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December 26, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionDecember 26, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

December 26, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 52

Training Tips


Fog's thinly veiled threat

What's the sneakiest cloud in the sky when it comes to ensnaring a VFR pilot in less-than-VFR conditions? Fog is a serious type of cloud because when it is near, the ground is not far away. Even the most conscientious pilot who gets quality weather briefings, monitors in-flight weather, and heeds the limitations placed in his or her logbook by a flight instructor could find an unexpected fog layer poised at the destination. Read more...  

Flight Training News


Sporty's unveils Cessna 172LITE

A refurbished Cessna 172N that will offer more cost-effective flight training is at the heart of the Cessna 172LITE project, announced Dec. 17 by Sporty's. Read more...  



Sport pilot training helps Wisconsin pilot realize his dream

A Wisconsin pilot with a congenital heart defect is able to solo thanks to the sport pilot regulations. Read more...  


AOPA Pilot feature

2014 fly-ins: Sea to shining sea

In an effort to increase member engagement, one of AOPA President Mark Baker's first acts as the association's new leader was to move away from one annual convention and instead to host a series of regional fly-ins to "meet the members where they are." After seven fly-ins—in locations from coast to coast—more than 16,000 AOPA members met and enjoyed the camaraderie, aviation fun, and fantastic food offered by the association. Read more and watch a video of the highlights...  


Flight schools open in Idaho, South Carolina

Student pilots in South Carolina and Idaho have new options for pilot training. Latitude Aviation has opened at Coeur d'Alene Airport in Idaho, offering primary and advanced instruction starting in a Cessna 150. Greenville Downtown Airport in South Carolina has gotten its third flight school, GSA Business reports: The Flight School of Greenville offers training in Cessna 172s and a Piper Lance.

Training Resources

Safety Spotlight

Don't let chilly weather ground you

The cold weather season can be a wonderful time to fly. But you need to be ready for chilly encounters with Mother Nature. How to prepare? Check out the Air Safety Institute's "Icing and Cold Weather Ops" safety spotlight to dust off the rust. Learn more...  

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 6 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

A look back at 2014 highlights

Take a look at some of the highlights from AOPA Live This Week® in 2014, including flying VFR past the New York City skyline, and riding in the U.S. Navy Blue Angels' Lockheed C-130 Fat Albert. Watch AOPA Live This Week, Director's Cut 2014...  

Career Pilot


'The single most important license I got'

When what had seemed like a guaranteed job doing what he loved fell apart in front of him, it gave him a path forward. When he was furloughed from an airline job, it gave him a way back in. When he hangs up his captain's hat and epaulettes, it will give him a retirement plan. Delta Air Lines Captain Jeffrey Whitesell said his flight instructor certificate has been his backstop his whole career, many times opening a door where one otherwise might not have been opened. Read more...  


Policy shift fuels interest in Cuba travel

The president's recent announcement that the United States would reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease travel restrictions to the island nation has prompted a spike in tourism interest, according to an article in the Miami Herald. Operators that have permission to take Americans to Cuba under current restrictions reported an uptick in interest after the announcement and anticipate changes to the business of travel to Cuba, according to the newspaper. General aviation flights to Cuba are not yet permitted. Find out the latest information on the topic of private flights to Cuba in an AOPA podcast briefing.

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

Plane Spotter

Nothing 'coarse' about it

A fighting airplane's profile that combines the striking effect of a gigantic R-2800 radial engine and a suitably sized, multi-bladed propeller, plus a taildragger configuration, would freeze any plane spotter in place. Now add an unmistakably bent "inverted gullwing" (folding) wing design, and you must be in the presence of a World War II/Korean War-era Vought F4U Corsair. Most aircraft of this model were built in Connecticut, where it is designated the official state aircraft. Museum examples—and racers—are breathtaking; so are show aircraft such as this Corsair flown by Red Bull.

Training Products

ASA offers circular E6B

ASA now offers a circular E6B flight computer for flight planning and in-flight calculations. One side is used for simple calculations; unit conversions; and time, speed, distance, rate, fuel consumption, altitude, airspeed, air temperature, and pressure pattern calculations. Pilots can use the wind side to determine true wind, winds in flight, true course and ground speed, true heading and true airspeed, and off-course correction calculations. The E6B sells for $29.95.

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

I hereby resolve...

Start the New Year with a resolution to avoid the hassle and frustration that can often come from an altercation with the FAA. Here are some basic tips to help guide you through the medical certification process if you have a condition that requires FAA review. Read more...  



Renter's insurance: Do I need it?

In addition to offering liability protection, renter's insurance policies also provide optional coverage for physical damage to an aircraft that you are operating. Read more...  



Who's the best pilot?

Opinion Leaders blogger Ron Rapp writes, "The best pilot isn't the one who finds the cheapest fuel, stuffs the most presents into the baggage compartment, or makes the softest landing. It's the one who best manages the risk inherent in that flight." What do you think? Share your thoughts...  

Instrument Tip

Login required

Quiz: Escape the cold

It's the middle of winter, and a trip down to the sunny Bahamas sounds appealing. The weather is not bad for your departure, but some low IFR conditions are expected at your planned fuel stop. Will you be able to make it to the beach? Find out with the Air Safety Institute's Winter Escape IFR quiz. Take the quiz...  



Power, and distraction

After a complete electrical failure during an initial climb from the departure airport, the pilot of a Beech King Air 200 learned a valuable lesson from a simple but costly omission. Read more...  

Final Exam


What weather conditions can you expect when you see the isobars close together on a surface weather chart?


Closely clustered isobars indicate a steep pressure gradient and windy conditions. (Source: FAA Advisory Circular AC00-6A Aviation Weather, Chapter 4.)

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

Career Opportunities

Aviation job board

Job of the week: Volunteer coordinator, RAF

The Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) seeks a volunteer coordinator to provide ongoing education, coaching, development, direction, and support to the RAF state liaisons. This position has a wide range of responsibilities from facilitating the administrative needs of the state liaisons to captaining a RAF trade show booth. Read the full job description and apply today!


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a graphic designer, 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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