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Copyright © 2006 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
Soloing an aircraft for the first time is generally considered the most memorable moment for a pilot, but the "long cross-country" is the crowning achievement of a student pilot's solo flying. As explained in the March 24, 2006, Training Tips discussion about solo cross-country flights, this required mission is a flight of at least 150 nautical miles total distance, with full-stop landings at a minimum of three points, with one segment of the flight "consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations." Often, completion of this flight moves you along to your final flight-test preparation, magnifying its importance as a training milestone.
This flight is crucial for fulfilling training requirements, so be ready with a flexible schedule and an available aircraft for an opportunity to go. Plan several acceptable routes, studying potential destination airports in advance. A missed opportunity, followed by a patch of bad weather or lack of aircraft availability, are famous causes of training setbacks. Be aware that this kind of pressure could become the first test of your ability to resist temptation to make a bad go/no-go decision. Your flight instructor, who must approve your flight, will prevent that. But what if the weather starts to deteriorate en route? Your pilot judgment will be tested. "I once had a student in this predicament. He was on his final solo cross-country, and it started to snow in Virginia several hours ahead of the forecasted time. He was less than 50 miles from clear skies. He wanted to get the trip finished that day so that he could take his checkride the following week, before a long-planned vacation to his European homeland. He could have pressed on, but he was at the limits of his comfort, and he chose to land. We sent another airplane and two pilots to retrieve him," wrote Charles Wright in the January 2006 AOPA Flight Training feature "The Most Important Lesson."
Not all delays are avoidable. If you get caught in a cycle of schedule-and-cancel, don't lose heart. Draw encouragement from the advice and morale-boosting anecdotes in "Don't Let Delay Become Defeat" by Lee S. Kessler in the April 2006 AOPA Flight Training.
A promise: Patience will bring success.
| Your Partner in Training |
|In the early stages of learning to fly, your instructor will show you how to fly a rectangular ground track, and you will fly these over and over. Why? Because they simulate an airport traffic pattern. Much of what you learn in the early phases builds on what you'll need to know later. Ralph Butcher examines the primary objectives of this maneuver in the January 2006 issue of AOPA Flight Training. If you still have questions about ground reference maneuvers, call the Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 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 |
| WOMEN IN AVIATION SCORES RECORD YEAR |
More than 3,000 members of the aviation industry gathered in Nashville last week for the 2006 Women in Aviation conference. A record-breaking year for Women in Aviation International, the conference drew a large percentage of the organization's 15,000-plus membership for seminars, forums, educational sessions, and a packed exhibit hall. Presenters included people from all aspects of aviation, with a strong GA showing from aircraft manufacturers like Cessna, Raytheon, and Cirrus Design; avionics producers such as Garmin, Bose, and Telex; and many university aviation programs. The conference gave out more than $500,000 in scholarships this year, including more than $93,000 from Bombardier. The business aircraft manufacturer awarded scholarships for Learjet 31A and CRJ200 initial pilot training courses and a type maintenance course for the Challenger 604. Next year's conference will be held February 15 through 17 in Orlando, Florida. See the Web site for more information.
KENT STATE AVIATION PROGRAM EARNS ACCREDITATION
The Council on Aviation Accreditation has approved Kent State University's aviation program. The accreditation applies to bachelor degree programs in aeronautical studies, aeronautical systems engineering technology, aviation management, and flight technology. To achieve accreditation, programs must satisfy a wide range of quality standards and education requirements. Kent State is located in Kent, Ohio. For more information on the program, see the Web site.
AERO CLUB OF NEW ENGLAND TO HONOR CAPT. AL HAYNES
The former United Airlines captain who landed a disabled DC-10 will receive a presidential award from the Aero Club of New England (ACONE) on April 20 in Lexington, Massachusetts. Capt. Al Haynes and the crew of United Flight 232 are credited with saving 184 lives in the July 1989 accident. ACONE also will honor several New Englanders for regional and national contributions to aviation education: Wallace J. Moran of Wilton, Connecticut; Rita Goulian (mother of airshow pilot Mike Goulian), Winthrop, Massachusetts; Graydon Sharp, Chelsea, Maine; Kevin A. Dillon, Manchester, New Hampshire; Frank Sherman, Lincoln, Rhode Island; and Rick Sylvester, South Burlington, Vermont. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Deirdre O'Connor, 781/729-0664.
| Inside AOPA |
AOPA DAY AT SUN 'N FUN ONLY A WEEK AWAY
The unofficial start of airshow season kicks off Tuesday in Lakeland, Florida, when the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In opens April 4. But if you're planning to visit the big show, make sure you circle Friday, April 7, on your calendar. That's AOPA Day at Sun 'n Fun, and AOPA members will get a $5 discount off a single-day admission when they show their AOPA member card (may not be combined with any other offer). The excitement really starts Thursday evening when AOPA President Phil Boyer hosts a free Pilot Town Meeting on the Sun 'n Fun grounds. On Friday, be sure to stop by AOPA's Big Yellow Tent. There will be hourly seminars on everything from medical issues to safety to insurance. While you're at the tent, don't forget to pick up your AOPA sticker. AOPA's SurPRIZE Squad will be canvassing the grounds, rewarding members and attendees for showing their AOPA pride-one lucky winner will receive the grand prize, a Garmin 396 handheld GPS! Of course, a highlight at the tent will be the public debut of AOPA's Win a Six in '06 Sweepstakes airplane, a 1967 Cherokee Six. The airplane will be parked right next to the tent all week. For more about AOPA Day at Sun 'n Fun, download the flyer. Or see the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's fly-in safety page.
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 |
SPORTY'S DVD EXPLORES IFR COMMUNICATIONS
Want to go on three different instrument flights, in differently equipped aircraft, all at the same time? It's possible in the "IFR Communications" DVD from Sporty's. A new installment in Sporty's What You Should Know series, the program is intended to give instrument pilots a fresh look at IFR operations through all phases of flight in a variety of airspace and weather conditions. The flights take place in a Cessna Skyhawk equipped with basic VOR navigation, a Garmin G1000-equipped Cessna Skylane, and a twin-engine Piper Aztec with multifunction display, GPS, traffic avoidance, and datalink weather. The flights present a variety of communications scenarios at several airports, and viewers will see how each pilot manages the available resources to complete each mission. Bonus features include a review of lost communications procedures. "IFR Communications" is $29.95 and may be ordered online from Sporty's.
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 FAA's definition of a congested area? |
Answer: This question often comes up when trying to determine the minimum safe altitude for operating an aircraft. In FAR 91.119, a "congested area" is defined as a city, town, settlement, or open-air assembly of persons. According to a Letter of Interpretation from FAA legal counsel, there is no standard definition for a congested area, but case law has indicated that a subdivision of homes and a small rural town constitute one. Because it has been interpreted loosely, consider an area congested if you are in doubt. For additional information on minimum safe altitudes for flying, see 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. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|Your grandparents may not have worn headsets in the cockpit, but that doesn't mean you should fly without one. Today's headsets are designed to improve your ability to communicate in the cockpit and preserve your hearing for the future. Learn more in the May 2006 issue of AOPA Flight Training and check out the new headset buyer's guide with links to manufacturers. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS: |
Lakeland, Florida. The Sun 'n Fun Fly-In takes place April 4 through 10 at Lakeland Linder Regional (LAL). A spring tradition featuring exhibitors, aircraft display, and a daily airshow, Sun 'n Fun offers something for everyone! Don't miss a Pilot Town Meeting with AOPA President Phil Boyer on Thursday, April 6, and AOPA Day on Friday, April 7-AOPA members get $5 off admission when you show your membership card. For more information, see the Web site.
Burnet, Texas. The 16th Annual Commemorative Air Force Bluebonnet Airshow takes place April 8 at Burnet Municipal Kate Craddock Field (BMQ). Featuring warbirds, aerobatics, parachute jumpers, and more! Gates open at 9 a.m., show begins at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults/$5 for children. Contact Clif Walker, 512/756-2226, or visit the Web site.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The 2006 Airfield Operations Area Expo and Conference takes place April 9 through 11 at the Four Points Sheraton. Join airport operations, maintenance, and engineering managers from airports around the world for seminars, courses, and over 90,000 square feet of exhibit space. 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.
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in San Diego, Chicago, and Cincinnati, April 8 and 9. Clinics are also scheduled in Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Salt Lake City, April 22 and 23. 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 Burlingame, California, and Owensboro, Kentucky, April 3; Fresno, California, Frankfort Kentucky, and Fairfield, New Jersey, April 4; El Monte, California, and Morehead, Kentucky, April 5; San Luis Obispo, California, April 6; and El Cajon, California, April 8. Additional seminars will be held during the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida. Topics vary-for more details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.