The following stories from the June 23, 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 - Own/May Own Interest
HUSKY GETS A LIFT FROM NEW WING TIPS
A new wing tip produced by Aviat Aircraft features a trailing edge that turns upward, reducing drag and giving the Husky an extra 6-mph cruise speed. The composite wing tip does not affect the stall speed of the aircraft. The new wing tips cost $1,550 for a set of two and can be installed as an option on new Huskys or retrofitted to existing models.
FANCY PANTS INCREASE SPEED ON CERTAIN PIPER MODELS
Pilots who own a Piper PA-28 or Piper PA-32 could get an increase in speed by fitting their aircraft with Laminar Flow Speed Pants. Laminar Flow Systems recently announced that the FAA approved the speed pants for those models. If the pants are installed over a bare wheel, owners should notice a 10.5-mph increase; those who switch from stock wheelpants should pick up an extra 8 mph, according to the company. Each speed pant weights 10 pounds and is up to five times stronger than the conventional Piper wheelpants, the company reports. The speed pants, strut fairings, and other hardware cost $2,470 for pre-1978 models. Later Piper models can be retrofitted with speed pants for $1,995, with the option for strut fairings running $475.
My ePilot - Light Sport Aircraft Interest
REBEL GOES RADIAL
The next time you hear a radial engine rumbling overhead, you might be surprised by what you see. Murphy Aircraft, of Chilliwack, British Columbia, said its Murphy Rebel kitplane can be built with a 110-horsepower Australian-built Rotec 2800 seven-cylinder radial engine. The engine is not expected to increase the aircraft's performance, and it still meets experimental light sport aircraft (ELSA) specifications. The company already is taking orders, and the aircraft is scheduled to be on display at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, this summer.
LEGEND CUB GETS A BOOST FROM DOWN UNDER
American Legend Aircraft Company announced Wednesday that it is providing the Australian-made Jabiru 120-horsepower engine as an option on its light sport Legend Cub. American Legend reports that testing has revealed the six-cylinder Jabiru 3300A Aero Engine gives the aircraft increased useful load, shorter takeoff distance, and a faster climb. Jabiru has been producing engines in Australia for about 14 years.
My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
STUCK AND UNHAPPY
Stuck on a maneuver or concept? Nothing you've tried makes it stick. You practice and study, but the mistakes just keep coming. Even more frustrating, they're the same mistakes, time after time. What's going on?
Not only is this common problem disheartening, but if it involves a flight maneuver, it also can be expensive. A good first step is to back off. Take a break from the maneuver. Come back later-after working on something you know well or enjoy-and try one of many reliable strategies for licking the problem.
What can you do to get back on track? A good first step is to get another demonstration of the maneuver. There's something flight instructors learn about teaching called the law of primacy. The definition, as Ralph Butcher explains in the May 2006 AOPA Flight Training commentary, is that "the state of being first, often creates a strong, almost unshakable, impression." Was your first impression of the maneuver a wrong impression? Asking for additional demonstrations often helps in a known trouble area for new pilots: learning to land, which is discussed in the March 26, 2004, Training Tips article "Tackling Touchdown Travails."
Observing another student getting a dual lesson on the maneuver (or ground task) is a very successful prescription for getting the program back in gear. See "Park and Ride: Learning through Observation" in the March 1998 AOPA Pilot.
Or think about the maneuver the way your instructor looks at it. Reduce it to its component concepts or skills. Do you see how they come together to make the maneuver work? How would you teach the maneuver to someone else?
"If you can remember that flying and other aviation activities are major and worthwhile accomplishments, you can more easily surmount the moments when you feel that you cannot go any further," counseled David Montoya in the September 2000 AOPA Flight Training feature "Dealing with Discouragement." "And since flying is a multifaceted, complex task, you should expect to hit learning plateaus and remember that these are normal." Read some of the simple ideas he proposed for getting back in the game, and move forward!
My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: What is ground effect?
Answer: Ground effect changes the normal flow of air around a wing. This occurs up to a height of about one wingspan above the ground. Chapter 3 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge explains that the change in airflow over the wing alters the direction of the relative wind, producing a smaller angle of attack and therefore a reduction in induced drag. Pilots perform soft-field takeoffs to take advantage of ground effect and lift off at the lowest possible airspeed. Make sure, however, that you level off and accelerate to a safe climb speed before leaving ground effect. Read more about ground effect and landings at Flight Training Online.