The following stories from the April 30, 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 - Piston Single-Engine Interest TO SIGN OFF OR NOT TO SIGN OFF
For a CFI, signing a student off for solo flight is one of the most trying tasks that they must accomplish during a student's training. A series of accidents illustrates the need for CFIs to ensure that their students are ready to react quickly and resolve any issues that might arise during their first few flights alone in the cockpit. See the report
prepared by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, exclusively for ePilot
readers. My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips STALL PHOBIA
Nervous about stalls? Many pilots are. And not only student pilots-numerous experienced, certificated aviators bear this unnecessary burden. They compensate in various ways, such as carrying excessive speed on approach or using less-than-optimum rates of climb on departure, when correct technique requires confident flight at higher-than-usual angles of attack. This only results in different problems. Nor are instructors immune, which serves to hand down the problem to new generations.
But pilots whose training comprehensively embraced the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards' Area of Operation VIII, Task A, Maneuvering During Slow Flight are much less likely to carry this anxiety into their future flying. Download the PTS from AOPA Online
. Don't gloss over this area. By performing these maneuvers to a high level of proficiency, you will learn how the airplane feels and responds to control inputs right up to the critical angle of attack. Seeing for yourself what is needed to maintain coordinated flight prevents a stall from becoming a spin; see the October 11, 2002, "Training Tips."
Speed isn't really the issue here-so why is it part of the task's title? "A wing stalls because its angle of attack (AOA) is too great, not because the airspeed is too slow. Pilot operating handbooks give stall speeds because general aviation aircraft usually don't have AOA indicators," Ed Kolano writes in "Form and Function"
in the February 1997 Flight Training
"I predict that you'll be less fearful of your airplane if you maintain (or develop) your sensory flying skills," adds AOPA Pilot
columnist Rod Machado in the March 2004 "License to Learn: Are You Afraid of Your Airplane?" Writing for flight instructors in the December 1999 AOPA Flight Training
article "Teaching Stalls Without Anxiety,"
Ken Medley advocates presenting stalls as simply one aspect of well-explored slow flight, noting, "If you skip all of these incremental steps and go directly to big stalls, the student will have more trouble learning to control the stall action, will experience a lot more anxiety, and will never enjoy the fun of stalling with confidence and comfort."
Knowledge is the perennial antidote to anxiety. Learn what to expect from your aircraft in all situations and you will never shrink from flying it the way it was meant to be flown. My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products SPORTY'S DVD FOCUSES ON INSTRUMENT PROFICIENCY CHECKS
When you earn an instrument rating, the fun is just beginning. Now you have to stay proficient and current within the timeframes designated by the federal aviation regulations. If you can't, an instrument proficiency check, or IPC, is the next hurdle. Sporty's has a new DVD for pilots facing an IPC or those seeking another resource to help them operate safely within the system. Instrument Proficiency Check
includes sections on basic attitude instrument flight, holding procedures, approaches, emergencies, and weather reports and forecasts. The two-hour DVD sells for $39.95. Order online
from Sporty's or call 800/SPORTYS. My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam Question:
What is an SDF approach? Answer:
The first chapter
of the Aeronautical Information Manual
discusses navigational aids and gives complete information on a simplified directional facility (SDF) approach. The SDF provides a final approach course similar to that of the ILS localizer, but it does not provide glideslope information. The approach techniques and procedures used in an SDF instrument approach are essentially the same as those used in executing a standard localizer approach except the SDF course may not be aligned with the runway and the course may be wider, resulting in less precision.