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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 6, Issue 8AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 6, Issue 8

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Volume 6, Issue 8 • February 24, 2006
In this issue:
Scholarships available for Aviation Explorers
New Yorker wins Skyhawk from King Schools
Safety Hot Spot: Spring preflight


King Schools

Garmin International

Seattle Avionics

JP Instruments

Pilot Insurance Center

MBNA Credit Card Program

Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA Aircraft Financing

Minnesota Life Insurance

Comm1 Radio Simulator

Scheyden Eyewear

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Copyright © 2006 AOPA.

Training Tips

Of all the maneuvers a student pilot must learn before soloing, how and when to slip an airplane can be the most mysterious and counterintuitive. Both the "forward slip to a landing," a flight-test task for private pilot applicants (download the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards) that is used to lose altitude as an alternative to flap extension, and the "sideslip," a technique for drift control when landing in a crosswind, are extremely useful skills. Both are performed with so-called crossed controls, meaning that yaw is intentionally applied against a lowered wing to achieve the desired result. At times, as the PTS task notes, the two maneuvers can even be combined.

When performing the forward slip to lose altitude on final approach, the pilot lowers a wing with aileron and feeds in opposite rudder to prevent the aircraft from turning away from the approach course. The airplane's longitudinal axis is now positioned at an angle to its flight path, which increases drag and creates a higher descent rate on the approach. Power settings can vary depending on the descent rate needed, but high power would inhibit the descent. The slip is discontinued during the roundout before touchdown, or when the desired glidepath is reached. Manufacturers of some aircraft limit the performance of slips with flap extensions-see your pilot's operating handbook. Also read Budd Davisson's January 2003 AOPA Flight Training feature "Slippery Slope."

"Sideslipping" to handle a crosswind on final approach also requires holding a wing low and opposite rudder-but there is an important difference. The aircraft's longitudinal axis is kept aligned with the extended runway centerline. The aircraft flies in a slipping turn toward the lowered wing, but the crosswind and the turn neutralize each other. This effect keeps the aircraft on the final approach course. It's an elegant balancing act that showcases a pilot's "touch." The control inputs are adjusted as wind speed and direction change, but the crossed control inputs are held right to touchdown. See the illustrated feature article "Wing Low, Opposite Rudder" in the October 2004 AOPA Flight Training.

Reviewing now: Perform a forward slip to lose more altitude on final. Sideslip to handle a crosswind. Small control inputs will yield big results. Now you are really flying!

Your Partner in Training
"Should I learn to fly at an airport with a control tower or at a nontowered field?" When weighing the decision to train at a towered airport versus one without a control tower, recognize that each presents its own set of challenges. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation offers two free Safety Advisors that can help you. Easy to understand and packed with information, Operations at Towered Airports and Operations at Nontowered Airports can be downloaded from the foundation's Web site. If you still have questions, call AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern.

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
Here's good news for young people who belong to Aviation Explorer posts: The National Aviation Exploring Committee is offering five scholarships ranging from $3,000 to $10,000. The scholarships are intended to encourage Aviation Explorers to study the technologies and acquire skills needed for an aviation career. Aviation Exploring is a youth development program open to young people between the ages of 14 and 20. The five scholarships include one for a course of study leading to an aviation profession ($10,000); pilot training for a recreational or private certificate ($3,000); avionics ($3,000); maintenance ($3,000); and aviation management ($3,000). You must be a registered and active Aviation Explorer to apply. The deadline to submit applications to the local council is March 31. See the Web site for more information.

Tom McGowan of Hicksville, New York, is the lucky winner of King Schools' New Century of Flight Sweepstakes, featuring a Cessna 172S Skyhawk with a Honeywell Bendix/King KLN 94 GPS, multifunction display, and KAP 140 two-axis autopilot. "When I was in the Air Force in the 1970s, I always dreamed about having my own airplane. Thank you King Schools for turning this dream into a reality," he said. The next giveaway, dubbed the Future Is Now Sweepstakes, will be another Skyhawk but equipped with the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit.

Five students from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will conduct a fuel experiment that they designed aboard NASA's C-9 research aircraft. From March 30 to April 8, the team will test different types of propellant tanks filled with water for their susceptibility to dissipate energy from a spinning mock spacecraft. The C-9 flies parabolic arcs to simulate weightlessness. The team is participating in NASA's Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities program, held annually at Ellington Field near the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Inside AOPA

Has your aircraft been in hibernation all winter? If so, a thorough aircraft preflight is in order. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has compiled a number of resources to prepare you for this challenge. Each Safety Hot Spot focuses on a timely issue or trend within the general aviation community and offers a host of resources including interactive online courses, pertinent accident reports, AOPA and AOPA Air Safety Foundation publications, a Safety Checkup written by foundation staff pilots, a Sporty's Safety Quiz, and links to related Web sites. Previous Safety Hot Spots are available in the archive.

Even if you're not a flight instructor, you can take advantage of the best training value in aviation. At a reduced price of only $99, you can take an AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic (FIRC) for Everyone. Choose from one of more than 90 locations to attend a two-day weekend seminar where you can talk with fellow pilots and CFIs in the class. Pilots who have never held a CFI certificate are welcome to learn from the best presenters in the business. Check the schedule for the next FIRC near you, then call 800/638-3101 for more information and to register.

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

If an FAA knowledge test is on your horizon, you will study your test guide until you've got it down cold...right? If you'd like a preview of what to expect, try a free online test. Here are two to try. Sporty's is the closest approximation to the real thing; it includes links to the applicable table or graphic for a given question. Tests are available for the instrument rating, as well as recreational, private, and commercial certificates. Another option is, sponsored by For this site, you'll need a test guide with graphics and tables. Your score is e-mailed to you. On the plus side, you can compare your score with those of other users, and you can see which questions caused the most heartburn among your peers. For both private pilot tests, you receive 2.5 hours to answer the 60 questions.

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'm a student pilot, and my instructor has left for the airlines. I haven't found a new instructor yet. Can I continue to fly local solo flights with the endorsements he gave me?

Answer: Provided your student pilot certificate and, if required, medical certificate, have not expired and you possess both endorsements listed in 14 CFR 61.87(n), you can continue to fly solo for all local flights (the solo cross-country flights require an instructor's review of your flight planning and further endorsements). Make sure there aren't any other limiting endorsements that your former instructor may have placed in your logbook prior to you two parting company. Keep in mind that the endorsement in your logbook for the specific make and model is only good for 90 days. Once that time has passed, you will have to receive a new endorsement from an authorized instructor to continue your solo privileges.

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 some really fabulous aviation photography? All the air-to-air photos and beautifully detailed ground images used by AOPA Pilot magazine over the years are yours at the click of a mouse button. Download your favorite images to use for wallpaper, send an e-postcard, or order prints online. For more details, see AOPA Online.

What's New At AOPA Online
It's slow but cute, fun and easy to fly, and affordable to own. It qualifies as a light sport aircraft. And you can pop the canopy on a warm day. Thomas A. Horne tells you all about the Ercoupe in "Budget Buy: Friendly Flier," in the March 2006 AOPA Pilot.

Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix.

ePilot Calendar
Puyallup, Washington. The 2006 Northwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show takes place February 25 and 26 at the Western Washington Fairgrounds. This exciting event attracts more than 12,000 attendees annually. Don't miss first-rate speakers, including AOPA President Phil Boyer, exhibits, seminars, and more! Register today. Call 866/WAA-SHOW, or visit the Web site.

Helena, Montana. The Montana Aviation Conference takes place March 2 through 4 at the Red Lion Colonial Hotel. Don't miss aviation exhibits, aviation career information, FAA question and answer sessions, seminars, and more! For more information, 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.

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Phoenix, and Orlando, Florida, March 4 and 5. A clinic is also scheduled in Columbia, Maryland, March 18 and 19. 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 are scheduled in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Las Vegas, February 27; Perrysburg, Ohio, February 28; Whitehall, Ohio, March 1; Indianapolis, March 2; and Helena, Montana, March 3 and 4. The topic is "Do the Right Thing-Decision Making for Pilots." For more details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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