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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 7, Issue 23

To view the AOPA ePilot archives, click here.

Volume 7, Issue 23 • June 8, 2007

In this issue:
User fees 'a bad, bad idea,' members say
Jacksonville student wins GAMA scholarship
Student takes off with Project Pilot

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

Sponsored by ExxonMobil Aviation Lubricants


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

Pilot Insurance Center

Sign up for AOPA Project Pilot

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Copyright © 2007 AOPA.

Training Tips

When you begin to solo, your flight instructor presents a clear and straightforward script for your flights alone. However, you wouldn't be going on this well-rehearsed mission unless the CFI believed that you could cope with any surprises. Whether it is handling an emergency with your aircraft, or an unexpected development such as a wind change or a sudden increase in traffic, you can handle it. "The goal of soloing is to prove, to the student and the rest of the flying world, that enough knowledge and skill have been implanted to allow command of the air," LeRoy Cook wrote in the May 2006 AOPA Flight Training feature "When will I solo?"

All the piloting tools you have learned are at your disposal now; you'll just have to make decisions completely on your own. You know that executing a go-around is prudent if a landing approach is not coming together or if traffic down below is not clearing the runway in time. Extending your traffic pattern or slowing down helps with spacing while airborne. Terminating the flight early if traffic seems to be getting uncomfortably heavy is a command decision—go ahead and make it if you feel that shortening the flight is best. The main thing to remember, if things take an unexpected turn, is to "Relax!" as recommended in the December 22, 2006, Training Tip, and fly with a smooth, confident touch while you sort out the complications. Don't rush your actions or attempt to get on the ground too quickly. This is a common mistake that causes mishaps.

Moderately challenging circumstances for solo are a good thing, but don't push it. Talk to your instructor about any discomfort you experience while soloing at your usual base. Finding a better place for conducting this training can enhance both learning and safety. "The solo environment matters. If there's a more suitable airport nearby, consider staging those first few solos from there, after a suitable period of dual familiarization," was the advice rendered in the April 2007 AOPA Flight Training Accident Analysis column, which focused on "First solo follies."

Most solos go according to plan. But if you find yourself face to face with the unexpected, relax, fly smoothly, and meet the challenge with confidence.

Your Partner in Training

It's almost time for your cross-country solo, so in preparation you'll be planning and flying cross-countries with your flight instructor. The use of aeronautical charts is key at this point in your training. The Aeronautical Chart User's Guide is a useful learning aid. Other helpful tools designed specifically to enhance your flight-planning experience are available in the Virtual Flight Bag at AOPA Flight Training Online.

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
Pilots at AOPA's Fly-In and Open House on June 2 made a point to do their part to protect general aviation by signing the petition against user fees. And they were not shy about sharing their opinions of the funding proposal. "I think it's a bad, bad idea," said student pilot Shawn Stephens of Severn, Maryland, explaining that new pilot starts would decline. "I can see a lot of people not getting into a dream," says Michael Schaal, who owns a Cirrus SR20. "I'm a brand-new pilot, and it was very expensive to get where I am today." His fear, like many pilots, is that now that he can afford to own an airplane, he won't be able to afford to operate it. John Albrecht, who traveled from Detroit to visit family and attend Fly-In, says he fears that the horror stories of user fees in Europe would come true here under the FAA's plan. After another aviation enthusiast added his signature to the petition, he pointed out that the airlines are pushing a plan—user fees—that will hurt them in the long run: "Where are they going to get their pilots?"

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has named Brent E. Knoblauch as the 2007 recipient of the $1,000 Dr. Harold S. Wood Scholarship. Knoblauch will be a junior this fall at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida. The annual award recognizes a top student enrolled in a National Intercollegiate Flying Association member school who demonstrates academic excellence, promotes aviation, and participates in activities and community service outside of aviation. Knoblauch is vice president of his flight team and is lead director of Aviation Ambassadors, a group that promotes and fosters enrollment into the university's aviation program.

FedEx Express has donated a Boeing 727-100 freighter to the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics. The aircraft will be used to provide hands-on training for aviation maintenance technology students in aircraft systems, engines, and structures. Nearly all of FedEx's aircraft are named after the children of company employees. N189FE, dubbed "Casey" for the son of a 16-year technical training manager, had served the company for nearly 18 years. "Casey" also did a 23-year stint in passenger service for United Airlines and had racked up 67,458 flight hours, including its final flight to Pittsburgh.

Hollywood Aviators, a flight school based at Van Nuys Airport in California, will provide flight training in simulators and aircraft to children who participate in Air Camp 2007. Each two-week session includes ground school sessions on aerodynamics, navigation, flight safety, airport operations, and careers in aviation. Every camper will get to operate a single-engine aircraft four times, including a complete flight from one airport to another, accompanied by a certificated flight instructor. The $650 fee covers simulator, headset, and aircraft rental; a T-shirt; logbook; charts; first flight certificate; camp photograph; pilot workbook; and flight training discounts for family members. For more information and dates, see the Web site or call 818/994-2004.

Inside AOPA
With his AOPA Project Pilot Mentor Richard Link eagerly waiting, Project Pilot Student Greg Wiseman successfully completed his first solo in May. "It was a beautiful day for flying, and Richard was in town so he went along for my normally scheduled lesson. After 45 minutes of work we flew back to LXT [Lee's Summit Municipal] and my instructor said today is the day," said Wiseman, adding, "I could not believe this was really the day." Wiseman admits it was hard to keep the excitement in check while in the pattern. He said he was "all smiles" upon landing and during his shirttail abduction. "This was indescribable. The adrenaline, the excitement and feelings of accomplishment I experienced on this particular milestone is something I will never forget," he said. Getting ready to solo? Tell us about it. If you've soloed already, send us your personal stories, videos, and photos highlighting your AOPA Project Pilot success.

The 2007 AOPA sweepstakes airplane, a 1977 Cessna Cardinal, came to us with a complete set of logbooks, tracing the airplane's history and service record. With all the work we're accomplishing on the airplane, we need to bring those logbooks up to date before the airplane takes flight. You can learn all about the detailed preparations we're making for that first big signoff in this week's Catch-A-Cardinal update.

Are you up to speed on the sport pilot rules? As a student pilot, you can obtain a sport pilot certificate with less training time. But it's important to understand the differences between sport pilot privileges and those of a private pilot. Take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Quiz and find out whether you need a current flight review to exercise sport pilot privileges, whether you can carry passengers, and whether additional training is needed for already-certificated pilots. Each Safety Quiz offers a quick, easy, and interactive way to assess and expand your knowledge. Plus, you can earn a chance to win a Sporty's Air-Scan V aviation radio/scanner!

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

A good, sturdy flashlight is a handy addition to your flight bag that will prove its usefulness time and again—on night flights, checking hard-to-see areas under the cowling, and more. Sporty's offers a light-emitting-diode Mini Maglite with an accessory kit that includes a red lens—just right for cockpit use during night flights, as the red lens won't interfere with your night vision. The Mini Maglite is approximately six inches long and weighs just four ounces, so it won't take up much room. The flashlight with kit is $39.95. 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: Why should we reduce airspeed when we encounter turbulence?

Answer: Reducing the airspeed when flying in turbulence reduces the load factor on the aircraft. Here's why: In straight-and-level flight, all forces affecting flight are balanced. However, when the wing's angle of attack (AOA) suddenly increases, as it does in turbulence, you feel the increased load factor, or G-force, that pushes you back into your seat. Read more in the article "A new look at maneuvering speed" and in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Advisor, Maneuvering Flight—Hazardous to your Health?

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
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.

San Carlos, CA. The Vertical Challenge Helicopter Air Show takes place June 16 at Hiller Aviation Museum. Contact William Turner, 650/654-0200, or visit the Web site.

Scappoose, OR. The Northwest RV Fly-In takes place June 16 at Scappoose Industrial Airpark (SPB). Contact Joe Blank, 503/829-6333, or visit the Web site.

Lock Haven, PA. The Sentimental Journey Fly-In takes place June 20 at William T. Piper Memorial (LHV). Contact Carmen Banfil, 570/893-4200 or 570/748-5123, 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 Clinic is scheduled in Charlotte, NC, June 23 and 24. Clinics are also scheduled in Newark, NJ, and Memphis, TN, July 21 and 22. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.

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