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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 5, Issue 11AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 5, Issue 11

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Volume 5, Issue 11 • March 18, 2005
In this issue:
Airline hiring continues to outpace 2004 numbers
AOPA counters anti-GA media reports
Time to start planning your trip to AOPA Fly-In 2005


Sporty's Pilot Shop

Scheyden Eye Wear


Minnesota Life Insurance

Comm1 Radio Simulator

King Schools

Garmin International

Pilot Insurance Center

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Training Tips
If first impressions are as important as most people claim, you'll want to make a good impression with the orderliness of your cockpit. Aesthetics aside, a secure, well-organized cockpit is a sign of a safe pilot. That's why how you prepare your cockpit and cabin for flying is examined in Area of Operation II, Task B of the private pilot practical test. Download the practical test standards.

"Whatever your cross-country plans, and whatever aircraft you fly, your flight-aid materials should be arranged so that they are secure, at hand, and ready. Most examiners have tested the applicant who, having leveled off at cruise altitude, asked the examiner to take the flight controls so the applicant could reach behind the seat and rummage in his flight bag for items that should have been efficiently in place before takeoff," wrote designated pilot examiner Dave Wilkerson in "Checkride: Safe, Handy and Ready" in the May 2000 AOPA Flight Training.

There is much more to cockpit management than arranging your pilot supplies. After exhibiting your knowledge of cockpit management, the second objective of the task is to ensure that "all loose items in the cockpit and cabin are secured." Why? Turbulence or a hard landing could shake something loose, placing it out of your reach, interfering with the controls, even adversely affecting the aircraft's center of gravity. It is the third objective that covers those actions you may associate more closely with the term "cockpit management": organizing your pilot materials and equipment "in an efficient manner so they are readily available." Folding a chart so you can see your course line is a good example. Radio frequencies should be written on your route plan in expected order of use, a suggestion from the December 14, 2001, Training Tips article "Ready for Takeoff." Preparing for a night flight? Make sure flashlights are at hand and will work when needed.

The fourth objective requires that the pilot brief passengers on use of safety belts, shoulder harnesses, doors, and emergency procedures. But don't stop with a briefing: Resolve to manage your future passengers' safety and security throughout each flight. That's what cockpit management is all about.

Your Partner in Training
"Oh no, I lost my logbook! What do I do?" A student pilot is required to carry his/her logbook on all solo cross-country flights; it must contain the proper endorsements. If the endorsements are lost, then new endorsements should be obtained from an authorized instructor. A private pilot doesn't have to carry a logbook, but it's still an important record of flight experience. The FAA's General Aviation Operation Inspectors Handbook (FAA Order 8700.1) provides guidance for reconstructing lost logbooks.

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
Airline pilot hiring through February 2005 was 6 percent higher than the same period in 2004, according to a hiring survey released March 10 by Air, Inc. The airlines hired 1,420 pilots, compared to 1,335 hired during the first two months of 2004. However, the monthly total number of pilots hired dipped slightly, from 764 in January to 657 in February. The national airlines hired 227 pilots in February, followed by the majors, which hired 197. Non-jet operators hired 95 pilots and jet operators hired 57, while fractional operators hired 47. For more information on Air, Inc., see the Web site.

The sixteenth annual Women in Aviation International conference drew about 2,800 attendees to Dallas last week. WAI declared the event a success, pointing to a record number of exhibitors and attendance exceeding last year's gathering. The organization gave out $517,000 in scholarships to 55 individuals during the conference, held March 10 through 12. AOPA Flight Training magazine hosted two college students who are pursuing careers in aviation: Karlie Bunton of Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Laurie Jessup of Appleton, Wisconsin. Next year's conference is slated for March 23 through 26 in Nashville, Tennessee. For more information, see the Web site.

If you're seeking a fun fly-out destination in June, look no further than AOPA Fly-In 2005, to be held June 4 in Frederick, Maryland. This annual event draws thousands of pilots and aviation enthusiasts to Frederick Municipal Airport, located adjacent to AOPA's headquarters in scenic western Maryland. Browse more than 100 aviation exhibits and aircraft on display, attend a seminar by AOPA Flight Training columnist Rod Machado, or pose a question to AOPA President Phil Boyer. Student pilots, this is a golden opportunity to treat yourself (and your flight instructor) to a memorable dual cross-country trek. Visit AOPA Online for more information or call 888/462-3972.

The FAA completed an extreme makeover of its Web site earlier this month; the new look is designed to be user-friendly. The redesign offers several different search methods, including "topic tabs" and a "quick find" function that lets you jump to popular sections of the site from a drop-down menu in the upper right corner. The site also features a Google-powered search engine.

Inside AOPA

Where was AOPA on Monday? Everywhere. A report in The New York Times touched off a short-lived media frenzy about GA security, resurrecting concerns you've heard before. AOPA President Phil Boyer appeared on national TV networks to counter misleading and overstated stories, and the association's perspective was picked up by newspapers and radio stations. The Times story was based on one paragraph in a leaked 24-page report intended for federal security agencies. The February report summarized three years of learning and progress on security issues, and some of its observations about GA originated in a December 2001 government report to Congress. "The world has changed significantly since then, and that includes major improvements to general aviation security," Boyer said. "The Times didn't acknowledge those improvements, nor did it say that the criticism of security reflected the world as it was three years ago, not today." See AOPA Online.

Officials from the University of North Dakota visited AOPA this week to forge a relationship between the school and the association. AOPA is excited about all the benefits AOPA membership can bring to UND students. AOPA is no stranger to the high quality of UND's aerospace program and the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences; the association currently employs five UND graduates.

Register to attend an AOPA Air Safety Foundation in-person Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic (FIRC) in April and receive an aircraft-specific safety review (valued at $20) while supplies last. Flight instructors can renew their certificates up to four months before the expiration date. See the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Web site.

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
Mixing it up-trying new and different things-is a good way to keep your flying skills fresh and interesting after the private pilot certificate, and seaplanes offer a whole new wet world of aviation to explore. Seaplane Operations, by Dale DeRemer and Cesare Baj, covers basic and advanced techniques for floatplanes. Aviation enthusiasts may want to peruse it simply for its historical and contemporary photographs of floatplanes, amphibians, and flying boats in use today, as well as little-known seaplanes throughout history. Order it online for $34.95 from Aviation Supplies and Academics.

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: When flying in the traffic pattern, my flight instructor recommends that I fly 1,000 feet above ground level (agl), but I've heard other instructors teaching their students to fly 800 feet agl. I'm a bit confused on this issue and want to know if AOPA can help straighten this out.

Answer: Traffic pattern altitudes for propeller-driven aircraft can range from 600 through 1,500 feet agl, according to Chapter 4-3-3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). The AIM also recommends using a 1,000-foot-agl pattern altitude unless a different altitude has been established for the airport. If a traffic pattern altitude (TPA) is not listed for a particular airport, the 1,000-foot recommendation would apply. Sometimes airport management decides to set or change a traffic pattern altitude (within the parameters of 600-1,500 feet), and the new TPA is not listed in the Airport/Facility Directory. AOPA's Airport Directory Online updates this information through airport surveys and questionnaires. But if in doubt, we recommend you call the airport. For more information, download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Operations at Nontowered Airports Safety Advisor.

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
Take an AOPA Air Safety Foundation Sporty's Quiz and you could win a Sporty's Air-Scan V scanner valued at $99.95. The unit allows you to listen to AM/FM radio and never miss an aviation transmission with the interrupt feature. The first winner will be drawn at the end of this month. There are many quizzes to choose from. The latest quiz, "METARs: Beyond Translation," focuses on what the decoded information means to a flight. Take the quiz or check out the archive.

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

ePilot Calendar
New Berlin, Texas. The Sixth Annual Biplanes and Taildraggers Fly-in takes place March 19 and 20 at Heritage Airfield (TE86). Come enjoy a 3,100-foot grass strip, Texas brisket, or watch Stearmans and other nostalgic aircraft fly by. Visit the Web site.

Long Beach, California. The 2005 Aviation Safety Symposium takes place March 22 and 23 at the Queen Mary. Topics include human factors in aviation, general aviation, air carrier and helicopter accidents, the new light sport rule, equipment installations, and FAA regulations given by speakers from the NTSB, FAA, CAMI, and Cirrus Aircraft Company. Contact George Mahurin, 562/420-1755, 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 Atlanta, and Boston, April 2 and 3. Courses are also scheduled in Indianapolis, and Cincinnati, April 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 in Birmingham, Alabama, and Medford, New Jersey, March 21; Atlanta, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, March 22; New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, and Greenville, South Carolina, March 23; and Pittsburgh, and West Columbia, South Carolina, March 24. Topics vary-for a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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