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| Training Tips
The start of a new year is a great time to evaluate the progress of your training and focus on ways to improve. If your landings need work, think about some steps to improve them. One idea for sharpening your technique is to add a large dose of power-off approaches to your practice sessions in the traffic pattern.
Don't confuse power-off approaches with simulated engine-outs—that's an emergency drill and a different question entirely. In a power-off approach, your flight instructor will reduce the power to idle at a designated position in the traffic pattern, such as the point on the downwind leg where you normally begin your power reductions. Or you might select the "key position" on the base leg as your starting point. From the point at which the power is idled, you will glide at recommended approach speeds to a landing (still to be made within a specified distance of the target touchdown point). Your ability to judge descent rate, wind velocity, and when—or even if—to extend your aircraft's flaps will be greatly sharpened by this practice. Fly power-off approaches in a variety of wind conditions. That's guaranteed to develop your skills. Read about power-off accuracy approaches in Chapter 8 of the Airplane Flying Handbook.
Don't overlook coordination. What kind of control inputs will be required and why? "When you pull the power to idle on downwind for a power-off approach (you do practice power-off approaches, don't you?), you'll see the ball slide to the left. It'll be more obvious in some airplanes than in others. That means the nose is to the right of your flight path, the airplane is aerodynamically 'dirty,' and you're losing altitude faster than is necessary," Budd Davisson explained in the December 2005 AOPA Flight Training feature "Choose To Fly Right."
An alternative to practicing strict power-off approaches is to fly them according to the following rule: You may reduce power during your approach, but you cannot add it unless required for safety. Yet another effective technique for honing landings is to fly no-flap approaches (with or without power—your choice) as described in the April 4, 2004, Training Tips.
Practicing power-off approaches is a powerful way to become a landing pro.
| Your Partner in Training
Displaced threshold... empennage... MEL... MML... pirep.... What does it all mean? Aviation is an industry of abbreviations, acronyms, and technical language. Especially helpful to newcomers to aviation is AOPA's Student Glossary for General Aviation . If you need more information, call our experienced pilots—available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern to answer your questions 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
LSA DISTRIBUTOR INTRODUCES FLIGHT SCHOOL PROGRAM
Sport Aircraft Works, the North American distributor for the Czech-built SportCruiser light sport aircraft, has introduced a promotional program for schools that offer sport pilot instruction. The Sport Pilot Center program is a Cessna Pilot Center-like program, according to Bob Anderson, director of sales and marketing for Sport Aircraft Works. Participating flight schools will use the Gleim Publications sport pilot training materials and will get student pilot leads from Pilot Journey, a marketing firm based in Nashville, Tennessee. The program is free for schools that purchase SportCruisers.
FLIGHT DESIGN JOINS THE BIG LEAGUE IN SHIPMENTS
Don't be surprised to see a Flight Design CT at your local airport. The German company produced more than 200 of the composite light sport airplanes in 2006. That's up from 120 airplanes in 2005. About half the airplanes went to U.S. customers while the rest were shipped to other parts of the world. Flight Design had expanded its production facilities, which allowed it to boost production. Flight Design's primary fabrication facility is located in the Ukraine. Besides the CT, the company also produces 2,500 paragliders a year.
EMBRY-RIDDLE STUDENTS WIN SPOT IN NASA CONTEST FINALS
A team of students from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, has reached the finals in NASA's annual national public relations contest. Participants in the NASA Means Business Competition are tasked with devising innovative methods to promote NASA to the next generation. As finalists, the students receive a $1,000 cash award, an invitation to participate in behind-the-scenes tours at NASA's Johnson Space Center and Kennedy Space Center, and a travel award for one team member. The team will pitch its finished plan to NASA officials at Kennedy Space Center in May. If they win, NASA will use the students' commercials on national TV.
| Inside AOPA
RESOLVE TO BECOME A SAFER PILOT
No New Year's resolution? Resolve to become a safer pilot by reading an AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Advisor or Safety Brief each month. The lengths vary from two to 16 pages. Topics are GPS navigation, operations at towered airports, collision avoidance, weather, and more.
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
WONDERFUL WORLD OF FLYING PRESENTS VIDEO ON DEMAND
If you are a fan of Aviation Media's Wonderful World of Flying video magazine, you'll want to know that a new site and new video-on-demand purchase service are now available. The video-on-demand option means that you can purchase any story from Wonderful World of Flying without paying for the cost of an entire DVD. Topics include classic aircraft, fun places to fly, safety, left-seat checkouts, and warbirds. Downloads range in price from $2.99 to $5.99 and can be played full-screen on a computer or a video iPod. 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'm a rather new pilot and while listening to some other pilots, I heard the term "lasso" (LAHSO). What does this mean?
Answer: LAHSO stands for "land and hold short operations." Air traffic control uses this procedure, which involves landing aircraft simultaneously on intersecting runways, to increase airport capacity and efficiency, but it requires agreed pilot participation. Student pilots and pilots not familiar with LAHSO operations should not accept a LAHSO clearance. A pilot should only accept a LAHSO clearance if he or she determines that the aircraft can land and stop safely within the runway landing distance available and that the maneuver is well within the pilot's capability. The FAA's Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) has a listing of all airports that conduct LAHSO operations, including the landing runway, the hold-short point, and the available landing distance. FSS can also provide LAHSO notams for your destination airport. See the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online publication, Land and Hold Short Operations , for more details.
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:
There are no national calendar items this week.
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 San Jose, CA; Detroit; and Rochester, NY, January 13 and 14. Clinics are also scheduled in Jackson, MS, and Sevierville, TN, January 20 and 21. 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 Ontario, CA, January 15; North Hills, CA, January 16; Costa Mesa, CA, January 17; and San Diego, January 18. The topic is "Say it Right! Radio Communications in Today's Airspace." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.