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April 3, 2015, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'April 3, 2015, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'

ePilot Flight Training Edition

April 3, 2015 - VOL 15, ISSUE 14

Training Tips


A short refresher

A Cessna 172 pilot based at a coastal airport with a 3,000-foot runway is receiving a flight review before a summer aviation vacation in the Montana mountains. After some basic review, the instructor poses an unexpected question: "What's your definition of a short field?" Consider Riddick Field in Philipsburg, Montana, for example. It has a 3,600-foot runway, but there's more to consider than length. Read more...  

Flight Training News

Big Goose Aviators opens in Wyoming

Flight school Big Goose Aviators LLC opened at Sheridan County Airport in Wyoming in March, the Sheridan Press reports. The school is offering ground school and has one airplane for flight instruction, according to the newspaper; its Facebook page displays a photograph of a Cessna 172.


Bring your questions to the next 'Flight Training' chat

What's going on with your flight training? Got a particular issue, or just wondering how you can be a better student? Bring your questions and comments to the next live Flight Training Facebook chat. Join Flight Training editors Ian J. Twombly and Jill W. Tallman at 3 p.m. Eastern time on April 7. One chatter will receive a $50 Aircraft Spruce & Specialty gift card. Set an email reminder here. Flight Training Facebook chats are underwritten by Aircraft Spruce & Specialty.



Changes to flight services planned

The FAA and AOPA are seeking comment on planned changes to flight services, including a new flight plan format scheduled to take effect Oct. 1. Read more...  


Safety video

How vigilant are you?

Shortly after sunset on Nov. 19, 1996, a landing Beechcraft 1900 regional airliner and a Beechcraft King Air on takeoff collided on the ground at a runway intersection at Quincy Regional-Baldwin Field in Illinois. Through this accident simulation, the Air Safety Institute hopes to bolster your awareness of the need for extraordinary vigilance and appropriate communications, especially critical to safety at a nontowered airport. Watch the animation...  



Frasca tries to change the culture

Although widely accepted in the airplane world, simulation use continues to lag in helicopter training. Frasca aims to change that with the introduction of its R44 TruFlite. Read more...  



Seminars offer tech-savvy tips to make your flying easier

Advanced avionics, iPads, and new flight service capabilities online put a wealth of traffic, weather, and safety-of-flight information at our fingertips. But do we know how to access all of those features? AOPA seminars at Sun 'n Fun will offer tips to help you maximize your use of the technology in your aircraft. Read more...  



Upwind, Whirly-Girls announce scholarship winners

Four California teens have been selected to earn their private pilot certificates in the summer through the Upwind Summer Scholarship Program; Whirly-Girls International also announced its 2015 scholarship winners in March. Read more...  

Training Resources

Safety Spotlight

Polish your flight prep skills

Whether you're coming out of hibernation for the flying season or planning to fly to your vacation spot, now is a great time to polish your flight preparation skills. The Air Safety Institute wants you to "know before you go"—easy to do with the institute's "Flight Planning and Preflight" Safety Spotlight. Check it out before you shout "clear prop"...  

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 6 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

TBM Avenger gets back in the air

The Commemorative Air Force puts a TBM Avenger, the same aircraft type President George H.W. Bush flew, back in the air. Honda Aircraft receives a provisional type certificate for the HondaJet. Amazon has a secret drone site. Solar Impulse 2 flies backward on its way to China. AOPA gets an update on Harrison Ford, and pilots prove they have big hearts as they help one little boy get closer to his goal of 10,000 model airplanes. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, April 2...  

Career Pilot

JetBlue, Southwest earn top customer ratings

JetBlue and Southwest airlines deliver the best customer experience in the industry, according to an annual ranking. The 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings gave JetBlue a rating of 75 percent based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers; Southwest was ranked second among airlines, with a rating of 72 percent. Spirit Airlines scored lowest in the industry, with a rating of 47 percent.

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

Plane Spotter

Water-wise Widgeon

Nothing looks quite like a "flying boat." With engines mounted high above the water and hulls, the appearance of these nautical-looking aircraft is distinctive. Grumman's flying boats named for swimming birds—albatross, mallard, goose, widgeon—illustrate the point. Smallest is the G-44 Widgeon, with two 200-horsepower engines driving wooden, fixed-pitch propellers. Plane spotters can tell the five-seat Widgeon from the somewhat larger Goose by the absence of radial engines. Readers recently voted a Widgeon on the cover of the March 2000 AOPA Pilot magazine the favorite cover throughout AOPA's history.

Training Products

Test prep maneuver videos available as downloads

Aviation Supplies & Academics has released video segments from the Virtual Test Prep Flight Maneuvers DVD and Blu-ray disc set as individual downloads, ASA announced. Segments demonstrate maneuvers from a number of practical test standards using high-definition air-to-air video, 3-D and animated graphics, special effects, and more. The introduction and test prep videos are free; Airport Operations & Takeoffs, Landings, and Maneuvers are each $12.95; and Stalls & Emergencies is $9.95.

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

Hand propping: A legal primer

No specific FAA regulation applies to hand propping an airplane, either to prohibit it or to direct how it is to be done. Failure to follow generally accepted procedures and precautions listed in the Airplane Flying Handbook, however, could land you in trouble with the FAA. Read about the legal precedent.  


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Cub vs Corsair: Final showdown

The classic Piper J-3 Cub edged out the B-17 Flying Fortress by just 22 votes to advance to the finals in AOPA's bracket-style Best Aircraft Showdown, brought to you by Aero-Space Reports. The Vought F4U Corsair soundly defeated the Supermarine Spitfire by 458 votes. So which aircraft will become the 2015 champion—the iconic general aviation airplane or venerable warbird? You decide! Vote now...


AOPA Insurance Services

Get 24/7 protection for you and your family

As an AOPA member, you have exclusive, guaranteed access to AOPA Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance benefits to protect you and your family in case of an accident, whether you are at home, in the air, at work, or on the go. These benefits protect you anywhere, 24/7, and they have no aviation exclusions. With the AOPA AD&D Protection Plan, you can be sure that you have coverage designed to fit your lifestyle, regardless of how often you may fly. Learn more...  


Follow your gut

Are you ever tempted to skip the preflight inspection or control check? The flight school's airplanes fly pretty much every day with no change, you may reason, so what could you possibly miss? "A lot, actually," writes blogger Chip Wright, who explains how an elevator check that didn't feel right led to 10 pages' worth of work in the maintenance logbook. Read more...  


WWII B-17 pilot does a Reddit 'Ask Me Anything'

World War II veteran and Boeing B-17 pilot Carl Estersohn appeared on Reddit on March 22 to participate in one of that board's "Ask Me Anything" sessions. The 90-year-old, who says he still flies "when I get the chance," fielded hundreds of questions and comments. Read some highlights...  


Downwind takeoffs and the inherent risk

Do you ever find yourself rationalizing a downwind takeoff? Hover Power blogger Matt Johnson explains the danger cycle of pushing the limit in a helicopter. Read more...  

Instrument Tip


Danger at the heart of embedded storms

In less than a minute, the aircraft ballooned 500 feet above assigned altitude, then plunged 3,500 feet below it. Power was idle to avoid redlining the airspeed, but VNE was exceeded anyway. The rain noise was so loud that the two pilots could barely hear each other, but more alarming was the turbulence, icing, and uncontrolled rolling of the aircraft beyond 70 degrees of bank. Read more...  

Final Exam


Which flight instruments receive information from the pitot-static system?


The airspeed indicator, vertical speed indicator, and altimeter all use information from the pitot-static system. (Source: Pilot's Handbook of Aeronatuical Knowledge Chapter 7.)

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

Career Opportunities

AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for part time, temporary digital product support; a director, pilot community development; vice president, information and technology; senior ambassador, You Can Fly; outreach and events coordinator; vice president for major and leadership gifts; Sitecore developer; director of studies, research, and analysis; associate editor—Web/ePilot; and account manager II. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Apr 11-12 - Salt Lake City, Utah; Hebron, Kentucky; Atlanta, Georgia; and Indianapolis, Indiana

Apr 18-19 - Needham, Massachusetts; Denver, Colorado; and Ashburn, Virginia

Apr 25-26 - Tampa, Florida; and San Diego, California

May 2-3 - Sacramento, California; and Kansas City, Missouri

For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the Air Safety Institute's Online eFIRC.

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

Apr 6 - Greenville, Kentucky; and Duluth, Minnesota

Apr 7 - Blaine, Minnesota; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Morehead, Kentucky

Apr 8 - Saint Paul, Minnesota; and West Lafayette, Indiana

Apr 9 - Rochester, Minnesota; and Morris Plains, New Jersey

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Apr 4 - Palm Springs, California

Apr 11 - Savoy, Illinois; Boonville, Missouri; Carson City, Nevada; and Apopka, Florida

Apr 18 - West Lebanon, New Hampshire; and San Martin, California

Apr 25 - Lakeland, Florida; Quinton, Virginia; and Medford, New Jersey

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 16 — Salinas, California. Salinas Municipal Airport (KSNS). AOPA Fly-In.


Jun 6 — Frederick, Maryland. Frederick Municipal Airport (KFDK). AOPA Fly-In.


Aug 22 — Minneapolis, Minnesota. Anoka County-Blaine Airport (KANE). AOPA Fly-In.


Sep 26 — Colorado Springs, Colorado. Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (KCOS). AOPA Fly-In.


Oct 10 — Tullahoma, Tennessee. Tullahoma Regional Airport (KTHA). AOPA Fly-In.

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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