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AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition - Vol. 7, Issue 44

Volume 7, Issue 44 • November 2, 2007

In this issue:
Able Flight announces scholarship recipients
Evelyn 'Mama Bird' Johnson honored
Here comes the cold: Is your trainer ready?

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

Sponsored by ExxonMobil Aviation Lubricants


AOPA Line of Credit

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King Schools

Pilot Insurance Center

Mooney Airplane Company

Comm1 Radio Simulator

Sign up for AOPA Project Pilot

Lockheed Martin

AOPA Online Travel

AOPA Credit Card

ASF Courses


JP Instruments


Fly Exxon Elite


Scheyden Eyewear

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Garmin International

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Copyright © 2007 AOPA.

Training Tips

Snow-covered ramps and icy winter winds may be weeks away, but atmospheric ice and changing winds-aloft trends should be on the minds of pilots flying in fall and winter.

This is when that familiar weather-textbook phrase, "the temperature is below the dew point and the dew point is below freezing," comes to life on chilly mornings. The result: You may come out to fly and find your aircraft covered with a sugary layer of frost. All pilots learn that visible frost must be removed because of the aerodynamic hazards it creates. [See the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Brief Cold Facts: Wing Contamination .]

Also, a December 2004 safety letter issued by the National Transportation Safety Board refocused pilots' understanding of frost hazard: "For years most pilots have understood that visible ice contamination on a wing can cause severe aerodynamic and control penalties; however, it has become apparent that many pilots do not recognize that minute amounts of ice adhering to a wing can result in similar penalties. Research results have shown that fine particles of frost or ice, the size of a grain of table salt and distributed as sparsely as one per square centimeter over an airplane wing's upper surface, can destroy enough lift to prevent that airplane from taking off."

Another fall icing concern is the altitude of the freezing level. Learn how to find it in weather forecasts and pireps, and how to use the information in arriving at a go/no-go decision in this "Instructor Report" article on AOPA Online. Maintain awareness of the freezing level by continually monitoring your outside air temperature gauge during flight.

You should also be aware of seasonal changes in the behavior of the jet stream. "What starts the ball rolling is the increased contrast in air temperatures as northern latitudes begin to cool down," explained the Sept. 12, 2003, Training Tips, which provides links to review material on jet streams and their ability to manufacture weather.

Fortunately, fall flying means fewer thunderstorms and better aircraft performance in the cooler, denser autumn air. But risk always accompanies reward; staying wary of seasonal realities will keep you safe.

Your Partner in Training

Should I choose a Part 61 or Part 141 school? Is there an easy mental note to use in recovering from an inadvertent spin? Are my flight training expenses tax deductible? No question is too tough or too trivial for the Pilot Information Center aviation specialists at 800/USA-AOPA. Do you have a question that you're too embarrassed to ask your flight instructor, or that must be answered quickly when you can't reach your instructor? Our specialists, who are either CFIs or experienced pilots, are available weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern to answer all your questions.

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

Able Flight, a nonprofit organization that provides aviation scholarships to persons with disabilities, this week announced the two latest recipients. They are Tyler Ryan, of Walden, N.Y., and Jessica Scharle, of Chapel Hill, N.C. Each will train for a sport pilot certificate in a specially equipped Sky Arrow. Able Flight has awarded 10 scholarships in the past 10 months. To apply for a scholarship or learn more about the organization, visit the Web site.

With 57,635.4 hours of flight time, Evelyn Bryan Johnson has logged more hours than any other woman. But it's for her many contributions to aviation as a pilot, flight instructor, designated pilot examiner, FBO owner, and airport manager that this longtime AOPA member is being honored. Johnson, affectionately known as "Mama Bird" by her scores of friends and flying colleagues, was presented with the Katherine and Marjorie Stinson Award from the National Aeronautic Association on Oct. 29. The award is named for the Stinson sisters who were among the first 11 U.S. women certified as pilots by the NAA's predecessor, the Aero Club of America. Johnson, who turns 98 on Nov. 4, flew regularly until a few years ago, when she was injured in a car accident. For the complete story, see AOPA Online.

Daniel Webster College in Nashua, N.H., has added a bachelor of science degree in homeland security to its curriculum. Students have the option of choosing a concentration in aviation or computer security, or designing a custom concentration. Studies will include the sociology of disasters; risk and crisis management; continuity and recovery; ideology, conflict, and terror; and homeland security vulnerabilities and threats.

Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Ind., unveiled a bronze sculpture of alumnus Neil Armstrong before the Oct. 27 dedication ceremony for a new engineering research and education building named for the first astronaut to walk on the moon. The statue depicts Armstrong not in his space suit but rather as an undergraduate student in the 1950s, sitting on a stone plinth in front of the building. Armstrong, commander of Apollo 11 and Gemini-Titan VIII, earned a bachelor's degree from Purdue in aeronautical and astronautical engineering in 1955. "When our students see this sculpture, I hope they'll believe that they, like Mr. Armstrong, can achieve the unimaginable," said Purdue President France A. Córdova. "I hope it will inspire them to reach for the stars."

Inside AOPA

Many pilots will begin flying more at night as we fall back to Standard Time on Nov. 4. There may be less traffic and lighter winds, but don't ignore the challenges of flying in the dark. Check out the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Flying Night VFR Safety Hot Spot and AOPA's Night Flying subject report to prepare for a night flight free of mishap. While planning, use AOPA's Airport Directory Online to learn more about airport lighting and any special night traffic patterns. To avoid obstructions or terrain at night, read the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Terrain Avoidance Plan Safety Brief.

If you live in the northern or eastern parts of the nation, you may have noticed temperatures dipping down into the freezing levels this week. And unless your flight school keeps its training airplanes in cozy hangars, chances are you'll have to contend with getting your airplane ready for a flight one cold morning. Do you know what to do? Start with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Cold Facts Safety Brief for a clear, concise explanation of wing contamination. For a broader look at cold weather flying hazards, particularly flying into icing conditions, be sure to review the foundation's Aircraft Icing Safety Advisor.

The team refurbishing AOPA's 2007 sweepstakes airplane, a 1977 Cessna Cardinal, has been working hard since this time last year to make it shine. Now the airplane is back in Georgia so they can put the finishing touches on a year's hard work. Check out the latest in this week's update.

Now that you've decided to become a pilot, where will you start? Developing your basic piloting skills is much easier with the help of AOPA Project Pilot, designed to help AOPA members and current pilots connect with prospective pilots—not as instructors, but to support and share experiences during flight training. "I am very lucky to have a mentor like Mr. Kevin Bannon," said Project Pilot student Bill Chilson. "He did a great job in getting me through all the basics and starting me toward my solo." In addition to finding a mentor, student pilots have access to resources that will help you learn the finer details about different types of pilot certificates, flight schools, training, high-tech gadgets, and more.

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

Powerful Learning Inc. has introduced a new software program for student pilots. The Private Pilot Study System includes testing and review software for the FAA private pilot knowledge test, plus 12 additional tests, including study aids designed to help you learn METAR and terminal area forecast codes. There's also a comprehensive aviation reference library. The components are fully integrated; from any test or review question, the Powerful Learning software will find the resource relevant to the question and highlight the answer. You can order the software as a CD to run on a personal computer for $85, or download the program for $75. A free demo is also available. See the Web site or call 800/975-1257.

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 am a little confused about the difference between the terms "crewmember" and "flight crewmember." Can you clarify?

Answer: Good question. It can be difficult sometimes to differentiate between the two, and it's important to know the difference before starting a flight. A crewmember is a person assigned a nonairman duty or responsibility while on board an aircraft. Examples would be an airline flight attendant, someone taking photographs for an aerial survey operation, a wildlife survey statistician, or search-and-rescue personnel. On the other hand, a flight crewmember is an appropriately certificated and rated airman (a pilot, flight engineer, or flight navigator, for example) performing official cockpit flight duties while an aircraft is in flight, dependent upon the approved FAA aircraft type-certificate data sheet flight crew requirement and/or the FAA's operational regulations.

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 Online

Fall is prime time for bird migration. All day long, our feathered friends are on the wing and possibly in your flight path. Learn what you can do to avoid bird strikes and how to report one if it happens to you, in AOPA's newly updated subject report.

Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Jeppesen.

ePilot Calendar
Torrance, CA. The Grand Opening of Western Museum of Flight takes place Nov. 4 at Zamperini Field (TOA). Contact Cindy Macha (Director of Museum), 310/326-9544 or 714/300-5524, or visit the Web site.

Monroe, NC. A Veterans Day Celebration takes place Nov. 10 and 11 at Monroe Regional (EQY). Contact Bob Russell, 704/491-6127.

Las Vegas, NV. A Nellis Air Force Base Annual Airshow takes place Nov. 10 and 11 at Nellis Air Force Base (LSV). Contact Bob Jones, 702/652-5541, or visit the Web site.

Palm Springs, CA. An Eleventh Anniversary of Palm Springs Air Museum and Veteran's Day Celebration take place Nov. 10 at Palm Springs Air Museum. Contact Sheilah Reed, 760/778-6262 ext. 235.

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 San Diego; and Albuquerque, NM, November 10 and 11. A clinic is also scheduled in Atlanta, November 17 and 18. 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 North Hills, CA, November 5; Costa Mesa, CA, November 6, Ontario, CA, November 7; San Diego, November 8; Jacksonville, FL, November 12; Tampa, FL, November 13; West Palm Beach, FL, November 14; and Orlando, FL, November 15. The topic is "Regulations: What every pilot should know." A seminar is also scheduled in Poughkeepsie, NY, November 10. The topic is "Say it Right! Radio Comm in Today's Airspace." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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