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| Training Tips
ASKING ATC's HELP
Pilots pride themselves on their decision-making and problem-solving skills. Situations arise, however—mechanical problems or deteriorating weather ahead, for instance—when it is time to ask for help. The judgment call is to act in a timely manner that prevents a small problem from becoming a full-blown emergency. This may require putting aside the often strong desire not to make a fuss or call attention to yourself.
Handling this kind of decision correctly is a practical test item in areas including emergency procedures and lost procedures, which were reviewed in the July 19, 2002, Training Tips. Remember that one element of lost procedures is to follow the well-known four C's: climb, communicate, confess, and comply. Three of the four C's remind the pilot to seek help. The first C, climb, is present because climbing improves radio communications.
When else might a pilot want to contact air traffic control to request a so-called "flight assist"? Low fuel, severe turbulence, or pilot incapacitation might necessitate a return to your departure point or a radar vector to a nearby airport. Remember, your first task is to fly the airplane! Don't become distracted. How to request a flight assist, what can be done for you, and handling any possible administrative follow-up is the subject of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor Say Intentions... When you need ATC's help. (Also take the online course.)
If your problem has already become an urgency condition, follow the procedures set forth in Chapter 6 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. That may include broadcasting on the well-monitored frequency 121.5 MHz and setting your transponder to code 7700. What is an urgency condition? "An aircraft is in at least an urgency condition the moment the pilot becomes doubtful about position, fuel endurance, weather, or any other condition that could adversely affect flight safety. This is the time to ask for help, not after the situation has developed into a distress condition," the chapter explains.
Making a habit of using services available to VFR flight in your everyday flying will make you more at ease calling air traffic control with a special request under challenging circumstances. For more information, see Mike Collins' commentary "Preflight: 'The System'" in the November 2003 AOPA Flight Training.
| Your Partner in Training
The most common error by pilots that leads to runway incursions is entering a runway without clearance, meaning the pilot moves into a takeoff position prematurely or crosses a runway without clearance. To help you better understand runway signage, the AOPA Airport Safety Foundation offers a free online Runway Safety Program. Using active motion and 3-D graphics, the Runway Safety Program takes pilots through real-life situations involving operations with high potential for runway incursions. Look for this and many other helpful ASF courses at the AOPA Online Safety Center.
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
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA ORDERS CESSNA CITATION MUSTANG
The University of North Dakota (UND) has ordered a Cessna Citation Mustang to add to its fleet of more than 120 aircraft. The entry-level Citation jet will be used for executive travel and flight training, according to Cessna Aircraft Company, which announced the order on September 24. "We expect the Mustang to be a great recruitment tool for the school and an amazing opportunity for students as they transition from pistons and turboprops to flying jets," said Bruce A. Smith, dean of the university's John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. Cessna says UND is the first flight school in the country to order a Mustang.
FLIGHTSAFETY TO OFFER MUSTANG TRAINING
FlightSafety International's Orlando, Fla., Learning Center will offer Cessna Citation Mustang training, the company announced. The center will receive FlightSafety's fourth Citation Mustang flight simulator; it is expected to enter service in 2009. Mustang training is currently available at FlightSafety's Cessna Center in Wichita, Kan. FlightSafety's London Farnborough Training Center will provide Mustang training in the second quarter of 2008. For more information, see the Web site.
NEW HAMPSHIRE GETS LSA FLIGHT SCHOOL
Hampton Airfield (7B3) in North Hampton, N.H., is the new home of a flight school that exclusively provides light sport training. North East Light Sport Aircraft offers sport pilot training in two Czech Airworks SportCruisers. Owners Ed Gorman and Don Edie said they chose Hampton Airfield because of its "longstanding commitment to general aviation and to make flying a pleasurable, no-hassle experience." The flight school currently has 19 students, according to an article in SeacoastOnline.com .
NEVER TOO OLD: 81-YEAR-OLD MONTANA PILOT BUILDING AN AIRPLANE
If you find yourself thinking that you're too old to learn to fly, or get an instrument rating, or finish that commercial certificate, or (fill in the blank), then take a lesson from Frank Bretz. The 81-year-old Missoula, Mont., pilot not only got an instrument rating when he was 80, but is also building a Vans RV-9A. According to a report in the Missoulian, Bretz bought the kit and started building in March 2003. Build times are interrupted by winters spent in Arizona, but Bretz says he isn't in a hurry to finish because he is doing what he loves to do.
SOUTH COUNTY AIRPORT PILOTS ASSOCIATION AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS
A pilots' group based at the South County Airport of Santa Clara County in California has awarded three $1,000 scholarships for 2007. The South County Airport Pilots Association selected Clark Grace of San Juan Bautista; Ashley Porath of Morgan Hill; and Scott Rudy of Hollister. Grace is enrolled in the aviation maintenance program at Gavilan College, Gilroy, Calif., and is working on a private pilot certificate. Porath will use the scholarship to continue her private pilot training and eventually to become an aerial firefighter. Rudy is enrolled in Gavilan College's aviation maintenance program.
| Inside AOPA
CARDINAL READY TO LAND AT AOPA EXPO
With most of its work complete, the 1977 Cessna Cardinal we've been working on all year is truly ready for the limelight. This week, read about how we're installing the wheel fairings that should boost cruise speed by a couple of knots. You can catch the 2007 sweepstakes airplane on display at AOPA Expo in Hartford, Conn., from Oct. 4 through 6. We'll host several forums at the airplane featuring updates we've made to the engine, airframe, and instrument panel.
START YOUR FLYING CAREER, JOIN CFI ROUNDTABLE AT EXPO
If you're interested in making a career out of flying, then plan to attend AOPA Expo 2007 in Hartford, Conn., from Oct. 4 through 6. Join AOPA Flight Training's aviation careers columnist, Wayne Phillips, who will talk about flying careers and the current hiring landscape at Career Pilot Live in Room 13 at the Connecticut Convention Center on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. For flight instructors who are interested in discussing technically advanced aircraft, the sport pilot certificate, and AOPA's Project Pilot, join AOPA Flight Training editors during their annual CFI Roundtable in the Marriott Hartford's Capital 1 room on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 11 a.m. to noon.
A REAL PILOT TALKS ABOUT ENGINE FAILURES AFTER TAKEOFF
Your training airplane's engine can fail after takeoff, which is why your flight instructor has taught you to figure out where you'll land and what you'll do in the event that happens. In fact, many pilots make this part of their pretakeoff checklist: They'll determine a plan of action for an engine failure after takeoff so that if it happens, there's no hesitation. The subject of one of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Real Pilot Stories, Dr. Ron Craig, recounts a story of his own after-takeoff engine failure and subsequent forced landing. Real Pilot Stories are short, true-life accounts of accidents and near-accidents, told in the pilot's own voice. Each story features a valuable safety lesson learned during the experience and the pilot's advice to others who might face similar situations.
HAVE YOU UPDATED YOUR AOPA MEMBER PROFILE?
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
'PROFESSIONAL PILOT'S CAREER GUIDE'
If becoming a career pilot is your goal, Rob Mark's new book, Professional Pilot's Career Guide, will serve as the bible of everything you've ever wanted to know about working in aviation. Though the guide is ultimately most useful for newer students, pilots, and CFIs, seasoned pros will find useful tidbits, advice, and resources. The book contains chapters with detailed profiles of the regional and major airlines. There is also a chapter on how to most effectively tackle flight instruction and advanced ratings, a lengthy list of common interview questions, a chapter on other types of professional flying, and a useful chapter on job-hunting tips. The book sells for $17.95 and may be ordered online.
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: Daylight is quickly getting shorter with the arrival of fall. When can I log night flying time for the purposes of meeting the requirements for the private pilot certificate?
Answer: Part 1 of the federal aviation regulations defines "night" as the time between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight, as published in the American Air Almanac, converted to local time. The U.S. Naval Observatory provides a user-friendly twilight time calculator to help you determine when you can officially log night flying time in your logbook. Additional information on flying at night is discussed in the online article "The after-hours club."
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
| UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS:
Hartford, CT. AOPA Expo 2007 takes place October 4 through 6 at the Connecticut Convention Center. Visit the Web site.
Houston, TX. The Ron Carter Dealerships Wings Over Houston Airshow takes place October 6 through 7 at Ellington Field (EFD). Contact Bill Roach, 281/579-1942, 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.
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are 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
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Madison, WI October 1; Milwaukee October 2; and Minitowoc, WI October 3. The topic is "Regulations: What every pilot should know." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.