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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 6, Issue 15AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 6, Issue 15

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Volume 6, Issue 15 • April 14, 2006
In this issue:
School to upgrade fleet with Symphony aircraft
Engine failure on checkride doesn't deter new pilot
AOPA tops 408,000 members


Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA Aircraft Financing

Minnesota Life Insurance

Comm1 Radio Simulator

King Schools

Garmin International

JP Instruments

Pilot Insurance Center

MBNA WorldPoints Credit Card

Scheyden Eyewear

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Copyright © 2006 AOPA.

Training Tips

Of all the questions facing a student pilot planning a solo cross-country flight, when to depart gets little attention. A block of time may be a take-it-or-leave-it proposition, considering your schedule, aircraft availability, and how much time you'll need. Be selective. Schedule with a generous fudge factor built in for delays. Time not a problem? Great. Then what's the ideal estimated time of departure (ETD)? Generally, earlier is better. But advantages will be lost if you don't see to certain details.

Why go early? Flying in smooth air not yet destabilized by solar heating is comfortable, and those fair-weather clouds and bumps commonly encountered at lower VFR cruising altitudes may still be hours away. See the discussion of flying in turbulence in the February 18, 2005, Training Tips. Early departure carries less risk of your flight being delayed, or scuttled, by a previous pilot returning late.

Arrange to have your training aircraft fueled and positioned outside for an easy getaway from the home field. Request that an appropriate flight instructor be available to give final approval for your trip, and endorse your logbook as required in the Federal Aviation Regulations. You asked that the trainer be waiting with full fuel-but preflight carefully. Did an even earlier bird than you show up for a session of takeoffs and landings today? Double-check that fuel, and remember to check oil levels as well. A safety tip: Departing into a rising sun on an east-facing runway, or landing to the west in the late afternoon, requires extra care.

Conditions such as lingering ground fog at the destination could delay your departure. Watch the airport's weather behavior days or weeks beforehand. When briefing on the day you fly, focus on trends in the temperature-dew point spread. Remember when studying forecasts or filing a VFR flight plan that your local time's relationship to Coordinated Universal Time changed when daylight-saving time took effect this month. (See the July 11, 2003, Training Tips discussion of time conversions.)

Never rush to complete a cross-country because of scheduling. If delays occur in spite of your careful planning, so be it. Let them know back at the base, circumstances permitting, but stay safe. That's the most important lesson of all.

Your Partner in Training
Do you train at a tower-controlled airport? If so, you're getting a lot of valuable exposure to everyday operations of the air traffic control system. It's important to understand what air traffic control expects from you and how to respond properly on the radio. Download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Operations at Towered Airports Safety Advisor , and review the "New Pilot's Guide to ATC Communication" on AOPA Flight Training Online.

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
Beginning later this year, Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology will replace its existing fleet of training aircraft with Symphony 160s. The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based facility has three campuses and training facilities at two Oklahoma airports with an average of 1,300 to 1,500 full-time students. It had been flying a fleet of 40 Cessna 150s and 172s. The two-seat Symphony 160s will be equipped with both conventional and Avidyne glass-cockpit avionics.

Imagine taking your private pilot checkride, knowing that your examiner will ask you to make a simulated emergency landing-only to have the engine in your aircraft fail for real. That's what happened March 23 to Wesley Wood of Wilmington, North Carolina. Wood was flying a Cessna 150 with examiner Johnny Hensley aboard when the Cessna's engine quit; he made an uneventful landing in a cotton field. On April 5, Wood completed his interrupted checkride-in a different airplane. (He had to demonstrate a short-field takeoff and maximum climb for obstacle avoidance.) "I am really glad I got to go through this," he said in a post on the AOPA Online Aviation Forums. "If it ever happens again, I know my confidence level will be raised just knowing that I've had a successful outcome in the past."

The historic and ongoing roles of women in aviation will be the focus of a new permanent exhibit planned for the San Diego Aerospace Museum. Set to open in May 2007, the exhibit's goal is to "educate and inspire young people to follow their dreams through the discovery of those who came before them," according to a project overview. The "Women of Flight" exhibit opening coincides with the seventy-fifth anniversary of Amelia Earhart's solo flight across the Atlantic. The museum seeks volunteers for research, oral history, use of artifacts, and other assistance.

Inside AOPA
With the conclusion of another successful AOPA Day at Sun 'n Fun, AOPA realized another milestone: 408,000 members. AOPA President Phil Boyer made the announcement last week in Lakeland, Florida. "Members are always telling me, 'AOPA is the best,' but really, it's you-the members-who make this organization so strong," Boyer told a group of more than 500 members. "We have more than two-thirds of the entire population in the United States, and that's why we are so effective on Capitol Hill." More than 3,700 members stopped by the Big Yellow Tent on April 7-AOPA Day-to take care of business, learn more about their association's free services, or just to say thanks. Many signed up for chances to win prizes, including a Garmin 396 handheld GPS receiver. For all of the news from Sun 'n Fun, see AOPA Online.

Give yourself or your students a quick, easy way to learn (or review) one of the most critical topics for today's pilots. As part of an ongoing effort to educate pilots about airspace issues, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation has prepared flashcards. The front of each card features a VFR aeronautical chart excerpt, highlighting the airspace in question. The backside includes a distinct visual perspective, along with a summary of important facts-airspace characteristics, pilot/aircraft requirements, etc. The foundation also has compiled a list of additional online discussion questions, numbered to correspond to the appropriate card. To use the cards, simply print them in color and fold each page in half. Printed copies are available in limited quantities by calling the Air Safety Foundation at 800/638-3101.

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

An active flight instructor will write a lot of logbook endorsements during his or her career. You owe it to your students to produce clear, concise, and accurate endorsements, according to Drew Chitiea, a designated pilot examiner and airline transport pilot (ATP) who holds all fixed-wing flight and ground instructor ratings. His book, Flight Instructor's Guide to Endorsements, proposes to help flight instructors do that by listing all endorsements in order of use that a flight instructor would have to make and including samples with notes and guidance to the instructor. The 112-page soft-cover book also includes a Transportation Security Administration training log and a section on flight reviews and instrument proficiency checks with tips to keep clients coming back for repeat business. The book sells for $20 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: What is the difference between an annual inspection and a 100-hour inspection?

Answer: In terms of what is actually inspected, the annual and the 100-hour inspections are identical in scope and detail as noted in appendix D to Part 43 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. The difference is in who is allowed to perform the inspection. According to FARs 65.85 and 65.87, an airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanic may perform a 100-hour inspection required by Part 91, while FAR 65.95 allows only an A&P mechanic with Inspection Authorization (IA) to perform the annual inspection. More information on aircraft inspections can be found 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
Looking for some really fabulous aviation photography? All the air-to-air photos and beautifully detailed ground images used by AOPA Pilot magazine over the years are yours at the click of a mouse button. Download your favorite images to use for wallpaper, send an e-postcard, or order prints online. For more details, see AOPA Online.

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

ePilot Calendar
Nashua, New Hampshire. The New England Aviation Expo takes place April 22 at the Eaton-Richmond Center, Daniel Webster College, adjacent to Boire Field (ASH) from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, and features classes for all aviation enthusiasts. Keynote speaker is AOPA President Phil Boyer. Contact Karen Goff, 603/879-6807, or visit the Web site.

San Diego/El Cajon, California. Wings Over Gillespie 2006 takes place April 20 through 22 at Gillespie Field (SEE). This year's theme is "Wings of the Silver Screen." Featuring aircraft, actors, and directors of aviation movies. Contact Jack Draper, 619/464-7227 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, Indianapolis, and Salt Lake City, April 22 and 23. Clinics are also scheduled in Denver, and Tampa, Florida, April 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 are scheduled in Huntsville, Alabama, April 17; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, April 18; Raymond, Mississippi, April 19; Pensacola, Florida, April 20; and Greensboro, North Carolina, April 22. The topic is "Do the Right Thing-Decision Making for Pilots." For more details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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