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| Training Tips |
It's great to get up in the air frequently during flight training. But that's not always possible. Many aspiring aviators earn their sport or private pilot certificates while flying less frequently—good news for the student pilot who posed this question in the AOPA Aviation Forum. "Is one flight lesson per week too few?"
The fact is that you can earn your certificate on almost any schedule if you put your downtime to good use. Training delays and setbacks have many causes aside from financial limitations. Weather (especially this time of year), coordinating schedules with your instructor, and aircraft maintenance all may take their toll. Put that slack time to use by reviewing your pilot's operating handbook, studying the Aeronautical Information Manual and your local aeronautical charts, or preparing for your knowledge test. Inquire about riding along on another student pilot's dual instruction flight. "A student pilot riding along as an observer on another student's dual training flight is free of pressure to perform while dividing attention among multiple tasks, and so can study another person's effort to manage the workload. All that's needed is a four-place trainer, willing students and flight instructor, and a set of goals suited for the occasion, such as a cross-country or some traffic-pattern practice," suggested the May 24, 2002, Training Tip "Backseat Driver."
It will be easier for you to stay in the game while working through a grounded period if you have a Project Pilot mentor. Student pilots who have a mentor triple their chances of success.
Finally, read Jill W. Tallman's "Why We Fly" article in the May 2005 AOPA Flight Training magazine profiling Dan Hoefert, who opted for the pay-as-you-go approach. "Slowly but surely, Hoefert worked his way through his flight requirements, experiencing the same types of trials and tribulations that most student pilots encounter," she wrote. Then, "On May 13, 2004, after about five years of study and 41.9 hours of flight time, he successfully passed the private pilot checkride. He had prevailed despite a hot, bumpy, hazy flight that challenged him more than any he'd undertaken in his training."
One thing you can count on: Your fellow pilots are a determined bunch. They will help you to get it done!
| Your Partner in Training |
Every AOPA member—including those who have accepted AOPA's six-month introductory membership offer—has free, live access to our in-house flight instructors and aviation experts who are standing by to answer your questions. Call the AOPA Pilot Information Center Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern, toll-free at 800/872-2672. And check out our online Pilot Information Center guides. Topics for these guides are drawn from the real-life concerns of AOPA members who call our staff for help more than 100,000 times every year.
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 |
LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT DIRECTORY LAUNCHED
Interested in learning to fly a light sport aircraft (LSA) but not sure how to find a flight school that offers sport pilot training? Publisher Dan Johnson, who hosts a Web site focused on sport pilot training and light sport aircraft, has launched a new directory known as the FIRM (Flight Instruction, Rental, and Maintenance) list. Johnson says his directory is more than a listing; users can sort the information in a variety of ways. What's more, each entry has been verified, he says, and this process will continue quarterly. Johnson unveiled the FIRM list Jan. 17 at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla., which runs this week.
OREGON SCHOOLS FORM AVIATION PARTNERSHIP
Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) and Central Oregon Community College (COCC) in Bend, Ore., have formed a partnership to offer aviation training. With the addition of OIT to the partnership, participating students can graduate with a bachelor's degree in operations management from OIT in addition to an associate's degree in aviation science from COCC. Students will be able to complete the associate's degree, professional pilot certification, and bachelor's degree on the COCC campus in Bend and at Bend Municipal Airport.
VIRGINIA FLIGHT SCHOOL ACQUIRES DIAMOND TWIN STAR
AV-ED Flight School Inc. in Leesburg, Va., has acquired a Diamond DA42-TDI Twin Star. The flight school, which has been named a Diamond Flight Center, will host an open house Jan. 19 featuring an aircraft display and free seminars on such topics as how to obtain a pilot certificate, add an instrument rating, or learn about Garmin G1000 avionics. "People who have purchased new Diamond aircraft can now conduct their training near home rather than having to travel up to Canada," said Don Robb, president of AV-ED. For more information, see the Web site.
ST. PAUL PILOTS START THEIR OWN BUSINESS
Two St. Paul, Minn., pilots have launched a new aviation business at the same airport where they learned to fly. Land developer Bobby DuFresne and attorney Tim Netzell have started Wings Aviation Services at St. Paul Downtown Holman Field, on the same site where a flight school closed last year, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune . The pilots said the business will offer an array of services for general aviation pilots, including maintenance, ground handling, and expertise on how to buy, insure, and finance airplanes. Wings Aviation Services inhabits three hangars and two classroom and office buildings on about 93,000 square feet at St. Paul's Holman Field.
| Inside AOPA |
PILOTS FLOCK TO AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION PROGRAMS
2007 was a banner year for safety, at least according to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The foundation experienced a huge increase in the number of pilots who took advantage of the foundation's online education courses and live safety seminars. The number of pilots who completed online courses in 2006 was 182,726. Last year, that number jumped 48 percent to 270,595. The foundation currently offers 15 full-length online courses (45 to 60 minutes), four minicourses (15 to 20 minutes), and nine Real Pilot Stories (two to 12 minutes). You can see the entire selection at AOPA Online. Similarly, 2007 saw more pilots turning out for the foundation's live safety seminars. In 2007, 41,962 pilots attended the free seminars, an increase of 7 percent over 2006 attendance.
TIME TO BUY
Are you thinking about buying an airplane to get you through training and beyond? Buying can be a complex, daunting task. But help is out there. Learn what it takes to go through the process and follow our journey as we purchase this year's sweepstakes airplane. Does last year's Catch-A-Cardinal Sweepstakes airplane still give you dreams of high-speed cruise and all-weather flying in the comfort of fine, hand-crafted leather seats? You can still experience it through Microsoft Flight Simulator by downloading the add-on via AOPA Online.
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 |
'FLY THE ENGINE'
For any pilot who wants to delve beneath the cowling of an airplane and get a better understanding of the mechanical side of things, Kas Thomas's book, Fly the Engine, is back in print. The 2008 second edition is available after more than a decade and is fully revised and updated. The book discusses all phases of engine operation, including how to spot engine discrepancies on preflight; how to start a hot, cold, or flooded engine; how to troubleshoot a rough runup; and when to lean the engine for all phases of flight. The 278-page softcover book is available from Aircraft Spruce for $39.95.
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: Why is the dew-point temperature important to take into consideration?
Answer: There's a limit to how much water vapor can exist in a gaseous, invisible state. Reach that limit, and the air is said to be "saturated." Dew point is a measure of the actual water vapor in the air. This is the temperature to which air must be cooled in order to become saturated, and therefore reach 100 percent relative humidity (the ratio between the moisture level in the air and the maximum possible moisture capacity of the air at a particular temperature). At this point, fog or clouds are almost certain to form, which is why you need to take the dew point into consideration before beginning a flight. More information on this subject is available in the AOPA Pilot article, "Wx Watch: Dew Point Review."
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:
San Diego, CA. A Winter Weather Flying Seminar takes place Jan. 24 at the San Diego FSDO on Montgomery Field (MYF) at 7 p.m. Contact Rich Martindell, 619/253-7649, or visit the Web site.
Tampa, FL. The Tampa-Garparilla International/Invitational Fly-In and Air Tattoo takes place Jan. 26 at Peter O. Knight (TPF). Contact Neil Cosentino, 813/784-4669, 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, Calif., and Baltimore, Jan. 26 and 27. Clinics are also scheduled in Melbourne, Fla., Louisville, Ky., Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, and Reston, Va., Feb. 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
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Raymond, Mo., Jan. 21; Baton Rouge, La., and Houston, Tex., Jan. 22; San Antonio, Tex., Jan. 23; and Austin, Tex., Jan. 24. The topic is "Top 5 Mistakes Pilots Make." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.