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May 16, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionMay 16, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

May 16, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 20

Training Tips

Headed for the heartland

It's warm today in the heartland. The short, chilly days of winter flying are over as you launch a spring project to complete the cross-country requirements for your private pilot certificate.

Not yet noon, already airports in the Indianapolis area are heating up as evidenced by METARs from numerous local fields. You had anticipated these conditions for your planned flight today to Indianapolis Regional Airport—site of the AOPA Regional Fly-In on May 31. Earlier in the week, you had noted an automated observation reporting this information: 22013G18KT 10SM CLR 29/16 A2999.

You can visualize how an arrival might progress at the nontowered airport east of Indianapolis today. The two-runway airport's L-shaped configuration should help you spot the field in the flat countryside from the air. The reported winds would seem to favor the 5,504-foot-long Runway 25.

Monitor the common traffic advisory frequency, and then give the automated weather another check as you near the airport. The recording provides another important piece of hot-weather information: the density altitude. At 862 feet msl, the airport does not sit at an unusually high elevation. But with a reported surface temperature of 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit), density altitude has increased to 2,700 feet. That's a tip to expect a takeoff run that consumes somewhat more runway than if conditions were standard. Climb performance will be less robust too; check your pilot's operating handbook's performance data for specifics. (This exercise is an opportunity to practice interpolating POH data, as might be required for cross-country planning on your checkride.)

Hot weather reminds you to keep a close eye on engine temperature. Don't hurry your ground prep or rush your departure, but remember that a closely cowled, air-cooled powerplant heats up quickly. After takeoff, climb smartly to a safe altitude—always good piloting technique. During the next phase of your departure climb, use an airspeed—that is, a pitch attitude—that provides adequate cooling. (Check out the Air Safety Institute's Engine and Propeller online course.)

Inbound and outbound from Indianapolis Regional, monitor weather developments on the hazardous in-flight weather advisory service (HIWAS) available over the Shelbyville VOR, 13 nautical miles southeast of the airport.

And because a pilot has much to think about on a cross-country flight, Lockheed Martin Flight Services offers a reminder service to help you remember to close the VFR flight plans for your outbound and return flights.

Flight Training News


Flight training through the years

As AOPA looks back over its 75-year history, some things haven't changed much, including flight training. Part of the reason is probably that neither have the laws of physics. It's also because flying is still an activity that begins by learning from one person with a passion. Read more...  


Special message from AOPA President Mark Baker

Setting the stage for the next 75 years

AOPA President Mark Baker is focused on setting the stage for general aviation and the association for the next 75 years by growing the pilot population, making GA more affordable and accessible than ever, and keeping it fun and safe. Read more...  


Rotorcraft Rookie

Do helicopters stall?

Helicopter pilots don't work on stalls the same way airplane pilots do, but the possibility is every bit as real. Read more...  


CTI flight school buys Diamond trainers

CTI Professional Flight Training has signed a deal to buy the Diamond DA20-C1 as its primary trainer and the Austro Engine-powered DA42 as its complex, multiengine trainer. The deal, negotiated by Diamond dealer Premier Aircraft Sales of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., includes training, support, and acquisition of 22 aircraft, with 10 options, in a deal valued at $7.8 million.



Flying NYC

Learn how to fly the Hudson River Class B Exclusion in New York City. It is some of the most scenic and crowded airspace in the United States. Watch the video...  


EAA registration opens for girls

Registration has been opened for the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual Women Soar You Soar program. The program lets 100 high school girls discover more about aviation and its possibilities from aviators, engineers, and leaders during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. The cost is $75.



Second GAMA/Build A Plane STEM competition winner named

The Formula X team from Sunrise Mountain High School in Las Vegas is the winner of the second Aviation Design Challenge to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills among U.S. high school students. The award is sponsored by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and Build A Plane. Four students, a teacher, and a chaperone from the school will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Glasair Aviation in Arlington, Wash., to build a Glasair Sportsman from June 16 through 28. Read more...  


Login required

Do you know your sectional?

Before GPS moving maps, there were paper charts. Pilots used to pick their way through the skies with only a chart showing some landmarks on the ground. How would you do with only the paper version of a sectional chart? Test your knowledge...


Fly safely with the Air Safety Institute

Have you visited the Air Safety Institute's brand-new homepage? It is now easier than ever to learn online, take safety to go, read publications, renew your flight instructor certificate, check transcripts, and reprint certificates. Learn more...  

Training Resources

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Aerodynamics safety quiz

Get a lift from aerodynamics. Take this Air Safety Institute safety quiz to review the forces in flight. 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

Upset training in an L-39, celebrating AOPA's 75th

Strap in and fly an L-39 through unusual attitude training—it could save your life one day. Hear special messages from AOPA President Mark Baker and AOPA Trustee Andy Pew commemorating the association's seventy-fifth anniversary. And taste the hottest cocktail sauce in Indianapolis at St. Elmo Steak House as AOPA highlights its May 31 Fly-In at Indianapolis Regional Airport. AOPA Live This Week®, May 15...  

Career Pilot

Delta opens bizjet maintenance center

Delta Private Jets recently opened a state-of-the-art, 40,000-square-foot maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility at its headquarters at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The Delta Private Jets Tech Service Center is an FAA-certified Part 145 repair station. Delta Private Jets is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, providing aircraft charters and aircraft management services. It operates a diverse fleet of Bombardier, Cessna, Dassault, Gulfstream, and Hawker Beechcraft jets.


Investors fund air taxi merger

A group of investors, led by Wellrock Capital Partners, are funding a merger between Kavoo and ImagineAir that they say will create the nation's largest air taxi service, which will span the eastern United States. After the transaction closes, the companies' founders will continue to hold a majority of the equity in the business, and day-to-day operations will be directed by ImagineAir management. "Kavoo brought significant market share of the northeast and ImagineAir, which is very established in the southeast, has innovative technology that lowers the cost of operations and improves efficiencies dramatically," said Dennis Hoffman, managing partner of Wellrock.

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

Plane Spotter

Big blue blimps

Everyone is a plane spotter when it comes to the Goodyear Blimp. The icon of American advertising appears almost anywhere a major outdoor sporting event—such as the Indianapolis 500—takes place. A blimp's-eye view gives millions a taste of the excitement of flight. It's natural to speak of "the Goodyear Blimp," but actually Goodyear's blimp fleet numbers three. A program has begun to retire the 196-foot-long ships, replacing them with faster, more maneuverable 246-foot models. Test flights on the first new blimp (technically, an airship) began in March.

Training Products

May/June issue of 'FAA Safety Briefing' now available

The May/June 2014 issue of FAA Safety Briefing is all about airworthiness certification and standards. The issue looks at the hidden dangers of layering supplemental type certificates (STC), whom to go to when your airplane has an issue, and how to take care of an aging aircraft. In addition, learn more about the airworthiness directive process and how to apply for an STC.

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

Blood pressure refresher

Get your high blood pressure treated sooner rather than later. The risks of untreated hypertension (stroke, heart attack and heart failure, kidney failure, and death) are much more serious than medical certification challenges. Read more...  


Member benefits

Clearing up renter's insurance coverage confusion

Carrying medical payments coverage on your renter's insurance policy is a smart idea because it can sometimes cover the smaller injury claims and prevent a larger lawsuit against your bodily injury liability coverage. Read more...  


Never too old to fly

Ted Brother shares his success story—one that involves soloing at age 76. Read more...  


Engaging students in aviation business

Bob Velker, the business liaison and community outreach manager at Chino Airport in California, is really an ambassador for the airport and the business park within its boundaries. Read more...  

Instrument Tip


Briefing for the Brickyard

Descending in moderate turbulence through multiple cloud decks, the two pilots, who are unfamiliar with the destination airport and local approach architecture, are all business. Read more...  

Final Exam


My instructor gave me a navigation log to fill out for our cross-country flight. On the form there are boxes for variation and deviation. What is the difference between them?


Variation is the angular difference between the Earth's true north and magnetic north, which is located in northern Canada, about 1,300 miles away from true north. Variation is depicted on sectional charts by isogonic lines. These magenta dashed lines are accompanied by a number indicating their amount of variation in degrees. (The line with zero degrees variation is called the agonic line.) Deviation is a compass error caused by the aircraft's electrical and other systems. A deviation card, which shows how to correct for this error at various headings, is usually mounted near the compass. Source: Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Chapter 15.

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

Career Opportunities

Job of the week: Flight ops coordinator at Honeywell

Honeywell is currently seeking a flight operations coordinator to prepare trip itineraries for flight crews and coordinate all necessary logistics. View 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 a member services representative, 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 22 - Milan, Ill.

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

May 29 - Batavia, Ohio.

May 30 - Indianapolis, Ind.

May 31 - Santa Paula, Calif.

May 31 - Allentown, Pa.

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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