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April 15, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition' newsletterApril 15, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition' newsletter

AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition Volume 11, Issue 15 — APRIL 15, 2011  

In This Issue:
Maryland airport named ‘most female-friendly’
Website supports flight training initiative
Airport signs made simple





An updated ‘ARROW’

Mnemonics—those memory-prompting devices that help us learn rules or concepts—are a staple of aviation training on the ground and in the cockpit. The acronyms ARROW and GUMPS greet pilots early in training. An old rhyme reminds pilots to check the altimeter setting often because “when flying from a high to a low, look out below.”

If you have taken some time off from flight training, or are working on your pilot certificate at a leisurely pace, you may be surprised to discover that some of the old standard knowledge requirements represented in such fashion occasionally change.

For example, it’s not your grandfather’s ARROW anymore. Both of the R elements have changed over time—the most recent modification affecting aircraft registration.

“The FAA has released its final rule requiring the re-registration of all civil aircraft over the next three years and renewal every three years thereafter. The final rule became effective Oct. 1, 2010,” explains this update from AOPA’s Pilot Information Center. “In order to transition from the current non-expiring aircraft registration to one with a three-year expiration date printed on the certificate, the FAA is requiring all aircraft registered before Oct. 1 to be re-registered. The FAA registration fee is $5.”

All U.S. civil aircraft will be re-registered by Dec. 31, 2013. “The FAA will cancel the N-numbers of aircraft that are not re-registered or renewed,” the update explains.

A previous modification of ARROW from 1996 changed the rule about whether you must carry a radio operator’s license in flight (only required now outside the United States).

Sometimes the item represented by the O in ARROW, for operating limitations, is also misunderstood. (A hint: There’s more to it than your pilot’s operating handbook.) That mnemonic element was discussed in detail in this September 2010 Flight Training article.

For the record, the full recitation of ARROW is traditionally rendered as “airworthiness certificate, registration, radio license, operating limitations, and weight and balance.” GUMPS is an oral pre-landing check of “gas, undercarriage, mixture, propeller, and seatbelts.” There are others that you also may have learned.

Keep your training moving forward, and keep a careful check on changes that you’ll need to know about when answering questions on a knowledge test or during your checkride.


For information on anything from arthritis to vision issues, or for a list of aviation medical examiners or pertinent medical websites, go to AOPA Online for subject reports on medical certification and other health-related topics.


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.


Maryland airport named ‘most female-friendly’

The efforts of 22 pilots and numerous volunteers to introduce 185 girls and women to aviation on March 12 have earned the Frederick, Md., Municipal Airport the title of Most Female-friendly Airport in the World for 2011 by the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week organization. The day’s activities celebrated 2011 Women of Aviation Worldwide Week and set a record for the number of girls and women introduced to flying in one day at a single location, said the sponsoring organization. Read more >>

Website supports AOPA flight training initiative

The people at Sporty’s Pilot Shop and Sporty’s Academy know flight training. The company claims a student dropout rate of less than half the national average, and through innovative programs and resources, it is seeing its business grow. Now Sporty’s Academy is supporting AOPA’s Flight Training Student Retention Initiative with a new website addressing student retention. Read more >>

Airport signs and markings made simple

Fifty percent of runway incursions stem from pilots crossing the hold-short line without a clearance. Do you know which side of the hold-short line you should stop behind? Navigating the airport environment from cockpit level can be confusing, and the signs and markings are there to help, but only if you understand what they’re telling you. Brush up on your airport markings and signage by downloading the Air Safety Institute’s Runway Safety Flash Cards.

Embry-Riddle Prescott adds to fleet

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University announced it will soon acquire four Diamond DA42 NG twin-engine aircraft for the Prescott, Ariz., campus. The airplanes will be used as trainers beginning with the 2011/2012 school year. They incorporate all-carbon-fiber airframes with full authority digital engine control (FADEC), twin turbo-diesel AE300 engines, and Garmin G1000 avionics with GFC 700 automated flight control system and synthetic vision technology.

AOPA seeks Calif. instructor feedback

With provisions of a California law that could burden flight training institutions with additional fees and regulations on hold until July 1, AOPA and its allies are working to develop solutions that provide consumer protection for flight students without damaging the state’s flight school industry. The association is reaching out to California’s flight instructors for feedback on dealings with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. Read more >>

Flight Design donates hand grip to Able Flight

Flight Design, makers of the CT/MC series of light sport aircraft, introduced a retrofit hand grip kit at the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In and Expo on March 31. The company donated a kit to Able Flight, an organization that offers flight training scholarships to people with disabilities. “We have watched Able Flight and its director Charles Stites and we are very impressed with the organization’s success at getting young disabled persons into light sport aircraft,” Flight Design CEO Matthias Betsch said. “We need more people in flying. These young people want to fly.” The hand control system will retail for $4,000.

Inside AOPA

‘Pinch Hitter’ helps nonflyers overcome nerves

For some nonpilots, flying in a light general aviation aircraft can be an anxiety-inducing experience. What if the weather goes bad, or the engine quits, or—worse—something happens to the pilot? The Air Safety Institute’s free Pinch Hitter online course is meant to help allay such fears. In about 45 minutes, the course takes nonpilots on a jargon-free journey through the basics of aircraft control, navigation, and emergency procedures, giving them the knowledge they need to overcome their fears. Know any nervous flyers? Send them here >>

Dig out those awesome shots of your airplane

Have some awesome shots of your aircraft? Share them on AOPA’s Facebook page and your aircraft could be featured as AOPA’s official profile picture for the month. It’s easy to enter. Just visit the AOPA Facebook page and become a fan if you haven’t already, and then click on the photo icon on the top of the Wall and select “Upload a Photo.” Be sure to share with your friends too and get them to vote by clicking “Like!” The five photos with the most “likes” will face off to be chosen as AOPA’s profile picture for the month.

Make AOPA Medical Services your advocate

Losing your pilot medical certificate or experiencing a medical situation that could affect the validity of your medical is traumatic enough. Concern about how the FAA may rule on your particular case can mean days of worry as you await a decision. The process doesn’t have to be this difficult. When you sign up for AOPA’s Medical Services Plan, you immediately have a team of experts working for you. Read more >>


DuraCharts tear-resistant sectionals

The longer you use a paper sectional chart, the dingier it gets and the more likely you are to accidentally tear it while you’re using it. A new product, DuraCharts, seeks to help you get around that problem. DuraCharts are printed on a whiter, sturdier stock that is easier to read and tear resistant. The charts sell for $8 apiece plus shipping. See the website for more information or to order.


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: During a recent cross-country trip, I noticed that the oil pressure was low for most of the flight even though the oil temperature remained normal. There were no other abnormal indications. What could have been the reason for the low oil pressure reading?


Answer: The low oil pressure reading could have been the result of any number of problems. Most likely though, it was caused by an insufficient amount of oil. Since the oil temperature also remained in the normal range, a clogged oil pressure relief valve or a malfunctioning oil pressure gauge might have been the culprit. It is certainly advisable if this occurs in flight to land as soon as practical to accurately determine the cause. For more on how to handle in-flight problems, read the Air Safety Institute Safety Advisor, Emergency Procedures , and take the online course, Do the Right Thing: Decision Making for Pilots .


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

What’s your essential aviation book? Chip Wright names two of his—and surprisingly, neither one is by Wolfgang Langewiesch—in the Flight Training blog.

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an application support engineer and administrative assistant—office of the president. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

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 7,500 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 Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Pensacola, Fla., May 14 and 15; Sacramento, Calif., Kansas City, Mo., Albany, N.Y., and Houston, Texas, May 21 and 22; Orlando, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., and Columbus, Ohio, June 4 and 5; San Jose, Calif., and Minneapolis, Minn., June 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 West Lafayette, Ind., and Timonium, Md., April 20; Blacksburg, Va., April 25; Danville, Va., April 26; Richmond, Va., April 27; Morris Plains, N.J., and Hampton, Va., April 28; Poughkeepsie, N.Y., May 2; Garden City, N.Y., May 3; Cohoes, N.Y., May 4; Rochester, N.Y., May 5; Morganton, N.C., May 7. 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, Melissa Whitehouse, Mitch Mitchell

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