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Epilot (5)Epilot (5)

Volume 9, Issue 5 — January 30, 2009  

In This Issue:
CAPT suspends flight operations
Goodrich donates wind tunnel to Iowa State
Record numbers take online safety training

  FT News  |   Inside AOPA  |   TRAINING PRODUCTS   |   FINAL EXAM   




Stay focused, stay ahead

The Jan. 23, 2009, “Training Tip” looked at the problem of a pilot “falling behind the aircraft.” It discussed how overcoming that problem is a positive sign in training. Because learning how to land is one of flight training’s big challenges, any extra pressure faced by the pilot during approach and landing makes this prime time for falling behind.


Most poor landings trace back to an event that destabilized the arrival. You were concentrating intently on flying your final approach, correcting for wind, and establishing the aircraft in the landing attitude. Then one new demand on your attention—sudden low-level turbulence, perhaps—spoiled your focus.


Arriving at an unfamiliar airport, especially one with a nonstandard traffic pattern, is another frequent cause of falling behind during landing. Here is one such scenario: “A touch of ground shyness may crop up for many pilots flying a low-altitude traffic pattern, especially at the point of the downwind-to-base turn. You won't realize that until the time comes. I know about it, and I'm expecting to have to encourage you. I know that your discomfort about that low-altitude turn will cost you a few seconds in hesitation. You're not behind the airplane yet, but that turn is when you may fall behind, only to catch up again when we're on the ground after a rocky first landing,” CFI Dan Namowitz said in the September 2008 AOPA Flight Training feature “Short and soft? Sometimes you have to combine your skills.”


It takes practice to conquer the fixation that may slow your reactions during fast-moving situations. Learn more about fixation in the Nov. 19, 2004, “Training Tip.” That’s why learning to divide attention is introduced early in flight training, such as when practicing ground-reference maneuvers.


How do they help? “This requires the student to divide his or her attention among the instrument panel, the natural horizon, and the reference points on the ground. Juggling these tasks is exactly what's needed to bring the aircraft back to the airport runway, when it has to follow a precise ground track,” LeRoy Cook explained in the May 2008 AOPA Flight Training feature “Square Dancing.”


Practice those maneuvers to perfection, and the problem of falling behind will soon be left behind.


Are you getting close to solo? It’s an exciting time, and one you’ll never forget. We’ll tell you not to get nervous, but that might be folly. It’s always a good idea to prepare, so read the Frequently Asked Questions about soloing, found in the Resources for Student Pilots section of AOPA Flight Training Online. When the big day comes, take a deep breath and go for it, knowing that your instructor believes you’re ready.


Did you know that student pilots who join AOPA are three times more likely to complete their flight training? Membership includes unlimited access to aviation information by phone (800/USA-AOPA, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time) or from AOPA Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you're not already a member, join today and get the pilot's edge. Login information is available online.



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CAPT suspends flight operations

A Florida newspaper is reporting that Commercial Airline Pilot Training Program (CAPT) has suspended flight operations at the Flagler County Airport in Florida while the company reviews operations in light of the current economy. “CAPT is operating at limited capacity the week of Jan. 25,” Executive Director Chris Kokai was quoted in an e-mail. “We have suspended full operations in order to take a closer look at our operating expenses. We are evaluating our operating expenses to ensure we can remain profitable in these tough economic times. We hope to resume a full operating schedule in early February,” the Daytona Beach News-Journal Online reported. CAPT is an accelerated ab initio program that has been training international students from China and the Republic of Kazakhstan.


Air Tractor introduces side-by-side ag trainer

Air Tractor, a Texas-based maker of aerial application airplanes, has introduced the AT-504, a two-place, side-by-side application and training airplane. The AT-504 is based on the company’s popular AT-502B airframe and can carry 485 gallons of application material. It is powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34AG turboprop engine. “The AT-504 performs very well as a spray plane, but offers another benefit as well,” said Air Tractor President Leland Snow. “It gives experienced pilots the ideal platform to more effectively pass on to newer pilots what they have learned from many years in the cockpit. Better training in a highly capable turbine aircraft can help make our whole industry safer.”


Patrons give Cessna 421B to Kansas State

Kansas State University recently received a donation of a pressurized twin-engine Cessna 421B. The aircraft was donated by Kenneth and Tamara Knight. It has already been put to use in K-State’s aviation maintenance programs. The university has a fleet of 50 learning aircraft.


Goodrich donates wind tunnel to Iowa State

Goodrich Corporation has donated an icing wind tunnel to Iowa State University that will be used to perform icing physics research. It will be housed in the university’s wind simulation and testing laboratory and will be used to study icing effects on alternative energy generators as well as other applications. Goodrich Corporation said it donated the wind tunnel to Iowa State as a means of giving back to the university because it is one of Goodrich’s key engineering recruiting schools.


New quiz covers rules for IFR flight prep

Successful IFR flight requires a unique combination of human skill and instrument accuracy. When preparing for a trip through the soup, the first step is to determine whether both the pilot and the airplane are up to the task. Are you current and proficient? Is your navigation equipment functioning properly? Do you need to file an alternate airport—and will you have enough reserve fuel when you get there? Test your knowledge with "IFR Regulations: Preflight," the latest Safety Quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Then learn more about how the rules intersect with the real world in the foundation's newest interactive course, IFR Insights: Regulations.

Inside AOPA

‘Let’s build for tomorrow,’ Fuller says

The future for general aviation is bright, but it will require collective action by individual pilots and industry leaders to realize GA’s potential, AOPA President Craig Fuller told the Wichita Aero Club on Jan. 28 during his General Aviation Leaders Tour. The tour kicked off in Wichita, where Fuller visited the AOPA Insurance Agency and the American Bonanza Society. He also met with GA manufacturers who discussed the down economy and threat of user fees. While acknowledging that GA is caught in the downdraft of the economy, Fuller told Aero Club attendees, “We cannot afford to focus only on the problems of today. Now is the time to lay the groundwork for recovery. Now is the time to launch the initiatives that will accelerate our climb back to growth and prosperity.” Read more and watch the video >>


Record numbers of pilots take online safety training

Nearly 200,000 individual users took at least one of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s innovative online safety courses during 2008, including more than 46,000 users who had never taken a course. In total, the foundation recorded nearly 390,000 course completions during the year, more than doubling the previous year’s total. “More than one third of all U.S. pilots took at least one of our courses in 2008, and we’re extremely pleased to see the course completion numbers improve by more than 100 percent,” said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. “But our mission is to make all of the half-million or so general aviation pilots better, safer fliers, so we’re not resting on our laurels. We will continue to explore new ways to reach those pilots who have not yet tried our courses.” Read more >>


2009 Pro Flight Library from ASA

Practical Test Standards. Aeronautical Information Manual. Various FAA handbooks and manuals. These are just samples of the reading you’ll do when studying to become a private pilot. Aviation Supplies and Academics has compiled these and many more—1,000 documents to be exact—onto one CD-ROM. You can search, bookmark, and mark and save passages with personalized notes; you can print any or all of the documents or graphics. The Library sells for $79.95 and may be ordered online or by calling 800/ASA-2FLY.


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.


Question: My friend is working toward her instrument rating. To try to save some money, she wants me to fly as her safety pilot while she practices approaches and landings. I'm still a student pilot; am I allowed to do this?


Answer: No. The regulations are pretty explicit when defining the qualifications to act as a safety pilot. According to FAR 91.109(b)1, a safety pilot must possess at least a private pilot certificate with category and class ratings appropriate to the aircraft being flown. Additionally, because the safety pilot is acting as a required crewmember, he or she must have a current medical certificate. For more information about safety pilot operations, see this subject report from AOPA's Pilot Information Center.


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.


Once you attain the instrument rating, you’ve got to keep it current—and IFR pilots know that means more than knowing how to shoot an approach at your home airport. Complacency in your airplane’s abilities can set in if you’re not careful, as a pilot learned on an IFR trip that turned into an icy encounter. Read more in the latest Never Again Online.


Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a Director of Planned Giving and Director of Development for the AOPA Foundation, a Vice President of Media and Public Relations, and an Aviation Technical Specialist. AOPA also has 2009 summer intern positions available in various divisions of the association. For more information about the internships, e-mail AOPA Human Resources. For other career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Picture Perfect

Pilots love to take photos, and they love to share them with other pilots. Now you can upload your flying photos to our brand-new online gallery, "Air Mail." Share your special aviation images, or view and rate more than 1,000 photos and counting. Highly rated photos will get put into rotation on the AOPA home page!


Want something to do this weekend? Wanting to plan an aviation getaway? See your personalized online calendar of events . We've enhanced our calendar so that with one click, you can see all of the events listed in the calendar regions you selected when personalizing ePilot . Now you can browse events listed two weeks to a few months out to make your planning easier. You can also bookmark the personalized calender page to check it as often as you want. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.

To submit an event or to search all events in the calendar 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 Louisville, Ky., Baton Rouge, La., and Las Vegas, Nev., Feb. 7 and 8; Sacramento, Calif., Melbourne, Fla., and Nashua, N.H.., Feb. 14 and 15; Oklahoma City, Okla., Dallas, Texas, and Ashburn, Va., Feb. 21 and 22. 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 Ocala, Fla., and Henderson, Nev., Feb. 9; Northglenn, Colo., and Tampa, Fla., Feb. 10; Colorado Springs, Colo., and Melbourne, Fla., Feb. 11; Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb 12; Eugene, Ore., and Greenville, S.C., Feb. 16. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

Got news? Contact ePilot. Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].

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Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller | Contributors: Warren Morningstar, Alton Marsh

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