Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

February 21, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionFebruary 21, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

February 21, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 8

Training Tips

First impressions

The Jan. 14 Training Tip: "Too much, too soon" presented a scenario of a mis-trimmed trainer catching a student pilot by surprise by unexpectedly pitching up before rotation speed during a takeoff run.

That could happen to a pilot who ignores proper pre-takeoff checklist use, or is distracted into missing the pre-takeoff trim check. The scenario moved a reader to write in and suggest that a sharp-eyed pilot could avert such a problem long before the takeoff run commences.

"During the walk-around portion of the preflight the pilot should have noticed the trim tab on the elevator was not in a clean position, and wondered what the cause was," wrote Thomas Szarewicz in an email. "That would pique one's interest and provide cause to check the trim on entering the cockpit, or at least make the pilot aware."

Indeed, checking the tail surfaces during the walk-around inspection should include a knowledgeable examination of the trim tab. And even before that, most pilots begin sizing up their aircraft the moment they spot it on the flight line.

Any pilot gazes admiringly at his or her ride from afar, but don't be blinded by love. You'd be frozen in your tracks if you beheld a flat tire, a low nosewheel strut, or obvious damage.

Everything look okay from a distance? Closer up, more detail will meet your eye: Are the wheels chocked? Is the aircraft tied down left wing, right wing, and tail? Are tiedown ropes secure, or limp and dangling from yesterday's winds?

Is the pitot tube covered? (Don't just look for a brightly colored pitot-cover ribbon. Check for an unmarked cover as well.) Are gust locks or cowl plugs installed? Must snow or frost be removed? Is there evidence of fuel, oil, or brake fluid leakage?

Most of the items mentioned appear on the checklists you follow before takeoff. But it is during the preliminary visual inspection that many pilots first spot items in need of attention. That could include an out-of-trim condition, which might be perceptible as a visibly deflected elevator trim tab. Reset it promptly to the takeoff position. Doing so will have the added benefit of freeing the trim tab if it happens to be frozen and stuck.

The practiced eye admires, but also takes stock of an aircraft to be flown, providing an additional level of caution and safety.

Flight Training News


Moments of truth

The movie Charlie Victor Romeo, a film version of the 1999 stage play by the same name, offers unflinching insight into aviation crisis, drawn entirely from the words of pilots and crews who confronted disaster in the sky. This unblinking authenticity has made an unusual piece of theater into a teaching tool for professional aviators, and others who must manage crises, to the surprise and delight of its creators. Read more... Share:  


Embry-Riddle Worldwide to offer UAS workshop

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide will be holding a two-day course designed to help professionals looking to gain a better understanding of the emerging unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry. The event will be held in Las Vegas Feb. 27 to 28. Topics to be discussed include introduction and impact of unmanned aircraft; aircraft designs; legislation, certification, and regulation; industry concerns; applications; operational profiles; business opportunities; and the future of unmanned systems.


Zenith Aircraft releases workshops schedule

Zenith Aircraft will hold builder workshops on March 6 and 7 and April 24 and 25 at its headquarters in Mexico, Mo. The workshops will provide attendees a hands-on introductory workshop where customers can start building their own all-metal Zenith kit airplane.


Deadline approaches for Wisconsin scholarships

The Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame has opened applications for five scholarships it is offering in 2014. The Jeff Baum Scholarship is $250; the Robert Payzer Memorial/EAA Chapter 640, Jerome Ripp Memorial, and Thiessen Field scholarships are for $500 each. The Car Guell Memorial Scholarship is for $1,000. Applications are due by March 3.


Apps of the week

Five random apps

It's time for the randomizer, which has chosen five apps that can help pilots with tasks ranging from preflight calculations to filing pireps. Read more... Share:  


Pilot Safety Announcement

Who's flying the airplane?

Fly along with the Air Safety Institute's "iPanel" Pilot Safety Announcement (PSA), which takes a decidedly tongue-in-cheek look at the modern electronic cockpit's endless opportunities for distraction. Watch the video... Share:  



Honeywell to unveil takeoff aid

Takeoff accidents present a challenge for avionics manufacturers: how to provide a reliable takeoff performance monitor that can identify a problem in time to abort a takeoff safely—and avoid nuisance alerts that could risk unnecessary high-speed rejected takeoffs? Read more... Share:  



Ask ATC: Student pilots

If you're a student pilot, should you let ATC know this upon first contact? Find out what air traffic controllers think and how they can help you. Watch the video... Share:  

Training Resources

Login required

Wake turbulence

No pilot would willingly fly through a tornado, but many of them forget about another powerful force that lurks invisibly around airports. Wake up to the hazards of wake turbulence by taking this Air Safety Institute quiz. 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

Vision jet update; historic GPS anniversary

Cirrus Aircraft says it is weeks away from a major milestone in its Vision jet program, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) lays out the state of the general aviation industry, and Garmin marks the 20-year anniversary of the beginning of a new era of navigation. AOPA Live reports from the Newseum in Washington, D.C., for AOPA Live This Week®, Feb. 20. Share:  

Career Pilot

United to shutter Cleveland hub

United Airlines announced Feb. 1 that it will close its hub in Cleveland, a move that will eliminate 470 jobs, the Associated Press reported. In a letter to employees, United CEO Jeff Smisek said that by June, service at the hub—a former Continental facility that he said has not been profitable for more than a decade—will drop from the current 199 flights to 72. The cuts are similar to those that have affected hubs in Memphis, Tenn.; Cincinnati; and Salt Lake City as air carriers have merged in recent years, the AP said.


Union mitigates flight-attendant furloughs at United

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), which represents more than 25,000 flight attendants at United Airlines, on Feb. 7 announced an agreement with United management that averts involuntary furloughs through improved voluntary options. The agreement also provides employment for flight attendants originally slated to lose their jobs by offering an enhanced crossover agreement to premerger Continental Airlines employees.

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

Plane Spotter

The flying workplace

Even if your airport isn't the point of departure for the next work shift on an offshore oil rig, there is an abundance of other reasons why commercial helicopters may be operating in the local airspace. If a law enforcement organization, corporate flight department, or emergency medical service comes and goes locally, the sight of a Bell 206 helicopter, the well-known, two-rotor-bladed Jetranger, may not be uncommon. With its extra wide doors and seating for six passengers, the Bell model 206L4 makes an "ideal flying workplace," says the manufacturer.


CORRECTION: In the Feb. 14 issue of AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition, we incorrectly stated the true airspeed of the JetPROP DLX. This aftermarket conversion of the Piper PA-46 cruises at 265 knots true airspeed at Flight Level 270.

Training Products

King Schools offers discount on ATP Knowledge Test Course

The King Schools has cut prices by 50 percent—to $149—on its ATP Knowledge Test Course in advance of FAA changes that go into effect on Aug. 1. The course covers topics including performance charts, regulations, high-altitude weather, IFR procedures, operational factors, federal aviation regulations, and weight and balance.


'Complete Private Pilot' tenth edition released

Aircraft Spruce is now selling the tenth edition of The Complete Private Pilot handbook. The book prepares the student with a thorough conceptual and practical understanding of the flying fundamentals. Several chapters refer to aeronautical charts, and a full-color example of a sectional chart is provided for use with exercises throughout the text. The cost is $19.75.

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

Five ways to get the drugs you need

When considering a new prescription, a pilot must answer several questions: Is it effective? Is it FAA-allowed? Is it affordable? Read more... Share:  


Member benefits

If you're not protected, it could cost you a lot

Should you have even a minor incident in your rented or borrowed airplane, you could be financially obligated to repair the damages. Read more... Share:  


A flight training inspiration

Some people want to learn to fly from an early age, but others come to it for different reasons. AOPA eNewsletters/Social Media Editor and student pilot Benét Wilson shares one such inspirational story. Read more... Share:  


The best-laid plans

When you travel GA—and VFR pilots know this better than anybody—flexibility is the name of the game. Read more... Share:  

Instrument Tip


Constructive comments

Readers helped explain that often you can fly an approach to one runway but circle to another for landing. (Are there exceptions? Yes.) Read more... Share:  

Final Exam


Your aircraft is based at a small, private airport. The annual inspection is due this month. Your favorite mechanic is located at the municipal airport and you are going to fly your airplane over there to have the inspection completed. The two airports have a straight-line distance of 8 nautical miles. Can you log the flight time as cross-country time?


Yes, you can. Cross-country time means time acquired during flight conducted in an aircraft, by a person who holds a pilot certificate, with a landing at a point other than the point of departure and involves navigating to the landing point. There are alternative definitions of cross-country time as well, so always make sure the definition you are using is appropriate to your situation. If you're a student pilot who is training for a private pilot certificate, then your cross-country flight must include a point of landing that is a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure. Otherwise, that flight time cannot be used to meet the cross-country aeronautical experience requirements for a private pilot certificate. (Source: FAR § 61.1(b)(A)(B)(C)(D)).

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

Career Opportunities

AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an event planner, coordinator of pilot community and development, director of insurance business operations, and member services and airport directory representative. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Feb 22-23 - Sacramento, Calif.

Mar 1-2 - Phoenix, Ariz.; Ontario, Calif.; and King of Prussia, Pa.

Mar 8-9 - Baltimore, Md.; and Orlando, Fla.

Mar 15-16 - San Mateo, Calif.; and Virginia Beach, Va.

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

Feb 24 - Ocala, Fla.

Feb 25 - Lakeland, Fla.

Feb 26 - Melbourne, Fla.

Feb 27 - Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Topics vary—for details and 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

Apr 26 — San Marcos, Texas. San Marcos Municipal Airport (KHYI). AOPA Fly-in.


May 31 — Indianapolis, Indiana. Indianapolis Regional Airport (KMQJ). AOPA Fly-in.


Jul 12 — Plymouth, Massachusetts. Plymouth Airport (KPYM). AOPA Fly-in.


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!

ePilot Flight Training Editor:

Benét Wilson

Production Team

Katie Richardson
Lezlie Ramsey
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

Member Tools: Send feedback | ePilot Archive

Topics: AOPA, Flight Training, Pilot Training and Certification

Related Articles