A student pilot is flying a trainer at minimum controllable airspeed, working hard to maintain heading and altitude despite the aircraft’s sluggish response to control inputs and the aggravatingly strong influence of induced drag.
“Turn right turn to a heading of 090 degrees, please,” requests the flight instructor, playing the role of designated examiner on this prep flight for a private pilot checkride.
The student complies. But as the airplane’s nose, positioned well above the horizon during the high-angle-of-attack exercise, reluctantly swings right, a shudder is felt through the control yoke, the stall horn’s steady tone becomes a wail, and suddenly the aircraft has sunk 100 feet before a recovery can be executed.
“Too much bank,” your instructor explains.
It wasn’t much, but it was still too much.
When flying level at an angle of attack that is almost critical, turning may be almost too much to ask of your trainer, because there is hardly any lift available to be directed horizontally to accomplish a turn.
Even knowing this, a student pilot who has recently been practicing more aggressive maneuvers at normal operating speeds may need—or may get—a reminder of how shallow a turn at low airspeed must be to avoid an approach to a stall (or more). Right turns complicate the issue because the single-engine aircraft’s natural tendency is to turn left—with the effect most pronounced at speeds below cruise (because at cruise airspeeds design factors partly neutralize left-turning tendency).
When practicing for a checkride, be sure that you are performing any maneuver to the practical test standard—in this case requiring that you establish and maintain “an airspeed at which any further increase in angle of attack, increase in load factor, or reduction in power, would result in an immediate stall.”
The recommended technique demands more of you than just rolling into a shallow turn: “During the turns, power and pitch attitude may need to be increased to maintain the airspeed and altitude. The objective is to acquaint the pilot with the lack of maneuverability at minimum speeds, the danger of incipient stalls, and the tendency of the airplane to stall as the bank is increased,” explains Chapter 4 of the Airplane Flying Handbook.
Flight Training News
An experiment in creating safe runway overruns with snow is under way at a Colorado mountain airport. So far, two pilots have inadvertently tested effectiveness of the never-before-tried snow overruns. The test at the Steamboat Springs Airport began in mid-December after longtime airport manager Mel Baker decided there had to be a better way to handle the 29.5 feet of annual snowfall at the ski resort city. Read more >>
Flight planning apps
As pilots, we all know that myriad steps need to be taken in the flight planning and checklist process. This week, we look at member recommendations of five favorites: ForeFlight Checklist Pro, iFlightPlanner, FlashPass, Flightintel, and Aviation Pocketknife. Read more >>
Ask ATC: Am I cleared through?
VFR flight following adds a cushion of safety by providing advisory services of radar targets that could pose a conflict along your route. It’s invaluable when trying to navigate through the various types of airspace you’ll encounter on any long flight. But you should know about some gotchas. For example, how does flight following work with flights penetrating restricted areas? Are you automatically cleared through Class B airspace when receiving flight following? Listen as Bob Knill from the Air Safety Institute asks these questions of air traffic controllers in the latest Ask ATC: Flight following and airspace video, and learn how to deal with special airspace considerations.
Eastern Aviation Fuels sponsors FATA scholarship
The Florida Aviation Trade Association (FATA) and Eastern Aviation Fuels, which distributes Shell-branded aviation fuels in the United States, have partnered to establish the Gary Steele Scholarship Fund as part of the FATA Scholarship Program. The fund was created to honor the memory of Gary Steele, a long-time FATA supporter and Shell customer who died in 2012. The scholarship will support the FATA/Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Scholarship Fund. Eastern Aviation Fuels will provide a minimum of $2,500 a year to the fund, with a three-year commitment. The scholarship can be used for any type of flight training at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus.
ATP increases fleet of aircraft for flight training
Independence, Kan.-based flight school ATP has taken delivery of 10 new Garmin G1000-equipped Cessna 172s in a deal valued at $3 million. The aircraft will be used in some of the 28 locations around the country where ATP operates, according to ATP. “A few of the aircraft will be used in providing aircraft to FAA contractors while the other aircraft will allow ATP to open new facilities to be announced in the near future,” the company said.
Girls With Wings announces spring 2013 scholarships
Girls With Wings, a nonprofit organization aimed at encouraging girls and young women to reach their full potential in aviation, is accepting applications for its spring 2013 scholarships. The private pilot scholarship to help defray the cost of flight training will provide $1,000 to a female who has soloed but not taken the checkride.
Canadian aviation high school program takes off
Students in Vancouver, Canada’s Surrey School District will be able to start ground school, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Flight Centre. Students 16 years and older will be able to take the course at Boundary Bay Airport. Courses include theory of flight, meteorology, and navigation.
Aviation Seminars is offering a weekend ground school course. The class runs Saturdays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For $429, attendees receive ground instruction, an online course manual (a printed version is available), immediate updates on FAA computer exam questions, and in-person instruction that teaches content first and then answers test questions.
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.
Air horns for the airplane?
Should you carry an air horn in the aircraft with you when you fly? Aviation humorist and flight instructor Rod Machado shares examples of when it could come in handy. Plus, fly through Glacier National Park and make the hair-raising approach to a bed and breakfast built for pilots. All this and more on AOPA Live® >>
American Eagle employees fight Republic contract
Three unions representing employees of American Eagle have asked AMR Corp.’s bankruptcy court to delay or deny a recent AMR contract with Republic Airways, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Feb. 7. The 12-year agreement would allow Republic to operate regional flights for American, using 53 Embraer E-175 regional jets, beginning this summer. The Air Line Pilots Association, Association of Flight Attendants, and Transport Workers Union said Eagle employees will lose jobs because of the agreement.
Canada’s WestJet adds new U.S. destinations
WestJet announced it will soon launch nonstop flights in Boeing Next-Generation 737s between Toronto and Myrtle Beach, S.C., and between Calgary, Alberta, and Dallas. Daily service between Calgary and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport will begin April 29. WestJet is set to start twice-weekly service (Thursdays and Sundays) between Toronto and Myrtle Beach on May 2.
Alaska Airlines adds summer service
Alaska Airlines announced it will add a nonstop, daily flight between Fairbanks, Alaska, and Portland, Ore., June 9 through Sept. 2. “Portland is a growing hub for Alaska Airlines and this nonstop flight will provide Fairbanks residents with not only a great West Coast destination to visit, but also another option to connect to Alaska Airlines’ expanding list of cities served from Portland International Airport,” said Marilyn Romano, regional vice president of Alaska for the airline.
Hawaiian Air names new interisland airline Ohana by Hawaiian
Hawaiian Airlines has dubbed its new turboprop interisland subsidiary Ohana by Hawaiian, with flights to Molokai and Lanai set to launch via contractor Empire Airlines this summer. The new airline will use two 48-seat ATR42 turboprops.
For more aviation career news, see the Flight Training website.
Back from a cross-country flight to a large towered airport, a local pilot seeks out the resident plane spotter to identify an aircraft seen at the destination: a four-engine turboprop in military paint with a distinctly elongated tail. It had been working in the traffic pattern and responding to a Navy call sign. That description points to identification as a Lockheed P-3 Orion, a surveillance and antisubmarine aircraft powered by four 4,600-shaft-horsepower Allison engines. P-3s modified for research have famously been flown into the eyes of hurricanes to gather data.
The Air Safety Institute has free runway safety flash cards available for pilots. The cards help pilots better understand runway signage and markings. The front of each card displays an airport sign or pavement marking, while the back provides a description and information on the required pilot action. The cards are available through a grant from the FAA Office of Runway Safety.
Jeppesen has released its Private Pilot Airmen Knowledge Test Guide . Students can supplement their studying with this test guide that comes loaded with all of the FAA recreational and private pilot airplane knowledge test questions, along with the correct answers, detailed explanations, and study references.
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.
Some questions about MedXPress
On Oct. 1, 2012, MedXPress became the required mechanism for completing the FAA airman medical application. Since that time, AOPA has been discovering some of the nuances of the application that hadn’t been as noticeable before the use became mandatory, writes Gary Crump, AOPA director of medical certification. A member whose spouse is also a pilot asked if both of them could register for MedXPress using their household email address. Read more >>
EA+ helpful even when disaster doesn’t strike
Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) offers 24-hour emergency and medical assistance, but those aren’t the only benefits available to you. You can utilize the expertise of the EA+ assistance coordinators for news updates about your destination or to find lost luggage. Read more >>
Got a medical coming up?
Is it time to put in your medical application? Whether you’re a first-timer getting ready to solo or a long-timer who’s been around the pattern a few times, take some time to familiarize yourself with the form, the information you’ll need to provide to the FAA, and what you can expect throughout the process. Flight Training Technical Editor Jill Tallman provides links to AOPA resources throughout this blog that hopefully will help grease the skids a bit. Read more >>
Chasing the PIN, Part 1
Flight Training Technical Editor Jill Tallman is applying for a personal identification number that will permit her to fly into the Washington, D.C., Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) and land at historic College Park Airport. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a credit analyst, major gifts officer, executive assistant, director of outreach and events, and .NET applications developer. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
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