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March 6, 2015, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'March 6, 2015, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'

ePilot Flight Training Edition

March 13, 2015 - VOL 15, ISSUE 11

Training Tips


Signs of safety

After a winter of on-and-off flyable weather, things seem to be coming together for you to make that long-delayed cross-country. Extra review of an unfamiliar airport's diagram is a good practice after a seriously snow-laden season. Combine that drill with a careful search for notams: Are any runways or taxiways closed, or airport signs hidden by accumulated snow? How many types of airport signs are there, anyway? Read more...  

Flight Training News

Fly like a fighter

Slightly lost

A low-fuel indication sends an F-15 rookie pilot back toward home base away from his training team. While troubleshooting the problem, the pilot follows the wrong landmark. He shares the lessons that he learned and now applies to every flight. Read more...  



Teens earn college credit exploring aviation careers

Twenty-seven students from nine high schools are enrolled for the initial, winter 2015 semester of the Aviation Academy at Community College of Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Read more...  


AOPA Pilot magazine

Ageless aviators

Overlapping wings bring their four airplanes so close that tiny relative movements seem gigantic. The Mavericks, mostly seventy-something former airshow performers, are in the midst of a strenuous formation aerobatic flight. They do this demanding and unforgiving flying for their own reasons—not corporate sponsorships, large performance venues, or media coverage, but shared goals, long-term friendships, personal challenges, and satisfaction. On the ground, their banter mostly consists of merciless teasing. "Is this interview for the AOPA or the AARP?" Jim Weldon, 78, asks mischievously. Read more and watch the video...  


'FAA Safety Briefing' tackles weather challenges

Do you know which clouds you may consider low risk for your flight, and which should give you pause? The March/April issue of FAA Safety Briefing outlines how to identify the three basic forms of clouds—and assess their relative risk—among other weather-related topics. Check out the briefing online for information on air masses and fronts, crosswinds and turbulence, and more.


Safety video

Ace your short-field landings

If you're having issues nailing your short-field landing technique, it may be time to rethink the "why" before the "how." In this video, learn why this maneuver exists and how to better visualize what it is that you're trying to accomplish. Watch the video...  


Flight school opens in NC

Flight school and fixed-base operator Elon Aviation recently opened at North Carolina's Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport, Triad Business Journal reports. The school offers training for the private and commercial certificates and instrument and multiengine ratings, and has started a chapter of the IMC Club, according to the report.

Training Resources

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Take Collision Avoidance safety quiz

No matter the time of day or the type of flight plan you've filed (if any), collision avoidance is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of every pilot. Test your knowledge and brush up on the basics of this skill in the Air Safety Institute's quiz. Take the quiz...

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

Schiff on Harrison Ford, fly a Collier nominee

AOPA Pilot contributor Barry Schiff talks about the Ryan ST3KR, an aircraft he knows well. In fact, Schiff checked Harrison Ford out in the vintage taildragger, now a little more famous since Ford's recent engine-out. Also this week, climb aboard the Legacy 500, a jet nominated for the 2015 Collier Trophy that Embraer hopes will win the midsized cabin market. Plus, an award-winning controller talks about helping a VFR pilot through clouds. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, March 12...  

Career Pilot

Mesa Airlines, ATP launch tuition assistance program

Mesa Airlines will offer tuition reimbursement to ATP Flight School instructors who commit to flying for Mesa when eligible, ATP announced March 6. Mesa will first offer its tuition assistance program to ATP's current instructor group of 200, the school said, and plans to continue the program with future student pilots. The agreement will allow a "substantial portion" of ATP students' airline career program loans to be subsidized by their future employer, ATP said.


American Flyers, Envoy Air partner on mentoring, hiring

A new pilot mentoring and hiring program from American Flyers and regional airline Envoy Air gives students a potential path to a first officer position at Envoy. Under the program, student candidates will build hours working for Envoy as certificated flight instructors at American Flyers after completing their training. Although instructors are not guaranteed a first officer position at Envoy, the airline "works closely with each CFI to succeed as a regional pilot," according to a press release. Participating students will be mentored by American Flyers employees, and by Envoy pilots and recruiters.



Honeywell projects steady helo sales

Despite a dramatic decline in 2014 helicopter deliveries, forecasters at Honeywell Aerospace project a steady stream of deliveries over the next five years. Read more...  

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

Plane Spotter

Different by Design

A new aircraft's debut is always a much-anticipated event. If its design departs from its manufacturer's recognized niche, and if its powerplant is a newly certified engine built to burn avgas or an alternative fuel, still greater excitement builds. That's why plane spotters will be alert to any indication that it is time to scan ramps for light sport aircraft maker Flight Design's latest model, the C4: a four-seat, IFR-capable aircraft powered by a new 180-horsepower Continental engine. So far, the aircraft has been displayed as a mock-up at recent aviation events.

Training Products

Cameras for recording your flight

Mounted camera systems like the GoPro Hero and the Garmin VIRB capture the action of high-adrenaline sports such as white-water rafting, skiing, and biking. Pilots, too, have seized upon this technology to document breathtaking flights, aerobatic exercises, and the joy of lifting off for the first (or thousandth) time. Some instructors use these cameras to review lessons with students or record a milestone solo flight, but don't let the presence of a camera distract you: Your primary responsibility is to fly the airplane. Set it, forget it, and enjoy the footage afterward. sells a variety of camera systems and accessories.


CFI, CFII syllabi available

Aviation Supplies & Academics (ASA) has made new syllabi available as free PDF downloads for pilots pursuing flight instructor and instrument flight instructor certificates. The Flight Instructor Syllabus and Flight Instructor Instrument Syllabus are based on ASA's Pilot's Manual Series.

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

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Waco or Diamond? You decide

Can the modern lines of the Diamond DA40 measure up to the old-world craftsmanship of the Waco YMF-5D? Your votes will decide in the first round of voting for the Best Aircraft Showdown bracket-style competition, sponsored by Aero-Space Reports. Over the course of two days, the first round of voting matches low-wing and high-wing Pipers, the B-17 Flying Fortress and the Lockheed C-130, and more. Check out the bracket now, and get ready to cast your votes March 17 and 18...


Member benefits

The big decision: Buy new or used?

Is a new or used airplane right for you? Benefits of buying a new airplane include reduced maintenance, warranty coverage, and the ability to customize to your taste. With used airplanes, you may get more for your dollar, insurance costs are likely to be lower, and depreciation will go slower—but be sure you know the aircraft's history and get a prepurchase inspection. Get advice from AOPA Aviation Finance...  


Member benefits

Battling late-season influenza

If fever, coughing, and sneezing are accompanied by chills and shivers, muscle aches, headache, and general cruddiness, you may have the flu. Dr. Jonathan Sackier offers advice for dealing with the flu. Read more...  


Think outside the traffic pattern

After a long flight to Santa Rosa Route 66 Airport in New Mexico, Opinion Leaders blogger Jolie Lucas found herself in the back of a police cruiser. She wasn't in trouble with the law; she was taking advantage of an unusual airport transportation service. She explains how this and other fun airport programs attract visitors and build goodwill.  

Final Exam


On the way back to your airport during a night flight, your CFI coordinated with the control tower to give you light gun signals for your landing clearance. Which signal can you expect to see as your landing clearance?


The appropriate signal will be a steady green light. The full table of light gun signals can be found in FAR 91.125.

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

Career Opportunities

Aviation job board

Job of the week: Software designer, Redbird Flight Simulations

Redbird Flight Simulations is transforming flight training through interactive simulation. The company is looking for a software designer who understands the potential of using game science for flight training, education, enjoyment, and changing the world. The successful candidate will be part of a team to design and produce realistic flight training experiences. Learn more about this exciting opportunity.


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; an outreach and events coordinator; aviation event and meeting planner; 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

Mar 14-15 - Columbia, Maryland; and Burlingame, California

Mar 21-22 - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; Ontario, California; and Virginia Beach, Virginia

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

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

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

Mar 23 - Northbrook, Illinois; and Eugene, Oregon

Mar 24 - Portland, Oregon; and Lisle, Illinois

Mar 25 - Seattle, Washington; and Rockford, Illinois

Mar 26 - Springfield, Illinois

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

Rusty Pilot Seminars

Mar 19 - Buffalo, New York

Mar 21 - Frederick, Maryland; Spencer, Iowa; and Monterey, California

Mar 28 - Olathe, Kansas

Apr 4 - Palm Springs, California

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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