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December 11, 2015, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionDecember 11, 2015, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

December 11, 2015 - VOL 15, ISSUE 50

Training Tips


Weather in transition

A pilot who made the mistake of launching VFR based only on a serene surface observation might be in for a rude surprise. A more thorough weather briefing, beginning with a check of the current surface analysis chart, would raise the alarm. Read more...  

Flight Training News


Student aircraft design competition opens

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association and Build A Plane announced that registration is open through Jan. 31 for their fourth Aviation Design Challenge. Read more...  


Pilot Protection Services

What can you log when using an autopilot?

Does the use of an autopilot prevent you from logging pilot-in-command flight time as sole manipulator of the flight controls, and does using the autopilot during an instrument approach let you log the approach as required by the regulations? Find out...  



Unraveling a mess in the mist

This AOPA Air Safety Institute safety video reconstructs how losing situational awareness in dense fog on the airport surface area in Providence, Rhode Island, led to a series of mistaken assumptions by the tower and several cockpit crewmembers. Watch the video to learn how vigilance and communication averted a serious accident...  



New airman standards explained

Learn about the new airman certification standards—the origins and rationale behind the change from the traditional practical test standards, as well as the advantages that the new certification standards offer. AOPA and the National Association of Flight Instructors will discuss the changes in a Flight School Business webinar Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Register today...  


AOPA Live This Week

Go for a spin; Santa makes house call in RV-10

How well does the AOPA You Can Fly Sweepstakes 152 spin? AOPA Editor at Large Dave Hirschman and AOPA Pilot Managing Editor Sarah Deener put the sweepstakes airplane through the spin cycle. Also this week, Santa makes a house call to a remote Virginia island in the Chesapeake Bay, courtesy of a Van's Aircraft RV-10 dubbed Rudolph One. Plus, the FAA weighs in on Santa Monica, saying it must remain open as an airport until 2023 at a minimum; and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation advances medical reform. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, Dec. 10...  

Plane Spotter

Back to the centerline

How should a kit aircraft manufacturer follow up "the most popular homebuilt design ever"? Stay the course, or set sights on a different market segment? When Van's Aircraft came out with the tandem two-seat RV-8/8A in 1995, it moved on from satisfying demand for side-by-side designs. With "centerline seating," the new model also could cruise cross-country or "rotate freely in three dimensions" in sport aerobatics. Options ranging from a 150- to a 200-horsepower engine, tailwheel or tricycle landing gear, and either a constant-speed or a fixed-pitch propeller give RV-8/8A aircraft multiple plane-spotting profiles.

Training Products and Resources

ASA releases Android aviation dictionary app

Android users rejoice: Aviation Supplies & Academics heard you loud and clear, and the company's Aviation Dictionary App is now available for pilots using Android operating systems. ASA announced Dec. 2 that the app includes more than "11,000 aviation related terms, definitions, abbreviations, and acronyms, and nearly 500 illustrations." It's searchable and indexable, and doesn't need an Internet connection. The Android app is available online for $9.99; Apple iOS and Kindle versions are also offered.



Airframe icing drags you down

Don't underestimate the hazard of airframe icing, which distorts the flow of air over the wing, reduces lift, increases angle of attack, and adversely affects the airplane's handling characteristics, while significantly increasing drag. Watch the AOPA Air Safety Institute's It's a Drag Pilot Safety Announcement for a reminder to avoid weather conditions conducive to airframe icing. Watch the video...  

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

Member benefit

AOPA member fulfills long-held goal to fly

The dream of learning to fly started in high school, but it wasn't fulfilled until nearly 40 years later when Michael Payne became a pilot at age 54. Payne turned to AOPA Insurance Services for his insurance needs because the staff found the best policy and rates, communicated well, and offered accident forgiveness through AOPA Air Safety Institute programs. Read more...  


Member benefit

Hire a professional to help you purchase a business aircraft

When purchasing a turbine aircraft, consider reaching out to an aircraft finance broker who has relationships with multiple lenders and understands which institutions are most eager for your business. They can quickly look at your financial situation, your aircraft choice, and your usage to find the most competitive option for you. Read more...  


JetBlue announces new ab initio program

JetBlue recently announced that it would begin an ab initio pilot training program in 2016. Airline pilot and Flight Training blogger Chip Wright takes a look at what is known about the program and discusses its potential. Read more...  

Final Exam


If you make an off-airport landing and sustain substantial damage to the aircraft, when are you required to notify the National Transportation Safety Board?


You must notify the NTSB immediately. CFR Part 830.5 lists the variety of circumstances that require immediate NTSB notification. Visit the NTSB's website for additional information about reporting requirements.

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. 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? AOPA is looking for an e-learning designer, loan processor, member services representative, legal services plan attorney, legal services plan administrative assistant, Southern regional manager, Western Pacific regional manager, major gift officer, and account executive.To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Jan 9-10 - Spokane, Washington; Charlotte, North Carolina; San Antonio, Texas; Santa Clara, California; and Ridgeland, Mississippi

Jan 16-17 - Portland, Oregon; Bellevue, Washington; and Elkridge, Maryland

Jan 23-24 - Rockford, Tennessee; Long Beach, California; and Ypsilanti, Michigan

Feb 6-7 - Las Vegas, Nevada; and Louisville, Kentucky

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

Jan 11 - Reno, Nevada; and The Woodlands, Texas

Jan 12 - Sacramento, California; and Houston, Texas

Jan 13 - Milpitas, California; and San Antonio, Texas

Jan 14 - Santa Rosa, California; and Austin, Texas

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Dec 12 - Stow, Massachusetts

Dec 16 - Lancaster, California

Dec 17 - Addison, Texas

Jan 2 - Lakeland, Florida

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. 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 does not endorse or assume responsibility for the events submitted and listed in the calendar.

ePilot Flight Training Editors:

Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore
David Tulis

Production Assistant:

Melissa Whitehouse


Mike Collins
Sarah Deener
Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Alton K. Marsh
Warren Morningstar
Dan Namowitz
Jill W. Tallman
Ian J. Twombly
Julie Summers Walker

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