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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 7, Issue 22

To view the AOPA ePilot archives, click here.

Volume 7, Issue 22 • June 1, 2007

In this issue:
Michigan College helps Cessna reach milestone
Soar into the flight levels with AOPA Career Pilot
Set your approach to AOPA's Fly-In and Open House

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

Sponsored by ExxonMobil Aviation Lubricants


Pilot Insurance Center

Lockheed Martin



JP Instruments

Avemco Aviation Insurance

Fly Exxon Elite


AOPA Credit Card

Scheyden Eyewear

Minnesota Life Insurance

AOPA Aircraft Financing

Garmin International

Airline Transport Professionals

AOPA Insurance Agency

King Schools

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Copyright © 2007 AOPA.

Training Tips

Nothing helps a student pilot learn a maneuver or grasp an aeronautical concept like a good demonstration of the idea. When it comes to learning the dangers of emergency situations such as an inadvertent encounter with instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), a convincing demonstration of what’s at stake saves lives.

What's at stake? Simply this: A pilot not trained to control an aircraft without visual reference to the ground is likely to quickly experience spatial disorientation and lose control after entering clouds. Flight into IMC by noninstrument-rated pilots continues to be the cause of many fatal aircraft accidents.

You will practice recovery from unusual flight attitudes—that’s what happens when an aircraft begins to go out of control in IMC—during the phase of your training focused on flight solely by reference to instruments. (See the May 5, 2006, Training Tip, “Visual pilots, instrument weather” for a discussion of basic instrument training requirements.) At the beginning of this practice, your flight instructor will demonstrate how easily your kinesthetic senses can be deceived into delivering signals that contradict what your flight instruments are telling you about the aircraft’s attitude. A pilot flying solely by instruments must disregard this false sensory information to maintain control.

Experiencing is believing. That’s where a quality demonstration makes the lesson stick. “You will experience the confusion that results when your mind and the flight instruments generate conflicting information. When vertigo occurs—and it will—concentrate on the attitude indicator until the sensation subsides. To do this safely, you must know how to validate the attitude indicator and make certain that it's working properly,” wrote Ralph Butcher in “ Flying Safe,” discussing instrument training in the December 1999 AOPA Flight Training. See his instructor technique for inducing spatial disorientation. Was your training as effective as this method?

Although spatial disorientation is demonstrated to student pilots in conjunction with their basic instrument training, it can be a factor at other times, as during night flight. (See “ Answers for Pilots” in the September 2003 AOPA Pilot.) That’s another reason to let a well-delivered demonstration motivate you to practice your instrument flying skills and avoid situations where spatial disorientation is a threat.

Your Partner in Training

Well, you did it. You made up your mind to learn to fly this summer. What kind of flight school is right for you—big, small, or something in between? Get some practical advice and insight by reading "Choosing the right school. " AOPA Flight Training Online has everything you need to know to get started. Ask your Project Pilot Mentor to share his or her opinion on the subject. Don’t have a Mentor? Sign up for one today.

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

Northwestern Michigan College recently took delivery of Cessna Aircraft Company’s 7,500th single-engine piston aircraft. The 172 Skyhawk is one of 11 to be delivered to Northwestern Michigan’s aviation program in Traverse City over the next 14 months. The college is upgrading and downsizing its training fleet, which numbered 20 aircraft at one point. Northwestern Michigan will operate a core size fleet of three to six aircraft depending on projected flight-hour loads. An additional six aircraft are available for advanced training.

The FAA has given Level 5 certification to a Diamond DA42 flight training device (FTD) located at Europe-American Aviation in Naples, Florida. Chief Flight Instructor Bruce Batelaan said there has been a trend for more multiengine training since the school became a Diamond Brilliance Flight Center in June 2006. “Compared to the last year, I have given more than double the instruction time for multiengine training versus that of single-engine training,” he said. The flight school’s fleet includes three Diamond DA42 Twin Stars. For more information, see the Web site.

Aspiring to become captain of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner or perhaps head of a corporate flight department? Just as you’ve turned to AOPA to help you through your primary flight training, the association can guide you into a successful career as a professional pilot. The new AOPA Career Pilot Web site is filled with tips on career development, professional training (crew resource management in the cockpit), and information to help you understand sophisticated jets and turboprops. AOPA will also feature success stories to motivate you and provide you with ideas to land your dream job. Plus, industry news about new regulations and the airlines—who’s hiring or ordering new aircraft—will give you the needed edge to beat out the competition.

Inside AOPA

AOPA’s seventeenth annual Fly-In and Open House kicks off this weekend (Saturday, June 2) with one of the largest aircraft displays ever. More than 45 aircraft—from light sport aircraft to very light jets—will be open for your inspection. To help you while you're busy preparing to fly or drive in to this exciting one-day event, we've prepared a handy checklist. It includes everything you need to know about our new arrival procedures, safety tips, which educational seminars to attend, exhibits introducing the latest products and services in the general aviation industry, and where to sign AOPA’s petition against user fees. During your visit, meet our team of dedicated professionals while touring AOPA headquarters. If you bring a future pilot with you to Fly-In, you could win a Bose headset. There’s something for everyone interested in learning more about GA—see you Saturday!

An incident last week in which the pilot of an Aeronca Champ strayed into restricted airspace over the Kennedy Space Center in Florida highlights the importance of avoiding special-use airspace (SUA). Because the U.S. National Airspace System is becoming increasingly complicated with SUA, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation offers a free online course, Mission: Possible—Navigating Today’s Special Use Airspace . The course, produced in cooperation with the Air Force and Department of Defense, reviews key facts about SUA, covers military lights-out training operations, and includes an interactive flight-planning scenario. Mission: Possible also qualifies for safety seminar credit in the FAA Wings program.

Details, details! It all comes together nicely, and we're completing all the final work on the 1977 Cessna Cardinal we're giving away in the 2007 sweepstakes—and the paperwork that has to be in place before the airplane gets off the ground. Maybe your instructor taught you that lift sends an airplane into the air, but anyone who has refurbished or built an airplane will tell you that it really flies on the efforts of the people working on it, and the logbook entries and approved data that stand behind it. Come learn about the progress of the Cardinal at AOPA's Fly-In and Open House this Saturday, June 2, in Frederick, Maryland. You can see video of the work going on this week and talk with project manager Julie K. Boatman about the Cardinal.

If you’re a student pilot trying to balance everyday life with flight training, you’re not alone. It’s not always easy, but AOPA Project Pilot can help. “I didn't have a lot of time for family, friends, and my boyfriend. I take my studies very seriously,” said Project Pilot Student Shelena Laws. Read the special “ePilot” report about how Laws completed her private pilot certificate while preparing for medical school. Laws said Project Pilot is “wonderful, and I encourage all student pilots to find a Mentor and get involved.” ( Find a Mentor). Already have a Mentor? Send us your videos, photos, and personal stories about flight training.

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

You and two friends are planning a weekend beach getaway. You’ve carefully calculated the weight and balance, and you know to the pound how much useful load is available for fuel, passengers, and baggage. As your friends climb out of their car and bring their luggage to the airplane, you have a sinking feeling that maybe they’ve overpacked. Find out for certain with Sporty’s digital luggage scale, a lightweight, easy-to-use scale that measures items up to 60 pounds. The scale operates on four watch batteries (included) and sells for $29.95. Order online or call 800/SPORTYS.

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: With the summer flying season upon us, I want to know more about density altitude and how it affects aircraft performance. Does AOPA have any information on this?

Answer: Yes, we have a lot of information. Density altitude involves understanding the interaction of altitude, atmospheric pressure, temperature, and humidity. High density altitude refers to thin air, and low density altitude refers to dense air. Conditions that result in high density altitude are high elevations, low atmospheric pressures, high temperatures, high humidity, or some combination of these factors. Aircraft performance is best in dense air and deteriorates gradually as the density altitude increases. On a hot day at a high elevation, you’ll notice this particularly on takeoff, where you may need twice the runway than needed in cooler temperatures at lower altitudes to get off the ground, and the aircraft will climb very slowly. This is particularly important to know if you’re flying in mountainous terrain. Find out more in AOPA’s subject report, Density Altitude, as well as the Air Safety Foundation’s interactive online course on mountain flying.

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

Planning a trip to the beach? AOPA Online Travel, powered by Orbitz, can save you time and money. Check out these summer travel beach deals. When you use AOPA Online Travel to book your getaways, you're providing vital revenue to AOPA, which is reinvested to support our daily advocacy efforts.

Weekend Weather

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

ePilot Calendar

Frederick, MD. The AOPA Fly-In and Open House takes place June 2 at Frederick Municipal (FDK). Visit the Web site.

Manitowoc, WI. The Thunder on the Lakeshore Airshow takes place June 2 and 3 at Manitowoc County (MTW). Contact Curt Drumm, 920/482-1650, or visit the Web site.

Columbia, CA. The Bellanca-Champion Club West Coast Fly-In takes place June 8 through 10 at Columbia (O22). Contact Robert Szego, 518/731-6800, or visit the Web site.

Naples, ME. The Annual New England Seaplane Safety Exposition takes place June 9 at Brandy Pond Seaplane Base (5ME). Contact Mary Build, 207/693-5138, or visit the Web site.

Nephi, UT. The Nephi City Airshow and Fly-In takes place June 9 at Nephi Municipal (U14). Contact Carl Anderson, 801/376-3602.

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 Minneapolis, MN; Columbus, OH; and Ashburn, VA, June 9 and 10. A clinic is also scheduled in Charlotte, NC, June 23 and 24. 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 at the AOPA Fly-In and Open House, June 2, in Frederick, MD. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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Topics: Training and Safety, Training and Safety, Training and Safety

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