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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 10AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 5, Issue 10

The following stories from the March 7, 2003, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information customized to their areas of interest by updating their member record file online.

My ePilot - Turboprop Interest
The FAA has adopted an AD for Hartzell propellers found on Mitsubishi MU-2 aircraft. AD 2003-04-23 requires the replacement of propeller model HC-B3TN-5 with blade parts numbers T10176H (B, K) -5 or T10178 (B) -11 (R). The AD was prompted by a report of in-flight blade separation that caused severe damage to an airplane. The required parts are estimated to cost $10,000 per propeller. The AD is effective April 4. See AOPA Online for the full text.

My ePilot - Jet Interest
The Cessna Citation CJ3 is nearing its first flight. Workers recently installed the tail and engines, thus completing the airframe. Cessna has also started testing the Williams International FJ44-3A engines and the Collins Pro Line 21 avionics. Cessna expects to make the maiden flight during second quarter this year followed by certification next year.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
A presolo student pilot writes, "The most difficult part about flying for me has been the transition between a crab and a sideslip during a crosswind on landing." Much has been written on crosswind landing techniques (see "Practicing Crosswind Landings" in the December 28, 2001, edition of this newsletter, available online). But skill is only acquired through practice. See the February 2000 AOPA Flight Training feature "The Examiner's Lament."

Insight into what it takes to humble a crosswind is found in Budd Davisson's insightful July 2000 AOPA Flight Training feature article, "The 10-Hour Graduate Course": "The changeable characteristics of a gusty crosswind are what drive all pilots nuts, and it is usually because they haven't drawn a firm visual line that they want to fly. Once that line is drawn, they have to resolve to instantly correct for any deviations from it. In a gusty wind, flying something like a Cessna 172, that means thrashing away with the ailerons and rudder, doing whatever you have to do to keep the airplane from drifting while absolutely nailing the nose at a given attitude."

In the crab/slip approach, the pilot flies final approach with the aircraft's nose crabbed into the wind to counteract drift until just before touchdown, when the nose must be aligned with the runway centerline for a straight-ahead touchdown. Simply using rudder to eliminate the crab would result in drifting downwind. This is avoided by simultaneously banking into the wind. The airplane lands banked slightly. The upwind main wheel touches first, and the nose (longitudinal axis) points straight ahead. See "Defeating the Crosswind" by Alton K. Marsh in the August 1996 AOPA Pilot.

If you are having trouble timing the transition, tell your instructor that you would like to fly a crabbed approach to the runway, but instead of touching down after entering the sideslip, add a touch of power and continue flying above the centerline while sideslipping. (Sideslipping all the way down final approach through touchdown is another acceptable technique; choose the method that you like best.) Knowing that you can fly along this way indefinitely removes the stress of feeling that you must time the transition to occur just before touchdown. Make as many passes as it takes for you to feel comfortable.

Know your airplane's demonstrated crosswind capability-technically this is not an operating limitation, but it does exist for a reason. You should calculate the crosswind component at the time of your flight to make sure that you have adequate rudder authority (see Section 3 of AOPA's Handbook for Pilots). Then go out and become proficient in one of aviation's most challenging skills!

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Pilots who fly at night are always looking for the most convenient, easiest-to-use flashlight to provide auxiliary cockpit lighting or as an easily accessible backup should electrical power fail. A new contender is the Zipka LED Head Light, which employs three light-emitting diodes and attaches to the user's forehead with a retractable headband. The light directs a broad beam of light in the direction its wearer is looking. Powered by three AAA cells, it weighs only 2.2 ounces including batteries. The Zipka light sells for $26.95 and is available online from AvShop.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: Why don't I see runway headings marked on the runway for specific magnetic headings such as 043 degrees?

Answer: According to Section 2-3-3 (b) of the Aeronautical Information Manual , runway numbers are the whole number nearest one-tenth the magnetic azimuth of the centerline of the runway, measured clockwise from the magnetic north. To put it in simpler language, the runway numbers represent the first two digits of the runway's magnetic direction, rounded to the nearest 10 degrees with the last zero left off. For example, a runway with a heading of 137 degrees is rounded to 140 degrees and becomes Runway 14. A runway heading of 043 degrees would be rounded to 040 degrees, the first and last zeros would be dropped, and the runway marked as 4. For more information on runway markings, see "Lines and Signs" in the April 1993 Flight Training magazine.

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