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AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition Volume 10, Issue 13 — March 26, 2010  

In This Issue:
Daniel Webster College shutters flight program
NAFI, FAA agree on new endorsement
New site shows flying destinations





Warm air, carb ice

As the snows of winter vanish from airport landscapes, pilots cheer the disappearance of snowdrift hazards, icy patches on runways, and morning frost on aircraft. But another ice hazard becomes more likely when temperatures climb.


Think of it as the ice of summer, but whatever you do, don’t ignore carburetor icing as a warm-weather flying hazard. Every year, carb ice foils some unwary pilots, even when temperatures soar toward 100 degrees Fahrenheit! The problem, explains Chapter 6 of the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (6-7), is “the effect of fuel vaporization and the decrease in air pressure in the venturi, which causes a sharp temperature drop in the carburetor. If water vapor in the air condenses when the carburetor temperature is at or below freezing, ice may form on internal surfaces of the carburetor, including the throttle valve.” Scrutinize the chart accompanying the chapter; it depicts temperature-humidity combinations that pose the highest carb icing risks.


“Obviously, awareness of carb icing is especially important in the training environment, in which much time is spent practicing low-throttle exercises such as flight at minimum controllable airspeed, landing approaches, and simulated engine failure emergencies,” noted the Aug. 22, 2002, Training Tip that also discussed proper technique for applying carb heat.


Pilots must also understand a drawback of carb heat use: It robs the engine of power. So remove carb heat fully and promptly when adding throttle, for instance when commencing a go-around. How much power does carb heat sap from the engine? Next time you operate the carb heat during an engine run-up, or when reducing power to begin a practice maneuver, note the specific rpm drop. It can be considerable.


What else can you do in flight to improve your carb-ice risk awareness? Apply carb heat on occasion during cruise flight. Note if your power setting is higher after you remove it.


Another tip: “Develop the habit of keeping an eye on the outside air temperature along with rpm or manifold pressure gauges, while tuning the ear to engine smoothness,” wrote Dan Namowitz in the October 2009 Flight Training “Accident Analysis” column. Every detail matters because “carb heat may not save the day if added too late or too low.”


AOPA Online has more than 40,000 pages of information, which can make finding things challenging at times. But one page, the association’s Handbook for Pilots , puts many of those resources in one place. The handbook used to be a printed manual that came with one’s membership, but the Web allows it to live on in electronic format. There’s information on weather, navigation, airspace, emergency procedures, and much more right at your fingertips. Check it out today and make sure to bookmark this valuable resource.


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.


Daniel Webster College shutters flight program

Daniel Webster College is closing the doors on its flight training program, according to sources at the school who learned of the decision in a meeting on March 24. The college is one of the largest flight training providers in the Northeast and began in 1964 as the New England Aeronautical Institute. ITT Educational Services, the parent company of ITT Technical Institutes, purchased the nonprofit school last year when it was struggling with large debt payments. Doing so allowed it to immediately gain a more respected regional accreditation, but the plans were always to grow the school through distance learning. Read more >>

Liberty Aerospace offers free training

In an effort to attract nonpilots to flying, Liberty Aerospace will be exhibiting at the Palm Beach International Boat Show in West Palm Beach, Fla., March 25 through 28. Liberty said it plans to connect with individuals who enjoy a fun and active lifestyle with a limited-time offer: Buy a Liberty XL2 and get free flight training, along with free scheduled maintenance for a year after delivery. The “Learn to Fly Free” program promotes a customized flight-training package for two, including all fuel, Liberty said. Read more >>

NAFI, FAA confirm new endorsement language

The National Association of Flight Instructors and the FAA have collaborated on new language for the endorsement required for the practical test. The regulation requiring three hours of training within the preceding 60 days to take a practical test changed to say two calendar months. As a result, the new endorsement should read, “I certify that {First name, MI, Last name} has received the training as required by section 61.39(a)(6)(i) within the preceding two calendar months and have determined that {he/she} is prepared for the {insert applicable test} practical test. {DATE} Instructor name, CFI number, CFI Expiration Date.”

New site encourages pilots to ‘discover, fly, share’

With good weather just around the corner in many parts of the country, pilots are beginning to venture out of the pattern. A new Web site seeks to show them where to go and what to see on one tank of fuel. is designed to enable users to find new and interesting places to fly based on “one tank” mileage designations they select. They can search a range of activities at or near those destinations, including museums, camping, factory tours, and the all-important $100 hamburger. Read more >>

Student lands R22 on high school athletic field

Erik Slettehaugh, a high school senior in Danvers, Mass., landed a Robinson R22 helicopter on his school’s athletic field—and nobody called the FAA. Slettehaugh, who attends St. John’s Prep, is a member of the school’s aviation club. He and an instructor circled the field and landed to promote the school’s annual auction, which included a flight donated by North Andover Flight Academy. St. John’s Principal Ed Hardiman called the event a great learning experience for all the students, according to the Salem News .

CFI renewal via Webinar rescheduled

AVSeminars, the company behind the first FAA-approved CFI renewal via Webinar, has rescheduled the first session. Originally scheduled for April 3 and 4, the seminar will now take place April 10 and 11 to accommodate holiday schedules. AVSeminars says the Webinar format allows for the benefits of a live flight instructor refresher course with the convenience of an at-home virtual renewal. The course costs $69.

inside aopa

AOPA Air Safety Foundation debuts takeoff and landing quiz

Just because you can nail your takeoffs and landings doesn’t mean you’re an expert. That’s the message from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s new quiz on takeoffs, landings, and wake turbulence, underwritten by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Student pilots will benefit from the quiz with questions on the different factors involved in wake turbulence, and certificated pilots will learn new things on accidents and incidents of takeoffs and landings. Take the quiz and test your knowledge today.

How to fly in to the fly-in

For one week in April, Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Florida becomes one of the busiest airports in the world for Sun ‘n Fun; it’s no surprise that questions about getting there safely may come up. Which frequencies should I monitor? Should I stop on the runway or not? How much fuel should I carry in reserve? Find out the answers in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Webinar “Flying to Sun 'n Fun Safely.” AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines will lead a discussion of arrival, ground, and departure procedures April 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Register now >>

AOPA Credit Card offers solutions for today’s economy

In tough economic times, building your bank account becomes priority No. 1. The AOPA Credit Card from Bank of America is now offering a new WorldPoints enhancement to help you save. With the AOPA Credit Card, you can redeem your points for cash and have that cash deposited directly into your checking or savings account. This new feature is easy to set up and will allow you to access cash through your personal accounts when you need it most. Visit the Web site and click on the “get cash now” option to sign up and start saving today. Plus, each use of the AOPA Credit Card delivers valuable revenue to AOPA, which is reinvested to fund the association’s many advocacy efforts. The AOPA Credit Card is a primary source of funding.

Enterprise offers weekend savings to AOPA members

Planning a weekend road trip? Rent your car from Enterprise and receive rates as low as $9.99 per weekend day when renting from one of the company’s many neighborhood locations. From now until May 24, AOPA members can take advantage of this money-saving offer. Plus, each time you rent a vehicle from Enterprise you are supporting AOPA. All rentals generate revenue that is reinvested to support the association’s many advocacy efforts, and to fund its expanding campaign to popularize flying and to grow the number of general aviation pilots.


A logbook fit for a flight instructor

The sturdy Flight Instructor’s Logbook from CFI Solutions has pages to keep track of endorsements, compliance with TSA citizenship validation rules, and certificate renewal and recurrent training. Working on Gold Seal designation? There’s a space to record that, too. The logbook is available from CFI Solutions for $26.95.


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: I’m nearing the end of training for my private pilot certificate. Can you tell me what to expect on the checkride?


Answer: The FAA details the requirements of the various practical tests in what are called the practical test standards (PTS). The PTS for each certificate and rating is designed as the standard used by FAA inspectors and designated pilot examiners when conducting practical tests. Flight instructors are also expected to use these standards when preparing applicants for the practical tests. Having the requirements in writing leaves no doubt as to the standards an applicant must meet in order to pass a checkride. The practical test standards are periodically revised, so be sure to use the most current version for the certificate or rating for which you are training. For more information check out Reading the PTS . You also can download the most current version of the standards from the FAA.

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.

CORRECTION: In the March 19 edition of AOPA ePilot Flight Training, we incorrectly identified the area of one type of thunderstorm for which a convective sigmet is issued. Convective sigmets may be issued for thunderstorms producing heavy or greater precipitation affecting 40 percent or more of an area at least 3,000 square miles. The area is incorrectly stated in the “Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge”; the correct area can be found in the Aeronautical Information Manual ( AIM 7-1-6 (d)).

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 online gallery, “Air Mail.” Share your special aviation images, or view and rate more than 5,500 photos (and growing). Photos are put into rotation on the AOPA home page!



Want something to do this weekend? Planning 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 in your region to make planning easier. You can also bookmark the personalized calendar 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 include 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 San Diego, Calif., Cincinnati, Ohio, and Ashburn, Va., April 10 and 11; Denver, Colo., Boston, Mass., and Salt Lake City, Utah, April 17 and 18; Tampa, Fla., Atlanta, Ga., and Indianapolis, Ind., April 24 and 25. 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 Brooklyn Center, Minn., March 29; Clayton, Mo., and Pittsburgh, Pa., April 5; Springfield, Mo., and New Cumberland, Pa., April 6; Allentown, Pa., April 7; King of Prussia, Pa., April 8; Lynchburg, Va., April 13. 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 : Ian Twombly | ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown | Contributor: Alton Marsh
Production Team: Daniel Pixton, Lezlie Ramsey, William Rockenbaugh, Mitch Mitchell

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