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December 25, 2015, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionDecember 25, 2015, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

December 25, 2015 - VOL 15, ISSUE 52

Training Tips


Checking it twice

A long holiday weekend or vacation period can provide a convenient time to make some headway toward a flight training goal. It's a hectic travel season, and busy general aviation airports may become busier, their ramps more alive with aircraft (and pedestrians), so build some extra time into your flying schedule and stay alert to the operations around you. Read more...  

Flight Training News


College offers flying start

A community college in Illinois offers flight training and a degree program for aspiring aviators, and is spreading the word beyond the state line. The Parkland College Institute of Aviation has developed a road show for high schools. Read more...  



Tempus accepting students

Tempus Training Solutions, the flight training operation purchased from Redbird Flight Simulations in October, announced Dec. 17 that it is accepting new aviation students for the program based at Redbird's San Marcos, Texas, facility. Read more...  



FAA certifies Florida school's new A&P program

Enrollment in the George Stone Technical Center's two-year, FAA-certified aircraft maintenance training program is open until Jan. 13, 2016. Read more...  



AOPA backs pilot spring break

Organizers of the MODAERO spring break for pilots announced Dec. 14 that AOPA will be a key sponsor for the millennial-centered, high-energy aviation experience when the inaugural event spreads its wings in Texas next year. Read more...  



Top 10 safety products of 2015

Prime the safety pump for your flying adventures with the top 10 AOPA Air Safety Institute products of 2015. Read more...  


CAP's national competition returns

After a one-year hiatus for revamping the criteria, the Civil Air Patrol's national cadet competition returns to Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, Dec. 30 to Jan. 2, 2016. Ninety-six cadets mastered state and regional competitions to form teams of six demonstrating their skills in model rocketry, fitness, public speaking, team leadership, and more. The event originated in 1947 and has progressed from traditional search, rescue, flight, and emergency services to include science, aerospace technology, engineering, math, and aviation careers, according to a Dec. 16 news release.



AOPA FlyBy catches up with Santa

Did you know the NORAD Tracks Santa system began as result of an ad misprint? FlyBy's Paul Harrop caught up with Santa while he was practicing for his Dec. 24 approach in a Cessna 180. Watch the video...  

Plane Spotter

700,000 drones and counting

Have you spotted your first unmanned aircraft system yet? If not, today would be a good day to break the ice, even though it is a holiday and you may have no plans to visit the airport. Try looking out the window for starters. No drone flying around outside? Then check under the tree—right, the tree in the corner of the living room. According to one survey, a holiday boom in "quasi-toy" drone sales will put 700,000 new unmanned aircraft in the air in 2015, up 63 percent from 2014.

Training Products and Resources

Member benefit

AOPA updates flight planning tools

The AOPA Flight Planner v 2.2 features a new range tool and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) flight plan support. The range tool can help users quickly visualize how far they can go from any point on the chart with sufficient fuel reserve to be safe. Users also can customize their view to display distance, fuel, or time with color coding for easy risk identification. Read more...  

Member Benefits

Member benefit

AOPA launches rewards program

Get rewarded for talking about flying! AOPA has launched a new rewards program in which members can earn points by getting fellow pilots to join the association. You'll also earn points for sharing information about AOPA through emails, Facebook, and Twitter! Once you've earned at least 50 points, you can redeem them for Amazon gift cards. You'll be able to track your progress so you know how much more you need to do to reach your goal. Learn how you can start earning points today!  


Pilot Protection Services

Checklists? Check!

Pilots aren't the only ones who use checklists to ensure mission-critical items aren't overlooked. Dr. Jonathan Sackier explains how the medical profession is using checklists as well. Read more...  

Instrument Tip


Recognize when to ask for help

Some pilots are hesitant to admit to air traffic control that they're in trouble because they are afraid of the ramifications. So they attempt to resolve the problem by themselves. But as the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Real Pilot Story: Trapped on Top illustrates, that decision can be dangerous. Watch the video...  

Final Exam


As your private pilot training progresses, you and your instructor fly to an unfamiliar airport. You research the airport diagram in advance, but on final approach, you notice yellow chevron markings ahead of the runway. What do these markings indicate?


According to FAA Advisory Circular 150/5340-1K: "Standards for Airport Markings," "The chevron marking identifies paved blast pads, stopways, and EMAS (engineered materials arresting systems) in relation to the end of the runway." This area cannot be used for taxi, takeoff, or landing. For additional information on runway markings, review the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Runway Flash Cards.

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 aviation finance account executive; aviation finance analyst I; senior director, High School Aviation Initiative; e-learning designer; aviation finance loan processor; member services representative; legal services plan attorney; legal services plan administrative assistant; major gift officer; and insurance 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

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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