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| Training Tips |
| TURNS AROUND A POINT |
The last of the three ground reference maneuvers to be performed on the Private Pilot Practical Test is the exercise known as turns around a point. Like the rectangular course discussed two weeks ago, and S-turns discussed last week, this maneuver demonstrates ability to fly a predetermined course over the ground while correcting for the effect of wind on track and groundspeed. Flight test standards may be downloaded from AOPA Online.
Turns around a point (the abbreviation TAP is sometimes used to record practicing the maneuver in your student pilot logbook) are the most convenient of the three ground reference maneuvers to practice. No need for a long straight stretch of road or a rectangular field, as for the other drills. Simply pick a point on the ground–a water tower, road intersection, small island in a lake, but not a residence, please!–and go to work. The idea is to fly a constant-radius circle around your reference point, at an altitude 600 to 1,000 feet above the ground, at a distance from your reference point that allows you to use a maximum bank angle of approximately 45 degrees.
To perform the maneuver to PTS specifications, first determine the wind direction, make sure there is an emergency landing site within gliding distance, then enter the maneuver on the downwind heading. Make your first turn to the left, rolling immediately to your steepest bank, since you will have the highest groundspeed at this point. Gradually shallow the bank to maintain your distance from the reference point as the turn progresses and groundspeed slows. When heading directly upwind, bank angle will be at its lowest. Maintain altitude and coordinated flight throughout the maneuver. Divide your attention between the maneuver, watching for traffic, and any necessary communications. See what your flight-test examiner will use to judge your performance in the November 2001 AOPA Flight Training. Enhance your understanding, and consider alternative approaches as discussed in the June 2001 AOPA Flight Training. Then see a dissenting view of that proposal in the letter titled More than a PTS requirement in the August 2001 issue. Who is right? Discuss with your flight instructor.
Skillfully flown TAPs are important years after primary training, during such missions as aerial photography, wildlife surveys, and inspecting potential landing sites in a floatplane. Take the time now to perfect a skill you'll use again and again.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Don't let a stall catch you by surprise, or let the fear of practice spins slow your progress. An entry from a student pilot's journal offers great tips on how to "slay this particular dragon" on AOPA Online. If you need more information, 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 Trial Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. For login information click here.
| Flight Training News |
| VISA SNAFU LEADS TO INS REFORM |
The head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) conceded the obvious Tuesday and told Congress the agency needs to be reformed. His testimony helped underscore AOPA's arguments that barriers to terrorists have to be raised at the federal level, because state-mandated pilot background checks would be pointless and a needless expense with the federal system in disarray. INS Commissioner James Ziglar told a House immigration subcommittee that "obsolete technology and overly bureaucratic and illogical processes" were to blame when a Florida flight school received student visa approval for two hijackers–exactly six months after they died in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Ziglar said the incident would serve "as a catalyst to accelerate" reforms. "The problem is not with the flight schools or with general aviation pilots. It is at the federal level, rather than in the individual states, that entry to our country should be guarded," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. Flight school regulation bills now pending in the legislatures of seven states (Connecticut, Idaho, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and South Carolina) would not have prevented the terrorists from obtaining flight training. For more on the bills, see AOPA Online.
LINDBERGH AIRPLANE NEARS FLIGHT-TEST STAGE
The Lancair Columbia 300 that Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles Lindbergh, will use to re-create his grandfather's historic solo flights is nearing the flight-test stage. Recently, the "New Spirit of St. Louis" received its wing that was specially modified to carry 300 gallons of fuel. The airplane is to make its maiden flight in about two weeks. The first public appearance of the airplane will be at the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In next month. On April 14, Lindbergh will launch from San Diego and later cross the Atlantic Ocean after leaving New York. See the Web site.
CESSNA SKYLANE DATA APPROVED FOR SIM
Vector Training Systems of Grand Forks, North Dakota, which makes aircraft-specific FAA Level 3 flight training devices and GA multimedia training software, has received FAA approval for its proprietary Cessna Skylane aircraft reference data. Now, the company's Skylane flight training device (FTD) customers, including the U.S. Border Patrol in El Paso, Texas, and Recurrent Training Center in Champaign, Illinois, can work with their local FAA offices to receive FAA Level 3 approval. For more information, visit the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
| LONG LEGAL ROAD ENDS FOR MISSOURI AIRPORT |
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal on the closure of Richards-Gebaur Memorial Airport in Kansas City, Missouri. This marks the end of the legal road for the airport, but Friends of Richards-Gebaur vowed to keep working at the political level to reopen it. AOPA had sued the FAA, contending that the agency had abused its discretion when it released Kansas City from its federal obligation to maintain the airport. The Friends of Richards-Gebaur also sued, arguing that environmental regulations hadn't been followed. "We're disappointed that the Supreme Court decided not to consider our arguments," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We still think the FAA acted outside the scope of law in allowing this airport to close. But this shows the tenacity of AOPA and local support groups like Friends of Richards-Gebaur in fighting to keep GA airports open. We lose some, but we win more."
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| Training Products |
| FLY GLIDERS AND PASS THE TEST |
Maybe you've considered getting your glider rating, or you know someone interested in flying who would like to soar first. Jim Burch, a retired designated pilot examiner from the Phoenix area, has produced a book and companion CD, How to Fly Gliders and Pass FAA Tests, that helps pilots prepare for the glider practical and knowledge exams. For more, visit the author's Web site.
| Final Exam |
| Question: Can you give me some more information on military training routes (MTRs)? What does the 2-digit number mean, such as IR62 or VR86? |
Answer: The answer can be downloaded from the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide . Military training routes (MTRs) are defined as airspace of defined vertical and lateral dimensions established for the conduct of military flight training at airspeeds in excess of 250 knots IAS. They are depicted on sectional and terminal area charts. Routes at or below 1,500 feet agl (with no segment above 1,500 feet) are generally developed for flight under visual flight rules (VR) and are identified by four-digit numbers; e.g., VR1007. Routes above 1,500 feet agl (segments of these routes may be below 1,500 feet), developed for flight under instrument flight rules (IR), are identified by numbers with three digits or fewer; e.g., IR21, IR302. Direction of flight along the route is indicated by small arrowheads adjacent to each route designator. For a good explanation of MTRs and other military flight areas, take a look at the following articles from AOPA Flight Training magazine: Thin Gray Lines and Hit or Miss: Close Encounters of the Military Kind by Robert Rossier.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to [email protected] or call 800/872-2672.
| 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. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's accident statistics for February are now available online. See AOPAï¿½Online. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| Check your weekend weather on AOPA Online. |
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
AOPA Pilot Town Meeting. The next Pilot Town Meeting featuring AOPA President Phil Boyer is in Boston April 4. For more information on Pilot Town Meetings, see the Web site.
Indianapolis, Indiana. National Air Transportation Association and Professional Aircraft Maintenance Association Convention takes place March 26 through 28. Visit the Web site for more information.
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 San Diego, Chicago, and Indianapolis, April 6 and 7. Clinics are scheduled in Atlanta and Boston, April 13 and 14. 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 Glenview, Illinois, April 8; Rockford, Illinois, April 9; Peoria, Illinois, April 10; and South Holland, Illinois, April 10. The topic is spatial disorientation. The following Safety Seminars will take place during Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-in in Lakeland, Florida: April 7, Operation Airspace '02 and Spatial Disorientation; April 8, Operation Airspace '02 and Fuel Awareness; April 9, Spatial Disorientation and GPS for VFR; April 10, Collision Avoidance and Single Pilot IFR. For more information, visit the Web site.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact [email protected].