Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

AOPA ePilot Custom ContentAOPA ePilot Custom Content

The following stories from the May 23, 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 - Turbine Interest ~
The latest model of the single-turbine-engine Pilatus, the PC-12 NG (for Next Generation), has made its debut in Europe. It was certified both in Europe and the United States in March. The PC-12 NG features a number of improvements over its predecessor, including a fully integrated Honeywell Primus Apex avionics system, a revised cockpit designed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA, and a more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67P engine.

Hawker Beechcraft has launched the Premier II, a new $7.365 million single-pilot jet. Compared to the Premier 1A, the new jet will go higher (to 45,000 feet), 20 percent farther (1,500 nm with a pilot and four passengers), and faster (465 knots at typical cruise altitudes). The maximum gross takeoff weight will increase from 12,500 pounds to 13,800 pounds, providing a 900-pound payload with full fuel. The first flight of the aircraft is scheduled for April 2009, with FAA certification planned for the second quarter of 2010. European Aviation Safety Authority certification is expected in the fourth quarter of 2010.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
What force makes an airplane turn? Expect that question on the private pilot knowledge test or flight test, and be able to answer it for yourself when deflecting the controls to practice turns in flight. The basic idea is that the same force that sustains an airplane in flight-lift-enables turns. A thorough answer also recognizes aerodynamic forces and piloting demands created when an airplane enters turning flight.

How does lift turn an airplane? Banking the airplane allows some wing lift to act horizontally. "An airplane, like any moving object, requires a sideward force to make it turn. In a normal turn, this force is supplied by banking the airplane so that lift is exerted inward as well as upward. The force of lift during a turn is separated into two components at right angles to each other. One component, which acts vertically and opposite to the weight (gravity), is called the 'vertical component of lift.' The other, which acts horizontally toward the center of the turn, is called the 'horizontal component of lift,'" explains Chapter 3 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

Wait a minute. If lift is "borrowed" to turn an airplane that was flying straight and level, won't the aircraft descend? Good question. Total lift must increase to maintain altitude during a turn; how much depends on how steep the bank angle. Here's how it all works, according to "All types of turns" on AOPA Flight Training Online: "Total lift, composed of vertical and horizontal components when banked, still acts perpendicular to the relative wind and to the wingspan. And backpressure on the yoke then increases G-load and total lift. It's the growing horizontal component of lift that forces the airplane away from a straight flight path. As the flight path bends in the direction of this force, the tail assembly continually weathercocks the nose into the changing relative wind, resulting in a smooth, sweeping arc."

Clearly there's much more to turns than the terse answer to questions on a knowledge test. And as a query about turns from a novice pilot revealed to retired airline pilot Barry Schiff [see "Proficient Pilot" in the July 2002 AOPA Pilot ], understanding the nuances of how they work is a continuing process, even for experienced pilots.

My ePilot - Training Product
Are landings troubling you? Do the principles of short- and soft-field operations elude you? If so, a visual aid such as Sporty's Takeoffs and Landings DVD may be able to put things in perspective. The 51-minute DVD covers slips, crabs, no-flap landings, and emergencies, among other topics. A section on maximum performance takeoffs and landings discusses how to safely operate from short and soft fields. The DVD includes 3-D graphics to help reinforce key topics. The DVD sells for $29.95 and may be ordered online or by calling 800/SPORTYS.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: What is required to operate under special VFR minimums?

Answer: As stated in FAR 91.157, the pilot must receive a clearance from air traffic control, have at least one statute mile flight visibility, and remain clear of clouds. The aircraft must be equipped and the pilot certified for instrument flight. When taking off or landing, a minimum ground visibility of one statute mile is required. If ground visibility is not reported at a minimum of one statute mile, flight visibility may replace ground visibility. Special VFR operations are only permitted between sunrise and sunset. For additional information, read "Pilot Counsel: Special VFR."

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.

Related Articles