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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| THE SHORT SOLUTION |
Executing a well-flown short-field landing proves that a pilot has learned and can combine numerous flying skills. But don't judge how well you flew the maneuver strictly by its gratifying completion: Touching down at minimum control airspeed, at or within 200 feet of a specified point, as mandated by the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards. A good short-field landing is a specialized procedure that results from a stabilized approach, with the aircraft properly configured and trimmed for the recommended airspeed. This allows the pilot to use small adjustments of power or pitch to ensure a successful outcome.
Once mastered, a short-field landing isn't something to save for the flight test or occasional practice flights to smaller airports. Use it on a cross-country flight if you must land on a longer, intersected runway. Executing a short-field landing could also help if air traffic control requests you to "expedite" (see the Pilot/Controller Glossary in the Aeronautical Information Manual), allowing you to exit the runway at a taxiway close to the approach end.
Before selecting a short-field landing for a given situation, you need to know what is reasonable to expect from your aircraft-and yourself. Study the pilot's operating handbook, then add a safety margin allowing for pilot experience and performance-eroding aircraft wear and tear. If the approach must overfly an obstacle, consider adding a safety margin such as the "50-50 Solution" offered in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings . In all cases, be ready to perform a go-around (the subject of the July 25, 2003 "Training Tips") if the approach is not working out as planned. Add short-field landing skills to your bag of tricks and see your piloting confidence grow!
| Your Partner in Training |
|It's almost time for your cross-country solo, so in preparation you'll be planning and flying cross-countries with your instructor. The use of aeronautical charts is key at this point in your training. The Aeronautical Chart User's Guide is a useful learning aid. Other helpful tools designed specifically to enhance your flight planning experience can be found in the Virtual Flight Bag at AOPA Flight Training Online. |
Another useful tool to aid your cross-country planning is AOPA's Airport Directory 2005-2006 edition, featuring more than 5,300 public-use airports, airport diagrams, aviation businesses, and more. Toll-free flight service station (FSS) telephone numbers are listed for more than 5,000 public-use airports so you can call the individual FSS instead of your home-base FSS when you dial 800/WX-BRIEF on your cell phone. The directory was mailed to AOPA members this week- sign up for 12 months of AOPA membership for only $39 to receive your copy.
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 |
| NEW PILOT CERTIFICATES DISCOURAGE COUNTERFEITING |
When you receive your private pilot certificate take a look at the fine print-the really fine print. In an effort to prevent counterfeiting, new plastic certificates share something in common with the $20 bill. On the FAA's new pilot certificate, microtext forms the struts of the Wright Flyer on the front, and on the back you can find microtext on the Wright brothers' collars and the Flyer's leading edges. (It's hidden in two places on the $20.) "Some members have called our Pilot Information Center wondering what was going on with the tiny type," said Woody Cahall, AOPA vice president of aviation services. "The FAA tells us, it's not a secret code. But it is very hard to copy. It's just one of several security features on the new, more durable certificate that make it very difficult to counterfeit." The text is actually portions of a Wright anniversary speech. The plastic certificates are an interim step toward pilot certificates with photos. For more, see AOPA Online.
AMERICAN EAGLE, FLIGHTSAFETY INK PILOT RECRUITMENT DEAL
American Eagle Airlines has signed a recruitment agreement with FlightSafety Academy in Vero Beach, Florida, through which prospective applicants can train to specific standards with the goal of obtaining a job with the airline. Eligible pilots must have at least 400 hours of total flight time, including 100 hours of multiengine time, FlightSafety said. The agreement is part of FlightSafety's Direct Track program; it has a similar arrangement with Atlantic Southeast Airlines. For more information on Direct Track or other training programs, see the Web site.
DIAMOND CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF CANADIAN-BUILT AIRCRAFT
Ten years ago, Diamond Aircraft delivered its first Canadian-built aircraft to a U.S. customer. The customer was Tim Brady, then with Middle Tennessee State University, who took delivery of a Bombardier Rotax-powered DA20-A Katana. Diamond is now celebrating its tenth anniversary, and a few things have changed. The company now offers the DA20-C1 Eclipse, an updated version of the Katana, featuring a Continental engine. It also introduced a four-place composite airplane, the DA40 Diamond Star, and the twin-engine DA42 Twin Star. For more information on Diamond aircraft, see the Web site.
SPORT PILOT CHECKRIDES NOW AVAILABLE
Up until now, if you wanted to become a sport pilot you could take the training but not the checkride. That's all changed now that the first batch of eight sport pilot examiners has been approved by the FAA. Examiners approved to give sport pilot checkrides are William Bardin and Brian Carpenter, California; John Beaman and Bob Bleadon, Oregon; Roy Beisswenger, Illinois; Eric Johnson, Arizona; and Larry Littlefield and Romke Sikkema, Florida. The Light Sport Aviation Branch plans to have the examiners' contact information posted on its Web site today. If there's no examiner in your area, you may still have to wait a while for that checkride. The next batch of examiner candidates is set to begin training March 21 in Sebring, Florida.
'PROTRAINER' FLIGHT TRAINING SOFTWARE UNVEILED
Environmental Tectonics Corp. has won FAA approval for its flight training simulation software. ProTrainer PCATD for personal computer airplane training devices is approved for use in FAA-approved CAT I, II, III, and IV hardware platforms. ProTrainer Desktop is designed for home computers. Both products include training airplanes ranging from a Cessna Skyhawk through Piper Seminole and Beech Baron light twin-engine aircraft. Features include selectable and timed meteorological conditions and malfunctions; various map and out-of-the-window views; approach lighting and taxiways; and an extensive U.S. obstacle database, the company says. For more information, see the Web site.
ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION COURSES SET FOR THIS SUMMER
The University of North Dakota Aerospace Foundation and the Air Line Pilots Association are teaming up to conduct aircraft accident investigation courses this summer. Sessions are planned for June 7 through 9 and August 30 through September 1 at Grand Forks International Airport. The two-and-one-half day course is designed to give its participants hands-on experience analyzing and documenting a re-created aircraft accident, using actual wreckage. For more information or to register, visit the UND Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
AOPA WORKS WITH TSA TO RESOLVE TECHNICAL PROBLEMS
If you are a flight instructor who has taken the required Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security training but couldn't print out your certificate of completion, AOPA can help. We worked with TSA to come up with an alternate means of showing compliance. Now instructors can make an entry in a logbook or other permanent record to show that they've completed the required training. Plus, TSA has provided AOPA with alternate forms that can be used. Forms for flight school employees and independent flight instructors can be found in AOPA's online guide to the TSA security rule.
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 |
| SPORTY's DVD EXPLORES GARMIN GLASS COCKPIT TECHNOLOGY |
Planning to fly an aircraft whose cockpit sports Garmin G1000 integrated glass-panel avionics? Get a jump on this new technology with Sporty's latest DVD, "Flying the Garmin G1000." The 37-minute DVD uses flying footage (narrator Richard Collins flies Sporty's G1000-equipped Cessna 182) to show the viewer how the system operates and how best to use it in the air and on the ground. "Flying the Garmin G1000" is available for $24.95 and may be ordered online, or by calling 800/SPORTYS.
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 recently flew a night flight in preparation for my private pilot certificate. Can you give me any guidance as to which lights should be used and when? |
Answer: Professional pilots are trained that standardized usage of certain lights can increase situational awareness, especially on the ground at large airports. Whenever the master switch is on, the position (navigation) lights should be illuminated. Prior to engine start, the red beacon lights should be turned on to alert the ground crew and other pilots that the airplane is ready to move. When taxiing, the pilot should turn on the taxi light. However, when not in motion, many pilots turn the taxi light off to make it easier for others to know the aircraft is not moving. Only when cleared onto the runway should strobe lights be turned on. Finally, when cleared for takeoff, every exterior light is turned on for maximum visibility. Because lighting equipment varies in general aviation aircraft, these procedures may need to be modified. The main goal is to see and be seen, especially considering the FAA's heightened sensitivity to runway incursions (situations that create collision risks on the ground) these days. More information is available on AOPA Online.
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. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| FLYING DESTINATIONS NEXT 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.
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 Atlanta, January 31; Maryville, Tennessee, February 1; Smyrna, Tennessee, February 2; and Memphis, Tennessee, February 3. The seminar is Weather Wise. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.