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‘You have the controls’
How much are you flying?
That’s not a question about the frequency of your flights. It asks how much time you spend at the controls when you and your instructor go flying.
Asked what he liked about his flight training, a recently soloed student pilot had some praise for his flight instructor. In particular, the student said that he liked how his instructor showed him maneuvers, then let him take the time to “figure out” how to master them. The CFI coached but rarely took back control. Learning that way gave the student confidence.
Every student-instructor team—and that’s what you are, a team—should find that happy balance point. The process starts as early as your introductory flight lesson and quickly turns more of the flying duties over to you as lessons proceed.
Of course, you might need some help with takeoffs and landings at first. But most of the time, after demonstrations, you’ll have the flight controls. Use clear, standardized statements as to who has control as part of your teamwork.
“The terse ‘I have the airplane,’ is a frequent choice of CFIs when taking over, but the phrase ‘I have the flight controls’ is used in the practical test standards. ‘You have the airplane’ (or ‘you have the flight controls’) is what you will hear when aircraft control is being released back to you. Give an appropriate confirming response as you relinquish or take control,” advised the Jan. 14, 2005, “ Training Tip: Positive exchange.”
If you don’t think you are getting enough hands-on flying, or if there’s unpredictability about when your instructor takes over, it’s time for a discussion.
There’s also such a thing as too much hands-on flying. If during a lesson you need a timeout, let the CFI know. You can let him or her fly, take a break, and observe, listen to radio communications, or study your nav displays.
How does an instructor decide whether to take over? Safety first, but after that, some error must be permitted to let the learning process proceed, as discussed in the March 2001 Flight Training magazine feature “ Making the save: A CFI is always on duty.”
Learning to fly is a hands-on process. Working together comfortably as a team speeds that process.
YOUR PARTNER IN TRAINING
Got a checkride coming up? Make sure you’ve reviewed the practical test standards for the rating or certificate you seek. Recreational, sport, private, instrument, and more, you’ll find them at 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 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.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will use a Frasca Mentor simulator to study the effects of hypoxia on pilots at its high-altitude lab in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Mentor simulates the cockpit of a Cessna 172 equipped with Garmin G1000 avionics and a Truvision visual system. Its data recording package measures and graphically displays a pilot’s performance and decisions while flying. ERAU researchers will use the device to measure pilot performance and decision making in a hypoxic environment.
Put what you’ve learned so far during flight training into practice by flying to AOPA Aviation Summit in Long Beach, Calif., Nov. 11 through 13. Schedule a cross-country flight with your instructor, learn how to fly in busy California airspace, and land at Airportfest at Long Beach/Daugherty Field. AOPA just released special arrival and departure procedures for the airport. Be sure to study them with your flight instructor. While at Summit, attend numerous education forums to augment your training.
Local business leaders from a New Jersey airport have partnered with other business and educational professionals to create an aviation-based curriculum that emphasizes science, technology, engineering, and math. The groups will launch the new program with the help of a $100,000 grant from the Department of Transportation. Read more >>
New England Ninety-Nines offer flight scholarships
The Eastern New England Chapter of The Ninety-Nines is offering four scholarships in 2011. The Ginny Ursin Honorary Scholarship and the Karla Carroll Memorial Scholarship, open to both men and women, are for $1,500 each. The William Bridge Scholarship for $1,000 is open to women with at least a private pilot certificate. The New England Section of The Ninety-Nines also offers a $1,000 scholarship in memory of pilot Shirley Mahn. All scholarships require applicants to be either residents of the six New England states or studying in New England. For criteria and applications, send an e-mail or a stamped, self-addressed business size envelope to Olga Mitchell, 10 Glory Lane, East Falmouth, MA 02536. Applications must be postmarked no later than Jan. 31, 2011.
Mass. school receives approval for helo syllabus
North Andover Flight Academy, North Andover, Mass., received FAA approval of a helicopter commercial FAA/Industry Training Standards (FITS) syllabus. The school says it is the first such syllabus in the country. The FITS training is an advanced method of teaching that emphasizes aeronautical decision making, risk management, and single-pilot resource management through the use of detailed scenarios. See the website for more information.
Are you up for a preflight challenge?
The Air Safety Institute quizmasters just released their latest brainchild, Aircraft Preflight Safety Quiz. Knowing you don’t just kick the tires and scrape bugs off the windshield, they put together a thoughtful preflight primer. For example, do you call your CFI to cancel your night flight lesson because the landing light does not work? Would you blow into the pitot tube to clear away a small obstruction? These and other thought-provoking questions are yours to take on. This quiz is underwritten by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Test your knowledge >>
Go beyond ‘direct to’ with GPS course
Your CFI explains the GPS unit in your rental aircraft, but it’s tough to retain the information between lessons. You need a quick start every time you enter the cockpit. The Air Safety Institute’s GPS for VFR Operations online course is the answer with a quick, thorough overview of GPS technology. Enjoy the interactive program, and find out more about GPS gotchas with mode confusion and flight plan activation and what to do if the equipment fails. Take the course and qualify for AOPA Accident Forgiveness and the FAA Wings program.
Motorcycles, ATVs, golf carts: New program covers it all
AOPA’s new insurance program provides coverage for motorcycles, trikes, ATVs, and even golf carts. What’s more, AOPA members get an additional 5-percent discount on top of all other available discounts. Program features include various levels of protection to suit individual policyholder needs as well as many enhanced benefits such as safety apparel replacement costs and travel loss reimbursement, and there are coverage options for permanently attached accessories like windshields and saddle bags. Call 800/622-2672 for a quote. Read more >>
Save up to $25 off your AOPA Summit rental with Hertz
Save $5 a day, up to $25 off your AOPA Aviation Summit car rental, when you include PC# 132860 in your Hertz reservation. Plus, you will receive your standard member discount, as well as all the other Hertz benefits. This special offer is valid one week before Summit through Nov. 20. Go online and your AOPA CDP# 10232 will automatically be applied to your reservation.
ASA’s Oral Exam Guide-Private
Aviation Supplies & Academics (ASA) has released a new edition of its Oral Exam Guide for the private pilot. ASA’s Guides are designed to prepare applicants for oral exams with FAA examiners. The question-and-answer format provides succinct responses to questions most likely to be asked. This version can be purchased for $9.99 as an app or e-book for the iPhone or iPod Touch, or order a softcover copy for $12.95 from ASA.
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: Would you please provide me with an example of a properly completed VFR flight plan form? What is DVFR? What should I put in the “Remarks” section?
Answer: Section 5-1-4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual provides an excellent explanation of each block of the FAA Flight Plan form for VFR flights. As for your specific questions, a DVFR flight plan is filed for VFR flights into a Coastal or Domestic Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). The DVFR flight plans are for security purposes. The “Remarks” section is used for information pertinent to ATC or the clarification of other flight plan information. Items of a personal nature are not accepted in this block. Download the Air Safety Institute’s printable online flight planning form. For more information on filing a VFR flight plan, read “ Paper Trail” from Flight Training magazine.
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
When you’re flying, do you keep up a scan for possible off-airport landing sites? Even when they’re plentiful—as in places like Kansas and Texas—you shouldn’t take them for granted, as Jill W. Tallman observes in the Flight Training blog.
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 Diego, Calif., Albuquerque, N.M., and Austin, Texas, Nov. 6 and 7; Anchorage, Alaska, Atlanta, Ga., and Ashburn, Va., Nov. 20 and 21; Denver, Colo., and Orlando, Fla., Dec. 4 and 5; Northbrook, Ill., Dec. 11 and 12. 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 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., and Lynchburg, Va., Nov. 9; Flat Rock, N.C., and Greenville, S.C., Nov. 10; Long Beach, Calif., Nov. 11 through 13. 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