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March 4, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition' newsletterMarch 4, 2011, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition' newsletter

AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition Volume 11, Issue 9 — MARCH 4, 2011  

In This Issue:
Dream of flight within reach
Cessna, ERAU renew partnership
Explore IFR charts





An instructive arrival

A pilot related a recent learning experience that challenged his knowledge of towered-airport procedures in the AOPA Aviation Forum. Would you be susceptible to the misunderstandings of ground operations and communications revealed by the story?

After landing at an unfamiliar airport, the pilot received instructions to taxi to the end of the runway and turn left for the terminal. “Later the same day (while the same tower controller was on duty) I landed on the same runway with the same destination in mind. The controller said ‘Exit when able.’ Since he had cleared me earlier to the end of the runway, I again taxied to the end of the runway and in the process switched to ground frequency.”

As the pilot approached the hold-short line, “the controller radioed and asked me if I was ‘on line.’ (Evidently he had tried to contact me on the tower frequency.) When I said I was he (politely) chewed me out for taking so much time to exit the runway and that other traffic was held up as a consequence.”

Credit the controller for calling the errors to the pilot’s attention in a nonconfrontational manner that helped the pilot see the consequences of his actions.

The term “when able”—also used in conjunction with departure instructions such as a turn to an assigned heading after takeoff—was discussed in the March 2, 2007, Training Tip. It appears in the Pilot/Controller Glossary and conveys a need for prompt compliance after a condition such as clearing an obstruction after takeoff is resolved.

Study the glossary carefully. One of its valuable features is that it conveys “specific procedural expectations” of terms crucial to safety.

When should a pilot switch frequencies from tower to ground control? The Dec. 10 Final Exam question addressed both issues confronted by this pilot, citing the Aeronautical Information Manual. “ Chapter 4-3-20 states that after landing and slowing to taxi speed, a pilot should exit the runway at the first available taxiway or at the taxiway instructed by ATC.” On switching frequencies: “Also, keep your radio on the tower frequency until you are told to contact ground control.”

Review the lessons of this instructive episode by taking the Air Safety Institute ATC Terminology Safety Quiz, honing your skill in ground operations and communications. You may also wish to review the online Say It Right course for an overall look at radio terminology.


If you don’t fly out of a towered airport, the prospect of visiting one can be intimidating. But if you know what to expect, your trip there and your experience with tower controllers will be greatly simplified. For a helpful primer, see the Air Safety Institute’s Operations at Towered Airports Safety Advisor.


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.


Dream of flight within reach

Two years after giving away a Piper Archer II at the International Women in Aviation conference, AOPA President Craig Fuller had another award for a woman at the 2011 conference: a chance to achieve her dream of flight. Fuller presented the AOPA Student Pilot Scholarship to Krista Crandall of Thornton, Colo., on Feb. 24, at WAI’s gathering in Reno, Nev. Read more >>

WAI awards nearly $700,000 in scholarships

At the twenty-second annual International Women in Aviation conference in Reno, Nev., the association handed out 76 scholarships worth $691,750 to members. Scholarship recipients ranged from college students to mature individuals seeking a mid-life career change to aviation. The 2012 conference will be held in Dallas from March 8 through 12. For more information, see the website.

Cessna, ERAU renew partnership

Cessna Aircraft Co. and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University agreed on Feb. 25 to continue their relationship in which Cessna is the school’s exclusive supplier of single-engine noncomplex aircraft. The agreement covers 2011 to 2017, and could lead to orders for more than 50 Cessna Skyhawks over its duration. ERAU has already purchased 196 Skyhawks from 1997 through 2010.

Calif. bill could ease certification fears

A bill to alleviate stringent requirements for California flight schools enacted last year was introduced Feb. 18. California Senate Bill 619 would exempt all individual flight instructors and flight schools that don’t collect money up front. Read more >>

Explore IFR charts

Getting an instrument rating opens up a whole new world of flying, and brings its own special challenges. One of them is learning how to use IFR charts. If you’d like a peek into the more structured world of instrument flying (and its more abstract charts), the Air Safety Institute’s free IFR Insights: Charts online course is a good place to start. You’ll learn about the unique symbology of IFR charts and see how they fit into a typical flight. Take the course >>

Inside AOPA

Stack the deck favorably with aircraft flash cards

Professional pilots often use aircraft-specific flash cards to review systems and procedures anytime, anywhere. Well, if they’re good enough for the pros, then why not for you? With a little help from the Air Safety Institute, you now have a clever way to quickly review aircraft speeds, systems, profiles, and emergency procedures. Once you copy that information from the pilot’s operating handbook onto the cards it will be at your fingertips at home and work, in the hangar, and in the cockpit. Download your cards >>

Fit to fly

One in three American adults has high blood pressure, and that number is growing each year. The risk of high blood pressure increases with age, but physical activity is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent or control it. Read more >>

Save up to $25 off your AOPA Sun ’n Fun rental with Hertz

Save $5 a day, up to $25 off your AOPA Sun ’n Fun rental with Hertz when you include PC# 144771 in your reservation. Plus, you will receive your standard member discount, as well as all the other Hertz benefits. This special offer is valid one week before through one week after the event dates. Reserve your car today. By choosing AOPA member products you help to Rally GA by funding the association’s daily efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of general aviation.


iPad GPS with Bluetooth

The GNS 5870 MFI is an Apple-approved GPS for use with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. The unit’s Bluetooth capability means it connects to your iPad wirelessly and lets you run such apps as Foreflight or WingX with a moving-map display. The unit’s rechargeable battery is said to last 10 hours. It sells for $129.95 from Sporty’s Pilot Shop.


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: How does weight affect takeoff and landing performance?


Answer: How much an airplane weighs at takeoff or landing can certainly have a significant impact on performance. A heavier airplane will use more of the available runway length while accelerating to a safe takeoff speed. The greater mass takes more time to get moving and in turn eats up valuable real estate. Landing distance also increases as the weight of an airplane increases because a higher speed is required to support the airplane at the landing angle of attack. More weight also means less climb performance, higher fuel consumption, and reduced range. For more on the topic, read the safety article “ Calculating Weight and Balance in Advance.”


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

It’s a sudden and stark change for the families of aspiring airline pilots when Mom or Dad is gone for days, Chip Wright explains in the latest Flight Training blog.

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an IT department coordinator/help desk, aviation technical specialist, director of legislative affairs, and manager of aviation security. 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 Phoenix, Ariz., Orlando, Fla., and Baltimore, Md., March 12 and 13; Burlingame, Calif., and King of Prussia, Pa., March 19 and 20; Atlanta, Ga., Indianapolis, Ind., and Boston, Mass., April 2 and 3; San Diego, Calif., Denver, Colo., and Salt Lake City, Utah, April 9 and 10. 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 Rochester, Minn., and Portland, Ore., March 7; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Seattle, Wash., March 8; Bedford, Mass., and Bellevue, Neb., March 9; Olathe, Kan., March 10; Ypsilanti, Mich., March 14; Cleveland, Ohio, March 15; Columbus, Ohio, March 16; Northbrook, Ill., and Indianapolis, Ind., March 21; Birmingham, Ala., and Bolingbrook, Ill., March 22; Marietta, Ga., Rockford, Ill., and Gaithersburg, Md., March 23; St. Louis, Mo., March 24; Lakeland, Fla., March 31. 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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