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August 22, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionAugust 22, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

August 22, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 34

Training Tips

R in a circle

A student pilot spreads out a sectional navigation chart and draws a course line for tomorrow's cross-country, taking note of a variety of features along the route. Obstructions, maximum elevation figures, airspace classes, and prominent landmarks for visual navigation all come in for scrutiny and help determine cruise altitude, the route of flight, and the selection and spacing of checkpoints.

In many areas of the country, an examination of the local sectional chart reveals numerous examples of an airport symbol appearing as a capital R enclosed by the circular unpaved-airport symbol. For example, three such airfields are shown in the short distance between Montana's Kalispell City Airport and Flathead Lake on the Great Falls Sectional Chart. Several other such airports are located east and north of Kalispell.

The sectional chart legend explains that an airport identified in this manner is private, that is, "non-public having emergency or landmark value." Notice that adjacent to the private airport symbols appearing here and there on your local area's sectional chart is the notation "(PVT)," along with the airport's name, field elevation, and runway length.

Here's a related question that you might be asked by your flight instructor or your designated examiner: Why are private airports identified with the letter R in a circle, not a P?

For the answer, seek out the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide, where it is explained that the R-in-a-circle symbol signifies a "restricted or private" airport with a soft-surfaced runway, or a hard-surfaced runway less than 1,500 feet long. "Use only in emergency, or by specific authorization," it cautions. (Hard-surfaced private airports with longer runways are depicted and noted according to the appropriate symbol.)

Knowing of the presence of a private strip near or along your course can be useful even if it is not possible under normal circumstances to land there, so make the effort to locate such strips from the air as you pass. Some will be easier to spot than others—but in any case, it's good to know that there is a runway within reach if you need it in an emergency such as an engine failure, critically low fuel, or the need to make a precautionary landing because of rapidly deteriorating weather.

Your arrival might be unexpected, but the strip’s owner is likely to be glad you chose to drop in rather than select riskier alternatives under adverse conditions.

Flight Training News


Successful in Spokane

"I want to spend every day here!" cried a small boy as the fourth 2014 AOPA Regional Fly-In in Spokane, Washington, came to a close at Felts Field Aug. 16. Read more...  


School offers glass transitions

A new flight training venture at New Jersey's Monmouth Executive Airport, Glass Panel Training, is helping pilots transition to technically advanced aircraft. It's also helping with high-performance endorsements and instrument training. The training is done in either a Cessna Skylane or one of the company's two flight training devices. Time in the Skylane, including fuel, is $180 an hour and instruction is $50 an hour, while simulator dual is $100 an hour and simulator solo is $60 an hour, according to the company's website.


Apps of the week

Aviate, navigate, communicate—and calculate

With all of the calculations pilots are required to do for every flight, here's a look at five apps that can help with that process. Read more...  


Flying Tiger announces move, expansion

Louisiana-based Flying Tiger Aviation has announced plans to expand in the northeast region of the state by building a flight training center for aerial applications in agriculture and other industries. As part of an $847,000 capital investment, Flying Tiger Aviation will relocate from Rayville, Louisiana, to Morehouse Memorial Airport in Bastrop. It will build 20,000 square feet of hangar space, a 5,000-square-foot maintenance hangar, and a 150,000-square-foot expansion of the ramp. The company will also partner with Louisiana Delta Community College to create the Louisiana Aerial Application Center of Excellence, which will offer aerial application flight training.


Embry-Riddle Prescott partners on aircraft training program

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott's Robertson Safety Institute and Mojave, California-based Flight Research Inc. have signed a deal to provide training and curriculum programs for aircraft loss-of-control situations. Embry-Riddle and Flight Research will evaluate and offer recommendations on training curricula. Flight portions of courses will generally take place at the Mojave facility, while ground-based courses will be held at both Flight Research Inc. and Embry-Riddle's Prescott campus. Future projects include joint professional workshops that would be open to the public.


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Flying to help others

Are you a volunteer pilot, or have you considered becoming one? Whether you're curious about what it takes or want to brush up on safety guidelines and passenger comfort recommendations, check out the Air Safety Institute's Public Benefit Flying: Balancing Safety and Compassion online course. Immerse yourself in the world of giving through flying—the reward is priceless. Take the course...

Training Resources


Takeoffs and landings: Determining an abort point

When it comes to making a safe takeoff, we can all live by simple rules of thumb. Learn one for how to choose an abort point if your takeoff roll isn't going as planned in this Air Safety Institute video. Watch the video...  

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

Pressure increases for medical reform, don't miss the Gee Bee

AOPA and industry partners tell the Department of Transportation to open the medical certification reform rule for public comment within 30 days. Take a look at some old airplanes at historic Felts Field in Spokane, Washington—you won't want to miss the Gee Bee! And imagine flying a taildragger from Alaska to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and back: A 21-year-old did just that as a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. AOPA Live This Week®, Aug. 21...  

Career Pilot

Airways Aviation starts pilot training program

London-based Airways Aviation has launched its Pilot Training Foundation program in the United Kingdom, Australia, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Montenegro, Jordan, and Lebanon. New aviation theory classes will provide help to students interested in becoming commercial pilots. Classes will start in the fall, using a curriculum based on both European and Australian requirements in subjects including aviation English, aerodynamics, navigation, meteorology, human performance, flight rules and air law, aircraft general knowledge and operations, performance, and planning.


Spirit flight attendants reach tentative agreement

Spirit Airlines flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, announced a tentative agreement with management Aug. 7 on a new contract that includes immediate pay increases, protection of health care, and quality-of-life provisions. The agreement, reached with the assistance of the National Mediation Board, would cover nearly 1,400 flight attendants at the airline. It was unanimously approved by AFA's Spirit Airlines leadership and will be sent to the membership for ratification. Full details of the tentative agreement will not be made public until union members have had an opportunity to review the terms. Flight attendants at the carrier rejected an earlier management offer.

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

Plane Spotter

Lighter than air

It's an early summer morning. A plane spotter is picking dew-covered tomatoes in the garden when voices and laughter are heard nearby—but not to the left or the right. Look up! It's a hot-air balloon floating along in the stillness of dawn. See them flying alone or in large groups; in either case, practitioners of ballooning revel in "the sport and science of lighter-than-air aviation," says the Balloon Federation of America. Remember, when flying a powered aircraft, that a balloon enjoys the right-of-way over any other category of aircraft.

Training Products

Sporty's now sells satellite hotspot

Sporty's is now selling the Iridium GO! Satellite Hotspot, which allows users to send messages and make phone calls anywhere in the world, even at 10,000 feet. Flip up the Iridium GO! antenna and connect your iPhone or Android phone via Wi-Fi. Download the free Iridium GO! app to send and receive text messages, make phone calls, and send tracking updates to friends and family. The cost is $875.


Headset head pad now available

ASA is taking orders for its new AirClassics Headset Head Pad. The soft, padded, microfiber fleece cover is a great way to increase comfort and bring new life to an old headset. The Headset Head Pad fits ASA headsets as well as most other models. It is designed to fit spring steel headbands up to five eighths of an inch wide, but may be modified to fit slightly larger headbands. The cost is $19.95.

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

Attention members: Is your member profile up to date?

In order to ensure we are giving you what you need and to better develop our benefits and services, we want to make sure we have your most up-to-date information. Update your contact and aircraft information, view your Air Safety Institute transcripts, set your home airport, update your proxy status, update your credit card information, and more! Update your profile...


Member benefits

AOPA Insurance Services welcomes new partner Liberty Mutual

AOPA Insurance Services has partnered with Liberty Mutual Insurance to provide AOPA members with an auto and home insurance benefit program. Read more...  


Members only

Select your AME carefully

AOPA is actively pursuing the relaxation of third class medical requirements for pilots flying recreationally. For now, though, pilots still have to undergo medical examinations, and choosing an aviation medical examiner can be an important part of your FAA medical certification renewal experience. Read more...  


The cover letter

What to include—and what not to include—in the cover letter has become something of a lost art. As Chip Wright explains, it's your chance to talk about what's not in your résumé. Read more...  

Instrument Tip


Coded weather? GMAB!

If it's been a while, try starting your next proficiency session by getting the weather with a pad, not the iPad. Read more...  


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A tale of two ILSs

If you think shooting any old ILS to minimums is straightforward, think again. Fly into the mountainous and foggy Southern Vermont Regional Airport and learn why there's a lot more to it than just following a glideslope to minimums. Take the quiz...

Final Exam


What are the three different types of emergency landings outlined in the Airplane Flying Handbook?


1) Forced landing—A landing necessitated by an event that does not permit the flight to continue, such as an engine failure or fire.
2) Precautionary landing—A controlled landing made by a pilot in a situation where continuing the flight is possible, but not advisable. These situations include becoming lost or deteriorating weather.
3) Ditching—Either a forced or precautionary landing made on water.
Learn more about these about these types of scenarios and other emergencies in Chapter 16 of the Airplane Flying Handbook.

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

Career Opportunities

Aviation job board

Job of the week: Assistant chief flight instructor, LETU

LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, seeks an experienced flight instructor to serve as assistant chief flight instructor. This is a year-round position with responsibilities including classroom teaching, flight instruction, course material preparation, mentorship, and other responsibilities. Read full job description 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, contract Air Safety Institute presenter, 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 23-24 - Long Beach, California

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

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

Sept 27-28 - Richmond, Virginia

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 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

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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