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Copyright © 2003 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| GROUND EFFECT: PLAYING THE FLOAT |
What is "ground effect"? How does a pilot take advantage of its useful qualities and avoid its pitfalls?
Up to a height of about one wingspan above the surface, ground effect changes the normal flow of air around a wing. "This change alters the direction of the relative wind in a manner that produces a smaller angle of attack. This means that a wing operating in ground effect with a given angle of attack will generate less induced drag than a wing operating out of ground effect. Therefore, it is more efficient," explains Chapter 3 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge ( click here to download). Pilots use ground effect to advantage when performing such operations as soft-field takeoffs; it allows the aircraft to lift off at the lowest possible speed. Once airborne, however, you must level off momentarily and accelerate so that a safe of climb out of ground effect may be assured.
On landing, ground effect can exact penalties for excess airspeed because the same drag reduction may create or prolong "floating" caused by an excessively fast approach. See Budd Davisson's feature "Field Work" in the November 2002 AOPA Flight Training for a look at how ground effect is harnessed to perform correct short- and soft-field takeoffs and landings. Davisson's "Hitting the Sweet Spot" in the November 2001 AOPA Flight Training shows how to master ground effect to finish off any nice approach with the perfect touchdown.
Airplanes are different; do they respond differently to ground effect? Review the February 1996 Flight Training feature "High Wing-Is There a Difference?", which notes that "because low wings generally get closer to the runway than high wings, ground effect is more evident in a low-wing airplane. This means it will experience a larger drag reduction than its high-wing counterpart under the same conditions." Pilots transitioning between low- and high-wing aircraft should prepare accordingly, as Steven Nagle stresses in his "Flight Forum" letter in the November 2002 AOPA Flight Training.
Ground effect makes itself evident during critical phases of flight. A student pilot who can sense the trend and use it to advantage has progressed to a higher level of piloting skill!
| Your Partner in Training |
|Displaced threshold...empennage...METAR...TAF...pirep. What does it all mean? Aviation is full of acronyms and technical language. Especially helpful to aviation newcomers is AOPA's online Student Glossary for General Aviation. If you need more information, call our experienced pilots toll-free at 800/872-2672. They're available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern to answer your questions. |
AOPA Flight Training members have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. For members' section login information click here.
| Flight Training News |
| AOPA TO CHALLENGE NEW SECURITY RULE |
AOPA President Phil Boyer told a gathering of some 400 pilots Tuesday night that the new Transportation Security Administration (TSA)/FAA security rule allowing the FAA to revoke pilot certificates goes too far. He vowed that AOPA will challenge portions of the rule that tread on pilot rights. "We certainly support lawful efforts to prevent terrorists from using aircraft to attack the United States," Boyer said during an AOPA Pilot Town Meeting in Baltimore, "but this rule smacks of McCarthyism. The TSA has become judge, jury, and executioner. What's happened to due process?" Last Friday, TSA and the FAA implemented new rules that direct the FAA to revoke the pilot certificate of anyone whom TSA determines is a threat to transportation or national security. But the process provides no independent review. A pilot can only appeal the threat determination back to TSA-and TSA, because of national security concerns, doesn't have to reveal the information implicating the pilot. Boyer said that AOPA legal and technical staff are already researching the new rules, noting that AOPA's legal counsel's preliminary opinion is that TSA exceeded the authority Congress had granted it. Boyer said that AOPA immediately brought its concerns to TSA management. And Boyer will begin personally presenting those same concerns to members of Congress next week.
FSI OFFERS BONANZA, BARON SIMULATOR COURSES
FlightSafety International's Beech/Hawker Learning Center in Wichita, Kansas, announced four new simulator-based training courses aimed at pilots of normally aspirated Beech Barons and A-36 Bonanzas. The courses employ a newly installed and certified Level 3 flight training device with high-quality visual capabilities. Its visual system-the same used in high-end turbine aircraft simulators-can reproduce day, dusk, and night conditions, and can depict various cloud conditions, traffic conflicts, and wake turbulence. There is no motion, but the device-which can be quickly modified to serve as either a Baron or Bonanza-can be used for instrument proficiency checks, flight reviews, and instrument currency. Pilot initial courses will last about five days; recurrent training lasts about three days. Baron initial and recurrent training is priced at $4,500 and $3,150, respectively. Bonanza initial and recurrent training is $3,960 and $2,700, respectively. Purchasers of new airplanes receive their training in the purchase price. FSI is also considering use of the new simulator as the centerpiece for instrument and multiengine rating courses.
GLASS-COCKPIT JET FTD TO DEBUT AT ACADEMY
Regional Airline Academy will be the launch customer for a new glass cockpit professional jet trainer series developed by Aviation Simulation Technology Inc., the company announced. The flight training device (FTD) will be used at RAA's Deland, Florida, facility. It is based on the Canadair 700 regional jet and incorporates a full-sized jet cockpit and enclosure. The cockpit layout is designed to allow a wide range of glass cockpit training on the installed flat panel pilot and copilot primary flight displays and navigational displays. The glass cockpit professional jet trainer marks the company's entrance into the regional jet market, according to John L. Wilkins, general manager at AST. For more information, see the Web site.
TSU RECEIVES FAA APPROVAL FOR GROUND SCHOOL TRAINING
Tennessee State University in Nashville has received final approval from the FAA to conduct pilot ground school training, the university announced. The FAA reissued the university's Air Agency Certificate in November 2002, thus ending TSU's two-year "provisional" period. TSU offers private pilot and commercial pilot certification, instrument ratings, additional aircraft class ratings, and CFI and CFII certification. For more information, contact William L. Anneseley, head of the school's Department of Aeronautical and Industrial Technology, at 619/963-5378 or e-mail.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA WORKS TO QUELL MISPERCEPTIONS IN DENVER ACCIDENT |
AOPA sprang into action last weekend to help quell misperceptions following the Denver accident that killed five people when a Cessna 172 and a Piper Cheyenne collided January 24. An AOPA spokesman explained to local media that midair collisions are very rare: out of 49 million general aviation flights in 2002, there were seven midair collisions, and only four of these produced fatalities. AOPA also explained the procedures that pilots follow to avoid midairs, including scanning for traffic, communication on CTAF frequencies around nontowered airports, and utilizing VFR traffic advisories. For more information on collision avoidance strategies, click here to download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Collision Avoidance Safety Advisor.
FLIGHT SIMULATOR PROPOSAL NOT GOOD FOR GA, AOPA SAYS
AOPA is opposed to a pending FAA rule that would place additional burdens on use of flight simulators by general aviation pilot training schools. While the FAA proposal does not cover personal computer-type aviation training devices (PCATDs), it would increase regulatory oversight of flight schools, and establish a mandatory simulator quality assurance program. AOPA contends that this proposed rule would significantly increase the operational costs to GA flight schools that use nonpersonal computer-type simulators for pilot training, pilot evaluation or required flight experience, with no improvements in safety. "This rule could lower the availability and increase the overall cost of simulators, thus undermining the use of simulators as an effective GA training tool," said Lance Nuckolls, AOPA director of regulatory and certification policy. See AOPA Online.
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| Training Products |
| COMMUNICATIONS TRAINER SOFTWARE, AUDIO REVIEW FROM ASA |
Communications Trainer: Say Again Please, based on the book Say Again, Please by Bob Gardner, is available from Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc. Designed for student pilots or others who want to polish their radio techniques, the interactive tutorial includes audio clips, animation, figures, and diagrams for both VFR and IFR operations and all airspace classes. Pilots can use the audio review in car or home CD players and listen to standard dialogues between pilots, ATIS, ground, clearance delivery, tower, approach, etc. Communications Trainer is PC and Mac compatible. The retail price is $79.95. To try a demo or order, go to ASA's Web site.
| Final Exam |
| Question: What is the fine line of dots on the border between Georgia and Alabama on the Atlanta sectional? It's not depicted on the chart's legend. |
Answer: You are referring to the line of separation between time zones. Specifically, on this chart, you are looking at the line that separates the Eastern and Central time zones. If you look carefully along the line, you will see in dark gray print the time zones labeled in standard time, along with the hours difference from coordinated universal (Zulu) time. The numbers given in the parentheses give the numbers to use if you are computing universal time when daylight savings time is in effect. For more information, take a look at "Flying Smart: Time Zones" from the December 1998 Flight Training magazine.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800/872-2672. Don't forget the archive of questions and answers from AOPA's ePilot and ePilot Flight Training. FAQs are searchable by keyword or topic.
| Picture Perfect |
The AOPA Online Gallery allows you to download your favorite images to use for wallpaper, send a personalized e-card, and order high-quality prints to be shipped directly to your doorstep. Search the hundreds of fabulous images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online.
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Laughlin, Nevada. The annual Laughlin Comanche Fly-in takes place February 7 through 9 at Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport (IFP). Sponsored by the International Comanche Society. Open to the public. Contact Art Schmidt, 623/561-6681.
Seattle, Washington. The Northwest Scale Modelers Show takes place February 8 and 9 at the Museum of Flight. Visitors can watch projects in progress and get answers to all their questions about this fascinating hobby. Contact Eden Hopkins, 206/764-5700, or visit the Web site.
To submit an event to the calendar, or search all events, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For comments on calendar items, contact email@example.com.
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 Sacramento, California, and Nashua, New Hampshire, February 8 and 9. Clinics are also scheduled in Kent, Ohio, and Louisville, Kentucky, February 15 and 16. 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-Hitter® Ground School will take place in Sacramento, California, February 9. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Tallahassee, Florida, February 10; Jacksonville, Florida, February 11; Ocala, Florida, February 12; and Daytona Beach, Florida, February 13. The topic is "The Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings." For the complete schedule, see AOPA Online.