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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 7, Issue 20

To view the AOPA ePilot archives, click here.

Volume 7, Issue 20 • May 18, 2007
In this issue:
Golden Eagles win 2007 safety competition
AOPA Fly-In: The best one-day GA event
What does it take to get an FAA medical?

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

Sponsored by Exxon Elite Aviation


Comm1 Radio Simulator

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

AOPA Travel Service

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Copyright © 2007 AOPA.

Training Tips

A pilot's attitude about safety shows in many details while performing cockpit duties. When you take your private pilot flight test, your examiner will watch for clues about your attention to safety. All of the flight-test tasks associated with the 12 areas of operation in the Practical Test Standards reveal your safety awareness. But one way to make a solid i mpression on your examiner is to pay close attention to the language in Area of Operation II: Preflight Procedures, Task F: Before Takeoff Check, Objective 7. It states that the pilot "avoids runway incursions and/or ensures no conflict with traffic prior to taxiing into takeoff position."

Ensuring no conflict means positioning your aircraft advantageously during your pretakeoff checks to allow you to scan the traffic pattern. It includes keeping track of other aircraft transmissions on the common traffic advisory frequency. And once you're on the runway, use it! Don't just sit there and fiddle. It's time to go.

If you are operating at a towered airport, show the examiner you know that ensuring no conflict is a pilot concern there too. Consider your clearances carefully and maintain situational awareness. "At airports with control towers, controllers make liberal use of the ability to tell an aircraft to taxi into position and hold. The controllers are required to advise the departing aircraft of traffic on final, and each airport has its own comfort level for following the rule for how close the landing traffic can be when they allow the position-and-hold procedure to be used," wrote Chip Wright in the August 2005 AOPA Pilot feature "Runway Manners." If you train in a high-wing aircraft, heed his caution about the blind spot that particular design creates when you scan for landing traffic. One of the common causes of a pilot's first real-world go-around-as distinguished from practice go-arounds commanded by your flight instructor during training-is when an aircraft taxis onto the runway while another aircraft is on final approach.

Stay sharp and aware. Make use of resources like the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online course Runway Safety , and show your examiner that ensuring no conflict is your top priority.

Your Partner in Training

The challenge of learning to fly is exhilarating. And with each milestone that you accomplish-like smoothly landing the airplane without any help from your instructor and completing your first solo and subsequent solo cross-countries-your confidence grows. But, as with all challenging tasks, there are some low points. That's why it is helpful to know someone who's been there, done that and can identify with your joys and frustrations. Through AOPA Project Pilot, we'll help pair you with a Mentor who does not replace your instructor, but adds another voice of experience to encourage you throughout the process. Browse through our Project Pilot Mentor list for a current pilot available to help you. Student pilots who have a Mentor are three times more likely to earn their pilot certificate.

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

Last week, more than 30 college and university flight teams competed for the gold in the 2007 National Intercollegiate Flying Association Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (NIFA Safecon) at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. The Golden Eagles from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's (ERAU) Prescott, Arizona, campus took the top spot, while the University of North Dakota came in second, and ERAU's Daytona Beach, Florida, campus took third. The teams were tested in several ground and flight areas, including preflight, power-off landing, navigation, aircraft recognition, and simulated instrument flight. For a complete list of scores and school rankings, see NIFA's Web site.

Alsim, which has manufactured simulators in France for more than a decade, has entered the U.S. market with the installation of two simulators at Andrews University in Barrien Springs, Michigan. Andrews purchased an AL200 MCC, a fixed-base multicrew flight training device (FTD) that can be reconfigured to represent 18 different aircraft, and a Cessna 172 Garmin G1000 glass-cockpit trainer. Alsim pioneered the use of flat-panel computer screens to display cockpit instruments. In addition to being rapidly reconfigurable to represent different aircraft, its FTDs provide authentic feedback of flight-control forces.

Barry Hyde made history on May 7 as the first blind student to graduate from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Daytona Beach, Florida, campus. He earned his master of science in aeronautics with specializations in aviation safety and aviation operations. As AOPA ePilot previously reported, the 35-year-old lost his sight in a serious aircraft accident in 1998 but didn't give up on his love for aviation. He later earned ground instructor certificates and enrolled at ERAU. Because most aviation materials are not in Braille, Hyde studied by recording class lectures and then listening to them at home while typing them on his computer. He carried a 4.0 grade point average and in April was appointed to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Inside AOPA

Add hundreds of pilot products, dozens of aircraft, thousands of aviation enthusiasts, and a dash of good weather, and you've got a recipe for the event of the summer- AOPA's Fly-In and Open House on Saturday, June 2, at our home airport in Frederick, Maryland. We'll have nearly 40 aircraft on display and more than 100 aviation product exhibits to take care of all your pilot needs. We'll also have our petition against user fees and an avgas tax increase front and center for you to sign. More than 22,500 signatures were collected in April during Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida. We're also offering multiple AOPA Air Safety Foundation seminars. With the best of GA being represented that day, be sure to bring your friends and family members who are interested in learning to fly. This is the event that will hook them! They'll also get the chance to listen to AOPA Project Pilot spokesman Erik Lindbergh, the grandson of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, talk about the future of GA.

We're finishing up the engine and propeller installation on AOPA's 2007 sweepstakes airplane, a 1977 Cessna Cardinal, and it's ready to run! Read all about the last phase of firewall-forward work in this week's Catch-A-Cardinal update. And if you make plans to visit AOPA's Fly-In and Open House, you can see the airplane you've been reading about and learn more about how the Cardinal was built.

Do you know which allergy medications are FAA-approved, the blood pressure limits for in-office medical certification, and whether you can fly after LASIK surgery? Get a checkup on your knowledge of aviation medical certificates with the latest AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Quiz. Already taken this one? Challenge yourself with another Safety Quiz topic in the "Previous Quizzes" section. 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

German-based Beyerdynamic has produced high-end audio systems and equipment since 1924, and it's just recently set its sights on the aviation market with what promises to be a full line of pilot headsets. The first offerings, the HS 600 DANR (digital adaptive noise reduction) and the HS 300 Individual (passive) headsets, can be customized to suit your likes. Chose among a variety of colors for the ear cups, ear pads, headband, and aluminum design parts. But that's not all. You can pick velour or leatherette coverings for the ear pads and have text engraved into the headset holding clip. Both models feature audio boxes integrated into the headset cable, which provides a cell-phone or MP3-player connection. Automatic volume control reduces the volume of the phone or player when a transmission is carried over the intercom to the headset. To design and order your customized headsets, visit the company's Web site. The headsets will be shipped right to your door.

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 recently started learning to fly and started thinking about insurance protection similar to what I have for my automobile. Am I covered through the flight school's aircraft rental agreement/policy, or should I have my own insurance policy?

Answer: In most cases you'll want to obtain your own insurance because the insurance policies covering flight school businesses do not afford coverage beyond its policyholder. This means you, the non-owned/renter pilot, would not be covered if you damaged the rental aircraft or other property and/or hurt someone. Some pilots who rent think they are appropriately covered when accepting to be responsible for paying the deductible if something were to happen; however, this is a big misconception. If no coverage is offered, and you were to damage the aircraft and the flight school files a claim with their insurance company, the claim will be settled with the flight school, and then the insurance company could subrogate the claim against you. This means you would be held responsible for the costs the insurance company paid to the flight school. A non-owned renter's insurance policy can provide you with liability coverage as well as additional aircraft hull insurance to protect you in these situations. Be sure to check with the FBO or flight school where you rent to find out what kind of coverage is provided. For additional insight, review the Pilot's Guide to Aircraft Insurance and contact the AOPA Insurance Agency.

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
Flight planning is easier than ever with AOPA's Airport Directory Online. Now when you search for an airport you want to fly to, you can pull up the sectional chart and taxiway diagrams for that airport. Plus, you can check out FBO fuel prices to make it easier to pick your fuel stops.

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.

Pine Bluff, AR. Skyhook XI, the Black Pilots of America's Annual Convention, takes place May 24 through 28 at Grider Field (PBF). Contact Ron Lisberg, 818/367-0903, or visit the Web site.

Columbia, MO. The Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Weekend Celebration takes place May 26 through 28 at Columbia Regional (COU). Contact Mary Posner, 573/443-2651, or visit the Web site.

Watsonville, CA. The Watsonville Fly-In and Airshow takes place May 25 through 27 at Watsonville Municipal (WVI). Contact Dave Brockmann, 831/763-5600, 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 Phoenix; San Jose, CA; and Orlando, FL, June 2 and 3. Clinics are also scheduled in Minneapolis, Columbus, OH, and Ashburn, VA, June 9 and 10. 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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