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November 7, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionNovember 7, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

November 7, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 45

Training Tips

Preflight perfect

Remember your introduction to the preflight inspection of your trainer? This was an entirely new idea, far removed from how automobile drivers approach the idea of hitting the road.

Not only does the preflight rigorously follow a detailed checklist. You quickly learned that there even were some novel-looking accessories involved, like that strange-looking gadget that lets you draw a fuel sample and check it for proper grade, water, or other contaminants. (How and when to draw and evaluate a fuel sample is discussed in the Air Safety Institute's "Fuel Awareness" Safety Advisor.)

The idea of healthy skepticism about indications on cockpit gauges was introduced at this point; a fuel gauge indicating full should always be corroborated with a look inside the tanks. If a tank is less than full, another gadget allows you to "stick the tank" to get an accurate idea of fuel quantity. There were orderly methods to check the oil and remove control locks, cowl plugs, and the pitot cover.

In short order you realized that to start preflighting—in aviation, "preflight" is a verb or a noun—you don't have to be standing beside your aircraft. The process begins the instant you spot it on the ramp and can assess its general condition: A flat tire or a deflated nosewheel strut is visible from afar. Leaking fluids become noticeable as you approach. Glancing at the tie-down ropes tells you whether you, or another pilot, did a good job of securing the aircraft against last night's post-frontal winds. (Don't forget to remove and store the wheel chocks.)

Now that those chill winds are calmed, don't forget to include a check for frost or ice accumulations in your "walk-around," as the preflight's preliminary stage is known.

Don't call that task complete after inspecting the wings and tail. "Also, make sure that control surfaces contain no internal accumulations of ice or debris," says the pilot's operating handbook for a 1980 Cessna 152.

The preflight inspection is such a critical part of a pilot's safety routine that an introduction to preflighting an aircraft was one of the seminars that teachers in Michigan could choose to attend during a recent STEM in Flight workshop, of which AOPA was a sponsor.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. In aviation, the teachers learned, safety is an important part of the science.

Flight Training News


Ethiopian flight school gets diesel 172s

Africair Inc., a Continental Diesel Master Installation Center, will install Continental CD-155 retrofit diesel engines in seven Cessna 172s for Ethiopian Aviation Academy starting in 2015, Continental Motors said Oct. 27. Read more...  



Listen to your 'Spidey sense'

Sometimes in flying, we may feel something is wrong when all is actually well. But what if we sense a real problem—would we feel comfortable declaring an emergency? Learn why it's important to exercise your pilot-in-command privileges when the situation demands it. Read more...  



Top 10 reasons to come to St. Simons

Join AOPA and your fellow aviators at St. Simons Island, Georgia, Nov. 8 for the final AOPA Fly-In of the year. Read more...  



Civil Air Patrol refurbishing aircraft fleet

The Civil Air Patrol is extending the life of many of its aircraft through a thrifty refurbishment program. Read more...  



100 scholarships now offered through Women in Aviation

A record 100 scholarships with a combined value of $570,940 are available to Women in Aviation, International members in 2015, the association announced Oct. 31. The deadline to apply is Nov. 17. Read more...  



Glider, youth, bizav scholarships available

Need money to help you pursue your aviation dream? Scholarships are available for young adults, aspiring glider pilots, and business aviation professionals. Read more...  

Training Resources

Ice Week

Ice Week at your command

Missed the Air Safety Institute's Ice Week? Relevant videos, quizzes, courses, and publications, including the recorded version of the Air Safety Institute's new "Known Icing, Known Risk" webinar, are bundled together for your perusal. Learn more...  

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

Election implications, back in the air after 50 years

With the votes counted, take a look at the results that matter for general aviation, including the future of the airport battle in Santa Monica. A Maryland man with nearly half a century between flights takes to the skies, and AOPA gets an aerial close-up of an Empire State Building light show. AOPA Live This Week®, Nov. 6...  

Career Pilot


First students complete new ATP course

Two students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University are the first in the nation to complete a newly required course for the multiengine airplane airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate, the school announced Oct. 31. Read more...  


Flight Training magazine, login required

The airline interview

An interview with an airline is no guarantee of a job. How can a pilot make a good impression? Hint: Do your research. Read more...


Fuel costs help push Southwest to record Q3 profit

Southwest Airlines on Oct. 23 reported record third quarter net income, excluding special items, of $382 million, 61.8 percent more than third quarter 2013 net income of $241 million. "Our third quarter 2014 cost performance benefited from lower jet fuel prices and our fleet modernization efforts," said Gary Kelly, chairman, president, and CEO, in a news release. In the third quarter, Southwest's effective cost of fuel was $2.94 per gallon, compared to $3.06 per gallon a year earlier; the company expects fourth quarter 2014 fuel costs in the $2.70 to $2.75 per gallon range. The record quarterly profit will result in $100 million in profit sharing for employees, Kelly said.

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

Plane Spotter

Lightning by Lockheed

The fighting aircraft that helped win World War II make up a spectacular and beloved subset of the many specialized areas of plane spotting. Many of those historic aircraft are so eye catching and awe inspiring that identification comes instantly. Take Lockheed's P-38 Lightning: "The most distinguishing feature of the P-38 was its podded fuselage and unusual twin-boom tail assembly," according to the Museum of Flight in Seattle, describing the P-38L in its collection. It adds that the L-model, featuring upgrades including 1,600-horsepower engines, was considered "the best of the breed."

Training Products

LogTen Pro X eases logbook entry, export

Coradine Aviation Systems has launched LogTen Pro X for iOS and Mac. The latest version of the electronic logbook app simplifies flight entries with features like automatic GPS detection of the nearest landing facilities and includes advanced analytics. It's now easier to export reports, too, Coradine said; pilots can print and email PDFs from their iOS devices. The first 40 hours of flight time entered into LogTen Pro X for iOS are free.

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

Antidepressant medications and flying

Check with the aviation medical examiner you plan to visit or call AOPA in advance of your flight physical, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking a medication on a regular basis. One student pilot didn't check before his examination about an antidepressant he was taking and had to leave the AME's office without a medical certificate. Read more...  


Member benefits

Cardinal owner insures with AOPA

Jim Klauber returned to flying after 20 years, and recently turned to AOPA to insure the Cessna Cardinal he bought and uses for family travel. Read more...  


The major airline hiring wave has begun

In the last 18 months, airline hiring has begun to pick up. Find out how the hiring boom has changed major airlines' perspective on applicants' experience—and how both pilots on a regional jet flight deck on a Friday could be interviewing for the same job on a Monday. Read more...  

Instrument Tip


'Descend a little more'

Do you always aim to fly to practical test standards on proficiency and practice flights? Are you sure? Read more...  

Final Exam


How many stages make up the life cycle of a thunderstorm, and what are those stages?


A thunderstorm's life cycle has three stages. The first is the cumulus stage, in which the storm begins as a cumulus cloud and develops raindrops. Next is the mature stage, in which precipitation begins, but updrafts are still strong and help fuel the storm. The final stage is the dissipating stage, in which the storm dies rapidly with downdrafts and precipitation ending. Test your thunderstorm knowledge by taking this Air Safety Institute quiz on thunderstorm hazards. (Source: Aviation Weather, Chapter 11.)

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

Career Opportunities

Aviation job board

Job of the week: Major accounts manager, Bose Corp.

Are you a mid-level sales or marketing professional looking for an exciting new career opportunity? Then Bose Corp. is looking for you! Join the team as a major accounts manager to manage existing and potential OEM account relationships. Prepare and deliver product presentations, develop market and sales strategies, provide event support, and more. Read more about this exciting opportunity!


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a digital marketing manager, major gift officer, senior ambassador, ambassador for Southern California, .Net applications developer, social media evangelist, legal services plan program manager, and account manager II. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Nov 8-9 - Atlanta, Georgia; and San Diego, California

Nov 15-16 - Anchorage, Alaska; and Austin, Texas

Dec 6-7 - Orlando, Florida; Northbrook, Illinois; and Denver, Colorado

Jan 3-4 - Charlotte, North Carolina; Portland, Oregon; and Ypsilanti, Michigan

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

Nov 10 - Jacksonville, Florida

Nov 11 - San Diego, California; and Daytona Beach, Florida

Nov 12 - Frederick, Maryland; Long Beach, California; and Melbourne, Florida

Nov 13 - Ocala, Florida; and Ontario, California

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Nov 7 - St. Simons Island, Georgia

Nov 8 - Kennesaw, Georgia

Nov 15 - Farmingdale, New York; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Waukegan, Illinois

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 Event

Nov 8 — Brunswick, Georgia. Malcom McKinnon Airport (KSSI). AOPA Fly-In.

AOPA ePilot

ePilot Flight Training Editors:

Sarah Deener
Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore

Production Assistant:

Melissa Whitehouse


Jill W. Tallman
Warren Morningstar
Alton K. Marsh
Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Ian J. Twombly
Dan Namowitz

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