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Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition -- Vol. 7, Issue 36

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Volume 7, Issue 36 • September 7, 2007

In this issue:
Aviation explorers receive scholarships
Sporty's contributes $5,000 to scholarship fund
Don't get caught by end-of-summer thunderstorms

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Training Tips

The August 31, 2007, Training Tips explained how to use small corrections for staying aligned on the correct glidepath during a final approach to landing. If the wind is blowing in any direction other than straight down the runway, there will also be lateral adjustments to make during your glide. How successfully you stabilize your final approach depends on whether you anticipated the lateral corrections needed.

Pilot skill at handling this part of the final approach harkens back to the practice of presolo ground-reference maneuvers, which you'll find in Chapter 6 of the Airplane Flying Handbook . That's when you learned how to correct for the effects of wind on your ground track. The rectangular course maneuver previews the wind-drift challenges you will face in the airport traffic pattern. Don't underestimate the value of this maneuver, which introduces you to airport-traffic-pattern-like corrections for drift on the various pattern legs while groundspeed, headwind, or tailwind components are changing. Grasp the concept early and the task won't become a distraction in a real traffic pattern—when you are also managing the descent and landing. Ralph L. Butcher wrote about the maneuver's value in his "Insights" column in the January 2006 AOPA Flight Training . See the article's helpful graphic depicting the effects of wind drift.

Some errors made while correcting for lateral inaccuracy in your traffic-pattern maneuvering simply make for a sloppy approach. But one common error, caused either by flying a too-close-in downwind leg or by failing to anticipate a tailwind component on the base leg, may create a stall/spin hazard responsible for many loss-of-control accidents: When a pilot overshoots the turn from base leg to final, the temptation to bank steeply in a frantic attempt to capture the final approach path can be strong. [See the April 2001 and September 2003 AOPA Flight Training "Instructor Report" columns.] Avoid steep and abrupt maneuvering at low airspeed and low altitude; go around instead. Learn more about stalls and spins and how to avoid them with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.

Just as with the vertical corrections needed on approach, small and well-timed corrections to capture and maintain your position on the extended runway centerline will keep your approaches orderly. Combining them all to complete a landing is one of aviation's most rewarding and thrilling achievements.

Your Partner in Training

Grounded by the weather, your schedule, or other intrusions? Don't give up—you'll get back in the air some day. In the meantime, keep your head in the game by reading every aviation article you can find, or use a desktop computer simulator to practice basic and instrument flying skills. Research and plan trips to future destinations with AOPA Online's flight-planning resources— AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner, and AOPA's Airport Directory Online. Also, be sure to visit the AOPA Air Safety Foundation home page for free interactive courses, Safety Advisors, quizzes, and a schedule of safety seminars in your area.

Do you have a question? Call the experienced pilots in AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA. They're available to take your calls weekdays 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

Aviation Exploring, a youth development program centered around aviation careers, recently awarded scholarships to 10 Aviation Explorers. Professional degree scholarships valued at $10,000 each were awarded to Matthew Dreher of Sherman, Ill., and Daniel Sheehy of Topeka, Kan. Pilot certificate scholarships valued at $3,000 were awarded to Andrew Dinmore of Pearl City, Hawaii; Nathan Hatfield of Elizabethton, Tenn.; John Lyons of Hoosick Falls, N.Y.; and Charles Edward Watson of Lebanon, Tenn. An avionics scholarship valued at $3,000 was awarded to Peter Ehrlich of Argyle, N.Y. A $3,000 maintenance scholarship was awarded to Daniel A. Gubernath of Bucyrus, Ohio. Management scholarships valued at $3,000 were presented to Lane Forhetz of Brentwood, Tenn., and Justin Horvath of Racine, Wis. Aviation Explorers interested in pursuing scholarship opportunities for 2008 may download an application at the Web site.

Sporty's Pilot Shop has donated $5,000 to the David W. Ewald Scholarship Fund. Established by the National Business Aviation Association, the fund commemorates David W. Ewald, an aviation magazine publisher and industry spokesman. Ewald co-founded Flight Training magazine in 1989, and AOPA purchased the magazine in 1999. He also helped to create Business & Commercial Aviation. The David W. Ewald Journalism Scholarship is offered to a high school student planning to study journalism or a college or university student already in an accredited journalism program. For more information, see the Web site.

Three flight schools operating at St. Lucie County International Airport in Fort Pierce, Fla., have agreed to comply with new voluntary noise restrictions recently put into place. In fact, the flight schools participated in workshops with airport officials and residents to help create the rules, according to an article by the online publication TCPalm . The new rules confine touch and goes, stop and goes, and full-stop taxi-backs to the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays. These procedures are discouraged on Sundays and holidays.

Nashua Flight Simulators, Nashua, N.H., has ordered an ELITE iGATE 501 simulator, according to ELITE Simulation Solutions. The flight training organization also has an iGATE 501 AATD system. The new simulator will have a Garmin 530 GPS, dual-channel intercom systems, and the latest in flight simulation software, ELITE said.

Inside AOPA

This week, the hard-working people at Aerodesigns Aircraft Interiors and Vantage Plane Plastics have finished the final touches on the 1977 Cessna Cardinal's new interior, with newly reupholstered seats, new side panels, new sun visors, new vents—the list goes on! Read about it in this week's update. You might have a chance to see the airplane in person, as we fly it back to Georgia from Oklahoma.

Summer is coming to a close, but thunderstorms are still very much in the picture. A thunderstorm can move rapidly to overtake your home airport while you're at the practice area, leaving you with few options. Know when thunderstorms are forecast to be in your area. Can you decipher all the text weather information provided in a DUAT/DUATS briefing? The latest AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Quiz can help. Each Safety Quiz offers a quick, easy, and interactive way to assess and expand your knowledge. To round out your understanding, take a few extra minutes and complete the foundation's WeatherWise: Thunderstorms and ATC online course.

The first solo is one of the most memorable moments in a pilot's life, and AOPA Project Pilot student Steve Minnix is no different. "One of the proudest moments of my life...the proudest since my daughter was born," Minnix said, describing how he felt after completing his first solo flight. "I'm a little older and have more time and money than I did when I was younger and first had the dream," Minnix said. His friend and mentor, Dan Derringer, and his flight instructor, James Cabiness, helped make his first solo possible. "Being alone in the airplane was great," Minnix added. You can get the boost you need to make your first solo happen—find resources, including a potential mentor, through AOPA Project Pilot.

This is your last chance to pre-register and save up to 28 percent for AOPA Expo 2007, October 4 through 6 in Hartford, Conn. This way, you can avoid delays to see more than 580 exhibits, more than 70 aircraft on display, and 60 hours of seminars. Some social events will sell out prior to Expo, so secure your tickets with advance registration, which ends September 12. Take advantage of special hotel rates in Hartford through September 9.

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

When you're puttering around the pattern, thoughts of an off-airport landing aren't particularly troubling. But when you progress to cross-country flights, it's time to start thinking about how you would fare if you had to land the airplane in a remote location. Here's where survival kits come in. If you're looking for something that's easily carried in a flight bag, Squawkbox's Micro Aviation Survival Kit comes with 20 items, including a signal mirror, button compass, wire saw, silicone band, emergency "space" blanket, a 25-foot fishing line and hooks, safety pins, water purification tablets, first-aid items, and more. All components fit into a waterproof, airtight case. The kit sells for $38 and is available from Classicjet.

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 windsock?

Answer: The windsock is a good indicator of wind direction, as well as wind velocity and gusts. The stronger the wind, the straighter the sock extends, with full windsock extension calibrated for a specific wind speed. Windsocks tend to move back and forth when the wind is variable and gusty. They are usually located near the airport runway(s) and may be placed in the center of a segmented circle (which identifies the traffic pattern direction, if it is other than the standard left-hand pattern). Overflying the airfield and observing the windsock before entering the traffic pattern will help you to determine the wind's direction and speed, the runway in use, and the resulting crosswind conditions. Read more about windsocks in the April 2006 AOPA Flight Training .

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 Jeppesen.

ePilot Calendar

Galesburg, IL. The thirty-sixth annual National Stearman Fly-In takes place September 3 through 9 at Galesburg Municipal (GBG). Contact Betty Campbell, 309/343-6409, or visit the Web site.

Reno, NV. The Reno National Championship Air Races take place September 12 through 16 at Reno/Stead (4SD). Call 775/972-6663, or visit the Web site.

Oneida, TN. The Fourth Annual Wings Over the Big South Fork Airshow takes place September 15 at Scott Municipal (SCX). Contact Don Stansberry III, 865/617-7000, or visit the Web site.

Eagle River, WI. A Wisconsin Seaplane Fly-In takes place September 14 through 16 at Eagle River Union (EGV). Contact Curt Drumm, 920/482-1650, or visit the Web site.

Columbus, OH. The Ohio Aviation Association Fall Conference takes place September 18 at The Holiday Inn Worthington. Contact Doug Hammon, 614/292-5460.

Manchester, NH. The Wings of Freedom Air Tour takes place September 19 through 21 at Manchester (MHT). Contact Ed Brouder, 603/668-0652.

To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.

The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Phoenix, Baltimore, and Seattle, September 15 and 16. A clinic is also scheduled in Richmond, VA, September 22 and 23. 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 Sacramento, CA; Austin, TX, September 17; and Reno, NV, September 18; and Milpitas, CA, September 19; and Santa Rosa, CA; Gaithersburg, MD, September 20. The topic is "Regulations: What every pilot should know." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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