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April 4, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionApril 4, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

April 4, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 14

Training Tips

Power check

Takeoff is an exhilarating moment, representing the culmination of the planning and preparation that helped you make the decision to launch on your flight. The engine responds lustily as you throttle up to full power for the sprint down the runway, followed by rotation and, finally, flight!

That's the lyrical version of events. But there's much more to it than that. As the takeoff run proceeds, your feet work the rudder pedals, and your hands control ailerons and elevator to maintain direction, neutralize any crosswind, and perform a smooth rotation. Your eyes are directed mostly outside, but engine gauges and, of course, the airspeed indicator, get quick checks.

Meanwhile, your eyes and your ears—and perhaps other senses—combine to deliver cues about a crucial condition: Is your aircraft's engine delivering the power expected of it?

"It is important to check full-throttle engine operation early in the takeoff run," says the pilot's operating handbook for a 1980 Cessna 152. "Any sign of rough engine operation or sluggish engine acceleration is good cause for discontinuing the takeoff. If this occurs, you are justified in making a thorough full-throttle static runup before another takeoff is attempted."

Do you make it a point to check for full engine power during the busy takeoff phase, with its multiple tasks? Don't ignore that duty simply because the runup you performed (at lower power) before takeoff was satisfactory.

Suppose something does cause you to discontinue a takeoff. What should you look for in a full-throttle static runup after returning to the run-up area?

You must make sure the engine can reach the rpm range stated by the manufacturer for a ground runup as you hold the brakes and apply full throttle.

"If the aircraft can't reach this rpm range on the ground there may be a problem with the tachometer indication or something wrong with the engine. Possible problems include a worn propeller (fixed-pitch), improperly set propeller governor (constant-speed), mis-timed magnetos, fouled spark plugs, clogged fuel injector nozzle, or a blocked muffler," explains the Air Safety Institute's Safety Advisor on engine operations.

Let those tips help you raise your engine-operating knowledge for that next takeoff. They also will help you explain the procedures for your specific aircraft to the designated examiner who will observe your takeoff technique on your upcoming flight test.

Flight Training News


FAA talks third class medical rulemaking

The FAA on April 2 announced plans to go through a rulemaking process that could result in more pilots being allowed to fly without a third class medical. The announcement comes two years after AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association jointly petitioned the FAA to allow more pilots to fly a wider range of aircraft without a third class medical certificate. Read more... Share:  



Redbird launches simulator challenge

Redbird Flight Simulations is encouraging pilots from all over the world to show their stuff in the company's new Flying Challenge Cup. Read more... Share:  



Living the dream once more

The research is conclusive: Most lapsed pilots would happily return to the left seat if only the path forward didn't seem so daunting. Here's the good news: It isn't. To show the way, AOPA is introducing a new national program offering rusty pilots a total package—the place, the people, and the plan—to return to flying. Read more... Share:  



Wagstaff teams for teaching

Airshow legend Patty Wagstaff has partnered with Southeast Aero, U.S. distributor of Extra Aircraft, to offer aerobatic training in St. Augustine, Fla. Wagstaff, a three-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, teaches precision flying for fun, formal competition, or airshow performing. Read more... Share:  


Florida Tech approved for European training

Florida Institute of Technology's flight training organization, FIT Aviation, has earned authorization from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Pilots at European airlines operating the European, Middle Eastern, and Asiatic routes often require EASA certification, and Florida Tech is currently in a contract with Turkish Airlines to train cadets for an Airbus A320 type rating.



Camp offers glider training for Chinese students

A Taiwanese entrepreneur gives Chinese students the chance to have a flying experience, see aviation sites, and visit colleges with a summer aviation camp. Read more... Share:  


University of Michigan wins grant to study turbulence

NASA's Leading Edge Aeronautics Research program has recently awarded the first phase of a $1.6 million grant to a team of engineers at the University of Michigan to develop a better description of turbulence. The research could enable more efficient airplane designs.


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'Clear prop!'

Why do you perform a mag check? Why should you be concerned if the rpm doesn't drop? What's a propeller governor and how does it work? Get answers and practice virtual "hands-on" engine starts with the Air Safety Institute's interactive Engine and Propeller online course. Take the course...



What do you do if you overshoot the base-to-final turn?

Overshooting the base-to-final turn can be problematic if you're not careful. Pilots from every experience level can fall prey to the problem of flying low and slow while skidding around the turn. So how and why does this happen? Watch the video... Share:  



AOPA offers roundup of scholarships, winners

Aviation organizations recognize the importance of investing in the future of aviation by offering scholarships. Each month, AOPA covers new scholarships that are open to applicants and highlights success stories of past scholarship winners. Share these opportunities with those you know who are in training for an aviation-related field. Read more... Share:  



AeroShell's Able Flight scholarship honors Alan Henley

AeroShell has given Able Flight $24,000 in the name of paralyzed former AeroShell Aerobatic Team Leader Alan Henley that will enable three disabled student pilots to pursue sport pilot certificates. Read more... Share:  

Training Resources

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Bird strike

It was a nice VFR day—not a cloud in the sky—as the twin climbed out of the pattern at Casa Grande, Ariz. The pilot was settling down on the last leg of a long cross-country flight from Bartow, Fla., to Camarillo, Calif., when he noticed the birds. Experience the pilot coming eye to eye with a four-pound red-tailed hawk and how he dealt with the ensuing mayhem his uninvited feathered passenger caused in this edition of Real Pilot Stories. Watch the Real Pilot Story...

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.


AOPA Live This Week

Sun 'n Fun highlights, FAA takes up third class medical

Lakeland is basking in Florida sun, and AOPA's Sun 'n Fun spotlight is on new aircraft, new products, and plenty of aviation news being made. If you aren't lucky enough to be there, watch the can't-miss highlights. Plus, get the latest on the FAA's announcement to explore rulemaking on the third class medical issue. AOPA Live This Week®, April 3... Share:  

Career Pilot

Boeing expects balanced new-aircraft financing in 2014

Boeing expects the market for financing new aircraft to remain strong as airline customers continue to demand new, fuel-efficient airplanes. Boeing said that airplane financing globally is experiencing a rare balance among primary delivery financing sources—including leasing companies, commercial banks, the capital markets, export credit agencies, and private equity and hedge funds—as global 2014 deliveries head toward an expected total of about $112 billion.

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

Plane Spotter

This just in

The long, lean profile suggests a single-engine turboprop—an impression reinforced by the pressurized cabin windows and a spinner bristling with multiple propeller blades. It is those prominently swept propeller blades—five of them—and winglets that a well-informed plane spotter uses to confirm the identification of a Daher-Socata TBM 900, the new 330-knot-capable member of the line known for the TBM 700 and TBM 850 turboprops. AOPA chronicled the arrival stateside of the first four TBM 900s, bucking headwinds at Flight Level 280 on the traditional North Atlantic crossing route.

Training Products

Gleim offers Safe Pilot Course

The Gleim Safe Pilot Course is a recurrent ground training course designed to increase pilots' knowledge and abilities in regard to operating safely in the National Airspace System. The course covers various recent aircraft accidents and highlights the causes of and lessons to be learned from these accidents. It also offers practical guidance on creating an emergency action plan. The cost is $29.95.


Product gives navigation overview

The Navigation CD-ROM course is designed to help improve knowledge of airspace and navigation systems. This interactive, computer-based learning tool presents users with 10 hours of instruction on the essentials of airspace, as well as widely used navigation systems. The cost is $99.

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


PilotWorkshops new AOPA Premier Partner

PilotWorkshops will provide AOPA members with free online access to an extensive library of quality audio and video aviation training programs as a new AOPA Premier Partner, AOPA announced March 28. Read more... Share:  


Members only

Five ways to prevent doctors from killing you

Medical errors (acts of omission and commission) are among the leading causes of death in the United States. So what can you do to prevent becoming an unpleasant statistic? Read more... Share:  


Member benefits

What is emergency travel assistance?

Emergency travel assistance is an important stop-gap between what your medical plan covers and emergency medical expenses most health insurance plans never pay. Read more... Share:  


Pilot taxes

When blogger Chip Wright got his annual CD from TurboTax, it got him thinking about, well, taxes. Read more... Share:  

Instrument Tip


A full-scale deflection

When the CDI became fully deflected, time was up for troubleshooting a glitchy GPS. Read more... Share:  

Final Exam


There is a soaring club near me and I'm thinking of starting training for my private pilot certificate in gliders. Do I need a medical certificate to fly a glider?


No, you do not need medical certificate to fly a glider. FAR 61.23(b) describes operations not requiring a medical certificate. Within that section, paragraphs (1) and (3) say you don't need a medical for operations in a glider as either a student pilot or as a higher level of certificate when exercising your privileges in the glider category.

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

Career Opportunities

AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an account manager I, Air Safety Institute intern, director of state government affairs, account manager II, and member services representative. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Apr 5-6 - Denver, Colo.; Cincinnati, Ohio; San Diego, Calif.; Tampa, Fla.; and Indianapolis, Ind.

Apr 12-13 - Atlanta, Ga.; Waltham, Mass.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Ashburn, Va.

May 3-4 - Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Albany, N.Y.; and Pensacola, Fla.

May 17-18 - Sacramento, Calif.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Houston, 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.

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Apr 7 - Glasgow, Ky.

Apr 8 - Danville, Ky.; and Birmingham, Ala.

Apr 9 - Marietta, Ga.

Apr 10 - Pensacola, Fla.

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Apr 12 - Dunkirk, N.Y.

Apr 15 - Dunkirk, N.Y.

For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

Aviation Calendar

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.

AOPA Featured Events

Apr 26 — San Marcos, Texas. San Marcos Municipal Airport (KHYI). AOPA Fly-in.


May 31 — Indianapolis, Indiana. Indianapolis Regional Airport (KMQJ). AOPA Fly-in.


Jul 12 — Plymouth, Massachusetts. Plymouth Airport (KPYM). AOPA Fly-in.


Aug 16 — Spokane, Washington. Spokane Felts Field (KSFF). AOPA Fly-in.


Sep 20 — Chino, California. Chino Airport (KCNO). AOPA Fly-in.


Oct 4 — Frederick, Maryland. Frederick Municipal Airport (KFDK). AOPA Homecoming.


Nov 8 — Brunswick, Georgia. Malcom McKinnon Airport (KSSI). AOPA Fly-in.

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. Take a look, and submit your own photos!

AOPA ePilot

ePilot Flight Training Editor:

Benét Wilson

Production Assistant:

Melissa Whitehouse


Sarah Deener
Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore
Jill W. Tallman
Warren Morningstar
Alton K. Marsh
Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Ian J. Twombly
Dan Namowitz

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