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AOPA ePilot Custom ContentAOPA ePilot Custom Content

The following stories from the July 18, 2008, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information tailored to their areas of interest by updating their preferences online.

My ePilot Training Tips

Poor spacing between landing aircraft causes many go-arounds, especially at nontowered airports. If an aircraft that has just landed is hotly pursued by the next arrival, the second aircraft is going to have to abort its landing. Sometimes spacing seems reasonable, but the safety margin evaporates. Failure of the following aircraft's pilot to allow enough time for the landing aircraft to clear the runway is often to blame. What if the aircraft that landed ahead of you couldn't slow down before the first taxiway? How far down is the next exit point? Chapter 4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual gives general procedures for exiting and clearing runways after landing at towered and nontowered airports. Are you sure your aircraft is clear? See the section's definition.

At some airports, it is impossible for the pilot of an aircraft waiting to depart to see the runway's far end. Not sure of the location of the aircraft that just landed? Request a position report before you take off. Give one after you land. Avoid tying up the frequency, as discussed by readers of the blog entry " Too much taxi talk" by Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.

If it is obvious upon your arrival in the traffic pattern that spacing is tight, extend your downwind leg or reduce airspeed. Learn more in the June 17, 2005, " Training Tip: Light it up, slow it down." Remember that the aircraft you are following has the right of way. A too-close-on-final conflict between a Cessna 172 and a following Cessna Cardinal was detailed in " Pilot Counsel" in the October 2006 AOPA Pilot: "The pilot of the Cardinal flew a longer downwind leg to allow the 172 to exit the runway. Even so, the Cardinal was on final approach while the 172 was still landing. Because the 172 took longer than normal to exit, the possibility that the Cardinal would have to do a go-around was growing." What happened next—the Cardinal overflew the Cessna at low altitude—led to enforcement action and certificate suspensions. This is an incident worth studying; make special note of the applicable regulations and how their interpretation guided the case's resolution.

Training Products

Sure, Microsoft Flight Simulator is a great program that lets you fly a Boeing 747 or (insert your fantasy airplane here), but how much utility does it offer for your real flying? Jeff Van West and Kevin Lane-Cummings answer that question in their new book, Microsoft Flight Simulator X for Pilots: Real World Training. The book's 750 pages take the reader through the sport pilot and private pilot certificates, followed by instrument rating, commercial pilot certificate, and air transport pilot certificate. For aspiring pilots, the book teaches the skills of flight, how to master the program, and how to utilize the software as a learning tool. Those who are already pilots will get guidance on how Flight Simulator X can be used as a continuing learning tool, how to simulate emergencies, and how to train for advanced certificates. The book sells for $29.99 and is available from

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.

My ePilot Final Exam

Question: Can I use the flight instruction received overseas from a non-FAA certificated flight instructor toward a private pilot certificate in the United States?

Answer: Yes. According to Federal Aviation Regulation 61.41, a person may credit flight training toward the requirements of an FAA pilot certificate or rating if the training was received from a flight instructor certified by a contracting state of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the training is given outside of the United States.

Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to [email protected] or call the Pilot Information Center, 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.

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