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Copyright © 2004 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| GIVING OVERSHOOTS THE BOOT |
Every student pilot practicing landings in the airport traffic pattern occasionally experiences the problem of overshooting the final approach. See "Instructor Report: The Asymmetrical Traffic Pattern" in the April 2001 AOPA Flight Training.
Excessive speed is one cause. Becoming distracted when you reconfigure for landing, thus losing awareness of your progress over the ground, is another. But for beginners, wind is the usual culprit. Suppose you are on a left downwind for Runway 33, preparing to land in wind from 280 degrees at 10 knots. This means there will be a crosswind component of 8 kt from the left on final-see the February 27, 2004, "Training Tips". But it also means that there is an 8-kt crosswind component from the right on the downwind leg! If you have not corrected for that, you will gradually drift in toward the runway while flying downwind. Compounding the problem is that when you turn to the base leg heading of 60 degrees, the tailwind component increases, and so does your groundspeed. So there you are-closer to the runway than you want to be, moving faster over the ground than expected. It's a perfect recipe for an overshoot, often followed by a sloppy, unstable final approach, rough landing, or worse.
At that point, what would you do? "Perhaps the most important lesson a student can learn-and an instructor can teach-is how to abort an approach safely and go around," wrote Christopher L. Parker in "Flying Safe-The Last Half Mile" in the October 1997 Flight Training.
Learning how to keep a continuing check on your position in the pattern and make appropriate drift corrections takes practice, but there are techniques that will give you an edge. In the August 2001 AOPA Flight Training feature, "Looking Down: Ground Track in the Pattern," Budd Davisson makes a suggestion. "Try this experiment: The next time you fly when there's any kind of wind across the runway, take a look behind you as you turn crosswind. Are you still on the extended centerline?" His point is that if you catch drift early, it will remain in your thoughts while you divide your attention between the numerous pattern-flying tasks.
As is true of mastering so many piloting skills, small adjustments made early make all the difference. Perhaps you are only a few seconds of timing away from turning your traffic patterns into works of art that are beautiful to witness and a joy to perform.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Bird strikes are occurring more than ever before. One of the first things you should do to prevent a bird strike is to stay away from areas in which there is a known risk. Check notams for bird activity near airports; sometimes airport listings in the FAA Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) can warn of dangerous bird hazards. Be sure to check the A/FD before flying to an unfamiliar airport. Learn more by reading the bird strikes subject overview, just one of the many subject reports available on AOPA Online. Additional information on bird hazards can be found in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Reports. |
Do you have a question? Call our experienced pilots-available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern toll-free at 800/872-2672. AOPA Flight Training Members have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. Login information is available online.
| Flight Training News |
| FEDERAL OFFICE ASKS FAA TO WITHDRAW CHARITY FLIGHT RULE |
The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy says a proposed rule that would toughen requirements for charity/sightseeing operations is filled with incomplete or questionable data and should be withdrawn. The Office of Advocacy says the FAA failed to accurately account for the economic impact of the proposed rule, which would require air tour operators to comply with stricter rules. It would also require pilots who offer sightseeing flights for fund-raisers to have at least 500 flight hours compared to the current 200. See AOPA Online.
VIRGINIA SCHOLARSHIP JUDGES NAME THREE WINNERS
Tasked with choosing a winner for the 2004 Curtis E. Eads Flight Training Memorial Scholarship, the judges couldn't settle on just one applicant-so they named three. Ron Van Sickle, Greg Hicks, and Richard Toby each won $500 to use toward flight training at Hampton Roads Executive Airport in Chesapeake, Virginia. "I was pleased to receive recommendations for three equally deserving aviation enthusiasts," said Steven I. Fox, one of the airport's owners. He said all three were described as dedicated and enthusiastic, sharing a lifelong love of aviation and a desire to become pilots. The scholarships will be presented on April 12. The scholarship is a tribute to Eads, who founded a flight school at the former Hampton Roads Airport more than 45 years ago. The FAA named Eads CFI of the Year in 1987. He also has been inducted into the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame.
NEWEST ASF SAFETY SEMINAR TO SPOTLIGHT GPS USE
The newest safety seminar from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation will focus on GPS receivers and attempt to show both sides of the ongoing debate, "How should modern technology be balanced with navigational skills?" GPS: Beyond Direct-To will help pilots avoid potentially dangerous mistakes as they adapt to the new technology and also provide some insights into getting the most out of today's advanced units. The seminar is set to debut in mid-May.
| Inside AOPA |
| BOYER TAKES MEMBER CONCERNS TO CAPITOL HILL |
As legislators work on the fiscal year 2005 federal budget, AOPA President Phil Boyer has been visiting key members of Congress to press pilots' concerns about user fees, airport security, and airports. In a meeting with Senate Assistant Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Boyer explained that AOPA members want to protect the core functions of the FAA's air traffic control system. Privatizing ATC could be the first step in a user-fee system that would severely restrict accessibility for general aviation pilots, he said. In addition to privatization, Boyer discussed protecting local airports with Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), specifically a plan to close a crosswind runway at Mahlon Sweet Field in Eugene, Oregon. Local pilots strongly oppose the idea on the grounds that it would compromise safety there.
AOPA DAY AT SUN 'N FUN IS ONLY A WEEK AWAY
AOPA Day at the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In is only one week away. On April 16, members get $5 off admission. Plus, there will be gifts for the first 5,000 visitors to the AOPA tent, and drawings for more prizes all day. Read the fly-in procedures on the FAA Web site.
| Training Products |
| COMPANY INTRODUCES FREE CONNECTION TO AWOS |
For those times when you need to dial up the weather somewhere and don't have the right Airport/Facility Directory at hand, anyAWOS provides access to any automated weather observation systems (AWOSs) in the continental United States via one toll-free number (877/ANY-AWOS; 877/269-2967). Dial the number and key in the airport's three-letter identifier. (You'll listen to a brief advertisement while the connection is made.) The company says it will continually update its database. If your airport has a publicly accessible AWOS but isn't included, send an e-mail or see the Web site for more information.
| Final Exam |
| Question: I'm getting ready to take the knowledge test for the private pilot certificate. I'm curious as to what the average test score is-or even the pass rate-for this test. Where can I find this information? |
Answer: The FAA tracks this information and posts the results on its Web site. You can view the pass rates as well as the average test scores for each type of knowledge test administered in 2003.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to [email protected] or call 800/872-2672. Don't forget the online archive of "Final Exam" questions and answers, 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. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|If a trip to the aviation medical examiner is on the horizon, take time now to review the AOPA Medical Certification Department's updated Pilot's Guide to Medical Certification . Find out how TurboMedical, AOPA's interactive online medical application, can give you guidance about what kinds of medical information the FAA is requiring on its application for pilot medical certification. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Burnet, Texas. The Bluebonnet Airshow takes place April 10 at Burnet Municipal Kate Craddock Field (BMQ). Presented by the Highland Lakes Squadron, Commemorative Air Force, featuring the A-10 Demo Team and Thunderbolt Heritage Flight. Contact Howard Martin, 512/756-2226, or visit the Web site.
Lakeland, Florida. The Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In takes place April 13 through 19 at Lakeland Linder Regional (LAL). A week-long celebration of flight with thousands of aircraft of every size and shape, plus hundreds of educational activities, daily airshow, and lots more! Visit the Web site for more information. And don't miss AOPA Day on April 16. AOPA members receive a $5 discount on admission and the chance to win prizes.
Muskogee, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Airshow takes place April 17 and 18 at Davis Field (MKO). Featuring the Air Force Thunderbirds, plus many warbirds and civilian acts. Contact Mike Anderson, 918/682-4101.
To submit an event to the calendar, or search all events, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online .
ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in San Diego; Tampa, Florida; and Boston, April 17 and 18. Clinics are also scheduled in Cincinnati, Ohio; Salt Lake City; and Reston, Virginia, April 24 and 25. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Renewal Online.
ASF PINCH-HITTER GROUND-SCHOOL COURSES
The next Pinch-Hitter® Ground School will take place in Tampa, Florida, April 18. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Lakeland, Florida, April 15 through 18. For complete details on topics and schedules, see AOPA Online.