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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 13AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content --Vol. 6, Issue 13

The following stories from the March 26, 2004, 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 - Jet Interest
This week Cessna announced that its latest Citation derivative, the XLS-successor to the Citation XL-had won fast-track production approval from the FAA. At the same time, the XLS is turning in some impressive performance numbers. Less than six months since its introduction at the National Business Aviation Association convention last fall, the XLS is in production, with first deliveries slated for this summer. The $9.895-million XLS, powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW545B engines providing 3,991 pounds of takeoff thrust apiece, can climb to FL 450 in 29 minutes on 888 pounds of fuel and cruise at 429 KTAS once it reaches that lofty clime. The cockpit features the Honeywell Primus 1000 Control Display System (CDS), with two primary flight displays and one multifunction display. If cabin pressurization is lost, an emergency descent mode commands a 90-degree left turn, so the aircraft won't pose a hazard to other traffic on an airway, and a descent to 15,000 feet. Production positions for the XLS are sold through mid-2005. For more, see the Cessna Web site.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
Having trouble landing? It's a rite of passage for pilots. The day is coming when you can bring her to earth like a pro. But today, this is still a struggle. It looks so easy, doesn't it? The airplane on final approach crosses the threshold in an easy glide, the nose rises a bit, and after a brief interval when the craft seems to hover just above the runway, it alights-main wheels first, then the nosewheel.

This may not be what you are experiencing. The timing of your roundout and flare is still off. The airplane touches down prematurely and skips, or hangs in the air beyond all reason, then flops onto the pavement. If only there were more time during that sensitive transition from glide to flare to get the feel of it!

"Did you know that your airplane has a built-in time machine designed just for students having landing difficulties?" asks columnist Rod Machado in his December 1999 AOPA Flight Training commentary "Fighting the Flare." Read his advice for tackling this challenge.

Another idea is to make sure you clearly understand the goals-misconceptions can mean hours of delayed learning. Ask for additional demonstration of the elements of landing. Quality demonstrations are discussed in "CFI to CFI: Show and Tell" in the April 2004 AOPA Flight Training.

Learning also requires analyzing what happened on earlier attempts. "Don't you just hate it when you think you have landed, then find yourself 10 feet up, wondering what happened? Well, you bounced. You bounced because: (a) you were too fast when you landed, and you basically skipped off the runway; (b) your descent rate was much too high because you didn't flare soon enough, fast enough, or both; or both (a) and (b)," explains Thomas A. Horne in his March 1997 AOPA Pilot article "Landing Proficiency," from the "Measure of Skill" series available at AOPA Online.

Confronting landings may be your first experience with a learning plateau. See ways to get the train moving again in the June 2003 AOPA Flight Training feature "Sophomore Slump." Also know that student pilots are not the only ones to have trouble, as the September 2002 confessional "No Flare for Landings" makes clear.

Fend off discouragement, and move on to a time when you can savor the results of your hard work. It'll be sooner than you think!

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
If a flight maneuver doesn't make sense even after the instructor explains it at length, perhaps a picture is needed. Flight Maneuvers Illustrator ($7.55) from Jeppesen is a spiral-bound 6-inch by 3.5-inch book that you can stow in a jacket pocket or flight bag. It contains depictions of both private and commercial maneuvers. Halden Books' Visualized Flight Maneuvers for Instructors and Students ($18.95) is especially for high-wing aircraft and includes 520 illustrations designed to lay out the elements of each maneuver. Order one or both online from

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: I hold a private glider certificate and a third class medical/student pilot certificate for single-engine land aircraft. A CFI says that I must contact the FAA to surrender the student pilot certificate and rely solely on logbook endorsements for my single-engine land instruction. Is this true?

Answer: Yes. Because you are already a certificated private pilot, you do not need the combined student/medical certificate. Once you obtain a recreational or higher pilot certificate, you are no longer considered a student pilot in the eyes of the FAA-technically you're a student only once in your flying career. Call the FAA in Oklahoma City (800/350-5286, select option #5) and ask that you be reissued the standalone third class medical certificate.

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