From Flight Attendant to Flight Deck By Joe La Valle
Ask Orlando resident Terri Cox about her job, and she will tell you that she is making a change, and it is sure to be a big one. This long-time flight attendant will be moving forward in the cabin, all the way to the pilot’s seat.
Terri’s interest in aviation came at a young age when her aunt would tell of travels as a flight attendant for the airlines. Ever since then Terri was hooked. After attending Florida A&M University, Terri landed her first flight attendant job, and has had a great career. However, early this year Terri decided it was time to get a better view. Instead of being flown, it was time to fly. Terri began her flight training in March, and earned her private pilot license in July. “It went great,” says Terri, who is now looking forward to beginning her instrument training in August.
When asked if she had a particularly memorable flight, Terri said that she couldn’t pick just one, “I’ve had so many good times,” and she is looking forward to more. She plans on flying with her husband Glen, and with a little luck may get him to pursue a pilot’s license also. With such a good start, Terri will no doubt be flying high once again, this time at the controls.
August Destination By Joe La Valle
With summer drawing to a close you might think there’s not enough time left to plan a memorable getaway, but not so. Within a range of approximately 100NM, you’re sure to find a perfect spot for you, your family and friends. Whether you’re looking for the $100 hamburger, a relaxing day-trip or a weekend adventure, last minute summer fun is just around the corner.
At roughly the half-way point between Peachtree, GA and Pompano, FL, you will find the ‘Jewel of Georgia’: Jekyll Island. First colonized by the English in 1735, Jekyll Island offers a great getaway with “centuries of history per square mile”. The Jekyll Island Airport (09J) will put you right in the heart of an unforgettable experience.
Aside from great dining and shopping, a wide range of fun awaits. On the water, take a taxi to a nearby island, charter a fishing boat, or go on a dolphin sightseeing cruise. Back on land, you can go horseback riding on the water’s edge, hike, bike or play at Georgia’s largest public golf resort. Additionally, guided tours are available to explore the historic grounds and structures. The latest attraction is the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which is a marine museum, rehabilitation facility and veterinary clinic all rolled into one. No matter what you choose to do, a visit to Jekyll Island will be a memorable one.
Window of Opportunity for Career Pilot By Joe La Valle
As a child, Renzo Escobar spent a good deal of time around theairport. This experience wouldgenerate an interest that wouldtake him across continents in pursuit of what would become a life-long goal.
Originally from Lima, Peru, Renzo spent long hours at the airport waiting for his mother, who was a frequent business traveler. During these sometimes- long hours in the second floor waiting area with his father, Renzo would look out the large window that opened onto the tarmac. From his vantage point Renzo could observe the comings and goings of ground personnel and equipment, as well as the landing and departing aircraft. It was here that Renzo’s dream first took shape.
Now 23 years old, Renzo is well on his way to realizing his goal. With his private and instrument courses complete, Renzo is nowworking on his commercial license. When he is not flying, he is working at the Pompano airport fueling, cleaning and towing airplanes. When asked about his training, Renzo replied he was “really happy” to be at American Flyers and has had a good deal of exciting experiences. He recalls his first solo flight into IMC while flying the approach into his airport, and always enjoys taking his father and wife up for a ride.
Ask the Pilot Professor By Dr. Michael Bliss
I have a question about wearing polarized sunglasses in a cockpit. For years I have heard that pilots cannot wear polarized lenses because polarization would conceal some of the instrumentation. Last week I was flying right seat in a Malibu Meridian wearing my Maui Jim polarized sunglasses. I was actively searching for any part of the instrument panel that was hidden by these glasses, but I never found anything.
Was my experience in this glass cockpit unique, or do you know of any piece of equipment that is actually not visible (or less visible) wearing polarized lenses? Is this just an outdated myth, or can polarization really block out some instrument readouts? Dave DuMais
You have asked a good question and one that has been debated much over the years. Polarizing lenses are effective in eliminating glare off of flat surfaces, and because of thatare great for use on the water. There are, however, a couple of problems with using them in the cockpit of an airplane. One that has always annoyed me is that they reveal strain patterns in the windshield, especially those made of plastic, which can be distracting.
Another problem is that radios which have LED displays with polarizing filters, like many King radios for example, can be very difficult to read if using sunglasses with polarized lenses. Usually LCD displays, such as the Garmin radios and the Avidyne suite found in the airplane you mention, are not bothered by polarized lenses and is probably why you had no problem. In addition, some pilots fear that because polarizing lenses eliminate glare, it may be more difficult to spot another airplane which might otherwise be seen by the glint of sunlight off its surface. That has not been my personal experience.
The bottom line is that you can experiment with different kinds of sunglasses and use those that work best for you.
Bob and Jake chartered a plane with a pilot to drop them off in the wilds of Alaska for a week of elk hunting, just the same as they did the year before. When the pilot returned with the plane Bob exclaimed joyfully to the pilot, "We had a great hunting trip! We bagged four elk!" The pilot regretfully explained, "Unfortunately, our plane can only fly with the weight of two elk. You'll have to leave the other two behind." Bob and Jake were both infuriated and insistent. "We won't allow you to fly this plane out without all four elk," Jake demanded. The pilot, eager to please, relented and the plane took off with the three of them and their four elk. About fifteen minutes into the flight the engine started to sputter, and within seconds they were hurtling to the ground. Wearily arising from the wreckage, Bob looked at Jake and wheezed, "Do you have any idea where we are?" Jake, quite pleased with himself, replied, "Yes! We're about a mile from where we crashed last year."
Saving Dollars with Fuel Conservation By David Menconi,
National Chief Flight Instructor
Even though general aviation airplanes use a small amount fuel
compared to the airlines, fuel saving procedures and techniques
that have been used by the airlines for many years can make a
significant difference to general aviation pilots now that fuel
prices have soared.
Consider the following to reduce your fuel costs:
Plan a safe and legal fuel load but remember that unnecessary fuel adds unnecessary weight.
Consider carrying the fuel needed for your next flight only after making a cost analysis of the fuel charges at the departure airport and the first destination airport.
Plan an altitude that will give you the highest tailwind or minimum headwind component.
Remove all unnecessary weight from the airplane.
Load the airplane to acquire a slightly rearward CG. Minimizing the tail down aerodynamic load, associated with a nose heavy airplane, decreases the total load on the wing but does result in a slightly more unstable airplane.
Take advantage of less dense air by planning the highest altitude available. Thin air results in a higher true airspeed for a given indicated airspeed, which means you can use a lower power setting and obtain the same ground airspeed.
Use the wing to maintain enroute altitude instead of horsepower by, when operating with a tailwind, planning a cruise airspeed that will result in the highest lift vs. drag ratio angle of attack. This normally is representative by the best angle of climb air speed and will maximize the benefits of the tailwind.
When operating with a headwind plan to use your best power cruise setting. This will minimize your time enroute and minimize the negative effects of the headwind.
Practice proper leaning procedures for the power setting selected.
Maximize the benefits of a constant speed prop by familiarizing yourself with the cruise performance chart. Select an RPM/Maniford Pressure combination that will get the maximum efficiency from your constant speed/variable pitch propeller. The result is lower fuel burn for a given airspeed.
Plan the most direct flight path to your destination. Use all forms of navigation: Pilotage, Dead Reckoning, Radio Navigation, GPS and don't forget our friends at Air Traffic Control.
Take advantage of your enroute altitude by planning descents to avoid intermittent level-offs. Include in your preflight planning an initial descent point that will result in a constant rate descent from your cruise altitude to your pattern altitude.
By using your knowledge that you acquired in training, you can make a significant dent in your fuel cost. This is another example of how continuous training and acquiring higher ratings can be profitable.
Original Highway in the Sky By Joe La Valle
Today, IFR navigation is accomplished when the airplane instruments receive a signal from a ground-based radio or a signal from space. The original reception instrument for navigation beacons was a sharp-eyed pilot, and the transmitters were light towers constructed at regular intervals along the route of flight.
When the US Postal Service inaugurated its Airmail service in May, 1918, it was plagued by two serious issues: inclement weather and darkness. These two factors combined for a cumbersome postal service. The mail would be carried by fabric-covered biplane during the day, and at night they would land and transfer the mail to a waiting train. The entire journey took roughly 72 hours. Additionally, pilots would get tired, freeze, get lost or crash. The average airmail pilot had a life span of 900 flight hours.
In 1926, the government took over the Postal Service’s airways, and within four years, had constructed 14,500 miles of lighted civil airways with light towers spaced 10 miles apart and intermediate landing strips at every 30 miles. The 20-80’ lighted towers were capped with a rotating parabolic mirror in front of a 1000 watt lamp. With a rotational speed of 6 RPM, a pilot would have seen a flash once every ten seconds from as far away as 40 miles on a clear night.
This new system of aerial navigation helped the Airmail Service get mail from coast-to-coast in 31 hours, as well as help commercial aviation along as a viable and safe alternative to the train.
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“You’re Invited …” Join Us Saturday, September 6th, 2008 at 12:00 Noon For a Free Pilot Seminar & Lunch
September means back to school; this includes pilots as well. This month, during our monthly Pilot Gathering and BBQ, American Flyers will be presenting a Back-to-Basics Workshop with topics to refresh your basic pilot skills as well as build on some new ones. All are invited to attend. Please bring a friend and join us for the food and the fun!
What you’ll learn:
Basic Instrument Flying
Efficient Emergency Response
Techniques for Maintaining Situational Awareness
Traffic Avoidance Techniques
Flights of Passage: Recollections of a World War II Aviator
Author Sam Hynes vividly recreates the world of the 1940’s when he was an eighteen year old Midwestern boy, and the nation was at war. His memoirs focus on his time spent as a young Marine cadet learning to fly, up through the time he was 21 years old at the war’s end. He recounts the trials and errors he endured at the Great Lakes Naval Air Station as a cadet, and then goes on to tell of his hundreds of missions flown against the Japanese in the Pacific theatre as a Marine bomber pilot. He cleverly juxtaposes the thrill of flight with the ‘madness of war’, and gives detailed portraits of those he flew and fought with. Whether your interest is history, aviation, adventure, a good story, or all of the above, Sam Hynes’ Flights of Passage is sure to be enjoyed again and again.
B-24 Liberator Most Common WWII Bomber
By Joe La Valle
Mention the air war during World War II and most people think of the B-17. But actually, the Consolidated B-24 Liberator was the most common. While Boeing produced just under 13,000 bombers, Consolidated manufactured over 19,000. At peak production, an airplane left the assembly line every 63 minutes! The Liberator saw service not only as a heavy bomber, but also with the Royal Air Force as an anti-submarine unit. A single tail version, designated the P4Y-2 Privateer, saw service with the US Coast Guard and as an aerial firefighter.
There isn’t a better, more enjoyable and guaranteed class available. Plus the class includes two free hours of simulator!
… you can enjoy two hours of VFR or IFR simulator instruction, free, by attending either one of our weekend classes or taking an “IntroFlight”.
Get involved… introduce friends to flying. If you have a friend or acquaintance who might be interested in aviation send them in, or better yet, bring them! We fly 7 days a week.
*Exam fee and manuals not included
FREE Simulator … you can enjoy two hours of VFR or IFR simulator instruction, free, by attending either one of our weekend classes or taking an “IntroFlight”.