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October 24, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionOctober 24, 2014, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

October 24, 2014 - VOL 14, ISSUE 43

Training Tips

It's your ride

"I'm not thinking about my checkride yet," said a student pilot who was diligently working through private pilot training. "That's in the future, and there are plenty of goals to focus on before that."

That's a positive approach to flight training that lets you savor each milestone. And although it may be premature to be marking a checkride date on your calendar, it's not too soon to identify elements that will make your flight-test experience enjoyable and stress-free.

The way to do that, as with any other flight, is to pay attention to details.

Different student pilots will face different decisions. If you have flown the same aircraft throughout training, its flight characteristics, ground handling, systems, useful load, and any "bugs" may be well known before flight-test day.

A student pilot who flies multiple aircraft, even of the same type, may prefer one to another and should plan ahead to secure it for the ride. (But be ready to handle any surprise like a last-minute maintenance "squawk" that puts the aircraft out of service.)

Whichever aircraft you fly, review its ARROW documents ahead of time (airworthiness; aircraft registration; radio certificate, if flying internationally; operating limitations; and weight and balance). Rides have been called off because paperwork wasn't in order.

After solo, you enter the training stage where the practical test standards become the benchmark for assessing your demonstrations of maneuvers and knowledge. A hard copy of the PTS, or a link to it, should be in your flight bag or on your electronic device—and you should refer to it often.

Many student pilots take the required knowledge test at this point in training, when practical experience reinforces the learning derived from ground study. Don't regard this as a mere administrative exercise; a high score is evidence of motivation, and makes a great impression on your designated examiner before you ever say a word on test day. (He or she will review your paperwork before the exam begins.)

Does your flight school or instructor have a standardized or typical method of sending trainees along for checkrides? Does that method work for you? Some student pilots are comfortable announcing to the world, sometimes on social media, that "Tomorrow is the big day! Wish me luck!" Others prefer the restrained approach to relieve any pressure.

It's your ride, so take command of it by stating how you want to handle the proceedings. With the stage thus set, you'll feel free to fly your best!

Flight Training News


Let's book some time

Tony Seton found a way to turn a fuzzy goal—recapturing his long-lost instrument proficiency—into a focused project. Read more...  



Spartan to collaborate on Sun Flyer project

The developer of the solar-electric aircraft Sun Flyer has announced a collaboration with Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology to develop a training system. Read more...  


Ice Week

Chill out with Ice Week

Take part in the Air Safety Institute's Ice Week from Oct. 26 through Nov. 1. When Mother Nature serves up ice, be the first to know how to avoid icing encounters and learn how to assess icy conditions in a forecast so you can apply that knowledge before your next flight. While you explore the Ice Week site, register for the Air Safety Institute's brand-new webinar, "Known Icing, Known Risk," which will launch Thursday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. Eastern time. Ice Week is brought to you by AOPA Insurance Services and VOYA. Register now...  



OpenAirplane teams with Cirrus

Cirrus owner training standardized by the company can now be used to rent Cirrus aircraft from others across the country. OpenAirplane, the company founded to allow pilots to rent aircraft from multiple locations in the United States with a single (model-specific) checkout, has reached an agreement with Cirrus that will allow the use of Cirrus training credentials in lieu of that OpenAirplane checkout. Read more...  


FlightSafety Legacy 500 simulator to enter service

Pilot training in FlightSafety International's new Embraer Legacy 500 business jet full flight simulator will begin in November in St. Louis, the company announced Oct. 20. FlightSafety said it expects the simulator to be approved by the FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency by the end of October, and it has received interim Level C qualification in Brazil. The company is Embraer's factory-authorized training provider for the E-Jet family of airliners and Lineage and Legacy executive jets.



Acting NTSB chief says automation affects professionalism

Does automation lead to a lack of professionalism? The acting NTSB chief thinks it does, and recently called for a new approach to the man-machine interface. Read more...  

Training Resources

Seminar schedule

Got weather on your mind?

Get ready for a no-nonsense look at how you can get better, more complete weather information with the Air Safety Institute's "Real World Weather" seminar. Find a seminar location near you and get together with fellow pilots to take a look at what's really going on out there and how it affects your flying. You'll even get FAA Wings credit and AOPA Accident Forgiveness, to boot! 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

New wings fly, aircraft voice control

AOPA Live from the NBAA convention in Orlando, Florida, looks at some new aircraft that are actually flying. The NTSB chairman worries about automation causing a lack of professionalism and diminishing safety. Also this week, aircraft control by voice command. AOPA Live This Week®, Oct. 23...  

Career Pilot


Eyes in the sky

Here's a riddle: What job requires a private pilot certificate, but never asks you to leave the ground? Just weeks after earning his private pilot certificate, Chris Schuster is part of an emerging class of professional fliers. Read more...  



Honeywell forecasts increased jet deliveries

Honeywell's annual forecast of jet deliveries based on interviews with operators shows signs of improvement for the jet industry. Read more...  


Get a pulse on the bizav world

New business jets, avionics, and businesses aviation services were announced at the National Business Aviation Association's annual convention Oct. 21 through 23 in Orlando, Florida. Catch up on what's happening in the industry on AOPA's NBAA news page.  

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

Plane Spotter

A plainer trainer

What's the difference between a Yak-18 and a Nanchang CJ-6? Where must a plane spotter go to inspect one of these exotic aircraft? Welcome to the world of military-trainer spotting, former Eastern bloc variety. But don't call a travel agent. You can observe a CJ-6, China's 260-horsepower, radial-engined development of the Russian Yak-18 (for Yakovlev Design Bureau) stateside in formation-flying displays, and in private ownership. As AOPA reported on a CJ-6-against-T-34 fly-off, you can spot it by its "disproportionately long legs, monstrous wing dihedral, and thick metal skin."

Training Products


Field guide charts course to pilot certificate

Flight training will introduce you to new skills, terminology, and concepts, but don't let the rush of information overwhelm you. Take a step back and get the big picture of where your training will take you with AOPA's Field guide to flight training. This free PDF walks through everything from estimating costs of earning a pilot certificate to finding ways to use it once you've earned one. Download the PDF...

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


Inside 'Planes: Fire & Rescue'

Famed aerobatic helicopter pilot Chuck Aaron shares about his role as the main helicopter flight consultant for Disney's Planes: Fire & Rescue to ensure the flight scenes were authentic. Plus, in this exclusive bonus video, Aaron points out his favorite flight scene and Cal Fire Battalion Chief Travis Alexander talks about the water-dropping scenes. Watch this exclusive video...  


Members only

10 food intake tips for healthy flying

If you think of yourself as what you eat, are you imagining a day-old brown-and-gray cheeseburger and grease-sodden fries, or a crisp, brightly colored salad? Check out these 10 tips from Dr. Jonathan Sackier to help you improve your food intake. Read more...  


Member benefits

Keep your car battery healthy

Whether you're taking a family road trip or just running an errand at the store, a reliable car battery is imperative. AOPA Insurance Services partner Liberty Mutual offers some basic tips for improving your car battery's health and performance. Read more...  


Does it matter how you get your time?

As airlines begin to spool up their hiring and training, an age-old question has popped up: Do regional airlines care how you get your time? Does it matter if you log most of your post-commercial time as a CFI? Blogger Chip Wright weighs in...  


Plain and simple: The Bell 206

The Bell 206 Jet Ranger is what the non-helicopter-flying public pictures when you talk about vertical flight. Advanced Helicopter Concepts owner Neal Lanning writes about flying what he calls "one of the most reliable airframes ever built." Read more...  

Instrument Tip


'We missed this'

When you brief an instrument approach with circling minimums, can you explain whether it has a standard circling approach maneuvering radius, or an expanded one? Read more...  

Final Exam


Under which atmospheric conditions is carburetor ice most likely to occur?


Conditions are most favorable for carburetor ice when the temperature is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the relative humidity is greater than 80 percent. (Source: Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Chapter 6.)

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

Career Opportunities

Aviation job board

Job of the week: Vice president of marketing, Astronics AeroSat

Reporting directly to the president, the vice president of marketing will manage all marketing functions including brand management and awareness, product marketing and marketing communications, and all marketing activities that fuel sales growth. The successful candidate will be responsible for the overall corporate marketing strategy, competitive strategy analysis, and management of the product launch process and product life cycle management. 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 an executive assistant, 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

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

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

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

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

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 5 - West Lafayette, Indiana

Nov 10 - Jacksonville, Florida

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

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

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Oct 24 - Verdi, Nevada

Oct 25 - Spanish Fork, Utah

Nov 7 - St. Simons Island, Georgia

Nov 8 - Kennesaw, 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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