Flight Training - November 2012 - 25

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devices, and employ them as crude lightning detectors. You can see why datalink cockpit weather is the biggest safety improvement in my four decades of flying. Close behind are noise-cancelling headsets. Imagine interpreting radio calls and your screaming flight instructor without benefit of headset, intercom, or even earplugs. While the mechanics of flight haven’t changed, the rules have: I needed 20 solo hours to qualify for my checkride, including 10 of solo cross-country. At one point the long solo cross-country was 300 miles—quite an excursion in a 100-mph airplane. No night cross-country was required, and Class B airspace was still years away. Even seemingly immutable flight techniques have wavered:

installation costs denied many pilots access to it. Today’s microelectronics lower flying costs even while enhancing safety—portable GPSs and tablet computers inform pilots as to location, weather, and terrain in even the most basic aircraft. My biggest lesson learned in 40 years of piloting has been to separate rational concerns from irrational ones. Set aside any hokum about “gut feelings.” If your thorough homework indicates it’s safe to fly, do so. If not, don’t. But always go with the facts over gut feeling. Otherwise you’ll rarely take off. Another thing. My dad was a flier before me, and I grew up hearing about “fatal” threats to general aviation. It’s just part of the journey we

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recommended crosswindlanding practices have flip-flopped repeatedly between full flaps (to minimize touchdown speed) versus partial flaps (to minimize cross-control requirements). For a time, power-off stalls were christened approach-to-landing stalls, and power-on stalls became takeoff-anddeparture stalls. Use of pitch versus power to adjust landing approaches remains controversial to this day. While many modern aircraft have incrementally evolved—the Bonanza debuted in 1947 and the Cessna 172 in 1956—the revolution’s been in avionics. In 1972, most VFR aircraft featured one semi-reliable nav/com. More than once I deciphered out-of-kilter radio frequencies after the radio-tuning-knob drive belt slipped. Time-to-station readouts were unimaginable, much less moving maps. No wonder GPS is such a hit. Even as avionics technology improved,

pilots eternally weather. Yes, declining pilot numbers are concerning. But if each of us recruits just one new aviator, and we enhance flight training to retain those who start, we can overcome this challenge. Sustain pilot numbers and other problems such as cost, fuel, and regulation will resolve themselves. Piloting is phenomenally safer and easier than when I first launched skyward. But the joys continue undiminished. Every takeoff and landing is still thrilling. Each gift of flight to friends remains something they’ll remember for a lifetime. Deplaning from a personal aircraft still fosters awe and admiration among the ground-bound souls who greet us. Most important, the miracles of sky, clouds, and Earth from above are as exhilarating as ever. With the passage of time, flying only gets better!
Greg Brown is an aviation author, photographer, and former National Flight Instructor of the Year. Visit his website (www.gregbrownflyingcarpet.com).

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NOVEMBER 2012 FLIGHT TRAINING

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Flight Training - November 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - November 2012

Flight Training - November 2012
Contents
President’s Perspective
Right seat
Letters
Southern Exposure
How It Works
ASI News
Success Story
News
Since You Asked
News Final Exam
Tech Tip
AOPA Action
Checkride
Flying Carpet
Icy Reception
Beyond All Expectations
Technique
Weather
Flight Lesson
Voices of Reason
Tech Talk
Keep Students Stoked
He Said 'Yes' But Means 'No'
Night Moves
Advertiser Index
Debrief
Flight Training - November 2012 - Flight Training - November 2012
Flight Training - November 2012 - Cover2
Flight Training - November 2012 - Contents
Flight Training - November 2012 - 2
Flight Training - November 2012 - 3
Flight Training - November 2012 - President’s Perspective
Flight Training - November 2012 - 5
Flight Training - November 2012 - Right seat
Flight Training - November 2012 - 7
Flight Training - November 2012 - Letters
Flight Training - November 2012 - 9
Flight Training - November 2012 - Southern Exposure
Flight Training - November 2012 - 11
Flight Training - November 2012 - How It Works
Flight Training - November 2012 - ASI News
Flight Training - November 2012 - Success Story
Flight Training - November 2012 - News
Flight Training - November 2012 - Since You Asked
Flight Training - November 2012 - 17
Flight Training - November 2012 - News Final Exam
Flight Training - November 2012 - Tech Tip
Flight Training - November 2012 - AOPA Action
Flight Training - November 2012 - Checkride
Flight Training - November 2012 - 22
Flight Training - November 2012 - 23
Flight Training - November 2012 - Flying Carpet
Flight Training - November 2012 - 25
Flight Training - November 2012 - Icy Reception
Flight Training - November 2012 - 27
Flight Training - November 2012 - 28
Flight Training - November 2012 - 29
Flight Training - November 2012 - 30
Flight Training - November 2012 - 31
Flight Training - November 2012 - Beyond All Expectations
Flight Training - November 2012 - 33
Flight Training - November 2012 - 34
Flight Training - November 2012 - 35
Flight Training - November 2012 - Technique
Flight Training - November 2012 - 37
Flight Training - November 2012 - Weather
Flight Training - November 2012 - 39
Flight Training - November 2012 - 40
Flight Training - November 2012 - Flight Lesson
Flight Training - November 2012 - 42
Flight Training - November 2012 - 43
Flight Training - November 2012 - 44
Flight Training - November 2012 - Voices of Reason
Flight Training - November 2012 - 46
Flight Training - November 2012 - 47
Flight Training - November 2012 - Tech Talk
Flight Training - November 2012 - Keep Students Stoked
Flight Training - November 2012 - He Said 'Yes' But Means 'No'
Flight Training - November 2012 - Night Moves
Flight Training - November 2012 - Advertiser Index
Flight Training - November 2012 - 53
Flight Training - November 2012 - 54
Flight Training - November 2012 - 55
Flight Training - November 2012 - Debrief
Flight Training - November 2012 - Cover3
Flight Training - November 2012 - Cover4
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