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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 8, Issue 14AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 8, Issue 14

The following stories from the April 7, 2006, 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
The same folks who brought the CarterCopter (a rotorcraft designed to break the Mu-1 barrier but eventually was lost in testing) to life are continuing their quest to develop advanced rotorcraft technology with Carter FutureFlight 1. A test bed for new propeller and rotor designs, the on-the-shelf gyrocopter has been modified with a hollow, composite pusher prop and new shocks, and will eventually get a Carter-designed rotor with better takeoff performance. The Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) was on display at Sun 'n Fun.

My ePilot - Light Sport Aircraft Interest
Composite Aeronautic Group, located in Zaragoza, Spain, is working through the final certification process on its Toxo ready-to-fly light sport aircraft and plans to enter the aircraft in the U.S. market in May. The Toxo is powered by a 100-horsepower Rotax 912 engine with a maximum cruise speed of 120 knots. It can take off in less than 400 feet and land in less than 600 feet. The Toxo's base price is $120,000, and options such as a parachute and an 8-inch electronic flight information system (EFIS) can be added.

My ePilot - Experimental Interest
Lycoming Engines unveiled its latest marquee, the Thunderbolt series of custom engines for the experimental and racing markets, with an IO-580 piston engine. Company Vice President and General Manager Ian Walsh also addressed questions regarding the latest Lycoming service bulletin, which seeks to retire the remainder of hammer-forged crankshafts from a since discontinued supplier. A $2,000 crank and kit is available from Lycoming to affected aircraft owners. Walsh verified that Lycoming has asked for an airworthiness directive, now in the FAA's rulemaking process, that would replace all cranks within a three-year period.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
A private pilot may operate an aircraft from airports with an operating control tower. At a minimum, training requires a private pilot applicant to make three solo takeoffs and landings at an airport with an operating control tower to be eligible for the private pilot flight test.

If your training base is a tower-controlled airport, you will nail down this requirement as a matter of course. If not, visit towered airports often during dual training. If one is nearby, listen at home to its radio chatter, or monitor tower frequencies via the Internet. The opportunity to make the solo takeoffs and landings may come during one of your dual visits, or perhaps you can do it during one of your solo cross-country flights. For more information, download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisor Operations at Towered Airports .

Note that the regulation calls for "three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower." Here is where you'll experience how tower controllers expedite the flow. Your first traffic pattern may have been left-handed, but your second may require right traffic. Arrivals and departures may cause your pattern to be extended or abbreviated. Your landing sequence may be based on your spotting and following another aircraft. You might hear the phrase, "Follow that traffic, cleared to land, caution, wake turbulence." See the January 24, 2003, Training Tips article "Staying Clear of the Wake." A helpful tip is to inform the ground or tower controller that you are a student pilot fulfilling your solo requirement.

Many student pilots ask: Is it better to train at an airport with a tower or at a nontowered airport? Here's an answer from the January 2001 AOPA Flight Training feature "Turf For Training": "The debate over whether towered airports are better for training than nontowered airports is analogous to arguing over whether turns are better than straight-and-level or climbs are better than descents. We need them both, and we need to be comfortable with both to be fully functional as aviators." Practice, and you will conclude that participating in towered-airport operations is predictable, rewarding, and fun.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Whenever you launch from your home airport, there's a lot of information to process and keep track of: weather, active runways, frequencies at your destination airport, and the like. Keeping it all organized is an ongoing challenge. Sporty's Briefing Cards may be able to help. The kneeboard-size cards were designed specifically to record flight information such as weather, clearances, takeoff and landing data, frequencies, airport information, and other notes. Note information for your departure airport on one side and your destination on the other. The cards were created for instrument-rated pilots, but Sporty's says they are handy for VFR pilots as well. Available in a pad of 50 for $3.95, Briefing Cards may be ordered online or by calling 800/SPORTYS.

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: What is adverse yaw?

Answer: Adverse yaw occurs while an airplane is banked in either direction. For example, if you were to bank the airplane to the right, the right aileron is deflected up while the left aileron is deflected down. As a result of a greater angle of attack on the left wing, it will experience an increase in lift as well as an increase in drag, and the right wing will experience a decrease in lift and drag. The increase in drag on the left wing tends to pull the airplane's nose toward the left, opposite of the desired direction of turn. To counteract this tendency, the use of right rudder is necessary to make the turn coordinated. For additional information on basic aerodynamics, view AOPA Online.

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