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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 7, Issue 6

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Volume 7, Issue 6 • February 9, 2007
In this issue:
Colorado pilot receives Comm1 scholarship
Daniel Webster names aviation division chair
Budget proposal calls for GA user fees, tax hikes

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

Sponsored by Mooney Aircraft Company


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Minnesota Life Insurance

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Copyright © 2007 AOPA.

Training Tips

At all stages of a flight, the pilot receives clues about wind. What those clues mean to that pilot is the product of training. Even in the level cruise portion of a flight, don't ignore clues about winds aloft and surface winds. The unexpected sight of altocumulus standing lenticular (ACSL) clouds along the route might suggest the presence of strong winds and severe turbulence. (See the March 14, 2003, Training Tips article "Don't mess with mountain waves.") That would warrant checking in with Flight Watch for a weather update.

Smoke emanating from smokestacks gives evidence of the speed and direction of surface winds; so does blowing snow. Gusts may appear as ripple patterns on bodies of water or in the motion of trees bordering open fields. Knowing the character of the wind down below during cruise flight could be life-saving in case of an engine failure, because picking out an emergency landing field is only half the battle. The pilot also must know which way to approach to avoid overshooting.

Cross-country flying and related flight planning trains a student pilot to calculate the magnetic headings to fly to maintain the plotted course, given expected wind drift. If the actual headings flown are significantly different, or if groundspeed varies from planned values, what is the wind doing? When landing with an expected crosswind, you must be able to recognize that there will either be a headwind component or a tailwind component on the base leg. Did you plan your traffic pattern to compensate for its effects? Pilots learn about the effects of surface winds when practicing ground-reference maneuvers. "They aid the pilot in analyzing the effect of wind and other forces acting on the airplane and in developing a fine control touch, coordination and the division of attention necessary for accurate and safe maneuvering of the airplane," according to Chapter 6 of the Airplane Flying Handbook.

Let a designated examiner give you pointers on how the time-tested S-turns, turns around a point, and rectangular-course maneuvers should be flown in Dave Wilkerson's March 2003 AOPA Flight Training column "Checkride: Ground reference insights." Keep track of what the wind is doing, and you'll be ready to make the right decisions when it counts.

Your Partner in Training

Many people want to learn to fly but aren't sure if they can progress through the requirements of the private pilot certificate. If that's your situation, don't forget you have options. You can earn a recreational pilot certificate or a sport pilot certificate. Both require fewer hours of training than a private pilot certificate (which translates to fewer dollars spent), but they also pose limitations on the type of flying you can do and the aircraft you can fly. For more information, see AOPA's Guide to Learning to Fly. If you have 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

e-Publishing Group, manufacturer of Comm1 aviation training tools, has awarded its sixth annual Comm1 aviation scholarship to Malachi O'Neill of Erie, Colorado. O'Neill is a flight coordinator at Mountain Aviation, where he manages 30 pilots and a fleet of 12 turbine aircraft. He has a commercial certificate with instrument and multiengine ratings, and he plans to become a certificated flight instructor. O'Neill received $1,000 and an AudioPilot Adapter to assist him in the pursuit of his goal.

Daniel Webster College in Nashua, New Hampshire, has named John "Drew" Bedson as its new aviation division chair. Bedson joined the college on January 10. Bedson, formerly of Peachtree City, Georgia, most recently was senior vice president of Atlantic Southeast Airlines, where he oversaw the development of training across all operation disciplines, as well as the development of hiring models and the college ab initio programs. He has nearly 5,000 flight instructor hours and was a designated examiner for ATP certificates and DHC-7 type ratings.

CAE, a Canada-based provider of integrated training services, says it will build its first training center in Bangalore, India, by the end of 2007. The center will be located close to the Bangalore International Airport at Devanahalli and will train up to 1,000 pilots per year when fully operational. The center will be part of a CAE-Airbus cooperative effort and will initially offer pilot, cabin crew, and maintenance training as well as flight operations support on the Airbus 320 and Boeing 737.

Inside AOPA

President Bush released his fiscal 2008 budget proposal on February 5, and it's as bad as AOPA had feared: tax increases and user fees for general aviation. "That's why we've been aligning opposition in Congress. It's going to take an all-out fight by the aviation community to defeat this," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. Bush's $2.9 trillion spending plan would radically alter the funding mechanism for the air traffic control system and slash airport funding by $1 billion. The president's budget sets the tone for the FAA's coming reauthorization bill, which needs to be passed into law by the end of September. The bill will determine who pays what and how much the FAA will receive in its budget. "While we won't know the specifics until the actual FAA reauthorization proposal is released later this month, we have strong reason to believe it will increase GA fuel taxes by nearly fourfold," said Boyer. "As if a huge tax increase isn't bad enough, the budget makes it clear that the FAA will charge user fees for GA operations in 'the nation's most congested airspace,' which sounds like Class B airspace. And don't think you can get out of paying fees by avoiding Class B airspace." The FAA wants to collect user fees to process pilot and medical certificates. See AOPA Online.

AOPA has more members today than ever before in its 68-year history. At the end of January, the association's membership neared the 411,000 mark, with a month-end total of 410,936. "We are a membership organization," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "And our success is best measured by our loyal members, giving us the strength and power we will need this year to battle the upcoming FAA funding issue." When Boyer became AOPA's third president in 1991, membership was about 300,000. The association reached the 400,000 milestone in the summer of 2004. "Every day I get e-mails from members thanking us for what we do," noted Boyer. "But I remind them that we couldn't do it without them. I want to thank each and every member for making this association what it is."

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

Whether you are at the private, instrument, or commercial level, visual references can be a great help when it comes to learning maneuvers. Sporty's has produced a series of guides adapted from the Sporty's Academy Maneuvers and Procedures Handbook, and each provides step-by-step instructions and diagrams for performing maneuvers required on the pertinent checkride. Recreational and Private Pilot Maneuvers Guide covers takeoffs and landings, stalls, slow flight, ground reference maneuvers, emergencies, and more; Instrument Pilot Maneuvers Guide provides information on holding procedures and precision and nonprecision approaches; and Commercial Pilot Maneuvers Guide includes power-off accuracy approaches, lazy eights, eights on pylons, chandelles, steep spirals, and more. You can order one for $16.95 each, or all three for $39.95. 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: My friend has gotten me interested in learning to fly. He is currently training for an instrument rating, while I am just getting started on sport pilot flight training. I have researched the FAA regulations and cannot find why my friend can log pilot-in-command time, but I cannot.

Answer: Your friend can log time as pilot in command (PIC), even though he is not instrument rated, because he is a certificated pilot with privileges to fly the aircraft he is flying. FAR 61.51(e) allows certificated pilots to log PIC time when they are the sole manipulators of the controls in an aircraft they have privileges to fly. With that said, the same regulation also allows a student pilot, like yourself, to log PIC flight time when working on your solo sport pilot aeronautical experience requirements (i.e., five hours of solo flight time for the airplane single-engine land rating). Additional information on logging time can be found at 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
A mountain airport and a chance encounter with an elder statesman pilot provide a memorable experience for a father and son in the latest installment of "The Joy of Flight."

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

ePilot Calendar
Puyallup, WA. The 2007 Northwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show takes place February 24 and 25 at the Western Washington Fairgrounds. This event features hours of safety seminars, a huge exhibit hall, and nationally recognized speakers, including AOPA President Phil Boyer. Contact 866/922-7469, 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.

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Melbourne, FL, Baton Rouge, LA, and Dallas, February 17 and 18. Clinics are also scheduled in Nashua, NH, Las Vegas, and Oklahoma City, February 24 and 25. 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 Eugene, OR, February 20; Portland, OR, February 21; Seattle, February 22; and Puyallup, WA, February 24 and 25. Topics vary-for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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