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Jan. 13, 2012, issue of 'AOPA' ePilot: Flight Training Edition'Jan. 13, 2012, issue of 'AOPA' ePilot: Flight Training Edition'

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 2 — January 13, 2012



Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Sponsored by:

Training Tips

Winter nights

Training TipGot your night flying done yet?

Now is the time of year to nail down those requirements for the private pilot certificate. Under the regulations you must have three hours of night flight training in a single-engine airplane that includes one cross-country flight of more than 100 nautical miles total distance, and "10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport" to be eligible for night-flying privileges. The Air Safety Institute’s Night Flying Safety Spotlight will help you to review some special considerations for planning and executing a night flight.

Three hours will give you a taste of night flight, but hardly a complete survey. So it’s not automatically a good idea to log all the required night training in one long evening session. Dividing it into multiple missions broadens your experience, and avoids fatigue.

Launching on the initial night flight at dusk and continuing under moonlight is an ideal introduction. Next time, move on to darker skies and more challenging surface winds. This lesson plan offers night-flight preparation pointers.

As for that 100-nm cross-country flight: Select a route by giving possible destinations careful review. Note what kind of lighting exists at planned stops. Research how to operate any pilot-controlled lighting system.

If you selected a towered airport, check hours of tower operation. If the tower is closed when you arrive, what airspace class will be in effect?

Build a strong margin of obstacle clearance into your selection of a cruise altitude, with forecast cloud levels also to be considered. Keep night fuel-reserve requirements in mind when calculating your requirements.

Will you overfly or pass near other airports en route? That's good insurance in the event of an emergency.

Expect to rely much more on your attitude-control instruments under night VFR conditions. Keep a running check on weather—ahead and behind—paying attention to any narrowing temperature/dew-point spread. That spread is your early warning about formation of fog.

Certain optical illusions are characteristic of night flight. Also, crosswinds may seem more pronounced with fewer visual references by which to judge their intensity.

Practicing those 10 (or more) takeoffs and landings will be exhilarating—and light traffic may give you more options. Your instructor may have you land once or twice without your landing light—good experience, and landing lights do sometimes fail.

Enjoy the beauty of night flight, while moving your training forward.

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Flight Training News

Able Flight to train wounded Marine

Adam Kisielewski came home from Iraq in 2005 minus his left arm and his right leg below the knee. With the help of his fighting spirit and the wonders of modern battlefield medicine, he is moving on to a longtime goal. He will soon begin pursuing the dream of flight thanks to a training scholarship provided by Able Flight, an organization that seeks to help people with disabilities. Kisielewski lives in Frederick, Md., and flew with AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman in the 2012 Tougher than a Tornado Sweepstakes Husky.

Liberty University dismantling helicopter program

Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., will disband its helicopter flight training program this year, just four years after the program was launched. Officials cited low student interest and limited job opportunities for helicopter pilots. Meanwhile, the university will expand its program on unmanned aircraft systems, according to a report in the Lynchburg News & Advance. Liberty's school of aeronautics reports more than 600 enrollees.

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.

How well do you know aircraft engines?

Compared to the ultra-refined, practically maintenance-free engines in cars these days, most aircraft powerplants are serious attention hogs. From tricky hot- and cold-start procedures to the vagaries of cruise power settings, leaning, and temperature management, there's just a lot more to think about. Are you an expert on aircraft engine operations? Test yourself with this week's Air Safety Institute safety quiz.

Santa Monica flight schools to limit nighttime takeoffs and landings

The six flight schools that operate at Santa Monica Municipal Airport in Santa Monica, Calif., volunteered to reduce the number of nighttime takeoffs and landings. The schools have been the target of many complaints from neighborhood groups. In December, the flight schools said renters and instructors will not make repeated takeoffs and landings after 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday until March. Repeated takeoffs and landings would cease after 8 p.m. on Sundays throughout the year, according to

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Training Resources

Becoming a pilot means more than knowing how to control the aircraft after the wheels leave the ground. Nearly every flight begins and ends on a runway, and understanding how to navigate to that runway safely is an essential skill for every pilot to master. Take the Runway Safety online course from the Air Safety Institute and learn more about avoiding runway incursions as well as tips for making the transition from the ramp to the air a little easier.


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.

Are you an iPad pilot? Sporty’s has you covered!

Sporty’s is iPad headquarters, with the best selection of aviation apps, kneeboards, GPSs, mounts and accessories. And for exclusive tips and tricks, read our FAQ, watch our webinar and sign up for our email newsletter. It’s all at:


Mission pilot’s airplane gets an ‘Extreme Makeover’

Joe Hurston's Cessna Skymaster It’s likely you’ve never heard of Joe Hurston, president of Air Mobile Ministries, or the efforts he makes to fly water purification and other supplies to Haiti. But you’ve probably heard of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the ABC television show. The popular program did a top-to-bottom refurbishment of Hurston’s house—he now has a home office that resembles the interior of a Boeing 737. And his Cessna Skymaster, which the Haitian locals have dubbed “Ti Burik” (that means “Little Donkey”), got an amazing makeover too. See it all in the AOPA Live® video >>

Career Pilot

Cargo pilots challenge FAA rest rules

The Independent Pilots Association, which represents pilots for UPS, on Dec. 22 filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals challenging the FAA's exclusion of cargo operations from the new flight and duty time rules. "To potentially allow fatigued cargo pilots to share the same skies with properly rested passenger pilots creates an unnecessary threat to public safety," said Capt. Robert Travis, IPA president. "We can do better." Pilot union leaders at UPS and FedEx sent a joint letter to President Barack Obama strongly opposing any cargo exemption from proposed new regulations.

Study finds link between airline profitability, accident rates

Airlines' accident risk is highest when they are performing very close to their financial targets, according to a study by Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management. "The accident risk went down as they got further away from their financial goals in either direction," said Peter Madsen, assistant professor of organizational leadership and strategy. The study, which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Management, looked at 133 U.S. airlines from 1990 to 2007.

Plane Spotter

Lake amphibian: Eye-catching seaplane

Lake Amphibian Renegade Few aircraft are so visually striking that they will cause an airport visitor to point their way—no matter what other aircraft may be available for inspection nearby. The Lake amphibian is surely one of them. A retractable single with a hull instead of a belly, it has a pusher prop mounted high on the fuselage (to keep it out of the spray). The Lake 250 Renegade is the most common model of the estimated 1,300 Lake Aircraft products flying today. The first of these aircraft flew in 1948.

Training Products

‘Then and Now: How airplanes got this way’ by Phil Scott

Longtime AOPA Pilot and Flight Training contributor Phil Scott has published a collection of historical essays that take a lighthearted look at aircraft through history. He explains why an airplane can stall with its engine running at full speed; who invented rudder pedals, ailerons, and the fuselage; and much more. Sporty's is taking advance orders for the book, which will sell for $19.95. Order online or call 800/776-7897 (800/SPORTYS).


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

Insurance to protect flight instructors

Flight instructors are a valuable and critical resource to the future of general aviation. As such, AOPA wants to protect them. The AOPA Insurance Agency offers a practical level of insurance coverage that can protect flight instructors in the event of a loss when teaching in someone else's aircraft, or afterward—if named in a lawsuit for instruction previously given. Read more >>

AOPA's WorldPoints MasterCard becomes a networking tool

AOPA member Peter Dekker used his AOPA WorldPoints MasterCard card to buy wood pellets for his home's stove and ended up finding a partner for the Piper Archer II he flies with his wife. Read more >>


Your aviation goals

The new year is here. What are your flying dreams and aspirations for 2012? More importantly, what will you do to see them to fruition? Flight Training Associate Editor Jill W. Tallman shares some goal-setting strategies from motivational speaker Zig Ziglar to help get you going in this week’s Flight Training blog.

Special VFR

As a student pilot, you’re learning that special VFR allows pilots to fly in lower visibility in controlled airspace. Would you be surprised to learn that rotary-wing pilots have different requirements for special VFR? Tim McAdams explains the differences in this week’s Hover Power blog.

Bose® A20® Aviation Headset

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AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a corporate partnership coordinator, chief flight instructor, director of corporate finance, manager of flight training programs, 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!

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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: How soon after passing the practical test for the private pilot certificate may I exercise the privileges of that certificate?


Answer: You may do so immediately. After you pass the practical test, the designated pilot examiner will issue you a temporary airman certificate. This certificate allows you to exercise the privileges of your private pilot certificate with the appropriate ratings and/or limitations. The temporary certificate is an interim one, subject to the approval of the FAA pending the issuance of your permanent certificate. You should receive your permanent certificate within 120 days.


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.

Experience the Garmin 3-D Audio Difference

Advanced audio processing in Garmin’s GMA 350/350H audio panel helps you differentiate between the audio inputs coming into your headset. When multiple COM radio sources are monitored, they seem to come from different locations around you. Try the demo today.

Instrument Tip

IFR Fix: Not on speaking terms

IFR Fix: Not on speaking terms Beginning an instrument flight while temporarily out of touch with air traffic control is no mystery. If departing a nontowered airport with a clearance delivery frequency, you may receive instructions with a frequency to use when airborne and an assigned heading for entering controlled airspace. Or, you may file with flight service and get a clearance void time. You also can depart VFR and pick up your clearance aloft. But all of these methods have their down sides—and this week’s tip delves into what can go wrong. Read more >>


Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

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.

Feb. 11 and 12

Melbourne, Fla.

Louisville, Ky.

New Orleans, La.

Las Vegas, Nev.

Fairfax, Va.


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

Jan. 17

Raymond, Miss.

Addison, Texas


Jan. 18

Baton Rouge, La.

Fort Worth, Texas

Jan. 23

San Diego, Calif.

Jan. 24

Costa Mesa, Calif.

Houston, Texas





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

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Topics: AOPA, Cross Country, Safety and Education

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