January 30, 2009
The following stories from the January 30, 2009, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information tailored to their areas of interest by updating their preferences online.
Diamond Aircraft Industries has received certification in Europe for the E4 (AE300) turbo-diesel engine. It could be the beginning of a solution to the problem created when Thielert Engines, used in Diamond DA42 multiengine aircraft, went bankrupt. Read more >>
After the Obama administration indicated it opposed any company receiving federal bailout dollars buying a new corporate jet, Citigroup cancelled its order for a $50 million Falcon 7X. Citigroup received $45 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which is part of the federal government's economic bailout plan. Read more >>
The Jan. 23, 2009, “Training Tip” looked at the problem of a pilot “falling behind the aircraft.” It discussed how overcoming that problem is a positive sign in training. Because learning how to land is one offlight training’s big challenges, any extra pressure faced by the pilot during approach and landing makes this prime time for falling behind.
Most poor landings trace back to an event that destabilized the arrival. You were concentrating intently on flying your final approach, correcting for wind, and establishing the aircraft in the landing attitude. Then one new demand on your attention—sudden low-level turbulence, perhaps—spoiled your focus.
Arriving at an unfamiliar airport, especially one with a nonstandard traffic pattern, is another frequent cause of falling behind during landing. Here is one such scenario: “A touch of ground shyness may crop up for many pilots flying a low-altitude traffic pattern, especially at the point of the downwind-to-base turn. You won't realize that until the time comes. I know about it, and I'm expecting to have to encourage you. I know that your discomfort about that low-altitude turn will cost you a few seconds in hesitation. You're not behind the airplane yet, but that turn is when you may fall behind, only to catch up again when we're on the ground after a rocky first landing,” CFI Dan Namowitz said in the September 2008 AOPA Flight Training feature “Short and soft? Sometimes you have to combine your skills.”
It takes practice to conquer the fixation that may slow your reactions during fast-moving situations. Learn more about fixation in the Nov. 19, 2004, “Training Tip”. That’s why learning to divide attention is introduced early in flight training, such as when practicing ground-reference maneuvers.
How do they help? “This requires the student to divide his or her attention among the instrument panel, the natural horizon, and the reference points on the ground. Juggling these tasks is exactly what's needed to bring the aircraft back to the airport runway, when it has to follow a precise ground track,” LeRoy Cook explained in the May 2008 AOPA Flight Training feature “Square Dancing.”
Practice those maneuvers to perfection, and the problem of falling behind will soon be left behind.
Are you getting close to solo? It’s an exciting time, and one you’ll never forget. We’ll tell you not to get nervous, but that might be folly. It’s always a good idea to prepare, so read the Frequently Asked Questions about soloing, found in the Resources for Student Pilots section of AOPA Flight Training Online. When the big day comes, take a deep breath and go for it, knowing that your instructor believes you’re ready.
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 Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you're not already a member, join today and get the pilot's edge. Login information is available online.
Practical Test Standards. Aeronautical Information Manual. Various FAA handbooks and manuals. These are just samples of the reading you’ll do when studying to become a private pilot. Aviation Supplies and Academics has compiled these and many more—1,000 documents to be exact—onto one CD-ROM. You can search, bookmark, and mark and save passages with personalized notes; you can print any or all of the documents or graphics. The Library sells for $79.95 and may be ordered online or by calling 800/ASA-2FLY.
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: My friend is working toward her instrument rating. To try to save some money, she wants me to fly as her safety pilot while she practices approaches and landings. I'm still a student pilot; am I allowed to do this?
Answer: No. The regulations are pretty explicit when defining the qualifications to act as a safety pilot. According to FAR 91.109(b)1, a safety pilot must possess at least a private pilot certificate with category and class ratings appropriate to the aircraft being flown. Additionally, because the safety pilot is acting as a required crewmember, he or she must have a current medical certificate. For more information about safety pilot operations, see this subject report from AOPA's Pilot Information Center.
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.
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