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January 2008 Aviation newsletter including how to articles for both the learn to fly and experienced pilot.

Pilot’s Dreams Becoming Fulfilled
Leo Kitaychik is going to be an airline captain… someday. Right now, though, he's a student at Lewis University working on a degree in Aviation Administration. During winter break he's been attending the CFI Academy at DuPage American Flyers so he can work as a flight instructor while he finishes up his college education.

When Leo was young, his family took vacations in Europe and flying was their mode of transportation. For Leo it was more than a means to an end. He had his nose glued to the window during the whole flight, from takeoff to landing. When the time came for Leo to consider how he wanted to spend his life, he kept coming back to flying. So at 16 he got his student pilot certificate and started training, first for his Private and then his Instrument Rating. At 18 he earned his Commercial Pilot Certificate.

One of the highlights of Leo's training occurred as he was building experience toward his Commercial. In the spirit of a true adventurer he flew from Illinois to Missouri to Texas to New Mexico to Arizona to Nevada and back to Illinois. He came back with thirty two hours of cross-country flight time and a great story.

As Leo prepares for his CFI checkride, he thinks about what it means to be a flight instructor. He anticipates there are more rules to follow, more responsibility, and he'll have to get used to thinking ahead – having a plan. "The benefit" he says, "is that someone else's achievement is yours as well."

Pilot’s Dreams Becoming Fulfilled

Instructor Keeps History Alive
In 1974 Dave Smith was a college graduate with no money but a desire to fly. He started taking flying lessons, but the need to eat outweighed the urge to fly and it took 5 long years for him to get his pilot certificate. Over the years he owned a number of airplanes he flew recreationally. Not too long ago Dave retired from a 30 year management career with Motorola. His wife, Jan, told him that he couldn't sit around all day watching Judge Judy, so on June 20, 2007 he started his Instrument training at American Flyers. He then earned his Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor certificates. He's now instructing and enjoys every minute of it.

A few years ago Dave purchased a 1947 Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser that has a rather distinguished history as well as a distinctive paint scheme. This particular airplane was used in a mission to rescue a bear cub from a New Mexico forest fire in 1950. After the little bear recovered from his injuries he was flown to Washington DC to become the living national icon, Smokey Bear. The airplane sports the name "Smokey" on its side, next to a picture of the cub with his arm in a sling.

Recently a 75 year old retired airline captain contacted Dave, because he'd used to own the Super Cruiser and wanted to see once more. Dave is going to take him flying in it in the spring and they can add another page to the airplane's history.

Instructor Keeps History Alive

Destinations eu·re·ka [yoo-ree-kuh] –interjection...
1. I have found (it): the reputed exclamation of Archimedes when, after long study, he discovered a method of detecting the amount of alloy mixed with the gold in the crown of the king of Syracuse. 2. (used as an exclamation of triumph at a discovery.)

Eureka is also an historic seaport town on the northern California coast. The quaint town is full of ornately “gingerbreaded” victorian houses, mansions, and commercial buildings dating back to the 1850’s, that have been restored and turned into antique shops, cafes, bookstores, and boutiques. Fly into the Murray Field Airport (EKA) and rent a car so you can visit the amazing Redwood National Park, Fort Bragg, or Fort Humboldt State Historic Park.

Indulge yourself in some of the opulent inns and B & B’s located in town, such as the Carson Mansion or Abigail’s “Elegant Victorian Mansion”. Eat at the Samoa Cookhouse, the last surviving cookhouse of the west. Your meal will be served “lumber jack style” in large bowls and platters from which you serve yourself.

There is no shortage of activities and museums to provide entertainment, so be sure to plan enough time in Eureka to enjoy all it has to offer.

Flying Destinations

Did You Know…
That using earplugs allows your ears to discriminate voices from background sounds better than using nothing at all. It would seem that blocking your ears with earplugs would muffle all sound, but actually you can hear voices better. Try this experiment in a high-noise environment: when you're conversing with someone, stick your fingers in your ears and notice the difference. Just make sure the other person knows what you're doing – otherwise they might think you're a little weird!

Aviation Facts

Laugh Out Loud

It was a really nice day, right about dusk, and a Piper Malibu was being vectored into a long line of airliners in order to land at Kansas City.

KC Approach: "Malibu three-two-Charlie, you're following a 727, one o'clock and three miles."

Three-two-Charlie: "We've got him. We'll follow him."

KC Approach: "Delta 105, your traffic to follow is a Malibu, eleven o'clock and three miles. Do you have that traffic?"

Delta 105 (long pause and then in a thick southern drawl): "Well… we've got something down there. Can't quite tell if it's
a Malibu or a Chevelle, though."

Source: http://www.chris.brady.ukgateway.net/pilotjokes.htm

What is "Elbow Grease"?
By Rick Freidinger, Director of Maintenance

Elbow grease is something that all of us have but don't use often enough. I'm talking about using a little time and effort in cleaning your aircraft.

Depending on your environment you should wash your aircraft every couple months and more often in coastal areas where salt air can cause corrosion. Even if you don't fly your plane it is subjected to the harsh elements and pollution in the air. Prior to washing your aircraft, de-bug the leading edges and struts with soap, a nylon wrapped sponge and "elbow grease". These sponges be purchased at most auto supply stores, they are usually used on windows but the soft nylon is good for removing the bugs without scratching your paint. Next degrease the belly with a grease cutting liquid such as 409 or Simple Green and "elbow grease". Now you’re ready to wash your plane. Use a mild detergent or automotive soap and, you guessed it, more "elbow grease". Make sure when washing and rinsing the aircraft that you do not get water in your static ports or pitot tube. A good coat of wax applied with "elbow grease" (again be careful not to get any in your static ports) a couple times a year will not only keep your aircraft shiny but the slick surface will be easier to clean and will stay clean longer.

A little "elbow grease" will go a long way in keeping your aircraft looking good. There is no documented proof but I'm sure a clean airplane flies better than a dirty one.

Rick Freidinger, Director of Plane Maintenance

Words of Wisdom

Never fly in the same cockpit with someone braver than you.
A pilot who doesn't have any fear probably isn't flying his plane to its maximum. (Jon McBride, astronaut)

Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding it or doing anything about it.

Source: Tom Bispo for http://www.mozeyoninn.com/Aircraft/Stories/PilotWisdom.htm

How Savvy Pilots Stay Sharp
As we rush through our lives, some of us are lucky if we get into a cockpit even a few times between flight reviews. Even those of us who get to fly frequently will likely admit that we could be a more skillful pilot. Here are four suggestions that will make you a safer and will keep your skills sharp.

  • Take at least one hour of dual every year. Be open to your instructor's suggestions, there is surely something you can learn or improve upon.
  • Fly with precision. It's not good enough to fly near your altitude – be on it. Catch yourself as soon as the airplane wavers from it. The same goes for your heading.
  • Make it a habit to plan ahead. Whenever you catch your mind wandering, which you will, bring it back to anticipate the next few actions you'll be required to perform.
  • Go out and earn an additional rating or endorsement. How about a few days to get your seaplane rating? Or, for real precision flying, get your instrument rating. As a confidence builder, some dual acrobatic training can do wonders. Take an advanced navigation course for fun.

Blank space you get nothing
By David Menconi, Chief Flight Instructor - American Flyers

Airplane operational checklists can and often do present a significant distraction to pilots, especially when conducting a single pilot operation. Pilots understand the importance of using checklists in the operation of their airplane but often do not because they have not established an organized method of incorporating them into their normal and emergency operation.

There are three methods that can be employed to safely utilize a checklist. One method is to use the checklist prior to an operation. Examples include take-off and landing checklists. With this method the pilot reviews the checklist prior to executing a maneuver because it would be impractical to use a checklist during the actual take-off or landing. A second method would be to use the checklist during the operation. Examples include preflight inspection, engine start and the before takeoff checklist.

With this method the pilot reviews the checklist as the maneuver or task is being completed. This method has also been called the command and response method. Most checklists are formatted in this manner. In a multi-pilot crew, it is common for the nonflying pilot to call out the command and the flying pilot to execute the task and give the proper response. In a single-pilot operation the pilot does both. This method requires more time and should be used when the necessary time is available. A third method is to use the checklist after a task or maneuver. Examples include climb, descent, and emergency checklists. With this method the pilot reviews the checklist immediately after a maneuver or task is completed. Memorizing checklists should be accomplished when dealing with time critical maneuvers or tasks such as those found in the emergency procedures. Checklists serve as an important safety aid to pilots. Developing good cockpit management techniques, which includes the habitual use of checklists, will result in a safer operation.

Safety Tip
When you hear the clearance " runway heading" after takeoff that means you should maintain the compass alignment of the departure runway. Do not track the extended runway centerline. In other words, after takeoff, do not make heading corrections to account for wind drift.

Ask the Pilot Professor
By Dr. Michael Bliss

Q: Apart from training, I never see a go-around performed at my local airport. Why is that? It seems like something that ought to be done from time to time.

A: One of the best safety tools every pilot should have in his bag of tricks is the go-around. Almost every single landing problem can be prevented if a go-around is performed. I believe there are two main reasons why go-arounds are not used. First is the prevailing attitude that a go-around is an admission of failure, thus making pilots reluctant to utilize it. However, the go-around should be viewed as a very positive thing and students should be commended for exercising good judgment each and every time a go-around is executed. The second reason a go-around is not performed when it should be is that it's not an option in the pilot's thinking. Too often the pilot's only thought is to land the airplane. All attention is focused on getting the plane on the ground. A go-around is not even a consideration.

In multi-engine training we train pilots to expect the unexpected. The same principle should be taught concerning go-arounds. Be ready and expect to perform a go-around any time the approach to landing or the early part of the flare becomes unstable. While it will take of few more minutes to get on the ground, the peace of mind and added safety are well worth it.

Ask the Pilot Professor

What is a "Clean Airplane" Policy?
By David Menconi, National Chief Flight Instructor - American Flyers

During winter operations, it becomes more difficult to keep the wing and critical surfaces free of contaminants. Anything that affixes to the wing or critical surfaces is considered a contaminant. Be it ice, snow, frost or slush, anything that changes the intended shape or weight of your airplane needs to be removed. Instead of trying to determine what is and what is not a critical surface, many flight operations require the entire airplane be free from contaminants. This is referred to as a "Clean Airplane".

Policy and includes:

  • Placing special emphasis on the upper surface of the wing, flight controls,
    high lift devices, engine intakes, sensors, wind screens and lights.
  • Use an approved deicing procedure to remove contaminants.
  • Different solution formulations are necessary for different temperatures. The solution used must have a freeze point that is well below the anticipated outside temperature.
  • Solution must be applied at a minimum temperature in order to be effective.
  • Different solutions and fluids can act as an anti-icing agent while the airplane is on the ground (holdover time).
  • Know your holdover time. It is based on the type of solution used and the kind of frozen precipitation encountered. The more snow, sleet, or freezing drizzle encountered the shorter the holdover time.
  • When using a heated hangar make sure that the airplane is heated long enough to prevent melted ice or snow from re freezing some where else.
  • Preheat the cockpit placing special emphasis on control cables.

Removing wintertime contaminants from your airplane with an ice scraper and hot water or using your own home made antifreeze/water solution is a poor and dangerous substitution for the approved safe method. It is well worth the money and time to make sure your airplane is clean, inside and out.

Ground Schools & Events

Private February 1 February 29 April 4
Instrument February 22 March 28 April 25
Commercial February 8 March 7 April 11
CFI Revalidation February 16 March 15 April 19
CFIA & FOI February 22 March 28 April 25
CFII February 9 March 8 April 12
ATP February 2 March 1 April 5
BBQ/Seminar February 2 March 1 April 5
January 2008 Aviation newsletter including how to articles for both the learn to fly and experienced pilot.
January 2008 Aviation Newsletter Editors

“You’re Invited … ”
Join Us Saturday, February 2nd, 2008 at 12:00 Noon For a Free Pilot Seminar & Lunch

Join us for lunch and an engaging discussion of aerodynamics that will be informative to all pilots. If it’s been a while since you’ve thought about what keeps an airplane flying or if you’re just getting into aviation, this is a can’t-miss topic. Increasing your knowledge in this subject will not only make you a safer pilot, but it will also increase your proficiency and accuracy.


Things you will learn:

• Review basic aerodynamics.
• Learn how to predict your airplane’s tendencies.
• Determine flight characteristics.
• Learn about the factors that can affect your airplane’s performance.

What do BOWLR, HANKY, BABBE, MINEE & DODGR Have in Common?

They all represent an invisible point in the sky called an airway fix. If you're an instrument pilot, you'll be familiar with the 5 letter identifiers found on the IFR Enroute Low Altitude Charts. If you're wondering how they come up with these names… A few decades ago the FAA decided that limiting the identifiers to 5 letters would fit their computer format, so CEDAR RIDGE became CEDES and ROSE FLAT is now FLAKK.

The naming requirements for a new fix is: a) is pronounceable, b) does not duplicate another spelling, c) is not profane in several of the major languages, and d) is unique to the entire world.

If you do some studying of low altitude charts you'll find
celebrities and interesting geographical points often have been immortalized in space!

“Fate is the Hunter”

In Ernest K. Gann's 1961 autobiography, Fate is the Hunter, Fate very nearly becomes one of the characters as it winds through the chapters tugging the reader along until he reaches the last satisfying page. Gann carefully connects his experiences of flying during the early years of commercial aviation, revealing how Fate ultimately determined his destiny.

Whether depicting the surprise appearance of long-missing sunshine or the resistant approval of a gruff instructor, Gann's mastery of words brings the reader into the cockpit to see, hear, smell and feel every detail. Each description is full and eloquent, each character rich and alive. This is great storytelling.

Fate is the Hunter is recommended reading for aviation enthusiasts. And if you're trying to turn someone on to flying, this might be the ticket, too.

Written Classes
Free Simulator

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.

MARCH 2008
APRIL 2008
Private Written
Instrument Written
Commercial Written
*Exam fee and manuals not included
Flight Training Course - American Flyers

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”.


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