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August 15, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionAugust 15, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

August 15, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 33

Training Tips

Information 'upon request'

It's a pilot's responsibility to obtain a complete preflight briefing, so don't let an unasked question undermine your effort.

As you plan a cross-country route, be sure to examine it carefully for any special airspace characteristics or flight activities that could be a factor during your transit of the area. Then, to get a complete picture of the proposed flight, you may have to ask some specific, focused questions. Do you know what information to request?

If your route transits an area of special-use airspace (SUA), for example, information about the airspace is available from the briefer, but only "upon request" of the pilot. That means it will not automatically be provided in a briefing. Aeronautical Information Manual paragraph 7-1-4(b)8 explains that "for the purpose of this paragraph, SUA and related airspace includes the following types of airspace: alert area, military operations area (MOA), warning area, and air traffic control assigned airspace (ATCAA)." Military training route (MTR) data "includes the following types of airspace: IFR training routes (IR), VFR training routes (VR), and slow training routes (SR)." Pilots are encouraged to request updates from air traffic control facilities while in flight.

Wait a minute: Don't VFR sectional charts provide information about times and altitudes of use of MOAs and other SUA?

Yes, but your preflight briefing will tell you whether a specific parcel of SUA will be active—"hot"—while you are airborne, and to what extent.

MTRs also are depicted on sectional charts. Note that a flight from Adirondack Regional Airport in Saranac Lake, New York, to Vermont's Burlington International Airport crosses IR801, an IFR training route located in a mountainous sector of the route.

But that's not the whole story of the MTR. A note on the Montreal Sectional Chart explains that only the route centerline and direction of flight are depicted. An MTR's width and altitudes are not—making it crucial for a VFR pilot to obtain more information. Note also that MTRs are subject to change on a 56-day cycle; that could render the charted depiction obsolete.

Another item not included in your briefing unless you ask is information from the Notices to Airmen publication. These so-called published notams are available online—but if you want to review them at the time of your preflight briefing, be sure to make the request.

Flight Training News

5 tips to help you renew your CFI certificate

Some flight instructor refresher courses can be dry, monotonous, tedious, and downright painful—but not the Air Safety Institute's eFIRC. Read more...  


Apps of the week

Get the skinny on weight and balance apps

Check out four apps that take the weight off doing weight and balance calculations. Read more...  


Flight Training poll deadline approaching

Many people have a desire to fly, but few of them make it all the way into the group of certificated pilots. AOPA is asking you to share your insight in the association's 2014 Flight Training Poll. Participate in the poll and share your recent training experience (good or bad) to identify flight training providers that will help budding pilots succeed and give the flying community the best chance to create lifelong passionate aviators. In this poll, you will have the opportunity to tell AOPA about a school and/or individual instructor. The Flight Training Poll will close on Aug. 23 at midnight (PDT). Take the poll...  


Community college offers 'gap' funds

Iowa's Indian Hills Community College has received approval for "gap" funding to help students learning to fly under its aviation pilot training program. The Iowa Department of Education approved the gap money, which gives need-based tuition help to community college students enrolled in continuing education certificate training programs for in-demand occupations.


2015 Aviation Design Challenge promotes STEM skills

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) announced plans to hold the third Aviation Design Challenge in 2015. The nationwide challenge was designed to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills through aviation in U.S. high schools. The first 100 teachers who enter the challenge will receive a free "Fly to Learn" curriculum, as well as five free copies of airplane design and simulation software from X-Plane for their classrooms.


Flash-based, login required

ADS-B spelled out for you

Confused about what Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology is and what it means to you? The Air Safety Institute's ADS-B for General Aviation: The Basics online course explains how it works, who is affected by its implementation, and the benefits of flying with ADS-B. Take the course...



VFR flight plans and ATC

Does ATC know your route if you file a VFR flight plan? Will they know the details of your plan? Learn more in this "Ask ATC" video clip. Watch the video...  

Training Resources

Login required

Special-use airspace

Busting special-use airspace has special consequences. Take this Air Safety Institute quiz to learn how you can remain clear of this airspace. Take the quiz...

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

Boeing's pioneer biplane, remembering Robin Williams

Check out the biplane that launched the air travel industry, the Boeing 40. From a pile of boxes to an airworthy airplane in just one week, it's the One Week Wonder. Also this week, remembering Robin Williams' AOPA moment. AOPA Live This Week®, Aug. 14...  

Career Pilot

EKU, ExpressJet partner on pilot career path program

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) and ExpressJet Airlines are joining together to offer aviation students a path to becoming an airline pilot. Students in ExpressJet's Airline Pilot Pathway Program (AP3) will be monitored throughout their academic career at the university, and current ExpressJet pilots will volunteer to mentor participating students. Students who successfully complete the AP3 will be offered a guaranteed job as a first officer with ExpressJet Airlines and, later, may be guaranteed an interview at Delta Air Lines.


Baltia pilots complete training

Baltia Air Lines announced July 31 that training of its initial cadre of pilots and check airmen was completed on July 30. "This concludes both ground and simulator training," said Sheryle Milligan, chief of operations for the new carrier, which is in the process of obtaining FAA air carrier certification. Based at Willow Run Airport in Michigan, Baltia plans to operate Boeing 747 aircraft between the United States and Europe.

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

Plane Spotter

Super versatile

In a year that has seen its share of thrilling announcements, and debuts of prototypes and production aircraft alike, how do you capture the world's attention for your next big step in aviation innovation? Swiss aircraft maker Pilatus did it by presenting the prototype of its new PC-24 twinjet before thousands of spectators during a national holiday celebration. The super versatile jet's performance will be delivered with multiple cabin layouts, short-field and unimproved-strip capabilities, and 3,600 pounds of thrust from each Williams F444-4A turbofan engine. Spot a prototype flying next spring.

Training Products

Learn to fly with private pilot kit

Jeppesen's Private Pilot Ultimate Kit was designed for both FAR Part 61 and FAR Part 141 training programs. The comprehensive system emphasizes the why and how of aeronautical concepts. The kit includes a private pilot maneuvers manual, a syllabus, a stage exam booklet, an FAA practical test guide, and more. The cost is $439.


MyGoFlight offers iPad kneeboards

MyGoFlight has three products that can hold an iPad in the cockpit. The iPad Pro C is an all-aluminum kneeboard case for the iPad 2/3/4 and iPad Air that fits most aircraft. The iPad Folio C is an all-leather, rotating kneeboard/lapboard case for the iPad 2/3/4, iPad Air, or iPad mini with a cover that can fold completely under itself when space is tight. The iPad Sport is a rubberized polycarbonate kneeboard and/or mountable case for iPad 2/3/4, iPad Air, and iPad mini.

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

I'm having fluttering in my chest!

Dr. Warren Silberman discusses the common cardiac irregularity called atrial fibrillation and what pilots who have the condition can do to get their medical certificate back. Read more...  



Fear of flying led comedian to take flying lessons

After experiencing air turbulence when flying, comedian Kevin Hughes decided to learn how to fly to help ease his fears. He's getting checked out in three airplanes through OpenAirplane after 500 hours of flying and relies on AOPA renter's insurance for his insurance needs. Read more...  


Teaching your problems

Having trouble with a maneuver or concept? Chip Wright suggests that you try to teach it to your flight instructor. Read more...  

Instrument Tip


Careful what you wish for

The Cessna Skyhawk's cockpit is sweltering as the pilot monitors the engine oil temperature and waits for the center controller to call. Read more...  

Final Exam


As a private pilot, may I replace a dead battery in my aircraft?


Yes, FAR 43.3(g) says that the holder of a pilot certificate issued under Part 61, not including sport pilots, can perform preventive maintenance on any aircraft not used for certain commercial operations. A list of the approved preventive maintenance can be found in Appendix A of Part 43.

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

Career Opportunities

Job of the week: Strategic relationship manager at AIAA

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is seeking a dynamic, experienced strategic relationship manager who will expand the depth and breadth of AIAA's long-term corporate relationships, increase revenues from each corporate membership demographic, and grow their assigned market. Learn more about this exciting opportunity today.


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, 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 16-17 - Atlanta, Georgia

Aug 23-24 - Long Beach, California

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

Sept 20-21 - Colorado Springs, Colorado; Baltimore, Maryland; and Bellevue, Washington

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

Sept 2 - Germantown, Tennessee

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

Sept 4 - Boise, Idaho; and Maryville, Tennessee

Sept 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 15 - Spokane, Washington

Aug 22 - Bemidji, Minnesota

Sept 6 - Fredericksburg, Virginia; and Santa Fe, New Mexico

Sept 9 - Knightdale, North Carolina

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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