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February 28, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionFebruary 28, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

February 28, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 9

Training Tips

A good mix

The traffic pattern is busy as you return from a session of local practice. Among the calls heard on the common traffic advisory frequency is one from the Robinson R22 training helicopter based at the field.

When you studied airport traffic pattern operations and regulations, you read that helicopters are expected to "avoid the flow of fixed-wing aircraft" when coming and going from the airport. That's good to know—but wouldn't it be helpful to understand what your rotary-wing colleagues learn about the same subject?

Just as the Airplane Flying Handbook is your source for much information about procedures for your flight operations, the Helicopter Flying Handbook addresses the question of traffic patterns and how helicopter pilots maintain safe separation from other traffic.

"Airplanes and helicopters do not mix well in the same traffic environment. At multiple-use airports, regulation states that helicopters should always avoid the flow of fixed-wing traffic. To do this, be familiar with the patterns typically flown by airplanes," the book says.

What kind of pattern is flown by helicopters?

"An accepted helicopter traffic pattern is flown at 500 feet AGL and consists of right turns," the handbook explains. "This keeps the helicopter out of the flow of fixed-wing traffic."

In his series, "Rotorcraft Rookie," Flight Training magazine Editor Ian Twombly, a veteran airplane pilot, is reporting on his training to fly helicopters at towered Frederick (Md.) Municipal Airport. He offered some insights for fixed-wing pilots about helicopter operations.

"It's the helicopter pilot's responsibility to avoid fixed-wing traffic. So in general a helicopter should never be a traffic conflict concern. We do a lot of interesting things at Frederick to make this happen. The tower runs fixed wing on the left and us on the right of the primary runway. Even so we stay at 600 feet agl," he said.

"I think the bigger issue might be on the ramp. Since some [helicopter] pilots will make approaches directly to and from ramps, it pays to keep an eye out."

What may concern fixed-wing pilots the most about helicopters, he said, is "that our patterns are different, and they don't know how to interpret that." Knowing of that concern, local helicopter pilots "are well aware of the fixed-wing traffic and do everything we can do avoid it."

Bottom line: The more you know about how other folks fly, the safer the airport environment is for all.

Flight Training News

Rotorcraft Rookie

Advanced autorotations

One second in a Robinson R22 helicopter could mean the difference between life and death. It may sound melodramatic, but it's a fact. If the engine fails the pilot has 1.1 seconds to react. Read more... Share:  


Chat with B-29 pilot Debbie Travis King

Commemorative Air Force volunteer pilot Debbie Travis King returns to the Flight Training Facebook chat at 3 p.m. March 4. She'll take your questions on what it's like to fly the B-24 Liberator and the B-29 Superfortress. One chatter will receive a $25 gift card courtesy of sponsor Aircraft Spruce. Set an email reminder for the chat here. Please visit Aircraft Spruce on Facebook.


AOPA Fly-Ins

Coming to a Fly-In? Let us know!

AOPA is hosting fly-ins across the nation in 2014 where pilots can meet association leaders, attend seminars, shop for aviation products, and more. AOPA members, their spouses, and their children will receive a free lunch, which is $10 for nonmembers—but to prepare enough food, the association needs to hear from you. RSVP online for the events in Texas, Indiana, Massachusetts, Washington, California, and Georgia. You can also buy a ticket for a $5 pancake breakfast/pilot town hall. Find out more and reserve your free lunch... Share:  


High school students receive aviation training

Students in Wichita, Kan., high schools are learning about general aviation maintenance at the National Center for Aviation Training, reports the Wichita Eagle. The students are benefiting from a state program that was created in 2012 by Gov. Sam Brownback. He created the program, overseen by Wichita Area Technical College, to prepare students with technical training for the most in-demand professions.


AAR Partners with Spartan College for technician training

Tulsa, Okla.-based AAR Aircraft Services (AAR) has signed an agreement with Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology to perform technician training and support in its Oklahoma City facility. Under the agreement, Spartan College will provide AAR employees with online and on-location technical training for initial, recurrent, aircraft type specific, and airline customer training.


Thunder in the Valley Air Show unveils flight training scholarship

The Thunder in the Valley Air Show will award a $2,000 flight training scholarship to a student currently enrolled in a high school within the Chattahoochee Valley in Phenix City, Ala., who wants to pursue a sport, recreational, or private pilot certificate. Applicants must submit a "tweetable" (140 characters or fewer) completion to the statement, "If I could fly, I would ..." (#IfICouldFlyIWould). The scholarship is sponsored by AOPA and The Bowick Group LLC. The deadline to complete the online application is March 7.



Better approach, better landing

As cliché as it sounds, a good landing starts with a good approach. Creating a set of repeatable, consistent steps to stabilize your descent can go a long way toward an uneventful touchdown and rollout. Watch the video... Share:  


Flash-based, login required

When the chips are down

Jim Lawson, who was not instrument current, learned a lot about working with ATC to escape peril during an unexpected IFR descent. But that wasn't all he experienced in "Trapped On Top." Watch the Real Pilot Story...

Training Resources


Takeoffs and landings: Determining an abort point

When it comes to making a safe takeoff, we can 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... Share:  

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

AOPA Live from Heli-Expo; Hoover honors

AOPA Live This Week® brings you the latest on new helicopters from Heli-Expo in Anaheim, Calif. Plus, join the industry in honoring Bob Hoover and watch an exclusive interview with the famed aviator. AOPA Live This Week, Feb. 27... Share:  

Career Pilot

Spartan College, American Eagle create pilot pipeline program

Tulsa, Okla.-based Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology is partnering with American Eagle Airlines on the Pilot Pipeline Program, which will provide Spartan students with the opportunity to be hired as a commercial pilot at American Eagle Airlines. Students selected to enter the American Eagle First Officer Training Program will receive a $10,000 signing bonus for a two-year commitment and a guaranteed interview with American Airlines for future career development.


Delta adds Seattle flights

Delta Air Lines said Feb. 10 that it will add new service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, including nonstop service to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and seasonal nonstop service to Palm Springs International Airport. Beginning Dec. 20 the carrier will operate five daily flights to Phoenix, and an additional nonstop flight to Honolulu. It also will launch one daily seasonal flight to Palm Springs, Calif., and Saturday seasonal service to both Tucson, Ariz., and Jackson Hole, Wyo.

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

Plane Spotter

Supercharged show plane

With its rumbling round engine and elongated canopy, the Romanian-built Yak-52 military and aerobatic training airplane casts a distinctive shadow on the ramp. But you won't have to journey abroad or thumb through photos of Soviet-era military aircraft to add a sighting of a Yakovlev to your plane-spotting credits. With more than 2,000 Yak 52s built since the 1970s, many have been exported. A small fleet of tailwheel-converted Yak-52TW aircraft, powered by supercharged nine-cylinder, 400-horsepower M-14PF-XDK engines, are flown in airshow performances by the Aerostars, a precision aerobatic team.

Training Products

Sporty's releases instrument proficiency check course

Sporty's Instrument Proficiency Check course is broken down into six subject areas and 27 individual video segments. Based on Sporty's award-winning Instrument Rating Course, the Instrument Proficiency Check app contains more than 165 minutes of engaging 3-D animations and in-flight video. Also included is a review quiz based on content from the videos. The online and DVD versions each cost $39.95.


Gleim offers online sport pilot ground school

The Gleim Online Ground School is a self-directed study course designed to prepare student pilots to pass the sport pilot FAA knowledge test. Study at your own pace and once you complete all course requirements, you will be provided with a knowledge test endorsement that will allow you to take the exam at the testing center of your choice. The cost is $99.95.

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

Tax deductibility of flight training

Can pilots deduct the cost of their flight training for income tax purposes? As with most tax questions, the answer is "sometimes." Read more... Share:  


Member benefits

When it comes to family, safer is better

No matter how safe you are when you fly, how courteous a driver you are on the road, or how careful you are at home, many things are beyond your control. To help provide a safety net for families, AOPA has expanded the AOPA Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance Protection Plan. Read more... Share:  


A new approach to ground school

For blogger Al Naqui, education director for Pro Aviation Trainers, flight training is a remarkable experience. You go from knowing nothing about an aircraft, with so many laughable misconceptions, to becoming familiar and eventually comfortable enough to be in command of an aircraft operating solo. Read more... Share:  


Sad to glad

Student pilot Jean Moule finds herself without a flight school, but a chance visit to another airport has left her determined to continue on her flight training journey. Read more... Share:  

Instrument Tip


Sorry, wrong number

Two go-arounds and a rejected takeoff would provide a day's worth of drama at many airports. When they all happen at once, on one runway, with the go-arounds head-on, only luck averts disaster. Read more... Share:  

Final Exam


True or false: The FAA requires pilots to obtain a permit prior to dropping objects from an aircraft in flight.


False. Although no permit is required by the FAA, no pilot in command may allow any object to be dropped from an aircraft in flight that creates a hazard to persons or property on the ground. Objects may be dropped if reasonable precautions are taken to avoid injury or damage to persons or property. (Source: FAR § 91.15 Dropping Objects).

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

Career Opportunities

Job of the week: Executive director, Virginia Air and Space Center

The Virginia Air and Space Center is seeking an accomplished, visionary leader to serve as executive director. Reporting to the board of directors, the executive director has responsibility for planning, directing, and overseeing the work of the center, staff, and volunteers; leading successful fundraising campaigns; and maintaining/enhancing the permanent collection and educational programs. See the full job description...


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an accounting operations supervisor, accounting technician - accounts payable and receivable, 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

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.

Apr 5-6 - Denver, Colo.; Cincinnati, Ohio; San Diego, Calif.; Tampa, Fla.; and Indianapolis, Ind.

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

Mar 10 - Greenville, S.C.; Northbrook, Ill.; and Eugene, Ore.

Mar 11 - Portland, Ore.; Bolingbrook, Ill.; and Decatur, Ga.

Mar 12 - Huntsville, Ala.; Seattle, Wash.; and Rockford, Ill.

Mar 13 - East Peoria, Ill.

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!

AOPA ePilot

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

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