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Trainers and trim
How many trim-control systems does your trainer possess? Are they manual or electric? Even different examples of the same make and model aircraft may offer different trim capabilities. Typically, a pilot first encounters differences when moving from an aircraft with basic elevator trim to one that also features a rudder-trim knob or wheel. An example is the Piper Warrior III, reviewed by Mark Twombly in his article on AOPA Flight Training Online. Sophisticated aircraft may also feature aileron trim.
Even if your cockpit only has an elevator-trim control, there may be another trim system built into the aircraft: a ground-adjustable rudder trim tab. Learn how to use it to correct out-of-trim conditions detectable by feel or shown on the inclinometer. See the June 12 “ Training Tip: Step on the ball.”
Working with a ground-adjustable trim tab—and confirming that the adjustments did the trick—may take more than one try. “This tab is bent in one direction or the other while on the ground to apply a trim force to the rudder. The correct displacement is determined by trial-and-error process. Usually, small adjustments are necessary until you are satisfied that the airplane is no longer skidding left or right during normal cruising flight,” explains Chapter 4 of the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge .
At the other end of the spectrum, pilots training in highly automated machines such as technically advanced aircraft (TAA) know trim as one component of an integrated system. “The autopilot and trim systems are typically integrated because the autopilot uses the aircraft trim servos as the primary mechanical interface to the flight controls. Because the autopilot can compete with an unsuspecting pilot for control of the aircraft (by design the pilot must be able to win), it makes sense for the pilot to not only understand exactly how to operate the autopilot and the trim system, but also to completely check its operation prior to liftoff to make sure that it is fully functional,” wrote Michael G. Gaffney in the April 2007 AOPA Flight Training feature “ Glass Class: Meet your TAA.”
Whether you are moving up or just moving over, be sure to learn what your aircraft offers for trim control.
YOUR PARTNER IN TRAINING
For information on anything from arthritis to vision issues, or for a list of aviation medical examiners or pertinent medical Web sites, go to AOPA Online for subject reports on medical certification and other health-related topics. You can also talk to our experts toll-free at 800/872-2672 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern.
Did you know that student pilots who join AOPA are three times more likely to complete their flight training? Membership includes unlimited access to aviation information by phone (800/USA-AOPA, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time) or from AOPA Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you're not already a member, join today and get the pilot's edge. Login information is available online.
Bad landings aren't just a source of damaged pride—they're also the leading cause of damaged aircraft, with an average of eight crashes every week. Many of these accidents are caused by poor judgment or poor airmanship, but some reflect the tricky landing environments unique to certain airports. Find out exactly where these mishaps are occurring with a new interactive map from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The Google-based map plots accident locations, displays summaries of the crashes, and provides links to additional resources. Filters allow you to select the specific time frame and make/model of aircraft involved.
The developers of “Comm1 Radio Simulator,” a pilot training communications program, have put a five-minute product demo on the Web site. “Comm1,” developed by e-publishing group of Jefferson, Md., uses a learn-and-rehearse format to help pilots become more comfortable with transmitting on the radio. VFR and IFR versions are available, as well as training programs for navigation and Garmin GPS products.
U.S. Air Force pilot trainees have flown their last mission in the T-37 Tweet. The T-37, an introductory jet trainer, had been used in training for 50 years, and more than 78,000 Air Force pilots have trained in it since 1959. Its replacement is the T-6A (Texan II). The Tweet officially retires from active service on July 31. Lt. Col. Doug Antclif, 19th Air Force standards and evaluation pilot, flew the Tweet for the last 11 years. The aircraft is the same today as it was in 1991 when he was a student pilot, Antcliff said in a story on the Air Force Web site. “There is nothing new of that airplane,” he said of the T-37’s technology. “But I’m sad to see it go because it is a true workhorse.”
Helicopter flight school opens at Iowa City airport
Whirlybird Helicopters, based in Ogen, Utah, has opened a new training facility at Iowa City Municipal Airport. The school uses Engstrom 280s and Robinson R22s for training, and offers instruction for private, instrument, commercial, CFI, and CFII certificates. Whirlybird has partnered with Iowa Flight Training, which offers fixed-wing flight training at Iowa City and other airports in the state.
Celebrate your freedom to fly this weekend
Have you soloed? What better way to celebrate your accomplishment—and freedom to fly—than another solo lesson? Still working with an instructor? Schedule a lesson or tag along with another pilot this Fourth of July holiday weekend. As part of AOPA’s Freedom to Fly campaign, we encourage you to take to the sky this weekend and share your flight with us online. We’re creating an interactive map to show where AOPA members celebrated their freedom to fly.
Animated quiz shines light through the abyss
Thinking about pursuing your instrument rating once you get your private pilot certificate? Find out what it’s like to pop out of the clouds on an instrument approach to the welcoming approach lights guiding you to the runway in " Airport Lighting: IFR," the latest interactive safety quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Using flight simulator animation and interactive graphics, the quiz puts you “in the soup” and tests your knowledge of approach lighting systems, runway illumination, low-visibility taxi aids, and more.
Registration opens for AOPA Aviation Summit
Join us as we celebrate 70 years of history during AOPA’s convention in Tampa, Fla., Nov. 5 through 7. This event, called AOPA Aviation Summit, offers more events and displays, and package plans at lower prices. This event will be everything you have come to expect (and more) from AOPA. Visit our aircraft display at the Peter O. Knight Airport to find everything from vintage to light sport aircraft to seaplanes to helicopters. Be a part of the future of general aviation by participating in forums where you can share your opinions. Also, make plans to attend educational forums, participate in interactive opportunities on the show floor, and enjoy social events designed for the family. Register today to take advantage of discounted package pricing.
Buying an aircraft? AOPA Ownership Services can help
Purchasing an aircraft is an exciting and sometimes overwhelming occasion. You’ve found the perfect airplane. Now what? Most likely your first step will be securing the financing for your purchase. Financing your aircraft is simple through the AOPA Aircraft Financing Program. You’ll receive competitive rates and extended repayment terms. The online application process is speedy and simple. You could receive your approval the same day. As an extra bonus, the program will pay your AOPA membership dues for the life of your loan. Read more >>
Resource library in an iPhone application
Student pilots looking for knowledge test studying on the go now have a resource for the iPhone and iPod touch. “PilotPrep” is an FAA knowledge test question bank for the sport pilot, private pilot, recreational pilot, and instrument airplane knowledge tests. Users can go through each question bank and take study exams while the program keeps track of the selected answers. The application is $6.99; download from the Web site.
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.
Question: My instructor and I are planning to fly from our home airport to Oshkosh this year for EAA AirVenture. We are concerned because a portion of our flight will take us over Canadian airspace. Do we need to comply with Customs and Border Protection’s eAPIS (Electronic Advance Passenger Information System)?
Answer: You will not need to submit an eAPIS passenger manifest. However, there are other requirements with which you must comply. Overflights that originate and end in the United States require that the pilot file and activate a VFR or IFR flight plan. Pilots should write “Canadian overflight—no landing” in the remarks section of the flight plan. The U.S. government requires a transponder be used to cross the U.S. border in either direction, inbound or outbound. You must also be in communication with a U.S. air traffic control agency before crossing the border. Sport and recreational pilots are not allowed to conduct this type of overflight operation without prior authorization because the certificate does not meet ICAO and Canadian rules. Find out more about international flying by reading “ eAPIS: Frequently Asked Questions” and by taking the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s interactive course on eAPIS.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail [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.
Pilots love to take photos, and they love to share them with other pilots. Now you can upload your flying photos to our online gallery, "Air Mail." Share your special aviation images, or view and rate more than 2,000 photos and counting. Highly rated photos will get put into rotation on the AOPA home page!
AOPA career Opportunities
AVIATION EVENTS & WEATHER
Want something to do this weekend? Planning an aviation getaway? See your personalized online calendar of events . We've enhanced our calendar so that with one click you can see all of the events listed in the regions you selected when personalizing ePilot . Now you can browse events listed two weeks to a few months out to make your planning easier. You can also bookmark the personalized calender page to check it as often as you want. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.
Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Newark, N.J., July 11 and 12; Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn., July 18 and 19; Pittsburgh, Pa., July 25 and 26; Costa Mesa, Calif., Atlanta, Ga., and Champaign, Ill., Aug. 15 and 16. 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 Oshkosh, Wis., July 29, 30, and 31; Germantown, Tenn., Aug. 31; Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 1; Maryville, Tenn., Sept. 3. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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Editorial Team : ePilot Flight Training Editor : Jill Tallman | ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller | Contributor: Alton Marsh