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March 4, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'March 4, 2016, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'

ePilot Flight Training Edition

March 4, 2016 - VOL 16, ISSUE 10

Training Tips


What affects ground effect?

Ground effect "can be detected and measured up to an altitude equal to one wingspan above the surface," but effects vary with height and speed. How do the effects of ground effect change if you are one-fourth the wingspan above the ground versus one-tenth the wingspan? And what role does airspeed play? Read more...  

Flight Training News


Be weather-aware up there

In-flight weather monitoring is critical in maintaining overall situational awareness with respect to the weather and your flight. Applying that knowledge to make good decisions is the next step. The AOPA Air Safety Institute shares suggestions to help you accomplish this in Weather Wise: Awareness Aloft. Watch the video...  



FAA explains student changes

The FAA has published an advisory circular that explains how the process of applying for and issuing student pilot certificates will change April 1. Read more...  



Civil Air Patrol turns 75

The Civil Air Patrol kicked off its seventy-fifth anniversary celebration by doing what it does best—quietly working behind the scenes to support scores of mentors and cadets keeping a fleet of 550 aircraft in the sky for its 56,000 volunteers. Read more...  



ExpressJet recruits on the road

ExpressJet pilot recruiters hit the road to spread the word about the air carrier's Airline Pilot Pathway Program, which ushers students from classrooms to cockpits. Read more...  



AOPA Foundation funds camp

A mid-winter recess from classes gave 32 New York City middle school students time for a hands-on aviation experience. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

WASPs' final battle; Inside Heli-Expo

Women Airforce Service Pilots, their families, and supporters by the thousands are fighting to honor these veterans by admitting them into Arlington National Cemetery, which was disallowed last year. The passing of Elaine D. Harmon of Maryland, who died at age 95, 70 years after joining the corps of female pilots, brought the issue back into focus. AOPA Live® talked to another WASP veteran in Pennsylvania who makes a case that the honor of Arlington burial was earned long ago. Also this week, join us on the floor of the Helicopter Association International 2016 Heli-Expo in Louisville, Kentucky. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, March 3.  

Plane Spotter

Iced Lightning

A Lockheed P-38 Lightning, with its twin engines, twin booms, and centralized nacelle for the pilot is an arresting sight, whether spotted in an airshow or on static display. Equally enthralling is the story of one special P-38 that flies today despite having been buried under Greenland's ice for 50 years. Glacier Girl was part of a fighter-bomber squadron attempting to cross the Atlantic in 1942 when it was forced down on the ice, later to be extracted piece by piece by a 1992 expedition after 12 prior unsuccessful rescue attempts.

Training Products and Resources

Flight Level bag snuggles electronics

Flight Outfitters has a pilot bag with a multitude of pockets for digital devices and a braided-steel handle for secure carrying. An external pocket can hold an iPad Mini while a soft file folder pocket inside the bag nestles a tablet. Hide-away headset pockets, three interior pockets for cable-stashing options, and a molded bottom round out the Flight Level bag, available from Sporty's Pilot Shop for $129.95.


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Embark on a new adventure

Whether you're planning to switch from a familiar airplane or avionics setup into something new or are simply interested in exploring options for the future, the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Transitioning to Other Airplanes online course has your back. Brought to you by AOPA Insurance Services, the course has all the information you need to make that switch safe and fun. Learn 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

Member benefit

Four keys to determining your creditworthiness

When lenders are determining whether to extend credit to you for an aircraft purchase, they look at your income, but that's just the beginning. Lenders also will consider your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, liquidity, and unsecured debt. Read more...  


Pilot Protection Services

Track your health like your flight hours

Pilots who request their medical records from doctors may have to wait up to 30 days to get them. Dr. Jonathan Sackier recommends developing your own PMR—personal medical record. "Each time you see a doctor or have any test done, enter the details and keep it up to date," Sackier writes. "You do it with your pilot's log... Why not do it with your health?" Read more...  


Member benefit

Moving your airplane to another airport? Tell your insurance agent

Whether you're relocating for a new job, retirement, or simply a change of scenery, that move may affect your airplane's insurance. Even if you're moving from one local airport to another local airport to take advantage of lower hangar rent, you should check in with your insurance agent. Read more...  



Talk about flying, earn points

Through AOPA's limited-time membership referral program, members who invite their fellow pilots into the AOPA community can earn points to redeem toward Amazon gift cards. Read more...  


'Scatter plans' and diversions

Weather, payload, and passenger plans as well as air traffic and company economy converge during "scatter plans" implemented by air carriers on bad weather days, writes Flight Training blogger Chip Wright in the first of three installments. The weather, the crew, and flight regulations all have to come together for a successful plan. Read more...  

Final Exam


I recently heard another pilot describe an airport that he flew into recently that had a very narrow runway, and he mentioned runway width illusions. What was he talking about?


There are a couple of runway width illusions that a pilot can encounter. One is a runway that is narrower than usual, which can create the illusion that the aircraft is higher above the ground than it actually is. If the pilot does not recognize this illusion, he or she might fly a lower approach, increasing the risk of striking obstacles along the approach path or landing short. A runway that is wider than usual can create the opposite illusion, causing a pilot to flare too high and land hard or even overshoot the runway. For more information on illusions in flight, see Section 8-1-5-3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual.

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: Cirrus Aircraft flying club instructor

Cirrus Aircraft is looking for a flying club instructor to provide flight and ground instruction to Cirrus employees who are current flying club members. The flying club instructor will assist with the safety, record keeping, ramp operations, and fleet management functions of the Cirrus Flying Club. Other responsibilities include acting as pilot in command of Cirrus aircraft while performing 14 CFR Part 91 corporate flight operations, demonstration flights, and ferry flights when needed. 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 an aviation technical specialist, social media evangelist, Flying Clubs Initiative manager, marketing copywriter, Web project manager, and member services representative. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Mar 5-6 - Ontario, California

Mar 12-13 - Phoenix, Arizona; Burlingame, California; King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; and Virginia Beach, Virginia

Mar 19-20 - Orlando, Florida; and Elkridge, Maryland

Apr 2-3 - Denver, Colorado; Tampa, Florida; Needham, Massachusetts; and Dulles, 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 14 - Northbrook, Illinois; Fletcher, North Carolina; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Mar 15 - Lisle, Illinois; Jamestown, North Carolina; and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Mar 16 - East Peoria, Illinois; Morrisville, North Carolina; and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Mar 17 - Rockford, Illinois; and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

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

Rusty Pilots Seminars

Mar 5 - Helena, Montana; Lakeland, Florida; Elkhart, Indiana; Manitowoc, Wisconsin; Burlington, Washington; and Lawrenceville, Georgia

Mar 11 - Nashville, Tennessee

Mar 12 - Reading, Pennsylvania; El Cajon, California; and Bulverde, Texas

Mar 19 - Belleville, Michigan; West Lafayette, Indiana; and North Las Vegas, Nevada

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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