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Mar. 23, 2012, issue of 'AOPA' ePilot: Flight Training Edition'Mar. 23, 2012, issue of 'AOPA' ePilot: Flight Training Edition'

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 12 — March 23, 2012

The long-field method
Combat veteran solos modified LSA
Plane Spotter: STOL aircraft
Final Exam: Flying to the Bahamas


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Training Tips

The long-field method

Training TipNothing beats making an arrival at an unfamiliar airport with an extra-long runway as a way to cap off a demanding cross-country flight. Easy to spot from the air, and requiring only normal landing technique, that long strip of pavement eases your workload and relieves some of the natural uncertainty student pilots may feel about landing someplace new.

That’s not to say that a long runway comes without its unique set of demands and considerations.

Arriving from the north at New Hampshire’s Portsmouth International Airport, you find that the general aviation apron is all the way at the opposite end. That’s a long taxi, so take your time and don’t rush things. The taxi route is straightforward; at some airports navigating a daunting ground route will go smoothly if you request progressive taxi instructions.

What will you do if the winds are still out of the south when you depart?

A full-length departure means taxiing all the way back to the departure end; if it is a warm day, be alert of any signs of overheating that closely cowled, air-cooled engine. (If your aircraft has cowl flaps, double check that you opened them after landing.)

As an alternative, you may be offered—or could request—an intersection takeoff, and you may hear and observe other aircraft preparing to depart from various points along the runway.

Discuss this scenario with your flight instructor for any specific solo cross-country, and follow up with a thorough study of the airport’s taxi diagram. The Air Safety Institute offers this page for looking up your destination’s diagram. Be sure you can locate and understand signs indicating how much runway distance remains from any intersection.

When departing from an intersection, pay close attention to the departure path of aircraft taking off ahead of you—especially if they are airborne when they pass your location—for the wake turbulence they could generate. If an early turn on course is indicated for safety, request it from a departure controller, or commence it from a safe altitude after takeoff from a nontowered airport.

Longer runways are convenient, confidence-inspiring features of many airports you will visit, but they don’t suggest that you should relax your vigilance or ease up on your piloting technique.

Flight Training News

Combat veteran solos LSA

Able Flight scholarship winner Adam Kisielewski, a former U.S. Marine sergeant who lost his left arm and part of his right leg in combat in Iraq, soloed a light sport aircraft on March 14. Kisielewski made three textbook takeoffs and landings in a modified Flight Design CTLS at Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Md. His flight instructor, Dean Stickell, soloed at the same airport in 1957. Read more >>

Should student pilots ask for a better runway assignment?

Student pilots learn early in their training that they should depart a runway aligned into the wind as much as possible. But what if the tower clears them to depart the crosswind runway and the winds are a bit stronger than they are comfortable with? Talking to air traffic controllers is often an intimidating experience for student pilots, and they can be hesitant to ask for what they need. Should they accept the assigned runway? Listen to the newest segment of Ask ATC from the Air Safety Institute as a tower controller addresses these questions. Watch AOPA Live® >>

NBAA awards international operator scholarships

The National Business Aviation Association has chosen three recipients for its 2012 International Operators Scholarship. They are Nikolas Bray, enrolled in the professional pilot program at the University of Oklahoma; Gregory Frister, a student at Lewis University majoring in aviation management; and Basham Johnson, a professional pilot with Jet Aviation. They will split the $13,500 scholarship for professional development toward careers in business aviation that are related to international operations. For more information on NBAA’s scholarship program, see the website.

Okla. U. flight academy summer camp registration open

The University of Oklahoma Sooner Flight Academy is accepting registrations for its youth summer camps. The education outreach program is provided through the University of Oklahoma’s Department of Aviation and University Outreach. Five-day programs are available for children ages 6 to 18, in which participants learn the principles of flight using science and mathematics. Scholarships are available.

Fourth-generation pilot solos

A Michigan teenager is on track to be the fourth generation in his family to become a pilot. Kris Anderson soloed in December 2011 at Jack Barstow Airport in Midland. The pilots who came before him are his great-grandfather, Knute A. Anderson; grandfather, Bob Anderson; and father, Rob Anderson—all of whom were at the airport to watch Kris solo, according to the Midland Daily News.

Training Resources

Spring sprang early in many areas around the country, for the most part leaving behind the cold, ice, snow, and darkness of winter. But during the winter months many airplanes sit idle for a long time, and bad things tend to befall pilots who just “kick the tires and light the fires” on the first warm day of the year. Check out the Air Safety Institute’s Spring Preflight Safety Spotlight to get ready for the spring flying season. The spotlight gathers in one place essential courses, quizzes, publications, and links so you don’t have to.


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.


Surviving an aircraft accident

Surviving an aircraft accident on AOPA Live If your aircraft went down in inhospitable terrain, would you be prepared? Lots of pilots think that a water bottle, a candy bar, and a pack of matches stashed in the airplane is a sufficient start to survival readiness. As AOPA Online Managing Editor Alyssa Miller found out, there’s a lot more to it. In this video of a wilderness survival clinic held yearly in Montana, Miller shows you how she learned to build a shelter, light a fire, and stay warm (or try to stay warm) during a freezing night. Watch AOPA Live >>

Career Pilot

Direct Air cancels flights

Direct Air, an indirect air carrier providing public charter air flights, canceled its charter program on March 13. Direct Air does not operate its own airplanes, but instead relies on other carriers to conduct its flights. News outlets reported that two carriers said they were cutting off service to the charter because they had not been paid. The announcement left travelers stranded during the busy spring break season. Direct Air had been operating out of South Carolina to destinations in Florida, the Northeast, and the Midwest. Initial reports indicated the company may resume operations in May.

Airlines vie for flights to Reagan National

Long-haul routes from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport are being added for the first time since 2004, and a number of airlines are scrambling for the slots. Contenders include Alaska Air, JetBlue, Southwest, and Virgin America. The new slots are made available through the FAA funding bill that was signed into law in February. The Department of Transportation is expected to make its decision in May, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Plane Spotter

STOL aircraft: Short-field performers

stall fence on STOL aircraft wing You can spot a production-model Cessna Skyhawk or Skylane, or a Piper Cherokee 10 times out of 10—but what’s this creature that just came in? It looks like a typical example, except that the wing’s leading edge seems to have a drooped front section. And there is a fence-like object that runs from each wing’s leading edge to its trailing edge. Turns out, the unusual aircraft is outfitted with a STOL (short takeoff and landing) kit to enhance its low-speed performance, and allow operations at extremely constrained landing sites.

Training Products

Radio Navigation Simulator app from Sporty’s

If VORs give you pause and you don’t know your distance measuring equipment (DME) from your automatic direction finder (ADF), practice is the key to mastering these navigation systems. Sporty’s Radio Navigation Simulator app shows a simulated instrument panel with a directional gyro and user-selectable course deviation indicator, radio magnetic indicator, ADF, and DME. Drag an airplane around the map, turn the OBS knob, change the map location, change navaid frequencies, and more. The app can be used on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. It sells for $9.95. See the website or call 800/776-7897.


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

Aircraft insurance renewal application explained

What information determines your insurance premium? Ninety days prior to the renewal date of your aircraft insurance policy, the AOPA Insurance Agency mails an aircraft insurance renewal application to the address listed on the policy. It is important that you review all of it and provide updated information in order to receive the best rate. Read more >>


The March ‘Since You Asked’ poll: That problem student

What’s a flight instructor to do with an instrument student who thinks he doesn’t need any more practice before the checkride? AOPA Technical Editor Jill Tallman discusses the results of a poll. Also in this week’s Flight Training blog, Chip Wright talks about tourists.

Mrs. Alaska takes flight with 'GirlsFlyToo' platform

Meet Ariel Talen-Keller—Mrs. Alaska U.S. All World Beauties pageant winner—in the Let’s Go Flying blog. Keller’s platform is a project to encourage and educate women to be a part of aviation.

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a project manager of online products, aviation technical specialist, member services representative, manager of regulatory affairs, director of new market development, associate project 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!

Picture Perfect

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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 interested in flying to the Bahamas and I'm curious about what kind of fees I can expect to pay. Can you give me some information?


Answer: Landing fees are waived for single-engine aircraft at most government-owned airports, with the likely exception of Nassau and Freeport, as these airports are managed by an independent company. If you fly a twin, fees generally range from $5 to $15. Private airports will normally have landing or parking fees, as well. The FBOs (fixed-base operators) in Nassau and Freeport may also charge ramp fees; a quick call ahead of time is advised to determine the amount. The pilot and passengers each have to pay a $25 departure tax. For more information on flying to the Bahamas see AOPA’s website. Also check out an article on AOPA President Craig Fuller’s recent flight to the Bahamas, which includes tips for a great trip.


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: Just answer the question

IFR Fix: Just answer the question Lucky you. It’s instrument proficiency check day! Spring is in the air. This ride will also count as a rental checkout at the FBO. First stop is the classroom, where the chief instructor goes over the aircraft, and then asks you to ponder this IFR scenario for any questionable elements: “An airplane is flying a straight-in instrument approach to Runway 22 on a wild and bumpy evening, with a 25-degree correction cranked in for a strong, direct left crosswind. As the airplane nears the missed approach point, the pilot clicks the mic …” Read more >>

TS DVLPG … CB TOPS FL330 … Huh? It’s only spring!

Above-average temperatures across the country put convective activity in the forecast, which means to look out for thunderstorms. Check out the Air Safety Institute’s WeatherWise: Thunderstorms and ATC course to learn how to avoid this dangerous weather and what ATC radar does and—more importantly—doesn’t show. You’ll come away with important tips from controllers on dos and don’ts around convective weather, and ways for pilots and controllers to avoid critical misunderstandings. The course, produced with the generous support of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service, qualifies for AOPA Accident Forgiveness and FAA Wings. Take the course >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

March 24 and 25

Baltimore, Md.

April 14 and 15

Denver, Colo.

Tampa, Fla.

Atlanta, Ga.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Salt Lake City, Utah

April 21 and 22

San Diego, Calif.

Indianapolis, Ind.

Ashburn, Va.

April 28 and 29

Boston, Mass.


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

March 26

Northbrook, Ill.

Ypsilanti, Mich.

Rochester, Minn.

March 27

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Bolingbrook, Ill.

Independence, Ohio

Lynchburg, Va.


March 28

East Peoria, Ill.

Bellevue, Neb.

Columbus, Ohio

March 29

Rockford, Ill.

Indianapolis, Ind.

Olathe, Kan.


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, Cross Country, Safety and Education

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