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September 6, 2013, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionSeptember 6, 2013, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

AOPA ePilot


VOLUME 13, ISSUE 36 — September 6, 2013

Training Tips

What’s the call?

Training TipIt’s your third trip around the traffic pattern at the tower-controlled airport. You are established downwind, ready to run your pre-landing checks. On your two first circuits you did a nice job—especially handling a slight crosswind component—but on this next landing you think you can do even better. That’s what practice is all about, and it pleases you to realize that your skill has advanced to the point where you can focus on finesse.


A business jet departs, and another is cleared for takeoff. Then an aircraft with the word “heavy” in its call sign checks in from several miles out on final. The tower informs the heavy that it is number two to land, following “a Cessna single that is about to turn base.” (Surprise: That’s you.)


Next, the tower calls your number and instructs, “Make a short approach, cleared for the option.”


If you fly regularly from a tower-controlled airport, especially during busy periods, scenarios like this will soon become familiar. One lesson they teach is to develop the good habit of monitoring all the frequency’s radio traffic so you know the position of other arriving and departing aircraft.


Another is that no two circuits of a busy pattern will be alike. In past practice sessions, you may have had to respond to requests to “expedite” a takeoff, or to exit a runway with no delay. On a touch and go, a controller may have instructed you to take minimum time on the runway, or to begin your crosswind turn earlier than usual. On a few occasions you may even have been vectored out of the pattern briefly to accommodate traffic.


Now, if separation from the heavy aircraft following you gets too tight, the controller could amend your clearance to “touch and go only.” If you start to feel a bit squeezed or pressured, volunteering to go around also would help (and the offer might be gratefully accepted).


In the meantime you remain cleared for the option, which, according to the Pilot/Controller Glossary, is an ATC authorization “for an aircraft to make a touch-and-go, low approach, missed approach, stop and go, or full stop landing at the discretion of the pilot.”


You wanted to make a stop and go to maximize your landing practice in that crosswind—but given your traffic, perhaps that’s not the best choice.


It’s decision time. What’s your call?

Flight Training News

All Nippon Airways acquires Pan Am International Flight Academy

ANA Holdings, the parent company of All Nippon Airways, has acquired Pan Am International Flight Academy, an airline training provider based in Miami. The acquisition was announced Aug. 22. ANA plans to expand Pan Am into Asia by providing training to other Asian airlines, partner firms, and subsidiaries, the company said. Read more >>

FAA ends direct-to-consumer sales of paper charts

As expected, the FAA has announced an end to direct-to-consumer sales of all paper aeronautical chart products, effective Oct. 1. After that date, pilots will need to purchase all paper aeronautical charts from an authorized chart agent. This move by the FAA follows a previous action that ended subscription chart services on July 1 and is aimed at maximizing the efficiency of the FAA division that develops aeronautical chart products. Read more >>

AOPA launches 72nd IMC Club chapter

The AOPA Headquarters Chapter has become the seventy-second of the IMC Club, created to promote instrument flying, proficiency, and safety. The AOPA chapter is organized by the IMC Club International Inc. and is sponsored by AOPA. Read more >>

Fort Worth AOPA Aviation Summit offers broad appeal

The 2013 AOPA Aviation Summit will take place in Fort Worth, Texas, the first time in more than 20 years that the event is being held in the central region of the country. AOPA Aviation Summit is being held in Fort Worth for four reasons, said Chris Eads, AOPA director of outreach and events. Read more >>

Going electronic with logbooks

This week, AOPA looks at five logbook apps: LogTen Pro Universal Pilot Logbook, FlightBOX, Logbook Pro Mobile, Pilot Pro, and Safelog Pilot Logbook. Read more >>

Boeing sees more global demand for airline pilots

Boeing is forecasting that the commercial aviation industry will need more than one million new pilots and technicians to support the expanding demand for new airplane deliveries over the next two decades. Projected pilot demand is increasing worldwide, as is demand for technicians in some regions. The Boeing outlook indicates that by 2032 the world will require 498,000 new commercial airline pilots and 556,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians.

Have a little fun with new ‘Weather Challenge’ seminar

Do your eyes glaze over when you hear about Skew-T diagrams? Yawn at hearing about moist adiabatic lapse rates? Soak up some practical weather knowledge while bolstering your real-world weather wisdom with the Air Safety Institute’s “Weather Challenge” fall seminar, which debuts Sept. 9. Visit for dates and locations near you.

Filing VFR flight plans

If you file a VFR flight plan, does air traffic control know your route? What does a VFR flight plan actually get you? Learn the answers to these questions, and more, from actual air traffic controllers by watching the Air Safety Institute’s “Ask ATC: VFR Flight Plans” video.


MedEvac Foundation scholarship awarded

Matthew Benzen, a flight nurse supervisor for Mercy Life Line, has won the 2013 Safety Management Training Academy (SMTA) scholarship, sponsored by the MedEvac Foundation International. Benzen received the scholarship based on his long-standing dedication to safety in the critical care transport community. He has been actively involved in the air medical community for 12 years.

Georgia Airports Association offers scholarship

The Georgia Airports Association (GAA) is offering a $1,000 scholarship to be used toward the expense of attending an accredited college, university, community college, vocational school, or technical school with an aviation major. The association board of directors will make the selection in October, and announce the recipient at its 2013 Annual Conference and Expo Banquet on Oct. 17. The deadline to apply is Sept. 13.

The Ninety-Nines offer scholarships for associate members

The Fly Now Award (formerly the New Pilot Award) is a progressive award given to associate members of The Ninety-Nines who demonstrate a need for financial assistance to become certificated pilots. The Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship Fund has decided to expand the scope of this award to provide up to $3,000 toward completion of the recreational pilot, sport pilot, or private pilot certificate, or non-U.S. equivalent, in any aircraft. The deadline to apply is Sept. 15.

Whirly-Girls seek applicants for nine scholarships

The Whirly-Girls Scholarship Fund Inc. has opened applications for nine scholarships, which will be given at its awards banquet at 2014 Heli-Expo. Available scholarships include Vertical Reference/External Load Flight Training, P&S Agricultural Services Inc. Flight Training, American Eurocopter Flight Training, and Whirly-Girls Memorial Flight Training. The deadline to apply is Oct. 1.

Application open for Barden Aviation Scholarships

Undergraduate students studying aviation-related curricula at National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and University Aviation Association (UAA) member institutions are eligible to apply for the UAA Janice K. Barden Aviation Scholarship. This scholarship is named for Janice Barden, who has been active in the aviation community for decades and has served as chair of the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition Local Committee for longer than any other person in NBAA history. A completed application package, which includes application form, one essay, one transcript, one résumé, and one letter of recommendation, must be received by NBAA no later than Nov. 1.

Helicopter foundation opens applications for scholarships

Helicopter Foundation International (HFI) is accepting applications for its 2014 scholarship program. The foundation offers up to four commercial helicopter rating scholarships, up to six maintenance technician certificate scholarships, one Michelle North Scholarship for Safety, and up to eight Bill Sanderson Aviation Maintenance Technician Scholarships. The deadline to apply is Nov. 30.

International Aerobatic Club offers memorial grant

Chapter 78 of the International Aerobatic Club is overseeing applications for the Douglas Yost Memorial Aerobatic Scholarship. The scholarship honors Yost, an aspiring young career pilot and aerobatic pilot who lost his life in a motorcycle accident in 2002. The scholarship was designed to promote aviation safety through aerobatic training. The recipient will receive a cash payment of $2,000 for aerobatics training. The deadline to apply is Dec. 31.

Reminder: Organizations offer aviation scholarships

Erickson Air-Crane is funding a $6,000 annual Whirly-Girls scholarship to fund a full external load/vertical reference course at Western Helicopters in Rialto, Calif. Applications are due by Oct. 1. The International Council of Air Shows Foundation is offering aviation scholarships to help pilots, aircraft mechanics, performers, and flight instructors with their training needs. Applications are due by Dec. 31.

Training Resources

‘Air Safety Institute Flight Risk Evaluator’

As pilots, we make informal judgments about risk all the time—but there are safety benefits to taking a more formal approach. This innovative tool lets you input the details of a flight, and then get an objective assessment of the risks. Start the evaluator >>


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.


No legal authority for aircraft stops; Alaska adventure

Federal agents have been stopping and searching general aviation aircraft around the country without satisfactory explanation, or apparent legal authority to do so. AOPA offers updated advice amid an ongoing effort to protect your rights. Also this week, a scenic Cirrus voyage to Alaska, and advice on choosing an aviation medical examiner. AOPA Live This Week®, Sept. 5 >>

Career Pilot

Lufthansa, Women of Aviation Worldwide to boost female pilots

German flag carrier Lufthansa has become the first airline to join the Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide. The airline will work with the institute to attract more female pilots for its passenger and cargo fleet. Lufthansa is aware of the common misconception among women that the job might not be for them. It reported that only 20 percent of all applicants were women. Read more >>

Great Lakes Airlines faces pilot shortage…

Cheyenne, Wyo.-based regional carrier Great Lakes Airlines is saying that the new FAA regulation that increases the hours needed for first officers is hurting its recruiting efforts, reports the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Spokeswoman Monica Taylor-Lee said her airline has been forced to drop 30 pilots who don’t have the 1,500 hours of flight time.

…While Chinese carriers target U.S. pilots

China’s airlines, facing their own pilot shortage and higher demand for air service, are offering experienced U.S. captains salaries and benefits that are double what they can get stateside, reports The Wall Street Journal. Average salaries at the major airlines are $135,000 a year, while Chinese carriers, including Hainan Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines, are offering up to $270,000 a year.


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

Plane Spotter

Lines of Laridae

Stinson ReliantDo you claim a GU-11 among your plane spotting trophies? If none can be found on the flight line, try the parking lot, where you may well spot a gull. (Unfortunately, they like runways too.) OK, gull (GU-11) type designation jokes have been played endlessly on, yes, gullible pilots. But the ubiquitous birds actually possess properties prized by automobile and aircraft designers who produced “gull-wing” doors (hinged at the top). To spot a most striking adaptation of Laridae’s lines, seek out the gull-winged Stinson Reliant, a classic radial-engined taildragger that dates to the 1930s.

Training Products

King Schools offers sport pilot knowledge course

King Schools is now offering the Sport Pilot Airplane Exam Course on DVD for the PC. The computer-based interactive video covers the subject matter in an interesting and entertaining way, using bold, full-screen graphics coupled with interactive questions to reinforce learning and keep motivation high. The cost is $279.

ASA offers communications training

ASA has added Communications Trainer: Say Again, Please, to its line of interactive computer-based tutorial products. Pilots will increase their comfort level when using an aircraft radio with examples of typical transmissions that explain how the air traffic control system works, presenting simulated flights that clearly demonstrate correct communication procedures. The cost is $49.95.


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

Who’s really in charge?

What happens when two pilots are on board an aircraft that is type certificated for single-pilot operation? Who is the pilot in command, and who’s in charge? Well, that largely depends on who’s asking and why, and it may not be as straightforward as you think. Read more >>

AOPA Insurance Services celebrates 20 years of service

AOPA Insurance Services is marking its twentieth anniversary this month, celebrating two decades of protecting pilots and the aviation community through insurance and risk management services with a commitment to giving back to members through direct support of the AOPA mission. Launched in a partnership with Aon Insurance in September 1993, AOPA Insurance Services has since grown into a brokerage that offers coverage on a wide variety of aircraft, from historic and experimental aircraft to today’s most advanced business jets. Read more >>


The next and biggest threat to GA (part 2)

Writer and futurist John L. Petersen says he may already be seeing the beginning of the government’s plan to eliminate VFR flying. Following the initial reporting by AOPA, Flying’s Robert Goyer and others have been relaying the growing numbers of random, unfounded stops by heavily armed, threatening teams from Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security, and local authorities of aircraft that were flying under visual flight rules. Read more >>

Skew-T fever

In last month's AOPA Pilot, Editor at Large Tom Horne wrote his Wx Watch column about some of the dynamics behind frontal formation. It’s a complicated subject but he tried to explain it as simply as possible given the space available. Read more >>

AOPA’s Mike Collins posts on his around-the-world trip

After a couple months of planning and several days of packing, it’s almost a relief to take off and begin watching the route unfold, writes AOPA’s Mike Collins. Not long into the trip, a New York Center controller surprises Collins and his flying partner Mike Laver on their around-the-world trip. Read the complete series >>

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a staff assistant/PAC coordinator 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!

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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 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: You establish two-way radio communications with the tower of the primary airport prior to entering the Class D airspace. The tower request: that you make a straight-in approach to Runway 27. You acknowledge that you will comply with that request. As you continue the approach you hear nothing from the tower. You call the tower seeking a clearance to land. Again, nothing heard from the tower. It is VFR and you can see the tower. How should you proceed?


Answer: A communications failure has occurred after you have entered the Class D airspace. FAR § 91.129(d)(2) provides guidance in this situation. It explains that if the radio fails in flight under VFR the pilot in command may operate and land if—

“i. Weather conditions are at or above basic VFR weather minimums;

ii. Visual contact with the tower is maintained; and

iii. A clearance to land is received.”

A clearance to land in this situation would be a steady green light from the tower. See FAR § 91.125, ATC light signals.

Got a question for our technical services staff? Contact AOPA.

Instrument Tip

IFR Fix: Two whooshes

It’s roughly a 90-mile flight from Hartness State Airport in mountainous Springfield, Vt., to Beverly Municipal Airport in coastal Massachusetts. The single-pilot night IFR flight had been conducted mostly in cloud; now it was established on the localizer for the LOC RWY 16 approach. Read more >>

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Sept. 14 and 15

Baltimore, Md.

Bellevue, Wash.

Sept. 21 and 22

Phoenix, Ariz.

Sacramento, Calif.

Colorado Springs, Colo.


Sept. 28 and 29

Richmond, Va.

Oct. 5 and 6

Indianapolis, Ind.

Wichita, Kan.

Corpus Christi, Texas


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

Can’t make it in person? Sign up for the Air Safety Institute’s new Online eFIRC.

Sept. 9

Ypsilanti, Mich.

Fort Worth, Texas

Wichita, Kan.

Germantown, Tenn.

Sept. 10

Independence, Ohio

Addison, Texas

Bethany, Okla.

Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Sept. 11

Columbus, Ohio

Fayetteville, Ark.

Maryville, Tenn.

Sept. 12

Indianapolis, Ind.

Little Rock, Ark.


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

AOPA ePilot Team

ePilot Flight Training 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/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, AOPA Products and Services, ATC

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