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August 29, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionAugust 29, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

August 29, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 35

Training Tips

All available resources

A student pilot and flight instructor are established in cruise on the outbound leg of a dual cross-country. Now departure control is calling to terminate radar service, the controller advising the flight to "Squawk 1200. Frequency change approved."

A variety of experiences raises a pilot trainee's confidence level, so today's destination is much unlike the bustling airport in Class C airspace to which they flew for the previous lesson. Today's destination, a grass strip far from congested airspace, is a popular port of call for local general aviation pilots because of its back-to-basics character.

Broken clouds at 3,000 feet require a safe-but-low cruise altitude—the reason departure terminated radar service without instructing the pilot to contact the area's air route traffic control center on its appropriate sector frequency for further advisories. Hills will soon make line-of-sight VOR navigation erratic, so the drill now is to fly the course, keep watch for traffic, identify emergency landing sites as they are overflown—and enjoy!

Well, there is a bit more to it than that (in case the designated examiner for your checkride should happen to inquire). The trainer is well equipped with avionics; use what's still available to maintain your situational awareness.

Along the course, for example, are numerous nontowered airports. Tuning in to the common traffic advisory frequency of the nearest one, two miles east, the student and instructor soon hear a pilot announce a westbound departure.

"Let's keep a lookout for that Cessna."

According to the sectional chart, the next airport along the route has an automated weather reporting system. The student enters the frequency into the radio's standby position, making it conveniently available for checking local conditions such as the local altimeter setting and surface winds.

The aircraft's No. 2 radio is also sitting idle. Monitoring the emergency frequency, 121.5 MHz, is encouraged and could make you the first party to pick up a distress call, or the signal from an activated emergency locator transmitter.

The radio also has a standby frequency feature. Setting it to Flight Watch, or a remote communications outlet shown on the chart, could save you time establishing communications later. It also offers an outlet for filing a pilot report about your flight conditions.

"Is all this really necessary?" the student wonders—then suddenly spots the reported westbound Cessna, less than a mile ahead.

Flight Training News


50 years later, pilot re-creates solo

Fifty years after his first solo, Henry Scoggins of South Carolina re-created it, right down to the original aircraft he flew. Read more...  



Total immersion

"A lot of firsts" is how Kayla Graham describes participating in an air rally designed to promote France's general aviation sector. Read more...  



Datalink wx: Concept to cockpit

By bringing weather into the cockpit, datalink has greatly increased the utility of aircraft while making weather flying safer and easier. The Air Safety Institute's latest safety video tells the story of the "datalink revolution" from the perspective of the people who created it. It's a behind-the-scenes look at the technology, but it's also a story of individual initiative, the entrepreneurial spirit, and the power of an idea. Watch the video...  


Apps of the week

Specific apps for general aviation

An aviation dictionary of pilot terms, advanced avionics handbook, airport identifiers, and more are available at your fingertips through Google Play and iTunes apps. Read more...  


FSU wins grant to study aircraft performance

The U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research has awarded researchers at Florida State University a $2.7 million grant to improve aircraft performance by examining how shock waves impact the bodies of supersonic airplanes. Florida State will be joined on the project by Auburn University, The Ohio State University, and the University of Texas-Austin.


Colleges receive NASA funds to promote STEM education

Thirty-five community colleges and technical schools across the United States have been awarded a share of $17.3 million through the NASA Office of Education's National Space Grant and Fellowship Program. The money will be used to increase student and faculty engagement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects during a two-year performance period.


Build A Plane wins education award

Los Angeles-based Build A Plane has been awarded the Crown Circle Award as the 2014 inductee to the Crown Circle by the National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education. The nonprofit organization, which gives kids a chance to build real airplanes in school, was recognized for its extraordinary accomplishments in leadership in aerospace education.



Will you do the right thing?

Good decision making is about avoiding the circumstances that lead to really tough choices. It requires you to anticipate and recognize basic problems, and then take timely action to correct them. "Do the right thing: Decision making for pilots" provides practical advice to help you do that, as well as guidance and recommendations for developing your own set of personal minimums. Download the safety advisor...

Training Resources

Flash-based, login required

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, Arizona. The pilot was settling down on the last leg of a long cross-country flight from Bartow, Florida, to Camarillo, California, 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 the Air Safety Institute's 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

Training bush pilots, Fly Well

The fight to keep Santa Monica Municipal Airport open is looking good; find out how you can help. Spokane Turbine Center is teaching missionary pilots to fly the Quest Kodiak into places only general aviation can go. Dr. Jonathan Sackier teaches you not to be a dope in Fly Well. And think you've seen enough ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos? AOPA Live® has one more you've got to check out. AOPA Live This Week®, Aug. 28...  

Career Pilot

American-US Airways merger could boost fares

Reduced U.S. airline capacity, exacerbated by the federal government's settlement of the American Airlines-US Airways merger, is leading to higher airfares, according to aviation information provider OAG. "The North American domestic market is the only region in the world that will see a decline in airline capacity this month," with 1 percent fewer available seats than a year ago, said John Grant, OAG executive vice president. "A contributory factor is slot divestitures by American Airlines-US Airways that were required by the Department of Justice, which other carriers are failing to fully absorb."


Oshkosh-area colleges collaborate to tackle pilot shortage

The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Fox Valley Technical College have joined forces to create a program designed to help with an impending pilot shortage, reports FOX11. Under the effort, students attending Fox Valley can do two years of pilot training, and then transfer to the university to finish their bachelor's degree.


North Dakota GA Jobs Rally to include career fair

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association's North Dakota General Aviation Jobs Rally will not only give students at the University of North Dakota the opportunity to meet with national and state elected officials and aviation industry leaders, but also the chance to land a job at a career fair. The rally will take place Sept. 5 from 1 to 2 p.m. local time at UND's James C. Ray Hangar at Grand Forks International Airport. The career fair will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. To register for the event, contact Susan Mickelson.

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

Plane Spotter

A Robin returns

A glance is all it takes for a plane spotter to pinpoint a Robin DR400 single-engine airplane. Check out the wing on this French-built low-wing model, and note that its outer section has distinctly more dihedral angle than the inner wing section. The aircraft is a mainstay of general aviation in France, and is constructed of wood. A new-generation model, the DR401, made its debut in spring 2014. A diesel-powered version with a three-bladed propeller and full authority digital engine control (FADEC) was flown in the Hop! Tour Des Jeunes Pilotes.

Training Products


Machado launches how-to book

Respected author and aviation funnyman Rod Machado has written a new book he hopes will get you back to basics. Read more...  


Light aviation directory now available

The World Directory of Light Aviation 2014/2015 Wings of the World is now available for sale. The directory offers information on all aspects of light aviation: motors, ultralights, kits, certified single-engine aircraft, supplies, and accessories. The cost is approximately $13, converted from Euros.

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

FAA requirements for heart bypass, stent procedures

A common question at the AOPA Pilot Protection Services booth during EAA AirVenture this year was, "What are the requirements after heart bypass and coronary stent procedures?" Dr. Warren Silberman discusses the wait time required to apply for a medical and the tests and documentation that are required. Read more...  


Member benefits

From staring skyward to loving aircraft ownership

AOPA member David Dart had earned his private pilot certificate in New Jersey and joined a local flying club in 1996. After the events of Sept. 11, 2001, he lost interest in flying until he accepted a job that required a commute perfect for general aviation travel. Read more...  


Why be normal?

Flying half a dozen airplanes hasn't stopped Bill Adams from soloing. Read more...  

Instrument Tip


The 'flexible safety buffer'

When it comes to establishing personal minimums, you need a working definition of the term. Read more...  

Final Exam


I overheard a pilot who rents one of my school's airplanes mention that he knows of a few flights that aren't in his logbook. I thought you had to log all of your flight time. Is this not the case?


It is not a requirement to log all of your flight time. Only the time used to meet the aeronautical experience requirements for a certificate, rating, flight review, or recent flight experience is required to be logged. (See 14 CFR 61.51.)

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

Career Opportunities

Aviation job board

Job of the week: Southwest airport division manager, FAA

The manager, airports division, directs the implementation of the national aviation transportation policy with respect to airport development in the five states covered by the FAA Southwest Region. This includes administration of the Airport Improvement Program, National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems, airport safety and certification, passenger facility charge program, environmental requirements, and other related statutory and policy programs. Programs are managed through a multidisciplined staff. 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 legal services plan program manager, financial analyst, 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

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

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

Sept 27-28 - Richmond, Virginia

Oct 11-12 - Santa Clara, California; Corpus Christi, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Nashville, Tennessee

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

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

Sept 9 - Knightdale, North Carolina

Sept 13 - Palo Alto, California

Sept 19 - Chino, California

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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