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Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 7, Issue 37

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Volume 7, Issue 37 • September 14, 2007

In this issue:
Student wins Sporty's Sweepstakes airplane
WAI offers career scholarships
Take the 'Pilot Challenge'

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

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Training Tips

It may seem like a minor detail, but correctly identifying your aircraft during radio transmissions with air traffic control (ATC) is important. It affects safety.

Surprised? The Aeronautical Information Manual explains why a pilot should use full call signs, not abbreviations—and never cute variations—until ATC initiates any shortening: "Improper use of call signs can result in pilots executing a clearance intended for another aircraft. Call signs should never be abbreviated on an initial contact or at any time when other aircraft call signs have similar numbers/sounds or identical letters/number; e.g., Cessna 6132F, Cessna 1622F, Baron 123F, Cherokee 7732F, etc."

This is basic radio technique. Unfortunately, misuse is common enough to elicit such laments as this one e-mailed to AOPA ePilot: "As an air traffic controller in a VFR tower I find that many pilots use abbreviated call signs on initial call-up, and some use them for every transmission. If you check the AIM it states that call signs should only be abbreviated after a controller uses an abbreviated call sign. This is an area [in which] the majority of pilots have no clue what the proper procedure is."

Remembering what radio communications are designed to accomplish will remind you to use proper phrasing, as Chip Wright discussed in his May 2005 AOPA Flight Training article "Talking the Talk." "In your first transmission, you need to get three pieces of information across to the controller, or to other pilots if you are in a nontowered environment: who you are, who you are talking to, and where you are (and if appropriate, your intentions). When contacting ATC, your first transmission should include the full N number, after which you usually can abbreviate the call sign...." Don't assume that the abbreviation he mentions is automatically appropriate. That's ATC's decision. Their means of response will be your cue.

"The best way to learn about life on the other side of the mic is to visit an ATC facility. There you will learn what a controller wants to hear and—just as important—what he doesn't," wrote Peter A. Bedell in his November 2002 AOPA Pilot article "Battling the Babble."

Saying it right is not only good form, but it is a matter of substance as well.

Your Partner in Training

Student pilots are taught to do thorough preflights to ensure that the airplane is functioning as it should. What happens when you shut down the airplane? Your responsibilities don't end when the prop stops. Follow each item on your training airplane's after-landing and shutdown checklists to be sure that flaps are retracted and all lights and switches are off. Take a few moments to be sure that the aircraft itself is securely tied down and that its windows are closed, doors are locked, and cowl plugs are replaced. For more tips on treating a rental airplane as if it were your own, see "The Golden Rule" from the July 2006 issue of AOPA Flight Training magazine.

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

Otto Sorg, a 25-hour student pilot from Dexter, Mich., on September 12 won Sporty's Pilot Shop's twenty-fifth annual sweepstakes airplane. "I don't believe it," Sorg said, when Sporty’s President Michael Wolf called to tell him the news. "If I'm stuttering, there's a reason for it." Sorg, who's learning to fly in Ann Arbor, Mich., won a new Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP with a Garmin G1000 glass cockpit and two Bose Aviation X headsets. The drawing for Sporty's next sweepstakes airplane, also a G1000-equipped Cessna 172, has been scheduled for September 10, 2008.

Women in Aviation, Inc. (WAI) has announced the availability of scholarship applications for 2008. A link provided on the organization Web site takes you to the current scholarship list, guidelines for applying, and a means of downloading the official application. "Our scholarship awards are a major part of what our organization is all about. In the past 10 years WAI has disbursed more than $4.5 million to its members to help them get ahead and advance into the aviation and aerospace careers they have always dreamed about," said an announcement on the WAI Web site. Applications must be postmarked by December 1, 2007.

We often ask you to test your knowledge on specific topics through the use of AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Quizzes, online courses, and other resources. But here's something a little different. The "Pilot Challenge" consists of three tough questions. Answer each one. Don't worry if you don't get them right—and if you're a student pilot, don't be intimidated if you don't know the answers. We'll score your responses and point you in the direction of an Air Safety Foundation online course that can give you all the answers. Take the challenge.

Galvin Flying Services of Seattle, Wash., has been chosen to provide flight training services for Honolulu Community College's Pacific Aerospace Training Center. Honolulu Community College (HCC) is part of the University of Hawaii system. Flight training operations are conducted at Kalaeloa Airport at the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station on the island of Oahu. Beginning with the fall 2007 semester, students in the aerospace program will train in three Diamond DA40s and a twin diesel DA42 Twin Star. All aircraft are equipped with Garmin G1000 glass cockpits.

The Commercial Airline Pilot Training (CAPT) program has reached an agreement with Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Nanjing, China, to train their students. The students will be enrolled in a CAPT ab initio program approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of China. Training will be conducted in the Cirrus SR20 and Piper PA-44 Seminole equipped with glass cockpit displays, according to Patrick Murphy, executive director of CAPT. Headquartered in Palm Coast, Fla., CAPT is a subsidiary of Flight Training Services International.

Inside AOPA

Plan to have some fun with your flight instructor as you practice your flying skills on your way to AOPA Expo 2007 in Hartford, Conn. Experience general aviation at its best from October 4 through 6, with more than 580 exhibits, more than 75 aircraft on display, and 60 hours of seminars available. But you need to get there first. To arrive safely, make sure you download and study AOPA's fly-in procedures, which include airport charts and shuttle bus hours of operation. Tips on how to properly secure your aircraft are also included. For more information on a safe arrival, visit the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's helpful resource page. The pre-registration deadline has been extended to September 17. Some packages and events have sold out, so register today—we still have great savings and events for you!

You might not think much about what goes into the interior of your training airplane, but after a long cross-country flight, you can appreciate a well-made seat, pockets to stow charts and a flashlight, and clear lighting to help you find your way into the night. We've finished the interior on the 1977 Cessna Cardinal we're refurbishing for this year's AOPA sweepstakes in Alva, Okla. Read about it in this week's update.

The adventure begins for AOPA Project Pilot student Jennifer Mendeck as she balances the joy of motherhood and her dream to fly. Mendeck completed her first solo at Houston's Pearland Regional Airport last month while in her third trimester of pregnancy. "We were all surprised she could still fit in the Cessna 150, but she was able to handle the yolk with the greatest of ease," said Rebecca Cutri-Kohart, her Project Pilot mentor. The two are good friends and work as flight controllers together at Mission Control at NASA Johnson Space Center. Mendeck, who recently gave birth to a baby girl, will continue her flight training with the support of her mentor. Looking for a potential mentor? Join AOPA Project Pilot to begin your adventure.

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

Only aviation humorist and writer Rod Machado could pose the question "Who's your PAPI?" with a straight face. Machado, an AOPA Flight Training contributing editor and columnist for AOPA Pilot, has just released his latest book, Rod Machado's Instrument Pilot's Handbook. In the tradition of his other instructional manuals, which include the hugely popular Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook, the 624-page volume includes more than 1,400 illustrations and pictures. "My goal was to make learning about instrument flying fun, personal, and complete," Machado said in a press release. Among the topics he covers: aviation decision-making skills; analog and glass cockpit instruments; a step-by-step look at the planning of an actual instrument cross-country flight; and techniques and tips for flying all types of instrument approaches. The book sells for $59.95 and may be ordered from Machado's Web site or by calling 800/437-7080. The book ships October 1.

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: What type of flight service weather briefing should I request when deciding whether to fly?

Answer: Before every flight, pilots should gather all information vital to the nature of the flight. There are three different weather briefings to choose from: standard, abbreviated, and outlook. A standard briefing is the most complete report and provides an overall weather picture. An abbreviated briefing is a shortened version of a standard briefing and should be requested to update a previous briefing. The outlook briefing should be used when a planned departure is six or more hours away. It provides initial forecast information that is limited in scope because of the time frame of the planned flight. The outlook briefing is a good source of information for flight planning purposes when trying to make a go/no-go decision. For more information, read the AOPA Flight Training magazine article, "The Weather Briefing: Check these elements for a good preflight decision."

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 Jeppesen.

ePilot Calendar

Oneida, TN. The Fourth Annual Wings Over the Big South Fork Airshow takes place September 15 at Scott Municipal (SCX). Contact Don Stansberry III, 865/617-7000, or visit the Web site.

Eagle River, WI. A Wisconsin Seaplane Fly-In takes place September 14 through 16 at Eagle River Union (EGV). Contact Curt Drumm, 920/482-1650, or visit the Web site.

Columbus, OH. The Ohio Aviation Association Fall Conference takes place September 18 at The Holiday Inn Worthington. Contact Doug Hammon, 614/292-5460.

Manchester, NH. The Wings of Freedom Air Tour takes place September 19 through 21 at Manchester (MHT). Contact Ed Brouder, 603/668-0652.

Dayton, OH. The Dawn Patrol Rendezvous World War I Fly-In takes place September 21 through 23 at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Contact Sarah Swan, 937/255-3286, or visit the Web site.

Lakeport, CA. The twenty-eighth annual Clear Lake Splash-In takes place September 21 through 23 at Lampson Field (1O2). Contact Chuck Kimes, 877/828-2286, or visit the Web site.

New Milford, CT. The Wings and Wheels vintage show takes place September 22 at Candlelight Farms (11N). Contact Black Horse Garage, 203/330-9604, or visit the Web site.

Fayetteville, AR. An Airshow with Canada’s Snowbirds Demonstration Team takes place September 26 at Drake Field (FYV). Contact Warren Jones, 479/521-4947.

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 Richmond, VA, September 22 and 23. Clinics are also scheduled in San Jose, CA; Indianapolis; Wichita, KS; Nashville, TN; and Corpus Christi, TX; October 20 and 21. 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 Sacramento, CA; Austin, TX, September 17; and Reno, NV, September 18; and Milpitas, CA, September 19; and Santa Rosa, CA; Gaithersburg, MD, September 20. The topic is "Regulations: What every pilot should know." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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