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June 26, 2015, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionJune 26, 2015, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

June 26, 2015 - VOL 15, ISSUE 26

Training Tips


'Tower, how are we doing?'

Confusing the inbound heading with the aircraft's position relative to the airport is one example controllers cite to illustrate why pilots should sharpen their situational awareness. Learn more tips from controllers that can help you improve your operations at towered airports. Read more...  

Flight Training News

Flight Training magazine

The weight-and-balance jungle

Let's say you're flying cargo in a DC-3 in the African bush. How would you load a baby elephant, 12 monkeys, 20 bales of cotton, three crates of bananas, and a case of whiskey? Loading a four-seat general aviation aircraft has many of the same weight-and-balance considerations—with the same potential consequences. Read more...  



Proposed rule would restore sim time credits

The FAA has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would allow pilots to count more aviation training device time toward earning an instrument rating. The proposed rule is in line with AOPA requests and previous industry practice. Read more...  



Volunteer pilot at your service

Whether you're curious about what it takes to become a volunteer pilot or want to brush up on safety guidelines and passenger comfort recommendations, check out the Air Safety Institute's Volunteer Pilots: Balancing Safety and Compassion Safety Advisor. Find out why giving through flying is priceless. Learn more...



AOPA Foundation to fund nonprofit flight training scholarships

Nonprofit organizations seeking to offer flight training scholarships to aspiring aviators can receive help funding the scholarships through the AOPA Foundation's new grant program. The deadline to apply for one of two $5,000 grants is July 24. Read more...  

Training Resources

Online resource

What trainer is right for you?

If you've spent time plane spotting at your local airport, you've likely noticed airplanes of all shapes and sizes on the ramp. Where should you start? Most pilots learn to fly in fixed-gear, piston single-engine airplanes. Ultimately, choosing a training airplane comes down to a few basic decisions. Ask yourself these four questions...  

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

Icon A5 flight, Red Bull extreme

Ride along as AOPA puts the new Icon A5 amphibious light sport aircraft through its paces, and watch from a safe distance as Red Bull films the most extreme form of hangar flying we've seen yet. Also this week, storms savage the Midwest and High Plains, and one pilot learns the importance of preflight cat checks in a video that's gone viral. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, June 25...  

Career Pilot

Register now for Teacher's Day at AirVenture

Teachers who want to learn how science, technology, engineering, math, and aviation can motivate students should register now for the free Teacher's Day program presented by Build A Plane at EAA AirVenture on July 21 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Voyager pilot Dick Rutan will deliver a keynote address about what it's like to fly nonstop around the world. Contact Debbie Phillips at 505/980-5915, or visit to register.

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

Plane Spotter

Piper's prime Meridian

Members of Piper's PA-46 Malibu family of six-place, pressurized single-engine airplanes stand out on an airport ramp, especially among the two- and four-seat fleet that populates most of the tiedown spots. Within the Malibu family, a sharp-eyed plane spotter will quickly pick out its top-of-the-line member, the 500-shaft-horsepower turboprop Meridian, designated PA-46-500TP. The aircraft is slightly longer, nose to tail, than the piston-powered PA-46, with a modified wing. Its most distinctive features are a big, four-bladed propeller, and the prominent exhaust stacks extending out and back from the cowling.

Training Products

New planning pad includes ICAO flight plan format

ASA now offers a Flight Planner Pad to aid in preflight planning. The front side of each sheet includes boxes to input information such as planned course, predicted winds, checkpoints, headings, estimated times, fuel, navaid frequencies, terminal information, and communication frequencies. The opposite side includes a preflight checklist, weight-and-balance computation table, pilot report (pirep) guidance, and the International Civil Aviation Organization flight plan format. The FAA has proposed using the ICAO flight plan format for all domestic and international flight plans beginning Oct. 1. The pad is $4.95 online.

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

AOPA Pilot magazine

Fly Well: Eyes on the prize

The eye is elegant, delicate, and complex—but, like sophisticated airplanes, stuff fails and preventive maintenance is key. Read more...  


Pilot Protection Services

NASA helps pilots through Aviation Safety Reporting System

Did you know that filing a NASA report under the Aviation Safety Reporting Program provides a waiver of sanction for pilots facing an FAA enforcement action due to a violation of a federal aviation regulation? Read more...  



AOPA Aviation Finance makes financing easy

The AOPA Aviation Finance Co. helped an AOPA member through the financing process to purchase a Cessna 182 that "fit the bill for speed, comfort, and great useful load," to transport his family between Georgia and Texas. Read more...  


Just ahead in the August issue

What does your flight instructor pound into your brain this time of year? Density altitude. You can't learn too much about it, particularly if you are a flat-land pilot who may be tempted to assume—incorrectly—that density altitude is something you don't have to think about. The "Technique" and "Weather" articles in the August issue of Flight Training are devoted to density altitude. Read more...  


Oversold flights

Why do airlines routinely sell more tickets than the number of available seats? Because they can. Blogger Chip Wright explains the logic behind the frustrating practice. Read more...  

Instrument Tip

Flash-based; login required

Cleared for the approach

Knowing what's on the chart is one thing; knowing how to apply it in the real world is something else. Will you make the right choices on this VOR approach to Westminster, Maryland? Find out with the Air Safety Institute's IFR Chart Challenge online course. Take the course...  

Final Exam


As temperatures warm up for the summer, pilots are keeping an eye out for more thunderstorms. Convective sigmets for an area or line of active thunderstorms are issued on an hourly basis. How long are convective sigmets valid?


The valid period for a convective sigmet is two hours, or until it is superseded by another publication within that time frame. (Source: Aviation Weather Services, Section 6.1.4.)

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

Career Opportunities

Aviation job board

Job of the week: Instructor, aeronautics/pilot training

Gateway Technical College is seeking a chief instructor to provide ground and flight instruction as part of its two-year associate degree program in aeronautics—pilot training. The successful applicant must meet 14 CFR 141.35 Subchapter A through D qualifications. Responsibilities include classroom instruction, flight instruction, conducting course stage checks, and supervising teaching assistants. Apply today and search for other similar opportunities...


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a director of regulatory affairs; Northwest Mountain regional manager; AOPA National Aviation Community Center aviation event planner; marketing project coordinator; account executive, AOPA corporate partnerships; videographer, Air Safety Institute; senior director of government affairs (airport advocacy); aviation technical specialist; vice president, information and technology; and director of studies, research, and analysis. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Jun 27-28 - Charlotte, North Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; and Phoenix, Arizona

Jul 11-12 - Parsippany, New Jersey; and Millington, Tennessee

Jul 18-19 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Jul 25-26 - St. Augustine, Florida

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Jun 27 - Fullerton, California

Jun 28 - Greenwood, South Carolina

Jul 11 - Atlanta, Georgia; Renton, Washington; and Manchester, New Hampshire

Jul 18 - New York, New York; and Broomfield, Colorado

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

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
David Tulis

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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