Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

June 10, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition' newsletterJune 10, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition' newsletter


AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition Volume 11, Issue 23 — June 10, 2011  

In This Issue:
Fly more, spend less?
States challenge pilots to fly, win prizes
Staying safe on the ground





Preparing to be PIC

It takes time for a student pilot to get used to the idea of becoming pilot in command of an aircraft someday. The truth is that acting in the role of “PIC” is what you have been rehearsing since your first flight lesson.

Preparing to be PIC is a gradual process that shapes training in many subtle ways—until it becomes a practical fact of life upon your instructor’s endorsement of your first solo.

Before that, you learn in ground school about an operating regulation that holds the pilot directly responsible for, and makes that pilot the final authority as to, the operation of the aircraft. The regulation gives a pilot emergency authority to deviate from rules “to the extent required to meet that emergency.” It also imposes a burden of accountability for any such actions.

Another example: Have you ever heard the flight service specialist who is giving you weather information state that visual flight is “not recommended”? The words are well chosen, not random. “Flight briefers can't order you not to fly,” wrote Jill W. Tallman in the September 2003 Flight Training magazine’s Flying Smart: Aviation Speak column. “As pilot in command, you decide whether you can fly safely and legally to your intended destination.”

A pilot in distress who notifies air traffic control of a problem usually will be asked to say intentions. ATC understands that the pilot is the best source of information and decision making about how to proceed. ATC will do what it can to assist.

Rules and judgment are part of the body of knowledge expected of a PIC. So is making the effort to stay informed and learn lessons offered by the experiences of others. After an August 2010 accident that claimed the life of former Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, the National Transportation Safety Board focused attention on how pilots brief passengers about the use of on-board survival gear.

Are you ready to be PIC? Both the tangible and the intangible factors will be on your instructor’s mind when making the call. So don’t wait to think about yourself as PIC until your checkride date is all but set. Becoming PIC material is what you have been studying for since the beginning.


When your pilot certificate arrives in the mail, you might be tempted to think your learning days are done. Not so fast! A good pilot is always learning. Review Budd Davisson’s article, “25 ways to be a better pilot,” for strategies on keeping safe and proficient.


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.


Fly more, spend less?

When learning to fly, it’s said that flying two or three times per week can speed up the process and help you retain more. But at today’s rental rates, that can be cost prohibitive. Would sharing costs with another owner help you to fly more cheaply? AOPA has launched a new program that helps pilots cut the total costs of ownership by 50 percent or more. Read more >>

States challenge pilots to fly, win prizes

Want to add a twist to your flight training routine? If you live in one of several states that have set up challenge programs, you could win a prize while conducting a cross-country flight. Read more about challenge programs offered by Georgia, Kentucky, and other states.

Steer clear of collisions with safety quiz

Avoiding midair collisions is pretty high on most pilots’ to-do lists, but that doesn’t keep roughly 20 airplanes a year from swapping paint—often with disastrous consequences. Do you ever worry that you might not be seeing all the traffic that could pose a collision hazard? Avoid separation anxiety and put your knowledge to the test with the latest Air Safety Institute safety quiz, sponsored by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Take the quiz >>

N.J. teachers to go aloft in STEM program

Twelve teachers in New Jersey will take flight on June 23 and 24 as part of a leadership development workshop. The teachers, who participate in instruction of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, will fly out of Alexandria Field in Pittstown, N.J. During the two-day program that utilizes ground and flight instruction, the teachers will delve into management development, using the airplane and flight as metaphors. The airplane and its related activities serve as metaphors for successful leadership behaviors that can be used every day. A second event geared at young women students will be held in August.

Inside AOPA

Staying safe on the ground

Learning to fly is more than just learning how to control the aircraft in the air. It also means understanding how to negotiate ground operations and “rules of the road” while your wheels are still on the ground. Let the Air Safety Institute help you understand the airport environment with the Runway Safety online course.

Hurricane preparedness: Keeping you covered

With hurricane season under way, AOPA members who live and/or plan to travel in hurricane-prone areas should have a plan to relocate their aircraft in the event of a storm. While developing your plan, check your insurance policy to see if it covers any costs for relocating the aircraft. Read more >>


Sporty’s launches Free and Fast Shipping Club

If you are a frequent customer of Sporty’s Pilot Shop, the Free and Fast Shipping Club is aimed at saving you money on shipping fees. Pay $49 to enroll, and you receive free two-day express shipping on every product you order. There is no minimum, and club members also receive exclusive email offers. Free shipping does not apply to chart subscriptions. 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: I had trouble passing the color vision test on my last visit to my aviation medical examiner, and he placed a color vision restriction on my medical. Is there a way I can get it removed so I can fly at night?


Answer: Yes, there are procedures available to demonstrate to the FAA that a color vision deficiency does not adversely affect your safety or the safety of others in the National Airspace System. The preferred method is to attempt any of the 15 different color vision tests that the FAA accepts. This procedure allows you to meet the color vision standard of FAR Part 67. The other alternative is to take an operational color vision test. This test includes a signal light test administered at an airport air traffic control tower; and a practical test in which you must read and correctly identify colors on aeronautical charts. When you pass the test, you will receive a letter of evidence. For more information, read the subject report on AOPA Online.


Got a question for our technical services staff? Email [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 day is it? The answer might be Friday to you, but for an airline pilot it’s measured not by the calendar, but by what day of a trip he or she is flying. Read more from Chip Wright in this week’s 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 applications engineer. 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 8,500 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 Jose, Calif., and Minneapolis, Minn., June 11 and 12; Phoenix, Ariz., and Ashburn, Va., June 25 and 26; Memphis, Tenn., July 9 and 10; and Jacksonville, Fla., July 16 and 17. 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 Oshkosh, Wis., July 27 through 29; and Germantown, Tenn., Wichita, Kan., Fort Worth, Texas, and West Houston, Texas, Sept. 12. 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].

421 Aviation Way
Frederick, MD 21701
Tel: 800/USA-AOPA or

Copyright © 2011 AOPA.

Member Tools : Send feedback | ePilot Archive

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

Related Articles