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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 5, Issue 9AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 5, Issue 9

To view the AOPA ePilot archives, click here.

Volume 5, Issue 9 • March 4, 2005
In this issue:
ERAU official tapped for top spot at Daniel Webster
CEOs to address Women in Aviation
AOPA concerned about VOR decommissioning


Minnesota Life Insurance

Comm1 Radio Simulator


King Schools

Garmin International

Pilot Insurance Center

Sporty's Pilot Shop

Scheyden Eye Wear

Do not reply to this e-mail. Got news? Contact ePilot. Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].

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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.

Training Tips
Have you started working weight-and-balance calculations for your training aircraft? The pilot must assure that the maximum gross weight is not exceeded, and that weight is distributed so the center of gravity or the "CG," as discussed in the December 26, 2003, Training Tips, remains within approved limits for the entire flight. Another weight-and-balance scenario that you might face is a last-minute loading change that must not be allowed to move the CG out of limits and jeopardize your aircraft's stability. "In stable designs, the CG is always ahead of the neutral point. When the CG is moved behind the neutral point in GA airplanes, you can get into trouble," explained Don Byers in the October 2003 AOPA Flight Training feature "Seeking Out Stability."

Suppose you and your instructor are departing on a cross-country flight in a four-seat trainer. You are carrying more than the usual baggage, or perhaps you were asked by the flight school to drop something off at the destination. You calculated weight and balance, but just before flying you decide to move some baggage from the rear seat to the aft storage area.

Should you recalculate the load? Weight is known. But total "moments" have increased. CG location is determined by dividing total moments by total weight, so the new total moments must be calculated. Save time and get good practice by using the weight-shifting method given in Chapter 8 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

Always verify that you are using the latest loading data calculated for your individual aircraft. Also check the aircraft. "Some pilots like to carry a spare magneto or alternator in the baggage compartment of their airplane to prevent parts problems should a mechanical malfunction occur when away from home. Some Cessna 182 pilots find that a 50-pound toolbox tied down in the baggage compartment makes the airplane fly better and flare easier as the CG is moved away from the forward limit," Steven W. Ells reminds pilots in the feature "How Much Does Your Airplane Weigh?" from the January 2001 AOPA Pilot.

Experience in flying different loads will also demonstrate that a small CG change can affect aircraft handling on takeoffs and landings. Know the numbers-and what they are telling you about your next flight.

Your Partner in Training
Forms, forms, and more forms! From AOPA services to selected FAA, Customs, FCC, and NTSB forms, you can find nearly everything you need on AOPA Online. If we don't have what you need, our Aviation Services staff will be able to direct you. Call weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern toll-free at 800/872-2672 or contact via e-mail [email protected].

AOPA Flight Training Members have access to all of the features within AOPA Online and Flight Training Online. Login information is available online.

Flight Training News
The search for a new president at Daniel Webster College is over. Dr. Robert E. Myers, chancellor of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's extended learning campus, will take over the top spot July 1. He succeeds Hannah M. McCarthy, who announced her retirement from the Nashua, New Hampshire, school in August 2004. Myers' achievements at Embry-Riddle include implementing its first Board of Visitors, launching and raising seed funding and corporate support for a scholarship program, and executing initiatives to improve the quality and currency of faculty and curricula.

The chief executive officers of Southwest Airlines and Mooney Aircraft will address some 2,500 individuals at the sixteenth annual International Women in Aviation Conference from March 10 to 12 in Dallas. Southwest Airlines' Colleen Barrett and Mooney Aircraft's Gretchen Jahn will join NTSB Chairman Ellen Engleman Connors, airshow performer Chandy Clanton, and AOPA Flight Training columnist Ralph Hood, among others. A job fair exhibit, more than 40 educational seminars, and a trade show featuring 120 exhibitors are on tap as well. There's still time to register online; for more information, see the Web site.

Six months after suffering severe damage from two separate hurricanes last summer, Pan Am International Flight Academy's Fort Pierce, Florida, location is starting to recover. Flight operations have been running at a near normal pace for months, but the number of students is down by about 100 from pre-storm levels because of a housing shortage in Fort Pierce-caused by the number of damaged homes and apartments. Pan Am's dormitories were mostly undamaged and are now fully occupied, housing about 130 students; another 30 have found nearby housing. Nine airplanes grounded for maintenance were lost when the storms severely damaged Pan Am's maintenance hangar; 32 airplanes were flown out-twice. The maintenance hangar should be operational in about two weeks. Students were evacuated for both storms, some to Pan Am's Phoenix and Livermore, California, locations. Pan Am's administration building received severe structural damage; repairs won't be complete until June. The flight operations building was mostly spared, except for water damage.

Purdue University hosts the 2005 Air Race Classic, a multi-day air race for women pilots, and applications for entries are due April 15. Purdue hopes to field 50 teams, including one of its own, for this year's race, which will be held June 21 to 24, beginning and ending at Lafayette, Indiana. The race route extends 2,117 nautical miles and includes stops in Wisconsin, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Ohio. A team consists of two certificated women pilots. Passengers may be women pilots with or without a medical, or student pilots; handicaps are adjusted 1 knot per passenger. For more information, see the Web site.

Inside AOPA

Is FAA cost-cutting on VORs going to harm the national air navigation system? AOPA is concerned that recent actions in the Northeast may represent a harbinger. The agency is considering decommissioning the Providence (PVD) Vortac at T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island and Bradley (BDL) Vortac at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. In both cases, the VORs have to be shut down because of airport construction. Apparently the FAA would prefer to save money by not relocating and reactivating the navaids. The VOR decommissioning shouldn't be confused with the FAA's effort to identify no-longer-needed NDB approaches. "Canceling some redundant, underused NDB approaches after a careful review and considered comments from users makes sense. It will save money without inconveniencing pilots," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs. "There is no logic to decommissioning two VORs that define heavily traveled airways and instrument approaches into busy airports with little notice and comment from the user community." For more, see AOPA Online.

If you're a flight instructor getting ready to return to the right seat, are you "current" on everything you need before your student advances the throttle? "There's a new wrinkle to getting back into the instruction business," said Woody Cahall, AOPA vice president of aviation services, "and from the calls coming into AOPA's Pilot Information Center, it's clear that some instructors are just now discovering it." The wrinkle? You must complete an approved Transportation Security Administration initial security awareness training course before instructing. So how tough is that? Not hard at all. Spend about 45 minutes (on a high-speed connection) with the TSA's online course, print out the certificate of completion (or endorse your logbook if you have problems printing the certificate), and you're good to go. And if you're just doing flight reviews or skill brush-ups, that's it. But if you're starting a new student for a recreational, sport, private, instrument, multiengine or type rating, you also have to verify that your student is a U.S. citizen, and sign both his and your logbooks to show that you've made that check. And if your student is an alien, you must register with the TSA and verify that your student also has registered with the TSA to learn to fly or learn advanced skills and has received the TSA's security "blessing." AOPA's Online Guide to TSA's Alien Flight Training/Citizenship Validation Rule tells you what you need to know. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation includes the initial security training in its Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics.

You just finished planning a solo cross-country flight, but you want to verify your calculations and check for any pop-up temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) one last time. All this is simplified with AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner (RTFP). The program displays graphical depictions of TFRs and provides you with real-time weather information that you can overlay onto your route for increased situational awareness. Right-click on an airport on your route to access AOPA's Airport Directory and print the information in kneeboard format. You can check your navigational log against the one automatically generated when you draw your route and even file your flight plan online. To fully utilize the capabilities of this program, you must have a DUATS access code. You can obtain an access code through DTC or CSC. Those with a U.S. pilot certificate and current medical can receive a free access code from either provider. Student pilots need a current medical certificate and must be in the FAA's database. To view an online tutorial or to download AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner, visit AOPA Online.

A paid, yes, paid summer internship is now available at the AOPA Air Safety Foundation that will allow the successful applicant to make a contribution to general aviation safety. Duties include aviation-related writing assignments, research, and development of live and online safety programs. The deadline for applications is Monday, March 14. For complete details, 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
Studying for the commercial knowledge test? Sporty's recently unveiled a Commercial Test Prep Guide that features all published FAA test questions, answers, and explanations. It's organized into chapters, and the questions are then further broken down into minor sections and finally individual topics for ease of review. The 220-page guide is available for $15.95 and may be ordered online or by calling 800/SPORTYS.

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: During one of my recent solo cross-country flights, I encountered some turbulence and wanted to notify someone about it but wasn't sure how to do it. Who can I report this to and what procedure should I use? Does AOPA have any information that can help me?

Answer: Contact the nearest flight service station along your route, or Flight Watch on 122.0, and issue a pilot report, otherwise known as a "pirep." To report turbulence, you should include location, altitude or range of altitudes, and aircraft type, as well as whether in clouds or clear air, the degree of turbulence, intensity, and duration (occasional, intermittent, and continuous) as best determined by the pilot. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation free online course "SkySpotter" teaches all about pireps and how to give them.

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
The FAA has compiled a set of easy-to-read charts about the new sport pilot certificate and light-sport aircraft certification. Got a question about pilot certification eligibility, training, or testing requirements? See the charts on AOPA Online.

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

ePilot Calendar
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.

Dallas, Texas. The Sixteenth Annual Women in Aviation Conference takes place March 10 through 12 at Adam's Mark Hotel. Includes speakers, trade show, job fair, and networking opportunities. Contact Women in Aviation, 386/226-7996, or visit the Web site.

Arlington, Virginia. The 2005 Annual Repair Symposium and Legislative Day takes place March 11 through 13 at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City. Sponsored by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association. Meet members of Congress, discuss maintenance industry issues, and attend educational sessions. Contact Keith Mendenhall, 703/739-9543, or visit the Web site.

Titusville, Florida. The 2005 Tico Warbird Airshow takes place March 11 through 13 at Space Coast Regional (TIX). Featuring modern military flybys and demonstrations, vintage warbird flybys and static display, and more. Sponsored by Valiant Air Command. Call 321/268-1941, 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 Clinic is scheduled in Virginia Beach, Virginia, March 12 and 13. Courses are also scheduled in San Mateo, California; Columbia, Maryland; and Philadelphia, March 19 and 20. 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 in Rochester, Minnesota, March 7; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, March 8; Bedford, Massachusetts, and Bellevue, Nebraska, March 9; and Olathe, Kansas, March 10. The topic is "Weather Wise." For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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