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Custom content for Oct. 15, 2010, 'AOPA ePilot' e-newsletterCustom content for Oct. 15, 2010, 'AOPA ePilot' e-newsletter

The following stories from the Oct. 15, 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.

- My ePilot—Recreational Interest -

Aviation adventures: Tips for ultimate airplane travel

Secluded mountain strips, national and state parks, aerial tours of major cities, international destinations—live these adventures and more during AOPA Aviation Summit, Nov. 11 through 13 in Long Beach, Calif. Aviation forums about flying in the West, the Idaho/Utah backcountry, Alaska, and Mexico will whet your appetite for adventure and provide practical tips for making these trips possible. Then, put your knowledge into action after Summit with a fly-out to Baja and beyond, offered through Caribbean Sky Tours. The fly-out will depart Long Beach on Nov. 14 and return to Calexico, Calif., on Nov. 19. Aircraft will stop in Loreto, Cabo San Lucas, and Alamos. Register for Summit today >>

training tips

Endurance test

One thing you can count on learning from your cross-country flight training is endurance. Not your aircraft’s—yours. Cross-country flying is back to basics, but with a twist. Even if nowadays you ace the fundamentals on local flights, holding course and altitude to the practice area with ease, now you’ll see how well you fare while navigating a long en route leg in bumps and headwinds.


If you find yourself having some ups and downs, first take a look at how you are trimming your trainer for cruise. Break your method down to its elements, as described in this October 2010 Flight Training Technique article, "Trim for hands off flight." Keep this basic idea in mind: “The skillful trimmer doesn’t fiddle with trim controls whenever a pitch disturbance upsets things. Rather, the pilot allows the aircraft’s inherent stability to restore the trimmed condition.”

Another source of pride in your training achievements is your hard-earned skill at landings. So, how will that first traffic pattern and landing at an unfamiliar airport turn out? Don’t feel set back if it’s not your best. Reasons vary—stress, or a touch of fatigue perhaps—but this is a common outcome. Knowing this little instructors’ secret may help prevent this predictable pitfall.


One way to be ready is to catch yourself tensing up, and release that stranglehold on the controls, as recommended in the Dec. 22, 2006, “Training Tip: Relax!”


Being relaxed and ready when making that terminal-area arrival will make you sharp in response to rapid or changing instructions when it’s time for “Tackling the tower,” explains Jill W. Tallman’s Technique article in the October 2010 AOPA Pilot. “Make sure you have the correct ATIS, ground, and tower frequencies loaded into your radio and airport diagram ready. Before you contact the approach control or tower, you’ll listen to the ATIS to get the current weather. The ATIS may broadcast which runway to expect for a visual approach, which makes your job that much easier. Knowing your expected runway and the direction from which you’re approaching the airport, you can anticipate the controller’s instructions for entering the traffic pattern,” she wrote.

This is not a drill! Carrying off a real cross-country flight with ease takes sharpness, skill, and stamina. For additional resources on the subjects discussed this week, be sure to review the Air Safety Institute’s home page.

training products

Multisump aviation fuel tester from

Fuel sumping is a necessary part of your preflight. The Multisump aviation fuel tester lets you draw samples from as many as eight sumps; its quick-release valve drains the fuel into one catch can. It’s available from for $23.99.


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. 

final exam

Question:What documents do I have to have with me in order to act as pilot in command?


Answer: FAR 61.3, Requirement for certificates, ratings, and authorizations, answers the question for us. A pilot must have in his or her physical possession a pilot certificate or special-purpose pilot authorization, government-issued photo identification or some other form of identification that the FAA administrator finds acceptable, and an appropriate medical certificate if one is required. To read more about the exceptions to the medical certificate requirement, see FAR 61.3 (c).


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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