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Feb. 17, 2012, issue of 'AOPA' ePilot: Flight Training Edition'Feb. 17, 2012, issue of 'AOPA' ePilot: Flight Training Edition'

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 7 — February 17, 2012

No time to improvise
AOPA launches student support tool
Plane Spotter: Beechcraft Bonanza
Final Exam: Solo and cross-country


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Training Tips

No time to improvise

Training TipThe Feb. 10 "Training Tip: A tailwind on base" stressed the importance of being able to foresee wind conditions in the traffic pattern that could cause you to overshoot the turn to the final approach. Visualize the conditions ahead of time, and then add the needed wind correction angle, avoiding messy or unsafe maneuvers.

What if your corrections just don't get the job done? As you roll out of your base leg you realize that you have drifted well downwind of the extended runway centerline. There you are, descending at approach airspeed, either partially or fully configured for landing, at low altitude. Can the approach be saved?

Here's a better question: Should the approach be saved?

It may be of some comfort to learn that every pilot overshoots a final turn or two while learning how to recognize and avoid the conditions that cause the problem. And by an overshoot let's define the term as something of greater concern than a slightly inaccurate turn to final that requires only minor adjustments with shallow bank angles.

For many new pilots, a full-blown overshoot—one readily noticeable from the ramp or the tower, for instance—is one of the first situations that pits their judgment about safe flying against the equally powerful urge to "save" the landing attempt.

Set pride aside. Go around!

There's no need to court trouble down low with excessive (and almost certainly uncoordinated) maneuvering. Remember that even if you succeed in scuttling back to the extended centerline, you must still realign the aircraft's longitudinal axis for landing.

Meanwhile, what's happening to your vertical profile? The distractions have likely left your aircraft too high from failure to readjust power, or too low as a result of excessive maneuvering. Either way, your formerly stabilized approach is history.

At a tower-controlled airport, don't shrink from informing the controller of your need to abandon the approach. He or she may already have spotted the problem, and will calmly issue new instructions—perhaps an upwind traffic-pattern re-entry.

At a nontowered airport, first focus on flying the airplane, and then make your announcement on the common traffic advisory frequency.

Quick quiz: Can you recite your trainer's balked-landing procedure from memory, right now?

Chair-flying a go-around or two before supper tonight may pay dividends in the traffic pattern if the need ever arises.

Flight Training News

AOPA launches student pilot support tool

Students have a powerful new tool available to help them track the progress of their flight training with AOPA's new MyFlightTraining website. MyFlightTraining takes the content of Flight Training magazine and personalizes it for students at any stage in the flight training curriculum. The site is based on the feedback AOPA received in its research about the ideal flight training experience. That report found that students have an overwhelming desire for information about the overall flight training process, access to ongoing resources, and a sense of community, among other things. Read more >>

Siblings solo at Sporty's Academy

Sporty's Academy at Clermont County Airport in Cincinnati celebrated back-to-back solos of two brothers earlier this month. Will and Andrew Gilliland soloed a Cessna 172 within one hour of each other. The brothers are enrolled in the University of Cincinnati's aviation technology/professional pilot training program. And, just in case you were wondering: Will was the first to solo.

Girls with Wings adds 'Dreams Take Flight' scholarship

Girls with Wings, an organization that promotes girls' interest in aviation, has added a second opportunity to its 2012 scholarship offerings. The $500 "Dreams Take Flight" scholarship is intended to fund introductory flight training to encourage achievement of a stated goal, whether as a pilot or in another field of study in aviation. There is no prerequisite for flight training to apply. Also available is a $1,000 scholarship for a woman who has soloed but has not completed private pilot training. The deadline to apply is March 31. For more information, see the website.

Not all precipitation is created equal

Each type of precipitation has its own hazards. For VFR pilots, rain can reduce visibility to nearly zero. And even if marginal VFR conditions exist, freezing rain may still be a consideration. Regardless of the type of precipitation you may find yourself in, it's important to know what you can expect and how to handle it. Take the Air Safety Institute's WeatherWise: Precipitation and Icing online course and learn some tips on when to expect precipitation problems, how to deal with them, and how to avoid them.

Training Resources

As snowflakes drift down gently upon the tarmac, blanketing your airplane, why not settle down with some hot chocolate and the Air Safety Institute's Cold Facts: Wing Contamination Safety Brief for tips on effectively dealing with snow, frost, and ice removal? Learn how to carefully and completely remove frost and snow during preflight, and why it's important. Then bundle up, put your plan in action, and remember to look for ice, which may have formed below the snow!


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.


College aviation's Sugar Bowl

National Intercollegiate Flying Association Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference If you were tasked with a short-field landing or to find as many discrepancies as possible in a preflight inspection, would you be up to the challenge? How about if you were asked to take out that E6B and put it to work? Each year the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SafeCon) challenges teams of aviation students who put their skills to the test in flying and ground events. Check out a short-field landing and watch as students comb a Cessna Skyhawk for discrepancies in this AOPA Live® video.

Career Pilot

All-China pilot job fairs to be held in Miami, Las Vegas

Pan Am International Flight Academy will host two job fairs focused on Chinese airlines in February. The first event will be held Feb. 23 and 24 at Pan Am's headquarters at Miami International Airport. The second will be held Feb. 26 at Pan Am's Las Vegas training center in Henderson, Nev. Participating airlines include Air China, Business Aviation Asia, Chengdu Airlines, and Hainan Airlines. At least 12 airlines will have representatives on hand to conduct interviews. Qualified applicants may receive on-the-spot conditional offers for jobs in the Boeing 777, Boeing 747-400, Boeing 767, Boeing 737NG and EFIS, Airbus A340, Airbus A330, Airbus A320, Embraer EMB190, and Embraer EMB145. For more information or to register, see the website or call 877/394-2118.

Southwest, AirTran flight attendants ratify seniority integration agreement

Flight attendants from Southwest Airlines, represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) 556, and AirTran Airways, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) Council 57, have voted to ratify their seniority integration agreement, Southwest announced Jan. 31. The agreement, reached tentatively late in 2011, integrates the two groups' seniority lists. Southwest Airlines finalized closing on its acquisition of AirTran Holdings Inc. on May 2, 2011. The TWU represents about 9,800 Southwest flight attendants, and the AFA represents almost 2,400 AirTran flight attendants. Pilots have completed the seniority integration negotiation process, and mechanics from both airlines are reviewing their tentative agreement.

World Airways, North American Airlines reorganizing

Global Aviation Holdings Inc., the parent company of World Airways Inc. and North American Airlines Inc., announced Feb. 5 that it has commenced a voluntary reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The company said the move was necessary to achieve a competitive cost and debt structure, adding that the company and its subsidiaries will continue to operate normally. Global, through its World Airways and North American Airlines subsidiaries, is the largest provider of military transport services through the Air Mobility Command.

Plane Spotter

V-tail Bonanza: Iconic performer

Beechcraft Model 35 Bonanza The first question is "What?" but you will quickly move on to "Why?" and "How?" after catching your first sight of a single-engine Beechcraft Model 35 Bonanza—the famous V-tail Bonanza. You may even learn some new design terminology, because the V-shaped tail employs control surfaces known as ruddervators, combining the functions of conventional rudders and elevators with less weight and drag penalties on performance. Forward of the tail, these airplanes built until 1982 are easily recognizable as members of the Bonanza family of retractable-gear, four- to six-place airplanes.

Training Products

‘Flying the Tail Wheel Airplane’

Learning to fly in a conventional-gear airplane, or interested in making the switch? A new book, Flying the Tail Wheel Airplane by Jim Alsip, offers step-by-step instructions that gradually build in complexity as the book progresses. Photographs from the cockpit illustrate key points and principles and serve to emphasize stick-and-rudder skills from the pilot's perspective. Alsip is a Master CFI and charter member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators and provides tailwheel and aerobatic instruction in a Super Decathlon. The book is available on


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.

Member Benefits

Savings every day with the AOPA Car Rental Discount Program

Pocket some savings with the AOPA Car Rental Discount Program. If you're renting a car from Alamo, Avis, Enterprise, or Hertz, be sure to use your AOPA discount code to save up to 25 percent. Plus, with money-saving coupons such as free rental days and upgrades, you could see your AOPA membership pay for itself. To ensure you're receiving the AOPA car rental discount, make your reservation directly through the AOPA website. Can't remember the discount code? No problem—when you reserve your car through the links provided, the code is pre-filled for you. A portion of all revenue generated will be returned to AOPA and reinvested to fund the association's efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of general aviation. Visit the website for more details.


That wasn't in the brochure

Chip Wright thought his airline job would take him to an endless series of exotic warm-weather locales. And for a while, as he was based in Florida, that was true. And then he got transferred to Cincinnati. Enter the real world of airline flying. Read more in this week’s Flight Training blog.

Heading home from Oshkosh

Flying in an open-cockpit Maxair Drifter, Arty Trost has to make sure things don't go flying out of her aircraft—so she turns to simple fixes like a rubber band around her thigh to keep her sectional in place. Read more about Arty's trip home from EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., in this week’s Let's Go Flying blog.

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an online product manager, marketing specialist–products, aviation education program developer, accounting manager, and associate editor–Web/ ePilot. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.


Picture Perfect

AOPA’s online photo gallery allows you to upload your own aviation photography as well as view, rate, and comment on others’ photos. Your favorite aviation images from AOPA Pilot are still available online through this new gallery. Take a look, and submit your own photos!

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RSS feed Subscribe to the RSS feed

Picture Perfect


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.

Final Exam

Question: As a student pilot, once I solo, am I automatically allowed to make cross-country flights?


Answer: No. Your flight instructor must first determine that you are qualified and ready to conduct a cross-country flight. Once the instructor is satisfied you are competent to do so, he or she will endorse your student pilot certificate. An initial solo cross-country flight endorsement is also required to be entered in your logbook. Prior to the cross-country flight, an instructor must have reviewed your preflight planning and preparation for the solo flight and determined that the flight can be made safely under the known circumstances and conditions. The instructor must endorse your logbook prior to each cross-country flight, stating that you are considered competent to make the flight. Under certain conditions, an instructor may also authorize repeated solo flights over a given route. For more on endorsements see Advisory Circular 61-65E.


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.

Instrument Tip

IFR Fix: The case of the misplaced planet

They're called unusual attitudes for a reason, and they can sneak up on you in instrument conditions when you least expect it. Ride along with an instrument pilot and flight instructor in this week's "IFR Fix" and see what happens when somebody checks on backseat passengers. It's amazing how quickly things can start to get out of hand. Read more >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Feb. 18 and 19

Fort Worth, Texas

Feb. 24 and 25

Puyallup, Wash.


Feb. 25 and 26

Sacramento, Calif.

Nashua, N.H.

Oklahoma City, Okla.

March 3 and 4

Ontario, Calif.

San Mateo, Calif.

Virginia Beach, Va.


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

Can’t make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.

Feb. 20

Ocala, Fla.

Eugene, Ore.

Feb. 21

Tampa, Fla.

Portland, Ore.

Feb. 22

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Seattle, Wash.

Feb. 23

Melbourne, Fla.

Spokane, Wash.



Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

AOPA ePilot Team

ePilot Flight Training Editor:
Jill W. Tallman

ePilot Editor:
Sarah Brown

Contributors: Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore
Warren Morningstar
Alton K. Marsh

Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Ian J. Twombly
Dan Namowitz

Production Team: Melissa Whitehouse
Siobhan Byrne
Lezlie Ramsey
William Rockenbaugh
Mitch Mitchell

Advertise in ePilot:
East: Mike Vodarsik, 732/946-0130
Central: Brian Curpier, 607/547-2591
Central: Gary Brennan, 607/547-2591
West: Zane Lewis, 214/789-6094

AOPA Advertising website

Member Tools: Send feedback | ePilot Archive

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