The following stories from the January 5, 2007, 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 –Other Interest
STC ALLOWS DASH 8 TO BE USED FOR PARACHUTE JUMPING
A supplemental type certificate (STC) for an airborne interior door operating and locking system and patented wind diffuser system on the Dash 8 allows the aircraft to be used for parachute jumping. The STC holder, Field Aviation Company, completed testing of static line and freefall parachute jumps at the end of November and says the aircraft will be able to carry jumpers for firefighting missions and rescue efforts over water or land.
My ePilot –Light Sport Aircraft Interest
A FLIGHT SCHOOL PROGRAM FOR SPORT PILOTS
Sport Aircraft Works, the North American distributor for the Czech-built SportCruiser light sport aircraft, has introduced a promotional program for schools that offer sport pilot instruction. The Sport Pilot Center program is a Cessna Pilot Center-like program, according to Bob Anderson, director of sales and marketing for Sport Aircraft Works. Participating flight schools will use the Gleim Publications sport pilot training materials and will get student pilot leads from Pilot Journey, a marketing firm based in Nashville, Tennessee. The program is free for schools that purchase SportCruisers.
LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT HELP BOOST BRS SALES
Ballistic Recovery Systems Inc. (BRS)—the company that produces whole-plane emergency parachute systems—announced last week that its sales had increased 13 percent from September 2005 to September 2006. That increase was due in large part to growth in the light sport aircraft (LSA) market. BRS said it had a 47-percent increase in sales to the LSA market. The sales increase helped the company close out the fiscal year with a profit of $45,577 before taxes, compared to a loss before taxes of more than $1.7 million the year before. There are now 485 light sport aircraft registered with the FAA.
My ePilot – Student Interest, Training Tips
The start of a new year is a great time to evaluate the progress of your training and focus on ways to improve. If your landings need work, think about some steps to improve them. One idea for sharpening your technique is to add a large dose of power-off approaches to your practice sessions in the traffic pattern.
Don't confuse power-off approaches with simulated engine-outs—that's an emergency drill and a different question entirely. In a power-off approach, your flight instructor will reduce the power to idle at a designated position in the traffic pattern, such as the point on the downwind leg where you normally begin your power reductions. Or you might select the "key position" on the base leg as your starting point. From the point at which the power is idled, you will glide at recommended approach speeds to a landing (still to be made within a specified distance of the target touchdown point). Your ability to judge descent rate, wind velocity, and when—or even if—to extend your aircraft's flaps will be greatly sharpened by this practice. Fly power-off approaches in a variety of wind conditions. That's guaranteed to develop your skills. Read about power-off accuracy approaches in Chapter 8 of the Airplane Flying Handbook.
Don't overlook coordination. What kind of control inputs will be required and why? "When you pull the power to idle on downwind for a power-off approach (you do practice power-off approaches, don't you?), you'll see the ball slide to the left. It'll be more obvious in some airplanes than in others. That means the nose is to the right of your flight path, the airplane is aerodynamically 'dirty,' and you're losing altitude faster than is necessary," Budd Davisson explained in the December 2005 AOPA Flight Training feature "Choose To Fly Right."
An alternative to practicing strict power-off approaches is to fly them according to the following rule: You may reduce power during your approach, but you cannot add it unless required for safety. Yet another effective technique for honing landings is to fly no-flap approaches (with or without power—your choice) as described in the April 4, 2004, Training Tips.
Practicing power-off approaches is a powerful way to become a landing pro.
My ePilot – Training Product
WONDERFUL WORLD OF FLYING PRESENTS VIDEO ON DEMAND
If you are a fan of Aviation Media's Wonderful World of Flying video magazine, you'll want to know that a new site and new video-on-demand purchase service are now available. The video-on-demand option means that you can purchase any story from Wonderful World of Flying without paying for the cost of an entire DVD. Topics include classic aircraft, fun places to fly, safety, left-seat checkouts, and warbirds. Downloads range in price from $2.99 to $5.99 and can be played full-screen on a computer or a video iPod. 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'm a rather new pilot and while listening to some other pilots, I heard the term "lasso" (LAHSO). What does this mean?
Answer: LAHSO stands for "land and hold short operations." Air traffic control uses this procedure, which involves landing aircraft simultaneously on intersecting runways, to increase airport capacity and efficiency, but it requires agreed pilot participation. Student pilots and pilots not familiar with LAHSO operations should not accept a LAHSO clearance. A pilot should only accept a LAHSO clearance if he or she determines that the aircraft can land and stop safely within the runway landing distance available and that the maneuver is well within the pilot's capability. The FAA's Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) has a listing of all airports that conduct LAHSO operations, including the landing runway, the hold-short point, and the available landing distance. FSS can also provide LAHSO notams for your destination airport. See the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online publication, Land and Hold Short Operations , for more details.