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May 31, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition' weekly newsletterMay 31, 2013, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition' weekly newsletter

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 13, ISSUE 22 — May 31, 2013

The ‘applicant’s checklist’
Huerta calls on aviators to take care
Plane Spotter: Tractors in the sky
Final Exam: LSA checkride


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Training Tips

The ‘applicant’s checklist’

Training TipWith a patch of good spring weather to nail down those remaining flight-time requirements, and some well-flown test-prep sessions to follow up, before you know it, the appointment is being made for you to take your sport, recreational, or private pilot flight test.


It’s a heady moment when you set that date, and focus your training on the nitty-gritty details of “graduating” from your training program. Some trepidation is natural when the reality of the checkride looms. But there’s an easy way to set the awkwardness aside: Make it a priority to become thoroughly familiar with the appropriate practical test standards (PTS) for the certificate and rating for which you are now officially an applicant. From the “applicant’s practical test checklist” to the clearly specified maneuver tolerances and knowledge elements for flight task demonstrations, the PTS, as users refer to it, will make you ready.


If you did not receive a copy of the PTS with your training materials, you can download it from the FAA’s website.


Give the publication a thorough reading for all aspects of your test—starting at the very beginning of the publication. It may be strongly tempting to skip right to the test standards for that one maneuver you have never felt totally confident performing, but you don’t want to fixate on that and miss something equally important.


For example, since all good pilots are scrupulous about using checklists, it would not do to overlook the applicant’s practical test checklist mentioned above. Arranged in three sections, it lets you check off everything you will need to ensure that you will show up for the test with an acceptable aircraft; the necessary personal equipment (charts and publications, for example); and all the required personal records for your examiner’s review. Those records include the proper form of personal identification (with photo and signature), and a medical certificate for recreational and private pilot applicants, or a driver’s license for those seeking sport pilot certification.


You have probably heard stories of checkrides that never got going because of an administrative oversight. Seeing to your applicant’s checklist should prevent anything from spoiling the day on which you graduate from your training program.

Flight Training News

Huerta calls on aviators to take care

Advice from FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta echoes many of the same points made by flight instructors across the country: take care, know your limits, train, and prepare. Huerta issued a letter to the general aviation community May 23, a personal appeal to all pilots to make sure they are ready for each flight as the summer season gets into full swing. Read more >>

Flight school forms simulator club

Imagine having yearlong access to a flight school’s simulator for $120. That’s soon to be a reality for pilots near Lock Haven, Pa., thanks to a new club formed by local flight school AvSport. The concept is simple. Users will pay one fee and get unlimited access to an AOPA Jay by Redbird for a year. Current AvSport students will have free access. Read more >>

FAA’s plan for AirVenture ATC user fees ‘troubling’

AOPA on May 22 denounced an FAA plan to charge the Experimental Aircraft Association for the travel costs, per diem expenses, and overtime pay of the air traffic controllers it deploys to staff EAA AirVenture, the association’s annual aviation fly-in, expo, and airshow, which is also the largest gathering of civil aircraft in the world. Read more >>

‘General’ apps for general aviation

This week, AOPA reviews some “general” aviation apps: DART Aerospace Catalog for iPad, Michelin Aircraft Tire app, FAA Acronym app, and the Aviation-APP for pilots. Read more >>

Greenville Downtown Airport announces Learn to Fly winners

Kristina Carandang has been named the grand-prize winner of a private pilot training program in the Learn to Fly contest held by South Carolina’s Greenville Downtown Airport. The contest had more than 18,000 entries. Second-place winner Joshua Eskew and third-place winner Wade Shealey won discovery flight lessons.

Media company awarding pilot training to Hispanic teens

Los Angeles-based 9D Media will be giving Hispanic teens a chance to win training toward their private pilot certificate or aviation technician certificate. Teens will also see some of the most advanced general aviation aircraft as a part of the company’s National Aviation, Education, and Sports Tour taking place in seven cities around the United States. The tour, which starts in August, will last six months.

Air Safety Institute’s ‘Storm Week’ back with a fury

You know it: Airplanes and thunderstorms don’t mix. That’s why you’ll want to participate in the Air Safety Institute’s “Storm Week” June 9 through 16. Each day you’ll improve your ability to stay clear of blinding downpours, damaging hail, and airframe-shattering turbulence. To understand how ATC and weather briefers can help, and when to say no to a flight, join AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg during the institute’s live webinar “Thunderstorm Avoidance: ATC, Datalink, and You,” on Thursday, June 13, at 8 p.m. Register for the free webinar >>

Avoiding accidents is everyone’s responsibility

The airport is a place where aircraft converge for the purpose of departing and landing. It’s a place where a lot of things are going on that need your attention. Needless to say, however, it is not a good place to allow yourself to become distracted. In this animated video from the Air Safety Institute, watch as a lack of awareness, coupled with a communication breakdown, start a chain of events that ends with a runway collision and 14 fatalities. Watch the video >>

Training Resources

Do the right thing: Decision making for pilots

It’s a sad fact of aviation that, every year, approximately 75 percent of all aircraft accidents are caused by pilot error, with a very large number the direct result of poor decisions. The good news is that making superior decisions about flying doesn’t require superhuman skill or exceptional judgment—just the ability to anticipate and recognize basic problems, and then take timely action to correct them. This Air Safety Institute Safety Advisor provides practical advice to help you do that, as well as guidance and recommendations for developing your own set of personal minimums. Download the Safety Advisor >>


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 8 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.


Formation flying; how pilots sabotage their medicals

Flying in formation means putting absolute trust in your leader. AOPA Live visits a civilian formation flying school to see how it’s done. Icon Aircraft gives the FAA a deadline regarding its A5 amphibious light sport aircraft. And find out from Dr. Jonathan Sackier about some of the stupid things pilots do to sabotage their medical certificates in a Fly Well report. AOPA Live This Week, May 30.

Career Pilot

SkyWest Inc. getting up to 200 Embraer E175 regional jets

SkyWest Inc. announced May 21 that it will purchase 100 new Embraer E175 dual-class regional jets. Forty are firm orders and the remaining 60 aircraft are considered conditional until SkyWest enters into capacity purchase agreements with other major airlines to operate them. Deliveries for the 40 firm aircraft, configured with 76 seats, are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2014 and continue through mid-2015. The agreement, which also includes options for an additional 100 E175 aircraft, is valued at $8.3 billion if all 200 aircraft are ordered.

Southwest to launch Boeing 737 MAX 7

Boeing and Southwest Airlines announced the launch of the 737 MAX 7, the third member of Boeing’s 737 MAX family, May 15. The Dallas-based carrier converted 30 existing Next-Generation 737 orders into orders for the 737 MAX 7. Southwest also exercised options to add five more Next-Generation 737-800s to its fleet. These airplanes, along with the 737 MAX 7s, are part of Southwest’s ongoing effort to improve fuel efficiency and profitability. Southwest is expected to take its first 737 MAX 7 delivery in 2019. Including these aircraft, Southwest’s unfilled orders consist of 180 737 MAX airplanes and 137 Next-Generation 737s. There are now 1,315 orders for 737 MAX airplanes.


For more aviation career news, see the Flight Training website.

Plane Spotter

Tractors in the sky

Cessna 210 Centurion“Gallons per acre” isn’t a standard measure of aeronautical performance, unless a plane spotter is discussing one way owners use a highly specialized aircraft unmistakable for its ample width, tailwheel configuration, and impressive size. Whether the model you are inspecting is a radial-engine-powered AT-401, a turboprop AT-802, or any of the models in between, Air Tractors perform aerial application, fight fires, and even compete against unmanned aircraft systems for military assignments. The aircraft also makes a heck of a floatplane, as occasional sightings at summer aviation events have confirmed.

Training Products

Visual history of aircraft book released

DK Publishing has partnered with the Smithsonian Institution to publish a new book, Aircraft: The Definitive Visual History. The book offers history and roles of aircraft, from the first prototypes of flying machines to today’s supersonic jets. The book costs $40. offers checklists

A laminated checklist for the Cessna 172S/SP is now available at Information on the 6.5-inch-by-9-inch card includes emergency procedures; speeds given in both knots and miles per hour; a full-color graphic layout; and fuel, oil, electrical, tire, and weight information.


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

Guide to AOPA’s new website

Get acquainted with the new with this handy video and written guide. Read more >>

Top three tips when purchasing an aircraft

Have you been thinking about purchasing an aircraft? If so, there are three key areas you need to consider to avoid potential problems. Read more >>


Diversions and aeronautical decision making

Aeronautical decision making first began to appear in the training lexicon in a heavy fashion in the mid-1990s. It was always “there,” but it wasn’t necessarily a separate subject. Instructors were expected simply to incorporate the decision-making process into each lesson whenever and wherever possible. This sounds great on paper, and at times it even seems logical, but the reality is that the old adage that says that the airplane is a terrible classroom exists for a reason. Read more >>

How to find a good flight school

You want to go to flight school, but there are so many choices out there. Like any other type of school, flight schools vary in terms of quality and price. If becoming a professional pilot is your goal, you need a method to figure out which school is right for you. You want a schedule you can live with and competent instructors. Here’s how to get everything you want. Read more >>

Commonsense hardware

There’s a management mantra that has served AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg well over the years that says, “If something is a good idea, and it deserves to succeed, the sixth time you present it, there’s a 75% chance of getting it approved.” Your exact mileage may vary but the concept is sound. Read more >>

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a director of corporate partnerships, marketing specialist, member services representative, human resources assistant, software test and quality assurance analyst, and AOPA Live editor/graphic artist. 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!

FacebookBecome a fan

Picture Perfect


Want something to do this weekend? Planning an aviation getaway? See AOPA’s enhanced calendar of events. Now you can filter events by date range, airport ID, state, or region. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.

To search all events in the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA Airports.

Final Exam


Question: I hold a sport pilot certificate, but I did my checkride in an Ercoupe. Now, I have a limitation on my certificate that reads “Limited to Ercoupe Without Rudder Pedals.” How would I get this limitation removed so I can go fly something with rudder pedals?


Answer: In order to get this limitation removed, you would have to demonstrate proficiency in an aircraft with rudder pedals. This would require you to take an additional checkride with a designated pilot examiner or flight standards district office inspector in an aircraft that has rudder pedals. After successful completion of the checkride, a new pilot certificate would be generated without the Ercoupe limitation. Here’s a link to the FAA’s General Aviation Airman Designee Handbook.

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: Busting beneath the shelf

Sometimes it’s unavoidable: If you want to get where you’re going, you must file IFR. At other times, it’s a choice between convenience (VFR) and certainty (IFR). Then how will you play it? One tactic is to file and cancel IFR if the weather holds up. But often it’s more convenient to just launch visually, and file in the air if necessary. Read more >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

June 1 and 2

San Jose, Calif.

Columbus, Ohio


June 8 and 9

Minneapolis, Minn.

Charlotte, N.C.

Ashburn, Va.

June 22 and 23

Phoenix, Ariz.

Orlando, Fla.

July 13 and 14

Jacksonville, Fla.

Newark, N.J.


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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

Aug 1

Oshkosh, Wis.



Aug 2

Oshkosh, Wis.

Aug 3

Oshkosh, Wis.






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

AOPA ePilot Team

ePilot Flight Training Editor:
Benét Wilson

ePilot Editor:
Benét Wilson

Alyssa Miller
Sarah Brown
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
Katie Richardson
Lezlie Ramsey

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

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Topics: AOPA, Events, Flight School

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