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| Training Tips |
| MASTERING THE S-TURN |
Ground reference maneuvers are often hard to understand when you first read about them, but as you begin to fly them, they almost immediately make more sense. That's the case with the S-turn, the second of the three ground reference maneuvers to be performed on the Private Pilot Flight Test. Like the rectangular course discussed last week, the maneuver demonstrates ability to fly a predetermined course over the ground while correcting for the effect of wind on track and groundspeed. Test standards may be downloaded from AOPA Online.
The S-turn is basically two half circles of equal dimensions flown in opposite directions above a straight reference line on the ground such as a road, railroad track, or power line. Pick a reference line perpendicular to the wind direction, at least two miles long, so you may fly several S-turns along its length. Fly across it on the directly downwind heading, and begin the first S-turn to the left, as required on the flight test. Fly the maneuver so you complete the half circle facing back into the wind, again directly over your reference line. Then immediately begin the second S-turn, to the right. Flown correctly, there will be no extended straight-and-level flight between rolling out of the first half circle and into the second. See what your flight instructor will look for during your practice in the December 2001 AOPA Flight Training.
As with the other ground reference maneuvers, your steepest angle of bank will be when groundspeed is highest–when flying directly downwind. If you do not shallow bank angle enough when turning back into the wind, you may complete the first half circle prematurely, leaving you heading back upwind before crossing back overhead your reference line. Too shallow a bank angle, and you will arrive over your line before completing the half circle. See an illustrated analysis in the October 1999 AOPA Flight Training. Also see the November 2001 issue for a general discussion of ground reference maneuvers. Look into your flying future at how these maneuvers can be of value post-flight test in the April 1997 AOPA Pilot.
For any maneuver flown at low altitude (in this case, 600 to 1,000 feet above ground level) pick out an emergency landing site within gliding distance–you won't need it but a good pilot is always prepared. Always be on the lookout for conflicting traffic, and have fun mastering the S-turn!
| Your Partner in Training |
|As a student pilot, a healthy number of go-arounds should be part of your dual sessions in the traffic pattern, initiated from a variety of configurations and heights above touchdown. The ability to perform them smoothly will increase your confidence. See AOPA Online for some great tips on what can be one of aviation's most harried maneuvers. If you need more information, call our experienced pilots–available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern to answer your questions toll-free at 800/872-2672. |
As an AOPA Flight Training Trial Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. For login information click here.
| Flight Training News |
| INS FAILURE REVEALS ABSURDITY IN SYSTEM, AOPA SAYS |
Six months to the day after the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Florida flight school that trained two of the terrorists received their student visa approval forms from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). On Monday, Huffman Aviation received the paperwork acknowledging INS approvals for terrorists Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi. "This unbelievable government failure illustrates the absurdity of the student pilot background checks now being written into law in some states," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of Government and Technical Affairs. "If the federal government's own background checks lead to the issuing of visas to dead terrorists, then how in the world can individual flight schools be expected to ferret out the bad guys?" Meanwhile, INS is now clamping down on flight schools and other airport businesses. AOPA has received several reports from California and Texas FBOs that have been targeted by INS audits. In some cases, these businesses have been given as little as three days to comply or face punitive action. For more, see AOPAï¿½Online.
YELLOW SECURITY ALERT STATUS WON'T AFFECT AIRSPACE
The current yellow alert status under the White House's new color-coded terror warning system will probably not lead to new airspace restrictions, security sources have told AOPA. AOPA has also learned that there are threats against several nuclear facilities, but security officials have concluded that they do not need temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) over these facilities to help protect them. The five-level system, ranked from green (low risk of terrorist attacks) to red (severe risk of terrorist attacks), is supposed to provide more specific information to the public and government officials than the vague terrorist alerts that have been issued before. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said the current yellow alert status means that there is a significant risk of attack that requires increased surveillance of critical locations and implementing some emergency response plans. AOPA again reminds pilots to avoid flight near nuclear power plants and other sensitive installations.
FAA REOPENS MOST FSSs TO PUBLIC
Did you ever walk into a flight service station for an in-person weather briefing? Such visits, banned since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, have now been reauthorized by the FAA. Last Wednesday, 14 of the 61 facilities still remained closed to the public, for reasons ranging from ongoing construction to local management decisions regarding security. AOPA is lobbying to reopen all FSS facilities, which were closed to the public after the September 11 terror attacks. See the current status at AOPA Online.
OTHER WRIGHT BROTHERS LAUNCH ON EPIC JOURNEY
The Wright brothers are about to fly. But we're not talking about Orville and Wilbur. Jerry and Jimmy Wright (no relation) are planning to set a record by becoming the first to take off and land at 3,805 hard-surface public airports in the United States. They began the journey in December and are planning to make their final stop in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 2003 for the centennial of flight celebrations. Flying a Piper Cherokee, the brothers are carrying a flight recorder that has been sanctioned by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) to record the flight. To follow along, see the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
| INFLUENTIAL SENATOR SUPPORTS AOPA PHOTO ID PETITION |
In a letter to FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.) wrote in support of AOPA's petition to require pilots to carry government-issued photo IDs as a supplement to the required pilot certificate. His endorsement of the AOPA petition is important considering the fact that he sponsored an amendment in the Aviation Security Act (PL107-71) expanding the scope of the airman registry to address terrorism. "Sen. Max Cleland clearly recognizes the value of this common-sense, low-cost, and easy to implement measure. We appreciate his leadership on this issue," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. In the petition, which was submitted to the FAA last month, AOPA asked the agency to issue a "direct final rule" that would require pilots to carry a valid, government-issued photo ID when in command of an aircraft. The request for a simple solution rather than a costly government program is currently pending.
INHOFE INTRODUCES GA RELIEF LEGISLATION
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), an AOPA member, introduced on Tuesday legislation to provide economic relief to general aviation businesses that received substantial economic injury as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks. "The introduction of Sen. Inhofe's bill proves that GA relief is not a dead issue for Congress," says AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We've pledged our support to both Inhofe and to Rep. Mica, who authored the House version of this bill, and will help in any way to get this long-overdue legislation passed."
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| Training Products |
|Do you miss "Final Exam" in AOPA Flight Training? If so, a new book by Barry Schiff—who has written AOPA Pilot's monthly "Test Pilot" column since March 1994—may help. Test Pilot: 1,001 Things You Thought You Knew About Aviation, a 388-page paperback recently published by Aviation Supplies and Academics (ASA), is available for $19.95. To order, visit the Web site or call 800/426-8338 or 425/235-1500. |
| Final Exam |
| Question: I am just getting ready to get my medical and begin flight training. I have some questions about contact lenses. Can I use bifocal lenses when flying? |
Answer: Contact lenses that correct for near visual acuity (such as bifocal lenses) are not considered by the FAA to be appropriate for flying duties. Near vision is your 'close up' vision, and is measured at a distance of 16 inches from your eyes to the material you are reading (or trying to read!). Wearing one lens to correct for near vision and the other lens to correct for distance is also not acceptable. Single vision, bifocal, or trifocal eyeglasses, or contact lenses that correct for distant vision only are acceptable. If you have other questions, take a look at AOPA's subject reports on vision or call the AOPA medical specialists at 800/872-2672.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to [email protected] or call 800/872-2672.
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|Going flying in windy conditions? Check out our new subject report before you launch. See AOPA Online. |
| Picture Perfect |
|Did you know you can create a personal e-card using the images from the AOPA Online Gallery? Send one to a friend today. See AOPAï¿½Online. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| Check your weekend weather on AOPA Online. |
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
Polk City, Florida. Fantasy of Flight fly-in takes place March 24. Opportunity to tour the "world's greatest aircraft collection." Call 941/356-9575 or see the Web site.
For more airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For more events, see Aviation Calendar of Events
ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Norfolk, Virginia; Baltimore; and San Mateo, California, March 23 and 24. Clinics are scheduled in San Diego, Chicago, and Indianapolis, April 6 and 7. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see AOPA Online.
ASF PINCH-HITTER GROUND-SCHOOL COURSES
(Pinch-Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitterï¿½ Ground School will take place in Frederick, Maryland, on April 13. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Lake Worth, Florida, March 18; Daytona Beach, Florida, March 19; Ocala, Florida, March 20; Jacksonville, Florida, March 21; and Tallahassee, Florida, March 22. Topic is spatial disorientation. For more information, visit the Web site.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact [email protected].