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Apr. 27, 2012, issue of 'AOPA' ePilot: Flight Training Edition'Apr. 27, 2012, issue of 'AOPA' ePilot: Flight Training Edition'

AOPA ePilot

In This Issue:

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 17 — April 27, 2012

Streaming effects
Schmelzer joins May Flight Training chat
Plane Spotter: Grob 109
Final Exam: Cellphones


Safety >>

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect >>


AOPA Live >>

Training Tips

Streaming effects

Training TipYour trainer's propeller develops thrust by accelerating air rearward, creating a flow once generally known as propwash that now, usually, goes by the term slipstream.

Whatever word you've heard, the air involved in this flow has not finished exerting its varied influences on your aircraft's flight once it has interacted with the prop. From stalls to glides, or the cooling of the aircraft's engine, slipstream effects make their presence known in many ways during flight.

A student pilot is most likely to first encounter the term slipstream in ground school, when studying the aerodynamics of slow flight. The so-called spiraling slipstream is one of the forces that create most single-engine airplanes’ left-turning tendency—an effect that is most pronounced during flight at minimum controllable airspeed.

The rudder and elevators of many aircraft become "alive" early in the takeoff run because of slipstream effects—but not in T-tail aircraft on which the horizontal surfaces are positioned outside of the propeller slipstream.

If a cabin door should pop open after you take off, the slipstream tends to keep it pressed close to the fuselage until you can land and close it again.

When a pilot senses a change in aircraft noise after an airspeed adjustment, flap extension, or during a power-off glide, another slipstream effect is making itself known. This perception may occur at an unconscious level, contributing to a pilot's ability to "fly by feel."

Slipstream air is harnessed to cool most trainers' engines, but traditional inlets "that extend into the slipstream to 'scoop' the air obviously create considerable parasite drag. NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) researchers discovered that turning the scoop inside out so that it is recessed in the engine cowl or airplane structure resulted in a much smaller loss of efficiency," Mark Twombly wrote in the November 2003 Flight Training.

Slipstream effects have a lot to do with the contrasting aircraft responses during two kinds of stalls. During power-on stalls, the elevators may stay effective longer if they are within the propeller’s slipstream. That, along with the effects of propeller thrust, explains in part why you may have noticed that power-on stalls may feel more abrupt than power-off stalls.

Flight Training News

Schmelzer joins May Flight Training chat

Flight Training Contributing Editor and FAA Designated Pilot Examiner Bob Schmelzer will be a guest on the May Flight Training Facebook chat. Join Schmelzer and the Flight Training editors on Tuesday, May 1, from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern, and bring all your checkride-related questions and issues. To participate in the chat, log on to the Flight Training Facebook page and click on the chat link. View a transcript of previous chats.

Marine double amputee now a sport pilot

Able Flight scholarship recipient Adam Kisielewski passed his sport pilot practical test on April 19 with flying colors. The former U.S. Marine, who lost his left arm and part of his right leg in combat in Iraq, has been training at Frederick Municipal Airport in a Flight Design CTLS. Read more >>

Do you FlyQ? AOPA’s new app available

You've asked for it, and now it's here. AOPA now offers members a free, full-function airport information and flight-planning iPhone application. FlyQ features airport information, weather briefings and graphics, a robust flight-planning engine, and the ability to file flight plans. Read more >>

Women fly it forward

It's official: Frederick Municipal Airport, the home airport of AOPA, is the most female-friendly airport in the United States for 2012, thanks to the efforts of local pilots who flew 242 women and girls out of the airport on March 10. Worldwide, pilots carried 1,104 girls and women aloft during Women of Aviation Worldwide Week. Read more >>

Free ground school offered at Republic Airport

A free 12-week private pilot ground school will begin on June 2 at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, N.Y. The course is hosted by ZJB Flight Instruction Services and will be held at Empire Flight Academy. All subject areas of the FAA private pilot practical test standards pertaining to aeronautical knowledge will be covered. To register, or for more information, contact Zachary Barrett at 516/658-2560 or by email.

NH education program gets off the ground

An aviation education program in New Hampshire has ambitious plans for the future. The Aviation & Aerospace Education Center at Winnipesaukee (WinnAero), at Laconia Municipal Airport, aims to offer programs for children while promoting interest in science, technology, engineering, and math through aeronautics and aerospace. A children's aviation museum also is planned. The nonprofit WinnAero was the inspiration of retired attorney Bill Seed, and is supported by Airport Manager Diane Cooper, who also is a director and participates in the organization's programs and events. "The Laconia Airport takes its role in the community very seriously," she said. "Educating the public about aviation is part of the mission of the airport. We want to educate all age groups about aviation and encourage children who are interested in careers in aviation and aerospace to pursue those dreams." For more information about WinnAero, see the website.

Training Resources

Flight service briefers are a great resource to pilots before, during, and after a flight. Whether you want to open a flight plan, check the weather before you depart, or find out just how nasty those clouds ahead of you really are, they can take care of all of that. But there are some finer details you should know about contacting them. Test your knowledge with the Air Safety Institute's Flight Service safety quiz, underwritten by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Take the quiz >>


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 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.


Boeing 787

Boeing 787 Dreamliner If your dream is to fly on Boeing's newest creation, the 787 Dreamliner, you'll want to see AOPA's exclusive report. Borrowing a chapter from general aviation's book, the airplane's wings are constructed of composite material, which enables a lower cabin altitude and higher cabin pressure. Lighter-weight composite materials mean the passenger windows can be bigger, because there's no structural weight penalty. The 787 is also Boeing's most aerodynamically efficient airplane and should burn 20 percent less fuel than comparable aircraft. Learn about these features and much more. Watch AOPA Live® >>

Career Pilot

Boeing marks 4,000th Next-Generation 737

More than 500 Boeing employees, executives, suppliers, and government officials joined China Southern Airlines on April 13 to celebrate the 4,000th Next-Generation 737. The 4,000th Next-Generation 737 jetliner off the Renton, Wash., production line was to be delivered to China Southern Airlines, headquartered in Guangzhou, China. The milestone jet is a 737-700 model that seats 126 passengers in a two-class configuration. More 737s have been produced than any other commercial jetliner in history. With more than 5,550 airplanes in service, the 737 family represents more than a quarter of the total worldwide fleet of large commercial jets flying today, according to Boeing. More than 358 airlines in 114 countries fly 737s.

Southwest makes pitch for Hobby international service

Southwest Airlines on April 9 launched a website to rally support for international service from William P. Hobby Airport in Houston. Earlier this year, the carrier asked the city of Houston for approval to construct a new five-gate international facility at the airport. This proposed expansion—paid for by the users of the facility and guaranteed by Southwest—would open new low-cost international travel competition to the area, creating an economic impact for the city of more than $1.6 billion annually, Southwest said. Houston Director of Aviation Mario Diaz has recommended that the city work with Southwest to expand the federal inspection services facility at Hobby, to support scheduled commercial international service.

Plane Spotter

Grob 109: Glider with power

Grob 109 motorglider If the single-engine taildragger taxiing to the ramp bears an uncanny resemblance to a sailplane that seems to be moving along under its own power, you are in the presence of an example of a motorglider. This unusual type of aircraft is well represented by the German-built Grob 109. It is a side-by-side two-seater with a T-tail and a 54-foot wingspan. Another unusual feature is the manually controlled variable-pitch propeller, with cruise and feathered blade angles. Early aircraft had 80-horsepower engines; later examples took off and cruised on 95 hp.

Training Products

APR lighted omni kneeboard from

For the pilot who wants a kneeboard with extras, APR’s lighted omni kneeboard comes with a light-emitting diode (LED) light that illuminates the board's surface. The board is engineered of aluminum and includes one-inch top and bottom clips to hold flight plans, charts, or an approach plate book. The board is held in place by an adjustable elastic strap. Included in the $119.99 price is a pad of VFR en route flight logs. Order online or call 800/249-5730.


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.


It looked easy on paper

Full flights, unpleasant weather, a malfunctioning fuel pump, and an 80-knot headwind: All this and more were dished up to professional pilot Chip Wright. Also in this week’s Flight Training blog, Technical Editor Jill Tallman wants to know the shortest runway you've landed on, and introduces you to Sugar Valley Airport, whose student pilots handle 2,424 feet with ease.

Weather (and other inconvenient setbacks)

Ever have one of those months where everything conspires to keep you on the ground? Student pilot Kristen Seaman knows all about it, but she's found some ways to make the best of it, as she describes in the latest Let’s Go Flying blog.

AOPA Career Opportunities

Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a manager–Pilot Information Center, vice president–Center to Advance the Pilot Community, aviation technical writer, vice president of strategy and philanthropic operations, program manager–products, project manager of online products, director of new market development, and associate editor–Web/ ePilot. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.


Picture Perfect

AOPA’s online photo gallery allows you to upload your own aviation photography as well as view, rate, and comment on others’ photos. Your favorite aviation images from AOPA Pilot are still available online through this new gallery. Take a look, and submit your own photos!

Picture Perfect

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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 in your region to make 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.

To include an event or to search all events in the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA Airports.

Final Exam

Question: I know I am not allowed to use my cellphone while airborne on commercial flights; may I use it while airborne in my own private aircraft?


Answer: No, you may not use your cellphone while in flight in any aircraft. It is permissible though to use it in your aircraft while still on the ground. The Federal Communications Commission prohibits the use of cellular phones while airborne primarily because of interference concerns. Cellphones have a much greater transmitting range when airborne. Their use could result in interference to transmissions at other cell locations because the system uses the same frequency several times within a market or given operating area. Cellphones are also capable of operating on various frequencies. An airborne unit could adversely affect cellular systems in adjacent areas or markets. For more information on the use of electronics while in flight, read Advisory Circular 91-21.1B, “Use of Portable Electronic Devices Aboard Aircraft.”

Got a question for our technical services staff? Email [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.

Instrument Tip

IFR Fix: Knowledge is power

IFR Fix: Knowledge is power It's an age-old debate within the instrument-pilot community: Take the knowledge test before you begin training, or wait and take it as you learn? There are solid arguments on both sides: On the one hand, you will get it out of the way, thus freeing up more time for study while you're flying. But on the other, you might earn a higher score because certain topics will make more sense once you've begun to practice instrument flying. What are your thoughts? If you've already taken the knowledge test, weigh in with the online poll.

IFR reality check

Your CFII wants you to experience some real IFR conditions before signing you off for the checkride, and you're preparing for that dual cross-country flight today. One last weather update confirms conditions at your destination will be well within minimums. But, you're a bit concerned about a weather system, which is moving into the area faster than forecast. Play it safe and plan an alternate, or …? What will your CFII say? Sometimes rules may seem black and white, but IFR reality is painted all gray. That's where the Air Safety Institute's IFR Insights: Regulations online course helps lift the curtain. Interactive decision-making scenarios and real-world guidance on how to interpret weather briefings help you extract the truth about IFR rules and being safe.

Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics

Air Safety Institute Safety Seminars

April 28 and 29

Boston, Mass.

May 5 and 6

Pensacola, Fla.

Kansas City, Mo.

Houston, Texas

May 19 and 20

Sacramento, Calif.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Albany, N.Y.

June 2 and 3

Phoenix, Ariz.

Orlando, Fla.

Minneapolis, Minn.


For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

Can’t make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.

April 30

Hampton, Va.



May 1

Richmond, Va.

May 2

Danville, Va.



May 3

Blacksburg, Va.


Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

AOPA ePilot Team

ePilot Flight Training Editor:
Jill W. Tallman

ePilot Editor:
Sarah Brown

Contributors: Alyssa Miller
Jim Moore
Warren Morningstar
Alton K. Marsh

Dave Hirschman
Tom Horne
Ian J. Twombly
Dan Namowitz

Production Team: Melissa Whitehouse
Siobhan Byrne
Lezlie Ramsey
William Rockenbaugh
Mitch Mitchell

Advertise in ePilot:
East: Mike Vodarsik, 732/946-0130
Central: Brian Curpier, 607/547-2591
Central: Gary Brennan, 607/547-2591
West: Zane Lewis, 214/789-6094

AOPA Advertising website

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