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AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition - Volume 8, Issue 24AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition - Volume 8, Issue 24

Volume 8, Issue 24 • June 13, 2008

In this issue:
AOPA Fly-In brings joy of flight to local community
New building gives aviation program room to grow
Light sport dealer offers flight training deal

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

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Training Tips

The landing gear on your trainer is pretty tough. It has to be to withstand those long hours in the traffic pattern while you are learning how to take off and land. That said, even the toughest components of an aircraft have definite limits to their tolerance for abuse. Your trainer's landing gear is at its most vulnerable when it has to cope with something called a side load. Any time the wheels can't roll in the direction that the airplane is being forced to move while on the ground, a side load is imposed on the gear assembly. The result could be pilot loss of control, airframe damage, or an accident.

The most likely time for a severe side load to occur is during landing—especially if the aircraft is not under complete directional control during a crosswind landing. "Touching down while in a drift can cause damaging side loads on the tires, wheels, and landing gear—not to mention you and the airplane, if it results in a loss of control," wrote Chris Parker in the April 2006 AOPA Flight Training feature " Crosswind Tutorial." The importance of avoiding side loads is one reason why the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards for normal and crosswind landings strictly requires that the pilot touch down "with no drift, and with the airplane's longitudinal axis aligned with and over the runway center/landing path."

If you are already working on crosswind takeoffs and landings, you know that two techniques are commonly taught: the crabbed approach and the sideslipped approach. (See the Dec. 28, 2001, Training Tip: "Practicing Crosswind Landings" and the March 7, 2003, Training Tip: "Crosswinds-Again!". Both methods, improperly executed, can result in critical side loads. Six great strategies for mastering directional control are offered in the April 2007 AOPA Pilot feature " Flying Seasons: Crabbing, Slipping, and Bouncing" (see the sidebar for highlights). Other times when the aircraft is vulnerable to side loads include takeoff runs and while taxiing, especially if a taxi turn is attempted with excessive speed.

Bottom line: Eliminate side loads from your takeoffs and touchdowns, and you'll never drift into trouble when tangling with tricky winds.

Your Partner in Training

Nobody enjoys taking an FAA knowledge test, but we'll try to make it a little easier for you. The Pilot Information Center has links to test questions, test guides, and testing centers. Then, when you're ready to take the test, be sure to download a coupon for a $10 discount through CATS Testing Centers. You can use the discount at any of the more than 400 CATS authorized centers around the world. Print the coupon from AOPA Online.

Do you have a question? Call our experienced pilots, available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time toll-free at 800-872-2672. As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. Login information is available online.

Flight Training News

With more than 5,000 attending AOPA's Fly-In on June 7, most of them pilots with friends and family tagging along, the event proved to be the perfect breeding ground for potential new-pilot starts. In addition to checking out nearly 50 aircraft on display, attendees got a taste of what those aircraft could do in the air by watching the intricate lineup of nearly 500 aircraft arriving and departing the show. Plus, pilots did so well planning their flights around the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone and Prohibited Area P-40 (the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md.) that AOPA is going to donate $5,000 to the Civil Air Patrol for their support during the event. See our complete AOPA Fly-In coverage on AOPA Online.

While some schools are seeing money for aviation programs dry up, LeTourneau University’s aeronautical program has been expanding fast. To continue that growth, the school has purchased a 50,000-square-foot building at East Texas Regional Airport. The school plans to spend about $6 million to renovate the facility, which was owned by a flooring company, to include classrooms, laboratories, offices, and meeting spaces before moving some 250 students in next year. The new building, which also includes a 10,000-square-foot hangar, will ultimately be able to accommodate as many as 500 aviation students. LeTourneau plans to sell its existing 7,600-square-foot building at the airport. AOPA’s 2007 Catch-A-Cardinal Sweepstakes winner, Bruce Chase, teaches in LeTourneau’s aviation program. As part of his sweepstakes prize, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation provided a grant to assist Chase's research into how pilots transition between glass cockpits and more traditional instrumentation.

Instead of feeling compelled to fly around military operations areas (MOAs) and restricted areas, soon you'll be able to gather real-time status information in the air to determine if you can safely fly through the airspace. The Air Force and Air National Guard have worked with the FAA to provide contact frequencies for an FAA center controller, military air controller, or range control officer for each MOA and restricted area so that pilots can make radio calls to see if the airspace is active, and if it is, at what altitudes. These frequencies will appear with new charting cycles and will be completed by the August cycle. Read more on AOPA Online.

A light sport aviation dealer in Texas will give free sport pilot training to those who purchase a light sport aircraft. US Aviation Group in Denton announced the program on June 3. Company President Mike Sykes said the idea came about because "We had a number of people who came to Denton to earn their sport pilot [certificates], and when they got here, they became enamored with one of the designs in the showroom and wound up flying it home." For those who are facing their first long cross-country flight when they finish the training, US Aviation will send along a flight instructor to accompany the buyer to his or her home airport.

Abbreviated briefings are a great way to request specific information from flight service and shorten briefings. Just ask for an abbreviated briefing, provide basic background information about your previous standard briefing, if applicable (and at what time you received it), and then request the information you want. Only requested items will be provided. For example, "I need an abbreviated briefing. I received a standard briefing for a flight in the Flagstaff area two hours ago. I just need the TAF for FLG and any new TFRs within 20 miles of the airport." For more FSS tips, download AOPA's quick reference card and take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's A Pilot's Guide to Flight Service online minicourse.

Inside AOPA

Colin and Ghyrn Loveness created a winning photograph of their de Havilland Beaver flying near Seattle at sunset. While Ghyrn flew the subject airplane, Colin took the winning shot from a Cessna 172. The brothers have been flying since they were kids-both soloed in a J-3 Cub at age 16. It seems aviation is a family affair: Their dad used to fly, and their mom and sister are both pilots. Submit one of your photos online for a chance at cash prizes and to be published in AOPA Pilot. See previous winners online. This year's contest runs through Sept. 2.

If you're learning to fly, or thinking about it, start your journey with AOPA Member Products. From start to finish, AOPA Member Products can help you make your dreams become a reality. Learn how AOPA Flight Training Funds, renter's insurance, legal services plan, and more can help you successfully reach your goal.

Aviation accidents do happen, and that's why pilots continually train for the possibility of an in-flight emergency. Pilots need to know not only how to handle emergency situations, but also what to do after the airplane comes to a stop in the cornfield. Test your knowledge about whom to call and what not to do with the latest AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Quiz. Then check out the Safety Quiz archives.

Creating a new instrument panel on an airplane is a pretty extraordinary process. Not only are the margins precise, but the implications to safety of flight are extremely high. This was in the back of our minds last week when we picked up the sweepstakes airplane from Penn Avionics in West Chester, Pa. Visit AOPA Online to see how it all came together.

If you already have an AOPA WorldPoints credit card from Bank of America, you know that you're automatically earning points for every dollar you spend and double points for most aviation purchases. But are you getting the most from your card? Find out on AOPA Online.

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 it's time to learn how to fly by reference to instruments only, a view-limiting device is the first thing you'll need. They come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. If you wear corrective lenses, Overcasters from Aviation Supplies and Academics (ASA) are designed to clip right on to your glasses (or your sunglasses). The eight-ounce plastic lenses can be flipped up when you transition back to visual flying. ASA says Overcasters are widely accepted by FAA examiners for use in practical tests and checkrides; check with your local examiner to see if he or she has a preference. Overcasters sell for $19.95 and can be ordered from ASA or other pilot supply retailers.

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: When must an alternate airport be specified in an IFR flight plan?

Answer: According to FAR 91.169, an alternate airport must be filed if one hour before until one hour after the estimated time of arrival, the forecast ceiling is less than 2,000 feet above the airport elevation, and the forecast visibility is less than three statute miles. This rule is commonly referred to as the "1-2-3 Rule." To learn more about selecting an alternate, read " Precise but Flexible Flying: The Practicals of Alternates and Minimums" in the AOPA Pilot "Instrument Insights" series.

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.

What's New Online

He always loved aviation. He took four flying lessons while in college, but he ran out of money and quit. Many years later, a renewed interest in aviation and particularly in turbine aircraft prompted him to get his pilot certificate. Nowadays, you may see him pilot an airplane in one of his films. Who is he? Find out in the June issue of AOPA Pilot magazine.

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 or send an e-postcard. For more details, see AOPA Online.

Weekend Weather
ePilot Calendar

South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
A Vintage Mooney Group fly-in takes place June 14 through 15 at Lake Tahoe (TVL). For more information, contact Phil Corman.

Chantilly, Va.  Become a Pilot Family Day will be held June 14 at the National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center adjacent to Dulles (IAD). For more information, contact Doug Baldwin, 703/572-4061, or visit the Web site.

Hinesville/Fort Stewart, Ga. A Salute the Troops event takes place June 14 and 15 at Midcoast Regional at Wright Army Airfield (LHW). For more information, contact Cindy Jones, 912/368-3471, or visit the Web site.

St. Francis, Kan. The twenty-sixth annual Stearman fly-in takes place June 14 and 15 at Cheyenne County Municipal (SYF). For more information, contact Robert Grace, 785/332-2251, or visit the Web site.

Lock Haven, Pa. A Sentimental Journey Fly-In takes place June 17 through 21 at William T. Piper Memorial (LHV). For more information, contact Carmen, 570/893-420, or visit the Web site.

Naples, Maine. The Annual New England Seaplane Safety Expo takes place June 21 at Brandy Pond Sea Plane Base (5ME). For more information, contact Mary Build, 207/838-3548, or visit the Web site.

Palm Springs, Calif. A Wright Brothers educational series event takes place June 20 at Palm Springs Air Museum. For more information, contact Sheilah Reed, 760/778-6262 ext. 235, or visit the Web site.

Klamath Falls, Ore.  Flying displays featuring Thunderbirds take place June 21 at Kingsley Field (LMT). For more information, contact David Junker, 541/331-7290, or visit the Web site.

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, Minneapolis, and Columbus, Ohio, June 21 and 22; in San Jose, Calif., June 28 and 29; and in Newark and Pittsburgh, July 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 Wichita, Kan., Ypsilanti, Mich., and Germantown, Tenn., on September 8. Topics vary-for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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