Happy New Year!
The New Year is upon us and the days are starting to get longer. The weather in December was not very good for flying; I am expecting January to be a much better flying month. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our members and frequent flyers for your support in 2010. We hope 2011 will be even better than last year. We will plan a number of flyouts for dinner, trips for an overnight stay, and our extended trip next fall. Check the newsletter and website for dates and join us for one or more flyouts. The flyout dinners have really grown; this is a great time to do a little flying, have a good meal, and spend time with fellow club members. We will start the dinner flyouts in April, and we will schedule them for the third Saturday of each month. For our winter fliers, we will try to put the planes in the hangar overnight to ensure they are ready for flight the next day. We hope this will enable you to come out early and often.
Is it time to start your instrument training? An Instrument Rating will make you a better pilot, whether you are flying VFR or IFR. It will also make you a safer pilot because of the expanded knowledge you have with regard to airspace, weather, ATC use, and aircraft performance. Winter is a great time to start your instrument rating; you can finish this rating by the summer and use your new skills to fly those trips you always wanted to make. At A & M we offer you a very structured course that is designed to get you your rating in the shortest period of time and provide you with the skills and knowledge to feel safe and fly safely within the IFR system. We have state of the art airplanes with GPS and MFDs and aircraft with the G-1000 system that offer unbelievable situational awareness. Our aircraft have great autopilots what will reduce your workload and make instrument flying enjoyable. Currently all our instructors are capable of training students for their instrument rating. We also have a Frasca 141 flight simulator that is great for training; it allows you to stop in mid-flight and see your mistakes, plot your course over the ground and see how you did vs. the instrument approach you were flying. The only thing that is keeping you from that instrument rating is a two hour commitment per week and a little studying at home. An instrument rating is one of the biggest accomplishments you will ever complete in aviation, for the weekend flier it will give you the confidence you need to use your license on less than desirable days and get above the clouds for that smooth ride to your destination. For the person looking for the career in aviation it is like crossing the Continental Divide; it is all downhill from there. So call up the Front Desk and schedule your first lesson, begin the adventure.
The Frasca 141 simulator is available for instrument flight training and keeping current. If you need to get those six approaches in, the simulator will give you the best bang for the buck. You don't have to worry about icing or low ceilings in the simulator. Get on the schedule and give it a try.
Now that winter is here, we need to follow cold weather starting procedures, including pre-heating if below 20°F. Follow the checklist. If you need help, ask an instructor. If the plane does not start after five turns of the prop, you need to re-evaluate the starting sequence. It is either under-primed or over-primed. If the window has ice or frost on it, do not use any kind of scraper. Use a paper or cloth towel. The windows are plastic and will scratch easily. It only takes 10 minutes to pre-heat an aircraft. When in doubt, pre-heat!
Have you visited us on Facebook yet? Friend us using the link to the left. Keep up with our activities, interact with the instructors on various topics, and give us your input on new programs. One of the programs we introduced this year is a monthly seminar to address topics that are of interest to our members. The first one was about Instrument Flying. This January 20th, we will discuss the iPhone and iPad and how to utilize them for aviation. The seminars are free and open to the public, so bring a friend. They are held at the Illinois Aviation Museum and qualify for Wings credit.
Don't forget that we fly year round at A & M Aviation. The winter offers some of the smoothest and nicest flying of the year. The airplane heaters work very well, and the bright sunlight really warms up the cabin. To make your winter flying even more enjoyable we will be hangaring the early morning planes in our heated hangar. This will keep them warm and ready to go in the morning. Nothing beats doing a preflight in the heated hangar on a brisk winter morning, except perhaps watching that VSI as you take off in the cool air.
from JIM and the rest of the A & M Aviation Team
and Jet and Turbo