October 21, 2005
Volume 5, Issue 42 • October 21, 2005
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WING LOADING If you are the curious type, you have probably spent time poking around in the pilot's operating handbook for the training aircraft you fly. There, among the technical data, you may have noticed a published value for the aircraft's "wing loading." Perhaps you also remember hearing or reading that certain aircraft handle turbulence well because of their high wing loading. Why? You'll need to go beyond the simple definition of wing loading to understand its relevance to your flying. Wing loading is a way of expressing how much weight each square foot of wing area must lift, and is usually given at the aircraft's maximum gross weight. Here is a wing loading formula from AOPA's Handbook for Pilots : Wing loading (lb/sq ft)=aircraft gross weight (lb)/wing area (sq ft). A Cessna 172N at gross weight has a wing loading of 13.2 lb/sq ft. A Cessna 182S has a wing loading of 17.8 lb/sq ft. Both aircraft have the same total wing area, but the C-182 at gross weight is 800 pounds heavier than the C-172. "As you might imagine, these numbers vary significantly among aircraft types and are skewed by various design choices. For instance, a Cessna 150, with some 157 square feet of wing holding up a mere 1,600 pounds, has a wing loading of just 10.9 lb/sq ft; it is at the lower end of the production-airplane scale in this regard," Marc E. Cook wrote in his enduring feature "Loaded Questions," from the July 1997 AOPA Pilot magazine. "Wing loading for single-engine airplanes tends to top out at around 25 lb/sq ft, mainly because the regulations call for a 61-knot maximum landing-configuration stall speed for singles." Read the article and learn how you can infer much about your aircraft's performance from its wing loading. So wing loading is a fixed value at a given weight? Not exactly. The effect of an aircraft's center of gravity (see the December 26, 2003, Training Tips) on wing loading and stability is "not generally realized," according to Chapter 3 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Download the chapter to see its informative, illustrative discussion. Wing loading demystified. Goes to show how some research into an obscure detail can shed new light on how to fly.
SCHOOL LAUNCHES SPORT PILOT IMMERSION TRAINING IN VIRGINIA The first Zodiac CH601 certified as a light sport aircraft will move directly into flight training. Jim Pellien, owner of Mid-Atlantic Sports Planes Regional Center in Basye, Virginia, took delivery of the Zodiac earlier this month. Mid-Atlantic offers sport pilot flight training at Sky Bryce Airport, and sales of the CH601, the German-made Breezer and C-42, the Alarus, and the Zenair 601.XL. Mid-Atlantic recently began a one-week immersion training program, which purports to take applicants through all of the sport pilot requirements in one week (weather permitting). The $4,290 price tag includes all flight and ground instruction, plus seven nights' lodging at Sky Bryce Resort, a golf/ski community, which adjoins the airfield. For more information on the program, see the Web site. AIRLINES HIRE 969 PILOTS IN SEPTEMBER The airlines hired 969 pilots in September, bringing the year-to-date total to 8,319. That's just over 1,000 pilots shy of the total number of pilots hired in all of 2004 (9,382), according to hiring data compiled by AIR Inc. The national carriers led the way in hiring for September, taking on 317 pilots. The majors hired 217, and non-jet operators hired 118. Jet operators hired 92 pilots, and fractionals picked up 80. For more information about AIR Inc., see the Web site. UNIVERSITY AVIATION ASSOCIATION AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS The University Aviation Association awarded four scholarships to college students during the association's fall education conference on September 30. The first Paul A. Whelan Aviation Scholarship was presented to William Welstead, a senior majoring in aviation administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Welstead, who is a pilot and airframe and powerplant technician, received $2,000. Joseph Frasca Excellence in Aviation scholarships worth $1,500 each were presented to Shaun M. Gerber, a junior majoring in flight technology at Purdue University, and Beau Kelsey, a junior pursuing a degree in aviation technology at Utah State University. Nathanel Brown, a professional pilot student at Indiana State University, received a $500 Eugene S. Kropf Scholarship. For more information about scholarships offered through UAA, see the Web site. FAA CERTIFIES SIMTRAIN'S CIRRUS LEVEL 3 FLIGHT TRAINING DEVICE SimTrain LLC, a new company that specializes in supporting flight training for Cirrus aircraft, has received FAA Level 3 certification for a full-motion Cirrus flight training device (FTD) installed at its Kennesaw, Georgia, location. The FTD simulates the Cirrus SR20 and SR22 with Avidyne Entegra PFD or standard instrument displays. Certification of FTDs for centers in Morristown, New Jersey, and Las Vegas is pending. The Cirrus-specific full-motion simulators were manufactured by Fidelity Flight Simulation of Pittsburgh. For more information about SimTrain, see the Web site.
AVIATION BUSINESSES SUFFER BECAUSE OF ADIZ, AOPA STUDY SAYS Flight schools, fixed-based operators, and other aviation businesses at airports located within the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone say the ADIZ has cost them revenue, jobs, and customers scared away by daunting regulations. An economic impact study commissioned by AOPA reveals that Montgomery County Airpark has lost 72 jobs and $2.7 million in local purchasing, while Martin State Airport has lost some $15 million in revenue. "People are avoiding the ADIZ because of the horror stories that are out there," said Bill Finagin, who runs Dent Air Ltd. at Lee Airport in Annapolis, Maryland. "People call for instruction and when they find out it is within the ADIZ they frequently decline coming. I have also lost four new aircraft sales totaling about $1 million because the people do not want to fly into Annapolis. They just tell me the ADIZ is too intimidating." There couldn't be a more graphic demonstration than this of why an ADIZ is harmful wherever it might be established, said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "That's why it is critically important for every pilot to take 15 minutes now to write the FAA and oppose a permanent Washington, D.C., ADIZ. It could set a dangerous precedent, threatening every pilot's freedom to fly." If you haven't submitted your comments, see AOPA's Member Action Center for instructions. SUPPORT GA SAFETY BY PURCHASING HOLIDAY CARDS AOPA Air Safety Foundation holiday cards are now available. Choose your favorite card design, address labels, and decorative seals. A portion of the proceeds from each box will help the foundation's mission to improve general aviation safety. To view the cards, or place an order, see the Web site or call 800/308-4285. HAVE YOU UPDATED YOUR AOPA MEMBER PROFILE? To make the most of your membership and allow us to serve you better, please visit AOPA Online and update your personal member profile.
PREP FOR THE SPORT PILOT KNOWLEDGE TEST WITH KING SCHOOLS So you're taking the sport pilot route to a pilot certificate, and you'd like some help preparing for the knowledge test. King Schools has added a Sport Pilot Exam Course on CD-ROM to its line of home-study courses (which now spans private pilot, instrument, commercial, and CFI/CFII). Each kit includes the CD-ROMs, a course book, all available sport pilot knowledge test questions, unlimited random practice tests, a sign-off form for the knowledge test, a personalized graduation certificate, and a bonus FAR/AIM CD-ROM. The price is $179. For more information or to order, see the Web site. 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.
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