The following stories from the April 16, 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 - Instrument Interest FLYING IFR?
The FAA has updated instrument approach charts, high and low altitude en route charts, some sectional and world aeronautical charts, and Airport/Facility Directories
. Make sure you have current charts before you fly. AOPA's Airport Directory Online
provides the current approach charts. See AOPA Online
to view the U.S. terminal procedures. My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips BOUNCES AND PORPOISES
The March 26, 2004, Training Tips on "Tackling Touchdown Travails"
encouraged student pilots struggling with landings to have confidence-brighter days are coming! Errors such as bounced landings and an accompanying phenomenon called porpoising
are miscues that you will soon leave behind.
The cause of the bounce and the porpoise is failure to achieve the correct landing attitude at the proper height above the runway during the transition from the roundout to the flare. See Thomas A. Horne's description of these terms in "Touchdown!"
in the September 2003 AOPA Pilot
. If you hesitate to rotate the nose to a sufficiently high attitude while reducing your descent rate to almost nil before the wheels touch, two things can happen: You'll touch down with excessive airspeed, and the impact may propel you back into the air.
Then where are you? On the way back up, nose high, power off, airspeed dissipating. What to do next depends on how severe the first arrival was. A minor hop can often be corrected simply by adding slightly more back pressure on the yoke during the second touchdown. You can recover from a somewhat more aggravated bounce with a combination of back pressure and a touch of power. A real gear-shaker may leave you almost stalled and so high that the only recourse is to go around and try again.
Under no circumstances should you jam the nose down in an attempt to land after a bounce. This is what causes the porpoise-a jarring and increasingly severe succession of impacts and rebounds often leading to nose-gear failure and accidents. Robert Rossier analyzes landing errors including the porpoise in the September 1997 Flight Training
column "Learning Experiences."
Failing to understand what causes porpoising is a common source of student discouragement. See Rod Machado's cure for this-including simulating bounce errors with your instructor to practice recoveries safely-in "Self-Confidence Hurdles,"
his commentary in the December 2000 AOPA Flight Training
. And as AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg urges all student pilots and their instructors in the July 2001 AOPA Flight Training "Instructor Report,"
remember to "make go-arounds the rule" when a landing is not working out.
Then practice. The results will soon be obvious. My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products SCAN AVIATION CHANNELS WITH SPORTY'S DESKTOP RADIO
When learning proper aviation radio communications, some student pilots like to monitor air traffic controller and pilot interchanges on aviation frequencies. Others simply enjoy immersing themselves in aviation lingo when they can't be at the airport. With Sporty's Air-Scan V radio, you can listen to an aviation frequency, or you can tune to an AM or FM station whose broadcast will be interrupted by an aviation transmission from one of the scanned channels you select. It sells for $99. See the Web site
or call 800/SPORTYS. My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam Question:
When setting a code into a knob-type transponder, I've been advised not to scroll through the range of numbers, especially on the first (far left) digit, but rather to carefully turn the knob to the correct number-and leave it there-for each of the digits. Can you tell me why there is concern about this? Answer:
The concern is likely regarding the digit "7." When setting a new code, be careful not to scroll through the digit "7" on the far left because all codes beginning with "7" signify an emergency and will set off alarms at air traffic control centers. The code 7700 means "Help! Mayday!" and is the same as if you declare an emergency using the radio. The code 7600 means you have lost communication with air traffic control, and 7500 means that you've been hijacked. If you squawk 7500 the controller will covertly respond, "Confirm you are squawking 7500." If you confirm, your flight will be carefully monitored, and you can expect law enforcement personnel to surround your airplane when you land. Read more about transponders, how they work, and how they are used in emergencies in the April 2003
issue of AOPA Flight Training