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May 9, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionMay 9, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

May 9, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 19

Training Tips

A generous margin

Established on course with the next checkpoint in sight dead ahead, any student pilot would savor this tangible proof that the many skills you have learned now combine to produce this so-satisfying result.

Beyond the basics, you are staying ahead of the aircraft, thinking ahead, and anticipating. For example, it only took one or two surprise simulated engine "failures" to reinforce your habit of noting possible emergency-landing sites along each route. When evaluating this road, and that plowed field, you try to gauge the gliding distance to each, estimating the surface wind speed and direction, if possible.

Your planning revealed that today's westbound route across Indiana affords the added bonus of a profusion of airports located on or near the course line. And according to your sectional chart, you should be passing one right now. It's out there in the haze, about five miles north of your course. "Nice to know it's there," you remark to your instructor (although your trainer's smooth and robust engine has never missed a beat).

A good pilot is always learning—and now a new lesson emerges, as that smooth-running and reliable engine falls silent, thanks to your CFI's hand wrapped tightly around the idled throttle. "Nice to know it's where?" she asks with the emphasis on "where."

There are more immediate tasks to attend to than responding, such as setting up a proper gliding speed, turning in the general direction of that airport, and doing some analysis of this engine problem. (Take the Air Safety Institute's safety quiz on emergency procedures.)

But the point is taken. There had been some undemanding time during level cruise when you could have tried to spot that airport. A glance at the chart would have refreshed your recollection of its common traffic advisory frequency and runway orientation. The single runway roughly parallels your course, helping you know what to look for, and how to visualize a power-off approach. And although there were many factors in play when selecting a cruise altitude, another 2,000 feet (according to the hemispherical rule) for your direction of flight would come in handy now.

You don't doubt that you can "make the field" from here—but finding it, making it, and maneuvering to land on it safely would benefit from the additional minutes that another 2,000 feet of altitude would provide.

That's your safety margin. When building margin into your planning, be generous.

Flight Training News


FAA, GA groups ask, 'Got weather?'

From simple crosswinds to severe storms sweeping the country, weather is a top concern for pilots. A new safety campaign announced May 1, "Got Weather?," aims to help general aviation pilots prepare for weather challenges they may encounter during 2014. Read more...  



Jeppesen offering free chart webinars

Jeppesen is hosting five webinars over the next several months focused on specific aspects of instrument flying and instrument charts. Read more...  


Embry-Riddle buys five Piper Arrows

Vero Beach, Fla.-based Piper Aircraft will begin delivering the first of five new Piper Arrow training aircraft to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Daytona Beach, Fla., campus. "The five Piper Arrows join the Embry-Riddle learning fleet of more than 60 pilot training aircraft," said Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University President and CEO Dr. John P. Johnson in a press release. "The single-engine Piper Arrow fits nicely into our training fleet, as it provides a seamless transition for students to more complex training aircraft."


CWU Aviation offers new pilot certification

Central Washington University's aviation program has been approved by the FAA to authorize graduates for a restricted airline transport pilot (R-ATP) certificate. The certificate lets graduates become airline pilots with 1,000 hours of total flight experience, compared with the 1,500 hours required under the ATP certificate for other candidates.


Ohio University wins software grant

Ohio University has received $50,000 from the Ohio Third Frontier Commission to develop 3-D visualization software that will improve the development and design of new aircraft. The technology was created by current and former students in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology's computer science program.


Digital newsletter

Learn from 'CFI to CFI'

Heard of the "Troxler Effect"? Watch Rod Machado's eye-opening video demonstration in "See and Avoid." Also, learn about teaching soft skills that are crucial to flight safety, and take away lessons from an instructional accident. Whether you're an active flight instructor or getting back into the cockpit, access the Air Safety Institute's free digital flight instructor newsletter articles and videos, anywhere, anytime. Not a CFI? No problem. Subscribe here. Read more...  


Flash-based, login required

UAS in the USA

What are unmanned aerial systems (UAS)? How will they affect your flying? Go behind the scenes of UAS operations and explore various scenarios to illustrate how general aviation and UAS can safely coexist in the National Airspace System in this interactive course from the Air Safety Institute, with support from the Department of Defense. Take the course...  

Training Resources

PDF download

Mastering takeoffs and landings

More accidents occur in the takeoff and landing phases of flight than any other. The close proximity to the ground leaves less margin for error. Some pilots never really master the basics. Then it's only a matter of time before they have a problem. Is the runway long enough? Are there obstructions? What is the density altitude? Is there a crosswind? How good is your airspeed control? Do you know how to recover from a bounced landing or when to go around? These are just some of the considerations that are addressed in this Air Safety Institute Safety Advisor. Download the advisor...

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

Over the Hudson, upside down in Indy

A 60-year-old reconnaissance aircraft revealed a glitch in the FAA's new air traffic routing software, and frustration abounded. Ride with AOPA Live® through the Hudson River VFR corridor, and get yourself an unusual attitude in Indianapolis. As of publication time, AOPA Live producers were finalizing this week's episode. Check back on the AOPA Live page for the latest edition of AOPA Live This Week®, which will be available May 9.  

Career Pilot

Regional carriers feeling pilot shortage

A recent study projected that in the next eight years, the four largest U.S. carriers will have to hire 14,000 pilots just to replace aviators lost to the mandatory retirement age of 65. The regional airlines, the main source of pilots for the mainline carriers, currently employ about 18,000 pilots. Pedro Fábregas, president and CEO of Envoy Air Inc. (formerly known as American Eagle Airlines Inc.), told the Dallas Morning News that Envoy hired about 52 pilots in the first quarter—as 20 moved each month to parent American Airlines Inc. and more than 20 left for other jobs or other reasons.


Virgin America to launch Dallas Love Field service

Virgin America announced that it will begin operating flights from Dallas Love Field to LaGuardia, Ronald Reagan Washington National, Los Angeles International, and San Francisco International airports beginning in October 2014. The carrier was selected by the U.S. Department of Justice to receive two Love Field gates being divested as part of the American Airlines/US Airways merger settlement. In 2015, the airline plans to add an additional daily flight from Love Field to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington National, for a total of four daily nonstops on each route, and add two new daily nonstop flights to Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

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

Plane Spotter

Sky hook

If an aircraft carrier could fly, what aircraft would it carry? You must return to the pages of history—not to the annals of a sci-fi future—to find the answer. Then make your way to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's collection to view the last remaining 440-horsepower Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk, the 1930s-era fighting, spotting, sea-patrolling little biplane. As for its airborne aircraft carrier, Sparrowhawks were carried by, launched from, and—yes—"hooked" back aboard two Navy airships of the time, the Akron and the Macon.

Training Products

Gleim book covers private pilot flight maneuvers, test prep

Gleim's Private Pilot Flight Maneuvers and Practical Test Prep offers discussions and detailed full-color illustrations that teach students each flight maneuver or other subject area task (such as preflight preparation) prior to a flight lesson. This book will make flight training easier to understand and is a must for study prior to the FAA practical test. The cost is $22.95.


ProPilots offers prep for helicopter safety test

Germany's ProPilots has introduced training software that includes a safety test module for helicopter pilots. The software features 3-D animated films, graphics, and text-based materials as well as review questions. It allows pilots to practice reacting to a complete range of real-world emergency situations, similar to a flight simulator.

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


What you need to know about renter's insurance

Buying renter's insurance doesn't have to be complicated, but it helps to understand the insurance language and what it means to you. For example, what's required coverage versus optional coverage? Read more...  


Members only

Pilot Protection Services medication update

In the last couple of years, the Food and Drug Administration has approved several new medications that fall in the "anticoagulant," or blood thinning category. But not all of these drugs are approved by the FAA for flight. Read more...  


The training wall

The worst part about transitioning to a new flying job is the training. Specifically, the sim training. Read more...  

Instrument Tip


'It seemed a reasonable clearance'

Here's a pop quiz: What are you expected to say when picking up your clearance if you have filed a route, but revised it before departure? Read more...  

Final Exam


I'm planning to move in the next few weeks. Do I have to update the FAA with my new address?


Yes, 14 CFR 61.60 says you must notify the FAA within 30 days of your change of address or you may not exercise the privileges of your certificate. You can choose to update your address in writing or through the FAA's website. See the FAA's webpage that describes the options.

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

Career Opportunities

Job of the Week: Marketing associate at ForeFlight LLC

ForeFlight LLC is seeking an entry-level marketer to aid in creating written and video content to promote its full product line in the market. The successful candidate also will support planning and management of event and trade show participation. Read 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 associate project manager, major gift officer, AOPA Live producer/videographer I, executive assistant for government affairs, director of state government affairs, and account manager II. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

May 17-18 - Sacramento, Calif.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Houston, Texas.

June 7-8 - Santa Clara, Calif.; and Ashburn, Va.

June 21-22 - Charlotte, N.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Orlando, Fla.

June 28-29 - Columbus, Ohio; and Phoenix, Ariz.

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

May 12 - Madison, Wis.; and Garden City, N.Y.

May 13 - Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; and Milwaukee, Wis.

May 14 - Manitowoc, Wis.; and Albany, N.Y.

May 15 - Brockport, N.Y.

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

May 10 - Fitchburg, Mass.

May 10 - Spanish Fork, Utah.

May 14 - Buffalo, N.Y.

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.

AOPA Featured Events

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 Assistant:

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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