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This is the September 3, 2010, issue of 'AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition' e-newsletter.This is the September 3, 2010, issue of 'AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition' e-newsletter.

AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition Volume 10, Issue 36 — September 3, 2010  

In This Issue:
King Schools owners erroneously detained
UND fleet to use flight tracking software
Auburn flight school seeks new chief instructor





The off-airport landing

A good flight instructor can be a bit of a nag at times, such as when he or she inquires more than once during your training flight, “Where would you land if the engine failed right now?” Sometimes after you select a spot, the CFI idles the throttle and commences a simulated emergency landing drill, to be discontinued at a safe altitude once the likely outcome becomes clear.


The CFI’s “nagging” will have been beneficial if it taught you to be constantly on the lookout for off-airport landing sites while flying. That’s also good prep for the emergency approach and landing task on the private pilot practical test. Two of the seven elements of that task are selecting a “suitable landing area” and planning and following a flight pattern to the area that considers “altitude, wind, terrain, and obstructions.”


In some situations you can take some time deciding where to land—a better plan than sticking with an initial poor selection. Certain hazards, such power lines across your glide path, may not be visible right away, as discussed in the Nov. 7, 2008, “ Training Tip: Power lines.” Chapter 16 of the Airplane Flying Handbook offers this approach to selecting a suitable landing area when there is time to make choices: “If the emergency starts at a considerable height above the ground, the pilot should be more concerned about first selecting the desired general area than a specific spot. Terrain appearances from altitude can be very misleading, and considerable altitude may be lost before the best spot can be pinpointed. For this reason, the pilot should not hesitate to discard the original plan for one that is obviously better. However, as a general rule, the pilot should not change his or her mind more than once; a well-executed crash landing in poor terrain can be less hazardous than an uncontrolled touchdown on an established field.”


Think about the conditions for an emergency off-airport landing when planning routes for your night flights (as discussed on the Flight Training website). Take some time to review the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Emergency Procedures Safety Advisor while you’re at it.


Admiring the view while cruising along is one of aviation’s thrills. Go ahead—but survey the details below to be ready for that off-airport landing that you’ll probably never have to make.



Do you need the answer to a question that has come up between flight lessons? Is there a question you’re not comfortable asking your CFI? Regardless of where you are in the adventure of learning to fly, AOPA staff pilot/instructors are standing by to answer your questions. Submit a question through the Flight Training website, or speak to a Pilot Information Center staff member directly by calling 800/USA-AOPA weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time.


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.


King Schools owners erroneously detained

John and Martha King of King Schools Inc. were mistakenly detained at gunpoint Aug. 28 upon landing at the Santa Barbara Airport in a Cessna 172. The Kings were ordered from the airplane, handcuffed, and placed in separate police cruisers, John King said. The Cessna 172’s N number had once belonged to a Cessna 150 that had been reported stolen, but the Cessna 150 was deregistered in 2005 and the N number re-issued. Read more >>

UND fleet to use flight tracking software

The University of North Dakota’s flight school fleet will have flight data tracking software installed over the next several months, according to a report in the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald . The software should help improve pilot performance and safety by capturing a record of the aircraft’s movements during a flight.

Auburn flight school seeks new chief instructor

The Auburn University Flight Department is currently without a chief flight instructor and has surrendered its Part 141 certificate while it seeks a replacement. The former chief instructor resigned in May after an incident in which a student conducted a gear-up landing with the flight instructor on board, according to a report in the Opelika-Auburn News . The flight school can continue to operate under Part 61, according to a spokesman with the department.

K-State awards aviation scholarships

Kansas State University Aviation has named seven recipients of aviation scholarships from drawings conducted at AirVenture 2010. The winners, all high school juniors and seniors, will each receive $2,000 scholarships. They are Paul Cwian, 16, Dakota, Ill.; Troy DiGiovanni, 19, Belmont, Mass.; Nathan Fischer, 17, Kansas City, Mo.; Ryan Harris, 16, Muscle Shoals, Ala.; Trevor Henson, 17, Dunlap, Ill.; Matthew McDavid, 18, Southlake, Texas; and Amanda Sipes, 18, Wichita, Kan.

Inside AOPA

Learn airspace the easy way

For many students, memorizing the various categories of airspace and their attendant rules is one of the more tedious parts of learning to fly. Fortunately, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s free airspace flash cards make learning the system easy and (sort of) fun. The front of each card features a chart excerpt highlighting a particular type of airspace, while the flip side has a summary of all the facts you need to know for the checkride. Download the cards here >>

Get up close and comfy with your aircraft’s pneumatic system

Quick! Can you answer this question? In most aircraft, which two critical flight instruments stop working when the pneumatic system fails? If you’re at a loss for words it’s time to curl up with your favorite Pneumatics Systems online course, brought to you courtesy of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Know what powers your aircraft systems. Delve in and learn more about avoiding a vacuum and pressure system failure and, should the unthinkable happen, handling the resulting emergency. Whether you rent or own, fly night VFR or IFR, you’ll be glad you did. Take the course >>

Buying an airplane? Financing program offers new lower rates

The goal of the AOPA Aircraft Financing Program is to get pilots into the aircraft of their dreams. To help make ownership more attainable, the program just lowered its rates to make monthly payments more affordable. Visit the loan calculator page to calculate your monthly payment. This could get you one step closer to realizing your dream of aircraft ownership. There are no prepayment penalties on the loans, and your AOPA membership is free for the life of your loan. If you have questions, feel free to use the “call me” function on the website, where an aircraft specialist will call or e-mail at a time convenient for you. If you are ready to apply, you may do so online.

Double your comfort at Enterprise Rent-A-Car

For a limited time, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is offering all AOPA members a double upgrade on your next rental. Receive this upgrade plus your AOPA member discount at participating neighborhood and airport locations. A portion of all revenue generated will be returned to AOPA and reinvested to support the association’s efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of general aviation. Reserve your car online.


App transforms iPhone to flight recorder

Want to track your flights and check your flying after the lesson? With an iPhone and a viewer, you can do exactly that. Flyvie has released Flyvie Lite 4, a free iPhone app for recording flights. Flyvie records a live video stream, cockpit audio, and GPS during your flight; review whenever you want from anywhere with Internet access. The application is a free download from iTunes. A yearly subscription to the Flyvie Flight Viewer is $98. The optional iPhone installation kit, which includes a hands-free mount, audio cable, Velcro straps, and a carrying bag, is $60 (shipping included). For more information, see the 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: What does the term “mode C veil” mean?


Answer: “Mode C veil” refers to an area around an airport in Class B airspace in which at least a Mode C capable transponder is required. According to Federal Aviation Regulation 91.215(b)(1), “This requirement (for Mode C transponders) applies to all aircraft in all airspace within 30 nautical miles of an airport listed in Appendix D, section 1 of this part from the surface upward to 10,000 feet MSL.” An exception found in FAR 91.215(b)(3) includes, among others, any aircraft that was not originally certificated with an engine-driven electrical system. For more information on Mode C, see Robert Snow's article, “ Check-in time: How to report to ATC.”


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

Don’t skip the passenger briefing

You may not be PIC at the moment, but when the day comes for you to take a passenger, a good briefing is an integral part of the flight. Flight Training Deputy Editor Ian J. Twombly explains the elements of a thorough briefing in the latest 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 AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Sacramento, Calif., and Baltimore, Md., Sept. 11 and 12.; Colorado Springs, Colo., Richmond, Va., and Seattle, Wash., Sept. 18 and 19; Phoenix, Ariz., Sept. 25 and 26. 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 Newton, Mass., Sept. 7; East Hartford, Conn., Sept. 8; Morristown, N.J., Sept. 9; Wichita, Kan., and Sioux Falls, S.D., Sept. 13; Oklahoma City, Okla.,and Pierre, S.D., Sept. 14; Little Rock, Ark., and Rapid City, S.D., Sept. 15; Rochester, Minn., and Reno, Nev., Sept. 20; Sacramento, Calif., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Sept. 21; San Jose, Calif., and Bellevue, Neb., Sept. 22; Olathe, Kan., Sept. 23; Mesa, Ariz., St. Louis, Mo., Pittsburgh, Pa., and Ft. Worth, Texas, Sept. 27; Springfield, Mo., Summerdale, Pa., and Houston, Texas, Sept. 28; Albuquerque, N.M., Allentown, Pa., and San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 29; and King of Prussia, Pa., and Austin, Texas, Sept. 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 : Ian Twombly | ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown | Contributor: Alton Marsh
Production Team: Lezlie Ramsey, William Rockenbaugh, Mitch Mitchell

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