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| Training Tips |
| WINTER WARMUPS |
As temperatures bottom out for the year during mid-winter, more pilots must switch into cold-weather operating mode. This includes using the proper engine oil, preheating aircraft engines, and verifying during preflight inspections that pitot tubes and static ports are not iced over and that any frost (see the January 17, 2003 "Training Tips") is removed from wings and control surfaces before takeoff.
You have probably learned that engine preheats make start-ups easier, reducing the risk of flooded carburetors and possible engine fires—but that's not the only reason to spend the extra time (and perhaps, money) on a preheat. "Failure to switch to a less viscous oil, or failure to adequately preheat an engine when temperatures drop, can result in metal-to-metal contact within the engine because of lack of lubrication. This type of wear is called 'scuffing.' Camshaft lobes and lifter bodies, pistons, and cylinder walls are especially susceptible to scuffing wear caused by inadequate lubrication during cold starts," wrote Steven W. Ells in the December 2000 AOPA Pilot article "Cold Weather Whys and Hows."
Pilot safety and engine protection—two good reasons to preheat. But there's more to protect aboard your aircraft than just the engine. Once you are up and running, be cautious in how you warm up the cabin. Yes, it's cold sitting there, but windshields and cockpit instruments should be warmed up gradually. Be sure that chilled cables and trim actuators function correctly before you depart. For some insights into how working pilots cope with, and respect, truly cold weather, see the December 2004 AOPA Flight Training column "The Weather Never Sleeps" by Jack Williams.
Much information can be found on winter flying preparation and technique. A good place to start studying is AOPA Online's "Winter Flying" compilation of resources. Consult the pilot's operating handbook (POH) for your aircraft for specific recommendations from the manufacturer. Query your instructor or a mechanic about any questions that aren't addressed in the POH. Before flight, check notices to airmen (notams) for braking-action reports and any temporary runway closures caused by snow-removal operations. Dress for the cold conditions. And always keep emergency equipment on board so that you can stay warm and safe in the event of an off-airport landing. Winter flying requires careful preparation, but it also offers unique rewards. Go up and take a look!
| Your Partner in Training |
|As a student pilot, you are closely supervised to ensure your safety. But once you receive your private pilot certificate, you may tend to grow more complacent in your skills or lack proficiency or understanding in some aircraft operations. That's dangerous. Did you know pilots with private and commercial certificates are the most likely to suffer fatal stall/spin accidents? Click here to read a report on stall/spin mishaps and be sure to visit the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's seminar schedule to learn about free safety seminars in your area. |
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 |
| TWO AIRPORTS GET SOME ADIZ RELIEF |
The FAA last week offered up two minor improvements to the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Air Defense Identification Zone that should help pilots at Kentmorr Airpark and Bay Bridge Airport in Maryland. In a notice to airmen, the FAA moved the line for the procedure area for both airports several miles south, removing the possibility of pattern overlap. AOPA and area pilots have been laboring for more than a year to improve operations within the ADIZ, but AOPA President Phil Boyer noted that the fact that it took so long to get two small adjustments "underscores just how dysfunctional the ADIZ has become."
| Inside AOPA |
AOPA OFFERS MEMBERS A WAY TO AID TSUNAMI RELIEF EFFORT
Many AOPA members have been asking us what they can do to help tsunami victims. According to those providing the on-site assistance, cash donations are most needed. AOPA has identified an international, nonprofit humanitarian organization—one totally consistent with our general aviation mission—that has been using a fleet of GA aircraft for more than 20 years to bring badly needed logistics support, equipment, and hope to millions of people in some of the harshest environments in the world. Its staff is currently deployed in Sri Lanka and Sumatra, some of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami. Air Serv International is listed as an approved agency by the USA Freedom Corps, the organization identified in public service announcements featuring former Presidents Bush and Clinton. In fact, Air Serv's chief international pilot is a 25-year AOPA member. The group's efforts in Afghanistan are highlighted in the February issue of AOPA Pilot. AOPA has established the AOPA Tsunami Fund, a restricted fund dedicated to this specific relief effort, with Air Serv International. "To stretch our limited member resources, AOPA pledges up to $25,000 to match member contributions in this time of worldwide support for the millions of tsunami victims," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. Contributions can be made over the Internet or checks can be sent to the address listed on the Web page. Boyer emphasized that our government has ruled that any tsunami-specific donation made before January 31 of this year can be applied to your 2004 taxes. "We are, with the support of AOPA, making a difference!" said Stuart Willcuts, CEO and president of Air Serv International. For more on this story, see AOPA Online.
AOPA's PILOT INFORMATION CENTER OFFERS HELP ON TSA RULE
The deadline has come and gone for flight instructors to receive the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA's) mandated security awareness training. But many instructors still have questions, or have had problems with TSA's online training course, including printing out the graduation certificates. AOPA expects resolution to the printing problem shortly. TSA officials have told AOPA that they are much more concerned about instructors and flight school employees getting the security awareness information than they are about chasing after missed deadlines. So get the training as soon as you can. If you have problems, call our Pilot Information Center, 800/872-2672. For more information, see AOPA's comprehensive online guide.
AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION GRADUATES FIRST SECURITY-AWARE CFIs
Nearly 200 flight instructors received their official TSA security awareness training certificates at AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics this past weekend. All active CFIs are required to complete TSA training under the new alien flight training/citizenship validation rule. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation instructor clinics are the only in-person courses currently approved to provide the security training. The Air Safety Foundation provides the TSA-mandated training as part of the clinics and will continue for as long as there is a need. For a schedule of Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics, 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 |
| PDA, GPS FUNCTIONS COMBINED IN GARMIN iQUE 3600a |
What do you get when you meld a personal digital assistant (PDA) with a handheld GPS receiver? Garmin's iQue 3600a, said to be aviation's first "ready to fly" PDA, was announced on Monday. The device has a 3.8-inch color display, a built-in base map, terrain, obstacle, and Jeppesen database, plus the usual PDA functions. No stylus is needed to access the navigation features; place the device in its included yoke mount and navigate using dedicated Direct-To, Nearest, Menu, Escape, Enter, and directional rocker buttons common to Garmin's other handheld aviation GPS units. The iQue 3600a is expected to have a retail price of $1,099. For more information, see the Web site.
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 my flight training for the private pilot certificate and am becoming more familiar with the aircraft preflight routine. When draining the fuel samples from the tanks, I noticed the samples sometimes contain water. I want to learn more about fuel systems and how to keep water out of the fuel tanks. Do you have any information online that would be helpful? |
Answer: An article on fuel systems, types of fuel tanks, and preflight tips from the AOPA Pilot archives is available online, as is safety information on preventing water from getting into the fuel tanks from the January 2001 issue of AOPA Flight Training . Water can get into the fuel system several ways, but probably the most common problem is the condensation that can collect inside the fuel tanks when they are only partially full. A good practice is to keep the fuel tanks filled after each flight, and especially after the last flight of the day.
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. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| FLYING DESTINATIONS THIS WEEKEND: |
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 Charlotte, North Carolina; Rochester, New York; and Portland, Oregon, January 29 and 30. Courses are also scheduled in Louisville, Kentucky; New Orleans; and Oklahoma City, February 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 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.