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AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition - Volume 8, Issue 19

Volume 8, Issue 19 • May 9, 2008

In this issue:
First solo memories captured in print, online
Interactive courses not just for novices
Creating an instrument panel

This ePilot Flight Training Edition is sponsored by

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Training Tips

One of the first examples of thinking ahead while flying is the idea of "leading" the completion of a climb, descent, or turn. Don't wait until you reach your altitude or heading before leveling off or rolling out. That process must begin somewhat earlier. Techniques differ, depending on the rate at which the maneuver is performed or whether a power adjustment is involved. But one lesson all the maneuvers teach is developing timing and precision. With that knowledge comes smoothness and the ability to avoid high load factors or approaches to stalls such as might occur if a pilot roughly leveled off from a power-off glide.

Consider the method for rolling out accurately from a turn. "When you begin to roll out of the turn to your predetermined heading, lead the rollout by one-half the number of degrees of your bank angle. For example, in a 30-degree bank turn, begin to level the wings 15 degrees before you reach your desired heading (check the heading indicator). In a 45-degree turn lead the rollout to heading by 22 degrees," according to David Montoya's article "Climbs, descents, turns, and stalls" on the AOPA Flight Training Web site.

Leveling off from a climb was discussed in the Dec. 9, 2005, "Training Tip." Among other points, it stressed the importance of maintaining climb power setting for a time after the nose is lowered, to allow the aircraft to accelerate from climb to cruise airspeed.

Acceleration also may be required while leveling off from a power-off glide-because best-glide speed is typically below cruise airspeed. "With too little lead, there will be a tendency to descend below the selected altitude. For example, assuming a 500-foot-per-minute rate of descent, the altitude must be led by 100 to 150 feet to level off at an airspeed higher than the glide speed," explains Chapter 3 of the Airplane Flying Handbook.

Learning to lead your level-offs and rollouts correctly during training assures that you will remain within altitude or heading tolerances when demonstrating the maneuvers on practical tests for a private pilot or sport pilot certificate. Doing so will also showcase your smoothness and sharpen the all-important ability to think ahead in your flying.

CORRECTION: In the May 2, 2008, “Training Tip,” we had an incorrect statement regarding the adjustment of the fuel-air mixture. The sentence should have read, “You should also consider richening the fuel-air mixture. Leaning affects engine temperature as well as power and fuel efficiency and was discussed in the July 29, 2005, Training Tip ‘Overheat Season.’” We regret the error.

Your Partner in Training

Getting ready to go for your first FAA medical? Log on to AOPA Online and get the essential information you should know. From a listing of FAA-accepted medications to medical subject reports, you'll find the resources that can help you understand the application process. We even have a searchable listing of aviation medical examiners in the United States. And AOPA's TurboMedical application will walk you through the form, cautioning you about potentially problematic answers. You also have access to medical certification specialists who deal with the FAA regularly. You can reach them by calling our Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA (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

Few moments in flying equal the excitement you feel on the day you first solo an aircraft. We asked our members to send us their solo memories, and the photos came pouring in. We used some in the June issue of AOPA Flight Training and put another batch online for you to enjoy. Relive your solo memories (or, get a glimpse of the fun yet to come) in "I Think I'm Alone Now" and see more solo triumphs in the accompanying online slide show.

When you're passionate about something, you want to share that passion with the world. For many pilots that means telling friends about aviation or taking them for rides. But for Darren Large, it means something bigger. Large started an Aviation Explorer post at Morristown Municipal Airport in New Jersey where he serves as the projects and grants administrator. The program helps young people ages 15 to 20 who are interested in aviation explore career options and develop an understanding of the field through firsthand experiences. See the complete story on AOPA Online.

A pastor in Waukesha, Wis., is using aviation as a tool to reach out to at-risk teens in his congregation and community. Pastor Jerome Spencer of the New Beginnings Ministry has recruited Milwaukee-area pilots as mentors, obtained a grant to cover some equipment and supplies, and worked a second job to get the program aloft, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . Participating students take ground school in a donated hangar at Waukesha County Airport and work toward completing the private pilot knowledge test. Three participants have passed the test. "What has made this program work is the care and love of the Waukesha community coming alongside and saying 'I'll help,'" Spencer said.

The University of Oklahoma's Sooner Flight Academy will sponsor several aviation camps for children ages 4 through 18. The camps will kick off in June, and sessions will run through August. The programs promote aviation and teach practical application of math and science. Some camps include flight time. All activities take place at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. For more information or to apply online, see the Web site.

Inside AOPA
Who knows more about flying than a 20-plus-year pilot with thousands of hours of experience at the controls of F-16s, airliners, and his own Vans RV-4? Now give that pilot combat experience and make him an accident investigator. What could he learn from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's interactive online courses? Plenty, says Lt. Col. Edward "Ned" Linch, who holds all those qualifications and more. "Your courses are not only for the private pilot!" Linch wrote to the foundation recently. "I've taken several of them, and I think the courses are excellent...short and to the point with the important information you need to know." Linch took the Mountain Flying course last year before flying over the Rocky Mountains on his way to AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. Take a course and become a safer pilot today.

As a student, one doesn't often think of the layout of the instrument panel. The six pack is right in front of the pilot, and the radios are usually to the right in what's commonly referred to as the center stack. But with AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer, we had to take more than just radio placement into consideration when redesigning the instrument panel. See this week's sweepstakes update to find out where we placed things on the panel and why we did so.

Over the years, J. Barry Mitchell has owned five airplanes ranging from high-end pistons to light sport aircraft, and all have been insured through the AOPA Insurance Agency. "The price has always been competitive, but the best part of the experience is really service," Mitchell says of his many years as an AOPA Insurance Agency customer. "It's the knowledge of my agent and her professionalism. She's always available and responds quickly to any questions. Invariably she gets back to me within hours, even when I tell her it's not an emergency." Mitchell owns a Cessna 150 and an Allegro 2000 light sport aircraft insured through AOPA, and he couldn't be happier. "I recommend AOPA to the world," he says. To learn more about the AOPA Insurance Agency, visit the Web site and get a quote online. You can also get answers to all your questions and speak with an agent by calling 800/622-2672.

Expect more from your next car rental experience. With Avis Preferred Service you can rent a car with ease; the staff will know who you are and what kind of car you prefer. And, you can choose to fly past the tollbooths with Avis's e-toll option. The personalized service provided by Avis Preferred is unparalleled and is available to AOPA members free of charge. Enroll today and start enjoying all the benefits Avis Preferred offers. Make sure to include your e-mail address and Avis will automatically e-mail your receipt within 24 hours of the car's return.

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

Operating, reading, and interpreting VORs is a stumbling block for many student pilots, and if you don't fully grasp VORs during primary training, your deficiency will come back to bite you when you train for the instrument rating. VORs At-A-Glance Flashcards may be able to help. The set of more than 160 quiz cards covers the difference between courses and radials; what the VOR does not show you; the best way to think about the course deviation indicator; inbound versus outbound course indications, and more. The manufacturer says using these cards will help you to read course, radial, and location information with just a quick glance at the receiver. The cards are $45 per set and may be ordered online from

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 are displaced thresholds, and can I land on them?

Answer: A displaced threshold is a portion of the runway not available for touchdown, but it is available for takeoffs in either direction, or landings from the opposite direction. So, if you are landing on the displaced threshold end of the runway, you must touch down beyond the threshold markings, but if you are landing on the opposite end of the runway, you can roll out onto the displaced threshold area. To learn more about the runway environment, view the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Runway Flashcards and take the interactive Runway Safety course.

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

What's New at AOPA Online

High density altitude, a heavy load, and quickly deteriorating weather conditions threaten the pilot of a Piper Archer. Find out how he escapes in the latest installment of Never Again Online.

Weekend Weather
ePilot Calendar

Bridgeport, Conn. A Three Wing open house takes place May 10 at Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial (BDR). For more information, contact Christine, 203/375-5795 extension 101, or visit the Web site.

Point Lookout, Mo. A Welcome to Wings fly-in and open house takes place May 10 at M. Graham Clark-Taney County (PLK). For more information, contact Ben Fisher, 417/332-1545, or visit the Web site.

Modesto, Calif. A Modesto Airport Day airshow takes place May 10 at Modesto City-County Harry Sham Field (MOD). For more information, contact Jerry Waymire, 209/968-2613.

Columbia, S.C. Thunder at Fort Jackson takes place May 17 at Fort Jackson. For more information, contact Anna Amick, 803/772-2945, or visit the Web site.

Rome, Ga. An American Heroes Aviation and Public Safety Expo takes place May 17 and 18 at Richard B. Russell (RMG). For more information, contact Mike Grier, 404/451-2212, 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 Sacramento, Calif., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Albany, N.Y., May 17 and 18; and Orlando, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., and Reston, Va., June 7 and 8. 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 Madison, Wis., May 13; Milwaukee, Wis., May 14; Manitowoc, Wis., May 15; Danville, Va., May 27; and Richmond, Va., May 28. The topic is "Top 5 Mistakes Pilots Make." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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