AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 8, Issue 8

November 11, 2009

The following stories from the February 24, 2006, 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.

My ePilot - Piston Multiengine Interest
Diamond Aircraft recently announced that its 26-percent increase in sales during 2005 was due in part to the introduction of the company's DA42 Twin Star. Diamond delivered 68 Twin Stars during 2005, according to the latest General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) Statistical Databook. GAMA figures show that the combined shipments of Diamond DA20s and DA40s remained the same in 2004 and 2005 at 261. With the addition of the Twin Star, the company's total deliveries in 2005 grew to 329.

My ePilot - Professional Pilot Interest
Humanitarian pilots regularly transport doctors or patients, medical supplies, food, and other life-sustaining supplies in remote areas of the world. These pilots often navigate rugged terrain, land in areas many would never think possible, and act as their own mechanic. In the March 2006 AOPA Flight Training article "Mission Pilots", Wayne Phillips details a day in the life of a mission pilot and spells out the requirements of flying for Mission Aviation Fellowship of Redlands, California. Also read about the adventures of longtime mission pilot Guy Gervais in "A Pilot Without Borders" in the March 2006 AOPA Pilot.

My ePilot - Experimental Interest
What better way to know the aircraft you fly inside and out than to build it yourself? With a plethora of quick-build kits and kit workshops available, now might be the time you've been waiting for to undertake such a project. Read AOPA's Homebuilt Aircraft subject report to get a better idea of how much time and money it can take to build your own aircraft. AOPA provides an overview of the process along with links to Advisory Circular 20-27F, Certification and Operation of Amateur-Built Aircraft, and articles from AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training magazines.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Of all the maneuvers a student pilot must learn before soloing, how and when to slip an airplane can be the most mysterious and counterintuitive. Both the "forward slip to a landing," a flight-test task for private pilot applicants (download the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards) that is used to lose altitude as an alternative to flap extension, and the "sideslip," a technique for drift control when landing in a crosswind, are extremely useful skills. Both are performed with so-called crossed controls, meaning that yaw is intentionally applied against a lowered wing to achieve the desired result. At times, as the PTS task notes, the two maneuvers can even be combined.

When performing the forward slip to lose altitude on final approach, the pilot lowers a wing with aileron and feeds in opposite rudder to prevent the aircraft from turning away from the approach course. The airplane's longitudinal axis is now positioned at an angle to its flight path, which increases drag and creates a higher descent rate on the approach. Power settings can vary depending on the descent rate needed, but high power would inhibit the descent. The slip is discontinued during the roundout before touchdown, or when the desired glidepath is reached. Manufacturers of some aircraft limit the performance of slips with flap extensions-see your pilot's operating handbook. Also read Budd Davisson's January 2003 AOPA Flight Training feature "Slippery Slope."

"Sideslipping" to handle a crosswind on final approach also requires holding a wing low and opposite rudder-but there is an important difference. The aircraft's longitudinal axis is kept aligned with the extended runway centerline. The aircraft flies in a slipping turn toward the lowered wing, but the crosswind and the turn neutralize each other. This effect keeps the aircraft on the final approach course. It's an elegant balancing act that showcases a pilot's "touch." The control inputs are adjusted as wind speed and direction change, but the crossed control inputs are held right to touchdown. See the illustrated feature article "Wing Low, Opposite Rudder" in the October 2004 AOPA Flight Training.

Reviewing now: Perform a forward slip to lose more altitude on final. Sideslip to handle a crosswind. Small control inputs will yield big results. Now you are really flying!

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
If an FAA knowledge test is on your horizon, you will study your test guide until you've got it down cold...right? If you'd like a preview of what to expect, try a free online test. Here are two to try. Sporty's is the closest approximation to the real thing; it includes links to the applicable table or graphic for a given question. Tests are available for the instrument rating, as well as recreational, private, and commercial certificates. Another option is, sponsored by For this site, you'll need a test guide with graphics and tables. Your score is e-mailed to you. On the plus side, you can compare your score with those of other users, and you can see which questions caused the most heartburn among your peers. For both private pilot tests, you receive 2.5 hours to answer the 60 questions.

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.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: I'm a student pilot, and my instructor has left for the airlines. I haven't found a new instructor yet. Can I continue to fly local solo flights with the endorsements he gave me?

Answer: Provided your student pilot certificate and, if required, medical certificate, have not expired and you possess both endorsements listed in 14 CFR 61.87(n), you can continue to fly solo for all local flights (the solo cross-country flights require an instructor's review of your flight planning and further endorsements). Make sure there aren't any other limiting endorsements that your former instructor may have placed in your logbook prior to you two parting company. Keep in mind that the endorsement in your logbook for the specific make and model is only good for 90 days. Once that time has passed, you will have to receive a new endorsement from an authorized instructor to continue your solo privileges.