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'Flight Training' gets whole new look

'Flight Training' MagWith the April issue of  Flight Training magazine, AOPA has launched a totally redesigned publication, aimed at everyone who is interested in becoming a pilot—or becoming a better pilot. The magazine has been completely updated with a clean, fresh new look while still providing all the information readers have come to value.

“Our focus and our mission have not changed,” said Ian J. Twombly, deputy editor of Flight Training, who oversaw the redesign project. “We strive to be the authoritative voice, helping flight instructors and their students as they train. But we also understand that the way they consume information has changed significantly since AOPA started publishing the magazine more than a decade ago, so we’ve kept the information the readers have come to expect, but started with a clean slate to figure out the best way to present it.”

The magazine’s staff began the redesign process by focusing on Flight Training’s strong points—its written content and its photography. Building on that base, the magazine has been reorganized to make it easier for readers to find the information they want, and to present it in a way that is easy to understand—and easy to incorporate into readers’ learning processes.

“When it comes to aviation safety, a pilot should know and understand as much as possible,” said Bruce Landsberg, president of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. “ Flight Training shares knowledge you won’t necessarily find in the textbooks. It’s a great way to learn from some of the very best flight instructors in the nation.”

Each month’s issue begins with the Preflight section, a quick-read area. Rod Machado’s popular “Since You Asked” column has been moved into the new section, as has AOPA advocacy information and news from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Preflight also features great photography that keys in on a learning moment, the Frugal Student column that highlights ways to get the most out of your training dollars, and product news and reviews.

The redesigned Flight Training makes extensive use of graphics, charts, and photo-illustrations to make difficult concepts easier to understand. For instance, the new Techniques spread in the first redesigned issue has everything a student pilot needs to know about turns around a point in one simple, two-page illustration.

One new section sure to interest and inspire readers is Debrief. Who uses general aviation and why? Each month, Flight Training will profile a pilot who is famous in the aviation world … or just plain famous: people like Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin or actor Kurt Russell.

The magazine now includes more information on what pilots can do and places they can go once they’ve earned their certificates in the This Weekend section. This Weekend is part of a larger initiative to provide inspirational stories to help pilots remember why they decided to become a pilot in the first place.

As part of the effort to allow easier access to the content, Flight Training magazine makes extensive use of links to  Flight Training Online, with lots of online information for students, instructors, and pilots who want to delve deeper into a subject. The Web site has also been redesigned. The result is a more dynamic and user-friendly site, full of new rich-media content and cross-references between the print and online content. The site also offers plenty of opportunity to interact with the magazine’s writers and editors.

“One of the great conundrums in flight training is the disparity between the number of people who start learning to fly and the number of people who earn their certificate,” said Tom Haines, AOPA’s senior vice president of media. “The new Flight Training is designed to help aspiring pilots keep learning, to help flight instructors keep their students motivated, and to help certificated pilots stay active, safe, and proficient.”

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