The following stories from the July 28, 2006, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information tailored to their areas of interest by updating their preferences online.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
GOING THE DISTANCE
"What do I have to do to get this student to study?" That's a question every flight instructor ponders. Not because the student is unmotivated, lacks commitment to flying, or doesn't realize yet that aviation cannot be mastered by cockpit time alone. Many student pilots "get it" concerning what's involved in a pilot-training program, but they have other priorities competing for their attention. Getting them to stay focused, especially when study-intensive phases of training approach, can make the difference between a program completed and a less desirable outcome. Here, finding yourself a Mentor through AOPA's Project Pilot-someone who faced the same challenges and succeeded-can be a big help.
What are the keys to proactive studying as training moves along? Your training syllabus is a good start. As you and your flight instructor work through the course, break out your books or DVD and get a head start on what's up next. Want more information on your topic? Let the FAA's Student Pilot Guide provide you with an orderly study method and sources of information. Milestones such as the pre-solo written test can be tackled using publications specific to the task. See the April 19, 2002, Training Tips for strategies on how to prepare for the pre-solo written test.
Don't think of home study as only applicable to the ground phases of your program. Nothing warms a flight instructor's heart more, or fills them with enthusiasm for working with a student pilot, than when that student shows up for a flight lesson thoroughly briefed, prepared, and bursting with questions based on research done in advance. Going on a cross-country today? Show your instructor that, last night, you practiced getting a briefing for the trip. Summarize the general weather picture, notams for the destination (perhaps the terminal VOR will be out of service today), and recite such details of the destination airport as traffic pattern altitude, runway bearings and lengths, noise abatement rules, and type of airspace. This is a student pilot who will succeed-a take-charge person with the enthusiasm and motivation to make it through. Also, once you adopt the proactive approach in training, you'll never settle for less in your personal flying.
My ePilot - Training Product
SPORTY'S LOBSTERMOUNT HOLDS ACCESSORIES IN PLAIN VIEW
Sometimes you just don't have enough places to hold all of the gadgets you might like to bring along on a flight-a handheld GPS, or a transceiver, or even a personal digital assistant. Sporty's Suction Cup LobsterMount can help. The mount keeps electronics in plain sight using a suction-cup base that is designed to adhere to curved windows. Its cradle adapts to hold units that measure from one and one-half inch to two and one-half inches in width. The LobsterMount sells for $64.95. Order it online or call 800/SPORTYS.
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.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: As a student pilot, once I receive my endorsements to do my first solo, can I fly wherever I want?
Answer: No. Your initial solo endorsements allow you to fly solo within 25 nautical miles from your departure airport, assuming your flight instructor hasn't placed any other limiting endorsements in your logbook. Those initial endorsements include the make and model specific endorsement on your student pilot certificate and the make and model specific endorsement in your logbook that is valid for 90 days. According to FAR 61.93, flying farther than 25 nm from your departure airport or landing at another airport other than your departure airport requires more training in cross-country flight and additional endorsements. Review Flight Training Online for more information and resources on student solo flight.