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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
| BRAKING BASICS |
Long before a flight test examiner watches you perform steep turns, stall recoveries, and landings, he or she will acquire a clear sense of your "feel" for an aircraft. From the moment your aircraft starts rolling, nothing puts your best foot forward like having a good touch on the brakes.
Think back to the very first time you taxied. You learned that, unlike automobiles, aircraft brakes can be used singly or together, and in combination with nosewheel (or tailwheel) steering. Later, if your taxiing was jerky and difficult, your instructor may have pointed out that you were carrying too much power for the desired taxi speed. "When beginning to taxi, advance the throttle just enough to get the airplane moving forward. Apply the brakes smoothly to ensure that they are working correctly. Assuming you have applied both brakes evenly, any pulling to one side or failure of the airplane to stop is an indication that one or both brakes have failed, which will require the attention of a mechanic. If the brakes are working correctly, release them and allow the airplane to begin moving again. Then smoothly readjust the throttle until the airplane maintains a steady brisk walking speed," Sue A. Critz wrote in the December 2004 AOPA Flight Training feature "Tackling Taxiing." Note the braking objective in the private pilot practical test standards requires that the pilot "controls direction and speed without excessive use of brakes." Download the PTS from AOPA Online.
Gentle differential braking can help keep you on the centerline during taxiing and when lining up for takeoff. In situations requiring firm braking-such as a short-field landing rollout-brake evenly without sacrificing directional control. If you need rudder or nosewheel steering along with braking, don't hesitate!
Aircraft brake system designs vary, as do steering capabilities. Some aircraft lack steerable nosewheels; others do not have brakes on the copilot's foot pedals. What are your trainer's specifications? Mark Twombly describes some typical systems in "Continuing Ed," January 2002 AOPA Flight Training.
Your braking technique on a particular flight will also be governed by surface conditions. Check notams and automatic terminal information broadcasts for braking action reports, described in the November 28, 2003, "Training Tips."
Slow, steady, straight, and smooth add up to safety on the ground.
| Your Partner in Training |
|"My local FBO has the aircraft insured; why do I need a renter's policy?" This is a question that we get from students on a regular basis. The FBO's policy does not protect you; it protects the FBO. If you damage the aircraft, the FBO's insurance company may come after you personally to recover what it paid the FBO. More important, you should have insurance designed to shield you from the really large liability claims that could result in the unlikely event that you're ever involved in an accident, as discussed in the March 2005 issue of AOPA Flight Training. For more information, see AOPA's Pilot's Guide to Aircraft Insurance or visit the AOPA Insurance Agency's Web site. |
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 |
| BESSIE COLEMAN LEGACY TO BE CELEBRATED IN FRANCE |
African-American pilots and descendants of Bessie Coleman, the first black woman to earn an international pilot certificate, will travel to France in May to commemorate Coleman's 1921 achievement. They'll pay tribute to the Caudron brothers, owners of the French flight school that trained Coleman to fly after U.S. flight schools wouldn't accept a black student pilot. Coleman returned to the United States intending to open her own flight school; she died in 1926 while training for an airshow. The Bessie Coleman Foundation Inc. says its mission is to encourage more African Americans to pursue aviation careers. The group seeks sponsors for the upcoming trip; see the Web site for more information.
PAN AM FLIGHT ACADEMY SPONSORS CAREER WORKSHOPS
How long does it take to become an airline pilot? How much does the training cost? Will there be jobs for pilots? The answers to these and other questions will be explored at a series of workshops sponsored by Pam Am International Flight Academy's Career Pilot Development Division. PAIFA counselors, administrators, placement manager, and a PAIFA graduate who is flying for the airlines will be on hand. Sessions are scheduled for April 23 in Philadelphia and April 30 in Cleveland. There's no charge, but registration is required. Call 800/837-4568. See the Web site for additional dates and locations in 2005.
SHARPEN YOUR SKILLS WITH AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION SEMINAR
With milder temperatures debuting most of the country, many pilots are making plans to fly more frequently, and student pilots are encountering the special flight challenges posed by springtime weather. Now is the time for you to hone your weather interpretation skills. Start by attending "Weather Wise," a free live seminar from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. In the two-hour session, you'll get information devoted to practical weather flying for general aviation pilots. You'll learn how to spot potentially erroneous forecasts before you take off, easy ways to perform validity checks on forecasts, and why fog doesn't burn off as promised, among other topics. See the Online Safety Center for dates and locations.
FAA ISSUES FIRST SPORT PILOT TICKET FOR POWERED PARACHUTES
Baron Tayler will go down in the aviation history books as the first pilot to receive the sport pilot certificate with powered parachute privileges. Tayler earned the certificate Monday in Boynton, Florida, in a Powrachute Pegasus. As sport pilot certification begins to take off, the FAA's Light Sport Aviation Branch also is preparing more examiners. The second sport pilot examiner initial course started Monday and will continue through Saturday. The eight candidates in the course will be working to give checkrides in airplanes, powered parachutes, or weight-shift control aircraft. More updates on sport pilot and light-sport aircraft are available on AOPA's sport pilot Web page.
ECLIPSE FOUNDERS TO SPEAK AT DANIEL WEBSTER COLLEGE FORUM
The founders of Eclipse Aviation, the company that is developing and testing a personal jet for FAA certification, will be keynote speakers April 7 at Daniel Webster College's annual "Issues in Aviation" program. Vern Raburn and Dottie Hall will discuss the future of aviation and aerospace at the free event, to be held in the Nashua, New Hampshire, college's Collings Auditorium. The Eclipse 500, a six-seat twin-turbo jet, is being produced at Eclipse's Albuquerque, New Mexico, headquarters. You can follow the jet's certification progress on Eclipse's Web site. For more information about the Daniel Webster forum, see the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
FAA FORECAST CONFERENCE HINTS AT FUTURE USER FEES
There were a few indications last week that the FAA is considering user fees to fund airport infrastructure in years to come. At the agency's Thirtieth Annual Forecast Conference in Washington, D.C., FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said that while she isn't advocating user fees "at this point," the FAA's workload is increasing while its revenue is going down. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta also mentioned a need for a "new revenue stream" for the FAA. AOPA members believe user fees would destroy general aviation in the United States, AOPA President Phil Boyer said. "We'll work for sufficient and equitable funding for the FAA. But it won't be user fees to general aviation pilots!" he said. For more, see the complete story on AOPA Online.
CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE BLASTS USER FEES, BUDGET CUTS
Members of Congress challenged Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta last week over proposed cuts in the FAA's fiscal year 2006 budget. At a hearing of the House appropriations transportation subcommittee on March 18, Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) warned that the administration's budget cuts from airport grants could "unfairly shift the burden to user fees," and that would "crush general aviation." "You cannot ask private pilots to pay $300 to $500 to land at an airport," he said. "That's like asking someone to pay $100 for a [ride on the Washington, D.C., subway system]." For more, see the news story on 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 |
| JAEBIRD AERO's FREEBIRD ILLUSTRATES FLIGHT CONDITIONS |
Jaebird Aero has developed a ground training device that simulates both flight and navigation instruments. The colorful plastic device features fairly rugged simulated flight instruments on one side, and navigation instruments on the other. You can position the instruments as needed to simulate various in-flight and navigation problems, saving valuable time in the cockpit for reinforcing the lessons learned on the ground. The unit sells for $49.95. For more information or to order, call 626/672-8363 or 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: My instructor and I have been working weight and balance calculations, and I'm realizing how important it is to stay within the aircraft's limits. Can you tell me what regulations discuss operating limitations? |
Answer: If you look at 14 CFR 23.1581, it states that each aircraft must have an approved airplane flight manual that contains information including the aircraft's operating limitations (Section 23.1583) and loading information (Section 23.1589). A thorough preflight always includes a weight and balance determination. Operating an airplane when it's overweight, or when the weight is distributed so that the center of gravity (CG) is beyond the front or rear limits, is unsafe and also renders the aircraft unairworthy, since it's being operated outside the limits stated in the type certificate. For more information on weight and balance, see "Airframe and Powerplant: How Much Does Your Airplane Weigh?" in the January 2001 issue of AOPA Pilot.
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 |
|Looking for financial help with college tuition or flight training? AOPA's aviation subject report on loans and scholarships has updated information about financial aid from a variety of sources, plus advice on how to make your application stand out from the competition. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS: |
Jasper, Texas. The Jasper Airshow takes place April 2 and 3 at Jasper County-Bell Field (JAS). Two days of World War II and modern military aircraft flying, parachuting, professional aerobatic flying, balloon rides, and much more. Free aircraft parking. Gates open at 9 a.m. both days. Contact Debbie Foster, 409/384-2626.
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 Atlanta, and Boston, April 2 and 3. Courses are also scheduled in Indianapolis, and Cincinnati, April 9 and 10. 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 Morristown, New Jersey, March 28; East Windsor, Connecticut, March 29; Billerica, Massachusetts, March 30; and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, March 30. Topics vary-for a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.