A flight instructor and a student pilot are reviewing for the student’s private pilot flight test. The discussion has turned to landings in the student’s trusty trainer, a Cessna 150 Commuter.
“Tell me: When do you retract the flaps after landing?” the CFI inquires.
“Flap retraction is on the after-landing checklist,” responds the student, adding, “And you always tell me not to distract myself by putting my head down to raise the flaps while the aircraft is still rolling on the runway, because I could lose directional control.”
Lesson well learned! But now the instructor asks the student if there are any exceptions to that safety-minded, distraction-fighting operating method.
There is no reason for a ground session in preparation for a checkride to be a closed-book exercise. Knowing where to find necessary information—weather, notams, aircraft performance, regulations, airworthiness, and other maintenance subjects—is the mark of a qualified pilot, after all. So the student pilot looks up the answer in the pages of the aircraft’s pilot’s operating handbook.
There, among the checklists for normal procedures, the trainee points out the checklist for a short-field landing: It calls for brakes to be applied heavily, followed by flap retraction.
Why retract the Cessna’s flaps so soon after touchdown?
The chapter’s section on amplified procedures explains what to do immediately after touchdown—and why: “For maximum brake effectiveness, retract the flaps, hold full nose-up elevator, and apply maximum brake pressure without sliding the tires.”
Overlooking the early flap-retraction step is a common error. Whether the lapse reflects task saturation—after all, a short-field landing is a pretty demanding operation—or the need for better checklist awareness, the omission can cause an aircraft to use more runway than necessary during deceleration.
That would put the landing at odds with the practical test requirement for a short-field landing, which dictates that the aircraft “stop in the shortest distance consistent with safety.” It would also suggest that the test applicant did not comply with task objective 13: “Completes appropriate checklist.”
Understanding the why of the items on your checklists will help you remember steps required to meet a flight operation’s performance goals.
But hold on, we’re not done: The Cessna 150’s after-landing checklist still needs attention, once the aircraft is taxied clear.
What does the “appropriate checklist” for your aircraft say?
CORRECTION: In the Aug. 9 issue of AOPA ePilot: Flight Training Edition, we incorrectly described a part of the private pilot practical test standards for short-field landings. An applicant must touch down at or within 200 feet beyond a specified point.
Flight Training News
American participant completes French air race
Twenty-year-old Jennifer Guetterman has returned from a free trip to France after participating as the only American among 75 racers in the Tour Aérien Des Jeunes Pilotes, which ran July 15 through 28. The event was created to motivate the next generation of pilots and promote general aviation to the public, and Guetterman’s trip was funded by AOPA, the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations, and the Fédération Française Aéronautique. Guetterman said she is always looking for opportunities to improve her flying skills and experience new countries. Read more >>
Plymate Memorial scholarship winner earns certificate
After 16 years, Glen Wenzel, winner of the 2012 Erral Lea Plymate Memorial flight training scholarship, has earned his certificate. Read more >>
AOPA Jay adds ‘real-world excitement’ to aerospace course
A Florida school district’s newest career-education offering is an aerospace technology class that will use five AOPA Jays by Redbird to provide an exciting, realistic flight-training experience. Classes began Aug. 8 at Fernandina Beach High School, with 12 students from the senior and junior classes signed up for the new course selection in the school’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum, said Brent Lemond, director of career and adult education for the Nassau County School District. Read more >>
Fly Well: Playing the numbers
Eight hours, bottle to throttle. Summer is here, and barbecues and beer beckon, so let’s consider a substance capable of causing headaches—alcohol. We have brewed and distilled for eons. Whether quaffed during religious ceremonies, enhancing celebrations, or addressing life’s hardships, hooch’s capacity to induce ecstasy and evil is documented in equal measure. Read more >>
Five more checklist apps
This week, AOPA highlights five checklist apps: Audio CoPilot, CheckMate, Avilution Checklists, Flight List Plus, and AirCheck Aviation Checklist. Read more >>
New WingX release adds support features
Aviation app designers know what pilots want: more information, from integrated sources, with multiple display alternatives, presented in a package that reduces the pilot’s workload during challenging phases of flight. Mobile aviation technology company Hilton Software’s latest approach to improving pilots’ resources for making decisions is the newly released iPad flight planning app WingX Pro 7 Version 7.0. Read more >>
Baton Rouge Community College launches flight program
Louisiana’s Baton Rouge Community College has created a new degree program, offering an Associate of Applied Science, Helicopter Pilot Operations, in partnership with Guidance Aviation, a collegiate helicopter flight training organization. Graduates will earn their associate’s degree and become certificated flight instructors-instrument.
‘Vacation’ PSA: Darkly humorous warning for the unwary flier
Easier vacation and holiday travel is one of the major benefits of general aviation. We get to do something we enjoy, accomplish a “mission,” and avoid that eight-hour drive to the beach. Too often, though, things go horribly wrong. Watch the Air Safety Institute’s Vacation Pilot Safety Announcement, and make sure that your name isn’t next on the list.
Datalink: Cockpit weather dos and don’ts
Datalink has taken a lot of the uncertainty out of weather flying, but using it safely means more than just counting on Nexrad to steer you around whatever’s out there. Whether you’re already flying with datalink or just considering it, join AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg and datalink expert Dr. David Strahle for a must-see discussion of how you can use cockpit weather both to complete more trips and to minimize your weather risks. Register here >>
The go/no-go decision isn’t always obvious
We’ve all been there: Pacing back and forth in front of our airplane, pausing now and then to look at the murk that covers the horizon in the direction of our flight. Is it looking a little lighter out there? Maybe—maybe not. Flight service says that over at Bigsburg it’s marginal but flyable, but that’s 30 miles away. What’s in between? Do we go or not? Read 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 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.
Cylinder AD would cost millions, inside an aircraft search
AOPA opposes a proposed airworthiness directive affecting thousands of after-market cylinders installed in Continental engines, noting enormous cost and compromised safety. AOPA Live This Week® used the Freedom of Information Act to gain an exclusive look at a recent general aviation aircraft search ordered by federal officials for alleged drug smuggling. Also, Rod Machado gets back into spins, and how to stop them before they start, in his License to Learn segment, and producer Paul Harrop scopes out glasses that can protect the eyesight of pilots targeted by lasers, an increasingly common event. AOPA Live This Week, Aug. 15.
Antitrust lawsuit challenges American-US Airways merger
The U.S. Justice Department, along with six state attorneys general and the District of Columbia, filed a civil antitrust lawsuit Aug. 13 challenging the proposed $11 billion merger between US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines’ parent corporation, AMR Corp. The department said the proposed merger would substantially lessen competition for commercial air travel in local markets throughout the United States and result in passengers paying higher airfares and receiving less service.
Republic begins operating larger Embraer jets for American
American Airlines began using 76-seat Embraer E-175 large regional aircraft Aug. 1, part of a plan to diversify the airline’s regional fleet. Republic Airways Holdings is operating the jets as part of a 12-year capacity purchase agreement announced earlier this year. American’s fleet plan calls for transitioning out of smaller regional aircraft such as ATR turboprops and Embraer ERJ-135 jets by the end of 2013. The airline said large regional jets allow it to compete more effectively by matching market demand with the right aircraft size.
First students graduate from new Embry-Riddle Ph.D. programs
The first two students in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s research-based Ph.D. degree programs, launched in 2010, have graduated. Jaime Rubio Hervas earned a Ph.D. in engineering physics and Robert “Buck” Joslin earned his Ph.D. in aviation. The university plans to launch two more Ph.D. programs, aerospace engineering and human factors.
For more aviation career news, see the Flight Training website.
Lynxes, tigers, and cheetahs come and go at most airports (even in broad daylight). Plane spotters make far fewer sightings of another member of the feline family of fliers: the Gulfstream American GA-7 Cougar. You won't have trouble picking this stray cat out of the litter when it shows up at the field. Lines suggest a distinctly tigerish appearance, but the Cougar adds six feet of length to that fundamental form. Most distinctive is that this rare (not extinct) cat claws its way to cruise altitude on twin 160-horsepower engines.
Deohako iPad mini yoke mount now available
This new iPad yoke mount, available from AOPA Strategic Partner Aircraft Spruce, is a compact aviation mounting system that mounts to the yoke quickly and economically. Use the yoke mount while flying to navigate with an electronic flight bag or call up your pre-loaded airport diagram, approach plates, standard terminal arrival routes (STARs), departure procedures (DPs), and more. The cost is $70.
Learning to fly in the clouds
Teaching Confidence in the Clouds offers real-life application of computer desktop flight simulators and flight training devices as they relate to current methods of instrument training. Since they were first adopted in 1997, FAA-approved desktop flight simulators have been an effective means to train students. The scenario-based training concepts, training assignments, and instructor tips included in this book will be a valuable resource for flight instructors and help reduce the number of hours needed to complete an instrument training program. The cost is $9.31.
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.
Five ways to not get cancer
The “big C.” Cancer, named for the crab-like appearance of its perfidious growth, its claws snipping away at healthy tissue. Many associate it with catastrophe. The final curtain. One word striking fear into the hearts of people the world over. Read more >>
Photo of the day: AirCam
The first time you see an AirCam, you do a double-take. The small twin engines and open cockpit are eye-catching, to say the least. Read more >>
Volunteers re-paint practice runway
A group of volunteers assembled on the Ski Strip at Fairbanks International Airport, along with a pick-up with trailer, painting equipment, small Honda generator, a rake, and a broom. The mission: to repaint the markings on the gravel runway. The goal of the project is to improve aviation safety by providing a place to practice precision landings—before heading to the more challenging backcountry strips. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an AOPA Live editor/graphic artist. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
AVIATION EVENTS & WEATHER