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January 13, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'January 13, 2017, issue of 'AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition'

ePilot Flight Training Edition

January 13, 2017 - VOL 17, ISSUE 2

Training Tips

Sponsored by Aircraft Spruce

Unplanned perfection

You are returning to your home airport, a former Air Force base, from a solo cross-country. The tower controller instructs you to proceed straight in for Runway 15, an 11,440-foot-long stretch of pavement, and to report when you have the traffic on base in sight. You report the traffic in sight; are cleared to land; and settle in for a long, straight-in approach. However, on short final, the controller instructs you to go around. Why? Read more...  

Flight Training News


AOPA details BasicMed rule

As news of the third class medical reform final rule was released Jan. 10, pilots started contacting AOPA's Pilot Information Center for more details pertaining to their specific flying situation. "Much of the general aviation community is ecstatic about BasicMed," AOPA President Mark Baker said of the new alternative to medical certification. "May 1 can't get here soon enough!" Many want to know how they can prepare in advance to take full advantage of the benefits of the rule May 1. AOPA has analyzed the rule and offers answers to the top 10 questions pilots are asking. Read more...  



Combat training plateaus

Sometimes student pilots get frustrated with a training maneuver and hit a plateau that is difficult to overcome. Those who have become stuck in a rut and climbed out can relate to how that feels. Brenda Tibbs, the AOPA 2016 Flight Training Excellence Awards Best Flight Instructor and owner of Bravo Flight Training, shakes things up when she encounters students who have hit a plateau "to alleviate their frustration with the situation." Read more...  



Piper to ship 50 new Archers to China

Piper Aircraft has received an order for 50 single-engine Archers that will be shipped to China and distributed to flight schools and general aviation companies to meet growing demand for pilot training. Read more...  



Allying for safety

The AOPA Air Safety Institute has launched a new industrywide initiative called the Safety Alliance. The initiative, which is the result of a collaboration between the institute and several general aviation companies and organizations, brings GA safety education resources together, and for the first time makes it easier for pilots to find a variety of content in one place. Read more...  


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Winter woes

As temperatures drop during the winter, be sure to get an updated weather briefing—including pireps—before launching in conditions that may be conducive to icing. The AOPA Air Safety Institute's Weather Wise: Precipitation and Icing online course provides a solid refresher about how to avoid taking Frosty for a ride. Take the course...



GAMA accepting annual scholarship applications

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association is accepting applications for two student scholarships that recognize academic excellence and come with $2,000 awards. Read more...  


AOPA Live This Week

Medical reform arrives; Flying boats on film

General aviation got a huge lift Jan. 10 when the FAA released the third class medical reform final rule: Learn about BasicMed, the new alternative to medical certification that covers most GA operations, which goes into effect May 1. Flying boats once ruled the skies and sea. Get an inside look at a documentary film in production that seeks to tell the stories behind these amphibious birds, and the pilots who keep them alive. Also, check out the 2017 Cirrus models and Garmin's new G1000 NXi. Watch AOPA Live This Week®, Jan. 12...  

Plane Spotter

The Skyhawk's successor

Here and there a different-looking Cessna single is spottable among the Skyhawks and Cessna 150/152s that often dominate general aviation ramps. Slightly larger and heavier than a Cessna 172, the Cessna 177 Cardinal and its retractable-gear version, the 200-horsepower Cardinal RG, have "cantilever" wings (identifiable by the airplane's lack of wing struts) that provide great visibility. Constant-speed propellers drive most Cardinals, produced in the 1960s and 1970s as a replacement for the Skyhawk. Although they did not replace the Skyhawk, Cardinals remain a favorite, especially for instrument and complex training.

Training Products and Resources

YETI keeps beverages hot or cool

Pilots, photographers, and outdoor enthusiasts rave about YETI's line of stainless steel double-wall insulated drinkware that keeps beverages hot or cold, depending on their contents. Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. now carries the entire line of Rambler drinkware, Tundra and Hopper coolers, Tank portable tubs, and other YETI accessories. The tumblers, bottles, and coolers are available online from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co.; call 877/477-7823 for specifics.


Lightspeed offers free accessories with Tango headsets

Headset manufacturer Lightspeed Aviation announced a free promotion for wireless Tango active noise reduction headsets purchased before Jan. 31. Buyers receive two extra Tango rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and an accessory wall charger, a package the company values at over $100. The extra batteries will "double the flight time available" before pilots need to recharge the packs, and it makes them more convenient to use, according to Teresa De Mers, Lightspeed Aviation vice president of sales and marketing.

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

Online resource

Boost your aircraft-specific knowledge

Become a better plane spotter or learn about the performance of dozens of aircraft with AOPA's Aircraft Fact Sheets. From American Champion to Taylorcraft, AOPA details the performance, handling characteristics, and common missions for aircraft. The fact sheets are perfect for all levels of pilots, including students, prospective aircraft owners, and veteran plane spotters. Check out AOPA's Aircraft Fact Sheets...  

Final Exam


Can a pilot volunteer to use his or her light sport aircraft (LSA) for activities with the police department if the police provide fuel?


No. According to 14 CFR 91.327(a), a special airworthiness certificated LSA can be operated for compensation or hire to tow a glider or unpowered ultralight or to conduct flight training. No other operations are listed. The FAA has long defined compensation to include reimbursement for fuel. If the pilot pays for everything, he or she will not be operating for compensation or hire. Keep in mind that many LSAs have a limitation prohibiting operation at night. An aircraft restricted to daytime operations may limit the value of the volunteer work. For more information, see AOPA's frequently asked questions about sport pilot and LSAs.

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 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, aviation financial analyst, and production specialist. To learn more about these and other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.

Education and Seminars

Flight Instructor Refresher Courses

Jan 14-15 - Bellevue, Washington; Elkridge, Maryland; and Ridgeland, Mississippi

Jan 21-22 - San Antonio, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and Long Beach, California

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

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 23 - Mesa, Arizona; and Van Nuys, California

Jan 24 - Tucson, Arizona; and Ontario, California

Jan 25 - Santa Ana, California

Jan 26 - Albuquerque, New Mexico; and San Diego, California

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

Rusty Pilots Seminars

Jan 14 - Bucyrus, Ohio; Bethany, Oklahoma; Stevensville, Maryland; Fort Myers, Florida; and Columbus, Georgia

Jan 21 - Fort Worth, Texas; Lufkin, Texas; and Keene, New Hampshire

Jan 27 - Sebring, Florida

Jan 28 - Las Cruces, New Mexico; San Antonio, Texas; Mesa, Arizona; and Greencastle, Indiana

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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