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Copyright © 2005 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
A student pilot doesn't get far into flight training before encountering the term "directional control." It is an element of any correct takeoff or landing, but mastering it takes patience and practice. Add some gusts or a crosswind, and any flaws in your technique will become evident. Loss of directional control is a common cause of takeoff and landing accidents in which an aircraft "departed" a runway. Look up the taxiing, takeoff, and landing tasks in the private pilot Practical Test Standards, and you will see that how well you maintain directional control, combined with proper positioning on or above the runway, is carefully evaluated.
Respond quickly, not excessively, to changing aerodynamic conditions on takeoff or landing and you will meet the challenge. When applying power for takeoff, avoid jamming the throttle forward, which could yaw the airplane to the left, causing problems from the start. Throttle up firmly but gradually, adding right rudder pressure to hold a straight track down the runway. Remember that rudder, elevator, and aileron all become more effective as airspeed increases. Adjust control inputs in recognition of this aerodynamic reality. "Watch for overcontrol of the rudder pedals on the takeoff run. Because a takeoff involves high speeds, it is normal to feel a 'rush' during the takeoff run. Everything seems to be happening at once. This sense of urgency can cause overcontrolling of the rudder pedals. The student should try to relax and realize that as the aircraft gathers speed, progressively smaller rudder pedal inputs will be required to keep the aircraft tracking the centerline," wrote Christopher L. Parker in the "Instructor Report" column from the April 2003 AOPA Flight Training. On landing, control inputs must be increased as the aircraft decelerates, such as for keeping the aircraft pointed straight ahead (rudder) and any aileron being used to hold down the upwind wing in a crosswind.
If a takeoff run does become directionally unstable, aborting it should be a strategic option, as discussed in the March 11, 2005, Training Tips. When landing, a go-around is the right call if things come unglued-yes, even if the airplane is already on the ground. Directional control is not a flight test "task" in of and itself-just a necessary skill for making larger tasks come out right.
| Your Partner in Training |
|As an AOPA member, you also have access to AOPA's flagship publication- AOPA Pilot magazine. Visit the AOPA Pilot magazine archives on AOPA Online for a wealth of information right at your fingertips. From training information to safety articles to legal issues to aviation careers-and more-be sure to take advantage of this additional AOPA member 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 |
EMBRY-RIDDLE PRESIDENT STEPS DOWN
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University President George Ebbs has announced that he will step down on November 30. "Many aspects of my vision, my hopes, and my dreams for this institution have been realized," he said. "We are academically strong, financially sound, and recognized as the leader in aviation and aerospace education worldwide." Before Ebbs became president of the university in 1998, he was the CEO of an aerospace consulting firm in Park City, Utah. Ebbs said he is looking forward to spending time with his family but will consider new challenges. The university's provost, John Johnson, will serve as interim president while the ERAU Board of Trustees searches for a new leader over the next year.
ILLINOIS SALES COMPANY GOES LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT
Great American Aircraft of Aurora, Illinois, has decided to get into the light sport aircraft (LSA) business "for the fun of it." The company had been focused on selling high-end single-engine airplanes and corporate twins but decided to take a different route. Great American bought six new airplanes-three Breezers and three C42s-from Sportsplanes.com. Two of the airplanes will be used for training, two as demonstrators, and the remaining two for sales. "We anticipate doing a brisk business with the new LSAs as the infrastructure is created to provide training and service. These light aircraft are a joy to fly and reduced cost of getting a Sport Pilot license in only 20 hours will have a big impact on aviation as the general public becomes aware of the opportunity," said Great American sales manager Tim Ryan. He added that the certificate could be had for between $2,500 and $4,000.
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA SEES MORE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
The University of North Dakota has inked a deal with Tokai University to teach more than 120 Japanese students beginning in April 2007 at the Grand Forks, North Dakota, campus. The idea is to provide the aviation students with a broader education. All Nippon Airways is also involved in the program.
| Inside AOPA |
FAA ADMINISTRATOR PRAISES AOPA's SAFETY EFFORTS
Speaking before a Senate committee on Thursday, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey had high praise for AOPA's efforts to improve general aviation safety. In her written testimony before the aviation subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee, Blakey said the FAA had partnered with AOPA and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation to reduce runway incursions, and specifically mentioned AOPA's online Runway Safety Program. "We have developed and promoted runway safety training material in conjunction with organizations such as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Air Safety Foundation," said Blakey. "Since its inception, an average of 1,800 pilots a month have completed the [Runway Safety] program." See AOPA Online.
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 |
GET MOBILE WEATHER ANYTIME, ANYWHERE
WxNotice.com has just released a new weather briefing service for pilots called Weather Notice. The technology can send weather reports to cell phones, PDAs, or e-mail addresses. Textual reports, weather images, and temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) are available. Users can also make requests for weather reports and images and have them arrive electronically within minutes, the company said. For more information, 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: I have noticed during my training flights that the magnetic compass doesn't always match the heading indicator while turning. Is there a reason for that? |
Answer: Yes. The Earth's lines of magnetic force are parallel to the Earth's surface at the equator and perpendicular to the Earth's surface at the magnetic poles. At the equator, the attraction of the magnetic compass toward the North or South Pole is equal. At the poles, the attraction of the magnetic compass needle toward the nearest pole is increased. Because the compass needle seeks to align itself with the lines of magnetic force, this causes a magnetic dip while turning. And because the magnets in the compass are oriented horizontally in level flight, dip errors only occur when the airplane is banked. With the airplane banked, the magnets in the compass are now given the chance to move vertically, causing the magnets to tilt downward. This causes an initial error in the compass indication until the magnets have a chance to properly align themselves and indicate the correct heading. The turning error causes the compass to lead or lag the actual magnetic heading and is most pronounced when turning from a north or south heading. In the Northern Hemisphere, the lag occurs when turning from a north heading and the compass leads when turning from a south heading. There is no error when turning from an east or west heading. For additional information on magnetic compass errors, see 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 |
|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. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
| NEVER AGAIN ONLINE: CARBON MONOXIDE IN THE COCKPIT |
Generally odorless but dangerous, carbon monoxide gas is difficult to detect with potentially fatal results. Read how this pilot experienced and dealt with the effects of CO poisoning in "That queasy feeling," the latest installment of Never Again Online.
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| FLYING DESTINATIONS NEXT WEEKEND: |
Westfield/Springfield, Massachusetts. The Third Annual Toys for Tots Fly-in takes place December 3 at Barnes Municipal (BAF). Donate an unwrapped toy and receive a gift certificate. Hosted by Five Star Flight Academy. Refreshments served. Contact Michael L. Foy, 413/562-4999.
Lawrenceville, Georgia. A Pancake Breakfast and Aviation Program takes place December 3 at Gwinnett County-Briscoe Field (LZU). Breakfast served from 8 to 10 a.m., then local aircraft designer Fred Meyer will discuss what it takes to design your own aircraft. Contact Joel Levine, 770/394-5466, 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 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.