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| Training Tips |
It doesn't take long for a student pilot studying basic aerodynamics to come upon a term so fundamental to piloting that understanding it unlocks the door to understanding many advanced principles of flight. The term is relative wind.
The glossary of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge defines relative wind as "the direction of the airflow with respect to the wing. If a wing moves forward horizontally, the relative wind moves backward horizontally. Relative wind is parallel to and opposite the flightpath of the airplane."
Sounds simple enough, but there are nuances. To visualize relative wind, you must understand the flight path of the aircraft. "As students, pilots learn that relative wind occurs opposite the direction of flight. That is not to be confused with the direction the nose is pointing. The relative wind is often not directly off the nose," explains page 2 of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor Maneuvering Flight—Hazardous to your Health? [Relative wind can change rapidly during a turn, as explained in the May 23, 2008, "Training Tip."]
Note that the safety advisor's illustration demonstrates how relative wind is used to diagram the aircraft's angle of attack—the source of lift. "Wings are able to create lift by accelerating air over their top surfaces, which are curved expressly for that purpose. As the oncoming air—called the relative wind—strikes a wing's leading edge, it splits and travels aft until meeting again at the trailing edge. The airfoil's curve guarantees that the air flowing over the top surface travels faster than the air passing beneath the wing. It's this extra speed that creates a zone of low pressure air—suction, if you will—atop the wing," Thomas A. Horne wrote in "The four forces" on the AOPA Flight Training Web site.
Grasping relative wind is a simple step that will simplify your introduction to aerodynamics.
| Your Partner in Training |
The best way to avoid flying into airspace where you don't belong is to know about it before you take off. Know Before You Go is an interactive online course from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation that not only teaches about the challenges of security-related temporary flight restrictions, but also reviews everyday airspace issues.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 |
FAA DISALLOWS SMOKING CESSATION DRUG CHANTIX
Pilots and air traffic controllers who are taking Chantix to stop smoking must discontinue using the medication in order to continue flying or controlling air traffic. The FAA on May 21 announced the withdrawal of Chantix from its allowed medications list. In February, the Food and Drug Administration said the medication could have possible severe psychiatric side effects. Pilots cannot fly until 72 hours after the last dose of the medication. The FAA will accept a personal statement from pilots indicating that they have discontinued using the medication. Find out what medications the FAA allows in AOPA's online medications database.
LIBERTY AEROSPACE OPENS SOUTHEAST DEALERSHIP
Liberty Aerospace Inc., manufacturer of the two-seat Liberty XL2, announced last week that it is opening a southeastern U.S. dealership in Greensboro, N.C. The new dealership is housed in a 33,000-square-foot facility. It has acquired three demonstrators and ordered four XL2 Vanguard Editions. The Vanguard Edition, unveiled at Sun 'n Fun in April, features a higher gross weight, toe brakes instead of finger brakes, a WAAS-enabled Garmin GPS receiver, Jeppesen's terrain database, and entry steps for the pilot and passenger.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S GROUP AWARDS AVIATION SCHOLARSHIPS
The International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA), a group formed to promote the global advancement of women in aviation, has awarded scholarships to two college students. They are Melissa Deal, a student at Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law, and Angelica Maleskis, a student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. IAWA has presented a total of 10 scholarships to women who major in aviation law, management, business, or finance.
PLAN A FLIGHT TO AOPA'S FLY-IN
AOPA's Fly-In and Open House on Saturday, June 7, would make the perfect cross-country learning experience with your flight instructor. Talk to your instructor about making the trip. As you plan your flight, review the special arrival and departure procedures, temporary tower operations, and more. Your learning experience can continue once you arrive by attending our educational seminars.
FSS TIP OF THE WEEK: ANYONE THERE?
The new Lockheed Martin flight service voice recognition system prompts you for your location in order to connect you to a local briefer, but you can also request "any" to reach the first available briefer in the country. While this can shorten the hold time to speak to a briefer, he or she may not have the same degree of local knowledge as a briefer trained for your region. The briefer can provide information that is contained in a standard, abbreviated, or outlook briefing, but you must interpret the weather data. 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. Provide feedback on your briefing by calling 888/358-7782.
| Inside AOPA |
GET MORE FROM A GALLON OF AVGAS
With fuel prices on the rise, pilots can use some creative measures to get the most from a tank of avgas. Learn how to take advantage of the winds, use pressure-pattern flying, cut engine idle times, and more with these eight tips from the experts in AOPA's Pilot Information Center. But don't get too creative, as the AOPA Air Safety Foundation illustrates in the Hybrid Power pilot safety announcement.
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE WITH SAFETY QUIZ ON MIDAIR COLLISIONS
Nobody likes to think about midair collisions, but they are a distinct hazard of general aviation flying. You can help to minimize the danger by keeping your head on a swivel and your eyes outside as you fly. Take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's latest safety quiz to find out other techniques to stay safe, plus learn about traffic pattern procedures, right-of-way rules, and much more. For more information on midair collision avoidance, see the foundation's Collision Avoidance Safety Advisor.
SITTING ON A PIECE OF METAL
In our weekly updates of the progress on AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer, we've talked a lot about the instruments and equipment that will completely transform the airplane's instrument panel. But sometimes it's just as important to consider what those instruments are on. Older factory airplanes such as this Archer came off the assembly line with black metal subpanels and black plastic overlays. The new trend is one-piece flat metal panels, and that's exactly what will be installed on the Archer. Check out this week's sweepstakes update to learn how it was designed, built, and installed.
COORDINATION KEY TO EASY AIRPLANE PURCHASE
Buying your first airplane is a little like buying your first home—it's a big commitment with a lot of paperwork, a fair amount of anxiety, and the occasional gotcha. So when David White found his dream airplane, a Diamond Katana with a Rotax engine, he called a trusted source for help financing the purchase. Read more on AOPA Online.
SUPPORT FOR GA REWARDED WITH FAMILY VACATION
When Michael Broder first applied for an AOPA credit card in 1997, he just wanted to give something back to aviation—and he has, supporting AOPA with every purchase. But he also discovered that AOPA isn't the only winner when he uses his card. Read more on AOPA Online.
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 |
KING SCHOOLS 'PRIVATE PILOT CHECKRIDE COURSE'
The private pilot checkride is a source of consternation for most students, no matter how many reassurances they get from CFIs, friends, and family. Fortunately, there are lots of checkride prep materials readily available. King Schools Private Pilot Checkride Course on DVD gives you a video instructor (John King) and an FAA examiner who fly a complete checkride and show you how to demonstrate your knowledge when the big day comes. The two-DVD set comes with a copy of the practical test standards, so you can follow along as each maneuver is performed. The course is $119 and can be ordered online or by calling 800/854-1001.
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 does my exhaust gas temperature gauge tell me? Answer: Exhaust gas temperature (EGT) provides an accurate measure of your best power or best economy fuel/air mixture. As you lean the mixture, the temperature of the exhaust gases increases to a point—then begins to cool. Correct leaning provides the best fuel/air ratio optimizing your aircraft's range. Mixtures too rich lead to spark plug fouling, and mixtures too lean lead to detonation. To learn more about proper leaning, read the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Fuel Awareness Safety Advisor.
CORRECTION: In the May 23, 2008, Final Exam answer, we incorrectly stated the requirement for flying special VFR. Noninstrument-rated pilots can fly special VFR during the day if they meet the requirements stated in FAR 91.157. Only pilots who are instrument rated and flying an aircraft certified for flight in instrument conditions can fly special VFR at night. See AOPA Online for the complete corrected answer. We regret the error.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail to email@example.com 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 |
In the market for a handheld GPS? Many student pilots treat themselves to a portable GPS receiver when they pass the private pilot checkride or achieve some other aviation milestone. If you've been hankering for a GPS of your own but aren't sure which model is for you, see AOPA Pilot's Handheld GPS Directory. Here you'll find a chart where you can quickly compare features, prices, and screen sizes.
| 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 |
UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS:
Danville, Va. The Southside Skyfest takes place May 31 and June 1 at Danville Regional (DAN). For more information, contact Marc Adelman, 434/799-5110, or visit the Web site.
Stevens Point, Wis. A fly-in takes place June 1 at Stevens Point Municipal (STE). For more information, contact Phil Branham, or visit the Web site.
Bartlesville, Okla. Biplane Expo 2008 takes place June 5 through 7 at Bartlesville Municipal (BVO). For more information, contact Charles W. Harris, 918/622-8400, or visit the Web site.
Reading, Pa. World War II weekend takes place June 6 through 8 at Reading Regional/Carl A Spaatz Field (RDG). For more information, contact Brenda Saylor or Dave Schott, 610/372-7333, or visit the Web site.
Frederick, Md. The 18th Annual AOPA Fly-In and Open House takes place June 7 at Frederick Municipal (FDK). For more information, visit the Web site.
Atlanta, Ga. A Good Neighbor Day airshow and open house takes place June 7 at Dekalb Peachtree (PDK). For more information, contact Mario Evans, 770/936-5440, or visit the Web site.
Caldwell, Id. A Festival of Flight airshow and classic car show takes place June 7 at Caldwell Industrial (EUL). For more information, contact Doug Bergner or Darin Hunt, 208/571-6804 or 208/459-0718, 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 Orlando, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., and Reston, Va., June 7 and 8. Clinics are also scheduled in Phoenix, Minneapolis, and Columbus, Ohio, June 21 and 22 and in San Jose, Calif., June 28 and 29. 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 at the AOPA Fly-In and Open House, June 7, in Frederick, Md. Topics vary-for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.