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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 7, Issue 19

To view the AOPA ePilot archives, click here.

Volume 7, Issue 19 • May 11, 2007
In this issue:
Students get involved in FAA funding debate
University seeks to boost flight program
AOPA Fly-In showcases best of GA aircraft

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

Sponsored by Exxon Elite Aviation


AOPA Line of Credit



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

Comm1 Radio Simulator

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Copyright © 2007 AOPA.

Training Tips

How long has it been since your last solo? Do you solo more than one type of aircraft? If you switched flight instructors after your original CFI endorsed your student pilot certificate authorizing your solos, can your new CFI pick up where the other left off?

When a student pilot solos, he or she accepts responsibility for keeping track of recency of experience. Throughout your future flying as a private pilot (or beyond), you will have to know whether you require any additional authorizations, or recurrency training, before flying as pilot in command or with passengers.

Don't just lay the responsibility at your flight instructor's door. This is your flying. At some point you will be soloing in accordance with conditions stated in your logbook without asking for the CFI's permission each time. So check your status carefully.

Suppose your first few solo flights were in a Cessna 152, but the aircraft was sold. So you continue training in a Piper PA-28-161. After several hours of dual instruction in the Piper, your new instructor tells you that you may proceed with solo flying. He checks your logbook and sees that it is less than 90 days since your last solo endorsement. Are you good to go?

No. Although you satisfied requirements to fly solo in the Cessna 152, you must take a second pre-solo knowledge test that asks questions about "flight characteristics and operational limitations for the make and model of aircraft to be flown." For each type of aircraft that you solo, the Federal Aviation Regulations require that your student pilot certificate be endorsed and that you have a current logbook endorsement (see the June 4, 2004, Training Tips).

This repeated checking of your skills by a flight instructor keeps you safe and learning. For advanced pilots, the biennial flight review can prevent skill erosion and the development of bad habits. Indeed, when something goes wrong on a flight, a pilot's recent flying experience is scrutinized by accident investigators. For example, check out this 222-hour pilot's landing mishap in a Cessna 172.

You have probably heard student pilots complain that time away from training dulled their proficiency and reduced their confidence. Stay sharp by staying active, and make sure that your records reflect the facts.

Your Partner in Training

Flight training devices (FTDs) can be a great way to learn how an aircraft responds or handles and for practicing procedures. Even some flight simulator games, for instance, can be useful for demonstrating some basic VFR maneuvers to student pilots. Learn more on AOPA Online. If you need more information, call our experienced pilots-available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern to answer your questions toll-free at 800/872-2672.

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

The Kansas State University Student Governing Association passed a resolution specifically opposing the FAA's proposed user fees and 50-cent avgas tax hike. The students cited the College of Technology and Aviation's longstanding tradition of flight training and efforts to keep the cost of education affordable. The students then sent the statement to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey and Kansas senators and representatives, among others. As AOPA has reported previously, user fees and increased avgas taxes would dramatically increase flight training costs.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and International Council of Air Shows Foundation (ICAS) have teamed to offer a $2,000 scholarship to a college student pursuing an aviation-related degree. GAMA and ICAS will each be donating $1,000 toward the scholarship. To be eligible for the award, students must be currently enrolled in an aviation-related degree program and have completed at least two semesters with that major declared. Applicants will be judged on several factors, including their grade point average and extracurricular and community participation. Applications received by July 1 will be considered for this year's scholarship. For more information and to download an application, see the ICAS Foundation Web site.

Things are looking up for the Minnesota State University, Mankato, Aviation Department. Craig Ruedy, a 1988 graduate of the university, returned to the school last fall as chairman of the aviation department. Ruedy and faculty member Nihad Daidzic, a former staff scientist with NASA, are working to transform the program that had languished for five years because of some previous faculty problems. North Star Aviation is providing the school's flight training in the latest aircraft, including two Diamond DA20s, two glass-cockpit Piper Warriors, and two Piper Seminoles. The school currently offers two four-year programs, professional flight and management, but Ruedy said he hopes to have aviation safety and aviation technology degree programs in place within two years. The school currently has 130 students enrolled and expects to attract 40 to 50 new students this fall.

Inside AOPA

Have you passed the first solo portion of your flight training? If not, you're probably eagerly awaiting the day. For those who have soloed, that feeling of freedom and accomplishment is not easily forgotten. AOPA Project Pilot Student Taylor Nankervis, of Shingletown, California, recently wrote AOPA about his first solo in April: "I've read a lot of different stories from other pilots and their first solo experiences and was kind of nervous when the big day came.... About 100 feet into the taxi is when it really hit me, I was all alone. But once I took off, all I had to say to myself was, 'I can do this!' The feeling was unreal. The lightness of the airplane, the silence in the cabin, and the adrenaline rushing through my body made my solo so much fun. I can't wait for the next time I solo!" Students who have a Mentor are three times more likely to earn their pilot certificate. If you're interested in finding an AOPA Project Pilot Mentor to encourage you during the highs-like your first solo-and lows of flight training, visit AOPA Online.

More than 30 aircraft will be featured during AOPA's Fly-In and Open House on Saturday, June 2. And all segments of general aviation will be represented, from light sport aircraft to traditional trainers to business jets. For a list of aircraft that will be on display and photos of last year's exhibit, see our special AOPA Fly-In page.

Earlier this week, the 1977 Cessna Cardinal that we're refurbishing for AOPA's 2007 Sweepstakes went into the facility responsible for the business end of the airplane: the engine and its associated accessories. Read all about the beginning of the engine work in this week's update.

Student pilots and flight instructors spend much of their lessons training for and learning how to prevent emergency situations. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Emergency Procedures Safety Advisor focuses on how to handle the aircraft when things have already gone wrong. The Safety Advisor discusses the importance of distinguishing "abnormal" situations from emergencies (and keeping the former from becoming the latter). It also looks at handling a number of specific emergency situations, including engine failures, off-airport landings, fires, and vacuum failures in instrument meteorological conditions.

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 achieve your private pilot certificate, learning doesn't stop there. You'll want to continue your flying education by adding new certificates and ratings. And if you aspire for the airlines, a multiengine rating is a must for building time. Gleim Publications, known in the aviation community as the publisher of the "red books," also has a selection of online courses intended to prepare the user for a particular certificate or rating. Gleim's Multiengine Add-On Rating Course is a make- and model-specific ground school self-study program delivered via the Internet that gets you ready for the practical test. You can try a lesson free, or purchase the entire program for $29.95. For more information, 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: I just plotted my long cross-country, required for my private pilot certificate, and see that my course line tracks straight through an oddly shaped blue box with blue dots running along the inside of it. What does this represent?

Answer: The area you are describing is a special conservation area. This includes national parks, monuments, seashores, lakeshores, recreation areas, and scenic riverways administered by the National Park Service; national wildlife refuges, big game refuges, game ranges, and wildlife ranges administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and wilderness and primitive areas administered by the U.S. Forest Service. While the airspace above these areas is not prohibited or restricted, pilots flying above these areas are requested to maintain a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet above the surface to reduce potential interference with wildlife and complaints of noise disturbances. FAA Advisory Circular AC 91-36D, Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Flight Near Noise-Sensitive Areas , defines the surface of these noise-sensitive areas as "the highest terrain within 2,000 feet agl laterally of the route of flight or the uppermost rim of a canyon or valley."

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
Camp Springs, MD. The 2007 Joint Services Open House and Airshow takes place May 19 and 20 at Andrews Air Force Base (ADW). Contact Cynthia Nunes-Taijeron, 301/981-0057, or visit the Web site.

Lumberton, NC. The Mid-Atlantic Fly-In and Sport Aviation Convention takes place May 18 through 20 at Lumberton Municipal (LBT). Contact Danny Freeman, 910/740-6751, or visit the Web site.

Fairhope, AL. The Fairhope Festival of Flight takes place May 19 and 20 at H. L. Sonny Callahan (4R4). Contact Ron Humphrey, 251/370-4009, or visit the Web site.

Porterville, CA. The Western Association of Mooney Mites Fly-In takes place May 18 through 20 at Porterville Municipal (PTV). Contact Michael Harms, 650/966-8292, 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 Sacramento, CA; Kansas City, MO; and Houston, May 19 and 20. Clinics are also scheduled in Phoenix; San Jose, CA; and Orlando, FL, June 2 and 3. 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 Providence, RI, May 14; Bedford, MA, May 15; and Portsmouth, NH, May 16. The topic is "Say it Right! Radio communications for today's airspace." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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