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June 17, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition' newsletterJune 17, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition' newsletter

AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition Volume 11, Issue 24 — June 17, 2011  

In This Issue:
Recommendations target effective training
Aerodynamics: The alpha factor
AFIT launches 14-day private pilot program






Facts at your fingertips

Good flight planning means having an up-to-date library of the necessary information, and the skill to use it. Save time—and avoid cutting corners—by having a general working knowledge of your source material before you go to research questions about your training flights.

What kind of equipment is required for flight into Class C airspace? Would a flight to the nearest airport in Class C airspace help satisfy solo cross-country aeronautical experience requirements for the 150-mile trip needed to count toward time required for your private pilot certificate? What is the floor of the outer “shelf” of airspace shown for that airport? Is it a standard or nonstandard airspace configuration?

You would need to know the answers to all of those questions to be able, let’s say, to explain the proposed flight to your designated pilot examiner. Finding answers would require numerous resources.

The first question is about an operating rule. Find the answer in FAR 91.130(d), which sets forth equipment requirements for operations in Class C airspace. (Save time and avoid flipping through other regulatory parts by remembering that Part 91 of the federal aviation regulations covers general operating and flight rules.)

The second question asks whether a flight to that airport could count toward an airman certification cross-country requirement. First, look in Part 61—specifically to FAR 61.109, which lists aeronautical experience requirements for private pilot applicants. They include “one solo cross country flight of 150 nautical miles total distance, with full-stop landings at three points, and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations.”

That’s part of the answer. Now get out your sectional aeronautical chart, and measure the distances of your proposed flight legs to be sure that the airport at the center of the Class C airspace can be used to complete the trip, considering your other proposed points of landing.

And while you have that chart spread out, check the outer of the two rings that depict the Class C airspace. Note the floor of that outer shelf. They are typically 1,200 feet agl but may differ from the standard configuration to accommodate local conditions.

The Air Safety Institute’s Know Before You Go online course also can help your awareness of airspace considerations.


Join the active student pilot community at the Flight Training Facebook page, where you can share photos, discuss your training issues, and much more. Click “Like” today!


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.


Recommendations target effective training

The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) is recommending six projects for action to reduce fatal aircraft accidents, increase student pilot starts, and keep students flying until their goals have been reached. The recommendations headline the preliminary report that emerged from the 2011 Pilot Training Reform Symposium that SAFE hosted last month in Atlanta. Read more >>

Aerodynamics: The alpha factor

Venture beyond Bernoulli and Newton in a live Air Safety Institute Webinar, “Aerodynamics: The Alpha Factor,” at 3 and 8 p.m. Eastern time Monday, June 20. Join AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg and panelists Rich Stowell, master aerobatic instructor, and Brian E. Smith of NASA’s Ames Research Center in an energetic review of aerodynamic principles beyond the four forces of flight. As Landsberg leads a fast-paced discussion with amazing video clips you’ll discover the true meaning of power and pitch and what flying angle of attack is all about. This Webinar, sponsored by the AOPA Insurance Agency, qualifies for AOPA Accident Forgiveness and the FAA Wings program. Register online >>

AFIT launches 14-day private pilot program

Accelerated Flight and Instrument Training (AFIT) has launched a 14-day intensive private pilot training program with locations in St. George, Utah, and Sacramento, Calif. Training is conducted one on one with an AFIT instructor for a minimum of eight hours per day. AFIT also offers accelerated instrument, commercial, and multiengine programs. For more information, see the website.

Girls with Wings announces scholarship

Girls with Wings, an organization created to promote girls' interest in aviation, will soon be accepting applications for its fifth annual scholarship. The program will award $1,000 to each of two individuals who must write an essay about why she is a role model for Girls with Wings, including her inspirations and goals. Applicants must have soloed. The application window is July 1 through 31. For more information, see the website.

Capt. Jason Dahl Fund awards scholarships

The Capt. Jason Dahl Fund has chosen two recipients for a 2011 scholarship. Justin Fernandez, a student at San Jose State University, and Charles Brumfiel, a student at Metro State College of Denver, Colo., each received $5,000 in recognition of their achievement as aviation students. The fund honors of the memory of Dahl, who was the captain of United Airlines Flight 93. Flight 93 was hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001, and crashed near Shanksville, Pa. For more information or to donate to the fund, see the website.

Fla. flight school owner writes memoir

The owner of the Florida flight school where terrorists Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi learned to fly has written a memoir. Rudi Dekkers, owner of Huffman Aviation in Venice, said he wrote Guilty by Association to set the record straight after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, according to The book will be released Aug. 15 on

CAP to receive world peace prize

In December 2011 the Civil Air Patrol will celebrate 70 years of service saving lives, providing aerospace education, and introducing young people to aviation through its cadet programs. The anniversary year also will be marked by a major award to be presented this month, when CAP will be honored with a World Peace Prize by a missionary organization that has been recognizing contributions to the cause of peace since 1989. Read more >>

Inside AOPA

Your airplane engine: From spark to spinner

Have you ever wondered what goes on under the airplane cowling when you turn the ignition switch? You don’t have to be a mechanic to understand how an airplane engine works, yet knowing the basics of what creates the thrust that lifts you skyward can go a long way in solving a potential problem before it becomes a mechanical emergency. Take a look “under the hood” today with the Engine and Propeller online course from the Air Safety Institute.

Upgrade protection with Legal Services Plus level

AOPA’s Legal Services Plan assists with everything from reviewing aviation documents to providing legal representation for airspace incursions and other FAA violations. Now you can receive enhanced coverage with the Legal Services Plus level. The essential level of protection is still available for $33, but members now have the flexibility to choose the level of coverage that best suits their needs. Enrollees in the plus level will receive more representation hours for FAA enforcement actions, aircraft accidents, alcohol or drug tests, aircraft sales and purchase advice, and more. Current enrollees can upgrade coverage at any time. For more information, see the website or call 800/872-2672.

Travel in your future? Consider Emergency Assistance Plus

AOPA’s Emergency Assistance Plus is a worldwide service that provides 24-hour medical assistance and emergency evacuation for travelers. If an accident or illness strikes while you're traveling anywhere in the world, a range of services is available to help you, including air and ground evacuation. Read more >>


First solo aviation achievement plaque from

The first solo can be commemorated with a photo, a cut shirt tail, or a more lasting tribute, such as a solid wood plaque that can be personalized. The plaque measures eight inches by four inches and has a lacquered finish. It sells for $21.99 plus an additional $4 to personalize. Order online from


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: Why is it important to practice short-field approaches and landings when every airport my flight instructor and I have been to so far has a runway that is at least 5,000 feet long?


Answer: The short answer, no pun intended, is that there might be a time in the future that you either will want to land at an airport that has a short field or might be forced to land at one during an emergency. During your continued training your flight instructor will take you to a variety of airports, some of which will require a good short-field approach technique. This means that you will need to have precise, positive control of the airspeed and descent rate in order to achieve a landing that will clear any obstacles and result in little or no floating while allowing the airplane to stop in the shortest possible distance. This type of maximum performance approach and landing takes practice since you will be operating within a confined area with little room for error. For more on the topic, read “Short-field and soft-field landings” on the Flight Training website.


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

How would you react if you woke up in a strange city—and couldn't remember where you were? It happens to professional pilots and flight attendants. Chip Wright explains how he's dealt with the problem 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 electronic advertising manager. 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 Phoenix, Ariz., and Ashburn, Va., June 25 and 26; Memphis, Tenn., July 9 and 10; Jacksonville, Fla., July 16 and 17; and Newark, N.J., and Pittsburgh, Pa., July 23 and 24. 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].

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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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