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It’s bad business when a VFR pilot pushes deteriorating weather and winds up flying in instrument meteorological conditions, struggling to maintain control. Add to that the demands of complying with air traffic control’s escape instructions, and the situation is dicey indeed.
“In 2010, there were 29 VFR into IMC accidents involving general aviation aircraft, and 21 of those—or 72 percent—were fatal. This continues to be an area of high lethality, and it involves pilots of all certificate and experience levels,” says this Air Safety Institute article.
Your private pilot training must include a minimum requirement of three hours of flight training in control and maneuvering solely by reference to instruments. Later, your skills and knowledge will be examined through six practical-test tasks.
So, here is a question: When is a noninstrument-rated pilot most at risk during instrument flight?
During turning flight, explains Chapter 16 of the Airplane Flying Handbook. The sensations of a turn may be disorienting; also, a pilot’s normal tendency is to overcontrol. For that reason, VFR pilots learning emergency instrument-flying skills are taught to avoid combined maneuvers—that is, don’t combine climbs or descents with turns.
“Combining maneuvers will only compound the problems encountered in individual maneuvers and increase the risk of control loss. Remember that the objective is to maintain airplane control by deviating as little as possible from straight-and-level flight attitude and thereby maintaining as much of the airplane’s natural equilibrium as possible,” the chapter says.
The simplicity-equals-safety approach is reflected further in two practical test standards tasks that call for climbs or descents on instruments to be made at a “constant airspeed.”
For example with the aircraft trimmed for level flight, start the descent by reducing power. “Following a power reduction, however slight, there will be an almost imperceptible decrease in airspeed. However, even a slight change in speed results in less down load on the tail, whereupon the designed nose heaviness of the airplane causes it to pitch down just enough to maintain the airspeed for which it was trimmed. The airplane will then descend at a rate directly proportionate to the amount of thrust that has been removed.”
As with many piloting techniques, small adjustments produce needed results. In this case, that result is escape from an all-too-persistent hazard.
Flight Training News
Ross Porter is young, but he’s a realist. In the middle of last summer, Porter, then 16, saw that he and his fellow students at Jennings County High School in southern Indiana were unlikely to reach their goal of completing and flying a Vans Aircraft RV-12 in time for the start of EAA AirVenture 2012. The student volunteers in the Eagle’s Nest program had made steady progress building the two-seat, light sport aircraft during the past 16 months. Read more >>
Technique: Mischief with a purpose
Drop it from an airplane, let it unfurl, encourage your student to slice it with the wing, and watch all his or her timidity disappear. Your student will attack the falling streamer like a terrier—and any former reluctance to bank steeply or pull firmly will seem like a distant memory. AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman offers instructors a few suggestions for turning timidity into tenacity, and TP into confetti. Read more >>
Frasca FTDs installed at Southern Illinois University
Southern Illinois University (SIU)-Carbondale has taken delivery of three new flight training devices (FTDs) from Frasca International Inc. The new FTDs are two Cessna 172Rs and a CRJ200 Level 5. SIU also upgraded its existing Frasca 172R FTD to have the same features as the two new 172R devices, including a Garmin G1000 glass cockpit, three-channel projected cylindrical visual display, and low-profile instructor cab. The CRJ FTD features a three-channel 220-degree-by-58-degree spherical visual display system. All four FTDs are networked so that they are seen as traffic in the others’ visual display.
Air Safety Institute launches second annual ‘Storm Week’
The Air Safety Institute (ASI) will observe “Storm Week” June 9 through 16, covering the topic of thunderstorm avoidance for general aviation pilots. The institute, a division of the AOPA Foundation, has events planned for each day during “Storm Week” to help pilots navigate any issues that come up before and during flight. A webinar with AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg and air traffic controller Andy Marosvari will take place June 13 at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. They will discuss the deadly hazards posed by thunderstorms, and how in-cockpit weather tools and ATC can help you avoid them. “Weather is an uncertainty for many people and the desire to get to an outing, business meeting, or leisure activity is strong,” said Landsberg. “ASI created ‘Storm Week’ as a tool for pilots to help them avoid dangerous convective activity during flights.” Sign up for the webinar online >>
That valued ‘second opinion’
One of the amazing resources that pilots have available to them is 800/WX-BRIEF, your connection to the flight service system and the valuable resources and information the highly trained staff of briefers there can provide to pilots of any level. Learn about the system’s inner workings, capabilities, and much more by taking the Air Safety Institute’s A Pilot’s Guide to Flight Service online course.
SCAA offers scholarships for South Carolina aviation students
The South Carolina Aviation Association (SCAA) scholarship program will provide limited assistance for South Carolina students who wish to pursue a career in the aviation industry. Scholarship funds will be provided up to a maximum of $500 for one semester of tuition and books. Funds will be paid to the institution for tuition and books only. The deadline to apply is July 1.
Arthur Godfrey Aviation Foundation announces scholarships
New scholarship opportunities from the Arthur Godfrey Aviation Foundation seek to draw more young people into aviation. The foundation, named for the popular radio and television personality who promoted general aviation throughout his long career, is offering two scholarships. The private pilot, sport pilot, or airframe and powerplant scholarship is open to applicants ages 16 to 20 years and will award up to $10,000. Applications are due by Sept. 1; the award will be presented during the 2014 Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In and Expo in Lakeland, Fla.
GAMA awards two aviation scholarships
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) announced the winners of two scholarships awarded annually to students who have excelled in or are pursuing aviation studies. Nicholas Funkhouser of Jackson High School in Jackson, Mich., has received the $1,000 Edward W. Stimpson Aviation Excellence Award, given to a graduating high school senior who has been accepted and will be enrolled in an aviation degree core program at his or her chosen university or college. Kayan Todiwalla received the $1,000 Dr. Harold S. Wood Award for Excellence—given annually to a college student who is a flight team member at a National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) member school—at NIFA’s Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (Safecon) 2013 Awards Banquet at The Ohio State University Airport in Columbus, Ohio.
Scholarships open for 2013
The National Agriculture Aviation Association (NAAA) is accepting applications for its 2013 scholarships. Up to $7,500 will be available to the recipient or recipients who use the proceeds for flight training or agricultural coursework at a university, college, or community college, with applications due by Aug. 31. Erickson Air-Crane is funding a $6,000 annual Whirly-Girls scholarship to fund a full external load/vertical reference course at Western Helicopters in Rialto, Calif. Applications are due by Oct. 1. The International Council of Air Shows Foundation is offering aviation scholarships to help pilots, aircraft mechanics, performers, and flight instructors with their training needs. Applications are due by Dec. 31.
Well, you did it. You made up your mind to learn to fly this summer. What kind of flight school is right for you—big, small, or something in between? Get some practical advice and insight by reading “Choosing the right school.” Flight Training Online has everything you need to know to get started.
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 8 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.
Toilet paper confetti; new AOPA Aviation Finance Company
Who would have thought chasing toilet paper through the sky has a serious purpose? Find out how flight instructors can work with students to help them overcome timidity behind the controls of an aircraft in this edition of AOPA Live This Week. Plus, learn how the new AOPA Aviation Finance Company makes it easier to get financing for an airplane, avionics, or engine overhaul. Rod Machado shows how to increase your chances of surviving a crash. And, watch part two of the “Top 10 stupid things pilots do to sabotage their medicals.” AOPA Live This Week, June 6 >>
JetBlue begins Philly service
JetBlue Airways began service to its seventy-eighth city, Philadelphia, on May 23. The carrier is serving Philadelphia International Airport with five daily nonstops from Boston’s Logan International Airport. The carrier is serving the route with 100-seat Embraer E190 aircraft. JetBlue operates more than 100 daily flights from its Boston hub; Philadelphia becomes the forty-eighth destination served from Logan International.
FlightSafety offers program to build hours for aspiring pilots
FlightSafety Academy is offering a new program that will help aspiring pilots facing the new 1,500-hour minimum flight-time requirements for entry-level jobs in the regional airlines. Under the program, pilots with at least a commercial certificate plus multiengine and instrument ratings will get free training for their flight instructor certificate as well as CFI-instrument and CFI-multiengine. These hours flown in training and in giving instruction will help the pilots qualify for an ATP certificate, but pilots must commit to work at FlightSafety for two years.
For more aviation career news, see the Flight Training website.
For plane spotters who wish they had been there on the scene when unpressurized, piston-powered airliners plied short-haul routes at modest speeds, a simple trip to the islands will transport you back to that golden era. No, not those islands! Just head for Cape Cod, or Nantucket, aboard one of the 64 Cessna 402 twins in service with Cape Air to experience aircraft powered by 325-horspower Continental engines performing in a transport role. With six passenger berths and capacious baggage compartments, this Cessna 402 makes a proper business liner, too.
Program designed to train career pilots
The Career Pilot Blueprint program has been created to help pilots land their dream flying job, or aspiring pilots dramatically accelerate their career. The program is a complete system and set of career building tools that includes a book with 210 pages of advice, strategies, tips, and secrets to launch or accelerate a pilot career. Other tools include information on how to earn pilot ratings as fast and as affordably as possible; how to prepare for and ace every checkride; and how to land that all-important first flying job to build experience. The complete package costs $147.
Exam guide offers prep for helicopter oral exam
The Helicopter Oral Exam Guide prepares pilots for the oral portion of their helicopter checkride for private, instrument, commercial, flight instructor, and ATP. Helicopter pilots can now use this guide to get the rotary-wing knowledge specific to their training needs.
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.
Conditions AMEs can issue: Detailed requirements for the airman
On May 30, AOPA Pilot Protection Services hosted a webinar with Dr. Warren Silberman, former manager of the FAA’s aerospace medical certification division and an AOPA consultant, reviewing the new conditions your aviation medical examiner can issue in the office. Now he offers more helpful details on what you need to bring with you when you go see your AME should you have one of these conditions. Log in to read more >>
CFIs understand the risks
As a CFI, you train your students to minimize risks and prepare for the future. Often, instructors make assumptions about their personal liability and rely on the FBO or owner of the aircraft to provide adequate coverage. Do not assume that the owner of the aircraft has provided full liability coverage for you in the case of an incident. Even though you may be named on the owner’s policy, you are not automatically included in that person’s liability coverage. Read more >>
Nana Jean faces a challenge
“75765, is there an instructor on board?” Guest blogger Jean Moule said her erratic taxiing had been noted by the control tower. The basics seemed so difficult. Maybe it was a good thing, she wrote, that the threatening weather kept her instructor and her on the ground in their airplane. Moule stared through the raindrops on the aircraft windshield. Would she ever learn to fly? She had seen her grandchildren and her students begin a difficult task, become frustrated, and put the material or task down with a sigh, lacking the will to continue. She learned how to help them move past the barriers to try again. Could she do that for herself? Read more >>
Fit for flight
Every so often blogger Tim McAdams comes across an accident that really makes him stop and think. Many of these can be a learning experience and some are just hard to understand. According to the NTSB, on July 22, 2010, a Eurocopter AS 350 B2 helicopter impacted trees near Kingfisher, Okla. The commercial pilot and one flight nurse were fatally injured and one paramedic flight nurse was seriously injured. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a director of corporate partnerships, marketing specialist, member services representative, human resources assistant, software test and quality assurance analyst, and AOPA Live editor/graphic artist. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
AVIATION EVENTS & WEATHER