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Members Only - AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition, Volume 7, Issue 43

Volume 7, Issue 43 • October 26, 2007

In this issue:
AOPA donates to ERAU scholarship fund
Family matters: Father, daughter learn to fly together
Where do you go for in-flight weather briefings?

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

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JP Instruments

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Copyright © 2007 AOPA.

Training Tips

Training airplanes are hard-working aircraft; their individual quirks and bugs become well known to the students and flight instructors who fly them. Sometimes a preflight inspection or before-takeoff check turns up a problem that gets reported on a "squawk sheet" that goes to the aircraft's mechanics for remedial action. Once the maintenance discrepancy is discovered, must the flight be canceled?

This is a matter of safety and an issue that could come up on your practical test. In the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards Area of Operations covering preflight operations, Task B requires you to explain the procedures and limitations for determining airworthiness of the airplane with inoperative instruments and equipment. Review the references cited in the task, examine the regulation covering instruments and equipment required for day and night VFR flight, then check your pilot's operating handbook for any type-specific requirements. If maintenance was deferred, was the proper method followed? See Chapter 7 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge . Also be prepared to describe a minimum equipment list, explained in the AOPA Online Pilot Information Center and find out whether one has been issued for your trainer.

It's a good idea to get acquainted with your trainer's history. "Ask the instructors who regularly fly the airplane about some of its characteristics, check out the squawk sheet, and talk to the mechanics and pilot who just finished flying it," suggested the Sept. 2, 2005, ePilot article titled "Become one with the aircraft you rent." Follow the links to other informative articles describing how good pilots learn about the health and maintenance of the aircraft they fly.

Another step: Ask your aircraft's mechanics to explain how they addressed recent maintenance squawks and have them show you how they recorded the actions in the aircraft's maintenance records, satisfying FAR 91.213. This is good practice for a day when you might have to show a designated examiner or an FAA inspector how regulatory compliance was achieved concerning a maintenance discrepancy. Even if that event never occurs, becoming familiar with your trainer's health-care program is part of becoming a complete, thorough pilot.

Your Partner in Training

The AOPA Medical Certification home page is the starting point for information about medical certification issues. Medical subject reports, answers to common aviation medical concerns, searchable listings of aviation medical examiners and medications the FAA allows or prohibits, and a medical online status request form to assist with your medical certification are also available.

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

Continuing a nine-year alliance between the world's largest aviation organization and one of the world's leading aviation universities, AOPA President Phil Boyer presented a $26,000 check to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) on Oct. 15 for the AOPA Career Pathways Scholarship fund. Each year the association contributes 10 percent of AOPA member dues paid by ERAU alumni to the university's endowed scholarship fund. Since 1999, AOPA has donated some $176,600 to help deserving aviation students. See the complete story on AOPA Online.

Just about a year after beginning an "exchange student" program with a flight school in Ireland, FlightSafety International has declared the program "a proven success." The agreement with Pilot Training College (PTC) at Waterford International Airport has provided benefits for both schools, FlightSafety said. The U.S. students get to convert their FAA certificates to Joint Aviation Authority commercial pilot licenses. Meanwhile, PTC students use FlightSafety's Vero Beach, Fla., facilities to earn a private pilot certificate and build hours. The program also has opened up job opportunities with international airlines for FlightSafety students, said Jacqueline Carlon, FlightSafety Academy's senior marketing manager. FlightSafety has trained nearly 100 students in the first year of the program.

A Michigan man and his daughter learned to fly at the same time, with the same flight instructor, at the same airport. Chuck Corry, of Fort Gratiot, Mich., and his daughter, Jamie, have been flying at St. Clair County International Airport in Port Huron, Mich., and learning from Skipper T. Steffens, according to an article in the Times Herald. After taking the pair on an introductory flight in September 2004, Steffens offered to let the Corrys take lessons at the same time before they soloed. One could fly and the other could monitor what was being taught, then the other could fly. Chuck Corry received his private pilot certificate in October, and Jamie Corry is on schedule to complete hers by December.

The Florida Institute of Technology's School of Aeronautics celebrated Aviation Day on Oct. 20 by taking delivery of its first Liberty XL2 two-seat training airplane. The XL2 will be used for primary and instrument training. The delivery of the airplane was part of a local event highlighting aerospace education in Brevard County, Fla., and featured static displays, a spot-landing competition, seminars, and participation from the local National Guard unit.

You got a thorough preflight briefing, but conditions aloft are changing faster than you expected. Now what? Whom do you contact for in-flight weather updates or to give a pilot report (pirep)? The newest AOPA Safety Foundation Safety Quiz covers sources of weather information you can use en route, automated weather systems, and giving and getting pireps. Take the quiz.

A new flight school featuring sport pilot training has opened at Port Bucyrus-Crawford County Airport in Bucyrus, Ohio. Leading Edge Flight Training, started by Duane Hord and colleagues, has three flight instructors on board, according to an article in the Bucyrus Telegraph Forum. The airport has recently undergone a number of improvements, including the addition of an automated weather observation system and taxiway lighting, the article noted.

Inside AOPA

For 62-year-old George Hoover, two-hour commutes by car and ferry from his home in Day Island, Wash., to the Tacoma Narrows Airport were worth it to access the only available light sport aircraft and instructor in the area. But he didn’t do it alone. He had the support of his AOPA Project Pilot mentor, Steve Joffe. Through phone and e-mail contact, Joffe helped him focus and maintain the enthusiasm it takes to get the job done. Occasionally the pair fly together for fun. By traveling the distance, with his mentor's support, Hoover prevailed and recently earned his sport pilot certificate. Join AOPA Project Pilot to learn more about how to get your flight training started and which pilot certificate you might pursue.

Want to imagine what it will be like to fly once your certificate is in hand and you can cruise the country? Download a high-resolution image of AOPA's 2007 Catch-A-Cardinal for your computer wallpaper. Read about more of the pilot accessories you can use even before you finish your training in this week's update.

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

Some pilots are born with an eagle's eye; they can pick out an airport 20 miles away. Others fly in circles hunting for the airport against the clutter of the surrounding landscape. ChartGEEK Charts for Google Earth could be of help. ChartGEEK's sectional and terminal area charts are digitally manipulated and then can be applied to the surface of the Earth and displayed in Google Earth. This allows you to "find" the airport before you actually fly there, as well as "preland" by using Google Earth's tilt and turn features once you locate the airport. Student pilots can purchase a complete set of U.S. charts on one DVD for $29.95 ($99.95 for others) or buy charts as needed for 99 cents each. See the Web site for a demo or to order.

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: My flight school has been notified by the airport manager that traffic pattern operations for student pilots are restricted day or night when scheduled airline flights are in operation at the airport. This is a very active airport with a lot of flight training; what right do they have to do this?

Answer: The FAA's Airport Compliance Handbook allows an airport owner to prohibit or limit any given type, kind, or class of aeronautical use of the airport if such action is necessary for the safe operation of the airport. The owner may restrict or deny use of the airport for student training or other purposes deemed incompatible with safety under the local conditions peculiar to that airport. In cases where complaints are filed with the FAA, it may be appropriate to initiate an FAA airspace study through the local flight standards district office to determine the efficiency and utility of the airport when considering the proposed restriction. Additional information on this subject is covered in "Restrictions on certain aeronautical uses of an airport."

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

Built for a demanding socialite student pilot, this Waco YPF biplane went on to greater fame and glory as a barnstormer's airplane and a trainer in the Civilian Pilot Training Program. Read the fascinating history of "A Waco for Miss Johnston" in the October 2007 AOPA Pilot .

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

ePilot Calendar
Tallulah, LA/Vicksburg, MS. The Southern Heritage Air Foundation Air Show 2007 takes place Oct. 27 at Vicksburg Tallulah Regional (TVR). Contact Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau 800/221-3536, or visit the Web site.

Fort Worth, TX. A fourth annual Cowtown Warbird Roundup and FACtoberfest take place Oct. 26 and 27 at Fort Worth Meacham International (FTW). Contact John Zapp, 817/501-3641, or visit the Web site.

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.

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 Anchorage, AK; Cincinnati; Fort Worth, TX; and Ashburn, VA, November 3 and 4. Clinics are also scheduled in San Diego; and Albuquerque, NM, November 10 and 11. 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 Concord, CA, and Jamestown, NC, October 29; Salinas, CA, and Charlotte, NC, October 30; and Fresno, CA, and Flat Rock, NC, October 31; Lancaster, CA, November 1; North Hills, CA, November 5; Costa Mesa, CA, November 6, Ontario, CA, November 7 and San Diego, November 8. The topic is "Regulations: What every pilot should know." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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