The following stories from the October 19, 2007, 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
GOT A MENTOR?
Suppose there were one simple thing any student pilot could do to triple the chances of successfully completing training. Suppose this simple step not only betters the odds of success, but also increases the fun factor and opens the door to new and lasting friendship. Anyone would jump at a chance like that.
Got a mentor? If the answer is no, you may be missing out on the opportunities described above. A mentor isn't simply someone "in the know" about flying with whom you can share the tales of your flight training fun and challenges. He or she is also exactly the right person from whom to seek a second opinion on those occasions when doubts surface about the way in which your training is proceeding.
Perhaps you have someone in mind to play the mentor's role-possibly the person who provided you with your original inspiration to fly. If not, an excellent way to find a mentor is through AOPA's Project Pilot, which is just a click away on the AOPA Flight Training Web site.
Don't confuse mentoring with the role of the flight instructor; they fulfill different functions. "Mentoring does not mean becoming your prospective student's flight instructor, although members have both mentored and instructed through the AOPA Project Pilot program. However, helping your student choose an instructor and/or validating his or her choice of an instructor is exactly the role a mentor can play," wrote Julie Summers Walker in the July 2006 AOPA Pilot article for students and mentors titled "10 Steps to Making a Pilot."
Indeed, the issue she described about instructing is one of several questions that come up frequently enough in training for Project Pilot to offer students and their mentors standing advice about how to overcome common obstacles [ see the list] encountered in flight training. From scheduling problems to motion sickness to financing your flying, you are not alone in facing these potential setbacks. Help is available, and the results prove that the mentoring solution combined with Project Pilot's other resources works. With all this help and encouragement at your disposal, why go it alone?
My ePilot - Training Product
'SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS' ADORNS SPORTY'S ORNAMENT
Sporty's has unveiled its 2007 Christmas ornament, and this year's entry-Sporty's twenty-third in the series-is The Spirit of St. Louis. The crystal ornament was created in honor of the eightieth anniversary of Charles A. Lindbergh's transatlantic flight. Pick up one for a mentor, a flight instructor, or someone who loves aviation history. The limited edition ornament is $24.95 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.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: Recently I overheard some pilots discussing a better, simpler way of navigating using a wind triangle. What is a wind triangle?
Answer: A wind triangle is a graphic depiction of wind affecting your route of flight from point to point. Groundspeed, heading, and time for any flight can be determined by using the wind triangle. It can be applied to any length of cross-country flight. A wind triangle, the pilot's version of vector analysis, is the basis of "dead reckoning" (navigation solely by means of computations based on time, airspeed, distance, and direction). The steps to making a wind triangle are outlined in Chapter 14, Navigation, in the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.