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August 8, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionAugust 8, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

August 8, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 32

Training Tips

Loadings and landings

A flight instructor is talking a student pilot through a landing, exhorting the trainee to keep adding back-elevator pressure as the main wheels settle toward the runway. Still reticent to be aggressive with the controls, the student hesitates, causing the airplane to alight slightly fast and at a slightly too low pitch attitude.

Overall, not bad. With some practice, and a focused post-flight debriefing to flesh out the reason for the hesitation, mastery is within reach.

What issues might emerge? Several difficulties are commonly encountered by student pilots learning to land an aircraft, and tried-and-true remedies are available. For example, consciously or otherwise, some trainees hesitate to flare because they are not mentally ready to sacrifice forward visibility as required when establishing the landing attitude. (You can develop confidence relying on peripheral vision by sampling it while your instructor performs a landing or two.)

Worry about exceeding the stall angle of attack too high above the runway is another reason pilots don't add full up-elevator until too late. Some practice controlling descent rate and airspeed with small power and pitch adjustments can fix this, with or without actually landing—and remember, a go-around is always an option, too.

New pilots may underestimate the physical effort needed to rotate some aircraft to the landing attitude. Maybe too much nose-down trim is being carried, but some pilots simply need to use two hands to flare once control effectiveness decays. Discuss that scenario with your CFI.

Don't forget that your aircraft's center of gravity location can be a factor. Trainers are typically flown with the CG near the forward limit. How does that influence flight characteristics?

Review the discussion in Chapter 9 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge of how the location of the most forward acceptable center of gravity is determined. One limiting factor assures "that sufficient elevator/control deflection is available at minimum airspeed."

Another factor is the amount of control travel needed to control pitch: "When structural limitations do not limit the forward CG position, it is located at the position where full-up elevator/control deflection is required to obtain a high AOA for landing."

Bottom line: Touchdown at the lowest possible airspeed is the proper technique for a normal landing, and depending on the CG, the pilot may have to use full up-elevator to perform the technique correctly.

Flight Training News


Redbird 'Flying' Challenge Cup wraps up

With sweaty palms and racing hearts, they walked onto the stage to strap on the simulator. It may not have been the pressure of a real airplane, but with an audience, performing a spot landing, steep turn, and lazy 8 in a simulator feels far beyond any stress of a normal flight. Read more...  



'Joseph T. Nall Report' analyzes GA accidents

The Air Safety Institute's twenty-third Joseph T. Nall Report offers a detailed analysis of general aviation accidents during 2011, a year that in many ways looked a lot like 2010. The numbers of accidents on helicopter and noncommercial airplane flights were almost identical. However, the preliminary data for 2012-2013 in the accompanying GA Accident Scorecard provides some surprises, especially in the noncommercial fixed-wing sector, whose 2013 record appears to have been its best in decades. Download the report and accident scorecard...  



Pilot to use L-139 to draw girls to aviation

When Dianna Stanger hops out of her new L-139 prototype fighter on the flight line at airshows and fly-ins among the other warbirds, she hopes girls and young women will become inspired to enter aviation as a hobby or career. Read more...  


Embry-Riddle offers free Aviation 101 online class

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is now offering Aviation 101, a free online class. Targeting high school and middle school students but open to all ages, Aviation 101 will have 12 high-definition video lessons that give students an introduction to the industry on topics including aircraft systems, aerodynamics, flight instruments, airports, airspace, air traffic control, aeromedical factors, aviation weather, performance, navigation, and more. Register for the course here.


Universities receive aircraft deliveries

Piper Aircraft will deliver two new Arrow training aircraft to the Aeronautics Division at Kent State University's College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology. The program has more than 500 students seeking degrees in flight technology, aviation management, aeronautical systems engineering technology, aeronautical studies, and air traffic control. And Iowa’s University of Dubuque has ordered four Cessna 172S Skyhawks. The aircraft will be delivered in September, completing the school’s transition to an all Garmin G1000-equipped training fleet for its aviation degree programs.


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Prop attack

In this Real Pilot Story, find out how a hot magneto and pilot complacency converged at the wrong time. It's a good reminder of why you always handle a propeller as though it will turn over unexpectedly, because it might. Just ask Bruce Stanfield. Watch the Real Pilot Story...


AOPA Fly-In procedures

Review Spokane Fly-In procedures

Start planning your arrival at the Aug. 16 AOPA Fly-In at Felts Field in Spokane, Washington! Everything you need to know—arrival procedures, frequencies, and camping and parking information—is in the pilot information packet. Spokane International Airport is the official reliever for the AOPA Fly-In. AOPA will be offering complimentary ground transportation Aug. 16 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. between the XN Air FBO at Spokane International and Felts Field. Download the fly-in procedures...

Training Resources

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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 from the Air Safety Institute lets you input the details of a flight, and then get an objective assessment of the risks. Use the tool...

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

Fly with Sean Tucker, go inside Rocket Engineering

See what it's like to fly with airshow performer Sean Tucker at EAA AirVenture, take a tour of the Paul Poberezny workshop, and get an inside look at Rocket Engineering, based at Spokane's Felts Field in Washington, home of the Aug. 16 AOPA Fly-In. AOPA Live This Week®, Aug. 7...  

Career Pilot


Boeing introduces solution to stem global pilot shortage

Boeing's Flight Services division is offering a pipeline from zero flight time to airline qualified in two years, the company announced at EAA AirVenture. Read more...  


Southwest announces cash award, profit sharing payments

Southwest Airlines announced July 24 that it will recognize Southwest and AirTran employees with a one-time cash award of $200 each as a thank-you for their work related to the company's achieving a 17.1-percent pretax return on invested capital, excluding special items, for the 12 months that ended June 30. Gary C. Kelly, Southwest's chairman, president, and CEO, said the company's outstanding second quarter results will result in profit-sharing payments of $127 million. That quarterly figure compares to profit sharing of approximately $228 million for calendar year 2013, which was the largest dollar amount allocated directly to employees in a single year.

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

Plane Spotter

Extending the range

Can you identify the 155-horsepower single-engine airplane that flies several knots faster than a Cessna 172 and claims 58 percent more range—all while consuming 25 percent less fuel? Plane spotters who noted the new-aircraft news from EAA AirVenture 2014 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, know the answer: a diesel-powered version of the Cessna 172 to be offered as an energy-efficient option starting in 2015. A duly documented definition in a plane spotter's diary will detail the specimen spotted as a Cessna 172 Turbo Skyhawk JT-A powered by a Continental CD-155 diesel engine.

Training Products

King Schools releases EASA pilot courses on the iPad

Pilots going for a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) light aircraft pilot license, private pilot license, or night rating certification now can study for their knowledge tests using an iPad training app available from King Schools. The E-gle (EASA-Guided Learning Experience) app is available for free download, and includes demo versions of the modules. Full modules can be bought from within the app.


ASA releases flying handbook as e-book

The FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook, offered by ASA as an e-book, introduces the basic pilot skills and knowledge essential for piloting airplanes. It benefits student pilots just beginning their aviation endeavors, as well as pilots wishing to improve their flying proficiency and aeronautical knowledge, pilots preparing for additional certificates or ratings, and flight instructors. The cost is $14.95.

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

Members only

Pro rata cost sharing: Math matters

Pilots are a practical-minded lot. Most seek opportunities to reduce flying expenses, and cost sharing is a common practice. FAR 61.113 (c) dictates how pilots may share the cost of flying with passengers. Read more...  


Member benefits

AOPA member recommends 'anything AOPA'

When it came time to choose insurance for his Cessna 182, former Naval aviator Ron Cuff selected AOPA for its "superior service and fair pricing." In fact, said Cuff, "My aircraft insurance with AOPA costs less than my auto policy." Read more...  


Letters of recommendation

One of the tasks involved in getting a flying job—and many other jobs as well—is that of getting a reference or a letter of recommendation. Read more...  


Robinson R22: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Neal Lanning, president of Advanced Helicopter Concepts Inc. in Frederick, Maryland, blogs about the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to flying Robinson R22 helicopters. Read more...  

Instrument Tip


'Trust my instincts'

The center controller who had issued the flight's late-night IFR clearance heard the truncated transmission but thought little of it. Read more...  

Final Exam


You are planning a cross-country and are thinking of going to an airport that is the primary airport for Class D airspace.  While you are reading the information printed on the sectional chart about the airport, you notice a small blue star after the control tower frequency. What does this blue star indicate?


This symbol means that the airport has part-time tower operations. Information about the tower's hours of operations can be found in the airport/facility directory. You can learn more about VFR sectional chart symbols by taking the Air Safety Institute's VFR Sectional safety quiz. The FAA's Aeronautical Chart Users Guide is also a good source to review symbols for any chart.

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

Career Opportunities

Aviation job board

Job of the week: Emergency preparedness coordinator at KDCA

Put your experience in emergency management or public administration to good use at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. Responsibilities include developing and coordinating emergency and disaster response plans, business/ops continuity plans, and recovery plans, and identifying associated training needs. Find more information on this unique career opportunity here.


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a financial analyst, human resources assistant, payroll technician, contract Air Safety Institute presenter, member services representative, major gift officer, AOPA Live producer/videographer I, and account manager II. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Aug 9-10 - Reno, Nevada; and Allentown, Pennsylvania

Aug 16-17 - Atlanta, Georgia

Aug 23-24 - Long Beach, California

Sep 13-14 - Sacramento, California; and Tempe, Arizona

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

Sep 2 - Germantown, Tennessee

Sep 3 - Salt Lake City, Utah; and Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Sep 4 - Boise, Idaho; and Maryville, Tennessee

Sep 8 - Wichita, Kansas; Florham Park, New Jersey; and Detroit, Michigan

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Aug 9 - Scott City, Missouri; and Hartford, Connecticut

Aug 11 - Belgrade, Montana

Aug 15 - Spokane, Washington

Aug 22 - Bemidji, Minnesota

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

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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