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December 19, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionDecember 19, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

December 19, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 51

Training Tips


A matter of course

When a student pilot on a first solo cross-country spotted an airport that didn't seem to belong down there, complacency prevented the recognition of a navigational error—and even abetted the student in fabricating a plausible explanation for the airport's unexpected appearance. How would you react to looking down while flying a cross-country and seeing an apparently uncharted airport below? Read more...  

Flight Training News

Safety challenge

'Learn & Earn' challenge kicks off

Are you up for having some fun, brushing up on safety, and getting rewarded, to boot? Enter the Air Safety Institute's new "Learn & Earn Safety Challenge" for a chance to win a Stratus 2 Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) receiver, courtesy of Sporty's Pilot Shop. Each time you complete one of the institute's free online safety courses, Real Pilot Stories, and Accident Case Studies, you are entered for a chance to win—take more courses, get more chances. Take the challenge now...  



FAA deputy a new pilot

Many student pilots are nervous come checkride day. When you're a top official at the agency responsible for the safe operation of the largest airspace system in the world, it can add to the pressure. FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker, a new private pilot, stopped by AOPA headquarters Dec. 15 to talk about his flight training journey and earning his certificate. Read more...  



Daher-Socata spearheads E-Fan project

Daher-Socata, known for the TBM series of single-engine turboprops, has signed a contract with Airbus Group's VoltAir subsidiary to design, develop, and certify the electrically powered E-Fan 2.0 aircraft. The goal is to have E-Fans serve as pilot trainers. Read more...  


First Legacy 500 pilots complete training

The first class of pilots for the Embraer Legacy 500 midsize business jet has completed training, Embraer announced Dec. 8. U.S. training is conducted at FlightSafety International's St. Louis facility, whose Level C Legacy 500 simulator was recently certified by the FAA, according to FlightSafety International. The fly-by-wire Legacy 500 made its first flight in 2012 and received certification in the United States in October.

Training Resources


No dice flying with ice

Find out why early detection of ice accumulation is critical to the safe outcome of a flight—even for pilots flying in aircraft equipped with deicing equipment. Flying the Weather: Picking up ice provides great insight on how to assess when ice might be accumulating on the airframe—what to look for, and where to look. 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

Honoring Bob Hoover, FAA No. 2 gets his ticket

This week, hear what aviation legend Bob Hoover has to say about receiving the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy from the National Aeronautic Association. Plus, FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker talks about earning his private pilot certificate, and a tiny island in the Chesapeake Bay is decked in holiday cheer thanks to general aviation pilots and the Tangier Holly Run. AOPA Live This Week®, Dec. 18...  

Career Pilot

Survey: Travelers stress over crowds, annoying pax

Would you give up one of your presents to avoid taking the airlines this holiday season? The Honeywell Aerospace Travel Pet Peeves Survey found that 31 percent of respondents would. Some 92 percent of respondents said flying during the holiday season would be stressful, and of those, 57 percent attributed the stress to crowds; 49 percent credited annoying passengers.


Pratt & Whitney Canada to invest $1 billion in R&D

Pratt & Whitney Canada will invest more than $1 billion in research and development over the next four and a half years, the United Technologies Corp. subsidiary announced Dec. 8. According to the engine maker, it is developing "the most advanced propulsion technologies for improved environmental performance, including reduced fuel consumption and weight, lower emissions and less noise." The investment includes $300 million from the government of Canada, a repayable contribution under the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative.

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

Plane Spotter

Brazil's 'slippery' sportplane

Two examples of a low-wing, 190-knot, composite-built experimental kitplane with side-by-side seating, retractable tricycle gear, and a bent for acrobatics made their first stateside showing on the aviation event circuit last year. Now, plane spotters will be on the lookout for more copies of the Wega 180 or 210, a 180- or 210-horsepower newcomer from Brazil's Wega Aircraft that achieves its sprightly speed at a fuel burn of only 8 gph. Indeed, "slippery" was a word the design brought to mind when AOPA looked over a Wega at Sun 'n Fun in 2013.

Training Products

Sporty's VFR, IFR communications courses available online

Sporty's VFR Communications and IFR Communications training programs have been updated and are now available as online courses. The VFR course covers eight subject areas with 23 video segments, including 3-D animations, in-flight video, and real-world scenarios. The IFR course includes flights in different types of aircraft with different avionics. Both courses are $34.99 and are eligible for FAA Wings credit. One may take the courses on a computer or mobile device.

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

All's well if your end is well

Given how much time pilots spend sitting while flying, how often aviators discreetly ask Dr. Jonathan Sackier questions, and how common and problematic medical issues "down there" are to pilots, it's an important subject to discuss. Read more...  



Jean Moule's student pilot adventures take her to Maui, Hawaii, where she experiences crosswinds few student pilots on the mainland could handle—but which are part of learning to fly in Hawaii. Read more...  

Instrument Tip


How well can you time the handoff?

No one likes to blow a radio exchange with ATC, but it's not possible to know exactly when a handoff from one center sector to another, or from a center to approach, is going to happen. Learn this key tip to help ensure you don't miss future handoffs. Read more...  

Final Exam


What is an airport hot spot?


An airport hot spot is a runway safety-related place on an airport that is particularly susceptible to surface incidents due to the complexity of the airport layout, signage, ATC communications, or other factors. If an airport has a hot spot, or multiple hot spots, you can find them printed on the airport diagram in the airport/facility directory. You can learn more about airport hot spots from the FAA's "Focus on Hot Spots" brochure.

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

Career Opportunities

Aviation job board

Job of the week: Conferences manager, ACI-North America

Airports Council International-North America seeks a motivated individual with strong organizational and interpersonal skills with three to five years of experience in meeting and event planning to assist with 20-plus conferences and meetings annually in a fast-paced environment. The person will have direct responsibility for a minimum of six meetings annually with attendance ranging from 25 to 700 people. Read more about this exciting opportunity!


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an associate editor—Web/ePilot, program manager for flight training initiatives, senior advertising sales/account executive, online marketing manager, major gift officer, senior ambassador, .Net applications developer, social media evangelist, and account manager II. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Jan 3-4 - Charlotte, North Carolina; Portland, Oregon; and Ypsilanti, Michigan

Jan 10-11 - San Antonio, Texas; Long Beach, California; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Bellevue, Washington

Jan 17-18 - Santa Clara, California; Ridgeland, Mississippi; and Baltimore, Maryland

Feb 7-8 - Sacramento, California; Nashua, New Hampshire; Louisville, Kentucky; Fairfax, Virginia; and New Orleans, Louisiana

For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the Air Safety Institute's Online eFIRC.

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Jan 5 - Mesa, Arizona; and Reno, Nevada

Jan 6 - Sacramento, California; and Tucson, Arizona

Jan 7 - El Paso, Texas; and Milpitas, California

Jan 8 - Santa Rosa, California; and Albuquerque, New Mexico

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Jan 8 - Carlsbad, California

Jan 10 - Farmingdale, New York

Jan 15 - Murrieta, California

Jan 17 - Keene, New Hampshire

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.

ePilot Flight Training Editors:

Sarah Deener
Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore

Production Assistant:

Melissa Whitehouse


Jill W. Tallman
Warren Morningstar
Alton K. Marsh
Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Ian J. Twombly
Dan Namowitz

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