March 30, 2007
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LANDING ON ONE WHEEL The devil's in the details, it is often said about complicated ideas. Landing an aircraft in a crosswind certainly qualifies as a complicated idea, made up of many individual piloting actions. Think about it: When landing in a crosswind, you perform all the elements of a normal landing-flying a stabilized final approach, performing a roundout, then flaring-while also making the extra aileron inputs needed to keep the aircraft from drifting off the center line, and holding enough opposite rudder to keep your machine pointed where it is going.
Then there's the touchdown, and here is where many well-flown crosswind landing approaches fall apart. Maybe you flew a wing-low final approach, or perhaps you flew a crabbed final and transitioned to wing-low in the final seconds. Either way, when you touch down, it will be on only one of the main landing gear tires. That's right: You land on one wheel, the upwind wheel, and then you roll along like that (still holding crosswind rudder and aileron controls) and let the other main, and the nosewheel, come down as you decelerate. This idea makes new pilots uneasy; they tend to raise the lowered wing and plant the downwind wheel on the ground too soon, making directional control difficult. "Done right, this results in a landing on one of the main wheels, and a sharp pilot can keep it on one wheel for a few seconds until the airplane settles on the other main and the nose," Chip Wright explained in the April 2007 AOPA Pilot feature "Flying Seasons: Slipping, Crabbing, and Bouncing." See the article's six tips for successful crosswind landings.
If a pilot's-eye view of a wing-low approach would help, look at the photograph accompanying the March 7, 2003, Training Tips article "Crosswinds-Again!" See also the article's discussion of a student pilot's question about that trickiest element of a crabbed crosswind landing approach: the transition from crab to wing-low before touchdown. And to round out your ground study of this and other methods of landing when the wind is blowing, check out the articles from AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training on "Windy Flight Operations." From weather to technique to training suggestions, it's all there.
On some auspicious day, your flight instructor will sign an endorsement in your logbook that permits you to actually leave the pattern of your airport and fly to a nearby practice area. You might be tempted to simply burn some fuel and enjoy your freedom, but remember that time on the Hobbs meter is money. Plan your solo practice area flights accordingly. Decide what you're going to do in advance-whether it's ground reference maneuvers, stall recovery, or steep turns-then go do it! For more cost-saving tips, read Budd Davisson's feature from the February 2004 issue of AOPA Flight Training magazine.
Have a question? Call our experienced pilots-available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time to answer your questions toll-free at 800/872-2672. As an AOPA Flight Training member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online and AOPA Flight Training Online. Login information is available online.
EMBRY-RIDDLE TO GET DIAMOND TWIN STARS Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Daytona Beach, Florida, campus will take delivery of 10 Diamond DA42 Twin Stars in the summer and fall semesters. Acquisition of the airplanes had been in the planning stage but moved onto the fast track after a Christmas Day tornado destroyed most of the campus's training fleet last year. Each DA42 is equipped with a Garmin G1000 electronic display and autopilot.
AIRSHOW PILOT'S BUSINESS TO EXPAND TO LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT Mid Island Air Services, the flight school and air services business owned by the family of airshow pilot Michael Mancuso, is now a dealer of Flight Design CT aircraft for the metropolitan New York City area. Mid Island's sales and service area includes Long Island, New York City, northern New Jersey, and southern New York state. "I am passionate about flying and love to encourage people to learn to fly so they can experience the joy for themselves," said Mancuso, who flies an Extra 300 under sponsorship of Klein Tools. "Unfortunately, I've seen the cost of flying leave most enthusiasts behind. With the advent of Sport Pilot, learning to fly is more accessible than ever before, and I think the Flight Design CT represents the very best in this new market." Mid Island will headquarter the Flight Design aircraft at its Brookhaven Airport facility.
FLORIDA TECH TO OFFER MASTER'S DEGREE IN HUMAN FACTORS Florida Institute of Technology will offer a new online human factors in aeronautics master's degree program beginning in the fall. The degree is available through the College of Aeronautics and encompasses 33 semester hours of study, basic research, and a thesis. Students must be at the main campus in Melbourne, Florida, at the end of each semester for course cap seminars and final exams. For more information, see the Web site.
LET PROJECT PILOT PAY FOR YOUR FLIGHT TRAINING Join us for AOPA Day, Friday, April 20, at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida. If you are about to start your flight training or have already started, pick up an AOPA Project Pilot sticker for a chance to win $5,000 to finish your flight training. There are two ways to get your sticker and declare to your fellow aviators: "I am the future of general aviation." First, sign up at the gate with a current pilot who is or will be your aviation Mentor. You'll get a sticker to win money for flight training, and you'll get in for free. That's a $30 value. (Limit one free student per Mentor. Free admission for future pilots is only available from Tuesday, April 17, through Friday, April 20.) Second, stop by AOPA's Big Yellow Tent and tell us that you are a future pilot. See the complete rules on AOPA Online.
RUNWAY SAFETY BEGINS ON THE GROUND A safe flight begins and ends on the ground. Understanding why and where runway incursions happen is key to preventing these mishaps. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Runway Safety online course is designed to give pilots the information they need to know to avoid problems when operating on the ground. The course discusses the danger of runway incursions and examines why they happen, and includes a review of airport signage and air traffic control communications during ground operations. It's a good review for all pilots, but especially if you've been out of the cockpit this winter.
WHAT'S UNDER THE PAINT ON YOUR SWEEPS CARDINAL? Airplanes built from aluminum, like the 1977 Cessna Cardinal we're refurbishing for this year's sweepstakes, all start out life in silver gray. We took the airplane back to its birth by stripping off the original paint to expose the metal underneath-and get a real good look at its condition-as you'll see in this week's update. Want to see what an airplane looks like under the floorboards and behind the panel? The Cardinal will be on display at Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida, April 17 through 23-and we'll have the airplane ready for your thorough preflight.
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.
FLIGHT1 OFFERS INTERACTIVE AVIDYNE COURSEWARE Are you learning to fly in a glass-cockpit Piper or Cirrus with the Avidyne Entegra EXP5000 Primary Flight Display, or do you plan to transition into one soon? Flight1 Aviation Technologies' new DVD-based program, Avidyne FlightMax Entegra EXP5000 PFD Interactive Courseware, helps pilots to understand the system. It covers the smallest details of the PFD in depth and tests the user at the end of each segment. The course, which has been accepted by the FAA's FITS program, assumes the user is already a pilot but also is helpful to students, especially when used with an instructor's guidance. The course costs $149.95; for more information see the Web site or call 877/727-4568.
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.
Question: While studying aircraft weight and balance, I'm realizing the overall importance of staying within the airplane's limitations. Which FAA regulations cover operating limitations?
Answer: FAR 23.1583 "Operating Limitations" states that the airplane flight manual must contain the following operating limitations: airspeed, powerplant, weight, center of gravity (CG), maneuvers, maneuver load factor, minimum flight crew, kinds of operations, maximum operating altitude, maximum passenger seating configuration, allowable lateral fuel loading, baggage and cargo loading, systems, smoking, and types of surface. A thorough preflight should always include a weight and balance determination. Operating an airplane when it's overweight, or when the weight is distributed so that the CG is beyond the front or rear limits, is unsafe and also renders the aircraft unairworthy, since it's being operated outside the limits stated in the type certificate. For more information, review the articles, "Checkride: Sure it'll fly!" and "Airframe and Powerplant: How Much Does Your Airplane Weigh?"
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Pilot Information Center, 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.
Slidell, LA. The 2007 Slidell Open House and Airshow takes place March 31 at Slidell (ASD). Contact Sam Carver, 985/641-7590, or visit the Web site.
To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Denver, Cincinnati, and Boston, April 14 and 15. Clinics are also scheduled in Tampa, FL; Chicago; Indianapolis; and Reston, VA, April 21 and 22. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION SAFETY SEMINARS AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Burlingame, CA, and Somerset, KY, April 2; Fresno, CA, and Highland Heights, KY, April 3; El Monte, CA, April 4; and San Luis Obispo, CA, April 5. The topic is "Say it Right! Radio communications for today's airspace." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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