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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
The November 11, 2005, Training Tips analyzed the problem, common to new pilots, of landing too far down the runway. Other trainees find themselves missing the mark on the short side. Frequently, these approaches conclude with the aircraft being "dragged" to the runway with excessive power and insufficient airspeed, well below the proper glidepath. What is wrong with these approaches?
Just as pilots who land long should ensure that they have stabilized their final-approach airspeed at the correct value, so must those who land short. If it is on target but the sight picture of the runway ahead seems to be moving up in your windscreen, or if a runway-glidepath indicator shows a trend to the low side, increase power to recapture the correct glidepath, then reduce throttle again slightly to maintain it.
Know the wind. Stronger-than-usual headwinds mean slower groundspeed on final at a given airspeed. In addition to power setting and flap configuration, this is the other variable that affects your glide. "A change in any one of these variables will require an appropriate coordinated change in the other two controllable variables. For example, if the pitch attitude is raised too high without an increase of power, the airplane will settle very rapidly and touch down short of the desired spot," explains Chapter 8 of the FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook. Trying to stretch a glide just by raising the nose to a high-drag, high-sink-rate angle of attack is a common error causing many undershoot accidents, as well as the kind of high-power, low-airspeed arrivals described above.
Remember: Winds change. Typically but not always, wind loses velocity near the ground, requiring the pilot to make small, coordinated adjustments until touchdown. Sudden or pronounced glidepath deviations or airspeed fluctuations suggest the presence of wind shear. Be especially alert for airspeed loss at low altitude-it could cause you to touch down short. "In decreasing-headwind shears, the pilot's response should be to apply power, and perform a go-around or missed approach if the airplane is so low that the situation warrants it," counseled Thomas A. Horne in the March 1999 AOPA Pilot feature "Ill Winds." For even more information, download the Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings Safety Advisor from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Web site.
Arm yourself with understanding and preparedness, and undershooting your approaches will become a thing of the past.
| Your Partner in Training |
|As an AOPA member, you also have online access to articles from AOPA's flagship publication, AOPA Pilot magazine. Simply go to the AOPA Pilot archives for a wealth of information, organized by subject. From training information to safety articles, legal issues, aviation careers, and more-take advantage of this additional AOPA membership benefit to get the most out of your training. |
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 |
FLIGHTSAFETY ACADEMY LAUNCHES NEW WEB SITE
FlightSafety Academy announced last week that it has launched a new Web site aimed at providing pilots, as well as those who aspire to become professional pilots, with information on its course offerings and career path programs. It features a "Plan Your Training" section that highlights available training options. If you're brand new to aviation, you can click on "I Have No Experience," and the site will guide you through the steps needed to begin a career as a professional pilot. The site also provides information on FlightSafety's advanced airline, business jet direct, and instructor path training programs. For more information, see the Web site.
ELECTRONIC CHARTS NOT REPLACING PAPER, YET
Jeppesen officials said they have seen no reduction in the use of paper charts despite the advent of all-electronic charts over the past several years. Speaking at the National Business Aviation Association's annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, last week, the Jeppesen representatives said that those few pilots who have switched all come from the grass-roots end of general aviation-the pilots flying piston single-engine aircraft. Corporate pilots apparently want redundancy, given that CEOs are in the back, one official said. "All our efforts to forecast when there might be a transition from paper were wrong," said one official. "We have just invested $7 million to $10 million in new printing presses."
AOPA's 2004 SWEEPSTAKES WINNER: WHERE IS HE NOW?
Roy Wilbanks, the 2004 winner of AOPA's better-than-new Piper Twin Comanche, has kept the airplane, earned his multiengine rating, and received specialized avionics training to use the Twin Comanche's Garmin stack. Now, he has more than 80 hours in the aircraft and is working on his commercial certificate. He already has passed the knowledge test. "The airplane is doing great and flying like a real dream," Wilbanks told AOPA. But you don't have to live vicariously through Wilbank. You could be the winner of AOPA's 2005 Sweepstakes Commander 112A. Read about the restoration online. If you join or renew your membership with AOPA before the end of the year, you automatically will be entered to win. Complete rules, eligibility requirements, and alternate methods of entry are available online.
| Inside AOPA |
JOIN AOPA ON THE 'PATH' TO AVIATION
Are you a pilot who is interested in sharing your enthusiasm and knowledge of flying with schoolchildren? Are you a teacher or do you know a teacher in need of new activities that tie general aviation to secondary school topics? If so, be sure to get a copy of PATH-Pilots and Teachers Handbook-AOPA's new educational book that connects math, science, physics, history, and science to the basics of GA. AOPA provides printed materials at no cost to pilots and teachers. The online catalog includes descriptions of materials available. You can request any of the materials as you read about them. There's also a bulletin board for pilots and teachers who want to connect to teach young people about aviation. To learn more about PATH, visit AOPA Online.
SUPPORT GA SAFETY BY PURCHASING HOLIDAY CARDS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation holiday cards are now available. Choose your favorite card design, address labels, and decorative seals. A portion of the proceeds from each box will help the foundation's mission to improve general aviation safety. To view the cards, or place an order, see the Web site or call 800/308-4285.
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 |
KEEP TRACK OF WEATHER INFO WITH ATIS WHEEL
Whether you fly regularly from a towered airport, at some point in your training you will get to know the automatic terminal information service (ATIS). This recorded weather and airport information is a critical piece of preflight preparation-or landing preparation-and you'll need to remember the details. The ATIS Wheel is an instrument-approach-chart-size card that is punched to fit into approach chart booklets or Jeppesen binders. The heavy-gauge cardstock has several plastic and paper wheels with which you can set weather and runway information-including a wheel that has the ATIS identifier (Alpha through Zulu) so that you can recall it easily when contacting air traffic control. The ATIS Wheel lists for $29.95 and is available through several distributors and dealers, including Sporty's Pilot Shop and Aircraft Spruce & Specialty.
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: When I call flight service for a standard weather briefing, how can I ensure that I receive all pertinent notams for my flight? |
Answer: A standard briefing will include available notams (L) pertinent to your departure and/or local area, as well as notams (D) and FDC notams pertinent to your route of flight. However, you must specifically request any notams (D) or FDC notams that are published in the Notices to Airmen publication or on the FAA's Web site. Published notams are also known as Class II notams. Chapter 7 of the Aeronautical Information Manual describes the different types of preflight briefings and what information is contained within them. As a reminder, if you receive your official weather briefings through online products, you will also need to check published notams and talk to flight service to obtain any notams (L). Regardless of which method you choose, be sure to check for any flight restrictions along your route of flight. For other useful tools to use in your preflight planning, see AOPA Online and use AOPA's Real Time Flight Planner.
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 |
|Looking for a unique gift this holiday season? Order high-quality prints from the AOPA Online Gallery. Search the hundreds of images, select your favorite, and a beautiful print will be shipped directly to your doorstep. Order by December 12 for guaranteed holiday delivery. Of course, you can still download your favorite images to use for wallpaper or send a personalized e-card. For more details, see AOPA Online. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| FLYING DESTINATIONS THIS WEEKEND: |
Houston, Texas. A Wings and Wheels Saturday takes place November 19 at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum at William P. Hobby (HOU). Event includes vintage aircraft, vintage vehicles, museum tours, lunch, and special attractions. Contact Drew Coats, 713/454-1940, or visit the Web site.
La Verne, California. The 2005 Thanksgiving Fly-in takes place November 20 at Brackett Field (POC) from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Featuring antique aircraft and classic car display. Contact Yvonne, 626/576-8692.
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 Lincoln, Nebraska, and Austin, Texas, December 3 and 4. A course is also scheduled in Chicago, December 10 and 11. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.