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AOPA Seeks Input On Flight Training Experiences

Anyone who has been a flight student in the last two years is invited to take part in an online poll and share their experience and insight, AOPA said recently. The poll deadline is Aug. 9 and is open to all; you don't need to be an AOPA member to participate. "This unique pilot poll will give people a great opportunity to share feedback on their flight-training experiences," said Shannon Yeager, vice president of AOPA's Center to Advance the Pilot Community. The poll also asks participants to nominate a flight school and instructor for AOPA's Flight Training Excellence Awards.

Diamond Offers Airline Training Solution

Diamond has introduced an airline training package for its DA40 that it says will jump-start students into the airliner environment and make the process more efficient. The Advanced Airline Trainer Concept was unveiled at Aero Friedrichshafen 2013 and the company says it will help schools and airlines mitigate the pilot shortage that many agree is coming. Diamond says the sophisticated environment of current and future airliners should be what the student works with right from the start. "This requirement starts from the Ab Initio training phase, therefore the flight academies need adequate equipment right from the start," Diamond said in statement released at Aero.

DFW Reopens Fire Center With Mock A380

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has reopened its aircraft rescue firefighting training and research facility and announced a partnership with Embry-Riddle after a yearlong expansion that includes a new burn pit and "the only" Airbus A380 training hull in the United States. The $29 million expansion was designed to enhance the facility's real-world training environment and improve its capabilities as a research center. Prior to the expansion, the facility trained more than 15,000 students from 24 countries. It will now integrate an Aviation Fire Science program developed by Embry-Riddle. DFW is also partnering with the FAA and ICAO for information sharing.

Air France Crash Report: Captain Had Just One Hour Of Sleep

According to a transcript of the cockpit voice recorder, the captain of the Air France Airbus 330 that crashed into the Atlantic in 2009 said he had not had enough sleep the night before, a detail that was not previously released, according to the French magazine Le Point. Le Point says that in a judicial transcript it acquired, the captain said, "I didn't sleep enough last night. One hour, it's not enough." According to ABC News, the new information raises concerns about the investigation and whether the full content of the CVR transcript should be made public. Investigators released a final report on the crash last July.

Flying Camp, For Free

Seventy-year-old Vietnam veteran and CFII Rafael Sierra has created a short summer camp program in Thermal, Calif., that provides select high school students with ground school, one hour of flight training, and a student pilot certificate -- all free. Sierra's Coachella Valley Youth Aviation Education Program selects students on the basis of their essay submissions and their desire to become commercial pilots. He runs the program on financial donations and contributions from like-minded friends and local businesses. Sierra told AVweb, Friday, that last year 57 students "graduated" from the program, and this June 22-29 he will guide another group. Sierra says his model is simple and can be copied successfully across the country.

A Chance For Kids To Build Airplanes

Eight high-school students will win a free trip to the Glasair build center in Arlington, Wash., this June, in a new educational competition announced this week by GAMA and Build-A-Plane. The students will participate in Glasair's "Two Weeks to Taxi" program, building two Sportsman airplanes and learning about science, technology, engineering and math. "This competition will give students the opportunity to explore general aviation," said Pete Bunce, GAMA president. "We need to expose young people to the exciting and rewarding careers that await them in the aerospace industry and ensure they have the tools to succeed." High schools who wish to enter the competition should call Katrina Bradshaw of Build-A-Plane at 804-843-3321 immediately, as space in the competition is limited.

Frasca: The Benefits And Pitfalls Of Simulator Training

Simulators can affect the time and cost of flight training, and the pace of technology makes it easier than ever to access them, but if you listen to Frasca -- which has more than 50 years of experience in the simulator business -- access shouldn't be the only concern. Frasca has been in business since the mid-1950s. And, today, the company's approach focuses on two key factors: The ability of students to transfer learned skills into the cockpit; and the ability of both the school and student to maintain an acceptable financial condition throughout the process. In short, Frasca believes that when it comes to getting the most from simulator training, one size does not fit all.

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