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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 47AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 47

The following stories from the November 25, 2005, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information tailored to their areas of interest by updating their preferences online.

My ePilot - Helicopter Interest
Even though new Helicopter Association International (HAI) President Matthew Zuccaro just assumed the office in November, he probably already knows the ins and outs. That's because he actually has been involved with the association for two decades and served as chairman, vice chairman, treasurer, assistant treasurer, director, and special advisor to the HAI Board. HAI says Zuccaro was instrumental in the relocation of the association's headquarters to Alexandria, Virginia, and he helped revise HAI's by-laws. Zuccaro has been an active leader in the helicopter industry for 35 years and holds ATP and instrument flight instructor certificates for airplanes and helicopters. Zuccaro replaces the retiring president, Roy Resavage, who had served as president since 1998.

My ePilot - Own/May Own Interest
Whether you are a new or veteran aircraft owner, you probably are always looking for more ways to better care for your aircraft. Owners frequently seek advice about whether their bird should be kept in a hangar or tied down outside, what kind of cleaner to use to wash the windscreen and aircraft surfaces, how to prevent corrosion, and more. Steven W. Ells, a general aviation A&P mechanic (with inspection authorization), provides helpful tips in "Aircraft Care and Feeding 101" in the August 2002 AOPA Pilot. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation offers additional tips about engine and propeller care in its "Engine and Propeller" online course.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
A student pilot doesn't get far into flight training before encountering the term "directional control." It is an element of any correct takeoff or landing, but mastering it takes patience and practice. Add some gusts or a crosswind, and any flaws in your technique will become evident. Loss of directional control is a common cause of takeoff and landing accidents in which an aircraft "departed" a runway. Look up the taxiing, takeoff, and landing tasks in the private pilot Practical Test Standards, and you will see that how well you maintain directional control, combined with proper positioning on or above the runway, is carefully evaluated.

Respond quickly, not excessively, to changing aerodynamic conditions on takeoff or landing and you will meet the challenge. When applying power for takeoff, avoid jamming the throttle forward, which could yaw the airplane to the left, causing problems from the start. Throttle up firmly but gradually, adding right rudder pressure to hold a straight track down the runway. Remember that rudder, elevator, and aileron all become more effective as airspeed increases. Adjust control inputs in recognition of this aerodynamic reality. "Watch for overcontrol of the rudder pedals on the takeoff run. Because a takeoff involves high speeds, it is normal to feel a 'rush' during the takeoff run. Everything seems to be happening at once. This sense of urgency can cause overcontrolling of the rudder pedals. The student should try to relax and realize that as the aircraft gathers speed, progressively smaller rudder pedal inputs will be required to keep the aircraft tracking the centerline," wrote Christopher L. Parker in the "Instructor Report" column from the April 2003 AOPA Flight Training. On landing, control inputs must be increased as the aircraft decelerates, such as for keeping the aircraft pointed straight ahead (rudder) and any aileron being used to hold down the upwind wing in a crosswind.

If a takeoff run does become directionally unstable, aborting it should be a strategic option, as discussed in the March 11, 2005, Training Tips. When landing, a go-around is the right call if things come unglued-yes, even if the airplane is already on the ground. Directional control is not a flight test "task" in of and itself-just a necessary skill for making larger tasks come out right.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
GET MOBILE WEATHER ANYTIME, ANYWHERE has just released a new weather briefing service for pilots called Weather Notice. The technology can send weather reports to cell phones, PDAs, or e-mail addresses. Textual reports, weather images, and temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) are available. Users can also make requests for weather reports and images and have them arrive electronically within minutes, the company said. For more information, see 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.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: I have noticed during my training flights that the magnetic compass doesn't always match the heading indicator while turning. Is there a reason for that?

Answer: Yes. The Earth's lines of magnetic force are parallel to the Earth's surface at the equator and perpendicular to the Earth's surface at the magnetic poles. At the equator, the attraction of the magnetic compass toward the North or South Pole is equal. At the poles, the attraction of the magnetic compass needle toward the nearest pole is increased. Because the compass needle seeks to align itself with the lines of magnetic force, this causes a magnetic dip while turning. And because the magnets in the compass are oriented horizontally in level flight, dip errors only occur when the airplane is banked. With the airplane banked, the magnets in the compass are now given the chance to move vertically, causing the magnets to tilt downward. This causes an initial error in the compass indication until the magnets have a chance to properly align themselves and indicate the correct heading. The turning error causes the compass to lead or lag the actual magnetic heading and is most pronounced when turning from a north or south heading. In the Northern Hemisphere, the lag occurs when turning from a north heading and the compass leads when turning from a south heading. There is no error when turning from an east or west heading. For additional information on magnetic compass errors, see AOPA Online.

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