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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 5, Issue 23AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 5, Issue 23

To view the AOPA ePilot archives, click here.

Volume 5, Issue 23 • June 10, 2005
In this issue:
Regional airlines hiring pilots, flight schools say
Glass cockpits require training investment
Well-attended AOPA Fly-In attracts prospective pilots


Scheyden Eyewear


King Schools

Garmin International

Pilot Insurance Center

Sporty's Pilot Shop

Minnesota Life Insurance

Comm1 Radio Simulator

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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.

Training Tips
With days of long-enduring sunlight upon us, don't forget to plan how you will meet the night-flying requirements of your training. This doesn't have to mean heading off to the airport at the end of your favorite prime-time television program when you'd usually be thinking about sleep. Instead, tape the TV show and schedule some sunset training flights that transition into nighttime flying as both a convenient and realistic way to get some night flying done. The requirements you must meet, and other aspects of night flying, were discussed in the February 1, 2002, Training Tips.

For the requirements that must be completed exclusively at night-such as the three hours, and the dual 100-nautical-mile cross-country and 10 night takeoffs and landings-be sure that you are indeed flying at "night" as defined under the Federal Aviation Regulations.

By definition that is "between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight, as published in the American Air Almanac," Kathy Yodice explained in her column in the November 2004 AOPA Flight Training. Since this is not a particularly accessible definition at the airport, she added this guidance: Consult the table on The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Web site, or "if you can't access the Web site, a rule of thumb is to add a half-hour to official sunset and subtract a half-hour from official sunrise; you can usually get these times from your local newspaper or flight service."

Preflight preparation for a night flight means allowing for night fuel reserves, knowing what runway and approach lighting is available at destinations, and looking up whether control towers (and associated controlled airspace) will be in operation when you expect to arrive. Review with your instructor what personal equipment to bring along. Talk over the need for adaptation to darkness and how your eyes function in the dark. Do not be surprised if finding the destination airport is challenging-especially if it sits in the midst of bright urban lights. If it is rural, stay alert to wandering wildlife on runways.

Night flying has unique joys and challenges, as Mark Twombly describes in his March 2004 AOPA Flight Training column, "Continuing Ed: Day into Night." As usual when taking on a new flying experience, preparation is the key.

Your Partner in Training
All pilots are taught the three Hs of density altitude-high, hot, and humid. Most also learn to beware the combination, because each compounds the effects of the other two. While your airplane's pilot's operating handbook will tell you what kind of performance you can expect, how to factor the variables of high, hot, and humid into handling an emergency in flight is something else to ponder. Learn more from the archives of AOPA Flight Training. Still have questions? Call our aviation experts at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time.

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
Many aspiring airline pilots aren't pursuing their dream career because of all the news about major airlines having financial difficulties, an Orlando-based flight academy said. Yet regionals are snapping up graduates at lower levels of experience today than in the past. Delta Connection Academy President Susan Burrell said student enrollments used to grow at 15 to 20 percent a year, but that has not been possible due to a misperception by potential students and their parents that the number of available pilot jobs is shrinking. She said she placed all of her last class in regional airline jobs, adding that requirements from regionals have dropped from 1,000 hours total time with 100 multiengine hours, to 700 hours total time and 100 multiengine hours. It used to take a student two years, from the time initial pilot training began, to reach the cockpit of a regional jet airliner, but now the time is 18 months, Burrell said.

The advent of glass cockpits in small general aviation aircraft creates exciting possibilities for easy-to-fly approaches, increased situational awareness, and safety-not to mention the fact that they look really neat. But to get the most out of a glass cockpit, manufacturers are recommending intensive training. So pilots new to the world of glass-cockpit flying should be prepared to invest time and money in making the transition. How much time and money? A recent Cessna-approved checkout in a Cessna 182 with the G1000 glass cockpit system cost a renter $1,300 for six hours in the air, five hours of formal ground instruction, and many more in pre- and post-flight discussions. New Cirrus owners spend eight hours in self-study, four hours in ground school, and 10 hours in the airplane learning their new Avidyne displays. Chelton Flight Systems officials are considering 11 hours of ground training and 14 in the air. For additional insights on glass cockpits, see the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Technically Advanced Aircraft Special Report .

Flight schools that participate in the Be A Pilot program can get free contact information for local prospective students. The leads are compiled and distributed by AOPA. (Cessna Pilot Center schools continue to receive leads directly from Cessna.) Participating schools honor the $49 Be A Pilot Introductory Flight Certificate that can be printed from the Be A Pilot Web site. More than 2,000 flight schools currently participate, according to Be A Pilot. Add your flight school to the list of participants or verify your school's information by clicking on the "For Flight Schools Only" button on the home page and following the instructions to post or update contact information. Or send an e-mail with all contact information, or call 888/GO2-BAP1.

Incidentally, flight schools that honor the $49 Introductory Flight Certificate aren't required to make it a full one-hour flying lesson, particularly in these times of rising avgas prices, Be A Pilot says. "You determine how serious the prospect is. You decide if the prospect is worth a 15-minute 'round the patch' flight, or something more for a serious prospect," Be A Pilot counseled in its newsletter. For many schools, one or more out of every 10 discovery flights produces a new student, Be A Pilot said.

This Saturday, June 11, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles, Virginia, will host its first Become a Pilot Family Day and Aviation Display. Parked outside the museum will be a wide variety of aircraft from a Marine Corps Harrier to a Vought F4U Corsair to a Beechcraft G-17 Staggerwing. Jay and Mary Honeck and their two children, owners of the Alexis Park Inn and Suites in Iowa City, Iowa, were invited to show off their Piper Pathfinder. Because they use the airplane for work as well as recreation, they were chosen to represent "Midwest family flying." There will be activities for children. Admission is free. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


If you fly an aircraft equipped with a Garmin GNS 430 or 530 GPS nav/com or are interested in this multifunction unit, the FAA has created an online video training seminar for you. The program is designed to take you through the system page by page and improve your operational understanding of the system through scenario-based demonstrations. It consists of six units, each lasting 45 minutes to one hour. The video course is available in three formats: Real Player, Windows, and FAA internal users. See the Web site for more information.

Seven flight instructors achieved master CFI designations in May, according to the National Association of Flight Instructors. The designation is a national accreditation recognized by the FAA, and it must be renewed every two years. Fewer than 500 of the 85,000 CFIs in the United States have earned Master status, NAFI said. The new designees are Kenneth Appleman of Portage, Michigan; Michael Gaffney of Lake St. Louis, Missouri; Aaron Glassman of Norfolk, Virginia; Maureen McGee of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Zachary McNeill of Jacksonville, Florida; Graham Peterson of Renton, Washington; and Anson Statema of Kennewick, Washington.

Inside AOPA

Saturday, June 4, started out gloomy but ended with sunshine and plenty of activity for AOPA's Fifteenth Annual Fly-In and Open House. More than 5,000 people attended the event, including 200 who were on hand for AOPA's new seminar, "How to Start Learning to Fly." Some 250 airplanes took advantage of clearing conditions in the afternoon to land at Frederick Municipal Airport. Thousands more visitors arrived by car to check out the static display, tour AOPA's headquarters, participate in seminars, and visit the exhibitor tent. For more highlights, see the complete story on 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
If you've been searching for a copy of Leighton Collins' first book, Takeoffs and Landings, look no further. Aviation Supplies and Academics is reprinting the book, calling it a comprehensive analysis and insight into the factors involved with each takeoff and landing: trim, control feel, flaring, correcting imperfections, airplane design characteristics, atmospheric conditions, pilot skill, airport design, and where the pilot's hands and eyes are at each phase. Collins founded Air Facts magazine and contributed a chapter to Wolfgang Langewiesche's Stick and Rudder. This edition includes an opening note by Collins' son, aviation writer Richard L. Collins, and new photography by Tom Lippert. Order it online for $19.95.

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 planning my first solo cross-country flight to a towered airport and am looking for runway and taxiway diagrams, as well as information on airport arrival and departure procedures. Does AOPA have this kind of information online?

Answer: AOPA Flight Training Online offers free airport diagrams for towered airports. In addition, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation has an illustrated guide sheet on airport and taxiway signage and a downloadable Safety Advisor, Operations at Towered Airports . For a really great learning experience, take the foundation's free online course, "Runway Safety." And to review procedures for talking with air traffic control, read AOPA's publication, ATC Communications.

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
A newly minted pilot learns another lesson during his first solo cross-country flight in a new airplane. There are good reminders for all pilots in "A Tiger's Tale," the latest installment of Never Again Online.

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

ePilot Calendar
St. Francis, Kansas. The Twenty-third Annual Stearman Fly-in takes place June 11 and 12 at Cheyenne County Municipal (SYF). Stearman biplanes, hot air balloons, and skydiving demonstrations are featured. All airplanes, gliders, and ultralights are welcome. Contact Richard or Robert, 785/332-2251, or visit the Web site.

Columbia, California. The Bellanca-Champion Club West Coast Fly-in takes place June 10 through 12 at Columbia (O22). The sixth annual West Coast fly-in is the largest and finest gathering of Bellancas and Champions anywhere. Great seminars, roundtables, airplanes, and camaraderie. Contact Robert Szego or George Butts, 518/731-6800 or 310/701-0101, or visit the Web site.

Nampa, Idaho. A P-51 Invitational takes place June 11 and 12 at Warhawk World War II Air Museum. Families will be impressed with the formation flying of the P-51 Mustang, hands-on activities for youth, guest speaker from World War II, and exhibits that will keep guests of all ages busy. Contact Sue Paul, 208/465-6446, or visit the Web site.

Akron, Ohio. Aero Expo 2005 takes place June 18 and 19 at Akron Fulton International (AKR). Celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the Allied Victory in World War II. Contact Joseph Chevraux, 330/896-6332, or visit the Web site.

La Crosse, Wisconsin. Airfest 2005 takes place June 17 through 19 at La Crosse Municipal (LSE). See the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform, plus many other exciting events including a jet-powered outhouse. Call 608/779-9994, 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 Minneapolis; Columbus, Ohio; and Reston, Virginia, June 24 and 25. Courses are also scheduled in Portland, Maine, and Memphis, Tennessee, July 9 and 10. 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 place during EAA Airventure, July 28 through 30 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The topics vary-for a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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