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Oct. 29, 2010, issue of 'AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition' newsletterOct. 29, 2010, issue of 'AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition' newsletter

AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition Volume 10, Issue 44 — october 29, 2010  

In This Issue:
American Flyers to open in Wheeling, Ill.
Opportunities for career-seekers at Summit
Flight service tips and tricks




General aviation security

Here is a sample question similar to one you might encounter on the private pilot knowledge test:

“Each person who holds a pilot certificate or a medical certificate shall present it for inspection upon the request of the Administrator, the National Transportation Safety Board, or any
A) authorized representative of the Department of Transportation.
B) person in a position of authority.
C) federal, state, or local law enforcement officer.”

Many security rules and airspace restrictions have been added or enhanced as the nation’s attention focuses on airport security. The question posed above predates new regulations, but is still critical knowledge for a pilot. So are regulations from recent years—for example, additions to the regulations of a security disqualification rule for pilots, and a requirement that pilots operating as pilot in command within a 60-nautical-mile radius of the Washington, D.C., VOR/DME receive special awareness training and obtain a completion certificate.

AOPA keeps pilots informed on security topics and engages them though programs such as AOPA’s Airport Watch, an initiative developed jointly with security officials to teach pilots and airport employees how to make their airports more secure. Pilots must also think about security during every preflight briefing by asking about temporary flight restrictions—especially during the fall election season, as this AOPA Online article explains.

It is also important to remember that not all law enforcement personnel investigating a matter involving a pilot or aircraft are familiar with GA. The key is pilot cooperation. An example was the Aug. 28 incident in which flight training personalities John and Martha King were detained because the Cessna 172 they were flying bore an N number previously assigned to a Cessna 150 stolen in 2002. AOPA is discussing systemic improvements with federal officials.

The answer to the sample knowledge test question above is C, from FAR 61.3: “Each person who holds an airman certificate, medical certificate, authorization, or license required by this part must present it and their photo identification as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section for inspection upon a request from:
(1) The Administrator;
(2) An authorized representative of the National Transportation Safety Board;
(3) Any Federal, State, or local law enforcement officer; or
(4) An authorized representative of the Transportation Security Administration.”


So what kind of gear do you really need to learn to fly? See “ Getting the gear you need” for the best tips on stocking your student-pilot flight bag. You'll learn how to find what you need at the right price. Then, check out the 2010 Gear Guide for some newer items that might be worthy additions to your wish list.

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.


American Flyers to open in Wheeling, Ill.

American Flyers Flight School plans to open a new branch office in Wheeling, Ill., on Nov. 1. The school, located on the west side of Chicago Executive Airport, will have 1,300 square feet of classrooms, testing facilities, and flight training devices. It will offer private pilot and instrument rating FAA knowledge testing as well as weekend classes for renewal of flight instructor certificates. In addition to classroom instruction, several flight training devices will be on-site for individual instruction and programmed learning using the Flying Professor’s Courseware, the school said. American Flyers operates a full-service flight school at West Chicago’s DuPage Airport, as well as seven additional FAA-approved schools in the United States and one in Mexico City.

Opportunities for career-seekers at Summit

Looking to fly for a living? AOPA Aviation Summit 2010 in Long Beach, Calif., Nov. 11 through 13 has opportunities you won't want to miss. Make sure to attend Saturday's forum, "Flying for a Living: Strategies for Getting Hired." The forum will feature a panel discussion with an airline pilot, a regional jet training expert, and a career counselor and résumé expert. Make sure to bring your résumé and your questions to the Flight Training booth between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday for free counseling with Judy Tarver, vice president of and a former human resources executive with American Airlines. Finally, don't forget to spend time in the Women's Wing, where you can find information on scholarships, careers, and much more.

US Aviation sees success with Chinese students

The professional pilot program at US Aviation in Denton, Texas, has graduated nearly 200 Chinese professional pilot students with a multiengine instrument rating, the school said. Some have become first officers, some are in advanced training in China, and others are in primary training for Chinese airlines. “We have been very impressed with the professionalism and enthusiasm of the young men and women coming here from China,” said Mike Sykes, president of US Aviation. “… It’s quite amazing when you realize that so many of them had their first experience with flying on the trip over here.” Read more >>

From dream to checkride: Summit offers activities for all

The excitement at AOPA Aviation Summit isn’t just for certificated pilots. With everything from simulator flights to educational forums, Summit offers activities bound to spark an interest in flying in prospective pilots and provide student pilots with tools to help them pass their checkride. While visitors look at aircraft of all shapes and sizes at Airportfest at Long Beach Airport, they can stop by the AOPA Learn to Fly Center to find out more about flight training and enter daily drawings. Read more >>

Calif. flight training industry looks to long-term fix

Aviation groups are working to develop a long-term solution to controversial flight school regulations set to take effect in July 2011 in California. The window of opportunity gives AOPA, the National Air Transportation Association, and state allies time to work with the legislature to find a more reasonable way to protect students without crippling the flight training industry. Read more >>

Inside AOPA

Flight service tips and tricks

Go beyond briefing and flight plan services with the Air Safety Institute’s A Pilot’s Guide to Flight Service. You already access basic services, but do you use all resources available on the ground and in the air? For example, did you know you can set up an individual profile to speed up flight plan filing? What is EFAS? Do you remember what your CFI told you about the meaning and use of the letter “R” found on the sectional chart? Learn more before your next lesson.

Wondering what’s up with datalink?

Being a twenty-first-century student pilot, you’ve probably heard the term “datalink” at some point—but if you’re just getting started, or training in an airplane with older avionics, you may not be up to speed on exactly what it is. If so, the Air Safety Institute’s Datalink minicourse is a good place to start. The short course covers facts you need to know about the technology: how it works, the information it can provide, and how to use it safely. Get started >>

Screening for health conditions: Don’t put it off

Avoiding a health screen for heart disease, cancer, or some other medical condition is much like ignoring the signs that your airplane’s engine is losing oil. Instead, you should “stay ahead” of potential medical conditions just as you stay ahead of the airplane. If you’re concerned about what your aviation medical examiner will say, Dr. Jonathan Sackier explains why this isn’t an issue. Read more >>

AOPA launches group-term life insurance program

Looking for quality life insurance that doesn’t have aviation exclusions? AOPA has three new plans with lower rates and quality options. AOPA has done the work for you, negotiated group rates, and developed a comprehensive offering of products to meet your needs. Read more >>


FAA publications on your iPhone has issued 12 popular FAA publications as iPhone e-book applications. The titles are Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook, Airplane Flying Handbook, Balloon Flying Handbook, CFI Handbook, FAR/AIM, Glider Flying Handbook, Instrument Flying Handbook, Instrument Procedures Handbook, Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Rotorcraft Flying Handbook, Seaplane, Skiplane, and Float/Ski-Equipped Helicopter Operations Guide, and the Student Pilot’s Guide. Each is $2.99 and can be downloaded from the iTunes Store.


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: A buddy of mine asked me recently if I wanted to fly in formation with him sometime. I haven’t gotten back to him yet because I wasn’t sure whether it was legal. I also wondered what kind of things we should think about before doing it.


Answer: Yes, it is legal. However, you would want to thoroughly discuss and plan the formation flight before attempting it. FAR 91.111 Operating near other aircraft is the regulation that covers formation flying. Briefly, it states that you cannot operate an aircraft so close to another one that a collision hazard exists, that you cannot fly in formation without prior arrangement between the two PICs, and that you cannot fly in formation if the aircraft is carrying passengers for hire. To learn more on the topic of formation flight, read “ Formation fumbles” from the Air Safety Institute.


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

There’s something for everyone on the Flight Training blog. For primary and instrument students, Ian Twombly’s Tip of the Week asks you to think about two different cross-country scenarios and how you’d handle them. For those who aspire to fly for a living, don’t miss Chip Wright’s take on what downsizing at Delta and Comair means for the rest of the nation’s small jet fleet. 

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 San Diego, Calif., Albuquerque, N.M., and Austin, Texas, Nov. 6 and 7; 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. 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 Pikeville, N.C., Nov. 6; 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. 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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