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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| GUST FACTOR |
It's been an exciting flight lesson. Now it's time to return to the airport and perform some soft-field and short-field landings [short-field landings were the subject of the January 28, 2005, "Training Tips"]. You elect to begin with a short-field procedure. Your instructor asks, "What will be your airspeed on final approach?"
Suppose you are training in a Cessna 152. The pilot's operating handbook (POH) recommends 54 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS) for a short-field landing. So is that the number your instructor wants to hear? Not necessarily. The wind is blowing. You experienced its effects during your practice of ground-reference maneuvers. On your return to the airport, the control tower (or the automated weather broadcast) reported winds of 10 knots gusting to 20. The correct final-approach airspeed today would be 59 KIAS. Why?
"The target airspeed is published in your airplane's pilot's operating handbook. It's usually very near an airspeed that's 1.3 times the power-off stall speed [Vso] in the landing configuration," explained Thomas A. Horne in "Flying Final," July 2003 AOPA Pilot. He continued, "With gusty winds, add half the gust factor to your 1.3 Vso target, as protection against shear-induced stalls."
So now you've allowed for the gusts, but don't fixate on winds at the expense of your approach. "Once you obtain the wind from the tower, do not ask for subsequent wind checks. Wind is too dynamic for that information to be helpful. What you sense is what you have, and it will change every second," counseled AOPA Flight Training columnist Ralph Butcher in the June 2004 commentary "Dancing With Winds."
By asking you to justify your choice of airspeed, your instructor is doing more than probing your knowledge and planning. The query is preparation for your flight test, during which your designated examiner might well pose the same question. The examiner will be well pleased if your answer satisfies practical test standard language for landings, which calls for you to establish a target airspeed "with gust factor applied." Announce the correct speed-then fly it the way you planned it, demonstrating your skill!
| Your Partner in Training |
|As a student pilot, a healthy number of go-arounds should be part of your dual sessions in the traffic pattern, initiated from a variety of configurations and heights above touchdown. The ability to perform them smoothly will increase your confidence. See the AOPA Pilot article, "New Pilot: Go Around," for some great tips on what can be one of aviation's most harried maneuvers. If you need more information, call our experienced pilots-available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern to answer your questions 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 |
| EMBRY-RIDDLE INKS SOFTWARE TRAINING DEAL |
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has signed a three-year agreement with software developer VTS Inc. to use its Piper Seminole and Cessna Skyhawk multimedia interactive software. The Grand Forks, Minnesota, company also offers Level 3 flight-training devices for the Skyhawk, Piper Warrior and Seminole, and Diamond Katana, in addition to its line of aircraft systems software. For more information, see the Web site.
AIRSHOW GROUP AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS
The International Council of Air Shows recently awarded several flight-training scholarships. Pamela Stafford of Olathe, Kansas, and Jason Dusel of Carbondale, Illinois, each received $1,000 scholarships toward aerobatic instruction. The French Connection scholarships were awarded in memory of airshow pilots Daniel Heligoin and Montaine Mallet, who died in May 2000 during a training accident. Carson Mashler of Fort Pierce, Florida, won a $1,000 Charlie R. Hilliard scholarship. ICAS awarded $2,000 Leo Loudenslager scholarships to Petty Officer 2nd Class Donald G. Snock II of Pensacola, Florida, a member of the Navy Blue Angels; and Cpl. Nick Katuski of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. Finally, the Jan Jones scholarship was given to Gail Schipper of Longmont, Colorado, for aerobatic training.
SWEDISH UNIVERSITY PURCHASES CIRRUS TRAINERS
Lund University School of Aviation in Sweden has purchased five Cirrus SR20-G2s to replace 18 primary and advanced training aircraft in its fleet. Cirrus' advanced engineering and safety features, including a parachute system, were said to be chief factors in the purchase. "As the primary training center for Sweden's commercial pilots, Lund students will learn to fly in an aircraft equipped with very similar avionics and systems integration found in most new commercial aircraft," said Lund Professor Sidney Dekker. For more information about Duluth, Minnesota-based Cirrus Design, see the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
AOPA HELPS MOVE FSS INTO 21st CENTURY
Flight service stations are getting a makeover that will give pilots more and better access to information that's critical to the safety of flight. Just two days after being named the winning bidder for the contract to run the flight service station (FSS) system, Lockheed Martin officials came to AOPA headquarters Thursday to outline the details of their plan. It includes the addition of modern tools like interactive online briefings that will allow pilots to look at the same information as FSS briefers, online flight planning, and alerts sent to your e-mail address or personal digital assistant (PDA) when conditions affecting your flight change. In-flight and telephone briefings will continue to be available, and flight instructors will be allowed to take students on tours of the new facilities and get walk-in weather briefings just as they have done in the past. "Better service and no fees. That's the bottom line for pilots," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "And as the consumer advocate for general aviation pilots, AOPA fought in the halls of Congress and the FAA to make sure that FSS customers are going to get the service they need." The FAA decided to outsource the FSS system as a cost-cutting measure, and AOPA worked closely with all the bidders to ensure that they understood the needs of general aviation pilots and would take a customer-centric approach to modernization. Pilots won't see any changes immediately. Lockheed will officially take control of the system October 1 and said it will make no changes for six months. The company plans to have its system fully operational in April 2006.
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 |
| OREGON AERO WANTS TO UPGRADE YOUR HEADSET |
You love your headset, but you wish it were a little more comfortable. Or quieter. Or perhaps you don't love your headset but can't afford to invest in a new one. Oregon Aero offers "painless and quieter" aviation headset upgrades in which you can choose various components like ear and headset cushions, ear seal covers, passive noise attenuation kits, or microphone muffs. Choose the bunch for one price, or buy them separately. Prices range from about $32 to $123 for the complete upgrade, depending on your headset's make and model. See the Web site for more information.
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 am training for my private pilot certificate at an airport without a control tower but will soon be taking flight lessons into tower-controlled airports. I'm a little nervous about communicating with air traffic control (ATC). Does AOPA have any information that can help me? |
Answer: It's not unusual for student pilots to feel a bit intimidated by ATC, but with knowledge of the system and a little practice, you'll soon feel more comfortable. AOPA has a publication, ATC Communications, that will provide you with helpful, practical information on communicating like the pros and also give you a broader understanding of how the ATC system works. A good rule of thumb for talking with ATC is to tell them who you are, where you are, and what you want to do. Chapter 4, Section 2 of the Aeronautical Information Manual discusses radio technique and gives examples of correct contact procedures. You might also want to download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor, Operations at Towered Airports , which details proper airport procedures both in the air and on the ground.
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 images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|What is a flight-training device? FTDs are learning tools that can help you in all phases of your flying-as a student; when you are training for the instrument rating; or working toward a type rating. It's important to understand the differences so that you can log 'sim' time where applicable. Find out all about it in AOPA's new aviation subject report. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| FLYING DESTINATIONS THIS WEEKEND: |
St. Louis, Missouri. The Midwest Aviation Fair takes place February 5 and 6 at St. Louis University. This exciting event includes an FAA safety seminar, the Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association's Flight Instructors Revalidation Clinic, and booths and displays by clubs and organizations representing flight activities. Visit the Web site.
Ontario, California. The Soaring Society of America National Convention takes place February 9 through 12 at Ontario, California. Seminars, demonstrations, full-scale glider flight simulator, 25 vintage, and current state-of-the-art sailplanes on display. Contact Gaynell Temple, 505/392-1177, 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 Louisville, Kentucky; New Orleans; and Oklahoma City, February 12 and 13. Courses are also scheduled in Sacramento, California; Nashua, New Hampshire; Las Vegas; and Ft. Worth, Texas, February 19 and 20. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Little Rock, Arkansas, February 7; Springdale, Arkansas, February 8; Oklahoma City, February 9; and Wichita, February 10. The seminar is Weather Wise. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.