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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 4, Issue 34AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 4, Issue 34

Volume 4, Issue 34 • August 20, 2004
In this issue:
Florida pilots clean up after Charley
Battle heats up over prohibited area proposal
ASF's new runway safety program earns high marks

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Training Tips
What airspeed do you strive to maintain after takeoff from a normal-sized runway without obstacles at the departure end? If Vy, best rate of climb speed, did not come to mind, it's time to rethink your technique. As its name implies, best rate of climb speed is the calibrated airspeed (see the February 6, 2004, Training Tips) at which the airplane will achieve the maximum increase in altitude per unit of time ( download Chapter 9 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge). Stated simply, climbing at Vy is the quickest way to get you to a desired altitude. This is crucial immediately after takeoff because you need to reach an altitude at which it would be possible to safely turn around and land in the event of power loss. The less time you spend exposed to lower altitudes, the safer your flight. In a long climb to a high cruise altitude, increase your airspeed after attaining a safe altitude (such as traffic pattern height) for better engine cooling and visibility. Depending on the kind of aircraft you fly, the difference in climb speeds may be considerable, as Mark Twombly discusses in "Continuing Ed: Think Fast" in the December 1999 AOPA Flight Training. Also remember that Vy is the airspeed that you will be expected to target after a normal takeoff on the private pilot flight test. See "Testing Speed Control" in the October 4, 2002, newsletter.

Many student pilots ask: Why not use Vx, the best angle of climb speed? "The best-rate airspeed will generate the fastest rate of climb, but if you're worried about an obstacle at the end of the runway, it may not get you up quickly enough to clear it. The best angle of climb speed won't gain the altitude as quickly but will do it in less distance traveled horizontally," explains Budd Davisson in the December 2001 AOPA Flight Training article "25 Questions." Performance airspeeds change with altitude. Vx and Vy are no exception; as one increases, the other decreases! See Rod Machado's explanation in the June 1999 AOPA Flight Training.

Bottom line: Vy gets you to a safe altitude in the least time. Use it whenever another performance speed doesn't take precedence-now during training, and throughout your flying career.

Your Partner in Training
If you're like most student pilots, radio communications can be particularly daunting. In fact, learning the ways of the radio can be as tough as the basic task of mastering control of the airplane. Read AOPA's Aviation Subject Report, ATC Communications , for some "com sense" advice. If you have any questions after visiting our site, call 800/USA-AOPA weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time.

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. As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online and AOPA Flight Training Online. Login information is available online.

Flight Training News
In the aftermath of Hurricane Charley, Florida airports are open as FBOs and aircraft owners are assessing the destruction caused by the Category 4 hurricane that slammed the state last week. An estimated 100 airplanes were damaged or destroyed at Charlotte County Airport in Punta Gorda, along with several T-hangars. Virtually every building at Lake Wales Municipal was destroyed, and AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers also reported extensive damage at Orlando's Executive and Sanford International airports. At Kissimmee Gateway Airport, 70 percent of aircraft on the field and all five FBOs were damaged. See the complete report on AOPA Online.

Inside AOPA
Pilots across the nation are telling the FAA that the Navy doesn't need a new prohibited area over the Hood Canal in Washington State. Since AOPA first alerted pilots to the proposal on June 28, more than 500 comments have been filed, mostly in opposition to turning the Bangor temporary flight restriction (TFR) into the P-51 prohibited area. AOPA is concerned about a possible domino effect. The Navy has asked for prohibited airspace over St. Mary's, Georgia, and if successful there could be more. "That's why pilots should still offer comments on the Bangor proposal, even though the official comment period has closed. We need to make it very clear to the federal government that absent a specific, credible threat, pilots expect airspace restrictions to be reduced, not made more severe," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. For more on this issue and FAA contact information, see AOPA Online.

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's new online runway safety program has earned high marks from Isaac Lang, a pilot with Northwest Airlines who happens to be the Air Line Pilots Association's safety vice chairman at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. "What can I say? Wonderful!" says Lang. "I have recommended that our ALPA pilots at Northwest Airlines complete your runway safety program." Titled Runway Safety: Safe Flying Starts and Ends on the Ground, the program uses animation, video, quizzes, and real scenarios to teach pilots how to operate safely at an airport. You can take the course for free on AOPA Online.

To make the most of your membership and allow us to serve you better, please visit AOPA Online and update your personal member profile.

Training Products
Volumes undoubtedly could be written about the unique aspects of night flying as well as the accompanying safety concerns. David Robson takes an extended look at the subject in Sunset to Sunrise, a book that is said to offer practical techniques on weather considerations; human factors such as night vision, fatigue, and hypoxia; what the Federal Aviation Regulations have to say about night operations; preflight preparation; aircraft and airport lighting; cross-country planning; takeoffs and landings; and emergency situations. The soft-cover, 208-page book sells for $19.95 and may be ordered from Aviation Supplies and Academics.

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.

Final Exam
Question: Is it stated anywhere in the Federal Aviation Regulations or Aeronautical Information Manual as to the proper altitude to begin your turn from upwind to crosswind while staying in the pattern? I was always told it was the traffic pattern altitude (TPA) for the particular airport, minus 300 feet. For example, at Danbury (Connecticut) Municipal the TPA is 1,700 feet, and I have been turning from upwind to crosswind at 1,400 feet because of what my original CFI drilled into my head. Was that just sound CFI advice, or does it come from a regulation?

Answer: This has long been a topic of hangar talks. According to the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) Chapter 4 Section 3, "Airport Operations," the upwind (or departure) leg is defined as "the flight path which continues straight ahead along the extended runway centerline and continues until reaching a point at least one-half mile beyond the departure end of the runway and within 300 feet of the traffic pattern altitude." The crosswind leg is "a flight path at right angles to the landing runway off its takeoff end." So the AIM recommendation agrees with your CFI's good advice to turn onto the crosswind leg once the departure leg is completed, which is 300 feet below pattern altitude.

Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to [email protected] or call the Pilot Information Center, 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.

AOPA Career Opportunities
Bring your love of aviation to work. AOPA is looking for a Government Analyst to research, track, and develop policy and advocacy stances on issues related to airspace, air traffic services, aeronautical information services, and regulatory and certification policy. For more information about this and other positions, see AOPA Online.

What's New At AOPA Online
AOPA's Guide to Flying Careers features articles that explore an array of flying jobs, as well as matter-of-fact advice about the state of the industry, job search tips, and employment interview do's and don'ts. View the guide on AOPA Online.

Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix.

ePilot Calendar
Rochester, New Hampshire. Skyhaven Airshow 2004 takes place August 21 and 22 at Skyhaven (DAW). Aerobatic displays, vendors, music, static displays, motorcycles, food, and seminars. Contact Paul Arsenault, 603/332-0005, or visit the Web site.

Houston, Texas. Wings and Wheels Saturday takes place August 21 at William P. Hobby (HOU). Hosted by the 1940 Air Terminal Museum. Features vintage aircraft, vintage cars, lunch, and special attractions. Fly-in visitors are asked to R.S.V.P. Contact Drew Coats, 713/454-1940, or visit the Web site.

McMinnville, Oregon. The Forty-fifth Annual Northwest Antique Airplane Club Fly-in takes place August 20 through 22 at McMinnville Municipal (MMV). The largest antique fly-in in the Northwest with more than 700 antiques, classics, warbirds, and experimentals on display. Contact J.F. Vallee, 360/281-9079, or visit the Web site.

Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
The 2004 Rapids Balloon Rally and Pancake Breakfast takes place August 27 through 29 at Alexander Field South Wood County (ISW). Pancake breakfast Saturday and Sunday mornings. Contact Kurt Gross, 715/424-3737, or visit the Web site.

Madras, Oregon. The Central Oregon Airshow takes place August 28 at City-County (S33). A full day of airplanes, gliders, aerobatics, antique cars, hotrods, food, and entertainment-don't miss it. Contact Don Mobley, 541/475-6947.

To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online .

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic is scheduled in Long Beach, California, August 28 and 29. Clinics are also scheduled in Phoenix; Sacramento, California; and Baltimore, September 11 and 12. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Renewal Online.

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