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November 27, 2015, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training EditionNovember 27, 2015, AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition

ePilot Flight Training Edition

November 27, 2015 - VOL 15, ISSUE 48

Training Tips


Beyond safety briefings

Exercising your responsibility for ensuring the safety of passengers and bystanders is demonstrated in several practical test tasks, but it is your continued alertness that keeps operations safe in other scenarios. For example, you are about to run the engine-start checklist when you observe two adults and a child walking nearby. Read more...  

Flight Training News


Tips for VFR weather planning

One of the challenges of flying is weather assessment. It's easy when the weather is great (or terrible), but what about those times when visibility is marginal at a couple of reporting stations or the ceiling is forecast to drop an hour after your arrival? In Weather Wise: VFR Flight Planning, the AOPA Air Safety Institute explores issues VFR pilots face and explains how to get a big-picture understanding of the weather. Watch the video...  



PilotWorkshops releases 'Real World VFR'

Find a remote island airport at night, land at Boston's Logan International Airport in a Cessna 172, fly the Hudson River VFR Corridor, encounter VFR flight into instrument conditions, and more in PilotWorkshops' new Real World VFR video program. The series of 10 recorded flights includes pre- and post-flight briefings. Read more...  



Drone guidance released

The FAA has released the recommendations of its drone registration task force, moving the agency one step closer to establishing registration procedures ahead of anticipated record holiday sales of drones. Read more...  



ForeFlight rolls out graphical briefing

If you have trouble decoding textual weather briefings, a new ForeFlight component could help. ForeFlight can now convert standard text weather briefings into a graphical format to help you see the big picture. Read more...  


Air Evac Lifeteam receives Frasca's 'ultimate realism' FTD

Air Evac Lifeteam, a membership-supported air medical service, is the launch customer for Frasca International's new TruCue helicopter simulator cueing and vibration system, according to a Nov. 20 news release. "This system makes the simulator fly more realistically and allows the pilot to naturally react to flight motion cues while training," wrote Frasca Marketing Manager Peggy Prichard. Air Evac Lifeteam currently operates from 118 bases in 15 states.


AOPA Live This Week

Starting over, drone recommendations released

Dr. Claudius Klimt finds a new adventure in learning to fly a gyrocopter, and it's much different from flying an airplane. After a multiple sclerosis diagnosis ended Benjamin Parker's military career, he turned to general aviation to start over, but he had to battle the FAA to receive his medical certificate. And, just ahead of the holiday shopping rush, the FAA releases recommendations from the drone registration task force. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, Nov. 26...  

Plane Spotter

Like syrup on pancakes

In the 1950s, makers of popular tailwheel airplanes were switching to tricycle-gear designs. Piper had Tri-Pacers and Colts; Cessna manufactured several models you might recognize. Not all high-sitting, gangly geared descendants of taildraggers were Tri-Pacers. In 1957 Aeronca introduced the 90-horsepower, 100-mph Tri-Champ, manufacturing 472 through 1962. Tri-Champ No. 53 belongs to Half Fast Flying Adventures of Ames, Iowa. Vintage-aircraft collectors Rachel and Brian Aukes said their Tri-Champ is fun to fly and land because it "settles onto the ground like maple syrup on Sunday flight-breakfast pancakes."

Training Products and Resources

IFR/VFR pilot reference card

Let's face it, there's a lot of data to keep up with before, during, and after a flight. Wouldn't it be nice to review that wealth of information easily before crunch time? offers a waterproof, tear-proof, and chemical-resistant VFR and IFR flip card. The easy-to-read reference card highlights visibility and cloud clearances, holding procedures, rules of thumb, and more. The IFR/VFR pilot reference card is available online for $9.95.



Budget-friendly aviation gift guide

The holiday season is here, and there are plenty of aviation-oriented gifts to keep pilots happy and safe without breaking anyone's budget. AOPA staff assembled a selection of economical gifts in two modest price ranges to simplify shopping and bring smiles to pilots' faces. Ten items under $20 should please Uncle Scrooge, and 10 items under $50 are available for bigger spenders. Read more...  

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


Costly mistakes

Skipping a prepurchase inspection could be one of the most costly decisions you'll ever make when buying an aircraft. Read more...  


Pilot Protection Services

What's your responsibility to see and avoid?

Does your obligation to see and avoid other aircraft trump any right-of-way priority you may have? The answer is a resounding yes. A pilot's obligation to see and avoid other aircraft at all times (with the exception being in actual instrument conditions on an IFR flight plan) is completely independent of any right-of-way claim. Read more...  


What to expect when wearing your pilot uniform in public

Large commercial airports can be confusing and disorienting places, and travelers will seek anyone who looks remotely official. The pilot uniform is a magnet for attention, some of it not so positive. Remember, your pilot uniform is a great way to show off and to smooth some ruffled feathers. Use that to your advantage, counsels Flight Training blogger Chip Wright. Read more...  

Instrument Tip

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IFR quiz: Ready for the twist in this approach?

It looks like a localizer approach, but an LDA approach has a twist at the end. Learn more when you tackle this unusual approach into Connecticut's Hartford-Brainard Airport. Do you have the skills to find the runway in instrument conditions? Take the quiz...

Final Exam


The runway at the airport to which you and your instructor are flying for your long cross-country is quite a bit shorter than what you are used to, and you are concerned about your takeoff performance. What V speed gives you the greatest gain in altitude in the shortest distance for a climb?


VX is your best angle of climb, which gives you the greatest altitude increase in the shortest distance possible. For additional information, see the Flight Training 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

Aviation job board

Job of the week: Torrance Airport business manager

If you are a self-starter, find reward in cultivating relationships, are skilled at communicating across all levels of an organization, and can synthesize data, join the city of Torrance as the airport business manager today! The successful candidate will have a property management background and strong supervision, accounting, and administrative skills to manage the operational activities at California's Torrance Airport. Read the full job description and apply today!


AOPA career opportunities

Join the AOPA team

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? AOPA is looking for a 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

Dec 5-6 - Denver, Colorado; Orlando, Florida; and Northbrook, Illinois

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

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 3 - West Windsor, New Jersey

Dec 5 - Scottsdale, Arizona; and Winter Haven, Florida

Dec 12 - Stow, Massachusetts

Dec 16 - Lancaster, 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. 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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