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January 31, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionJanuary 31, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

January 31, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 5

Training Tips


The student pilot who confronted a forced landing scenario in the Jan. 24 "Training Tip" was paying a stiff price for sloppy decision making as he ran out of fuel while fleeing bad weather on a cross-country flight. The thought ran through his mind, "If I had only activated my VFR flight plan, someone would soon be issuing an ALNOT."

What's an ALNOT? ALNOT stands for alert notice. It is "a request originated by a flight service station (FSS) or an air route traffic control center (ARTCC) for an extensive communication search for overdue, unreported, or missing aircraft," explains the Aeronautical Information Manual.

A pilot who activates a filed VFR flight plan—as many flight schools require for student solos—has the peace of mind of knowing that if the flight plan is not closed by 30 minutes past the estimated time of arrival, location inquiries will commence, and will intensify if the aircraft is not quickly located (sitting on the ramp at the departure or arrival airport, for example).

There are ways to maximize the system's ability to locate an overdue aircraft. As AIM 5-1-9 describes, Block 11 of the VFR flight plan form allows you to enter remarks about your flight. Enter "only those remarks that may aid in VFR search and rescue, such as planned stops en route or student cross country."

Aside from a flight plan that hasn't been closed, are there other scenarios that might trigger a search-and-rescue (SAR) response?

Here's one: If you have been receiving radar flight following from air traffic control, don't descend below coverage or decide to land at an alternate airport (for which you have been endorsed to land) for fuel or rest without first terminating radar service. "Radar facilities providing radar flight following or advisories consider the loss of radar and radios, without service termination notice, to be a possible emergency. Pilots receiving VFR services from radar facilities should be aware that SAR may be initiated under these circumstances," says the AIM.

People are another important SAR trigger: When the friend of an aircraft occupant considered the flight overdue, law enforcement authorities were contacted—and the two persons aboard, who had been injured during an emergency landing sequence, were rescued.

In an emergency, time is critical. The best hedege is to take all measures to activate search and rescue, and maximize system effectiveness by providing high-quality information.

Flight Training News


Simulation's untapped potential

More realistic than ever, the modern aviation training device still has plenty of untapped potential. Read more... Share:  



A Garmin with attitude

Garmin has introduced a new portable Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and GPS receiver that displays aircraft attitude information along with mapping, traffic, and weather. Read more... Share:  



Scholarship winner starts new flying club

Thanks to a scholarship from Ground Effect Advisors, Zachary Piech has started the Cape Fear Flyers flying club in Wilmington, N.C. Read more... Share:  


Pilgrim Aviation to offer flight training in Taunton

Plymouth, Mass.-based Pilgrim Aviation is now offering flight training at Taunton Municipal Airport. Students will have access to a company-owned fleet of 11 aircraft, including a 2013 Cessna Skycatcher, a RedBird LD flight simulator, and a Piper Cherokee equipped with hand controls for mobility-impaired pilots. The school will offer a free 15-week ground school every Thursday evening.


Utah airport offers rusty pilot training

Aviators looking to brush up on their skills can now take the Rusty Pilot Seminar at the Diamond Flight Center at Utah's Springville-Spanish Fork Airport, reports the Daily Herald. Ed Helmick, who owns the flight center, started offering the one-day course after meeting formerly active pilots who want to fly again. The course will cover topics including airspace definitions, new procedures, computerized weather and flight planning, and aeronautical decision making.


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Cranky engine this winter?

When your body has trouble coping with cold weather, so does your aircraft. Take the Air Safety Institute Cold Weather Ops safety quiz to learn about cold weather worries for your aircraft (and you). Take the quiz...


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Elevate your mountain flying

Local terrain and weather patterns—together with aircraft performance—are essential considerations in mountain flying as conditions can abruptly change, providing little wiggle room for the uninitiated. Learn how to respect and negotiate the highlands with the Air Safety Institute Mountain Flying course. Take the course...


Apps of the week

Developers pitch five aviation apps

Developers make their pitch for five apps that cover everything from IFR communication to pireps. Read more... Share:  

Training Resources

Recorded webinar

Aerodynamics: The alpha factor

Venture beyond Bernoulli and Newton when you join AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg and panelists Rich Stowell (master aerobatic instructor and 2006 National CFI of the Year) and Brian E. Smith (NASA Ames Research Center) in an energetic review of aerodynamic principles beyond the four forces of flight. You'll discover the true meaning of power and pitch and what flying angle of attack is all about. View the webinar... 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

Time for a rule change; iceway is open

General aviation could be safer if the FAA changed the rules, and AOPA has commonsense solutions. Plus, find out about an app that helps you make the go/no-go decision. The iceway is open, again, and check out the most famous airplane you've never heard of. AOPA Live This Week®, Jan. 30... Share:  

Career Pilot

Report: Consolidation helping U.S. airlines

In a report released Jan. 16, PricewaterhouseCoopers says merger-driven consolidation will continue to have a significant and positive effect on the domestic airline industry. According to Aviation Perspectives: The Impact of Mega-Mergers, A New Foundation for the U.S. Airline Industry, a primary reason for the moderate growth in airfares over the past few years has been the expansion of low-cost airlines into many major domestic routes.


Soon-to-be Envoy pilots get new contract

The union representing pilots at American Eagle Airlines on Jan. 10 agreed on new contract terms with management. The deal guarantees that American Eagle Airlines pilots will fly 60 new Embraer 175 regional jets ordered recently by parent American Airlines. In addition to the new jets—as well as the possibility of up to 90 additional Embraer 175s—the agreement provides American Eagle pilots with expanded flow-through opportunities. Pedro Fabregas, American Eagle's president, wrote that the time required for an American Eagle pilot to advance to American Airlines will be cut almost in half. However, pay rate scales will be frozen until 2018.

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

Plane Spotter

Q is for quiet

Some aircraft design features simply stand out—and the larger the aircraft, the more distinctive the resulting profile. Incorporate two visually striking features onto one aircraft and it instantly draws an observer's eye, regardless of what else may be parked nearby. From the ancestral de Havilland DHC-8—the so-called Dash 8—to the ultra-modern 80-seat Bombardier Q400 NextGen ("Q is for quiet," touts the manufacturer), it's hard to miss, and impossible to mistake, the high-winged, T-tailed profile of this family of short- to medium-range turboprop airliners that date back to 1984.

Training Products

New communications trainer book released

The fifth edition of Say Again, Please is now available. The book, written by Bob Gardner, teaches readers what to say on the radio, what to expect to hear, and how to interpret and react to clearances and instructions, while detailing how the airspace and ATC systems work. The newest edition adds information on the latest FAA rules and operating procedures. The book costs $15.16.


Deluxe Sport Pilot Kit available from Gleim

Gleim is offering its Deluxe Sport Pilot Kit for students. The kit is an all-in-one program designed to expedite training for the sport pilot certificate. It includes a flight bag, FAR/AIM, logbook, online communication course, and the Sport Pilot Syllabus book, third edition.

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

Could John Silver get a third class medical?

If an airman has a medical condition that requires a modification to the aircraft—for instance the loss of a leg—the pilot will need to have the aircraft modified to FAA specifications and learn to fly that particular aircraft. Read more... Share:  


Member benefits

The short, successful aviation career of John Kartychak

John Kartychak didn't desire to be a pilot—he just wanted to solo. Read more... Share:  


Aviation in pop culture: Our first step in recruiting

How does one develop into an aviation geek? Is it something that develops as we grow up or is it that, to quote noted philosopher Lady Gaga, we are "Born this Way"? asks Opinion Leaders blogger Martin Rottler. Read more... Share:  


Aaron Tippin gets his CFI

Aaron Tippin—country music star, passionate pilot, and all-around nice guy—earned his CFI late in 2013 at Murfreesboro Airport in Tennessee. AOPA members know that when it comes to airplanes, Tippin is one of us. Read more... Share:  

Instrument Tip


'Missed the gorilla'

The question isn't whether turbulence will distract you. The question is how long it will divert your attention, and what the consequences will be. Read more... Share:  

Final Exam


You were planning on a daytime commute back to your home airport, but your meeting ran long. You and your co-worker arrive at the airport two hours after sunset, and you are out of night currency. You tell your co-worker to sit tight while you go and get night current. You do three touch and goes and taxi back to pick up your passenger. Are you legal to fly passengers now?


No, you are not legal to fly passengers at night. FAR § 61.57(b)(1) Recent Flight Experience specifies that the takeoffs and landing for night currency must be made to a full stop. Per FAR § 61.57(a)(1), that is not the case with day currency.

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 account manager II, event planner, aviation technical writer contractor, coordinator of pilot community and development, director of insurance business operations, member services and airport directory representative, and Web graphic designer I. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Feb 8-9 - Fairfax, Va.; Nashua, N.H.; New Orleans, La.; and Louisville, Ky.

Feb 15-16 - Melbourne, Fla.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; and Fort Worth, Texas

Feb 22-23 - Sacramento, Calif.

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

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 10 - Jacksonville, Ark.; and Northglenn, Colo.

Feb 11 - Fayetteville, Ark.; and Colorado Springs, Colo.

Feb 12 - Bethany, Okla.

Feb 13 - Wichita, Kan.

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

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Topics: AOPA, Flight Training, Pilot Training and Certification

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