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| Training Tips |
Two recent Training Tips discussed cloud cover ( "What's the ceiling?" and "Cloud Tops"). Those clouds in the distance off your wing tip must be given wide berth, too. One day you might receive a clearance to enter or depart controlled airspace accompanied by the cautionary instruction, "Maintain VFR at all times." Why did the controller say that?
The caution was meant to remind you that you, as the pilot, should never let a radar vector or other instruction get you in trouble. "In many cases, particularly at radar facilities, the people on the ground have little idea of the flight conditions beyond what has been relayed by pilots," wrote Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, in the safety article "Just say 'unable.'" This isn't a concern only for instrument pilots trying to comply with instructions while avoiding turbulence or icy clouds. "A similar situation involving benign clouds can develop with a VFR pilot operating in Class B or C airspace. Pilots not on an IFR flight plan are expected to maintain VFR—period. If an assigned heading or altitude is going to put the airplane too close to a cloud, then advise the controller that you are 'unable to maintain VFR' and suggest an alternative heading or altitude."
Some experience flying nearer than is comfortable to clouds, in the company of your instructor, will eliminate any skepticism you may have about the importance of this responsibility. In his "Wx Watch" column in the November 2006 AOPA Pilot, Thomas A. Horne argues that gradual exposure to poorer weather conditions should be included in any comprehensive flight training. "I've always been an advocate for flight instructors taking primary students on flights in marginal VFR weather—both in the traffic pattern and away from it. This way, the student can see what a 1,000-foot ceiling and three-statute-mile visibility (the VFR weather minimums at airports with controlled airspace designated to the surface) looks like. The same goes for flights at altitude, flying in three-mile visibilities and trying to keep the prescribed distance from clouds. The student quickly learns that three miles isn't much visibility at all."
Even when there's no controller reminding you to maintain VFR, remember those wise words. They'll keep you safe!
| Your Partner in Training |
One of the leading causes of general aviation accidents is continuing VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). When pilots lose outside visual references, they can lose their spatial orientation, leaving them unable to tell what's up, down, left, right, or straight and level. This happens because the human senses are easily fooled. Spatial disorientation, also known as vertigo, can quickly lead to losing control of the aircraft. For more information, read about the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's human factors study or download the Spatial Disorientation Safety Advisor.
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 |
WAI CONFERENCE HITS RECORD ATTENDANCE
The nineteenth annual International Women in Aviation (WAI) Conference in San Diego last week scored the highest attendance in the group's history and distributed more than $700,000 in scholarships to members. WAI said there were 3,320 women and men registered, including more than 250 conference attendees from the military. Scholarships totaling $710,855 were distributed to WAI members ranging from university students to mature members seeking a mid-life career change to aviation. Next year's event will be Feb. 26 to Feb. 28 in Atlanta.
CALIFORNIA TEENS SET AVIATION RECORDS
Two teenagers set aviation records on March 15 at Compton Woodley Airport in Compton, Calif. Kelly Anyadiki, 16, became the youngest African-American female to solo in four different aircraft on the same day. Jonathan Strickland established a record as the youngest African-American male to solo six different airplanes, and a second record for soloing six airplanes and one helicopter on the same day. The teenagers are participants in Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum, a program that aims to encourage youth involvement in aviation as an alternative to gang- and drug-related activities.
MAYLAN AVIATION ORDERS DIAMOND DA20s
Diamond Aircraft will ship 13 DA20-C1s to Maylan Aviation under an order announced last week. This order will bring the total of DA20s operated by Maylan to 35, making it the second largest DA20 fleet operator in North America and the largest in Canada, Diamond said. Maylan is instructing primarily Asian students at Dunnville Airport, Ontario, using the DA20 as the cornerstone of its professional pilot training program.
AVIATION LANDS IN CLASSROOMS
With a little ingenuity, enterprising teachers fit aviation into their math and science curricula—and their students benefit. At Heritage Christian Academy in Fort Collins, Colo., high school students can take a class on fundamentals of flying, which readies them for the FAA private pilot knowledge test. Because it incorporates algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and some calculus, it qualifies as a math credit for students, according to an article in The Fort Collins Coloradoan . And at Woodbine Middle School in Woodbine, Iowa, sixth grade science teacher Don Groff is using a flight simulator on laptop computers to teach students the principles of aerodynamics. Groff obtained a $3,000 Kiwanis International grant to purchase the simulator and rudder pedals and has invited a local flight instructor to address the class and help them with the simulators, according to an article in the Logan Herald-Observer .
| Inside AOPA |
ACCESSORIES ARE INCLUDED
Although the engine gets the most attention forward of the firewall, an airplane's accessories are a series of vital components that help to ensure everything is running smoothly. From oil coolers and starters to hoses and the exhaust, almost all the accessories on AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Archer are new. Learn the details of what we did under the cowling in this week's update.
'IFR INSIGHTS: CHARTS' COURSE DEBUTS ONLINE
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has just released IFR Insights: Charts , the first in a new series of interactive online courses aimed at helping instrument-rated pilots operate safely and efficiently in the IFR system. But there's plenty of information for VFR pilots as well. As any CFI will tell you, approach plates contain valuable information for VFR pilots, from terrain avoidance data to communications frequencies to the location of instrument approach initial approach points. In addition to detailed coverage of chart symbology, the course includes a gripping re-creation of a historic chart-related accident, interactive scenario-based quizzes, and numerous real-world flying tips.
TELL US YOUR LEARN-TO-FLY STORY!
Do you have a fun, unique, and positive experience from when you were learning to fly? We want to hear how exhilarating it was when you left the ground for the first time. To share your learn-to-fly story, send us an e-mail. Your story may even be used on our Web site or in one of our electronic or print publications!
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 |
TROPIC AERO LAUNCHES GARMIN BLOG
Tropic Aero, distributor of Garmin Aviation products as well as other types of pilot supplies, has created a blog on Garmin's popular line of GPS units. Entries are written from a pilot's point of view and will be updated twice per month. Current entries include a tutorial on how to receive traffic reports on the Garmin 396 and 496 handheld units, a breakdown of the differences between those two models, and some tips on using the Trip and Waypoint Manager software that's included with most GPSMap units. In keeping with the interactive nature of blogs, Tropic Aero invites pilots to submit ideas for future articles.
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 different types of ailerons are used on aircraft?
Answer: The object of ailerons is to roll an aircraft about its longitudinal axis. There are two different types of ailerons commonly used, and each is designed to compensate for adverse yaw. Differential ailerons work by raising one aileron a greater distance than the other is lowered. This differing distance induces greater drag on the raised aileron/lowered wing by deflecting airflow, compensating for an increase in lift and induced drag on the lowered aileron/higher wing. Frise-type ailerons each move an equal distance in opposite directions. When this happens, increased lift on the raised wing increases induced drag. Frise-type ailerons project a lip on the leading edge of each aileron that, when raised, juts out below the wing. The lip creates parasite drag, offsetting adverse yaw. Remember, coordinated rudder application is still needed wherever ailerons are applied. Read more in the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge .
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. |
| What's New at AOPA Online |
While your private pilot training likely won't include flights at altitudes where you need to use supplemental oxygen, you will be tested on your knowledge of the FAR that spells out when it must be used. Learn about supplemental oxygen requirements in AOPA's new subject report, Oxygen Use in Aviation. For a telling account of why you need supplemental oxygen if you'll be above 12,500 feet for more than 30 minutes, watch this short YouTube video of a pilot experiencing controlled hypoxia in an altitude chamber.
| Weekend Weather |
| ePilot Calendar |
UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS:
West Des Moines, Iowa. The 2008 Severe Storms and Doppler Radar Conference takes place March 20 through 22 at the West Des Moines Sheraton. Contact Rodney Donavon, 515/270-4501, or visit the Web Site.
Nashua, N.H. The 2008 New England Aviation Safety Expo takes place March 29 at the Eaton-Richmond Center at Daniel Webster College. For more information, contact Karen Goff, 603/879-6807, or visit the Web site.
Macon, Ga. The Cherry Blossom Balloonfest and Airshow takes place March 29 at Macon Downtown (MAC). For more information, call 478/751-7414, or visit the Web site.
Various locations, Kan. The All Kansas Air Tour, a seven-day trek across Kansas, takes place April 1 through 8. For more information, contact Ed Young, 785/296-2553, 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.
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Reston, Va., April 5 and 6; and Denver, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City, April 12 and 13. 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 Rosemont, Ill., and Morristown, N.J., March 31; Newton, Mass., April 1; East Windsor, Conn., and Gaithersburg, Md., April 2; and Manchester, N.H., April 3. The topic is "Top 5 Mistakes Pilots Make." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.