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February 3, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'February 3, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'

ePilot Flight Training Edition

February 3, 2017 - VOL 17, ISSUE 5

Training Tips

Sponsored by Aircraft Spruce

Mind the stripe

A pilot has completed pretakeoff checks and is taxiing onto the runway for takeoff. Rushing after a late start, and preoccupied with announcing the departure on the common traffic advisory frequency, he never quite positions the aircraft over the runway centerline before advancing the throttle. Find out how this could lead to a big problem. Read more...  

Flight Training News


Si2 member hooked on flying

The Solar Impulse II team depended on a 23-year-old Pittsburgh engineer as the energy-efficient, battery-powered aircraft took off or touched down at airports along its 24,854.8-mile global journey. Paige Kassalen, the crew's first U.S. female engineer and also its youngest member, was tasked with catching and cradling the composite wingtip to keep it from scraping the ground. The experience inspired her to put flight training on her bucket list. Read more...  



Merlin debuts Pro Series sims

Merlin Simulation Inc. introduced a helicopter-specific Schweizer/Sikorsky S300C simulator as the first of its FAA-approved Pro Series line of flight training devices that will pave the way for fixed-wing models. Next up will be a pair of simulators tailored for Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters before the company ramps up for Cessna 172s, Pipers, and other models. Read more...  


WMU aviation expanding to Florida

Western Michigan University announced Jan. 31 that expansion efforts in Punta Gorda, Florida, are on track and awaiting accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission before training pilots seeking an aviation flight science degree. College of Aviation Dean Dave Powell made the announcement on WMU's alumni blog, where he also said that the school has partnered with Florida SouthWestern State College for WMU's aviation management and flight sciences degrees.



A celebration of certification

It's your birthday, and as a bonus, it's Saturday. You can kick back, or you can take a test in the morning, and if all goes well, take another one in the afternoon. Benson Williams of Shreveport, Louisiana, chose option B. The day he turned 17, Williams passed his private pilot, airplane, single-engine land checkride in the morning, followed by his instrument rating that afternoon. He added a multiengine rating a few days later. Read more...  


CommutAir, ATP partner

CommutAir, operating as United Express, is partnering with ATP Flight School to provide graduate flight instructors a path to the flight deck in the United Career Path Program. Tuition reimbursement and up to a $15,000 signing bonus reward pilots who agree to fly for the air carrier after earning their required hours. A Jan. 24 news release said the program helps accommodate "plans to triple in size over the next two years through the addition of 40 Embraer ERJ145 aircraft."



Extra eye in the sky

Do you want to request VFR flight following, but don't know how the process works? Find out when and how to communicate your request for traffic advisories in the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Ask ATC: When to Ask for Flight Following video. Watch the video...  



Scholarship opportunities abound in February

Scholarship applications are opening in February for those interested in aviation-related career fields, including technical and maintenance fields. In addition, scholarships for flight training also are open to enthusiasts in Wisconsin and Michigan. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

FAA defends Santa Monica decision; Honoring history

The FAA shocked the aviation world by consenting to allow Santa Monica to close its airport at the end of 2028. AOPA Live® interviews FAA Administrator Michael Huerta about the decision. AOPA continues to press the FAA to ensure fair fees and fuel pricing at FBOs. Also this week, celebrate Black History Month with a look at the many contributions of African American aviators who helped shape modern aviation, and go behind the scenes to watch how hundreds of volunteers brought a B-29 Superfortress back to flying shape. Watch AOPA Live This Week, Feb. 2...  

Plane Spotter

Slats and slots

Of the various ways to instill an airplane with impressive short-takeoff-and-landing capabilities, slats outfitted along the wing's leading edge that enhance slow-speed capabilities and automatically deploy are sure to draw the eye. If you spot leading-edge slats and a slotted tail on a side-by-side two-place, high-winged taildragger that's bound for the backcountry (perhaps on skis), it could mean you are in the presence of a Continental- or Rotax-powered Pegazair P-100. The kit is manufactured in Mont-St-Michel, Quebec, Canada, by Tapanee Aviation.

Training Products and Resources

ThrowRaft serves as compact survival tool

The automatically inflating ThrowRaft TD2401 is a handy new safety device for pilots overflying water. The reusable, U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal life raft pops into shape when submerged and also can be thrown fully inflated, company founder Troy Faletra told AOPA. The raft is "nine times smaller than a packed life ring buoy," said Faletra, and "provides about 30 pounds of buoyancy." The yellow high-visibility Type IV flotation device is certified by Lloyd's Register for "safety of life at sea." The ThrowRaft is available online for $129.99.

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


5 ways to prepare for BasicMed

With BasicMed, the new alternative to medical certification, set to go into effect May 1, pilots can use the intervening months to make sure they are ready to take full advantage of the new regulations. Read more...  


Pilot Protection Services

Pitfalls of being a 'named pilot'

Occasionally pilots are heard saying that they are covered on someone else's aircraft liability insurance because they were added as a pilot approved to fly that airplane or because they meet the pilot qualifications specified in the insurance policy's "open pilot warranty." Unfortunately, it often is not that simple. Read more...  



Go-arounds often are viewed as a failure on the part of the pilot or crew, but they should be encouraged to improve safety, writes Flight Training blogger and airline pilot Chip Wright. The airlines now encourage go-arounds, and Wright explains the benefits of that change in practice. Read more...  

Instrument Tip



Transitioning from instrument to visual flight can be tricky, especially when ceilings and visibility are still low. Go visual too soon, and a hasty return to the gauges can induce errors or vertigo. Read more...  


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The trouble with icing

How would you react if unexpected icing began to accrete during a flight? Find out with the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Ice Flight quiz, which takes you up the East Coast in an IFR-equipped Cessna 172RG. Consider your answers carefully. Take the quiz..

Final Exam


Can I legally fly an aircraft that has inoperative equipment?


Yes, if the aircraft meets the requirements for the planned flight. The required equipment for various types of flights is listed in 14 CFR 91.205. These instrument requirements must always be met. Part 91 aircraft, which have more than the minimum instrumentation, can fly with inoperative instruments in accordance with 14 CFR 91.213. The specifics of 14 CFR 91.213 include deactivating, placarding, and recording the inoperative instrument in the maintenance log. Part 91.213(d)(4) allows the pilot, among others, to make the determination that the inoperative instrument does "not constitute a hazard to the aircraft." For more information, see the AOPA Air Safety Institute's "Inoperative Equipment" Legal Briefing.

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

Aviation job board

Job of the week: Home-based captain

Ameriflight, the nation's largest cargo Part 135 airline, is seeking qualified flight crewmembers to help provide unparalleled service and value for its customers, with the highest dedication to safety, innovation, and teamwork. Preferred experience includes 3,000 hours total, 1,000 hours pilot in command, 500 hours multiengine, 200 hours instrument, and 200 hours turbine time; previous 14 CFR Part 121 or 135 experience is required. Pilots assigned as home-based captains will be scheduled for up to 18 days of work and will receive 12 days free from duty during a four-week bid. 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 legal services plan attorney, accountant, graphic designer and digital asset manager, aviation event operations senior manager, flying clubs initiative director, travel and destination products director, insurance program administration manager, account executive, donor relations director, aviation technical specialist, part-time administrative assistant, public affairs and executive communications manager, and communications coordinator. To learn more about these and other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Feb 11-12 - Fort Worth, Texas; Louisville, Kentucky; Nashua, New Hampshire; and Kenner, Louisiana

Feb 18-19 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Lake Mary, Florida; and Sacramento, California

Feb 25-26 - Fairfax, Virginia; and Las Vegas, Nevada

Mar 4-5 - Lake Mary, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; and Virginia Beach, 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

Feb 7 - Germantown, Tennessee; and Northglenn, Colorado

Feb 8 - Nashville, Tennessee; and Colorado Springs, Colorado

Feb 9 - Maryville, Tennessee

Feb 20 - Jacksonville, Florida

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

Rusty Pilots Seminars

Feb 4 - Hammond, Louisiana; Nashville, Tennessee; Friday Harbor, Washington; and Murrieta, California

Feb 11 - Houston, Texas; Watkins, Colorado; and Fort Myers, Florida

Feb 18 - Fort Worth, Texas; Farmingdale, New York; Plymouth, Massachusetts; Chamblee, Georgia; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Sacramento, California

Feb 25 - San Marcos, Texas; Winter Haven, Florida; Panama City Beach, Florida; Scottsdale, Arizona; Chickasha, Oklahoma; Louisville, Kentucky; Puyallup, Washington; and Duluth, Minnesota

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
Dan Namowitz
David Tulis

Production Team:

Elizabeth Linares
Melissa Whitehouse


Mike Collins
Sarah Deener
Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Warren Morningstar
Jill W. Tallman
Ian J. Twombly
Julie Summers Walker

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