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The following stories from the May 21, 2010, 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.



Interactive test practice

Few people like taking tests. Pilots are no exception. But test taking gets easier with practice. If you can’t imagine taking a flight or knowledge test without feeling butterflies, trying your hand at the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s interactive courses and safety quizzes may be the cure you’ve been hoping for. Think of these fun, educational offerings as a no-pressure way to learn about flying while growing confident about test taking. Practice makes perfect? The safety quiz topic changes regularly, giving you multiple chances to quiz comfortably. “With a new and improved format, ASF's Safety Quiz uses graphics and interactivity to test and expand your knowledge. The standard multiple-choice and true/false questions are augmented by drag-and-drop matching exercises, fill-in-the-blank brainteasers, and ‘hotspot’ questions. A new quiz is featured every other week,” says the safety quiz home page.


The tests you will take on the way to earning your pilot certificate vary in formality, and in how successful completion is computed. The pre-solo written test your flight instructor administers is one of the first tests you face. It’s tailored to your specific training needs as explained in the April 19, 2002, “ Training Tip: Passing the presolo written test.” Many student pilots take the FAA knowledge test for their pilot certificate at the same general stage of training. A minimum passing grade is 70 percent, which won’t be difficult if you work with the practice test questions available at AOPA Online and follow up by reviewing any weak spots.


No student pilot should approach the culminating event of training—the practical test—without fluency in the publication that explains the examination’s every detail: the practical test standards. The student pilot must meet these standards for performing tasks in order to pass the test.


By contrast, the flight review a certificated pilot must take every 24 months is not a pass-fail test, as Mark Twombly chronicled in the February 2010 Flight Training : “You either complete it satisfactorily or you don’t,” he wrote. What’s the consequence if you don’t? “You’ll need to do some remedial training before taking another flight review.”


Pilots have a duty to maintain skill and knowledge. Testing keeps our feet to the fire. Finding ways to reduce test stress helps us fulfill this obligation, and makes us better at, and take more pleasure in, what we do!


ASA learn-to-fly bundle

When is the best time to inspire a future pilot? How about right now? ASA has made it even easier by combining two books for novice pilots into one e-book bundle—or e-bundle, if you prefer. “You Can Fly!” by Flight Training Contributing Editor Greg Brown and Laurel Lippert is bundled with the FAA’s “Student Pilot Guide.” Download the bundle for $9.95 or learn more from the ASA website.


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: Can a flight instructor with a sport pilot rating give a flight review in a light sport aircraft to an ATP-certificated pilot?


Answer: Yes, a sport-pilot-only flight instructor can conduct a flight review for an ATP-certificated pilot in a light sport aircraft according to FAR 61.415(d)(4). The flight review can be conducted in a light sport aircraft under the provisions of FAR 61.56, which allows a pilot to accomplish a flight review in any aircraft for which he or she is rated. Read more about sport pilot and light sport aircraft regulations in the article “ Embracing sport pilot” on AOPA Online.

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.

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