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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| AERODYNAMIC BRAKING |
Have you sometimes wondered why flight instructors make such a fuss about your remembering to hold back-pressure on the yoke after the aircraft touches down during a normal landing? Why not simply lower the nose and apply brakes?
The answer lies in something called aerodynamic braking. Before the rolling aircraft is firmly planted on its wheels, the same drag induced by flying at a high angle of attack helps to slow the aircraft on the ground. Lowering the nose at this stage would cause the aircraft to accelerate, making control on the ground tricky. "After the main wheels make initial contact with the ground, back-elevator pressure should be held to maintain a positive angle of attack for aerodynamic braking, and to hold the nosewheel off the ground until the airplane decelerates. As the airplane's momentum decreases, back-elevator pressure may be gradually relaxed to allow the nosewheel to gently settle onto the runway," explains Chapter 8 of the Airplane Flying Handbook. That's when nosewheel steering and any needed braking come in.
Gain comfort with the concept and use of aerodynamic braking, and you will find that not-so-normal landings also are easier than they seem. No-flap landings are one example; the technique is described in the January 2005 AOPA Flight Training feature "No Flaps? No Problem." In this case, the use of aerodynamic braking helps make up for the absence of the drag that would have been added by using flaps. So then it will come as no surprise that aerodynamic braking plays an important role in a proper soft-field landing-definitely a situation where prompt deceleration after touchdown is desired, but so is keeping the nosewheel off rough ground as long as possible. Quite a balancing act, or so it seems. But not really. "During a soft-field landing, how much aerodynamic braking is enough? Expect your examiner to ask such questions. In your answers, remember that controllability is the overriding concern," counsels Dave Wilkerson in his informative "Checkride" column in the May 2001 AOPA Flight Training.
Aerodynamic braking is a control resource when you need it most: That delicate interval when an aircraft is part flying machine, part ground vehicle.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Don't wait until the last minute-or the day before you're ready to solo-to get your student pilot medical certificate. View the Frequently Asked Medical Certification Questions and use AOPA's TurboMedical, an online form that takes you step by step through the medical application and flags any problem areas. If you still have questions, call our Aviation Medical Services certification specialists at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern. |
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 |
| HOT OR NOT? LOOK IT UP IN SPECIAL-USE AIRSPACE DATABASE |
It's finally here. Now with a click of your mouse, you can find out whether any special-use airspace (SUA)-restricted area, military operations area, military route, or warning area-anywhere in the country is going to be "hot." Now you'll know where the fast-movers are and whether you can take that shortcut through the MOA or restricted area. This month, the FAA finally brought every single controlling agency into the fold, something AOPA has been pushing for since 2001. It's called SAMS (special-use airspace management system), an online database of what airspace the military is actually using. It updates every six minutes, and the schedule is accurate at least 24 hours in advance. See AOPA Online.
EMBRY-RIDDLE EARNS TOP AEROSPACE COLLEGE RANKING
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has earned a top spot in the U.S. News & World Report 2006 "America's Best Colleges" guide. The Daytona Beach, Florida, campus was ranked first in aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering among schools where the highest degree is a master's. The U.S. Air Force Academy was second, followed by ERAU's Prescott, Arizona, campus, which tied for third place with the U.S. Naval Academy. For more information on the "Best Colleges" guide, see U.S. News & World Report's Web site.
AVIATION CHARTER SCHOOL OPENS AT FLABOB AIRPORT
When school opens in Riverside, California, at least 25 students will be heading to a new aviation charter school opening at Flabob Airport. The Wathen Foundation is launching the school, known as the Wathen Aviation High School. It will offer a four-year program featuring academic subjects relating to aviation along with hands-on experience in aircraft construction and maintenance. Students will spend three days a week in classes at the airport; during the remaining part of the week they'll study at home, work with teachers, or complete aviation projects. "This is a program for young people who have a clear sense of direction in their lives, or who want to experience enough aviation to make a career decision," said Wathen Foundation Academy President Art Peterson. For more information, see the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
| FIND IT FAST IN AOPA's 'MAROON PAGES' |
AOPA's Pilot Information Center-the folks you can call with aviation questions-has made its online resources easier to find. "Every year, the technical specialists in AOPA's Pilot information Center answer more than 100,000 phone calls and e-mails from members," said Woody Cahall, AOPA vice president of aviation services. "So we know what pilots want to know. And now we've reorganized our online resources to give you easy access to the information you most often request." There are now seven information categories: becoming a pilot, advanced flight training, aircraft ownership, medical certification, planning a flight, and international and Alaska flying. You'll also find a library with the Federal Aviation Regulations, the Aeronautical Information Manual, and much more. See AOPA Online.
HAVE YOU UPDATED YOUR AOPA MEMBER PROFILE?
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 |
| KING SCHOOLS PRESENTS HIGH-ALTITUDE GROUND TRAINING COURSE |
Pilots who fly or aspire to fly pressurized aircraft can complete the ground training requirement for an FAA high-altitude endorsement through a new online course offered by King Schools. "High Altitude Endorsement Ground Training" covers high-altitude aerodynamics, high-altitude meteorology, respiration and hypoxia, using supplemental oxygen, pressurization, and FAA oxygen requirements. The training takes two hours to complete, and you can review the material up to 90 days after you've completed the course. It costs $249. For more information, see the Web site.
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: I've been experiencing difficulty transitioning smoothly from the approach into the flare for landing. Do you have any suggestions? |
Answer: Each landing consists of several phases, and more often than not, student pilots learning to perform consistent and smooth landings miss a critical phase of the landing-leveling off. A momentary level-off can help you "feel" what the airplane wants to do and provide indications as to when you should flare or apply more back-pressure on the controls. Too much airspeed and the airplane isn't ready to touch down; too little airspeed and it might drop too quickly, indicating the need for a little power. Once you've mastered this technique you'll find that the flare is timed more appropriately and you'll make better landings. For more information, see AOPA Online.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to email@example.com 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 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 |
| UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS: |
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. The Fifth Annual Wisconsin Rapids Balloon Rally and Music Fest takes place August 26 through 28 at Alexander Field South Wood County (ISW). Airplane and helicopter rides, skydiving demonstrations, and balloon launches and glows throughout the weekend. Proceeds benefit the Children's Miracle Network. Contact Rose Dorcey, 715/421-0055, or visit the Web site.
Albany, Oregon. The Wah Chang Northwest Art and Air Festival takes place August 26 through 28 at Albany Municipal (S12). Featuring hot air balloons, airplane displays and rides, Young Eagle flights, live music and performing artists, and more. Contact Jan Taylor, 541/917-7777, or visit the Web site.
Camarillo, California. The EAA Chapter 723 Camarillo Airshow takes place August 27 and 28 at Camarillo (CMA). Featuring performances by Rob Harrison in his Zlin 50 and Ellsworth Getchell with the Hawker Sea Fury. Contact Larry Beckett, 805/383-0686, or visit the Web site.
To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Sacramento, California, and Columbia, Maryland, September 10 and 11. Courses are also scheduled in Phoenix, and Des Moines, Iowa, September 17 and 18. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.