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Copyright © 2006 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
LESSONS LEARNED SOLO
A student pilot recently posted a message to the AOPA Aviation Forums, expressing frustration with two "mistakes" committed on his second solo cross-country. Of course, the so-called mistakes are precisely what solo cross-country training helps to eliminate from a new pilot's flying. Most responses to the post encouraged him to look at the trip in a more contented state of mind.
What were the problems? The student wrote, "First, I contacted approach too far from the airport-at 20 miles. The controller was nice and told me to call 10 miles from the airport. Second, after contacting the tower and being cleared to land, I realized that I was much too high; I simply hadn't properly planned my descent. By pulling power and descending at around 1,000 fpm, I was able to touch down about 2,500 feet down a 6,300-foot runway."
The controller's request that he call back in 10 miles does not mean the initial call-up was wrong. Controllers often have operational reasons for requesting a different reporting point. Or radar coverage may have been spotty. (There was a ridge between the student and the airport.) According to the Aeronautical Information Manual's discussion of terminal radar services for VFR aircraft, "Pilots of arriving VFR aircraft should initiate radio contact on the publicized frequency with approach control when approximately 25 miles from the airport at which sequencing services are being provided."
As for the second item-being "much too high"-did preoccupation with the communications issue distract him from arrival chores? If so, another lesson learned: Unexpected developments can throw you off stride. The end result of the two surprises he encountered on arrival at the destination was a long landing, fortunately on a very long runway. It will be remembered. So will various ways it perhaps might have been remedied: adding flaps sooner, reducing power to idle, gentle S-turns on final, slipping to land (see the February 24, 2006, Training Tips), a go-around-suggesting that this too nets out as a long-term plus. (See the May 20, 2005, Training Tips on "Descent Planning.")
Flying now, and evaluating it later, is how pilots learn. One student's experience will benefit countless others who read about it.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Have you given much thought to those unwanted stowaways that may be hidden in the nooks and crannies of your aircraft? These intruders can jam control cables, destroy electrical wiring, degrade fuel cells, and incite massive corrosion. Spring is the time when such discoveries are common, so make the effort to find hidden surprises during preflight inspections. To learn how to look for these critters, read the "Safety Pilot" column "Bugged." |
Have a questions? Call AOPA's 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 |
| TSA OFFERS RECURRENT SECURITY AWARENESS TRAINING ONLINE |
Active flight instructors, ground instructors, and flight school employees now have a means available to complete the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA's) recurrent security awareness training. Last week the TSA posted an online training module for download, Recurrent Flight School Security Awareness Training, which can be used to fulfill the recurrent training requirements or to develop an alternate training program. "AOPA has worked since the TSA flight training rule was first issued to minimize the burden on pilots, flight schools, and instructors, while still maintaining a high level of security awareness," said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "This module is another step in the right direction toward helping instructors and flight schools complete security training." See AOPA Online.
HOW'S YOUR MANEUVERING FLIGHT? TAKE THE SPORTY'S QUIZ
Some pilots think maneuvering flight only includes low-level buzzing or aerobatics, but the truth is that maneuvering flight occurs every time you fly: Maneuvering flight includes such common operations as practicing ground reference maneuvers, stall recovery, and even a normal traffic pattern. Test your knowledge with the latest Sporty's Safety Quiz. Each Safety Quiz offers a quick, easy, and interactive way to assess and expand your knowledge. Plus, you can earn a chance to win a Sporty's Air-Scan V Aviation Radio/Scanner. Check back often: There's a new quiz added every other week. And be sure to look over the previous quizzes to challenge yourself on other topics.
CAE SIMUFLITE RELOCATES HELICOPTER SIMULATOR TO EAST COAST
CAE SimuFlite has moved its Sikorsky S-76 simulator from Dallas to a new training center near Morristown, New Jersey. The company said the move is designed to serve the high concentration of S-76 operators in the northeastern United States. The simulator will alternate between the S-76C and the S-76D models. Meanwhile, the FAA recently certified a Bell 412 simulator built by CAE and installed at the Emirates-CAE Flight Training Facility in Dubai, the company said. For more information, see the Web site.
ASA ACQUIRES AVIATION TITLES
AOPA Flight Training Contributing Editor Greg Brown, author of the monthly column "Flying Carpet," is one of several aviation writers whose titles have found a new home with Aviation Supplies and Academics. ASA acquired 26 titles previously published by Blackwell Publishing. Brown's books include Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane, Job Hunting for Pilots, and The Turbine Flight Manual (with Mark Holt). ASA also acquired titles by William K. Kershner and Bob Buck, among others. For more information, see the Web site or call 800/426-8338.
| Inside AOPA |
' 2005 NALL REPORT' SHOWS DROP IN GA ACCIDENT RATE
The general aviation accident rate for 2004 reached a historic low in 2004, according to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's 2005 Joseph T. Nall Report. There were 6.22 total accidents and 1.2 fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours in 2004. In 2003, the accident rates were 6.77 and 1.37, respectively. Instructional flight resulted in only 12.7 percent of all accidents and 4.1 percent of fatal accidents in 2004-not surprising, given the high level of supervision and structure in the training environment. Pilot error continues to be the leading cause of GA accidents. This year's report also noted an increase in the number of weather-related accidents and includes a special emphasis section on the importance of hazardous weather avoidance and the need for pilots and air traffic controllers to work together. Download the 994-kilobyte report from AOPA Online.
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 |
SKYMARK TECHNOLOGIES OFFERS FREE ELECTRONIC LOGBOOK
Skymark Technologies offers a free edition of its Aloft electronic logbook for student pilots who are just starting to log flight time. The student edition is limited to 100 flights of up to three hours per flight, but it offers features found in the Aloft private and commercial versions, such as the ability to make customized reports. For more information, see the Web site.
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: If I need to contact air traffic control while on a cross-country, how do I find what frequency to use? |
Answer: If you want to contact an air route traffic control center (ARTCC), you can find a listing of frequencies for a particular region in the Airport/Facility Directory. Using the A/FD legend on the back cover can help you to quickly find the specific section that contains the list. The ARTCC frequencies in lightface type are designated for low-altitude operations. You will also find a listing of flight service station (FSS) frequencies in this section of the A/FD. A sectional chart has a complete listing of tower and approach control frequencies for those facilities found on that particular chart located inside the chart cover. For information on air traffic control services, see AOPA Online. Also, take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's free online course, Say Intentions, to learn how to utilize ATC services when you need help.
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 |
| UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS: |
Titusville, Florida. The Valiant Air Command 2006 Tico Warbird Airshow takes place March 10 through 12 at Space Coast Regional (TIX). Featuring modern military flybys and demonstrations, strafing runs, dog fights, and vintage warbirds on display. Held at the Warbird Air Museum. Contact Don Hussey, 321/268-1941, or visit the Web site.
Brownsville, Texas. Air Fiesta 2006 takes place March 11 and 12 at Brownsville/South Padre Island International (BRO). Featuring aerobatic acts Jan Collmer and Paul Fiala; Tora, Tora, Tora re-enactment with pyrotechnic display; World War II bombers and fighters; and modern military exhibits and flights. Contact David Hughston, 956/541-8585.
Boise, Idaho. The Idaho Aviation Festival takes place March 10 and 11 at Boise Centre on the Grove. This event attracts aircraft owners, pilots, mechanics, aviation business leaders, aviation enthusiasts, and the general public. Contact Kim Cobb, 208/288-0290, 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 Clinic is scheduled in Columbia, Maryland, March 18 and 19. Clinics are also scheduled in Covina, California; San Mateo, California; King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; and Virginia Beach, Virginia, March 25 and 26. 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 Rockford, Illinois, March 13; Northbrook, Illinois, March 14; Romeoville, Illinois, March 15; and Peoria, Illinois, March 16. The topic is "Do the Right Thing-Decision Making for Pilots." For more details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.