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

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Volume 7, Issue 7 • February 16, 2007
In this issue:
How would user fees affect you?
Daniel Webster hosts New England Aviation Expo
AOPA sweeps airplane gets down to the rivets

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

Sponsored by Mooney Aircraft Company


Minnesota Life Insurance

AOPA Aircraft Financing

Bose Aviation Headsets

Garmin International

Airline Transport Professionals

King Schools

Pilot Insurance Center

JP Instruments


AOPA Credit Card

Scheyden Eyewear

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Copyright © 2007 AOPA.

Training Tips

You taxi onto the runway, align your training aircraft on the centerline, throttle up, and begin the takeoff roll. At what point into your takeoff will you abandon the attempt if your aircraft is not yet airborne? If you don't know the answer to that question, your takeoff planning is not complete.

Depending on your aircraft's loaded weight, the type of runway surface, density altitude, and headwind component, the performance charts in the pilot's operating handbook give you a good idea how far down the runway your liftoff point will be. But you will want to decide to abort long before reaching that point-especially on a short runway. (Download the checklists for proper takeoff planning in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings .)

One common guideline that your instructor may recommend is to make it your policy to abort if you have not achieved 70 to 75 percent of your liftoff speed by the time you reach the halfway point on the runway. Abort even before that if for any reason acceleration seems sluggish or takeoff power seems inadequate. Pick an easily visible point or object for your moment of decision.

"An abort point can be any prominent landmark-a windsock; a building to the side of the runway; a clump of grass; or a runway turnoff, sign, or marking. Promise yourself that if your airplane is not airborne with a positive rate of climb by this point, you will abort the takeoff and stop in the remaining runway. This abort point depends on takeoff performance and considers such items as airplane weight, pressure altitude, ambient temperature, wind, obstacles, and terrain," Christopher L. Parker said in the May 2005 AOPA Flight Training feature "How to learn: The takeoff." The condition of the runway remaining-wet or snow covered, for instance-plus any braking action reports (explained in the November 28, 2003, Training Tips) should also be a factor in your decision.

Takeoff is an exhilarating part of flight. Know before you advance the throttle how far you can safely roll before calling it off.

Your Partner in Training

"Should I learn to fly at a towered or nontowered airport?" When weighing the decision to train at a towered airport versus one without a control tower, recognize that each presents its own set of challenges. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation offers two free Safety Advisors that can help you. Easy to understand and packed with information, Operations at Towered Airports and Operations at Nontowered Airports can be downloaded from the foundation's Web site. If you still 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

How bad could the Bush administration's user fee proposal be? Well, let's consider what it would cost for you to learn to fly at a nontowered general aviation airport if the proposal goes through. Before you can solo, you'd have to pay a new fee of $42 to the FAA for your medical certificate (plus about $65 to the AME for the examination). Your rental costs would go up significantly because the avgas tax would increase nearly fourfold-to 70 cents a gallon. The new $45-a-year FAA aircraft registration fee would be factored into your rental price, too. When you fly into Class B airspace to learn how to work with ATC in a terminal environment, you'll be dinged with a charge for using the terminal airspace. We don't know what the charge would be yet, but it would apply to any GA aircraft flying in any of the 30 Class B terminal areas. When you go for your checkride, not only would you pay the designated examiner, you'd have to pay the FAA $50 to issue your certificate. See AOPA Online.

AOPA has received reports that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has stepped up security checks of flight schools and certificated flight instructors. The inspectors specifically are checking to see if the schools and CFIs have complied with the Alien Flight Training/Citizenship Validation Rule and the TSA's Security Awareness Training. Remember, every flight school employee and independent instructor must complete recurrent security awareness training every 12 months after their initial security training.

The FAA is proposing a major overhaul of its pilot certification regulations-FAR Part 61-that includes more than 200 changes. Many of those improvements stem from years of AOPA advocacy. The FAA is proposing three of AOPA's four major recommendations: Allow CFIs to renew their privileges every two years while keeping the original certificates; extend the duration of a student pilot certificate to coincide with the duration of a third class medical certificate; and allow the use of personal computer-based aviation training devices (PCATDs) to meet instrument currency, requirements for logbook entries, and credit for use of a flight simulator or flight training device (FTD) for the private and commercial pilot certificates. Using a driver's license medical for recreational pilots is the only AOPA recommendation the FAA rejected. See the complete story on AOPA Online.

Imagine a classroom training tool that stands more than 10 feet tall and could produce 98,000 pounds of thrust. You've just pictured a commercial-grade Pratt & Whitney engine that was donated to Purdue University's Department of Aviation Technology in November 2006. Two such engines power the Boeing 777. "This is a huge engine that produces twice the thrust of all three engines of a Boeing 727," said Thomas Wild, a professor of aviation technology. "This is an important acquisition because it gives students an up-close view of a modern engine, how it works, and the location of the components." Pratt & Whitney donated the engine, valued at $500,000. With a 112-inch-diameter fan, the PW4098 engine had to be shipped over roads from Connecticut to Indiana. It now resides in the powerplant lab at Hangar 2 of Purdue University Airport.

Daniel Webster College will host the ninth annual New England Aviation Expo on March 31. The program will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the college's Eaton-Richmond Center, adjacent to Boire Field in Nashua, New Hampshire. Several workshops are scheduled throughout the day, including sessions on aircraft systems, aeronautical decision making, basic aerodynamics, Hudson River VFR corridor, human factors, mountain flying, sport pilot, runway safety, and training for pilot companions. FAA representatives will be available in the "Ask a Fed" gallery to discuss air traffic control, runway safety, aviation education, flight standards, and other topics. All events are free and open to the public.

Inside AOPA

Ever wonder what goes into building an airplane? As we refurbish AOPA's 2007 Catch-A-Cardinal Sweepstakes airplane from the ribs out, we take you through the process behind the individual jobs. This week, learn what it takes to drill out old rivets and replace control surface skins-and learn respect for the maintenance technicians capable of doing the job right! Every AOPA member who joins or renews their membership during the calendar year is automatically entered in the sweepstakes. Student pilots enrolled in the free AOPA Flight Training six-month introductory membership are not.

One of the most useful pieces of weather information is a pilot report (pirep), yet these reports are all too rare. Pireps provide critical weather information such as cloud layers and turbulence that cannot be accurately obtained from other sources. They also fill in the gaps between ground-based weather reporting stations. Check out the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online course, SkySpotter: Pireps Made Easy, to learn how you can request, use, and give these valuable weather reports.

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

Once you move from pattern work and maneuvers in the practice area to planning and executing dual and solo cross-countries, flying opens up a whole new world. Along with the freedom of flying from your airport to another airport comes planning, planning, and more planning. How much fuel will you carry, and how much will you burn? What is your true course and magnetic course? What is your wind correction angle, and how do you calculate it? Planning and Flying Your Solo Cross-Countries by R. Douglas Collins seeks to help you navigate your way through the information you'll need to plan a flight. The book is No. 2 in the Collins Flight Training Series. It sells for $22.99 and may be ordered online from

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: Can I use a flight simulator to meet the training requirements for my private pilot certificate?

Answer: FAA regulation 61.109(k) allows a certain amount of hours to be accomplished in an approved flight simulator and/or flight training device (FTD) and credited toward your aeronautical experience requirements. There are differences between a flight simulator and FTD, neither of which are to be equated with a personal computer software program like Microsoft Flight Simulator. A flight simulator is a full-size aircraft cockpit replica of a specific aircraft make/model that uses a motion and visual cueing system for ground/flight operations. An FTD is an open flight deck area that can be used to simulate various aircraft and may or may not have a motion/visual cueing system. An authorized instructor must be present in order to log the simulator training time. The use of a simulator will give you the advantage of learning and practicing the necessary flight maneuvers you will be expected to perform during your checkride and typically save you money too. Additional insight into the use of simulators can be reviewed in the Pilot Information Center's subject report on flight training devices.

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
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 Nashua, NH, Las Vegas, and Oklahoma City, February 24 and 25. A clinic is also scheduled in Baltimore, March 3 and 4. 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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