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Nov. 23, 2012, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition' weekly newsletterNov. 23, 2012, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition' weekly newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 47 — November 23, 2012

A prime directive
Dual instruction always safer, right?
Plane Spotter: Mitsubishi MU-2
Final Exam: Currency


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Training Tips

A prime directive

Training TipIt’s a chilly morning out on the flight line. Whether it’s cold enough to require an engine preheat or not, you may have noticed that not everyone who got out there for an early-morning practice session has managed to start up and taxi away without difficulty.


Procedures for cold-weather engine starts vary by make and model—but how well the pilot understands the details of starting technique often determines who flies and who only tries.


For example, priming a carbureted engine may seem like a simple task, but the right touch will deliver results that let you get on with your session.


Why is priming key in the cold?


Chapter 6 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge explains that “during cold weather, when engines are difficult to start, the fuel primer helps because there is not enough heat available to vaporize the fuel in the carburetor.”


That’s the key operating principle. But what’s so touchy about start-ups that a pilot’s priming know-how can make such a big difference?


The Air Safety Institute’s Safety Advisor on engine operations addresses that question: “On carbureted engines, cold starts are arguably the most difficult and provide a test of the pilot’s understanding of aircraft systems,” it says. “To start a cold engine, add extra fuel by priming. This puts fuel directly into one or more cylinders (via the intake manifold). Refer to the aircraft’s POH (pilots operating handbook) for the correct priming technique. Do not pump the throttle, as this will simply force raw fuel (which doesn’t vaporize as easily in cold weather) into the intake system, possibly causing an engine fire.”


Don’t rush when applying your priming strokes. Often you can hear the faint hissing noise of the primer doing its work.


As noted, how much to prime is a matter of a specific make and model’s recommended procedures. If a range of priming strokes to apply is published for your aircraft, keep in mind that the colder the temperature, the more you may have to prime.


Up and running? Don’t move on to the next checklist item without making sure that the primer is locked securely in place. Should an unsecured primer work loose, or be left partly extended, your trainer’s engine might be running excessively rich. That condition might leave your aircraft unable to deliver maximum power when needed.

Flight Training News

Aviation apps you can’t live without

ePilot Flight Training Edition Editor Benét J. Wilson did a poll on the AOPA Facebook page asking members to name one—and only one—iPhone/iPad/Android aviation-related app they could not live without and why. Making the five were WingX Pro 7, ForeFlight Mobile, Naviator, CloudAhoy, and GoodReader. Read more >>

Airwolf Aviation Services wins FAA approval for flight school

Greenville, S.C.-based flight school Airwolf Aviation Services has been approved by the FAA as the only public Part 141 certified flight school in the upstate. “The accreditation recognizes the excellence of Airwolf’s training program and the quality of graduates they produce,” said Adam Lockamy, assistant chief flight instructor of the school.

CABA awards $6,000 in aviation scholarships

The Colorado Aviation Business Association used an event at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum to award $6,000 in scholarships. The scholarships went to three recipients. Joseph Muwala is a student at Emily Griffith Technical College in the aircraft maintenance program and will become an aircraft maintenance professional. Durga Niroula is in the eleventh grade at Aurora West College Preparatory Academy and plans to pursue a career as an airline pilot. The third scholarship winner, Ryan O’Rear, will use the funds to pursue flight training. O’Rear is a student in the Department of Aviation & Aerospace Science at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Wise up to ice

Aircraft can typically fly, with little to no difficulty, in rainy conditions. However, new limiting factors, like temperature and the need to avoid icing, start to have a greater effect on a flight's safety. Do you know what to look for in these conditions? Learn more by taking the Air Safety Institute’s WeatherWise: Precipitation and Icing online course.

Dual instruction is always safer, right?

Now that the accident numbers from 2010 are on hand, we have the chance to check back on some of the more surprising details that emerged from our first close look at instructional accidents nearly two years ago. Sure enough, those same patterns came up again in the next year’s data—and the things that have changed also brought those patterns into sharper focus. Read more >>

Training Resources

It’s checkride time! Are you ready? Be confident in the knowledge that your CFI wouldn’t sign you off unless he or she thought you were ready. But if you’d like some additional tips for this important day, see the frequently asked questions on the Flight Training website.

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.


AOPA Live This Week: GA safety, flying the BD-5J Microjet

AOPA Live This Week reports from Washington, D.C.: The NTSB includes general aviation safety on its top 10 “Most Wanted List,” AOPA flies the BD-5J Microjet featured in a James Bond film, and we salute Piper on its seventy-fifth anniversary. Watch AOPA Live® >>

Career Pilot

Piper, FIT launch aviation career alliance

Piper Aircraft Inc. and the Florida Institute of Technology have launched a Piper Aviation Career Alliance. The partnership will educate and provide enhanced vocational opportunities for graduates from FIT’s aviation program, as well as graduates from other programs at the school. Piper President and CEO Simon Caldecott and Ken Stackpoole, vice president of aviation programs and dean of FIT’s College of Aeronautics, announced the program Nov. 10 during Piper’s seventy-fifth anniversary celebration at its headquarters and factory in Vero Beach, Fla. Read more >>

‘Flight Training’ releases 2013 college aviation directory

The 2013 Flight Training College Aviation Directory has a comprehensive list of colleges and universities in the United States that offer an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in an aviation field. In some cases, maintenance programs are listed that lead to an FAA certificate, but no degree. The special section shows which type of degree is offered, and in which discipline(s). Read more >>

United, Continental pilots to vote on new joint contract

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) master executive councils at United Airlines and Continental have agreed to forward a new joint contract to their members for a vote, reports Crain’s Chicago Business . The deal allows parent United Continental Holdings to integrate flight crews at United Airlines, a key milestone for the merged company.

Embry-Riddle, airlines study projected pilot shortage

Representatives from 14 major and regional U.S. airlines joined staff and faculty at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to discuss a pending professional pilot shortage facing the industry during the Pilot Supply Summit at the Daytona Beach, Fla., campus. The summit was called to develop ways to avert an impending shortage of qualified pilots. Recent reports, including one by Boeing, forecast nearly 460,000 pilots and more than 600,000 aircraft maintenance technicians will be needed globally during the next 20 years.

Plane Spotter

Speeding bullet: Mitsubishi MU-2

Mitsubishi MU-2 Some airplanes are so distinctive in appearance that you can recognize them as a mere speck on the horizon. If the incoming item happens to be the speediest speck in the local sky, that’s even better for plane spotting purposes. A high-wing twin turboprop with a smallish wing tipped with fuel tanks must be a 300-knot-capable Mitsubishi MU-2.  To eliminate any doubt, walk up to it on the ramp and check for the absence of ailerons. The MU-2 employs spoilers for roll control; that's because the small wing employs full-span flaps.

Training Products

Sporty’s flight tests iPad Mini

The team at Sporty’s received the iPad Mini and put it through its paces. Sporty’s loaded it up with popular aviation apps, including ForeFlight Mobile, Garmin Pilot, and WingX Pro. “We were immediately impressed with the overall build-quality of the iPad Mini, and it feels as solid and well-constructed as the larger iPad models,” Sporty’s wrote. The smaller size of the tablet means less weight "to lug around in your flight bag and allows for more mounting options than were previously available with the regular iPad.”

Cessna, King Schools offer sport/private course

Cessna has worked with King Schools to offer a scenario-based flight training course. The Web-based course is for the pilot who is training in either a technically advanced, full-glass-cockpit airplane, or in an airplane with analog gauges. The training includes videos and full-motion diagrams of the course material, plus a complete FAA knowledge exam review program—and it’s available anywhere with Internet access.


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

The name game

Being added to a friend’s policy as a “named pilot” is a great thing. In fact, most of us wish we had more of these kinds of friends. So what does it mean to be a named pilot? Simply put, you have been specifically approved by the underwriter insuring your friend’s aircraft to fly that person’s airplane without voiding the owner’s coverage. There may be some additional requirements you need to follow, such as a checkout with a CFI or a few hours of dual logged in the make and model, before you are fully cleared. Read more >>


Photo of the day: Fall foliage flight

Flying is fun no matter what the season, but there’s something especially satisfying about getting a bird’s-eye view of autumn colors in their fleeting glory, writes Flight Training Technical Editor Jill Tallman. Read more >>

Because this is what Airplanistas do

Dan Pimentel, editor of the Airplanista blog, discusses how we all must remain loyal to the “First Unwritten Rule of being an Aviator: Pilots help other pilots, all the time, without asking why, because that’s what we Airplanistas do. I’m talking about the small things, the no-brainers that we aviators do for our aviation family members.” Read more >>

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an events coordinator; AOPA eastern regional manager; marketing coordinator; .NET applications developer; production assistant–Web; member services representative; manager, AOPA Flying Club Network; Web developer (eMedia); major gifts officer; and Web graphic designer. 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!

Facebook Become a fan

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: If I perform the required takeoffs and landings for carrying passengers at night, does that mean I'm current to carry passengers during the day?


Answer: Yes, as long as the night landings were completed in the same category, class, and type of aircraft you plan to fly during the day. FAR 61.57 provides the recency of experience requirements for acting as pilot in command. To carry passengers during the day, you must have completed three takeoffs and three landings as sole manipulator of the controls in the same category, class, and type (if a type rating is required) within the preceding 90 days. The landings must be completed to a full stop if they are done in a tailwheel airplane. To carry passengers at night, all of the same day requirements apply. In addition, the landings, regardless of the airplane you're flying, must be done to a full stop during the period beginning one hour after sunset and ending one hour before sunrise. For additional information on currency, read this legal briefing.

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: Circle game

IFR Fix: Circle game What’s the most important altitude depicted on an instrument approach plate? Approach minimums are a snap choice. Missed-approach altitudes also regularly get votes. Here’s an alternative proposition. The most important altitude on an approach plate is one you may never use, or even bother to look at—but do, because when you need to know, the minimum safe altitude (MSA) is one of the few things you will know for sure about your situation. Read more >>

How to handle practice approaches at a towered field

ATC’s primary role is keeping instrument flight rules traffic separated from each other and from VFR traffic. But just where do practice instrument approaches fall into that mix? Practicing approaches at a towered field requires a bit more foresight, and communication, than at nontowered airports. Check out the Ask ATC segment where a controller discusses how best to let controllers know what you’re planning when you head out to polish your approaches before the instrument checkride. Watch Ask ATC >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Dec. 1 and 2

Denver, Colo.

Orlando, Fla.

Northbrook, Ill.

Jan. 5 and 6

San Jose Calif.

Ypsilanti, Mich.

Portland, Ore.

San Antonio, Texas

Jan. 12 and 13

Long Beach, Calif.

Jackson, Miss.

Charlotte, N.C.

Jan. 19 and 20

Baltimore, Md.

Bellevue, Wash.



For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

Dec. 3

Tampa, Fla.

Dec. 4

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Baton Rouge, La.



Dec. 5

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Raymond, Miss.


Jan. 14

Reno, Nev.

Mesa, Ariz.


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

AOPA ePilot Team

ePilot Flight Training Editor:
Benét Wilson

ePilot Editor:
Sarah Brown

Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore
Jill W. Tallman
Warren Morningstar
Alton K. Marsh

Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Ian J. Twombly
Dan Namowitz

Production Team:
Melissa Whitehouse
Siobhan Byrne
Lezlie Ramsey
Mitch Mitchell

Advertise in ePilot:
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East: Gary Russo, 607/547-2591
Central: Brian Curpier, 607/547-2591
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West: Zane Lewis, 214/789-6094

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