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January 1, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'January 1, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'

ePilot Flight Training Edition

January 1, 2016 - VOL 16, ISSUE 1

Training Tips


Headed home heavy

Unlike Santa's sleigh, many aircraft will be heading home from holiday travels more heavily loaded than when they set out, putting into focus the need for pilots to ensure that the aircraft is neither overweight nor loaded beyond center-of-gravity (CG) limits. Figuring out a heavier- or bulkier-than-usual loading scheme raises questions beyond simple determination of whether the aircraft's loading is within those limits. What if weight is acceptable but the CG position isn't? Read more...  

Flight Training News


Mooney M10T trainer makes first flight

Mooney International has made the first flight of the M10T proof-of-concept trainer aircraft. Certification is expected in the next few years. The aircraft is aimed at the international market and is powered by a diesel engine, the Continental CD-135. Read more...  



Astronauts wanted

NASA is accepting applications through Feb. 18 for the next class of astronauts. Travel is required; possible destinations include the International Space Station and Mars. Meals and accommodations in outer space are provided, along with plenty of training before that; apply online. Read more...  



FAA updates weather information

The FAA has released two draft advisory circulars about aviation weather that are commonly used in flight training. The updates include new weather products and drop items considered obsolete or set to be discontinued. The new drafts would replace weather guidance dating to 1943; weather guidance was completely rewritten in 1975, and updated again in 2015. Read more...  



Top 10 tales of 2015

From the long-awaited rollout of new airplane designs to the unlikely discovery of a piece of history from D-Day in an aircraft "boneyard," AOPA in 2015 brought its members the stories of general aviation. Check out the top stories that captured pilots' interest in 2015. Read more...  


Facebook chat

Machado joins 'Flight Training' chat

Aviation humorist and flight instructor Rod Machado will be the featured guest at the first Flight Training Facebook chat of 2016. Bring your flight training questions and concerns to him at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Jan. 5. One chatter will receive a $50 Aircraft Spruce & Specialty gift card. Set an email reminder to join Machado and Flight Training Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman. Flight Training Facebook chats are underwritten by Aircraft Spruce & Specialty.



Flying Musicians opens 2016 solo scholarship

The Flying Musicians Association is now accepting nominations for the 2016 FMA Solo Program Scholarship to help high school musicians and student aviators achieve their goal of solo flight. Read more...  

Plane Spotter

Wings of glass

Examples of German-made Glasflügel gliders are found around the world, and from coast to coast, as a plane spotter who ventures out to visit the local soaring club is likely to discover. Within Glasflügel (translation: "glass wings") the Libelle series is prominently represented. There is also the easily recognizable (thanks to its V-tail) H-101 Salto of 1970s vintage, and a high performer dating to the 1960s, the BS-1, a fiberglass ship that featured a parachute mounted in the tail for better glidepath control. The BS-1 designation honors its designer, Bjorn Stender.

Training Products and Resources

Safety Spotlight

Be ready for a chilly Mother Nature

While the cold weather season can be a wonderful time to fly, you also need to understand the hazards that chilly weather can unleash. How to prepare? Check out the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Icing and Cold Weather Ops Safety Spotlight.


ASA offers 'Practical Guide to the Private Pilot Checkride'

Students looking for a way to gain confidence before taking the oral portion of an FAA private pilot checkride can review Aviation Supplies & Academics' Practical Guide to the Private Pilot Checkride. This handy booklet offers concise information that eliminates surprises and better prepares students by covering ground school basics, aircraft systems, and specific task elements. The study guide also is a great primer for the flight review. The study guide is available in multiple formats ranging from $13.99 to $24.95.

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

Pilot Protection Services

FAA updates list of conditions AMEs can issue

In the past several months, the FAA has added kidney stones as a condition AMEs can issue (CACI) a medical certificate for—without sending pilots through the special issuance medical process—and has changed some recommendations on another condition in the CACI program. Read more...  


Member benefit

Student finds, buys his father's former airplane

After Malcolm Lawton's father died, Lawton found and purchased one of his father's former airplanes. When it was time to insure the aircraft, AOPA Insurance was his choice for many reasons. Read more...  

Instrument Tip

Login required

Can you circle into Rogue Valley?

The LOC/DME BC-B approach into Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport in Oregon is scenic and exhilarating. With rising terrain nearby, this approach procedure will keep your ride exciting from the initial approach fix all the way to touchdown. Can you use glideslope indications as an aid on this approach? Take the quiz...



'What should I have done?'

After experiencing an alternator failure in instrument conditions, the pilot and flight instructor could receive radio communications but not transmit; the transponder still worked. What should the pilot and CFI do? Read more...  

Final Exam


As part of your training, you have started deciphering METARs, but you are having a bit of trouble figuring out some of the lettering and acronyms. Is there a source to help you understand this information?


Yes. FAA Advisory Circular AC 00-45, Aviation Weather Services, contains definitions and can help you decipher the information contained in the METAR. You also can check the TAF Decoder on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Aviation Weather Center 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 marketing copywriter; Web project manager; AOPA Aviation Finance account executive, analyst I, and loan processor; High School Aviation Initiative senior director; e-learning designer; member services representative; Legal Services Plan attorney and 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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