Many of you already are aware that AOPA is beta testing their new site. It certainly is a nice face lift to the original version. The drop down tabs make it easier to navigate or even “pre navigate” a category without actually leaving the page you are on. I’m a big fan of this feature as I get rather impatient when I go to a new page only to have to go back and keep searching for the desired link.
Flight planning tools are well organized and easy to find. Keep in mind that some links will take you into the original website format. I found a few glitches when I did this such as screens not loading, which by the way, they’d like you to squawk any flaws. Overall I think it will make navigating their site more friendly and if nothing else more pleasing to the eye. Have fun and explore.
It’s hot and DA is up! Plan to lighten the loads on those hot summer months. We are hitting density altitudes of 8,000ft from a 4,200 field elevation here in the Salt Lake City area. Ouch! Ask your self a few questions; “Do I need to take that? Do I need full tanks? Should I schedule morning flights vs mid day flights?” As the density altitude climbs, our air craft’s performance declines so consider all of the factors of performance and weight before you make a “go” decision.
I said this is just for Flight Instructors so stop reading now Private Pilot person! Just kidding, please do read especially if one day you hope to be teaching in the cockpit.
I recently had the experience here in Utah of dealing with the Department of Consumer Affairs. Now this was not a negative experience by all means but a learning experience for me. I hope to pass on this information to help other instructors/future instructors be prepared.
I am a contracted, independent instructor. That means that flight schools, flying clubs, aircraft owners, etc, hire me to teach in their planes. As an instructor, I take my job seriously and therefore professionally as well. Thus I have a LLC entity as my business structure. I also have things that every instructor should have: a specific business email (not a personal one that all my friends have), a website, blog (optional), a dedicated phone number and a business banking account (it’s much harder to write off pilot supplies when you purchase them via your personal account).
Recently the Utah Department of Consumer Affairs sent me a letter thinking I was a flight school that charge tuition and took up front fees. Keep in mind that as I write this, every state may be different on their regulations. They were pleasant to work with and I simply had to fill out an exempt application stating I was not a Part 141 school that accepted payments in advance for training. Here in Utah we have had some shoddy flight schools file bankruptcy and get sued after accepting tens of thousands of students’ loan money and not providing the training they promised.
So in a nut shell, if you are a current CFI or planning on becoming one, check with your local government to see where you would fall under and if you may need to establish your position in the aviation training community.
So one of the things that helps us keep moving is fuel. Yes I know it’s expensive but it is necessary to keep the engine running and thus, keep us from falling out of the sky. Since I’ve been flying, which is not long in many people’s books (10 years), I’ve seen av gas go from around $2.50 per gallon to over $5 here in Utah. Sometimes we don’t want to top off tanks for a number of reasons; weight limits, performance, we’re too poor, but keep one thing in mind, if you can get an extra gallon or two in the tanks without compromising safety or needed performance, wouldn’t that give you peace of mind? Who cares about your pocket-book, if you’re too cheap to add a few extra gallons, then I’d suggest maybe RC planes as I understand they are cheaper and if you crash them, well you are still alive.
Here is a good article from the NTSB, courtesy of Avemco: http://bit.ly/vefzAx
It emphasizes how important fuel is.
Aviation is always going through changes and advances. Some for the better and some for… well, just to see. One thing is for certain. No matter how many gadgets go hi tech in the cockpit or how many structural and performance changes are integrated into aircraft, we still need pilots. Check out this “fan wing” aircraft that is set to debut at next year’s Oshkosh: