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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 6, Issue 31AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 6, Issue 31

To view the AOPA ePilot archives, click here.

Volume 6, Issue 31 • August 4, 2006
In this issue:
American Flyers goes diesel
Embry-Riddle schedules industry/career expos
AOPA members provide flight service report card


JP Instruments

Pilot Insurance Center

MBNA WorldPoints Credit Card

Scheyden Eyewear

Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA Aircraft Financing

Minnesota Life Insurance

Comm1 Radio Simulator

AOPA Aircraft Insurance

King Schools

Garmin International

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Copyright © 2006 AOPA.

Training Tips

With all the effort a student pilot must put into learning operating requirements for flying in controlled airspace, it is important to remember that there is still plenty of uncontrolled airspace out there. Playing by the rules in that space requires know-how too. Uncontrolled (Class G) airspace affords extra freedom, for example being able to practice dual takeoffs and landings under weather conditions rendering airports in controlled airspace unavailable. But along with that freedom comes risks posed by the generally lower visibility and cloud separation standards that apply.

Sometimes it even takes a sharp eye and a keen sense of airspace logic to know that Class G airspace is present. That's because of the vertical layering of airspace; when Class G airspace is located under one of the classes of controlled airspace on the familiar color-coded sectional charts, those charts (and flight publications) must provide other ways of letting you know that the uncontrolled airspace lies beneath. Examples of this aspect of interpreting airspace depictions are given in "The Thin Magenta Line" in the February 2005 AOPA Flight Training. "The coding needs to be studied carefully. This uncontrolled airspace can be found in some heavily trafficked areas. As we will see, in uncontrolled airspace we may often operate with as little as one-mile visibility and/or clear of clouds. This is especially true during the daytime and at low altitudes," wrote John Yodice in the "Pilot Counsel" column of the December 2005 AOPA Pilot, the second column of a two-part series on airspace. Take special note of his helpful tip for simplifying the rules, thus staying in compliance with weather minimums in all airspace types. For a detailed explanation of airspace, download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Airspace for Everyone Safety Advisor.

A related issue: What happens to the airspace classification at a tower-controlled airport after a part-time control tower closes for the night? Check your understanding against the discussion in the "Quiz Me!" section of the August 3, 2001, ePilot newsletter.

Know the operating rules for the airspace you'll cross. Then know how to find it along the routes you fly.

Your Partner in Training

If you are now a private pilot or nearly there, you may be thinking about going straight into training for the instrument rating. The primary advantage is flexibility. With an instrument rating, clouds, precipitation, and below-VFR ceilings need not cancel your trip. This alone is reason enough to pursue the rating. Learn more about eligibility for the instrument rating on AOPA Online.

Do you have a question? Call the experienced pilots in AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA. They're available to take your calls weekdays 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

At a brief AirVenture ceremony last week, Clark McCormack, president of American Flyers, accepted the first U.S. Cessna 172 to have its Lycoming engine traded for a Thielert Centurion 1.7 diesel engine. The presentation was made by Frank Thielert, managing director of Thielert Aircraft Engines. The engine company currently has 350 converted airplanes flying, mostly 172s and a few Piper PA-28s. American Flyers has 55 Skyhawks in its fleet, all of them eligible for the conversion, according to McCormack. American Flyers operates flight schools all over the United States, and the converted airplanes will be phased in over time at each location. The first ones will fly in Florida near Epic Aviation, which is the company actually conducting the conversion. Thielert said he wanted to deploy the engine in the United States first to a busy flight school; the conversion, which takes about two weeks, will be available to the public beginning in early 2007. The converted Skyhawk flies at about 115 knots true airspeed on 6 gph with the engine running at 80-percent power, according to Thielert. Additional details about the conversion will be available later in the year.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will host Industry/Career Expos at its residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Prescott, Arizona. The expos are scheduled for October 19 in Prescott, and October 25 and 26 in Daytona Beach. More than 100 employers in aviation/aerospace, business, engineering, and high-technology fields will be available to talk to job-seekers. At the events, participants can explore careers and interview with employers from AirSur, Lockheed Martin, National Air and Space Intelligence, and NAVAIR. Representatives from ATA, US Airways, and Southwest will be on hand as well. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, see the Web site.

Dowling College School of Aviation students will get to train on a brand-new air traffic control simulator produced by Raytheon Canada Limited. The simulator uses FIRSTplus technology, which allows users to experience simulated tower operations, approach and en route operations, procedural operations, and ATC voice communications. The simulator has been installed at the school's Brookhaven, New York, campus. It consists of a 3-D ATC tower, radar training stations, pseudo pilots, and voice recognition. For more information, see the Dowling Web site.

Pilot Journey, a flight training marketing company based in Nashville, Tennessee, has launched a new program designed to assist international students in locating and applying to U.S. flight schools. The program, dubbed FlyUSA, covers not only career flight training, but specialty training such as two-week instrument courses, seaplane ratings, and mountain flying courses. The prospective student joins the FlyUSA program for $29, and Pilot Journey works with the individual to prepare all of the required paperwork to attend a flight school. For more information, see the Web site.

The commercial airline training division of Pan Am International Flight Academy (PAIFA) completed a management-led buyout July 20. The division, which includes PAIFA's air traffic control training and Saab training divisions, will continue to operate under the Pan Am International Flight Academy name. SimCom, PAIFA's business and general aviation division, the regional business, and the ab initio training division will remain under the ownership of J.W. Childs Associates LP. PAIFA Chief Executive Officer Vito Cutrone said the buyout will enable an expansion of the commercial airline training business and provide high-quality simulator-based training to a broader customer base. The company will be headquartered in Miami and will continue to operate training centers in Miami; Memphis, Tennessee; Minneapolis; Cincinnati; and Las Vegas.

CORRECTION: A news item in the July 28, 2006, edition should have stated that Utah State University has taken delivery of 10 DA40-FP Diamond Stars along with a pair of DA42 Twin Stars to follow this month. ePilot Flight Training Edition regrets the error.

Inside AOPA

It's been eight months since Lockheed Martin took over the automated flight service station (AFSS) system from the FAA. How are they doing so far? We asked AOPA members. Their opinion? Service is pretty good overall, but there are spot problems. "AOPA will use this data in its ongoing monitoring to ensure that Lockheed Martin lives up to its promises to pilots," said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. Nearly three-quarters of the members responding to AOPA's survey rated briefers' professionalism and courtesy, general subject matter expertise, and local geographic and meteorological knowledge "good" or "very good." Nearly 70 percent said their calls were "usually" or "always" answered within one minute. But some (about 20 percent) felt that when their calls were routed to more distant facilities, the service and knowledge wasn't as good. And some specific AFSS facilities-such as Boise, Altoona, and Bridgeport-were perceived as having excessively long hold times. See AOPA Online.

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation is now accepting applications for a part-time independent contractor to present live ASF safety seminars nationwide. If you're a top performer who can entertain large groups of pilots while conveying a safety education message, dust off your audition tape now. (Resumes without audition tapes will be rejected.) For details, check out the job listing 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

Control Vision has extended its online flight data program,, to pilots who happen to be away from their Internet connection. Through the Flight Data Access Card, pilots can use their cell phones to receive text messages regarding current fuel prices and weather information for thousands of airports. The service, offered by subscription, costs $49.95 per year, $29.95 for six months, and $19.95 for three months.

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 checking the fuel on preflight, what exactly am I looking for?

Answer: When preflighting your airplane, you always want to make sure you visually check the quantity to ensure you actually have what you planned for. Before the first flight of each day or after refueling, you want to ensure that you check samples of the fuel in the fuel tanks, fuel lines, and strainers. Make sure that the fuel is the right color or grade and there aren't any contaminants like water or solid particles of any sort. Lastly, for those aircraft that use avgas, the fuel has a distinct odor, so it's a good idea to check this, too. Learn more at AOPA Online about checking fuel samples and refueling procedures. For a more complete overview, download the Air Safety Foundation's Fuel Awareness 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
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
Are you a student pilot getting ready for your private or instrument checkride? A flight instructor preparing students? Want to find out what you need to know for the ride without wading through tons of legalese? We've given our popular Pilot's Checkride Guide a major overhaul. We started by translating the private pilot (single-engine land) and instrument practical test standards into "plain language." Then we added real-world tips and other information for a safe, successful checkride. It's still pocket-size for quick reference. It's a must-have item for any student or CFI. The guide sells for $11.95. See the AOPA Air Safety Foundation store.

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

ePilot Calendar
Martinsburg, West Virginia. The Spirit of America Balloon Festival takes place August 4 through 6 at Eastern West Virginia Regional/Shepherd Field (MRB). This event features a night glow, balloon race, aircraft display, car show, and more! For information, see the Web site.

Detroit, Michigan. Thunder Over Michigan 2006 takes place August 5 and 6 at Willow Run (YIP). Don't miss this exciting airshow saluting the Douglas Skyraider and the Supermarine Spitfire. For more information, see 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, Champaign, Illinois, and Fort Worth, Texas, August 12 and 13. A clinic is also scheduled in Reno, Nevada, August 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 Des Moines, Iowa, and Oklahoma City, August 9; and Omaha, Nebraska, and Lawton, Oklahoma, August 10. The topic is "Emergency Procedures." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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