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Nov. 5, 2010, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition" newsletterNov. 5, 2010, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition" newsletter

AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition Volume 10, Issue 45 — November 5, 2010  

In This Issue:
K-State qualifies for SAFECON championship
Hear flight training survey results at Summit
Ohio school finds success in sport pilot




An ‘authorized instructor’

Here’s a question that comes up regularly, even though the answer is not difficult to research, and is based on common sense. On this occasion it surfaced in a thread in the AOPA Aviation Forums, and the questioner was a student pilot.

The student asked, “…if I'm still a student pilot, does that mean I can only fly with a CFI and the hours count only if I fly with a CFI? Can a non-CFI (like I fly with a pilot friend) give instruction in a plane and the hours count towards my license…?”

How would you find the answer to the question?

In the section of Part 61 of the federal aviation regulations on pilot logbooks, there is language stating that “a person may log training time when that person receives training from an authorized instructor in an aircraft, flight simulator, or flight training device.” Other regulatory provisions mandate what the training entries must contain, and that they be “endorsed in a legible manner by the authorized instructor.”

FAR 61.109 defines eligibility for the private pilot certificate, including “at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training in the areas of operation listed in §61.107(b)(1) of this part.” Another source of guidance is the regulatory definition of flight training. See FAR 61.1, and this discussion of logging flight time in the February 1999 Flight Training.

So, can you fly with a non-instructor pilot friend who is an appropriately rated, certificated pilot with recency of experience requirements met? Yes, but only as a passenger. The flight does not count as training time, such as a “solo” cross-country. Logging it as such will get you disqualified by the designated examiner who reviews your application and logbook.

A related issue is the doubtful wisdom of seeking informal training from outside sources while taking formal lessons from an authorized instructor. Doing so may seem a tempting financial shortcut, but it could disrupt your training and be short on quality control.

Keep it simple and legal by flying with your authorized instructor, and solo when permitted—until you earn your private, recreational, or sport pilot certificate.


If you enjoy the weekly Training Tips in ePilot Flight Training Edition, don’t forget that you can access archives that date back to 2001. No matter what stage of training you’re in, ePilot Flight Training Edition has a Training Tip crafted with you in mind.

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 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.


K-State qualifies for SAFECON championship

Kansas State University’s flight team will compete in the National Intercollegiate Flight Association’s SAFECON competition in May 2011 following a second-place finish at a regional competition Oct. 18 through 22. SAFECON competitions feature flight events and ground events that test the teams' abilities in all aspects of flight. View a slideshow of the 2010 finals on AOPA Online.

Flight training survey results to be announced at Summit

During AOPA Aviation Summit on Nov. 11, AOPA President Craig Fuller, APCO Insight Chairman Mark Benson, and AOPA Director of Public Relations Jennifer Storm will discuss a new and critically important AOPA effort—the flight training student retention initiative. Benson conducted research for the initiative, delving deeper into why approximately 70 to 80 percent of students drop out before earning their certificates. Be one of the first to hear the research results and find out what AOPA is doing to address the looming threat of a declining pilot population. Register for Summit to attend the keynote in person, or tune in to AOPA Live at 9:10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on Nov. 11.

Ohio school finds success in sport pilot

A busy flight school in Ohio counts sport pilot training as one of the keys to its success. Zone Aviation at Lorain County Regional Airport near Elyria, Ohio, offers sport pilot training in Flight Design CTs. The school says it has trained more than 60 sport pilots in the last two years. Zone offers additional training for the private pilot certificate and rents Cessna 172s and Cirrus SR20s, but says that its focus is on sport pilot training.

Alaska high school to rebuild Cherokee 6

High school students in Talkeetna, Alaska, are rebuilding a Piper Cherokee 6 with much help from their enthusiastic community. “Once we announced we were going to start a Build a Plane project, we began getting an amazing number of offers” from businesses as well as residents, said the project’s coordinator. Read more >>

Aircraft of all stripes, free family fun at Airportfest

Visitors to Long Beach-Daugherty Field for Airportfest will have a chance to check out a variety of aircraft, from a whisper-quiet glider to the roaring B-29 Fifi—and with live music, guest speakers, and more, the event has something for the whole family. After making its debut in 2009 at AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Fla., Airportfest returns Nov. 11 through 13 in Long Beach, Calif. The free three-day event at the airport will feature more than 70 aircraft on display—not to mention the hundreds of aircraft expected to fly in. Read more >>

Inside AOPA

Increase your icing IQ

You may not be flying around any serious weather this winter, but it’s still a good idea to check out the Air Safety Institute’s WeatherWise: Precipitation and Icing online course. Along with a primer on the challenges posed by various kinds of precipitation, you’ll find out about the many dangers of airframe icing, get guidance for making good preflight and in-flight decisions, and learn exit strategies for inadvertent icing encounters. Get started >>

Learn runway signs, markings in a flash

Think fast: What does a black runway sign with a white number signify? How about yellow chevron markings? If you’re not sure, the Air Safety Institute's runway safety flash cards are an easy way to get up to speed on the signs and markings you need to know. The front of each card displays a typical sign or marking, while the back identifies it, places it in context, and explains what action pilots should take if they encounter it. Download the cards >>

Don’t let paperwork overwhelm you

No matter what your paperwork or document needs are when you are buying (or selling) an airplane, AOPA’s partner, AIC Title Service, can help you. The documents that are needed and procedures that must be followed can be confusing, especially if this is your first purchase. AIC Title offers online title searches, an automated escrow service, a document tracker, and much more. Find out more >>

Hate shopping malls? You’ll love the AOPA Store

Buying holiday gifts for your pilot family members and friends is easy when you shop the AOPA Store—and you don’t have to battle the mall crowds. Shop for all kinds of AOPA merchandise right from your computer. While you’re there, pick up something for yourself as well—AOPA’s first holiday ornament, for example. Wallets, ramp pass inserts, watches, doormats, and dozens of other items were all selected to enhance your aviation lifestyle. The proceeds from every sale benefit the work of AOPA. And if you’ve been a procrastinating shopper, the AOPA Store can get you caught up quickly. Orders are shipped the same day they are received. Holiday orders placed up to Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010, can still be shipped in time for Dec. 25.


Sporty’s ‘VFR Communications’ tutorial

Need help sounding proficient on the radio? Sporty’s VFR Communications features real-world scenarios and covers all types of communication, including air traffic control, nontowered airports, and emergency situations. It can be purchased in DVD format or as a download for laptop, Android, or iPhone. Order online for $34.95 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: I’m studying for the private pilot airman knowledge test and have some questions about what density altitude is, and why it affects an airplane’s performance. Does AOPA have information on the topic?


Answer: High density altitude is a condition resulting primarily from hot temperatures and/or high altitude. Air pressure decreases as temperature and/or altitude increases. The result is reduced aircraft performance which can lead to longer takeoff and landing distances, reduced climb rates, and lower service and absolute ceilings. Humidity also is a factor in density altitude; its effect is primarily related to engine power and secondarily related to aerodynamic efficiency. A pilot should check the airplane's operating handbook for performance considerations and calculations prior to any flight. You’ll find more information in AOPA's subject report, Density Altitude, and in the Air Safety Institute’s Safety Advisor, Mastering Takeoffs and Landings .


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

Pattern work and more pattern work. Landings, landings, and more landings. If flight training becomes drudgery and we lose focus on why we’re learning to fly in the first place, who wins? Ian J. Twombly reminds us why it’s important to have fun in this week’s Flight Training blog.

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 Air Safety Institute Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Anchorage, Alaska, Atlanta, Ga., and Ashburn, Va., Nov. 20 and 21; Denver, Colo., and Orlando, Fla., Dec. 4 and 5; Northbrook, Ill., Dec. 11 and 12; Long Beach, Calif., and San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 8 and 9. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.


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

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars are scheduled in Huntsville, Ala., and Jamestown, N.C., Nov. 8; Decatur, Ga., Charlotte, N.C., and Lynchburg, Va., Nov. 9; Flat Rock, N.C., and Greenville, S.C., Nov. 10; Long Beach, Calif., Nov. 11 through 13; Costa Mesa, Calif., Nov. 15; Ontario, Calif., Nov. 16; San Diego, Calif., Nov. 17; Marietta, Ga., Nov. 30; Birmingham, Ala., Dec. 1; Pensacola, Fla., Dec. 2. 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 W. Tallman | ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown | Contributor: Alton K. Marsh
Production Team: Lezlie Ramsey, William Rockenbaugh, Mitch Mitchell

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