# AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 7, Issue 12AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 7, Issue 12

 Volume 7, Issue 12 • March 23, 2007 In this issue: Northwestern Michigan College gets Skyhawks Aerobatics scholarship promotes air safety New York pilots defeat proposed age minimum

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 Training Tips MAPPING THE POWER CURVE Performance charts in your trainer's pilot's operating handbook reflect results of test flights in your make and model aircraft. Student pilots study the airspeeds, power settings, and configurations the charts say to use in various flight phases. One of the most educational lessons you can have is to create a performance diagram. This diagram will tell you just what level-flight airspeeds to expect at the various power settings. And it will show you the airspeed at which your airplane is flying at the angle of attack (AOA) that produces the maximum lift for the total drag created-known as L/D max. The result will be a graph resembling the total-drag curve in Figure 3-5, Chapter 3 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. The chapter notes: "If the airplane is operated in steady flight at L/D max, the total drag is at a minimum. Any angle of attack lower or higher than that for L/D max reduces the lift/drag ratio and consequently increases the total drag for a given airplane's lift." On your next dual lesson, take along a pencil and a pad to come up with a power curve for your aircraft. In the same exercise, explore how your aircraft behaves when flying "on the backside of the power curve," an expression you may have heard. Here's what to do, wrote Larry Randlett in the January 2002 AOPA Flight Training feature "Behind the Power Curve": "Trim the aircraft for level flight at a given power setting. Write down both the airspeed and power setting. Then reduce your airspeed in 10-kt increments without changing your altitude and continue to record airspeed and power settings. Eventually, you will reach a point at which more power is required to maintain a slower airspeed. You are now officially 'behind the power curve.' Once you know you're on the back side, push the nose over and observe what happens. Then raise the nose and make some similar observations." An aerodynamic point to remember: On the backside of the power curve, it is induced drag that increases rapidly with increased AOA. Check out "Flying Forces" on AOPA Online, in which AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Thomas A. Horne discusses the types and effects of aerodynamic drag.
 Your Partner in Training Do you train at a tower-controlled airport? If so, you're getting a lot of valuable exposure to the everyday operations of the air traffic control (ATC) system. It's important to understand what ATC expects from you and how to respond properly on the radio. Download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Operations at Towered Airports Safety Advisor and review the "New pilot's guide to ATC communication" on AOPA Online. Have a question? Call our experienced pilots-available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time 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.