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October 10, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionOctober 10, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

October 10, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 41

Training Tips

Pressure check

A student pilot on a solo cross-country lands at an unattended airport at 1,400 feet msl. After refueling at the self-service pumps and taking a lunch break, she prepares to depart on the return leg.

Coming to the item "Flight instruments – SET" on the pre-takeoff checklist, she gives the altimeter a glance to verify that it still indicates the field elevation—the proper benchmark for setting the instrument absent a local altimeter setting.

The return flight will take about 90 minutes at the selected altitude. When within about 25 miles of the home airport, she will monitor the automatic terminal information service broadcast, and then contact approach control. Between now and then it would be possible to fly the route squawking 1200, and without being in radio communications with an air traffic control facility—a relaxing change of pace from flights into more hectic airspace.

But are there still reasons to keep an ear to air traffic frequencies?

Now that the student pilot is gaining experience, division of her attention between piloting requirements is getting easier. Having passed the point where she only has enough attention to spare for radio transmissions addressed to her own N number, the trainee appreciates the importance to her situational awareness of monitoring transmissions between ATC and other aircraft.

One item frequently included in such transmissions is the ATC facility's altimeter setting. It is also available from METAR broadcasts at airports with automated weather reporting systems along the route.

The student's instructor recently noted that an example of her increasing ability to juggle tasks was her now-automatic response to altimeter settings broadcast by ATC. Doing so enhances safety: "Once in flight, it is important to frequently obtain current altimeter settings en route to ensure terrain and obstruction clearance," notes Chapter 7 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

Ignoring altimeter settings is at its most hazardous when an aircraft is flown toward an area of lower pressure. Could you explain why to the designated examiner on your checkride?

"If an aircraft is flown from a high pressure area to a low pressure area without adjusting the altimeter, a constant altitude will be displayed, but the actual height of the aircraft above the ground would be lower than the indicated altitude," explains the chapter.

Flight Training News


AOPA Flight Training Scholarships awarded

Competitive shooter and raiser of champion livestock Anna Weilbacher is working to add another title to her résumé: private pilot. Weilbacher is one of 10 recipients of AOPA Flight Training Scholarships. Read more...



Training excellence honored

A Florida flight school and a Virginia flight instructor were ranked best in the nation by thousands of students polled online by AOPA. The 22 Flight Training Excellence Award winners were recognized at the AOPA Homecoming Fly-In. Read more...



'Great day to be at an airport'

Rain the night before may have dampened the grass at Frederick Municipal Airport, but it didn't dampen the spirits of about 3,000 attendees who turned out for the AOPA Homecoming Fly-In in Maryland Oct. 4. Read more...


Safety Spotlights

Tap into safety on the spot

Whether you're eager to sharpen your skills or preparing for a checkride, the Air Safety Institute has you covered with its online Safety Spotlights. Enter the Air Safety Institute's free aviation safety programs easily by selecting your topic of interest for relevant courses, quizzes, videos, and publications neatly arranged by subject. Learn more...


Apps of the week

Put ground school in your hands with these five apps

Study everything from checkrides to crosswinds with these five apps designed to help student pilots in flight training. Read more...

Training Resources


Ready for takeoff?

Practice and hone takeoff and landing techniques beyond currency requirements with the Air Safety Institute's "Takeoffs and Landings" video series. Start with "Determining an Abort Point," which unveils the finer points of choosing an abort point if the takeoff roll isn't going as planned. Then, check out the rest of the series to help make every takeoff and landing great. Watch the video...

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

Inside the Debonair giveaway

How did AOPA pull off an in-air reveal to the Debonair Sweepstakes winner? Go behind the scenes to see how it all came together, along with that special moment Steve Lagergren learned the airplane was his. Plus, catch up on the activities from AOPA's Homecoming Fly-In. AOPA Live This Week®, Oct. 9...

Career Pilot

Number of U.S. airline employees up

The U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported in September that the number of full-time equivalent employees at U.S. scheduled passenger airlines showed a year-over-year increase for the eighth consecutive month in July. These airlines employed 386,243 workers in July 2014, according to the report—1.3 percent more than July 2013.

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

Plane Spotter

High, hot, and hopper

Many engines launch new aircraft into flight. Fewer are aircraft that launch engines. That is a distinction of the visually vivid Ayres Thrush 510G agplane, measuring 34 feet, four inches long, nine feet, four inches high, the first to fly behind—way behind—General Electric's GE-H80 engine. The positioning of lightweight turboprop engines for proper center-of-gravity—even when the hopper is topped off with 510 gallons—is what gives a turboprop single that defining long-nosed line. The new-generation engine adds hot-day takeoff performance and a faster cruise to the job site.

Training Products

Manual or electronic, 'whiz wheel' is a training essential

For decades, pilots have looked to the E6B flight computer for help with essential cross-country flight planning calculations: fuel burn, wind correction angle, estimated groundspeed, and more. From a manual "whiz wheel" like this one to an electronic version, you've got plenty of options for this flight planning tool. You can even perform calculations using an app—but be aware that the FAA doesn't permit the use of smartphones for the knowledge test.

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

Medical denial: What next?

Two options are available to pilots who wish to question and/or dispute a medical denial: FAA reconsideration and NTSB review. Read more...


Member benefits

AOPA Insurance 'like family' for father-son pilots

When U.S. Air Force Col. Jim Kerr's father decided to retire from flying and gave Kerr his Cessna 172, the son continued to insure with AOPA Insurance Services. "AOPA is like a good doctor—you want someone you can grow old with who knows your history," he said. "Just like my father, I enjoy working with them—they're like family." Read more...


Is flying VFR with an iPad prudent?

A private pilot should rely as little as possible on electronic conveniences like the iPad, argues blogger Chip Wright, because "part of basic airmanship is learning, using, and understanding—truly understanding—the art of navigation. This includes the concept of calculating and using wind correction angles, compass corrections, and isogonic lines." Read more...

Instrument Tip


'When ice becomes perceptible'

You describe the current and forecast conditions, taking pains to note that despite the early fall warmth, you made sure to check the freezing level. Read more...

Final Exam


What is Bernoulli's Principle?


It is the physics principle that explains that a fluid's pressure lowers as its speed increases, and vice versa. This principle applies to aviation in helping to explain how wings generate lift. (Source: Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Chapter 3.)

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

Career Opportunities

Aviation job board

Job of the week: Contract flight test pilot, Piper Aircraft Inc.

Are you ready to make a direct impact on the future of aviation? Piper Aircraft is seeking a qualified pilot to provide technical support for aircraft development and certification flight tests. The successful candidate will ensure a proper liaison is established and maintained between appropriate departments, prepare flight test plans and pre/post flight briefings, prepare pilot's operating handbooks (POH), and more. Learn more now.


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a social media evangelist, temporary aviation finance administrative assistant part time, executive assistant for accounting/finance and legal, legal services plan program manager, financial analyst, major gift officer, and account manager II. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Oct 11-12 - Santa Clara, California; Corpus Christi, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Nashville, Tennessee

Oct 18-19 - Columbia, South Carolina

Oct 25-26 - Windsor Locks, Connecticut; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Wichita, Kansas

Nov 1-2 - Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Ashburn, Virginia

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

Oct 13 - Garden City, New York; Northbrook, Illinois; and Huntsville, Alabama

Oct 14 - Decatur, Georgia; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Lisle, Illinois; and Poughkeepsie, New York

Oct 15 - Greenville, South Carolina; Raymond, Mississippi; Rockford, Illinois; and Albany, New York

Oct 16 - Milan, Illinois; Rochester, New York; and East Peoria, Illinois

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Oct 18 - Chickasha, Oklahoma; and Claredon, Vermont

Oct 24 - Verdi, Nevada

Oct 25 - Spanish Fork, Utah

Nov 7 - St. Simons Island, Georgia

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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