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AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition Volume 9, Issue 13 — march 27, 2009  

In This Issue:
Join GA Serves America Fund
SkyCatcher has second flight-test crash
Airport Support Network reaches milestone

  FT News  |   Inside AOPA  |   TRAINING PRODUCTS   |   FINAL EXAM   




‘Correct and complete’

The March 20, 2009, “ Training Tip: Read the question!” dissected a sample question on the Private Pilot Knowledge Test, evaluating each of the three answers that a student pilot taking the exam would have to choose between. Elements of correctness are often found in more than one answer on a multiple-choice test. Take care to make the best choice.


How? In the case of FAA knowledge tests, the answer you choose should “completely resolve the problem” posed in the test question. That’s the guidance provided by none other than the FAA itself in its Recreational Pilot and Private Pilot Knowledge Test Guide publication. It explains, “From the answers given, it may appear that there is more than one possible answer; however, there is only one answer that is correct and complete. The other answers are either incomplete, erroneous, or represent common misconceptions.” Remember also that the questions you find awaiting you on your test are independent of each other. That means that “a correct response to one does not depend upon, or influence, the correct response to another.”


In the May 2008 AOPA Flight Training feature “ Quiz Me: Strategies for passing your FAA knowledge test,” Karen Kahn discussed ways to keep completeness in mind when tackling challenging test questions—especially those requiring calculation or working with the supplemental data provided: “Aircraft performance charts, which have been the downfall of many an FAA test taker, have always had their exceptions listed in the footnotes of the individual chart. You can be sure that the FAA will include an incorrect answer for the unwary who forget to consider all the information and fail to ‘add 10 percent for each four knots of tailwind’ or some other crucial statement hidden in the fine print,” she said.


So look at the material carefully before choosing your response. Does it “completely resolve the problem”?


You need a minimum passing score of 70 percent on your knowledge test. But strive for higher! Your score sheet will be part of the impression you make when you present yourself for your flight test. See the Dec. 8, 2005, “ Training Tip: Test scores matter.” A shining knowledge test score will dazzle your flight test examiner, too.



You’ve been training at a towered airport under the watchful eye of air traffic control. Now your instructor says it’s time to fly to the nontowered airport 30 nautical miles away. What do you need to understand about nontowered fields? How should you communicate with other pilots to let them know where you are, and how will you understand where they are? For a good primer, read the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Operations at Nontowered Airports Safety Advisor.


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 6 p.m. Eastern time) or from AOPA Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you're not already a member, join today and get the pilot's edge. Login information is available online.



An ounce of prevention: GA Serves America Fund

General aviation stands at a defining moment. If enacted, proposed new fees in President Barack Obama’s budget will be devastating to GA and to the tens of millions of Americans who depend on it every day. To prevail, we need to let policymakers hear real Americans tell their stories about the important economic benefits of GA. But getting our message out in the media requires resources. That’s why we’ve created the GA Serves America Fund. Read more and see a special video message from AOPA President Craig Fuller.

Cessna SkyCatcher has second flight-test crash

Cessna’s SkyCatcher light sport aircraft crashed March 19 during a flight test 15 to 20 miles northeast of Wichita, Kan. The pilot was not injured and used the aircraft’s BRS ballistic recovery system to land. The system uses an airframe parachute to float to a landing. The aircraft previously crashed during a flight test in September 2008. Following that incident, design changes were made to enlarge the vertical stabilizer. Read more >>

Flight school opens at North Carolina airport

Foothills Regional Airport in Morganton, N.C., has a new flight school on the premises. Owner and CFI Susan Van Fleet launched Van Fleet Aviation earlier this month, relocating the school that she originally opened in 2002, according to a report in the Morganton News Herald . Van Fleet offers private through commercial training as well as mountain flying instruction.


Inside AOPA

Airport Support Network reaches milestone

AOPA’s Airport Support Network, the nationwide system of volunteers dedicated to promoting and protecting community airports, reached an important milestone in March: The network of volunteers is now 2,000 strong. The ASN program has been growing steadily since its inception in 1997. ASN volunteers have alerted AOPA to many local airport issues over the years, a practice that helps AOPA to address issues proactively—often before it is too late. Read more >>

Financial products designed for pilots

Becoming a pilot brings its own set of financial challenges. AOPA understands and offers you a variety of financial products to help you each step of the way. Looking to jump-start your flight training? The AOPA Flight Training Funds program is a line of credit that you can use to pay for anything: a rating or certificate program or just to get additional hours you need to feel safe and proficient. Thinking about purchasing your own aircraft? The AOPA Financing Program offers loans for most aircraft purchases, upgrades, and refinances. AOPA members receive low rates and extended repayment terms. Or, if you already own an aircraft, consider an upgrade using an AOPA Aircraft Improvement Loan. Use it to upgrade your avionics, overhaul the engine, renovate the interior, or repaint the exterior. When you use AOPA’s Financial Products, you are generating crucial revenue to help fund AOPA’s daily efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of general aviation. To learn more, call 800/872-2672 or go online.

New Add It Up program earns cash back on purchases

Add It Up, a new benefit that lets you earn cash back on certain online purchases, is now available for AOPA members who carry an AOPA Bank of America credit or check card. Register your card in Bank of America’s Add It Up program and earn up to 20 percent cash back on purchases made from hundreds of online retailers. There is no limit to how much you can earn, and every dollar is deposited into the eligible Bank of America checking or credit card account. Visit the Web site to enroll your card and get step-by-step instructions. If you don’t have an AOPA credit or check card, visit the Web site to sign up.



Film screen protector for Garmin 696/695

GPS displays can be a magnet for fingerprints and scratches. If you carry a Garmin 696/695 GPS, Sporty’s now sells a pre-cut film screen protector that you can peel and stick to the glass. The film is scratch-resistant and anti-reflective. The screen protector is $29.95. Purchase it online or call 800/SPORTYS.


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.



Question: How do I control runway lighting from the airplane when approaching a nontowered airport?


Answer: As you approach a nontowered airport with pilot-controlled lighting, you should key the microphone seven times. This will turn the system on to its highest intensity. If the lights are already on, you should still key the mic seven times to restart the timer, giving you the full amount of time. Once you are closer to the airport, you can click the mic three times to reduce the light intensity to low, or five times for medium intensity. Make sure you are transmitting on the correct frequency as some airports have a separate frequency for the pilot-controlled lighting. Test your airport lighting IQ with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Quiz on airport lighting.


Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail [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.


Ten thousand feet on a dark night above the Pennsylvania countryside is not where you want to experience an engine malfunction. But that’s what happened to pilot Emanuel Kanal. In the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s latest Real Pilot Story, “ Engine Failure at Night," you’ll hear Kanal describe the ordeal in a 10-minute multimedia presentation that includes actual ATC communications.

Picture Perfect

Pilots love to take photos, and they love to share them with other pilots. Now you can upload your flying photos to our brand-new online gallery, "Air Mail." Share your special aviation images, or view and rate more than 1,000 photos and counting. Highly rated photos will get put into rotation on the AOPA home page!


Want something to do this weekend? Wanting to plan an aviation getaway? See your personalized online calendar of events . We've enhanced our calendar so that with one click you can see all of the events listed in the regions you selected when personalizing ePilot . Now you can browse events listed two weeks to a few months out to make your planning easier. You can also bookmark the personalized calender page to check it as often as you want. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.

To submit an event or to search all events in the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Atlanta, Ga., Northbrook, Ill., Salt Lake City, Utah, and, Ashburn, Va., April 4 and 5; Denver, Colo., Indianapolis, Ind., and, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 18 and 19; San Diego, Calif., Tampa, Fla., and, Boston, Mass., April 25 and 26; Pensacola, Fla., and Houston,Texas, May 2 and 3; Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Albany, N.Y., May 16 and 17. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.


Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Pittsburgh, Pa., March 30; New Cumberland, Pa., March 31; Bethlehem, Pa., April 1; Plymouth Meeting, Pa., April 2; Blacksburg, Va., April 13; Clayton, Mo., and Danville, Va., April 14; Warrensburg, Mo., and Richmond, Va., April 15; Springfield, Mo., and Hampton, Va., April 16; Concord, Calif., April 20; Fresno, Calif., April 21; Palmdale, Calif., April 22. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

Got news? Contact ePilot. Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].

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Editorial Team : ePilot Flight Training Editor : Jill Tallman | ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller | Contributor: Alton Marsh

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