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July 15, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'July 15, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'

AOPA eFlight Training
ePilot Flight Training Edition

July 15, 2016 - VOL 16, ISSUE 29

Training Tips

Sponsored by Aircraft Spruce

A slipping scenario

A student pilot flying a single-engine trainer has been instructed to land straight-in at a towered airport. Landing directly from a long final approach is a new experience for the trainee—and the clearance catches the student off guard. Descending about a mile from the threshold, the student pilot senses that the aircraft is too high. Should he slip or add flaps? Read more...  

Flight Training News


Obama to sign medical reform

President Barack Obama is expected to sign third class medical reform included in a short-term FAA funding extension into law July 15. The House- and Senate-passed legislation keeps the FAA running through September 2017, but the medical reforms are permanent. The FAA will have up to one year to develop and issue regulations to govern pilots flying under the reforms. "This is a moment to celebrate what we've achieved together," said AOPA President Mark Baker, "but we know our work isn't done." Read more...  


CAP's Cadet Officer School begins

The Civil Air Patrol is hosting a 10-day, college-level leadership training course for 119 cadets from July 12 through 21 at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. Participants are taking an active role in lectures and discussions to explore leadership topics before practicing what they learn through writing and speaking assignments. According to a news release, the Cadet Officer School is "the ideal venue to develop the leadership skills of CAP's top cadets." More than 5,000 youth are participating in CAP-sponsored summer activities. Read more...  


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Wake turbulence avoidance 101

Should you stay above or below a large aircraft's path and land beyond or before its touchdown point? Take the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Wake Turbulence Avoidance quiz to learn about this and other wake turbulence snags. Take the quiz...



Vote in flight training poll

Aviators who are ready to vote before November's general election can cast their ballots now in the 2016 AOPA Flight Training Poll. Previous winners of the annual contest shared key insider information that could power this year's contenders to the top of the pack before voting closes Aug. 22. Read more...  


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Review your road map of the sky

If you're planning to fly to your favorite vacation spot, or just starting your flying season, now is the time to polish your airspace knowledge with the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Know Before You Go: Navigating Today's Airspace online course optimized for mobile applications. Take the course...


Wichita Aero Club announces scholarship winners

Two Wichita aviation students each earned $5,000 scholarships June 20 from the Wichita Aero Club to advance their aviation studies. Aviation maintenance technology student Zavier Luciano and electrical engineering student Talon Michelle Wanless have both "established a clear aviation-related career path," John O'Leary, vice president of Airbus Americas Engineering and chairman of the WAC Education Committee, said in a news release.


San Diego museum awards 13 scholarships

The San Diego Air & Space Museum announced June 21 that 13 San Diego County high school seniors were awarded scholarships totaling $51,000. According to a news release, the museum has awarded $810,000 through 281 scholarships "for students with strong aviation or aerospace related interests, who plan to pursue a degree in mathematics, physics, the sciences, or engineering."


AOPA Live This Week

Medical reform on final; Dreams take flight

Congressional approval of an FAA funding extension that includes third class medical reform brings a long fight for freedom to fly to the finish line. With the bill headed to the president, find out what this means for thousands of pilots. Also this week, watch the Civil Air Patrol train cadets two at a time during an intensive week of flight training. Plus David Clark Co. has completed its turn toward more comfortable and sophisticated headsets. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, July 14...  

Plane Spotter

Like a Duck to water

A 7,700-pound biplane powered by a 900-horsepower Curtiss-Wright radial engine strikes a powerful pose, whether poised for flight or commanding display space in an aviation museum. Magnify the visual impact by mounting a single large float along the airplane's centerline and you must be in the presence of a 1930s-era Grumman J2F Duck, the first of Grumman Aircraft's fleet of flying boats named for waterfowl. Originally a military aircraft, the Duck found other missions following World War II. A 1944 example graces the Experimental Aircraft Association's aircraft collection.

Training Products and Resources

Survival bracelet a handy emergency tool

Preparing for an emergency survival situation is easier with the Paracord Survival Bracelet, even if you never have to use it. A handy bracelet made of sturdy paracord contains a whistle, a signal mirror, and a fire steel tinder ignitor—many of the necessities for surviving in the wild. The bracelet is available online from Sporty's Pilot Shop for $19.95.

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

Eating healthy could help lower your fuel bill

The amount of avgas airplanes burn is related in part to the load on board. Dr. Jonathan Sackier writes that if you reduce your personal gross weight, you will burn less fuel. He offers healthy eating tips to help you keep your weight under control. Read more...  


AOPA Aviation Finance

Storm 'clouds' when you're buying an airplane

Pilots deal with clouds their entire flying lives. But there's another kind of cloud you might experience that's not meteorological. You might face a "cloud" during the airplane purchase process. Read more...  


Member benefit

Know the facts when it comes to accident insurance

Many families complement their life insurance with accident or AD&D insurance. AOPA offers members access to an AD&D insurance plan that does not have aviation exclusions for members, their spouses, and children. Read more...  


Welcome to the advanced qualification program

Airline pilots no longer receive recurrent training or tests of their skills in simulators alone, writes Flight Training blogger Chip Wright. Modern flight crews are presented with simulated trouble during regular flights, and evaluated on how well they handle the decisions and tasks required to safely do their jobs. Airlines also use flight recorder data to analyze pilot performance. Read more...  

Final Exam


What is the difference between a sigmet and a convective sigmet, and what does that have to do with summer storms?


Sigmet stands for "significant meteorological information." A sigmet is an advisory issued to alert pilots of non-convective weather conditions that are hazardous to all aircraft. Sigmets provide information regarding severe and extreme turbulence, severe icing, and widespread dust or sandstorms that reduce visibility to less than three miles. A convective sigmet is issued for severe thunderstorms with surface winds greater than 50 knots, hail at the surface greater than or equal to three-quarters of an inch in diameter, or tornadoes. Convective sigmets also are issued to notify pilots of embedded thunderstorms, lines of thunderstorms, or thunderstorms with heavy or greater precipitation that affect at least 40 percent of an area 3,000 square miles or more. For more information, see the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, pages 13-12 and 13-13, and the Aeronautical Information Manual, page 7-1-9.

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 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 administrative coordinator, New York You Can Fly ambassador, aviation technical specialist, fundraising specialist, government affairs federal and state vice president, Great Lakes regional manager, communications director, donor relations director, and AOPA Foundation communications director. To learn more about these and other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Jul 23-24 - Jacksonville, Florida; and Memphis, Tennessee

Aug 6-7 - Atlanta, Georgia; Fort Worth, Texas; and Long Beach, California

Aug 20-21 - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; and Reno, Nevada

Sep 10 - Elkridge, Maryland

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

Jul 27-30 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Aug 24 - Frederick, Maryland

Sep 6 - Wichita, Kansas; Madison, Wisconsin; and Seattle, Washington

Sep 7 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Portland, Oregon

Sep 8 - Eugene, Oregon; Manitowoc, Wisconsin; and Bentonville, Arkansas

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

Rusty Pilots Seminars

Jul 16 - San Marcos, Texas; and West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

Jul 27 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Aug 13 - Fort Worth, Texas

Aug 20 - Bremerton, Washington; Hayden, Idaho; and Fullerton, 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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