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One topic always sure to get a conversation going among pilots is crosswinds and how to take off and land in them—especially land. Crosswinds are as variable in nature as the weather itself, so be sure that your practical training delves deeply into the subject. Many pilots confess lack of confidence in their crosswind technique, or feel that they didn’t get enough exposure to serious crosswinds as student pilots. (See such a discussion in the AOPA Aviation Forums.)
Don’t delay remedying that problem! “The truth is, it really doesn't matter what size airplane you're flying, crosswind technique is crosswind technique. Pilots who don't learn how to cope with crosswinds early on never seem to learn to cope with them—that's why it's so important to learn now,” wrote Christopher L. Parker in the April 2006 AOPA Flight Training feature “ Crosswind Tutorial.” See his four steps to performing better crosswind landings.
And here’s a tip for keeping tabs on your crosswind work: Be sure to record, or have your flight instructor record in your training documentation, the winds—speed and direction—in which you have practiced on dual and solo flights. That way you’ll preserve the details of how much crosswind you have handled and how it felt. If winds were gusty or variable, write it down, and then evaluate its effects on that day’s session.
Suppose you’re landing on Runway 9 in winds from 140 degrees at 25 knots. What’s the crosswind component of those values? The headwind component? Being able to estimate crosswind component is helpful when you tune in the ATIS broadcast and hear the winds and weather while inbound for landing. Estimating will be easier if you have practiced making calculations during ground training sessions. How to calculate crosswind and headwind components (and answers to the questions above) is given in “ AOPA’s Handbook for Pilots.”
As discussed in the Nov. 20 “ Training Tip: Say request,” sometimes a pilot may want to ask air traffic control for an alternate plan of action. If more than one runway is available at a tower-controlled airport, don’t hesitate to request to use the runway best aligned with the wind if conditions are difficult.
Confidence comes from practice; caution comes from knowing your limits.
YOUR PARTNER IN TRAINING
Have you tried out AOPA’s Internet Flight Planner? This free benefit allows you to plan your route, check current weather, tap into AOPA’s Airport Directory Online for the latest information on 5,500 public-use airports and 7,000 FBOs, shop around for the lowest fuel prices, and more.
Did you know that student pilots who join AOPA are three times more likely to complete their flight training? Membership includes unlimited access to aviation information by phone (800/USA-AOPA, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time) or from AOPA Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you’re not already a member, join today and get the pilot’s edge. Login information is available online.
The University of North Dakota’s (UND) John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences will take delivery of six Cessna 172 Skyhawks in December. UND has added 44 new Cessna aircraft in the past 18 months. The total training fleet is 140, which includes 108 airplanes, eight helicopters, six unmanned aircraft systems, and 18 flight training devices. UND Aerospace flew approximately 125,000 hours this year, the school said. “Cessna Aircraft has always been a big supporter of the Odegard School throughout our 41 years in flight training,” said Don Dubuque, director of extension programs. “The first 20 years UND used Cessna aircraft for our single-engine trainer. Even in the years that Cessna was not producing training aircraft, they continued support for our students by providing internships and scholarships. We are excited to once again see Cessna aircraft on our ramp.”
A Maryland pilot has opened a flight school at an airport within the Washington, D.C., Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ), and says the security requirements and communications rules governing the FRZ shouldn’t keep anyone from learning to fly. Tim Poole of White Plains, Md., and his wife, Karen, opened GT Aviation at Potomac Airfield, which happens to be one of three Maryland airports located within the FRZ. Read more >>
Not knowing all the airspace that lies in front of you on your next cross country could land you on the wrong side of an enforcement action. So check out the Know Before You Go: Navigating Today's Airspace online course from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The course addresses VFR aeronautical charts, requirements in different categories of airspace, special-use airspace, restricted and prohibited areas, temporary flight restrictions, and flight planning, as well as the special flight rules area surrounding the nation's capital. Your progress through the course is automatically saved, and the courses you've taken are conveniently tracked in your transcript.
Helicopter school opens in southern Oregon
Rogue Valley International Airport in Medford, Ore., has a new helicopter flight school. Table Rock Helicopters is owned and operated by chief pilot Clay Clark, who said opening a flight school in southern Oregon has been a dream of his, according to the Medford Mail Tribune . The school recently held an open house and drew names for a free helicopter ride, while also providing introductory rides for $25.
’Tis the season to shop AOPA Insignia Merchandise
Whether you’re shopping for the pilot on your list or looking to treat yourself to something special this holiday season, the AOPA Insignia Merchandise Collection offers a wide variety of quality merchandise featuring the classic AOPA logo. From the timeless appeal of an AOPA pilot cap to the modern styling and durability of the AOPA Leading Edge jacket, you’re sure to find the perfect gift. And if you decide to keep it for yourself instead, you’ll still be giving a very important gift: the gift of support to general aviation. Each purchase you make helps generate revenue that is returned to AOPA and reinvested to help fund our daily efforts to maintain the safety and freedom of GA. Be sure to use your AOPA WorldPoints Rewards credit card and reward yourself with double points.
Connect with other pilots on SocialAviation.com
Looking for a new place to connect with other pilots? Social Aviation offers a Facebook-like interface for creating a profile, storing back-up flight logs, posting and sharing photos, and meeting like-minded people. Privacy settings allow you to establish a profile anyone can see, or only invited friends, or just you. The service is free.
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.
Question: I am very interested in a career in aviation, but I am not interested in flying for the major airlines. Does AOPA have any resources that provide information about flying careers other than the airlines?
Answer: There are dozens of professional flying opportunities besides the airlines. AOPA’s subject report, Flying Careers, profiles many different career options and provides information on how to get started.
Got a question for our technical services staff? E-mail [email protected] or call the Pilot Information Center, 800/872-2672. Don’t forget the online archive of “Final Exam” questions and answers, searchable by keyword or topic.
Pilots love to take photos, and they love to share them with other pilots. Now you can upload your flying photos to our online gallery, “Air Mail.” Share your special aviation images, or view and rate more than 2,000 photos and counting. Highly rated photos will get put into rotation on the AOPA home page!
AVIATION EVENTS & WEATHER
Want something to do this weekend? Planning an aviation getaway? See your personalized online calendar of events . We’ve enhanced our calendar so that with one click you can see all of the events listed in the regions you selected when personalizing ePilot . Now you can browse events listed two weeks to a few months out to make your planning easier. You can also bookmark the personalized calendar page to check it as often as you want. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.
Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Denver, Colo., and Orlando, Fla., Dec. 5 and 6; Northbrook, Ill., Dec. 12 and 13; San Jose, Calif., Baltimore, Md., and Detroit, Mich., Jan. 9 and 10. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Can’t make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Marietta, Ga., Dec. 1; Birmingham, Ala., Dec. 2; Pensacola, Fla., Dec. 3; West Palm Beach, Fla., Dec. 7; Tampa, Fla., Dec. 8; Towson, Md., Dec. 9. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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Editorial Team : ePilot Flight Training Editor : Jill Tallman | ePilot Editor: Sarah Brown | Contributor: Alton Marsh