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AOPA ePilot Custom ContentAOPA ePilot Custom Content

The following stories from the May 16, 2008, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information tailored to their areas of interest by updating their preferences online.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
The May 9, 2008, "Training Tip" explained how "learning to lead" a turn, climb, or descent is an important part of performing those maneuvers precisely. Knowing how to lead a rollout or level off skillfully lets the pilot fly maneuvers with pinpoint accuracy, especially when the rate of turn or vertical motion is high.

A turn with a high rate of heading change employs a steep bank angle. That steep turn requires a large lead, and it has another characteristic distinguishing it from other turns: a tendency for the bank angle to increase unless the pilot positively prevents it with control pressure.

Turns are considered shallow until the bank angle reaches about 20 degrees. The pilot may have to use control inputs to maintain a shallow turn because the aircraft's built-in stability causes it to attempt to return to wings-level flight. This aerodynamic response changes in a medium banked turn (20 to about 45 degrees) in which the aircraft may remain at a constant bank angle, as explained in Chapter 3 of the FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook. About a steep turn, the Handbook says: "Steep turns are those resulting from a degree of bank (45 degrees or more) at which the 'overbanking tendency' of an airplane overcomes stability, and the bank increases unless aileron is applied to prevent it."

The reduced radius of steep turns compared to medium and shallow turns amplifies the difference in the amount of lift being developed by the inside and outside wings, creating the tendency to overbank that must be offset with aileron pressure. The added lift also creates more drag on the outside wing, creating a tendency to yaw. This must be corrected with rudder pressure. The pilot must also hold back-pressure in the turn but reduce it as the rollout continues and the horizontal component of lift reduces to zero, as discussed by Chris Parker in the March 2008 AOPA Flight Training feature "Steepen that turn."

Correct technique for flying a steep turn was the subject of the March 29, 2002, "Training Tip." Like knowing how to lead a rollout, applying your knowledge of the overbanking tendency is part of the headwork that brings a turning maneuver to a successful conclusion.

My ePilot - Training Product
Just as a fixed-wing student pilot needs a clear understanding of aerodynamics, so does a rotary-wing student. The Virtual Test Prep DVD series from Aviation Supplies & Academics has released an installment on helicopter fundamentals. The DVD covers basic aerodynamics, helicopter systems and flight controls, and aerodynamics unique to helicopters, among other topics. Training tools include in-flight demonstrations and 3-D animated graphics. The DVD is meant to supplement the airplane Virtual Test Prep ground school courses, meaning you'll need to complete both the helicopter and airplane ground school courses to prepare for your pertinent FAA knowledge test. The DVD has a run time of 91 minutes and sells for $29.95. Order online or call 800/ASA-2FLY.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: Is simulator time considered flight time, and may I log it as such?

Answer: Simulator training is not considered flight time, but it is aeronautical experience that may be used in limited quantities toward a pilot certificate and/or rating. "Flight time" means pilot time that commences when an aircraft moves under its own power for the purpose of flight and ends when the aircraft comes to rest after landing, as defined by Part 1 of the federal aviation regulations. Pilots may log simulator time as outlined in FAR 61.51(b)(2)(3) as long as an authorized instructor is present during the training. Read AOPA's subject report on flight training devices for more information.

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.

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