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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
LICKING LONG LANDINGS
When pilots first learn to land an airplane, achieving consistency is the challenge. Usually the most stubborn problem is landing too far down the runway. Fixing this isn't always easy, but careful examination of your technique can provide the solution.
How is your airspeed on final approach? Just a few extra knots over recommended airspeed can result in floating past your touchdown aim point. Airspeed's OK? Check power. If configuration and airspeed are on target but the runway still disappears under the nose, indicating that you are above the glidepath, you may be carrying excessive power. During a normal touchdown, idle power is the goal. The forward slip, described in the June 7, 2002, "Training Tips," is another altitude-losing resource at your disposal.
Think about the way you fly traffic patterns during practice sessions. If your downwind leg is flown too close to the runway, you'll rush things. Widen out, giving yourself time for reconfiguring, retrimming, and checking your position. "When to turn to the base leg? Most instructors say you should wait until the approach end of the landing runway is at a position 45 degrees behind you. You don't want to fly too far from the runway on downwind, but you also don't want to turn to the base leg prematurely and be too high. This would tempt you into a steep, high-airspeed descent on base and final-something you want to avoid. A nice, steady, stabilized rate of descent at a constant airspeed is the goal-and the secret to good, consistent landings," Thomas A. Horne wrote in the May 2003 AOPA Pilot feature "Pattern Perfection." Still not working? Go around and try again-this is always a valid option.
"If you get in the habit of landing long and fast, some day you're going to be forced into landing on a runway that is shorter than you're used to, and even though that runway isn't really short, your technique will make it short," wrote Budd Davisson in his October 2003 AOPA Flight Training feature "Precision Touchdowns: Land Exactly Where You Want To." For an in-depth look at this important phase of flight, download The Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings Safety Advisor from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Web site.
Take the methodical approach to licking long landings now and you will avoid faulty approaches later, when you take on more challenging aircraft, winds, and runways.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Should I choose a Part 61 or Part 141 school? Is there an easy mental note to use in recovering from an inadvertent spin? Are my flight training expenses tax deductible? No question is too tough or too trivial for the Pilot Information Center aviation specialists at 800/USA-AOPA. Do you have a question that you're too embarrassed to ask your flight instructor, or that must be answered quickly and you can't reach your instructor? Our specialists, who are either CFIs or experienced pilots, are available weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time to answer all your questions. |
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 |
VIRGINIA IMMERSION PROGRAM PILOT EARNS SPORT CERTIFICATE
The immersion program at Sky Bryce airport in Basye, Virginia, has produced its first sport pilot. Gilad Gill of the Bronx, New York, earned a sport pilot certificate over a 13-day period in October and November. According to Mid-Atlantic Sports Planes Regional Center, Gill might have finished up sooner if the remnants of Hurricane Wilma hadn't interfered. The immersion program is aimed at helping enrollees obtain a sport pilot certificate in as short a time as possible. For more information, see the Web site.
SYMPHONY PICKS SKYLINE AERONAUTICS TO PROVIDE TRAINING
Symphony Aircraft Industries has tapped Skyline Aeronautics of St. Louis, Missouri, to be the training developer and provider for its 141 FITS Avidyne glass cockpit transition course. The transitional and instructional training will be provided to customers before they take delivery of a Symphony SA 160. The training will include a two-day course that includes classroom and flight time plus a check flight/graduation ride showing that the student understands what he or she has learned and will continue to be safe, Symphony said. For more information on Symphony aircraft, see the Web site.
LIBERTY AEROSPACE ANNOUNCES LIBERTY FLIGHT SCHOOL PROGRAM
Flight schools that put Liberty XL2 aircraft on the flight line will be getting additional services from the parent company's Liberty Flight School (LFS) program. The initial focus of the program, announced November 8, will be marketing and direct sales services offered by Liberty Aerospace Inc. to secure new student starts for LFS participating schools. "The program is an integrated marketing and phone-based sales program designed to go beyond other industry programs by targeting 'student registrations' into a LFS participating flight school," the company said. Respondents to Liberty's advertising and promotional efforts will be directed to contact sales associates who will focus on registering students into a specific flight school's curriculum. "The goal is to close the deal by actually collecting a deposit and securing registration into a LFS curriculum," said Liberty's Keith Markley. For more information, see the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
NPRM REOPENS COMMENT PERIOD ON WASHINGTON ADIZ
Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta promised it last Thursday at AOPA Expo in Tampa, Florida. Now the FAA has delivered the formal paperwork, reopening the comment period on the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). Already more than 18,600 pilots-an unprecedented number-have spoken out against making the ADIZ permanent around Washington and against allowing ADIZs to metastasize to other Class B airspace. Pilots now have until February 6, 2006, to file their comments. And the FAA has also granted AOPA's request for public meetings on the ADIZ, saying that the meeting dates will be published in a future document. "Even with the weight of more than 18,600 comments, the public meetings are important as well," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "And besides the FAA, officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, and Secret Service need to be front and center at these meetings. They're the ones making decisions controlling the airspace; they need to look pilots in the eye and hear firsthand what their decisions are doing to general aviation." Meanwhile, the nation's political leaders continue to speak out against the ADIZ. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) was particularly vociferous against the ADIZ during his address to AOPA Expo. Another 46 members of Congress have put their opposition on record. See AOPA Online.
EXPO 2005 IS OVER; GET READY FOR EXPO 2006 IN PALM SPRINGS
Thousands of pilots and aviation enthusiasts spent three glorious days in sunny Tampa, Florida, and are now back home, laden with new toys. More than 8,500 people attended the show, with some 1,200 airplanes flying in for the event. During their three days in Tampa, Expo-goers attended more than 70 hours of seminars, got up close to more than 100 aircraft on display, and purchased everything from headsets to airplanes. Highlights included an appearance by Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, who announced at the opening general session that he had directed the FAA to extend the comment period and hold AOPA-requested public meetings on the plan to make the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) permanent. With more than 18,600 comments filed so far, pilots are making sure the FAA knows they think the ADIZ should not be made permanent. Pilots also heard from representatives of the light sport aircraft, technically advanced aircraft, and very light jet segments speak about their vision for GA's future. And Expo was the perfect opportunity for AOPA to present a number of prestigious awards and for members to socialize at evening events. With Expo 2005 a happy memory, it's time to look ahead to Expo 2006. Save the dates-November 9 through 11-in Palm Springs, California. Not only will you get to enjoy great weather and dramatic scenery, you'll be treated to a real spectacle during the "parade of planes" when dozens of your favorite aircraft taxi through the streets of town en route to the convention center on November 8. See AOPA Online for complete Expo coverage.
AOPA RECOGNIZES PILOT MILESTONES AT EXPO
This year's successful AOPA Expo, the first to be held in Tampa, Florida, wrapped up on the evening of November 5. But before the conclusion, AOPA took a few moments to recognize some milestones among members of the audience. AOPA President Phil Boyer introduced Edwin Hoffmire of Clifton, New Jersey, who at age 96 was the oldest pilot to attend Expo. Boyer asked Hoffmire if "they had GPS in your day?" "I don't think they had ADF in my day," Hoffmire quipped. The newest private pilot at Expo was Sherry Gettinger of Fairview, North Carolina, who earned her certificate on October 27. She said she and her husband are shopping for an airplane, and she's leaning toward a Cessna 182. The pilot who traveled the farthest was Howard Wolvington, who flew his Piper Comanche 250 from Seattle, Washington, to Florida-a trip of more than 2,000 nm. What was to be a five-leg, 2.5-day trip wound up taking five days, he said. The youngest pilot was Laura Thompson, 18, of Tampa. She received a round of applause in absentia because, Boyer explained, she was on duty at Peter O. Knight Airport, one of the three host airports for this year's Expo, where she works to pay for her flying lessons.
GIVE TO ASF AND GET A FREE CALENDAR
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation calendar program is a way to help support its free aviation safety programs. Anyone wishing to receive the 2006 calendar may do so by becoming a donor with a gift of $10 or more. For more information, call 800/USA-AOPA, or visit the Web site.
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 |
SEAT BACK FLIGHT BAG ORGANIZES TRIP ESSENTIALS
A solo cross-country trip can create a lot of head-scratching when it's time to plan for the flight. What to bring? What not to bring? Should you stow a water bottle in the backseat or up front in the copilot's seat? What if it rolls off the seat and becomes wedged beneath a rudder pedal? Sporty's offers a solution. The Seat Back Organizer is a flight bag that is secured to the copilot's seat back. The things you might need in flight-books, pens and pencils, flashlights, handheld GPS or transceiver-are kept in one place and within reach. The bag sells for $69.95. Order online from Sporty's or call 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: What is a "braking action report," and how do I receive one for an airport? |
Answer: Chapter 4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual describes braking action reports and advisories. Braking action reports are made by pilots or by airport management, as necessary, to report surface conditions at an airport. Pilots can receive this information from ATC or during preflight planning by checking distant notices to airmen, or notams. The description used when giving a report should be "good," "fair," "poor," or "nil" along with the location where the conditions were experienced. In notam format you may see the description written as "BA GOOD" or "BRAG" for good braking action, "BRAF" for fair, "BRAP" for poor, and "BRAN" for nil. Some airports provide "runway friction reports" instead of braking action reports, which are given as MU values. MU values don't correspond officially to any braking action description, but they can give you an idea of runway condition. A MU reading of 40 or less is a level when braking action will begin to deteriorate and directional control will become increasingly difficult. For additional information on braking action and runway friction reports, download the Safety Brief from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Web site.
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 |
|Are you contemplating a trip south of the border? While student pilots can't fly solo outside the United States, a private pilot can fly to Mexico, Canada, and other exotic locations. But as with all things in aviation, preparation for this type of trip is key, as there are Customs paperwork and other requirements that you won't encounter at your home airport. Read the latest trip reports from Mexico, filed by your fellow AOPA members. If this is your first trip outside of the United States, be sure to read International Flying and Alaska. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| FLYING DESTINATIONS THIS WEEKEND: |
Waco, Texas. The Texas Air Fiesta 2005 takes place November 12 at Tstc Waco (CNW). All-day event featuring static display of Commemorative Air Force aircraft, active duty military aircraft, and civilian aircraft. Aerial demonstrations/airshow from 12 until 4:30 p.m. Contact Harold E. Rafuse, 254/776-9511, ext. 213.
Riverside/Rubidoux, California. A Veteran's Day Aerial Extravaganza takes place November 12 and 13 at Flabob (RIR). Activities for the whole family, warbirds flying in and on display, and more. Contact Kathy Rohm, 951/683-2309, ext. 104.
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 San Diego; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Reston, Virginia, November 19 and 20. Courses are also scheduled in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Austin, Texas, December 3 and 4. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.