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Fuel on board
Do you always carry the maximum permissible fuel? Do you bother to refuel at your destination? Flight school and flying club policies vary on how to manage fuel and whether to refuel en route. Keep meticulous track of your fuel consumption, and avoid “traps” that can reduce your fuel load or trick you into overestimating fuel on board, as described in the Aug. 10, 2007, “ Training Tip: Fuel schools of thought.”
Attending to refueling chores is not always convenient. The pressure to get going tempts many pilots to pass on a top-off. Frequently, the fuel-exhaustion accidents that afflict general aviation pilots could be avoided with a little patience and better fuel awareness. But it’s not just impatience that tempts pilots to cut corners on fuel. “One of the most obvious risks is intentionally planning a flight close to the limits of the amount of fuel that you will carry (or believe that you are carrying). Another is passing up a fuel stop. Still another is misjudging your ability to navigate under adverse circumstances of darkness or marginal conditions,” wrote Dan Namowitz in the April 2004 Flight Training column, “ Accident Analysis: Easily Preventable.” Check out the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s online fuel management resources for more information on how to reduce your chances of having a fuel-related accident.
Speaking of fuel awareness, note that when you fill out a VFR flight plan form, fuel on board is expressed in hours and minutes, not gallons. (See “How it all Works: Air traffic control” in the Learn to Fly section of the AOPA Flight Training Web Site.) If you need ATC’s assistance to find your way home some day, your fuel condition will be a major factor in the instructions you receive. Learn how it all comes together to enhance safety in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Advisor, Say Intentions: When You need ATC’s Help .
Bottom line: A healthy fuel load puts time on your side when you need it most.
YOUR PARTNER IN TRAINING
Nobody enjoys taking an FAA knowledge test, but we'll try to make it a little easier for you. The Pilot Information Center has links to test questions, test guides, and testing centers. When you're ready to take the test, be sure to download a coupon for a $10 discount through CATS Testing Centers. You can use the discount at the more than 400 CATS-authorized centers around the world. Print the coupon from AOPA Online.
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.
The town of Grant-Valkaria, Fla., is moving forward with plans to impose a ban on new flight training schools at Valkaria Airport. Although Valkaria Airport is owned and operated by Brevard County, Grant-Valkaria officials proposed an ordinance that would have prohibited flight training, including recurrent training, on the premises. AOPA objected to the proposal in a letter to the mayor and spoke in support of the airport at a public hearing June 1, pointing out that FAA grant agreements require the airport to be available for all aeronautical uses and users—which includes flight training. At the hearing, the town council amended the ordinance to allow training that is already provided at the airport; however, it would still ban all future flight schools from setting up shop at Valkaria. Read more >>
UND earns first place in safety competition
The University of North Dakota’s flight team was the top-ranked team at the 2009 National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference, held May 17 through 23. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach, Fla., team took second place, followed by Western Michigan University in third place. Fourth place was ERAU’s Prescott, Ariz., team, and Southern Illinois University took fifth place. The event, hosted by Parks College of St. Louis University, involved 335 pilots from 28 aviation programs around the country. Complete results for the event are posted at the NIFA Web site.
Phoenix East Aviation Inc., Daytona Beach, Fla., now offers Cessna Citation type ratings for pilot in command and second in command. Pilots enrolled in the Citation type rating course will be trained under FAR 61.63 to gain knowledge of advanced systems through ground school, simulator training, and flight training. The SIC type rating course will train students to function as SIC, as well as instruct pilots to operate in multi-crew environment. Training is conducted under FAR 61.55 and includes ground school and instruction books, simulator training, and flight time.
Pilotjourney.com adds social networking
Pilotjourney.com, a Web site for new and aspiring pilots, has added a social networking component. The site allows registered members to meet online to develop friendships, plan flights, or create their own special interest groups. Another new component is a classified advertisement section focusing on single-engine piston aircraft. The directory has more than 150 airplanes available, PilotJourney.com said. The Web site is free to registered users.
College friends open Florida sport pilot school
Two college friends have joined forces to launch a sport pilot school in central Florida. Chris Esposito and Adam Valencic opened First Landings Aviation at Orlando-Apopka Airport on May 1. The two imagined their dream business while they were enrolled at the University of Central Florida, and even entered a state venture challenge in the hopes of winning some start-up money. They didn’t win, but their business plan attracted the attention of a local investor who helped get them up and running, according to an article in CentralFloridaFuture.com.
Glider brings new clients to Missouri flight school
The addition of a glider to a Missouri flight school’s services has brought an influx of customers looking for something new. Barron Aviation at the Hannibal Municipal Airport offers introductory flights in the glider for $35; more than 50 people have taken advantage of the offer, according to a report in ConnectTriStates.com. Owner Mike Barron said that glider operations benefit the airport and local community because soaring enthusiasts will come from all around to participate and may stay in town for several days.
Celebrate your freedom to fly
This year, celebrate July 4 by taking wing! For 233 years, America has led the world in defining and defending individual freedoms. Our unwavering commitment to these ideals has brought us rewards unimagined by the generations who passed them on. Among them is the ultimate expression of freedom—flight. Today, more than 500,000 Americans from all walks of life fly, continuing the tradition of inspiration and innovation that only freedom brings. On that holiday weekend, plan a flight to celebrate your freedoms, and share it with a friend or colleague who may not yet wholly value what general aviation has brought our nation over the past century.
AOPA Legal Services Plan reaches major milestone
One out of every four AOPA members is now a participant in the association’s Legal Services Plan. That’s more than 100,000 members! The record number of participants is a testament to just how vital the Legal Services Plan is to AOPA members--and for good reason. In today’s climate, one misstep could cost you not only thousands of dollars in fines, but also your certificate. And that’s one risk a hundred thousand AOPA members aren’t willing to take. Isn’t it time you joined them? Enroll in the Legal Services Plan today!
Don’t let a lack of funds foil your flight training
You have the desire. You have the dedication. You even have an AOPA Flight Training membership. It sounds like you’re ready to start your flight training! But you may be missing one item crucial to your flight training success: the funds. Luckily, AOPA can help with an AOPA Flight Training Funds account. This line of credit could be used toward everything from aircraft rental and flight instruction to books and supplies. You can select a Part 61 or Part 141 school or even an independent flight instructor. With predictable payments and no annual fee, it’s easy to fit your flight training into your monthly budget. Don’t put off your dream of becoming a pilot any longer. Let an AOPA Flight Training Funds account accelerate your flight plan.
From newly minted aviators to seasoned veterans, most pilots have questions about air traffic control. When speaking to ATC, should you use local or Zulu time? What is “standard separation”? If you bust airspace or an altitude, what really happens? The AOPA Air Safety Foundation put these and many other common questions directly to controllers, who provided no-nonsense, real-world answers for pilots. The result is a valuable new Web resource, Ask ATC, developed in cooperation with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. Question categories include VFR, IFR, and more. Don't see your question listed? An interactive feature allows you to submit queries of your own. Check out the Web site today.
Gleim unveils Garmin 530 online training course
Got a Garmin GNS 530 in your training aircraft, and still trying to figure out all the bells and whistles? Gleim has introduced a new interactive online course aimed at getting the user up to speed not only in the use of the buttons and knobs, but also on how to use the controls effectively and efficiently. The course includes streaming audiovisual presentations plus downloadable reference materials that can be studied offline. Study Unit 1 is available free. Six-month access to the complete course is $99.95. Order online or call 800/874-5346, extension 471.
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 flight school requires all students to bring a current sectional chart on every flight. I couldn’t find this requirement anywhere in the regulations. Where does it state I have to carry a current sectional chart?
Answer: There is no regulation that states that a pilot must carry a current sectional chart (or any chart at all) unless the pilot is flying under Subpart F of FAR Part 91, “Large and Turbine Powered Multiengine Airplanes and Fractional Ownership Program Aircraft.” Most pilots would agree that carrying appropriate, current charts is a good idea. Should you be involved in an accident or incident and the FAA found that you did not have current charts, you could be in violation of FAR 91.103, which requires pilots to be familiar with all available information prior to their flight. This article from AOPA Flight Training, “ All available information: Must you always carry a sectional?” discusses the issue from several perspectives.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail [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.
Pilots love to take photos, and they love to share them with other pilots. Now you can upload your flying photos to our online gallery, "Air Mail." Share your special aviation images, or view and rate more than 2,000 photos and counting. Highly rated photos will get put into rotation on the AOPA home page!
AOPA career Opportunities
AVIATION EVENTS & WEATHER
Want something to do this weekend? Planning 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 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.
Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Phoenix, Ariz., and Minneapolis, Minn., June 13 and 14; Orlando, Fla., and Columbus, Ohio, June 27 and 28; Newark, N.J., July 11 and 12; Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn., July 18 and 19; Pittsburgh, Pa., July 25 and 26. 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 Oshkosh, Wis., July 29, 30, and 31; Germantown, Tenn., Aug. 31; Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 1; Maryville, Tenn., Sept. 3. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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Editorial Team : ePilot Flight Training Editor : Jill Tallman | ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller | Contributor: Alton Marsh