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Copyright © 2006 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
S-TURNS ON FINAL
A pilot generated some vigorous responses with a question to the AOPA Online Aviation Forum about an unexpected instruction that he received in the traffic pattern of a tower-controlled airport: "I had my first request to 'make a big S-turn to your left for spacing.' I immediately turned about 80 degrees left, leveled off, and heard 'cleared to land.' Did I overdo it? Just how big are S-turns on final expected to be?"
Answers flowed in, as did a few "war stories." Perhaps the key to understanding the situation is to ask: What was the maneuver designed to accomplish?
A request to fly S-turns on final (or a 360-degree turn on the downwind leg) is designed to increase the separation between aircraft established in a landing sequence. Perhaps a landing aircraft has taken too much time clearing the runway. Perhaps an overtaking aircraft is making a faster approach than the tower controller expected, and things are getting a bit tight. The controller is resorting to nonstandard-but generally accepted and understood-measures. But the outcome will depend on how well the pilot executing the delaying maneuver grasps the situation. [For other nonstandard procedures that controllers sometimes use, see the list provided in the comprehensive article "Operations at Towered Airports," from the November 1998 Flight Training.]
To a new pilot, especially one whose training extolled the virtues of stabilized approaches, the idea of aggressive maneuvering at low airspeed and altitude is unnerving. So remember that if instructed to perform this kind of maneuver, gentle coordinated turns will do the job. Don't come up with a substitute method of your own. "Unexpected maneuvers or nonstandard patterns create collision hazards-avoid them. An alternative that seems obvious but is surprisingly under-employed is to slow down! For inexperienced pilots, the urge is strong not to deviate from speeds, configurations, and power settings that you were taught for the pattern," noted the June 17, 2005, Training Tips. The controller may well approve your offer to simply reduce airspeed a bit.
Suppose he doesn't, and you're feeling unable to comply with the request. There is another resource at your disposal, as posted in a thank-you note by the pilot who raised the original question: "When in doubt you can always tell the tower you'd rather to go around." Always good advice when the squeeze is on.
| Your Partner in Training |
All pilots are taught the three "Hs" of density altitude-high, hot, and humid. Most also learn to beware the combination, because each compounds the effects of the other two. While your airplane's operating handbook will tell you what kind of performance you can expect, how to factor the variables into handling an emergency in flight is something else to ponder. Learn more from the August 2001 issue of AOPA Flight Training . Still have questions? Call our aviation experts at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time..
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 |
NORTH DAKOTA TAKES FIRST PLACE IN SAFETY COMPETITION
The University of North Dakota (UND) flying team won the top spot in the overall school rankings at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference, known as Safecon. UND competed against 29 flying teams from 11 regions around the country. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Prescott, Arizona, and Daytona Beach, Florida, teams took second and sixth place overall in the competition, held May 8 through 13 at Ohio State University in Columbus. Rounding out the top six were Western Michigan University (third), the U.S. Air Force Academy (fourth), and Southern Illinois University (SIU) (fifth). The top-scoring female competitor was Jennifer L. Byrne from SIU; the top-scoring male competitor was Adam C. Erdmann from UND. For complete results and rankings, see the Web site.
TIME FOR TSA RECURRENT SECURITY AWARENESS TRAINING
Flight instructors and flight school employees: Have you completed the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA's) recurrent security awareness training? If you waited until January 2005 to take your initial security training, you must complete the recurrent training this month. The TSA granted an exemption last December from its 12-month recurrent training requirement, allowing it to be extended to 18 months until January 1, 2007. You can access the TSA's free recurrent security awareness training module directly from AOPA Online, and you can self-certify that you completed the training. More information is available from AOPA's Guide to TSA's Alien Flight Training/Citizenship Validation Rule.
GPS MINICOURSE HELPS YOU GET UP AND RUNNING
Instrument panels don't look like they used to, especially with the introduction of GPS. While all the button-pushing can be intimidating, it doesn't have to be. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has an online minicourse on panel-mounted GPS receivers. The first self-paced, 15-minute minicourse is about the Garmin 430/530; similar minicourses are planned for other GPS receivers. Unlike traditional training courses, it focuses on the basic functions used by a typical pilot in VFR flight. After finishing the course, pilots will have a better understanding of the basics. You'll be on your way in no time after learning how to enter communication and VOR frequencies, add GPS waypoints, and use the basic moving-map functions. The course also includes a free PDF quick-reference card to carry in the cockpit-perfect for the VFR renter pilot. If you have more time available, take the free full-length online course, GPS for VFR Operations .
UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE SPONSORS ICING SHORT COURSE
If you've ever wondered what it's like to fly in icing conditions, you have an opportunity to test it in safe, controlled conditions. The University of Tennessee Space Institute's Flight Research Center offers a short course on aircraft icing, to be held October 16 through 20 at Tullahoma Airport. First introduced in 2004, the course utilizes in-flight and ground simulations using NASA icing data and includes a combination of guest lecturers and UTSI staff who are experts in various fields of icing technology, flight testing, and flight operations. UTSI's variable stability aircraft is used to simulate actual icing, and a one-hour ground-based simulator training session in NASA's ice contamination effects flight training device is included. Enrollment for the one-week course is limited to 17 persons; the fee is $1,765 plus $440 for the training flight. Early enrollment is suggested. For more information or to register, contact Becky Stines, director of continuing education, at 931/393-7276, or e-mail [email protected].
SPOTS AVAILABLE IN OKLAHOMA UNIVERSITY SUMMER AVIATION CAMPS
Even though summer is just around the corner, some aviation programs still have slots available for flying-minded youngsters. Enrollment is now open in the annual Oklahoma University Sooner Flight Academy summer aviation day camp. The program promotes aviation and allows children to experience a practical application of math and science. Participants take airplane rides, build and launch rockets, experiment with gyroscopes, perform preflight inspections, and build and fly kites, among other activities. Programs are available through August 5 and serve a different age group each week. For more information, see the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
AOPA PROJECT PILOT MENTORS HELP STUDENTS LEARN TO FLY
Student pilots who have a mentor to help them through flight training are three times more likely to earn their pilot certificates. That simple fact is the reason that AOPA is beefing up the AOPA Project Pilot program and has named Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles Lindbergh, as the national spokesman. "AOPA Project Pilot will help America's pilot population grow by giving student pilots the support they need to complete their training," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. The program draws on the strength of AOPA's more than 408,000 members, calling on each of them to identify a strong candidate for flight training, help them get started, and support them as they work toward their certificates. To accomplish that, Project Pilot provides powerful tools, centered on a new Web site, AOPAProjectPilot.org, which helps mentors keep in touch with their students and track the students' progress while providing support, tips, and encouragement. For the students, the Web site provides them with information and resources to help reinforce what their flight instructors are teaching them, and it allows them to chart their progress and share their successes with their mentors. Prospective pilots receive a kit that includes a personal welcome letter from Boyer, a copy of Invitation to Fly magazine, a DVD that outlines what they'll learn during flight training and even includes a section to help explain it all to family and friends, and a free six-month subscription to AOPA Flight Training magazine. To participate in the program, student pilots need to have a mentor. If you don't have one, you can post a request for a mentor or contact one via the Project Pilot Web site. When you feel comfortable enough in having information to share about your flying experiences, you too can become a mentor. See an important video message from Boyer and Lindbergh.
AOPA SWEEPSTAKES CHEROKEE SIX ARRIVES FOR FLY-IN
The AOPA 2006 Sweepstakes Cherokee Six airplane arrived safe and sound at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, Wednesday afternoon-just in time for AOPA's Fly-In and Open House on Saturday, June 3. It will be featured prominently in the aircraft display area during Fly-In so that you can give it a thorough inspection-and get the first public peek at the aircraft's new avionics panel. Also, don't miss your chance to listen to and meet AOPA President Phil Boyer, AOPA Pilot columnist Rod Machado, and pilot-adventurer Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles Lindbergh. If you are planning on flying to the event, make sure you download and read the fly-in procedures. Also, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation has prepared, in its "Now Featuring" section, a plethora of resources to make your fly-in trip safer.
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 |
ASA OFFERS TOOL TO HELP YOU FIND, PURCHASE AN AIRPLANE
Sometimes the toughest part about buying an airplane isn't securing the money-it's figuring out what type of bird is going to work best for you and the type of flying that you generally do. Is it a two-seater that's easy on the fuel consumption? Or should you go for the four-seater so that you can make longer trips with more passengers? And once you narrow it down, which manufacturer has the right airplane for you? James E. Ellis examines this and more in the third edition of his book, Buying and Owning Your Own Airplane, published by Aviation Supplies and Academics. ASA says the latest edition reflects the huge impact of the Internet since the second edition was published, noting that there are numerous Web sources of information now to be explored. Other updates include a look at the new generation of general aviation aircraft developed during the 1990s and an examination of fractional ownership programs. The book sells for $19.95 and can be ordered online.
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: Do all weather products give wind information relative to true north? |
Answer: No. According to Advisory Circular 00-45E, weather reports and forecasts such as a METAR, TAF, or winds aloft forecast (FD) all report winds with respect to true north. An automatic terminal information service (ATIS) broadcast or an automated weather reporting station will report wind direction with respect to magnetic north, as stated in Chapter 4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. A tower controller may provide wind direction information for their airport location by obtaining wind information from a direct readout dial, wind shear detection system, or automated weather observing system, meaning the wind information will also be in reference to magnetic north. For additional information on wind direction, 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 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 |
|Is aircraft ownership financially out of your reach? You might consider partial ownership through a flying club. The AOPA Pilot Information Center recently added a flying club section to AOPA Online, where you'll find information about starting a flying club, finding an aircraft, club operation, costs, taxes, and insurance. You'll also find tips on how to manage relationships with the FBO and other flying club members, and how to effectively promote the club. Explore the possibilities at AOPA Online. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS: |
Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Thunder on the Lakeshore takes place June 3 and 4 at Manitowoc County (MTW). Airshow featuring demonstrations by F-16, A-10, T-6 Texan II, F/A-18, plus heritage flights, Pacific Prowler B-25, John Mohr, Fowler Carey, Hoppers L-39 Jets, Guy "Doc" Baldwin, Steve Falon, David Burdine in a MiG-17, and Bob Post. Contact Curt Drumm, 920/482-1650, or visit the Web site.
Davenport, Iowa. The Quad City Airshow takes place June 3 and 4 at Davenport Municipal (DVN). Featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. For more information, visit the Web site.
Janesville, Wisconsin. The Southern Wisconsin AirFEST takes place June 10 and 11 at Southern Wisconsin Regional (JVL). Event features Sky Soldiers, U.S. Army Golden Knights, Patty Wagstaff, Shockwave Jet Truck, F-16 tactical demonstration team, Canadian Skyhawks parachute team, David Burdine's MiG-17, Julie Clark, Susan Dacy, B-17, Dave Dacy Wingwalking team, and more. Contact Julia Dacy, 608/754-5405, or see the Web site.
Columbia, California. The Bellanca-Champion Club West Coast Fly-in takes place June 9 through 11 at Columbia (O22). A great mix of flying, eating, education, and social activities. Advance registration encouraged. Contact 518/731-6800, or see 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 Minneapolis, and Charlotte, North Carolina, June 10 and 11. Clinics are also scheduled in Phoenix; Columbus, Ohio; and Reston, Virginia; June 24 and 25. 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 Chesapeake, Virginia, June 10 and 11, and Miami, June 12. Topics vary-for more details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.