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December 18, 2015, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionDecember 18, 2015, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

December 18, 2015 - VOL 15, ISSUE 51

Training Tips


'Exercise extreme caution'

A student pilot and flight instructor are planning a flight between two airports in a mountainous area of northern New England. Although the route will not penetrate any high-security airspace, it is not without its own brand of procedural and decision-making challenges. Find out why a flight from Maine's Oxford County Regional Airport to Berlin Regional Airport in New Hampshire’s White Mountains requires "extreme caution." Read more...  

Flight Training News


Full Senate passes medical reform

The full Senate has passed the Pilot's Bill of Rights 2, which will now go to the House for consideration. Read more...  



Ace your instrument flight planning

In some ways, flying in instrument conditions makes weather planning easier. But more time in the clouds means more exposure to potentially dangerous conditions, which makes good preflight planning even more essential. Weather Wise: IFR Flight Planning—the fourth installment in the AOPA Air Safety Institute's video series on practical weather flying—explores the major hazards IFR pilots face, and how to get a solid grasp of the big picture before leaving the ground. Watch the video...  



Envoy Air, ATP Flight School offer tuition reimbursement

Regional airline Envoy Air has agreed to participate in ATP Flight School's tuition reimbursement program, the companies announced Dec. 11. Read more...  



Drone registration rules released

The owners of recreational drones weighing between 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and 55 pounds will have to register their aircraft with the FAA before making their first outdoor flight under new rules announced Dec. 14. Read more...  



Sporty's launches charter service

Sporty's, a company that has long worked in nearly all aspects of general aviation, is now offering charter service in a Cessna Skylane. Read more...  



Rocketry challenge creators win aerospace education award

Two organizations that teamed to create the world's largest student rocketry challenge and education program will receive an award honoring their commitment to aerospace education. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

Medical reform heads to House; Top videos of 2015

AOPA Live This Week® brings you this week's breaking news, including the Senate's passage of the Pilot's Bill of Rights 2, a look back at the top stories of 2015, and a director's cut of the videos you loved most this year. Watch the warbirds, tall tales, and unforgettable moments. As of publication deadline, AOPA Live producers were still finalizing this week’s show, which will be available on Dec. 18. The next AOPA Live This Week show will air Jan. 7, 2016.


Plane Spotter

Kits by Stits

In 1948, self-taught aircraft designer Ray Stits created the SA-1 Junior, "the world's smallest airplane," partly because of claims that it couldn't be done. Several years later, Stits came out with an airplane that was even smaller: the SkyBaby, a biplane with a wingspan of only 7 feet 2 inches. A progression of other models, including the SA-3A Playboy, would flow from one of the earliest homebuilt-aircraft designers. Stits also became the founder of Chapter 1 of the Experimental Aircraft Association. Stits died June 8 at the age of 93.

Training Products and Resources


Get the facts on deicing and anti-icing equipment

Can you fly into icing conditions in an aircraft equipped with approved-for-icing-conditions systems? Learn more about the different systems and how they have been tested, certified, or approved in the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Aircraft Deicing and Anti-icing Equipment Safety Advisor. Download the publication...

Member Benefits

Pilot Protection Services

Steer clear of sporting event TFRs

Previewing your intended route on a sectional chart and obtaining a standard briefing, via telephone or DUATS, might not be enough to help you steer clear of airspace issues. Read more...  


Member benefit

Don't skip a pre-buy inspection

You've found the perfect airplane, and it's priced to sell, but don't skip the pre-buy inspection. The only way to truly understand what costs you will be inheriting when you purchase an aircraft is with a thorough pre-buy. Learn what other mistakes to avoid when buying a business aircraft.  


Holiday commuting

When it comes to commuting to work as an airline pilot, is it best to jump seat or buy a ticket? Airline pilot and Flight Training blogger Chip Wright shares tips from his personal experience. Read more...  

Instrument Tip


Building time, squeezed for space

If you are one to seek approach procedures that challenge your workload-management abilities, the ILS or LOC/DME RWY 35 approach to Colorado's Greeley-Weld County Airport offers a test. Read more...  

Final Exam


On final approach to an airport at night, you see that the PAPI lights appear to be to the right of the runway. You panic and think you are lined up on the wrong runway because the PAPI lights are supposed to be only on the left. What should you do?


You should continue to land. The row of light units is normally installed on the left side of the runway. In this case, the PAPI would read inverted (right to left instead of the usual left to right). Although they are inverted, they still indicate the same glidepath with a four-light (red/white) system. For more information, see the FAA website.

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 a senior director, High School Aviation Initiative; e-learning designer; loan processor; member services representative; legal services plan attorney; legal services plan administrative assistant; 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

Jan 2 - Lakeland, Florida

Jan 9 - Stevensville, Maryland; and Lawrenceville, Georgia

Jan 16 - Lebanon, Tennessee; and Houston, Texas

Jan 20 - Racine, Wisconsin

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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