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Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition, Vol. 7, Issue 32

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Volume 7, Issue 32 • August 10, 2007

In this issue:
AOPA wins suit against N.Y. background check law
ERAU gets $2.5 million pledge for aviation complex
Seattle-area students get expanded career options

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

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Copyright © 2007 AOPA.

Training Tips

Do you always fly with full fuel on board? What's your school's policy about refueling after flying? It's cheap insurance to depart with full fuel on training flights—especially solos—but not always possible. When it isn't, can you determine precisely how much fuel is on board? (See the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor Fuel Awareness .) After flight, one school of thought is to top off the aircraft immediately to prevent water vapor from condensing in fuel tanks. Another is to leave fueling until the next flight to avoid exceeding weight or balance limits, or because the aircraft might launch on a mission requiring more restrictive loading, as explained in the March 19, 2004, Training Tips article "A Categorical Explanation of Flying."

Whichever policy your school, fixed-base operation, or aircraft owner follows, you must skillfully track fuel burn. "Experience also teaches that the best fuel quantity gauge is a clock. Once you learn the fuel consumption habits of a particular airplane in climb, cruise, and descent, you can use a clock to accurately determine fuel used and fuel remaining—provided that you know how much fuel was in the tanks when you started the engine," wrote Mark Twombly in "Continuing Ed: Fuel School" in the September 2002 AOPA Flight Training. ( Fuel exhaustion was the subject of the July 6, 2007, Training Tip.)

Avoid traps: Such details as how you park the aircraft may hint that the fuel on board isn't as advertised. Check the vent. Is fuel—and precious training funds—dripping out? "Even on relatively cool days, it's not recommended to park an airplane in the sun with full tanks. As the fuel heats up, it expands and has nowhere to go, except out the vent and onto the ground. Some airplanes (Cessna 210s come to mind) when topped off can spit out several gallons of fuel on a warm day. Some other Cessnas also are particularly prone to venting fuel if they are parked left-wing low. The fuel vent is on the left side and if parked left-wing low with the selector valve in Both, fuel can slowly dribble out of the vent," Peter Bedell wrote in a September 2006 AOPA Pilot feature "Facing Down Fuel Costs."

Fueling policies differ. Know which applies—and understand its safety pros and cons.

Your Partner in Training

Every pilot, from the newest student to the most senior airline captain, must remain vigilant during ground operations. To help ensure that you know where you are in reference to taxiways and runways, always use an airport diagram and mark the runway in use with the heading bug. Once you're on the runway, verify that the heading indicator and bug are aligned with the runway. Pilots should also know the meaning of all airport signs and markings. To help you brush up on signs and markings, review the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Runway Safety online course and Runway Flash Cards. Free airport diagrams are also available on the foundation's Web site.

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

A federal judge ruled on August 2 that states cannot preempt the federal government by forcing flight school students to undergo criminal background checks. U.S. District Judge Gary L. Sharpe ruled in favor of AOPA's motion for summary judgment. Last year AOPA and seven New York flight schools filed a lawsuit against the state law. "This law didn't do anything to enhance security for New Yorkers," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It was unnecessary and discriminatory, and it violated the U.S. Constitution." The Transportation Security Administration and the FAA have aggressive and comprehensive security programs in place, he noted. See the complete story on AOPA Online.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has received a $2.5 million pledge from an alumnus that will be used to build a new aviation complex on the university's Daytona Beach, Florida, campus. The gift is from James Hagedorn, chairman and chief executive officer of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, maker of consumer lawn and garden products. Hagedorn received a bachelor's degree in aeronautical science at ERAU. The aviation complex will add two new structures totaling 95,000 square feet. The first building will house flight planning and dispatch areas, classrooms, bays for instructor pilots, and offices. The second building will feature a hangar that will house maintenance operations for the flight training fleet, and a conjoined hangar that will house labs, offices, and equipment for the aviation maintenance science degree program.

The aviation program at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, has signed an agreement with Green River Community College (GRCC) in Auburn, Washington, in which GRCC students can transfer to Rocky Mountain for the remaining two years of their bachelor's degree program. The agreement applies to bachelor's degrees in aeronautical science (professional pilot) and aviation management. The first two students from GRCC are entering Rocky Mountain's aviation program this fall. There are only a few four-year aviation programs among the five northwestern mountain states. "This agreement gives career options to strong students from the Seattle area wanting a four-year degree," said Dan Hargrove, director of aviation at Rocky Mountain.

Girls With Wings, an organization created to promote girls' interest in aviation, recently announced a new scholarship program. One female applicant will receive $500 to be used toward flying lessons. Applicants must not have received a private pilot certificate. Requirements include an essay with photo stating why the applicant believes she is a role model for the Girls With Wings mission. The deadline to apply is November 1, and a recipient will be notified on December 1. For more information, see the Web site.

Inside AOPA

After a brief rest following Oshkosh last month, the 1977 Cessna Cardinal that AOPA is refurbishing this year took to the skies over the country's midsection. AOPA Pilot Technical Editor Julie Boatman and Field Project Manager Dan Gryder stopped at several airports along the way, showing off the airplane to the pilots and their families who might not have made it to see the airplane yet. See pictures and share stories of the flight in this week's update. Take your own cross-country flight in the virtual Cardinal by downloading the program by Flight1 Software for Microsoft Flight Simulator X.

Now that Cessna and Cirrus have announced that they're getting into the light sport aircraft arena, it's clear that LSAs are here to stay. While the training requirements for the sport pilot certificate are somewhat different, sport pilots share many of the same safety concerns. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has helpful resources for sport pilots, including several online courses. Among them are GPS for VFR Operations , which will help those who use a GPS, and Weather Wise: Ceiling and Visibility , aimed at helping you to get a basic weather education—because you can't be ignorant of weather concepts just because you fly VFR. The Collision Avoidance Safety Advisor shows pilots of LSAs how to mix safely with pilots of all other types of aircraft. And for basic information, be sure to review the "Sport Pilot Checkride Guide" and AOPA's Sport Pilot/LSA Web pages.

Faisal Adil moved to the United States from Dubai in 1987 to fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot. Now, as an AOPA Project Pilot Mentor, he is helping other aviators pursue their dream to learn how to fly. Read about Adil's experience mentoring five student pilots. Adil was the $1,000 winner in the second quarterly AOPA Project Pilot Prize drawing. Looking for an enthusiastic Mentor like Adil? Sign up for AOPA Project Pilot today—you can search the Web site for available Mentors.

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

Looking for more training opportunities for those days when you can't fly? is waiting for you. Creator Mark Robidoux founded the site in 2005 out of his dissatisfaction with the amount of training available on the Internet for instrument-rated pilots. As you might imagine, the site contains a large number of workshops and seminars aimed at various aspects of instrument flying, but there are topics that pertain to any level of training, including go-arounds, aviation insurance, and airmanship principles. You can try two workshops free of charge, or sign up for a free weekly tip culled from a full-length workshop. A monthly $19.95 subscription gets you complete access to the 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: Unfortunately, I recently had a DUI traffic violation. Do I need to report it and to whom?

Answer: Yes. You need to report it to the FAA's Internal Security and Investigation Division (formerly the Civil Aviation Security Division) within 60 days of the date it occurred, according to FAR 61.15, "Offenses involving alcohol or drugs." It doesn't matter if the charges are later dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge. If your driver's license was suspended for an alcohol or drug action in any form, you must report it, even if your driver's license was suspended for only a few hours (for example, withheld by law enforcement, which includes not letting you drive home or requiring another person to drive you home). Additionally, at the time of your next FAA medical exam/review, you are required to report the DUI to the FAA's Aerospace Medical Certification Division. More information is available 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.

What's New Online

Celebrate general aviation's greatest resource and experience a typical Saturday at 11 different types of GA airports across America. Taste their diversity and step into their ambiance—from the world's largest floatplane base to a sleepy airstrip—as chronicled by AOPA Pilot's team of writers and photographers on May 19. AOPA members participated in this venture by capturing the mood at their fields on that same day, and they did so with great enthusiasm. Visit "A Day in the Life of America's Airports" to view a short video of the day's happenings and AOPA member-submitted photo essays to fully experience these amazing locations.

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

ePilot Calendar

Lancaster, PA. The 2007 Cardinal East Coast Fly-In takes place August 11 at Lancaster (LNS). Contact Al Hubler, 717/367-7272, or visit the Web site.

Halstead, KS. The Fifth Annual Mid-America Antique Fly-In takes place August 10 and 11 at Wiebe Airfield (SN05). Contact Don Wiebe, 316/835-2417, or visit the Web site.

Rantoul, IL. The Chanute Aerospace Museum's 2007 Air Festival takes place August 11 and 12 at the Rantoul National Aviation Center/Frank Elliott Field (TIP). Contact Hal Loebbach, 217/893-1613, or visit the Web site.

Oklahoma City, OK. Aviation Family Fun and Safety Day takes place August 11 at Wiley Post (PWA). Contact Harry L. Weatherford, 405/745-2855, or visit the Web site.

Bellefontaine, OH. Bellefontaine AirFest 2007 and Pancake Breakfast takes place August 18 and 19 at Bellefontaine Regional (EDJ). Contact Galen Harris, 937/599-4275, or visit the Web site.

Mexico, MO. The Elks Club Military Appreciation Airshow takes place August 18 at Mexico Memorial (MYJ). Contact Steve Hagan, 573/581-0125.

Camarillo , CA. The EAA Chapter 723 Camarillo Airshow takes place August 18 and 19 at Camarillo (CMA). Contact Larry Beckett, 805/646-7053, or visit the Web site.

McMinnville, OR. The McMinnville Antique Aircraft Fly-In takes place August 17 through 19 at McMinnville Municipal (MMV). Contact Frank Wallace, 503/341-9409, or visit the Web site.

To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Atlanta; Champaign, IL; Reno, NV; and Allentown, PA, August 17 and 18. Clinics are also scheduled in Sacramento, CA; and Colorado Springs, CO, September 8 and 9. 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 Atlanta, Morristown, NJ; King of Prussia, PA; and Germantown, TN, September 10; East Windsor, CT; Bethlehem, PA; and Nashville, TN, September 11; Billerica, MA; and New Cumberland, PA, September 12; and Manchester, NH; Pittsburgh; and Alcoa, TN, September 13. The topic is "Regulations: What every pilot should know." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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