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February 24, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'February 24, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'

ePilot Flight Training Edition

February 24, 2017 - VOL 17, ISSUE 8

Training Tips

Sponsored by Aircraft Spruce

'Is this an emergency?'

A student pilot is flying uncomfortably low over wooded hills, sandwiched between clouds above and featureless terrain below. There's an airstrip somewhere nearby. If the student pilot can find it before low fuel and low light make life difficult, it will be a great relief. Read more...  

Flight Training News


FAA updates airman tests

Pilots should bookmark or subscribe to the Airman Testing page on the FAA website. Near the bottom of the page, under the heading "What's New and Upcoming in Airman Testing," pilots can find much of the information needed to stay current on the state of flight and knowledge testing source material. Read more...  



Practical test equipment clarified

A change in wording contained in the new Private Pilot-Airplane Airman Certification Standards appears to require using only "installed" systems to demonstrate some navigation skills on a practical test, but the "inadvertent" change was not intended to exclude the use of navigation systems that can be carried aboard, the FAA said. Read more...  



AOPA Fly-Ins feature in-depth workshops

AOPA Fly-Ins in 2017 will be two-day events that offer more experiences and more hands-on education. On Fridays, pilots will be able to attend one of four seven-hour workshops (at a cost of $105 for members, $155 for nonmembers, and $75 for spouses, with online pre-registration required). The workshops will focus on four tracks: Skills and Safety, You Can Fly, Aviation Experience, and Maintenance and Ownership. The fun will continue with events Friday night and Saturday. Read more...  


Redbird hatches VTO helicopter flight simulators

Redbird Flight Simulations will debut the Redbird VTO full-motion helicopter simulator at the Helicopter Association International's HAI Heli-Expo in Dallas March 7 through 9. A Feb. 15 newsletter announced the new flight training device that is mounted on curved rails to better reproduce the sensation of suspension from a rotor head. The VTO can be outfitted with either analog or digital instruments as a Robinson R22 or R44, or as a Bell 47. Aspiring rotary-wing pilots can use the VTO to practice maneuvers such as hovering and autorotation to save time and money during training.


University of Dubuque adds 11 Skyhawks

The University of Dubuque and Textron Aviation Inc. signed a multiyear agreement Feb. 21 to modernize the Iowa university's flight training fleet with 11 new Cessna 172s. The Skyhawks are expected to be delivered before the third quarter and will be equipped with Garmin's G1000 NXi integrated flight deck. The university committed to buy additional Textron aircraft through 2026.



VFR into IMC confessions

Noninstrument-rated and even instrument-rated pilots have been caught under lowering ceilings and in deteriorating visibility. Such encounters can be frightening. Yet some pilots have rationalized the flight decisions that put them there. The AOPA Air Safety Institute's VFR into IMC: The Experience video takes a closer look at why. Watch the video...  


AOPA Live This Week

Sweeps 172 debuts, AOPA offers drone memberships

AOPA has worked hard for decades to preserve the freedom to fly, and to enhance safety and pilot education, so adding new membership options for drone pilots was a natural step. Also this week, get your first peek at the AOPA Sweepstakes 172, and learn the state of the aviation industry as the General Aviation Manufacturers Association releases the latest shipment and billing numbers. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, Feb. 23...  

Plane Spotter

Touched by a turbine

An unusual-looking airplane is being fueled on the ramp. The overall profile suggests a Beechcraft Bonanza, but the elongated nose and full-feathered propeller shout "turboprop." That strong impression is reinforced by the fact that the Jet A truck, not the avgas truck, is delivering fuel. Turboprop conversions can add significant performance to high-performance airplanes that emerged from the factory with piston engines. Robert Reiss is an "earthrounder," circumnavigating the globe in this turboprop-converted A36 Bonanza.

Training Products and Resources

Faro offers headsets for pilots on a budget

Sporty's Pilot Shop now offers Faro Stealth headsets that are long on features and short on price. The headsets are available in either passive or active noise reduction models. Both contain music and aux inputs, double-thick ear seals, a stereo/mono switch, and a reversible adjustable microphone boom with a noise-canceling electret microphone. Faro Stealth headsets are available from Sporty's.

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


AOPA welcomes drone pilots

Since AOPA was founded in 1939, aviation has gone through many changes, and the advent of drones has been among the most dramatic. Throughout the decades, we have been faithful to AOPA's core missions—promoting safety, preserving the freedom to fly, and building the next generation of pilots. On Feb. 21, AOPA stayed true to its values when it launched a new line of membership options created for drone pilots, a key part of an ongoing effort to unite manned and unmanned pilots for the common purpose of safe integration of all users within the airspace we share. Read more...  


Member benefit

Financing available for airplane kits

AOPA Aviation Finance offers options for aircraft kits that are completely owner built, or built through factory-assisted programs. Read more...  


Pilot Protection Services

Open for negotiation?

Pilots often contact AOPA to find out if a medication they are taking is permitted by the FAA. If something you are taking is on the FAA's "Do not issue/Do not fly" list, you might want to negotiate with the FAA to see if the agency will allow it. Read more...  


Learning the Garmin GTN 650/750

Pilots training in aircraft equipped with the Garmin GTN 650/750 can learn the ins and outs of the nav/com outside of the aircraft thanks to a new app from Flight Training Apps. Using the app also will help pilots become familiar with what many hope will become their airplane this year—AOPA's Sweepstakes 172. Read more...  

Instrument Tip

Login required

Are you ready to fly Rogue?

Circle into Oregon's Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport with the AOPA Air Safety Institute's Flying Rogue quiz. From the initial approach fix all the way to touchdown, this localizer back-course approach is exhilarating. Can you use glideslope indications as an aid on this approach? Take the quiz...

Final Exam


If two airplanes are converging at 90-degree angles, 14 CFR 91.113(d) says the aircraft on the other's right has the right of way. If I am on the right, can I assume the other pilot will climb, descend, or turn to avoid a collision?


Never assume anything. Expect it, but plan for the worst. The other pilot may be tuning a radio, looking at a chart, or handing a passenger an airsickness bag, and might not see you. If you detect a potential collision hazard, do whatever you need to do to get out of harm's way. The regulation mentioned above requires see-and-avoid vigilance of all pilots.

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: Aviation assistant professor

The University of Nebraska at Kearney's Aviation Systems Management program is accepting applications for a tenure-track assistant professor to begin August 2017. The successful applicant will be responsible for teaching undergraduate courses, advising and recruiting students, and helping provide overall program guidance. The program offers a bachelor's degree in Aviation Systems Management with emphasis in Flight Operations and Support Services (Management). The position includes academic and flight responsibilities. Read the full 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 executive office manager, IT project manager, UI/front-end developer, public affairs and executive communications manager, communications coordinator, legal services plan attorney, digital asset manager and graphic designer, aviation event operations senior manager, travel and destination products director, insurance program administration manager, donor relations director, aviation technical specialist, flying clubs initiative director, and part-time administrative assistant. To learn more about these and other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

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

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

Mar 11-12 - Elkridge, Maryland; and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

Mar 18-19 - Ontario, California; and Santa Clara, California

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 25 - Puyallup, Washington

Mar 4 - Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Mar 6 - Greenville, South Carolina; and Concord, California

Mar 7 - Columbus, Georgia; and Fresno, California

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

Rusty Pilots Seminars

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

Mar 4 - Burlington, Washington; Weyers Cave, Virginia; Georgetown, Texas; Aransas Pass, Texas; Berwyn, Illinois; Butler, Pennsylvania; and Billings, Montana

Mar 11 - Potsdam, New York; Ashland, Virginia; Gainesville, Florida; Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Renton, Washington; and Albany, Oregon

Mar 14 - Fort Myers, Florida

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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