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Copyright © 2006 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
A student pilot who has soloed, flown dual cross-countries, and flown some solo cross-countries is on the way to completing the private pilot training course. Adding night flying to the mix introduces you to a new brand of aviation. (See the February 1, 2002, Training Tips.) Then comes dual night cross-country flying, a uniquely thrilling form of flight.
Night flying regulatory requirements for training include "one cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance." But getting your feet wet on a short, local outing first may be how you make your introduction to night flying. One fine method is to allow a local-area dual flight begun in daylight to transition to night flying, and finish it up with some traffic pattern practice. One reason for this is that you must log at least 10 landings to satisfy training requirements.
Generous margins of error are needed when evaluating weather forecasts for night visual cross-country flying. Planning will focus on information about airport lighting, how to activate lights, hours of any part-time control tower operation, and any special night traffic patterns or noise-abatement requirements. For example, see information on lighted obstacles and how to control lights for the Frederick, Maryland, airport in AOPA's Airport Directory .
It's important to fly under a variety of nocturnal conditions. Compare navigating under a moonlit sky to flying on moonless nights or under a high overcast. Piloting an aircraft with few outside references will give you new appreciation for your basic skills at flying solely by flight instruments. Obstacle clearance requires new strategies; electronic navigation will play a major role in getting you there and keeping you clear of dark hazards below. The extra altitude that now seems so prudent for cruise can help you spot that feeble airport rotating beacon in the glow below. Activating pilot-controlled airport lighting (PCL) at a strategic moment may reveal the elusive airport to your eager eyes. For 10 night-flying tips, see the October 2002 AOPA Flight Training feature "The After-Hours Club."
Night flying, with its special requirements, makes up a small percentage of training time. This remains so for most private pilots. That's why it's important to get the max from your night training, then revisit the night scene later with caution and an experienced guide.
| Your Partner in Training |
|On some auspicious day, your flight instructor will sign an endorsement in your logbook that permits you to actually leave the pattern of your airport and fly to a nearby practice area. You might be tempted to simply burn some fuel and enjoy your freedom, but remember that time on the Hobbs meter is money. Plan your solo practice area flights accordingly. Decide what you're going to do in advance-whether it's ground reference maneuvers, stall recovery, or steep turns-then go do it! For more cost-saving tips, read Budd Davisson's feature in the February 2004 issue of AOPA Flight Training magazine. |
Have a question? Call the Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern. 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 |
| GO FOR A SPIN IN CALIFORNIA |
CP Aviation Inc. of Santa Paula, California, the flight school where 2006 CFI of the Year Rich Stowell hangs his hat, has expanded its unusual attitude training programs to include a new advanced spin training module. Pilots will gain practical experience with upright and inverted flat spins, transition spins, and aggravated spins resulting from botched maneuvers. Training is conducted in a Pitts S-2B. The program costs $595, which includes 1.5 hours each of ground school and flight time. For more information, visit the Web site.
LEARN ABOUT FLIGHT REVIEWS IN NEWEST SPORTY'S QUIZ
How well do you understand the flight review? The requirements to operate as pilot in command are a little more involved than simply knowing when yours runs out. Test your knowledge with the newest Sporty's Safety Quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, and register to win a Sporty's Air-Scan V Aviation Radio/Scanner.
OHIO UNIVERSITY STUDENT WINS GAMA SCHOLARSHIP
Karrie E. Shank, a senior at Ohio University, has been chosen to receive a scholarship from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. The 2006 Dr. Harold S. Wood scholarship is named in honor of the founder and past executive director of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association and is given annually to a top student enrolled in a NIFA member school who demonstrates academic excellence, promotes aviation on and off campus, and actively participates in activities and community service outside of aviation. Shank is a member of the Ohio University Flight Team and has served as the team's safety officer for the past three years. She holds commercial and flight instructor certificates and plans to obtain an airframe and powerplant certificate after graduating from Ohio University.
NAA APPROVES CROSS-COUNTRY AIR RACE FOR SPEED RECORDS
Here's good news for pilots planning to compete in the upcoming cross-country Marion Jayne Air Race: You could set an official record. The National Aeronautical Association has approved U.S. Air Race Inc.'s timing method for record-setting purposes. Any team that desires to set speed records during the race will be able to apply for NAA recognition. The 1,800-nm Marion Jayne event launches July 16 from Hutcheson, Kansas, and concludes July 23 in Wisconsin. For more information, see the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
| WHAT ARE THE BUSIEST AIRPORTS IN THE UNITED STATES? |
Atlanta, Chicago O'Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas/McCarran top the list. OK, so of the 10 busiest airports, how much does GA contribute to the traffic count? About 4.5 percent-so much for the airlines' claim that general aviation is "using" more than it's "paying for." That's just one of the interesting things you can learn from AOPA's 2006 Aviation Fact Card. It's just been updated and posted on our Web site for you to use to amaze your friends. How many GA aircraft are in the United States? There are 219,780 general aviation aircraft, 66 percent of them piston-engine singles. And GA carries 17 percent of air travelers-more than 640 million passengers a year-but uses only 6 percent of the fuel consumed for aviation. Download the Fact Card.
A MISSION YOU CAN HANDLE: TODAY'S SPECIAL-USE AIRSPACE
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to safely negotiate today's special-use airspace. Military operations offer some unique challenges for general aviation pilots, especially when it comes to lights-out training where military aircraft fly without exterior lighting in military operations areas (MOAs) across the country. The more you know about special-use airspace, the better you'll be prepared to avoid midair collisions. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has developed an interactive online course, Mission: Possible-Navigating Today's Special Use Airspace , that covers alert, warning, restricted, and prohibited areas, as well as MOAs and military training routes (MTRs). Users may customize the course by adding additional topics, such as temporary national security, controlled firing, and parachute jump areas.
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 |
FLIGHT RECORD FOLDER HELPS CFIs TRACK STUDENTS' PROGRESS
Flight schools and instructors need to keep organized records of students' progress, particularly in today's security-conscious environment. Aviation Supplies and Academics has updated its Flight Record Folder for CFIs to incorporate a four-panel design in which flight instructors can record the accomplishments of each lesson, flight hours, notes, endorsements, aircraft used, stage checks, and ground school completion dates. Evaluation tools to follow the FAA/Industry Training Standards (FITS) format are also new. The Private Pilot Student Flight Record Folder sells for $2.95 each and may be ordered online from ASA. Flight record folders are also available for commercial, instrument, and helicopter training programs.
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: Does AOPA have any information that can help me learn about flying in windy weather? |
Answer: Yes. From dealing with crosswind takeoffs and landings, to turbulence and wind shear, to determining which way the wind is blowing, AOPA's subject report, "Windy Flight Operations," is packed with articles that will help you to learn more about the challenges of taming an airplane in windy weather. Read one new pilot's experience in nailing a great crosswind landing, only to lose control of the airplane on the ground.
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. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|More than one pilot has learned that an instrument rating is more than a nice thing to have if you plan to do a lot of night flying. Read about one California pilot's encounter with unexpected coastal fog during a nighttime cross-country in the latest installment of "Never Again Online." |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS: |
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.
Lincoln Park, New Jersey. An Airport Open House takes place April 29 at Lincoln Park (N07) from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Civilian astronaut Brian Binney piloted SpaceShipOne into history as the world's first reusable civilian spacecraft. He will give two presentations: 10 a.m., "2004: A space oddity"; and 2 p.m., "Innovation and space." Contact Emery Dupuis, 973/321-4455, or visit the Web site.
Galveston, Texas. Gulf Coast Wings Weekend 2006 takes place April 29 and 30 at Scholes International at the Galveston Island Convention Center. The event will include over 70 seminars, 22,000 square feet of exhibit space, flying companion seminar, kids programs, and more. Contact Tre Deathe, 512/454-9476, 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 Denver, and Tampa, Florida, April 29 and 30. Clinics are also scheduled in Pensacola, Florida; Overland Park, Kansas; Albany, New York; and Seattle, May 6 and 7. 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 Greensboro, North Carolina, April 23; Springfield, Missouri, and Flat Rock, North Carolina, April 24; Olathe, Kansas, and Greensboro, North Carolina, April 25; Oak Island, North Carolina, April 26; and Springfield, Illinois, April 27. The topic is "Do the Right Thing-Decision Making for Pilots." For more details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.