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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 7, Issue 17

To view the AOPA ePilot archives, click here.

Volume 7, Issue 17 • April 27, 2007
In this issue:
New flight school opens in Twin Cities
Check fuel prices in AOPA Airport Directory Online
Don't put off renewing your CFI certificate

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

Sponsored by Exxon Elite Aviation



JP Instruments

Avemco Aviation Insurance

Fly Exxon Elite


AOPA Credit Card

Scheyden Eyewear

Minnesota Life Insurance

AOPA Aircraft Financing

Garmin International

Airline Transport Professionals

AOPA Insurance Agency

King Schools

Pilot Insurance Center

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Copyright © 2007 AOPA.

Training Tips

Few training subjects are debated as intensively as the "why" of piloting techniques. An example is the question of how much flap to use during a landing.

When you learn to land your trainer, you'll practice approaches in a variety of landing configurations (see the April 2, 2004, Training Tip "Why The Flap?"). But most normal landings are made with flaps fully deployed because the aircraft can touch down in a full stall at the lowest speed with full flaps. A full-flap landing therefore shortens ground runs and reduces the time needed to slow to taxi speed.

When the wind is blowing, your priorities for making a good landing change. Effectiveness of the flight controls, which decays as airspeed lessens, must be maintained at a high level to deal with the effects of turbulence. True, a short ground run is still desirable-but not at the expense of aircraft control, so a slightly faster approach is the answer. "To maintain good control, the approach in turbulent air with gusty crosswind may require the use of partial wing flaps. With less than full flaps, the airplane will be in a higher pitch attitude. Thus, it will require less of a pitch change to establish the landing attitude, and the touchdown will be at a higher airspeed to ensure more positive control," explains Chapter 8 of the FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook.

Retracting flaps can be a distraction after landing. "Using partial flaps offers the best of both worlds: They stabilize the approach but cause minimal problems on the runway because they are not fully deployed, and therefore don't need to be raised," observed Alton K. Marsh, examining ideas about flap use in his August 2004 AOPA Pilot feature "The Flap About Flaps." His conclusion: "The debate isn't over. There are as many answers as there are pilots. Flaps were originally invented because of the large number of accidents involving stalls. They increase lift, decrease stall speed, and allow a steeper angle of descent over an obstacle without accelerating past the final approach airspeed. They keep you safe at slower speeds and when operating from shorter runways. Use 'em if you got 'em, but be aware there may be times when they hinder more than they help."

Your Partner in Training

"Why do I need legal protection if I'm learning to fly?" The AOPA Legal Services Plan is like a homeowner's, auto, or renter's insurance policy-it provides additional protection for you, the student pilot, in the event of an emergency. And when you become a certificated pilot, you can use the plan's services for things such as reviewing an aircraft purchase or sales agreement, a flying club membership, or a hangar lease. Coverage starts at $29 per year for AOPA members. See the Web site for more information.

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

Twin Cities Flight Training has opened a new branch at St. Paul Downtown Holman Field in Minnesota. The school has six different types of aircraft and offers instruction through the commercial certificate. Twin Cities is based at the Anoka County-Blaine Airport (Janes Field) in Blaine, Minnesota. The new branch hopes to fill a void created by the recent closure of Wings Inc. flight school at St. Paul, according to CFI Nicholas Conant. For more information, call 651/290-2055.

Two college students will travel to France this year to serve a five-week internship at EADS Socata's headquarters in Tarbes. Ashley Leman, 21, of Crystal Lake, Illinois, is a student in organizational management at Northern Illinois University. She has a private pilot certificate and aspires to be a professional pilot. John Staines of Komoka, Ontario, Canada, 19, is a student in engineering science and mechanical engineering at the University of Western Ontario. He holds a commercial pilot certificate and hopes to work in aircraft design. Both students are Young Eagles. The internship program is a collaboration between EADS Socata, which manufactures the TB line of piston single-engine aircraft and the TBM line of single-engine turboprops, and the EAA Young Eagles program.

Each year, the FAA bestows high honors on pilots and mechanics to draw attention to safe operations. This year, West Virginia pilot Bill Pancake received both the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award and the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award for more than 50 years as a pilot and mechanic. According to a report in the Cumberland Times-News, Pancake is a flight instructor who owns an Aeronca Champ and has earned a worldwide reputation as an airplane mechanic, receiving calls almost daily from people as far away as Iceland, Australia, or Germany.

Inside AOPA

AOPA brought the 1977 Cessna Cardinal that is being refurbished for this year's sweepstakes to Lakeland, Florida, for the annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In-and we left it wide open so that everyone could see how an airplane was put together and the extensive work we've already done to this one. You can read all about how people reacted to the airplane in this week's sweepstakes update.

AOPA has teamed up with to provide fuel prices as part of a new feature in AOPA's Airport Directory Online. "With increasing fuel prices nationwide, it's important for pilots to have the latest information available so they can plan fuel stops accordingly," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We are pleased to be working with, a resource known among the aviation community for providing reliable, up-to-date fuel prices." Speaking at his annual Pilot Town Meeting at Sun 'n Fun last week, Boyer told attendees that AOPA will receive fuel data daily from The information will be posted in AOPA's Airport Directory Online, which all members can access free of charge. After you type in an airport identifier, click on the FBO/Facility/Fuel Information link and scroll down to find FBO fuel prices.

AOPA's current priorities are preventing user fees and a huge increase in avgas taxes, and boosting the pilot population-two issues that will shape the future of general aviation. The thousands of AOPA members and pilots who visited AOPA's Big Yellow Tent at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida, last week gave the association's efforts a boost. More than 22,500 signatures filled AOPA's petition against the FAA's funding proposal that will be delivered to Capitol Hill. And more than 200 future pilots signed up for AOPA Project Pilot. To provide an incentive for prospective pilots to start flying sooner rather than later, AOPA gave away $250 for flight training to more than a dozen future pilots. One prospect, Danuta Hartman of Wallingford, Connecticut, won $5,000 for training. The money can be used only for flight training. If you missed Sun 'n Fun, visit our special news page for industry news, AOPA happenings, and photo galleries.

Flight instructors: If you are up against the deadline for renewing your certificate through the AOPA Air Safety Foundation/Jeppesen Online Flight Instructor Renewal Program, be aware that this particular month ends on Monday. Besides the need to mail in your materials on time, support for technical issues won't be available at the normal level of service. On weekdays, the AOPA Pilot Information Center takes calls (800/872-2672) from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern. On weekends, you can call Jeppesen (800/732-2800, Option 1), but AOPA cautions that the company operates with a smaller staff, and there might be longer hold times.

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

The E6B flight computer is equally adored and reviled by pilots. Many stuff these handy items away in a flight bag after the private pilot checkride, preferring to let GPS units and computerized flight planners do the heavy lifting when it's time to figure true airspeed and wind correction angle. That's a shame, because E6Bs are handy tools to have in the cockpit, and the manual versions never need batteries. If you suffer from E6B anxiety, Mike Arman has written a book for you. Mastering the E-6B Flight Computer promises to show the reader how to do it all-density altitude, fuel required, wind triangles, conversions between Fahrenheit and Celsius, and more. The book sells for $23.95. 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 am planning my first cross-country flight and have reviewed the charts and Airport/Facility Directory, and I have created a flight plan. But what are the fuel requirements when planning for such a flight?

Answer: FAR 91.151, "Fuel requirements for flight in VFR conditions," states: "No person may begin a flight in an airplane under VFR conditions unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming normal cruising speed-(1) During the day, to fly after that for at least 30 minutes; or (2) At night, to fly after that for at least 45 minutes." You will find AOPA's Real Time Flight Planner helpful for your flight planning. Read more about VFR fuel requirements in the AOPA Flight Training article "Learn what you burn: Fuel management fundamentals."

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
Rochester, NY. Rochester WINGS 2007 Fly-In and Expo takes place May 4 and 5 at Greater Rochester International. Contact Brian Blazey, 585/463-3815, or visit the Web site.

Temple, TX. The Central Texas Airshow takes place May 4 through 6 at Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional (TPL). Contact Beth Jenkins, 512/869-1759, or visit the Web site.

Cahokia/St. Louis, IL. The Midwest Regional Fly-In takes place May 5 and 6 at St. Louis Downtown (CPS). Contact Bob McDaniel, 618/337-6060, or visit the Web site.

Omaha, NE. The Defenders of Freedom Airshow takes place May 5 and 6 at Offutt AFB. For more information, 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.

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Fort Lauderdale, FL; Pensacola, FL; and Albany, NY, May 5 and 6. Clinics are also scheduled in Sacramento, CA; Kansas City, MO; and Houston, May 19 and 20. 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 Boise, ID, and Flat Rock, NC, April 30; Charlotte, NC, White Plains, NY, and Salt Lake City, May 1; Latham, NY, May 2; North Syracuse, NY, May 3; and Rochester, NY, May 5. The topic is "Say it Right! Radio communications for today's airspace." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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