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Copyright © 2006 AOPA.
| Training Tips |
'SATISFACTORY PROFICIENCY AND SAFETY'
As you prepare for your next solo flight, how good are your landings? Consistently so? If the wind increases or changes direction after you take off, can you cope?
Your instructor no doubt has confidence in you if he or she signed you off to solo. But it's how you feel that counts when the other seat is empty and the windsock is stirring. No problem if you have spent a healthy amount of time pounding out landings during recent dual sessions in the traffic pattern. And that means getting a good taste of a variety of wind conditions: crosswinds, winds of varying direction and intensity, winds that are steady, and winds that come and go unpredictably.
It's been mentioned in previous Training Tips articles that there is no such thing as too much practice for crosswind takeoffs and landings. See the December 28, 2001, and March 7, 2003, articles. This is not only quality training, but a valuable backup strategy for those days when other lesson plans must be scrapped (such as bad weather at a cross-country destination). More important, it is a regulatory obligation: One of the 15 maneuvers and procedures in which a student pilot of a single-engine airplane must demonstrate satisfactory proficiency and safety is "takeoffs and landings, including normal and crosswind," according to the Federal Aviation Regulation 61.87(d)(3).
Developing confidence and sure-handedness in crosswind landings will not only make you a better pilot-it will let you fly more, and enjoy it more. Consider this reminiscence from one student's pilot training: "I believed I completely lacked the precision and feel necessary to carry out such landings successfully and became frustrated every time I cancelled a solo flight because the wind made me uncomfortable. That concern haunted me until the very day of my checkride," wrote Mark Wilkinson in his May 2005 AOPA Flight Training memoir, "The Student Experience: Presolo." Fortunately, the will to learn and continue training, even after the pilot certificate had been won, brought about a happy ending.
"Satisfactory proficiency and safety" isn't just a regulatory phrase. It's a state of mind your training should put you in, every time you fly.
| Your Partner in Training |
|Spring is just around the corner, and it's a beautiful time to fly. But early spring brings stronger, more prevalent winds, and every landing is different because the wind will change everything. Learn how to fly in this environment and become comfortable with handling the aircraft. Recommended reading, available for download, include the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings Safety Advisor and the Safety Pilot article "Too Windy?" 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 |
| AOPA SUBJECT REPORT HELPS YOU UNDERSTAND GLASS COCKPITS |
For those who fly aircraft with traditional panels-steam gauges and maybe a GPS-transitioning to a glass cockpit can seem overwhelming at first. You'll be learning to punch virtual buttons and switch screens on multifunction displays to pull up the information you need like weather and traffic information, moving map, or instrument approaches. Even your checklist will be computerized. But all of these enhancements are designed to make flying safer and more efficient with proper training. To help prevent the glass cockpit-induced glazed look that many pilots get, AOPA has updated its "Glass Cockpit Technology" subject report to include the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Technically Advanced Aircraft Safety and Training Special Report and AOPA President Phil Boyer's column "President's Position: ADS-B" from the January 2006 AOPA Pilot. The information will help you better understand the new technology being installed on many personal and rental GA aircraft.
KING SCHOOLS PRODUCING SPORT PILOT COURSES
Sport pilot enthusiasts and instructors take note: King Schools is readying two checkride courses for spring release. In-flight video footage for the Sport Pilot and Sport Pilot Instructor checkride courses has been shot and is now being edited. The footage features a Flight Design CT light sport aircraft, with John King playing the role of a checkride applicant and Rusty Sachs, director of the National Association of Flight Instructors, playing the designated pilot examiner. The courses will be available in April and will be priced at $99 each. For more information, see the King Schools Web site.
PENNSYLVANIA FLIGHT SCHOOL LANDS SCHWEIZER DEALERSHIP
Hi-Tech Helicopters, based at Mount Pocono Airport in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, has been awarded a dealership from Schweizer Aircraft with rights to distribute within the state. Along with the dealership, Hi-Tech offers Part 141 training in new Schweizer 300cbis as well as turbine transitions in a Bell 206 and a mountain flying course. Mark E. George, who co-owns the facility with John E. Kerrick, says Hi-Tech recently completed construction of a new facility at the airport. For more information, see the Web site.
EMBRY-RIDDLE TO HOST TRAINING, MAINTENANCE CONFERENCES
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will convene a National Training Aircraft Symposium March 24 through 26 at the Daytona Beach, Florida, campus. Topics include new training equipment; the impact of sport aircraft, very light jets, and on-demand air taxi services; the business of aviation training; and new training methods for technically advanced aircraft. And from May 24 through 26, ERAU's Charles O. Taylor Department of Aviation Maintenance Science will host a Future of Aviation Maintenance Summit, where industry professionals will present and analyze their findings on the most pressing issues facing the industry. To register for the training aircraft symposium, call 386/226-6836. For information on the maintenance summit, contact Tom Yanus, 386/323-5079, or e-mail [email protected].
TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS EARN ACCREDITATION
The National Association of Industrial Technology has awarded degree program accreditation to the industrial technology program at Tennessee State University in Nashville. Aviation management and flight training were among the specific degree programs to earn accreditation, which means that they have attained certain professional goals and standards for industrial technology programs. For more information about Tennessee State University, see the Web site.
| Inside AOPA |
AOPA DAY AT SUN 'N FUN JUST AROUND THE CORNER
In just a few weeks, it will be time to raise AOPA's Big Yellow Tent under the beautiful Florida sunshine. Join us for the annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida. AOPA President Phil Boyer will get things rolling with his Pilot Town Meeting at 7:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 6. The following day will be AOPA Day at Sun 'n Fun where you'll get $5 off admission for showing your AOPA membership card. Come by the tent for a series of seminars on everything from safety to photography to medical issues. The seminars begin with Boyer at 10 a.m. on Friday; followed by Greg Sterling of the AOPA Insurance Agency at 11 a.m.; AOPA Director of Medical Certification Gary Crump at noon; and AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg at 1 p.m.
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 PUBLISHES 'HELICOPTER ORAL EXAM GUIDE'
Helicopter student pilots might have noticed that there are literally hundreds of books available for those working toward certificates and ratings in fixed-wing aircraft, but that's not the case for rotary wing aircraft. Ryan Dale saw that need when he was acquiring a helicopter flight instructor certificate, and he's trying to fill the gap. The Helicopter Oral Exam Guide from Avionics Supplies and Academics was written to help prepare applicants for the oral portion of the helicopter private, instrument, commercial, flight instructor, and ATP checkrides. It's based on the ASA Oral Exam Guide Series by Michael D. Hayes and is meant to be used as a supplement to that series while allowing the applicant to get rotary-wing knowledge specific to his or her training needs. The 184-page soft cover book is $12.95 and may 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: What is the purpose of a soft-field landing? |
Answer: The purpose of a soft-field landing is to have the wings support the weight of the airplane for as long as practical in order to minimize drag and stress on the landing gear. You will want to utilize this technique when landing on a surface like a grass, gravel, or snow-covered runway. Be sure to check your airplane's flight manual or operating handbook for specific procedures on how a soft-field landing should be performed. For additional information on soft-field landing technique and what to expect on your checkride, visit 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. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS: |
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.
Titusville, Florida. The Valiant Air Command 2006 Tico Warbird Airshow takes place March 10 through 12 at Space Coast Regional (TIX). Featuring modern military flybys and demonstrations, strafing runs, dog fights, and vintage warbirds on display. Held at the Warbird Air Museum. Contact Don Hussey, 321/268-1941, or visit the Web site.
Brownsville, Texas. Air Fiesta 2006 takes place March 11 and 12 at Brownsville/South Padre Island International (BRO). Featuring aerobatic acts Jan Collmer and Paul Fiala; Tora, Tora, Tora re-enactment with pyrotechnic display; World War II bombers and fighters; and modern military exhibits and flights. Contact David Hughston, 956/541-8585.
Boise, Idaho. The Idaho Aviation Festival takes place March 10 and 11 at Boise Centre on the Grove. This event attracts aircraft owners, pilots, mechanics, aviation business leaders, aviation enthusiasts, and the general public. Contact Kim Cobb, 208/288-0290, 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 Clinic is scheduled in Columbia, Maryland, March 18 and 19. Clinics are also scheduled in Covina, California; San Mateo, California; King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; and Virginia Beach, Virginia, March 25 and 26. 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 Rochester, Minnesota, March 6; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, March 7; Bedford, Massachusetts, and Bellevue, Nebraska, March 8; and Olathe, Kansas, March 9. The topic is "Do the Right Thing-Decision Making for Pilots." For more details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.