June 7, 2002
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When the proper glidepath to the desired touchdown point is achieved, discontinue the slip and complete a normal landing. This is not the same technique as the sideslip that compensates for a crosswind, in which the pilot lowers a wing into the wind and uses opposite rudder to keep the longitudinal axis of the airplane aligned with the runway. Proficient pilots keep the forward slip in their professional "bag of tricks" (see a discussion in the April 2002 AOPA Flight Training ). Once you have earned your pilot certificate, forward slips can be practiced on just about any flight. See Mark Twombly's commentary in the June 2001 AOPA Flight Training, and enjoy the versatility that well-performed forward slips can provide.
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GA NO THREAT TO NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS, REPORT SAYS A new report commissioned by AOPA has concluded that general aviation aircraft do not pose a serious threat to the nation's nuclear power plants. The report by internationally recognized nuclear safety and security expert Robert M. Jefferson said that the crash of a GA aircraft wouldn't cause a dangerous release of radiation. "Following the events of September 11, some expressed fears that a small aircraft might 'attack' a nuclear plant," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We sought out an expert to determine if that fear were real. The Jefferson report makes it clear that general aviation aircraft are not effective weapons and small aircraft aren't a significant threat to the safety of the public when it comes to nuclear power plants." Apparently some U.S. senators agree. Senator Kit Bond (R-Mo.) said recently that, "Commercial nuclear plants are probably the most physically secure and least vulnerable of our nation's industrial infrastructure." Bond said he has seen a videotape of a government test where an F-4 jet fighter was intentionally crashed into a containment wall at nearly 500 miles per hour. "The jet was obliterated and the 6-foot wall was penetrated only two inches," Bond said. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) has submitted the AOPA report to a Senate committee. See AOPA Online
DIAMOND AIRCRAFT UNVEILS A TWIN Diamond Aircraft is developing a $360,000, IFR-equipped, diesel-powered twin-engine aircraft aimed at the training and personal-use markets. Designated the DA42 TwinStar, it utilizes composite construction. It is powered by a pair of 135-hp turbocharged diesels from Thielert Aircraft Engines that are designed to operate on either automotive diesel or Jet A1 fuel. Features designed to reduce pilot workload include electronic fuel management, automatic prop control, and auto-feather capability. Conventional powerplants may be offered as well. Optional equipment will include a glass cockpit, an oxygen system, and anti-ice/deice equipment. The first flight is scheduled for September, with initial deliveries expected in early 2004. FLORIDA SCHOOL ADDS AIRCRAFT F.I.T. Aviation, a subsidiary of the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida, has added five aircraft to its training and rental fleet. The two Cessna 152s, one 172, one 172SP, and Piper Warrior will be available for flight training and rental. They join a fleet that includes Piper Arrows, Cadets, Seminoles, and Warrior, as well as a Bellanca Super Decatlon.
FLIGHT SCHOOL GOES HIGH TECH Airline Training Center of Arizona (ATCA), the airline pilot flight training subsidiary of Lufthansa Airlines, will install the Ryan Model 9900BX Traffic Advisory System in its fleet of training aircraft to avoid collision avoidance protection. Greg Schmidt, chief safety officer for ATCA, said that the unit's audible position alerting—which announces the clock position, relative altitude, and distance of traffic causing alerts—contributed to the purchase decision. The system emphasizes visual acquisition, helping student pilots understand collision avoidance procedures and making the transition into Lufthansa cockpits easier and smoother, Schmidt said.
FLIGHTPREP.COM BUILDS CROSS-COUNTRY FLIGHTS FlightPrep is an online flight planning program that allows you to plot your course anywhere in North America with the click of a mouse. You can save information about your training aircraft in the editable database, rubber-band routes to select the best waypoints and fuel stops, and save flight plans for future use. A free trial is available; the basic annual subscription is $7.95 a month ($95.40 a year). For more, see the Web site.
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