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One thing you can count on learning from your cross-country flight training is endurance. Not your aircraft’s—yours. Cross-country flying is back to basics, but with a twist. Even if nowadays you ace the fundamentals on local flights, holding course and altitude to the practice area with ease, now you’ll see how well you fare while navigating a long en route leg in bumps and headwinds.
If you find yourself having some ups and downs, first take a look at how you are trimming your trainer for cruise. Break your method down to its elements, as described in this October 2010 Flight Training Technique article, "Trim for hands off flight." Keep this basic idea in mind: “The skillful trimmer doesn’t fiddle with trim controls whenever a pitch disturbance upsets things. Rather, the pilot allows the aircraft’s inherent stability to restore the trimmed condition.”
Another source of pride in your training achievements is your hard-earned skill at landings. So, how will that first traffic pattern and landing at an unfamiliar airport turn out? Don’t feel set back if it’s not your best. Reasons vary—stress, or a touch of fatigue perhaps—but this is a common outcome. Knowing this little instructors’ secret may help prevent this predictable pitfall.
One way to be ready is to catch yourself tensing up, and release that stranglehold on the controls, as recommended in the Dec. 22, 2006, “Training Tip: Relax!”
Being relaxed and ready when making that terminal-area arrival will make you sharp in response to rapid or changing instructions when it’s time for “Tackling the tower,” explains Jill W. Tallman’s Technique article in the October 2010 AOPA Pilot. “Make sure you have the correct ATIS, ground, and tower frequencies loaded into your radio and airport diagram ready. Before you contact the approach control or tower, you’ll listen to the ATIS to get the current weather. The ATIS may broadcast which runway to expect for a visual approach, which makes your job that much easier. Knowing your expected runway and the direction from which you’re approaching the airport, you can anticipate the controller’s instructions for entering the traffic pattern,” she wrote.
This is not a drill! Carrying off a real cross-country flight with ease takes sharpness, skill, and stamina. For additional resources on the subjects discussed this week, be sure to review the Air Safety Institute’s home page.
YOUR PARTNER IN TRAINING
Are birds on the move at your airport? The autumn bird migration is gearing up, and this means being extra cautious as well as understanding where birds are likely to be and how high they’ll fly. Review this issue of AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition for additional information.
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.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the state budget Oct. 8, with a measure delaying the implementation of costly flight school regulations in the California Private Postsecondary Act of 2009 until July 1, 2011. AOPA had worked with key lawmakers during the past few weeks to include this much-needed delay in the final budget package to protect thousands of aviation jobs throughout the state. Now the legislature and industry stakeholders have time to work together to determine a more viable and healthy long-term solution to the issue of consumer protections for flight students. Read more >>
Girls With Wings (GWW), a nonprofit organization aimed at getting girls interested in aviation, has named two aviation scholarship recipients for 2010. They are Rose Bridges, an Air Force ROTC cadet at Florida State University, and Janice Hernandez, an aviation management major at Mount San Antonio College/Southern Illinois University. Each received $1,000 to apply toward flight training. GWW founder Lynda Meeks explains the organization’s approach to giving girls “flight plans, not fairy tales,” in the October 2010 issue of AOPA Pilot. Read more >>
SIUC holds career day for students
Southern Illinois University Carbondale held an aviation career day on Oct. 9 that featured aircraft and pilots from American Airlines (AA). The event drew 110 Chicago-area high school students, some of whom received introductory flights in SIUC aircraft. An AA MD-80 was flown in and staffed by personnel who are also SIUC alumni, the school said. “It is absolutely unique for any university to have this kind of partnership where an airline provides a plane for a day, staffs it with the University’s alumni to fly down and show off the airline and potential careers to high school students,” said David A. NewMyer, chair of the university’s department of aviation management and flight.
You memorize various airspace dimensions, communication requirements, and weather minimums. Then you try relating that information to the sectional chart—you get stumped—time to get help. Download the Air Safety Institute’s Airspace For Everyone Safety Advisor for some perspective on why and how airspace got structured and how it serves VFR and IFR traffic. You’ll understand why higher weather minimums are required at night and at altitude. And with 3-D airspace images and an airspace at-a-glance reference card, you’ll be flying across the chart in no time!
Don’t miss the AOPA Member Products aisle at Summit
While visiting AOPA Aviation Summit at Long Beach, Calif., be sure to stop by the AOPA Pavilion to visit the association’s certified partners and learn more about its financial, insurance, and pilot services. Find out how you can protect your pilot certificate, apply for a credit card, and score great discounts on everything from FAA computerized testing to car rentals. Looking to buy an aircraft? AOPA Member Products can help you to perform a title search, finance your purchase, and insure your airplane—all in one place. Have legal questions? Speak to one of our panel attorneys who specialize in aviation. Best of all, you could win an Apple iPad. All of AOPA’s member products support the association by generating revenue, which is reinvested to fund its advocacy efforts. Read more >>
Your travel needs covered—economically
Taking a cruise? Need to take a commercial flight? AOPA can still provide assistance. Through an arrangement with Orbitz, you benefit from travel discounts while AOPA gets a portion of the revenue you spend on hotels, airfare, cruises, and rental cars. Just by using Orbitz through AOPA Online, your travel planning is simplified. And if you need a rental car, your membership provides benefits here as well. You get a choice of rental companies, deals, and discounts rather than having to settle for just one. For example, Alamo waives the extra driver fee, while Hertz enters you automatically in its #1 Club Gold program. Plan your next trip!
Multisump aviation fuel tester from PilotMall.com
Fuel sumping is a necessary part of your preflight. The Multisump aviation fuel tester lets you draw samples from as many as eight sumps; its quick-release valve drains the fuel into one catch can. It’s available from Pilotmall.com for $23.99.
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: What documents do I have to have with me in order to act as pilot in command?
Answer: FAR 61.3, Requirement for certificates, ratings, and authorizations, answers the question for us. A pilot must have in his or her physical possession a pilot certificate or special-purpose pilot authorization, government-issued photo identification or some other form of identification that the FAA administrator finds acceptable, and an appropriate medical certificate if one is required. To read more about the exceptions to the medical certificate requirement, see FAR 61.3 (c).
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.
what’s new online
Have you ever left something behind on a cross-country trip? In this week’s Flight Training blog, airline pilot Chip Wright shares some foolproof tips to make sure your phone charger doesn’t end up in the hotel lost and found.
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 5,500 photos (and growing). Photos are put into rotation on the AOPA home page!
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 in your region to make planning easier. You can also bookmark the personalized calendar 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 Air Safety Institute Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in San Jose, Calif., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Oct. 23 and 24; San Diego, Calif., Albuquerque, N.M., and Austin, Texas, Nov. 6 and 7; Anchorage, Alaska, Atlanta, Ga., and Ashburn, Va., Nov. 20 and 21. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Can’t make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars
Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars are scheduled in Ypsilanti, Mich., and Portland, Ore., Oct. 18; Cleveland, Ohio, and Seattle, Wash., Oct. 19; Columbus, Ohio, Oct. 20; Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 21; Concord, Calif., and Blacksburg, Va., Oct. 25; Grand Forks, S.D., and Danville, Va., Oct. 26; Garden City, N.Y., and Richmond, Va., Oct. 27; Hampton, Va., Oct. 28; Pikeville, N.C., Nov. 6; Huntsville, Ala., and Jamestown, N.C., Nov. 8; Decatur, Ga., Charlotte, N.C., Lynchburg, Va., Nov. 9; Flat Rock, N.C., and Greenville, S.C., Nov. 10. 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].
Editorial Team: ePilot Flight Training Editor : Jill W. Tallman | ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown | Contributor: Alton K. Marsh