April 18, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

April 18, 2014

ePilot Flight Training Edition

April 18, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 16

Training Tips

The fly-in factor

You taxi down a long row of aircraft, proceeding slowly, watching for people and ground vehicles, and complying with the hand signals of the line crewmember marshalling you toward a parking spot. Many of the signals he uses seem intuitive, but others were worth reviewing in Section 4-3-25 of the Aeronautical Information Manual before you headed out to attend a spring fly-in on a dual cross-country with your flight instructor.

Applying your aeronautical "book knowledge" is one of many ways aviation events like the AOPA Regional Fly-Ins, beginning April 26 at San Marcos, Texas, Municipal Airport, can raise your experience level and whet your appetite for aviation.

Volunteering to assist at one of the year's six fly-ins with set-up, parking, directing ground transportation, or other duties is another way to expand your aviation horizons—and is likely to help you connect with new friends with whom to share your piloting goals and training experiences.

If it looks like one or more of the fly-in destinations is within your reach, get a head start on flight planning by doing some preliminary research now. Work out one or more VFR cross-country routes for a flight to the destination; give airspace, terrain, airport characteristics, and the location of alternate airports along the route some study, for starters.

It's never too early to familiarize yourself with the destination's weather trends, and you'll get some excellent practice reviewing its METARs and TAFs in the process.

Don't forget to check and recheck notams. (A student pilot doing some early flight planning on April 10 for San Marcos would have learned that a temporary flight restriction was briefly in effect that day during a presidential visit to the area—an important reminder of the need to keep on top of restrictions that could crop up with little notice.) And check for special procedures for fly-ins, which are released in advance. AOPA just announced its special procedures for San Marcos.

While examining the local sectional aeronautical chart, determine how you would update weather while aloft, open and close a VFR flight plan, and request service from air traffic control. Note that on a flight to San Marcos, broadcasts of the hazardous in-flight weather advisory service (HIWAS) may be heard over the San Antonio Vortac, 35 nautical miles southwest.

All AOPA Regional Fly-In volunteers receive a lunch, a hat, a T-shirt, and the gratitude of AOPA and your fellow attendees. If pitching in helps you progress in your training program, even better!

Flight Training News


Zulu Flight Training heads across the pond

Continental Motors' Zulu Flight Training is opening locations in Europe. Read more... Share:  


Textron gets into aviation sim business

Textron Inc. has launched a new subsidiary, TRU Simulation + Training Inc., which will offer services in the aviation simulation and training market. The new company, serving the commercial and military markets, was formed out of three companies: Montreal-based Mechtronix Inc., Opinicus Corp. of Lutz, Fla., and a part of AAI Logistics & Technical Services, an operating unit of Textron Systems based in Goose Creek, S.C.


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Spring's weather swings

Clashing fronts, rain showers, ice, strong winds, and hot sun are indicative of spring's wild mood swings. Are you ready to navigate the season safely? Test your knowledge with the Air Safety Institute's Spring Weather quiz. Take the quiz...


Apps of the week

Developers offer aviation app updates

Jeppesen's Mobile FliteDeck VFR for iPad has been expanded; iFly GPS is now available on Android platforms; and iFlightPlanner 2.0, FltPlanGo, and FlightPro all have been updated. Read more... Share:  


Bowling Green, Toledo Univ. sign partnership

Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo have signed a letter of agreement to develop the Northwest Ohio Aviation Education Consortium. The consortium was created to help meet the aviation industry's growing worldwide demand for pilots, airport administrators, and other aviation practitioners. The first effort will focus on recruiting students from China and other parts of Asia as governments loosen previous restrictions on general aviation.

Training Resources


First do no harm

Whether you forgot to switch fuel tanks or encountered VFR into IMC, in emergencies, context is everything: the location, weather, pilot, and airplane. Can you distinguish between an emergency and an abnormal situation? Be prepared with the Air Safety Institute's "Emergency Procedures" Safety Advisor. Download the publication...

Did you know that student pilots who join AOPA are three times more likely to complete their flight training? Membership includes unlimited access to aviation information by phone (800/USA-AOPA, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time) or from Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you're not already a member, join today and get the pilot's edge.


AOPA Live This Week

CBP in the media spotlight

The Los Angeles Times picks up on Customs and Border Protection stops of law-abiding pilots. Find out what the echoes will be on Capitol Hill. Just what is the status of the FAA's rulemaking on the driver's license medical? Plus, proof that it is always worth fighting to keep airports. AOPA highlights a success story from Indiana. AOPA Live This Week®, April 17... Share:  

Career Pilot

American does not plan to sell Eagle

American Airlines has no plans to sell its American Eagle affiliate, CEO Doug Parker told Air Transport World—even after the regional's pilots rejected an amended labor contract that would have provided the carrier with new Embraer E-175 regional jets. "We have no plans to do anything with Eagle at this point other than to own it and have it provide services for American," said Parker.


Phablets move to airline cabins

Delta Air Lines has announced that by this fall, it will equip more than 20,000 flight attendants with handheld Nokia Lumia 1520 phablets. The mobile devices, between the size of a phone and tablet, will serve as their on-board manual and in-flight sales device, as well as a platform for future, more personalized in-flight customer service. Providing electronic access to the 500-plus-page, five-pound printed manual carried by every flight attendant is expected to save more than $1 million annually in reduced fuel and printing costs.

For more aviation career news, see the Flight Training website.

Plane Spotter

Mail on the wing

They were sturdy, solid, respected for their ability to do the job for which they were designed—and no more demanding on the pilot than a 1920s biplane should be. Their mission was to transport the U.S. mail by air (often by night). In 1928, Harold Pitcairn's Mailwing entered service from New York to Atlanta. Mail rode in the front cockpit. The Wright Whirlwind-powered PA-5's prototype hangs in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. A 1929 PA-6 resides in the collection of the Eagles Mere Air Museum in Pennsylvania.

Training Products

Learn ForeFlight Mobile

Sporty's has developed a comprehensive ForeFlight training video, packed with jargon-free tips and real-world shortcuts on how to use this popular app. It's appropriate for prospective users, new ForeFlight pilots, and experienced pros alike. The cost is $29.99.


Aircraft Spruce offers VFR radio book

VFR Radio Procedures in the USA teaches radio communication in the different kinds of airspace and refreshes students' memory to help them go through local Class C airspace. It also provides samples of radio calls that you can expect to hear and transmit at airports in Class A through Class E airspace. The cost is $8.75.

Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.

Member Benefits

Members only

And the wait goes on...

The FAA announced in 2013 that aviation medical examiners would soon be able to issue a medical certificate for some conditions that require a special issuance. The program still hasn't been implemented one year after the pronouncement of "coming soon." Read more... Share:  


Member benefits

If you're not protected, it could cost you ... a lot

Even a minor incident in a rented or borrowed airplane can cost you a lot—especially compared to the cost of insurance. Read more... Share:  


AOPA Strategic Partner Spotlight

National Car Rental ranked highest

National Car Rental, AOPA's Strategic Partner, has been ranked the "Highest in Rental Car Customer Satisfaction" in the J.D. Power 2013 North American Rental Car Satisfaction Study. Read more... Share:  


What is your airplane saying to you?

Have you ever listened—really listened—to your airplane? Chip Wright says it will tell you a lot. Read more... Share:  

Instrument Tip


What is a clearance?

Discussing the pros and cons of possible routes during your review, your CFII poses an unexpected question: "What is an air traffic clearance?" Read more... Share:  

Final Exam


I'm starting to take over more preflight planning responsibilities from my flight instructor, and one of my duties is to calculate takeoff and landing distances. While working through the charts, I noticed that for winds I only need to adjust the calculation for the headwind component. How do I separate the headwind and crosswind components?


In some pilot's operating handbooks (POHs) you can find a crosswind and headwind component chart in Section 5. There is also a chart available in Chapter 10 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

Got a question for our technical services staff? Contact AOPA.

Career Opportunities

Aviation job board

Job of the week: Product marketing specialist

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, an innovative tech leader, is seeking a product marketing specialist. Responsibilities include working with product managers to create marketing programs that drive demand. Learn more now...


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an executive assistant for government affairs, Air Safety Institute intern, director of state government affairs, and account manager II. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

May 3-4 - Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Albany, N.Y.; and Pensacola, Fla.

May 17-18 - Sacramento, Calif.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Houston, Texas.

June 7-8 - Santa Clara, Calif.; and Ashburn, Va.

June 21-22 - Charlotte, N.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Orlando, Fla.

For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the Air Safety Institute's new Online eFIRC.

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Apr 22 - Morris Plains, N.J.

Apr 23 - Frederick, Md.

Apr 28 - Hampton, Va.; Worcester, Mass.; and Concord, Calif.

Apr 29 - Chester, Conn.; Richmond, Va.; and Fresno, Calif.

Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Apr 25 - San Marcos, Texas

May 3 - Quinton, Va.

For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

Aviation Calendar

Want something to do this weekend? Planning an aviation getaway? See AOPA's enhanced calendar of events. Now you can filter events by date range, airport ID, state, or region. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.

To include an event or to search all events in the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA Airports.

AOPA Featured Events

Apr 26 — San Marcos, Texas. San Marcos Municipal Airport (KHYI). AOPA Fly-In.


May 31 — Indianapolis, Indiana. Indianapolis Regional Airport (KMQJ). AOPA Fly-In.


Jul 12 — Plymouth, Massachusetts. Plymouth Airport (KPYM). AOPA Fly-In.


Aug 16 — Spokane, Washington. Spokane Felts Field (KSFF). AOPA Fly-In.


Sep 20 — Chino, California. Chino Airport (KCNO). AOPA Fly-In.


Oct 4 — Frederick, Maryland. Frederick Municipal Airport (KFDK). AOPA Homecoming.


Nov 8 — Brunswick, Georgia. Malcom McKinnon Airport (KSSI). AOPA Fly-In.

Picture Perfect

AOPA's online photo gallery allows you to upload your own aviation photography as well as view, rate, and comment on others' photos. Take a look, and submit your own photos!

AOPA ePilot

ePilot Flight Training Editor:

Benét Wilson

Production Assistant:

Melissa Whitehouse


Sarah Deener
Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore
Jill W. Tallman
Warren Morningstar
Alton K. Marsh
Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Ian J. Twombly
Dan Namowitz

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