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Aug. 5, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition' newsletterAug. 5, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition' newsletter

AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition Volume 11, Issue 31 — AUGUST 5, 2011  

In This Issue:
Flight training lab announced at AirVenture
AOPA scholarship deadline approaching
What will the weather do?




Keeping it cool

Techniques for keeping your engine from overheating during taxiing or long climbs on hot days were the subjects of the July 29 Training Tip. Knowing how air-cooled engines regulate temperature with and without the pilot’s help will make it easier to turn down the heat.

Don’t think of engine cooling as simply ram air entering the cowling and carrying heat away with it upon exit. Study how aerodynamic design plays a role. “Achieving adequate engine cooling under the demanding conditions in which aircraft operate—sweltering summer ramps and low-airspeed, hot-day climbs to altitude, for example—is no small feat. The path that the ram air takes through the cowling must allow for sufficient cooling of the engine in every phase of flight without creating performance-robbing, fuel-hungry excess drag,” Mark Twombly explained in the July 2001 Flight Training magazine’s “What it looks like” column.

Does your engine’s cooling system have a mechanical component, such as cowl flaps? “Cowl flaps are hinged covers that fit over the opening through which the hot air is expelled. If the engine temperature is low, the cowl flaps can be closed, thereby restricting the flow of expelled hot air and increasing engine temperature. If the engine temperature is high, the cowl flaps can be opened to permit a greater flow of air through the system, thereby decreasing the engine temperature,” according to Chapter 6 of the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge .

Proper use of cowl flaps is also a checklist item as you configure your aircraft for each phase of flight. Typically, cowl flaps will be opened for takeoff, closed for cruise and descents, and opened again during ground operations, when air flow over the engine is low. Check your pilot’s operating handbook for specific procedures.

A related tip: If your airspeed in cruise seems a little lower than you would expect for the power setting, check that you remembered to close the cowl flaps.

Descent planning also plays a part in temperature management by avoiding hazard at the other extreme of the temperature range: thermal shock resulting from the sudden reduction of power for a steep descent. Avoiding thermal shock is a caution usually reserved for takeoff and landing sessions or simulated emergencies in cold weather, but a long descent at idle power in summertime also requires careful engine temperature management.


Your solo, cross-country, and night-flight requirements have been met. You've passed the FAA knowledge test. Your maneuvers are proficient; you handle routine and emergency cockpit chores with confidence and competency. Time to think about your private pilot practical test! View the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards, and be sure to read this step-by-step guide to filling out FAA Form 8710-1 from the Flight Training archives. Here’s a refresher on the IACRA system if your designated pilot examiner uses it (chances are he or she does).


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.


Flight training lab announced at AirVenture

Redbird Flight Simulations and King Schools announced July 29 a state-of-the-art aviation research-and-development laboratory with a working flight school that will open in November in San Marcos, Texas. The facility will study curricula, practices, recruitment of students, and all other aspects of flight training to gather measurable data about what’s working and what isn’t. Read more >>

ATC sim could ease communication training burden

Imagine a flight simulator that not only would let you practice maneuvers, but also would give you the ability to communicate with an actual air traffic controller so that you could brush up on your radio skills. A New Jersey company has found a way to bring that technology to the training industry. Read more >>

AOPA scholarship deadline approaching

There are just a few weeks left to apply for the two $5,000 flight training scholarships offered by AOPA. The deadline to apply is Aug. 19 for either the AOPA scholarship or the Erral Lea Plymate Memorial Scholarship. Funds may be used in pursuit of a sport, recreational, or private pilot certificate. For complete eligibility rules or to apply, see the website. Recipients will be announced during AOPA Aviation Summit in Hartford, Conn., Sept. 22 through 24.

GIFT graduates a new pilot

When flight instructor Mary Latimer launched Girls in Flight Training (GIFT), an all-female flight training summer academy in Texas, she hoped she’d be able to see one of the participants take a checkride on Aug. 1. That’s a significant date because it’s the 100th anniversary of Harriet Quimby’s checkride. Quimby was the first U.S. female to earn a pilot certificate. Latimer got her wish: Darla Ratliff of Del Rio, Texas, became a private pilot on Aug. 1. Her husband, Casey, was her flight instructor, and Darla took her checkride in the Ratliffs’ Piper Cherokee. The couple’s four children were on hand to celebrate her success.

Learn airspace the easy way

For many students, memorizing the various categories of airspace and their attendant rules is one of the more tedious parts of learning to fly. Fortunately, the Air Safety Institute’s free airspace flash cards make learning the system easy. The front of each card features a chart excerpt highlighting a particular type of airspace, while the flip side has a summary of all the facts you need to know for the checkride. Download the cards here >>

Help shape future of flight training at Chicago meetings

Chicago-area members of the aviation community can get an update on the AOPA Flight Training Student Retention Initiative and participate in small-group discussions to generate ideas and solutions to help more student pilots complete flight training during one of two meetings near DuPage Airport at the Hilton Garden Inn-St. Charles, 4070 E. Main St., St. Charles, IL. Pilots, student pilots, and aviation businesses other than flight training providers can participate on Aug. 23 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. ( register now). Active flight instructors and flight school owners and managers are invited to attend a separate meeting on Aug. 24 from 1 to 4 p.m. ( register now). Because the meetings follow a similar format, please attend only one. The attributes of the optimal flight training experience—identified by “ The Flight Training Experience” research report—will be used to guide discussions during both meetings.

Inside AOPA

What will the weather do?

Weather is the most critical and complex variable affecting your flying. And, an official weather briefing is indispensable to good flight planning. But, can you read between the lines? Get a crystal-clear picture of what happens when frontal boundaries collide; take the Air Safety Institute’s WeatherWise: Air Masses and Fronts online course to make better preflight and in-flight decisions and to qualify for AOPA Accident Forgiveness and the FAA Wings program.

Make AOPA part of your summer travel

As you make plans for summer vacation, don’t neglect to check the member benefits AOPA offers that can reduce your travel expenses. From rental cars to hotel discounts, you’ll find many ways in which to save. Read more >>

Airportfest offers free family fun

Airportfest is fast becoming an AOPA Aviation Summit favorite, and with good reason. With more than 100 aircraft on display, live music, great food, and fun activities for the whole family, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience enjoyed by pilots and nonpilots alike. The free event takes place each day of Summit at the Hartford-Brainard Airport. Read more >>

Heart 101

Dr. Jonathan Sackier fields numerous questions about heart disease. This month he takes you to the “heart” of the matter by explaining what it is, how it presents itself, and how lifestyle choices affect your ability to stave off a serious condition. Read more >>


‘You Can Afford to Be a Pilot’ from Sporty’s

The cost of earning a pilot certificate is a thorny issue for many would-be aviators. Timothy S. O’Connor’s book, You Can Afford to Be a Pilot, says it addresses the topic of flying for fun on a middle-income budget. The 140-page softcover book sells for $10.95 from Sporty’s. See the website or call 800/776-7897 (800/SPORTYS) to order.


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: I am interested in eventually flying professionally and was wondering if AOPA has any career information that will help me decide how best to pursue my interest.


Answer: You are entering the market at a good time, as the forecast for pilot hiring has never been better. Flight Training is a good first stop for this kind of information. The magazine has a Career Pilot section that offers articles on aviation career specialties and personal success stories, as well as a look at who's hiring in the industry. The "Career Advisor" answers questions from aspiring pilots by professionals who are already working in the field, and "Tech Talk" covers topics that one would encounter in everyday flying. The Career Pilot section on the website addresses everything from career development through turbine aircraft operation. Another great resource is AOPA's Guide to Flying Careers.


Got a question for our technical services staff? Email [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

Is the pilot shortage really here? Chip Wright thinks so, and explains why in the latest Flight Training blog.

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an application support engineer, .Net developer, electronic advertising manager, and manager of airspace and modernization. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Picture Perfect

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 8,500 photos (and growing). Photos are put into rotation on the AOPA home page!


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.

To include an event or to search all events in the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA Airports.

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

The next Air Safety Institute Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Atlanta, Ga., and Fort Worth, Texas, Aug. 6 and 7; Long Beach, Calif., and Allentown, Pa., Aug. 13 and 14; Champaign, Ill., and Reno, Nev., Aug. 20 and 21; and Phoenix, Ariz., and Bellevue, Wash., Sept. 10 and 11. 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 Wichita, Kan., Germantown, Tenn., and Houston, Texas, Sept. 12; Bethany, Okla., Nasvhille, Tenn., and San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 13; Fayetteville, Ark., Maryville, Tenn., and Austin, Texas, Sept. 14; and Little Rock, Ark., Sept. 15.


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].

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Copyright © 2011 AOPA.

Editorial Team: ePilot Flight Training Editor : Jill W. Tallman | ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown | Contributor: Alton K. Marsh
Production Team: Melissa Whitehouse, Lezlie Ramsey, William Rockenbaugh, Mitch Mitchell

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