It’s a great day for some solo takeoffs and landings. Traffic is light, and so are the winds as you preflight your trainer, a Piper Cherokee Warrior II, pausing briefly to admire the airport’s crown jewel, a classic Cessna 195 taildragger, as it also heads out for an early morning flight.
Pre-takeoff checks are good and the engine runup is perfect. So you scan for traffic and announce your intention to remain in closed traffic, and taxi out for takeoff.
Lined up on the centerline of the 3,000-foot runway, you gradually advance the throttle, adding right rudder to maintain a straight track as the aircraft accelerates. You can feel the control surfaces coming alive as you take a quick glance at the oil-pressure gauge, and then look to the airspeed indicator.
At 55 knots you will rotate, and when airborne, accelerate to V Y, 79 knots.
What’s this? Despite what you see outside and what you feel through the yoke and pedals, the airspeed indicator appears to be broken—it’s not “coming alive” as it has on previous flights.
Instinctively you give the throttle an extra push—but it’s already full forward. Carburetor heat? Off. Magnetos? Set on “both.”
This is confusing! The airplane seems ready to fly. But wouldn’t it be better to abort the takeoff—not something you have practiced much—and find out what’s going on here? The midpoint of the runway is drawing near. What to do? All questions, no time.
That classic taildragger is somewhere in the pattern; now the thought strikes you that you looked over to admire it just before you went to remove the cover from the pitot tube beneath the airplane’s left wing. Did you remove it?
Just as the nosewheel is lifting off, you idle the throttle to abort takeoff while there’s still plenty of runway ahead, heaving a sigh of relief as the airplane starts to decelerate without the need for serious braking. As you taxi back to your tiedown spot to check the pitot tube cover, you make a mental note of the importance of closely following checklists and limiting distractions during preflight.
Flight Training News
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Cirrus Aircraft owners need not do the flying themselves, thanks to Cirrus On Demand, which allows customers to purchase what amounts to a personal flight department with their SR20 or SR22. Cirrus Aircraft is reviving a program that promises new pilot jobs, and ease of aviation for customers unable or uninterested in being pilots themselves. Read more >>
Zulu finding success in retail flight training
Last year an unlikely company unveiled an unlikely flight school. Headquartered in a retail strip mall location, Zulu Flight Training is owned and operated by Continental Motors, and based on the school’s initial results, it seems as though an engine manufacturer can effectively run a flight school. Read more >>
JetBlue flies students to Sun ’n Fun
More than 75 students from New York and Florida received the trip of a lifetime on April 11 when a JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 picked them up and flew them to Lakeland, Fla., for the thirty-ninth annual Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In & Expo. David “Scott” Malcomb, an instructor at JetBlue University College of Technical Operations, pitched the idea to his airline. Read more >>
Poll probes students' flight training experiences
AOPA announced an online poll April 10 that will be the basis for its 2013 Flight Training Excellence Awards. “Our awards program, and this unique pilot poll, will give people a great opportunity to share feedback on their flight training experiences,” said Shannon Yeager, vice president of AOPA’s Center to Advance the Pilot Community. Read more >>
CAE Academy buying 35 Piper trainers
CAE Oxford Aviation Academy will add 35 Piper training aircraft to its fleet, CAE and Piper Aircraft Inc. announced in Lakeland, Fla., April 9. The agreement includes firm orders for 22 single-engine Archer TX and 13 twin-engine trainers, as well as parts and service. Deliveries will begin this spring, with 27 new airplanes going to CAE Oxford Aviation Academy in Phoenix; the remaining eight will be sent later in the year to CAE Oxford Aviation Academy in Oxford, United Kingdom. Read more >>
Apps aid flight planning process
You can’t fly anywhere without proper flight planning. Smartphone and tablet apps have simplified the process, covering everything from flight calculators to wind computers. Check out five apps that help pilots with flight planning. Read more >>
Students explore aviation careers at Van Nuys Airport
More than 1,400 high school students, 40 exhibitors, and an array of static aircraft participated in the eighth annual The Sky’s the Limit: Aviation Career Day hosted by MP Aero, Van Nuys Airport, and The Valley Economic Alliance on April 5. Students went on airport tours, played with interactive exhibits, and saw an aircraft display that included the Cirrus VK-30.
Moving up to bigger and better aircraft
Stepping up from a 180-horsepower trainer to a bigger, faster aircraft can be a little intimidating. New systems and cockpit controls are there to greet you, and if you don’t know how, or when, to use them, it can be easy to fall behind the airplane quickly. Understanding what each system does goes a long way toward incorporating it into your normal flying duties. Take the Air Safety Institute’s Transitioning to High Performance/Complex Aircraft safety quiz now and get a head start on mastering these new concepts. Take the quiz >>
‘Flight Training’ offers virtual flight bag
Flight Training magazine’s virtual flight bag is a handy reference to a variety of online tools that will greatly enhance your flight-planning experience—and you can access it from any personal computer connected to the Internet. Obtain airport information, access frequently used forms and contact information for FAA facilities, or try AOPA’s feature-filled online flight planner.
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 8 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.
Special issuance changes, Sun ’n Fun recap
If you weren’t able to make it to the Sun ’n Fun International Fly-in & Expo, find out what you missed. Rod Machado’s latest “License to Learn” puts you in the cockpit for a lesson in density altitude. AOPA President Craig Fuller explains how a proposal that could keep pilots flying longer is losing traction at the FAA. Plus, find out how changes to the special issuance process could benefit pilots with medical conditions such as arthritis, asthma, hypertension, migraines, and renal cancer. AOPA Live This Week, April 18.
American adopts Airbus overrun prevention system
American Airlines has decided to equip all of its A320-family jets with Airbus’ new Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) technology. This onboard cockpit technology, which Airbus has developed independently over several years, increases pilots’ situational awareness during landing, reduces exposure to runway excursion risk, and provides active protection if necessary. The system computes minimum realistic landing and ground stopping distances while comparing them to available landing distances in real time, considering such factors as runway topography, runway condition, aircraft weight and configuration, wind, and temperature.
FedEx replacing 727s with secondhand twinjets
FedEx Corp. will buy 14 Boeing 757 passenger jets from United Continental Holdings Inc., with an option to buy another 16, and convert them to carry freight, according to a March 21 regulatory filing reported by Bloomberg. FedEx began buying used 757s six years ago; one of the jets can carry 20 percent more cargo than a Boeing 727 while burning one-third less fuel. Passenger airlines are beginning to sell off the narrowbody twinjets, which Boeing stopped building in 2005. FedEx also has 70 new Boeing 767s and 777s on order, Bloomberg reported.
For more aviation career news, see the Flight Training website.
Plane spotters know some aircraft for their beauty, others for their speed. Long known for neither is a big, blocky single-engine aircraft that screams “utility” from every angle, but has flight capabilities sure to amaze. The Pilatus PC-6 Porter catches the eye and ear simultaneously as you recognize that it is a turbine-powered taildragger—a fact that goes a long way to explain its astonishing short-field takeoff and landing performance. You might see one with a red bull painted on the tail in use to haul a famous skydive team aloft.
Stall/spin awareness book now available in Apple iTunes
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.
New policy for heart valves and pacemakers
In a prior article, Dr. Warren Silberman discussed some of the recent FAA protocol changes for heart attacks (myocardial infarction) and coronary artery disease. In this article he discusses changes with heart valve replacement and pacemakers. Members can refer to the medical certification protocols on the website. Read more >>
What can I do to reduce my insurance rates?
Reducing your insurance rates could be easier than you might think. With a few steps you can help control your costs and put more savings back in your wallet. Typical actions you can take to reduce your rates include obtaining an instrument rating, keeping your aircraft in a hangar, participating in a pilot proficiency program (i.e. the FAA Wings program), increasing your flight time, and maintaining a claim-free status for a certain period of time. Not all carriers have the same guidelines for when they will offer a premium reduction. AOPA Insurance Services can help you identify the best policy for your specific needs. Call 800/622-AOPA (2672) and find out how much you can save.
Acing the oral
Pilots generally tend to dislike sitting through an oral exam. It doesn’t matter if it’s for the private pilot certificate, the instrument rating, or the airline transport pilot certificate. Orals are often viewed with trepidation and fear, because it seems like everything is open season. Throw on top of that an oral that is specific to a given airplane, and it is easy to understand why it can be so overwhelming. Read more >>
Project Flight School: Package pricing
As turnaround specialists Mike Dempsy and Rod Beck began working with Cirrus Aviation’s Nayda Cattin, one of their first ideas to experiment with at the flight school centered around the concept of package pricing, selling value, and getting over price objections on the phone. Read the advice Dempsy and Beck gave Cattin >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an advertising marketing manager, mid-level gift specialist, network support engineer, aviation technical specialist, staff assistant/PAC coordinator, president of AOPA Insurance Services, major gifts officer, and director of outreach and events. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
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