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Copyright © 2004 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| CALCULATING THE CROSSWIND COMPONENT |
Practiced enough crosswind landings? Think again. Sharpening crosswind skills-the subject of this newsletter's Training Tips on December 28, 2001 and again on March 7, 2003-is always beneficial because winds are ever-changing. Your flight instructor will introduce and rigorously drill you on crosswind technique; later, she will specify a maximum crosswind component (in knots) as one limitation for your solo flights.
Only on occasion does the wind blow directly down the runway (when it has no crosswind component) or perpendicular to it (when the crosswind component equals the wind speed). At other times, you must compute crosswind components on your flight computer, a crosswind chart, or an online flight-data calculator.
Suppose a pilot is landing on Runway 33 (magnetic bearing 330 degrees) with reported surface winds of 290 degrees (40 degrees off the runway bearing) at 15 kt. The crosswind component is 10 kt. In other words, on Runway 33 there is as much crosswind with a wind direction/speed of 290/15 as there would be with a direct 10-kt crosswind (the combination 240/10). But note an important difference: The "headwind" component of 290/15 is 12 kt; at 240/10 it is zero. The aircraft's groundspeed when landing is 12 kt lower when the wind is 290/15.
Suppose the wind shifts to 300/16: The crosswind component drops to 8 kt! This illustrates a rule of thumb for estimating crosswind components: "If the wind is 30 degrees off the nose, the crosswind component is half the wind speed. If the wind is 50 degrees off, the crosswind component is roughly 75 percent of the wind speed. For 70 degrees, the crosswind component is about 90 percent of the wind speed," wrote Robert N. Rossier in the December 1997 Flight Training column, "Flying Smart: Crosswind Landings."
Another number to know is the aircraft's "maximum demonstrated crosswind velocity." One manufacturer defines this as "the velocity of the crosswind component of which adequate control of the airplane during takeoff and landing was actually demonstrated during certification tests." Although it is not an operating limitation, it deserves your respect; new pilots and especially students should not try to test it. Find out how to determine this value for some pre-1975 aircraft in the July 2000 AOPA Flight Training article "Charting the Wind," by AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg.
In "Wx Watch: Working the Wind" in the March 2001 AOPA Pilot, Thomas A. Horne exhorts all pilots to stay sharp through practice. Like so many other things in aviation, hard work here will provide benefits beyond measure.
| Your Partner in Training |
|In the world of aviation weather abbreviations and acronyms, pilot reports of weather conditions are known as "pireps." Pireps not only assist other pilots with their go/no-go decisions, they confirm or contradict the weather forecast. Meteorologists may amend the forecast as necessary, based on the pireps they receive. Ask for reports during preflight briefings. If you're uncomfortable making pilot reports, or haven't learned how, check out the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's free SkySpotter online course. |
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. For login information, click here.
| Flight Training News |
| ONLINE MEETING ON CHARITY/SIGHTSEEING RULE BEGINS |
The FAA's virtual public meeting on a proposed regulation that would place stricter limits on charity flights and commercial sightseeing operations began February 23. If implemented, the rule would boost the required minimum number of flight hours from 200 to 500 for pilots who conduct charity flights. It would also impose new requirements for air tour operators, and would change the rules governing sightseeing flights conducted within 24 nm of an airport. AOPA fears that the changes, which include requiring such operators to obtain commercial certification under FAR Part 135, would force numerous small businesses to close. Rather than hold a face-to-face meeting, the agency has chosen to respond to comments submitted via its Web site during normal business hours. You can participate in the forum until 4:30 p.m. (EST) March 5.
FLIGHT SCHOOL PROMOTES 'REAL-WORLD' MULTI PROGRAM
St. Louis-based flight school Langa Air, Inc. has partnered with two commercial air charter/cargo operators to offer the First Officer Fast-Track program. The FBO says the program is structured to allow participants to build "real-world, high-quality multiengine experience." After completing an accelerated introductory training program, first officer candidates can build flight time in the aircraft of partners Central Air Southwest or Ameriflight. Participants can purchase time at $20-$30 per hour, can expect to build 60 to 100 flight hours per month, and will be entitled to preferential hiring by the commercial operators once they archive minimum flight levels and positions become available, according to the flight school. For more information, see the flight school Web site.
NEW JERSEY BUYS AIRPORT
The State of New Jersey has agreed to buy South Jersey Regional Airport (VAY) in Lumberton. The purchase is part of New Jersey's innovative plan to maintain what it calls the core aviation requirements of the state. The current owners of South Jersey Regional had been trying since the late 1980s to make the airport profitable. South Jersey is the second airport that the state has bought outright. "By purchasing development rights or outright buying airports, Gov. James McGreevey and the state Division of Aeronautics are taking concrete steps to ensure that the state has adequate aviation infrastructure," said AOPA President Phil Boyer.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA HELPS DEFEND FLIGHT-TRAINING SUIT |
As legal action ramps up against four Massachusetts pilots who face a lawsuit filed by an area anti-noise group, AOPA is ready to take the case through the federal system if necessary, AOPA President Phil Boyer said. The group, Stop the Noise, is headed by a lawyer who claims that aerobatic practice and training flights violate the group's property rights and create noise pollution. The pilots contend that they have conducted their aerobatic flights in compliance with the federal aviation regulations. AOPA has presented the pilots' attorneys with extensive legal research to help in their defense, has made a significant donation toward the cost of their legal fees, and plans to file a "friend of the court" brief. Boyer also met with the managing editor and staff writer of a local newspaper that has been covering the lawsuit; he gave them a comprehensive overview of general aviation, including statistics on the economic benefits of GA. For more, see the news story at AOPA Online.
| Training Products |
| GLEIM ENTERS THE FLIGHT BAG COMPETITION |
Looking for a basic, sturdy flight bag? A new entry from Gleim Publications has many amenities of a higher-end tote, such as a zippered end compartment large enough to hold a headset; another that could carry a transceiver or a handheld GPS; interior dividers; and an interior loop to secure a set of keys or a second headset. Adjacent pockets on one side could store folded charts or an Airport/Facility Directory; the other side has a roomy zippered pocket. The bag measures approximately 18 by 6 by 12 inches and comes in black. It sells for $39.95 and may be ordered online. The flight bag replaces the book bag previously included in Gleim pilot kits.
| Final Exam |
| Question: I've heard the term "category" used to describe both airplanes and pilot ratings, and I'm confused about which is correct. Can you give me a definition of "category"? |
Answer: Actually, "category" is correctly used in the context of both aircraft and airmen, though with different meanings for each. When referring to "airmen" certification, category means a broad classification of aircraft-or instance, airplane; rotorcraft; glider; lighter-than-air; or powered lift. A pilot could be certified for "airplane single-engine land," with "airplane" being the category of aircraft. When describing "aircraft certification," category refers to the way aircraft are grouped, based on operating limitations or intended use. For instance, aircraft are certified in these categories: transport, normal, utility, acrobatic, limited, restricted, or provisional.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to email@example.com 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 has been updated with photos from the March issue of , featuring the Cessna 182T Skylane. 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 |
|Updated airport taxi diagrams from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, effective from February 19 to April 15, are now available from AOPA Online. Taxi diagrams are useful to carry on all kinds of flights, but they are particularly helpful for trips to unfamiliar towered airports to help you orient yourself after you have landed the aircraft, and to prevent you from taxiing where you should not go. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Costa Mesa, California. The 2004 Aviation Maintenance Technicians and Safety Symposium takes place February 26 and 27 at the Orange County Fairgrounds. Join us for FAA and industry speakers, trade show and exhibits, and much more. Free to all aviation enthusiasts. Contact George Mahurin, 562/420-1755, ext. 136, or visit the Web site.
Casa Grande, Arizona. The Forty-sixth Annual Cactus Antique Aircraft Fly-in takes place March 5 through 7 at Casa Grande Municipal (CGZ). See antique airplanes, warbirds, and homebuilts. Contact David Sirota, 520/742-1136, or visit the Web site.
Fargo, North Dakota. The Upper Midwest Aviation Symposium takes place March 7 through 9 at the Ramada Plaza Suites. This year's theme is "Exploring the Second Century of Flight." The event will feature education forums, static display, trade show, an awards banquet, and an induction ceremony by the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame. Contact Dan Kasowski, 701/777-7911.
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 Phoenix; Ontario, California; and Norfolk, Virginia, March 6 and 7. Clinics are also scheduled in Reno, Nevada, March 10 and 11; and Philadelphia, March 13 and 14. 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 Schools will take place in Phoenix, March 7, and Philadelphia, March 14. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and Hudson, North Carolina, March 1; Asheboro, North Carolina, and Kent, Ohio, March 2; Kinston, North Carolina, and Whitehall, Ohio, March 3; Indianapolis, and West Columbia, Sourh Carolina, March 4; and Greenville, South Carolina, March 5. The topic is Maneuvering Flight-Hazardous to Your Health? For complete details, see AOPA Online.