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Jan. 06, 2012, issue of 'AOPA' ePilot: Flight Training Edition'Jan. 06, 2012, issue of 'AOPA' ePilot: Flight Training Edition'

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 1 — January 6, 2012

The fifth level
Namesake pursues Earhart’s dream
Plane Spotter: Mooney
Final Exam: Maximum zero fuel weight


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Sponsored by:

Training Tips

The fifth level

Training TipIt’s said that a student pilot moves through four levels of learning: rote, understanding, application, and correlation. There’s a fifth level: inspiration.

You can see it when a professional pilot, reminiscing about his early days in a general aviation trainer, expresses gratitude for how his first instructor imparted crosswind-landing skills, delivered key pointers about aircraft performance or aerodynamics, or made tackling tough tasks a treat.

Inspiration shines through when a newly certificated flight instructor reflects on the understanding she acquired about a tricky commercial-pilot maneuver, and the tips she received from an experienced colleague about how to get a stressed-out student pilot to release that death grip on the controls.

Flight training covers an extraordinary volume of information. But it’s the inspiration we remember best and talk about most when someone wants to know what drew us to aviation—and whether it kept its initial promise.

With inspiration comes motivation—and a new year provides a natural opportunity to assess your training, itemize issues in need of attention, and recapture any slowed momentum toward your goal.

Obviously, your flight instructor is a big part of this assessment, and much advice can be found on how to evaluate the health of your student-instructor dynamic. Here’s a basic checklist for making that evaluation: Will you remember your CFI for the inspiration and insights you gained? Or will the recollections be marked by canceled lessons, showboating, poor preparation, and similar disappointments?

You’ve come too far to walk away—and there’s no reason why you should—so act on any concern. Have a talk. Get a second opinion. Take a phase check. Change to a more suitable aircraft. The remedies are many, and they work.

So, here’s a tougher question: Are you holding up your end of the bargain? Answer yes if you prepare with sincerity for lessons, hit the books for ground school or self-study, can accept honest critique without taking offense, and do your part to move the program forward.

Instructors have great power to inspire students. Would it surprise you to read that inspiration is a two-way street?

Many students, by their enthusiasm, their focus, and their perseverance, remind flight instructors how inspiring their chosen profession can be.

Keep the tradition going in 2012!

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Flight Training News

Namesake launches in Earhart’s footsteps

Denver TV news reporter Amelia Rose Earhart took off Dec. 26 on the first leg of a flight designed to re-create some of the milestones that led to her famous ancestor’s 1937 attempt to fly around the world. Flying a Cirrus SR22, Earhart plans to conduct several long-distance flights in preparation for her own attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a single-engine airplane. Read more >>

FAA publishes certification rule correction

The FAA has issued a technical amendment correcting and clarifying three areas of a final rule published on Aug. 21, 2009, pertaining to pilot, flight instructor, and pilot school recertification. The provision clarifies instrument proficiency requirements, and also clarifies the FAA’s intent for use of flight simulation training devices for training and testing when seeking to add a type certificate. Read more >>

FREE Video Tip! — Courses for Beginner to Pro!

Click for a Free Video Training Tip and find a course to achieve your next goal, or to make your flying safer and more rewarding. Not sure? Call us at 800-854-1001 and talk to one of our pilot training advisors.

K-State Salina expands fleet

The aviation program at Kansas State University-Salina took delivery of five Cessna 172 Skyhawks in November. The aircraft are equipped with Garmin G1000 avionics and autopilots. K-State’s fleet currently numbers more than 40 aircraft. Students were able to fly the new aircraft for their final two weeks of classes for the fall term.

New NAFI insurance option available for CFIs

Flight instructors who instruct in aircraft they don’t own have a new insurance option from the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) and Avemco Insurance Co. The two organizations announced the NAFI CFI Insurance Program on Jan. 1. Read more >>

Maryland flight schools add LSAs

Chesapeake Sport Pilot, located at Bay Bridge Airport in Stevensville, Md., recently added a Remos GX to its fleet of mostly Tecnam light sport aircraft. The Remos rents for $105 per hour wet. At Freeway Airport in Mitchellville, Freeway Aviation has acquired a Cessna 162 Skycatcher, and also a Redbird Flight Simulations full-motion simulator. The Skycatcher’s hourly wet rate is $99.

Your IFR rating in 10 days at your location … IFR finish-up in as little as 3 days!

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Training Resources

Good radio communication skills are important when navigating our busy national airspace, and they can make you a safer pilot. But student pilots often find talking on the radio—to ATC or even over the common traffic advisory frequency—intimidating. Take the Air Safety Institute’s Say It Right: Mastering Radio Communication online course, sponsored by Lightspeed Aviation, and learn how easy talking on the radio can be.


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.

Try Garmin Pilot My-Cast for iPad free for 30 days

Garmin Pilot My-Cast® brings extensive aviation weather, flight planning, charts, navigation and electronic flight bag capabilities to mobile devices. Try it free for 30 days from the iTunes® App Store, or visit our website to learn more.


Pilots overgross

Did you resolve to lose weight in 2012? (Who hasn’t?) If lowering your gross weight is on your agenda, take a look at this presentation from AOPA Aviation Summit 2011. AOPA’s medical counsel, Dr. Jonathan Sackier, discusses healthy ways to take off pounds as well as the benefits you’ll gain from achieving a healthy lifestyle. Watch AOPA Live® >>

Career Pilot

Delta announces new domestic hub at LaGuardia

Delta Air Lines announced Dec. 16 its schedule for a new domestic hub at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The carrier said it would significantly expand its service at the airport, adding more than 100 new flights and 29 new destinations. Delta said the hub will be the largest single expansion by any carrier at LaGuardia in decades, increasing flights by more than 60 percent. The carrier said it will operate 264 daily flights from the airport by summer.

Flight attendants praise mediation board decision

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has upheld a National Mediation Board decision to stop assigning “no” votes to workers who do not participate in union elections. “This decision confirms that the National Mediation Board has full and absolute authority to bring democracy to union elections in their jurisdiction,” the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) said. “We urge Congress to move forward with a clean, long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration.” AFA represents nearly 60,000 flight attendants at 24 airlines.

Plane Spotter

Mooney: Sleek and swift

Mooney Acclaim If it’s a sleek low-wing single-engine airplane that sits low on its retractable gear, make a quick check for one more telltale detail, and then pronounce the aircraft a member of the Mooney family. That detail is a vertical tail with a straight leading edge and a swept trailing edge that gives it a distinctive turned-around look. The design has been a Mooney constant. Mooneys have a reputation for speed and efficiency compared to other aircraft with the same horsepower. The Mooney Acclaim took Mooney speeds to a new level.

Training Products

Noral flight bags at now offers the Noral line of pilot flight bags. Prices range from $35 for the Super Headset Bag to $137 for the CFI/IFR Pilot Flight Bag. See the website for more information; call 800/249-5730 for telephone orders.


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

Two more discounts for AOPA members

The AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts Program now includes special offers from Sony Creative Software and Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. AOPA members can check out all 19 discounts now available as a free, core membership benefit online.


No more falling asleep on the job

Final rules from the FAA overhauling rest and duty requirements for airline pilots have been released. Chip Wright explains why these changes are long overdue, and the impact they’ll have on safety, in this week’s Flight Training blog.

At AirVenture, Oshkosh

What’s it like to fly a light sport aircraft to the largest aviation gathering in the United States? Arty Trost flew her Maxair Drifter to Oshkosh, Wis., in July to find out, and experienced a fire in the cockpit almost immediately after parking. Read more in the Let’s Go Flying blog.

Bose® A20® Aviation Headset

The best we’ve ever made
Bose was the first to introduce active noise reducing headsets to aviation more than 20 years ago, forever changing the way pilots fly. Today, we continue to set the standard with the Bose A20 Aviation Headset. The headset provides acclaimed noise reduction, with a comfortable fit and the clear audio you expect from Bose. It also features Bluetooth® connectivity, an auxiliary audio input and priority switching Learn more >

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a director of corporate finance, manager of flight training programs, online product manager, AOPA Live producer/videojournalist, associate editor–Web/ ePilot, and aviation technical specialist. 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!

Picture Perfect

Facebook Become a fan

RSS feed Subscribe to the RSS feed


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: I am learning to fly in a Piper Cherokee Six. My instructor has mentioned the term “maximum zero fuel weight” a couple of times, although we have not really discussed it yet. Can you shed some light on the subject?


Answer: Some aircraft have a limit on how much they can weigh prior to adding any usable fuel or oil. That maximum weight limit is referred to as the “maximum zero fuel weight.” It includes the total weight after adding the basic empty weight of the aircraft plus passengers and cargo. The exact number can be found in the aircraft type certificate data sheet or the aircraft flight manual. Once fuel is added, the total weight will need to be calculated in order to confirm that the maximum takeoff weight is not exceeded. Read more in this article from AOPA Pilot.


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.

Aspen’s Visionary New Year’s Deal.

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Instrument Tip

IFR Fix: Just take me home

When you’ve been practicing (and practicing) approaches to your home airport, eventually they can become as familiar and comfortable as an old shoe. That is, until your CFII tweaks the approach by amending little details—such as the heading you’ll use to the initial approach fix and the IAF itself—until it’s as if you’re flying to a different airport. Don’t believe it? Read more >>

Are you IFR proficient?

Air Safety Institute IFR Flight Safety Spotlight As you climb through the last layers of rain and clouds, a sunny sky unfolds ahead and you congratulate yourself on staying IFR current. But, are you proficient? For an extra safety boost, let the Air Safety Institute’s IFR Flight Safety Spotlight prime you with critical weather considerations before your next flight into IMC. You’ll learn what’s behind air masses and frontal boundaries and get a better understanding of where you may encounter the worst icing in clouds. Take this one-stop IFR safety briefing now >>


Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Jan. 7 and 8

Baltimore, Md.

Ypsilanti, Mich.

Portland, Ore.

San Antonio, Texas

Jan. 14 and 15

Long Beach, Calif.

Jackson, Miss.

Charlotte, N.C.

Jan. 21 and 22

San Jose, Calif.

Bellevue, Wash.

Jan. 28 and 29

Sevierville, Tenn.


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

Jan. 9

Mesa, Ariz.

Reno, Nev.



Jan. 10

Tucson, Ariz.

Sacramento, Calif.

Jan. 11

Milpitas, Calif.

El Paso, Texas

Jan. 12

Santa Rosa, Calif.

Albuquerque, N.M.


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

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Topics: AOPA, Pilot Training and Certification, Communication

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