The Great Lakes International Aviation Conference takes place January 20 through 22 in downtown Lansing. Pilots can fly to Capital City (LAN). Shuttles will run from the airport to the downtown location of the conference. Contact Todd Smith, 248/348-6942, or visit the Web site.
Punta Gorda, Florida. A Florida Aviation Expo takes place January 21 through 23 at Charlotte County (PGD). Numerous seminars, booths, and aviation exhibitors. Al Haynes will have a presentation Saturday, January 22 at 3 p.m. Contact Jim Kantor, 941/637-8585, 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 Long Beach, California; Jackson, Mississippi; and Sevierville, Tennessee, January 22 and 23. Courses are also scheduled in Charlotte, North Carolina; Rochester, New York; and Portland, Oregon, January 29 and 30. 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 Mesa, Arizona, and San Antonio, Texas, January 24; Tucson, Arizona, and West Houston, Texas, January 25; Fort Worth, Texas, January 26; and Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Austin, Texas, January 27. The seminar is Weather Wise. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.