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AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition Volume 10, Issue 21 — May 21, 2010  

In This Issue:
Collegiate competition concluding in Indiana
Calif. bill impacts flight schools
Assess your risk





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!


Have you ever wondered about the history of an airplane, its specifications, or its performance? AOPA’s Pilot Information Center created a new resource for you. Aircraft Fact Sheets cover all types of popular aircraft. They cover the background of the airplane, list the specifications, and even give additional resources, such as pilot reports. If you’re curious about an airplane you’d like to buy, or just want to know more about one you’ve seen on the ramp, check it out.


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.


Collegiate competition concluding in Indiana

The National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s 2010 Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference—better known as Safecon—wraps up May 22 at Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field in Terre Haute, Ind. Think of the event as collegiate aviation’s Final Four, but with airplanes instead of basketballs. About 450 college students, representing 28 aviation colleges and universities from across the country, have participated in the weeklong national event, said Corey Hill, president of Safecon 2010 and a student at Indiana State University, which is hosting this year’s event. Read more >>

International Learn to Fly Day a success

More than 430 events around the country were scheduled May 15th in support of the first annual International Learn to Fly Day. The Experimental Aircraft Association started the event, with support from AOPA and others in the industry. The focus of the day was to take people flying and open their eyes to aviation. Many pilots at events around the country flew dozens of people for their first time, meaning it’s likely that thousands of people received their first airplane ride during International Learn to Fly Day. AOPA hosted an event with around a dozen aircraft and simulators. Read more >>

California passes requirements for flight schools

A hearing on how to best implement the California Private Postsecondary Act of 2009, which will require flight schools to pay a yearly fee and open their books to regulators, is scheduled to take place June 7. The intent of the law is to protect the financial wellbeing of students who seek an education at a postsecondary school. Its implementation is still being determined. Read more >>

NASA’s Virtual Skies offers ‘hands on’ challenges

NASA has updated its Virtual Skies website, featuring aviation modules on aeronautics, navigation, weather, air traffic management, communications, and airport design. Each module includes an overview and basic information about each topic. Then, users can test their knowledge in the “Take Control” section and apply what they have learned in the “You Decide” section, which presents real-world scenarios to solve. Read more >>

School briefs

  • Empire Aviation at the Henderson-Oxford Airport in Oxford, N.C., celebrated a family-style solo on May 6. Kevin Barbee, 16, soloed on his birthday in a Cessna 172; his mother, Vickie Barbee, soloed on the same day in a Cessna 152. The Barbees’ instructor is Paul Hesse.
  • Mike Schubert, owner and president of M & S Air Service flight school at Canandaigua Airport in New York, received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from the Rochester Flight Standards District Office. The award is given to pilots who have practiced and promoted safe flight for 50 consecutive years or more.
  • AeroDynamic Aviation recently opened a new location at the Salinas Airport in California. The school has two other locations near San Jose.
  • The Norwood Flight Academy in Norwood, Mass., was awarded Part 141 designation by the FAA.

Inside AOPA

Assess your risk

Staying safe in an aircraft is all about assessing the situation and evaluating the risk involved with a particular decision. Everything from the condition of the aircraft to the weather can affect risk, and it’s important to know how much of a risk you’re taking with each decision. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation launched a new resource this week to help. The Flight Risk Evaluator includes training resources on risk, as well as a calculator to total up the risk of various situations. Try it out today to learn more.

Thanks to AOPA WorldPoints credit card owners

You can redeem your points from the AOPA WorldPoints Rewards credit card for golf clubs, but you can also help save an airport. You’d be hard-pressed to find a credit card that works as hard as AOPA WorldPoints. In addition to earning points which are redeemable for cash, travel, and merchandise, using the AOPA WorldPoints credit card also helps general aviation. Read more >>

AOPA life insurance exclusively for pilots

When many insurance agents find out you’re a pilot, you may be in for a hassle. Many life insurance policies have aviation exclusions, and it’s important to find one that will cover you in the event of an accident during flight. AOPA’s life insurance policies are designed specifically with pilots in mind. Read more >>

Enhancements made to AOPA Airports

AOPA Airports, the new online airport directory, was created with flexibility in mind. Since the directory’s launch, the AOPA Airports team has implemented several enhancements—including significant changes to the kneeboard format; a more prominent, red font to warn pilots that an airport is closed; the addition of AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer names and contact information to the airport pages; and more. Read more >>


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.

what’s new online

Flight Training blog: The brainbag

You wouldn’t know it from the name, but the brainbag is actually a collection of very useful tools. The new Flight Training blog takes a look at the brainbag—what it is, and why it’s a vital tool in the cockpit. Read more >>

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 Airports.

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Kansas City, Mo., and Albany, N.Y., May 22 and 23; Phoenix, Ariz., Orlando, Fla., and Minneapolis, Minn., June 5 and 6; Columbus, Ohio, and Ashburn, Va., June 12 and 13; San Jose, Calif., and Charlotte, N.C., June 26 and 27. 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 Palo Alto, Calif., May 20; Oshkosh, Wis., July 28, 29 and 30; Germantown, Tenn., Aug., 30; Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 31; and Maryville, Tenn., Sept. 1. 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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