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‘Don’t Get Rusty, Pilots’ webinars launch‘Don’t Get Rusty, Pilots’ webinars launch

Pilots focus on aviation during candid online chats and skill reviewsPilots focus on aviation during candid online chats and skill reviews

A candid AOPA webinar series called Don’t Get Rusty, Pilots launched April 16 to entertain and inform pilots who are temporarily grounded due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

A new webinar series by the AOPA You Can Fly initiative will combine practical skills, tips from experience, and a dose of good humor to help pilots stay focused on aviation when they are unable to fly. Image from video courtesy of GoToStage.

The inaugural event began with a review of aviation skills and concepts April 16. The next webinar is scheduled for April 23 and will explain the virtues of using a home flight simulator to hone your piloting skills, followed by an April 30 episode about perfecting your radio communications.

The hosts for the webinars include AOPA You Can Fly initiative members Keith West, senior director for flight school business support and CFII; Chris Moser, senior director of flight training education, and MEI and longtime educator; and Pablo Maurelia, senior director of flight training technology and private pilot.

The trio is adept at explaining aviation concepts in a fun and light-hearted manner. They expertly held the attention of more than 200 viewers for over an hour with real-world scenarios sprinkled with personal experience and ample doses of humor.

The first webinar, called “Don't Forget the Fundamentals,” was casual and relaxed. Topics included the four fundamentals that pilots can use to refine their flying skills with specific advice for scanning the environment, trimming an aircraft, using a light touch on the controls for flight attitude control, and maintaining appropriate power adjustments.

The inaugural segment was well-received by participants who “hung out” online with the hosts. The AOPA You Can Fly series bridges a gap between actual flying in an airplane (which is challenging for some pilots due to stay-at-home orders) and educational tips designed to help fellow pilots polish their skills.

The webinar began with West laying down the expectations, which were to “entertain and inform” pilots with “good information and have some fun doing it.” The former U.S. Navy Douglas A–4 Skyhawk pilot is a patient flight instructor who has coached dozens of primary students to achieve their private pilot certificate.

Moser lends a calming presence to flustered students, has a master’s degree in aviation education, and is rethinking how to make flight training more successful by adapting the curriculum to a student’s progress. “If you didn’t know we weren’t professional broadcasters, you know it now,” he deadpanned before leading a discussion on the finer points of aircraft trim control.

A new webinar by the AOPA You Can Fly initiative will help pilots stay sharp when they are unable to fly. Image from video courtesy of X-Plane 11 and Laminar Research.

Maurelia, who broadcast from his home surrounded by ice hockey memorabilia, said the session went well once the hosts hit their stride. “You could tell that people were just itching to talk to other aviators. They asked about final approach speeds, instrument scans, and other subjects that triggered them to ask additional questions. When things got going, man, it just took off.”

The webinar series will cover aviation topics in an upbeat manner that provides an extra dose of flying lore and helps pilots who have been out of the cockpit for a while get back up to speed.

Future episodes will concentrate on ways you can enhance your flying skills and knowledge from home, including the use of flight simulators, building confidence with radio communications, airspace, aeronautical charts, and more.

Register online to participate in future Don’t Get Rusty, Pilots webinars, scheduled through May as of this writing.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: You Can Fly, Training and Safety

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