A student pilot discussing how flight training is progressing is likely to bring up two big topics: the budding relationship with the training aircraft, and the emerging rapport with the flight instructor. Confidence flows from positive developments on both fronts—but in either, a disruption isn’t necessarily a setback. You can even turn it into a positive.
A call comes in. It’s your instructor calling to say that that your trusty high-wing, two-seat trainer is being looked over by the house mechanic after someone over-rotated the aircraft during landing, resulting in a tail strike. (Yes, although many student pilots must be encouraged to flare sufficiently for touchdown, excessive rotation can be a problem too.)
Rather than scrap tomorrow’s lesson on a day forecast to be perfect for ground reference maneuvers and traffic pattern work, your CFI proposes continuing in another aircraft. This one is also a two-seater—and powered by the same engine as your usual craft—but it is a low-wing aircraft, with a T-tail. “This will be a good experience for you,” the CFI says.
Heading out to the field early to study the pilot’s operating handbook will maximize the value of your session. You may have read that you can expect some important differences in flight characteristics based simply on the aircraft’s T-tailed design—differences that will be noticeable right from the start of your flight.
For example, “On takeoffs and landings the elevator will not be as effective as that on an aircraft with a conventional tail because it is above the propeller’s slipstream,” wrote AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg in this review of the Piper PA-38 Tomahawk. “Pilots who have learned to fly T-tailed aircraft understand this characteristic and learn to anticipate its effects.”
The same effects will be noticeable during practice of maneuvers at low airspeed.
You don't have to switch from one aircraft manufacturer’s products to another’s to encounter important differences. Just switching from one model year to another can mean a change in an aircraft’s engine horsepower, flap-switch design—even the amount of flap travel available. Cockpit instruments may appear in unaccustomed layouts, or there may be an unfamiliar instrument in place of a familiar gauge.
Keep flying! Once back in your regular trainer, you will likely conclude that any initial disappointment you felt about its temporary unavailability has become new appreciation for its aerodynamic “personality.”
Flight Training News
Delaware State University, a historically black university based in Dover, has officially been training aviation professionals in its flight program since 1987. The university, which traces its aviation training roots back to the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II, is the only of the historically black college and university aviation programs that owns and operates its own aircraft fleet. Only about 2 percent of professional pilots in the United States are African American, said Stephen Speed, the school’s aviation program director. Read more >>
Summit app helps you plan your schedule
A free app available for Apple and Android devices will help you get the most out of AOPA Aviation Summit 2013. The app features tools to personalize your experience, with all of the social events, seminars, and new product announcements in the palm of your hand. Read more >>
Embry-Riddle, SkyWest to partner on bridge program
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University announced Sept. 30 a partnership with SkyWest Airlines that will help aviation students at its Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., campuses to earn a right seat at the regional airline. Students who are certificated flight instructors can apply for the SkyWest Pilot Cadet Program, through which they may receive a conditional offer of employment. Read more >>
Indiana State opens new flight academy
Indiana State University has opened the new ISU Flight Academy, based at Terre Haute International Airport. The academy features a newly renovated facility and a fleet of aircraft that the university purchased as part of the new flight school. The academy’s aircraft feature navigational equipment and other technology that students will encounter as pilots working in the aviation industry.
Ready for the flight review
A flight review is a great way to refresh your piloting knowledge and ensure that you are up to date on any changes since your last flight review or checkride. Be prepared before you meet with your flight instructor by taking this Air Safety Institute quiz. Log in to take the quiz >>
Fortune favors the prepared
On the night of Oct. 9, 2009, Dr. Peeter Jakobson and his two passengers were flying over the Gulf of Mexico when, suddenly, their Mooney experienced an engine failure. Ditching into the waters below quickly became their only option. Learn what decisions saved their lives—watch the Air Safety Institute’s Real Pilot Stories: Ditching in the Dark. Log in to watch the presentation >>
Takeoffs, landings, and wake turbulence
Like a roller coaster, an airplane that goes up must come back down. Make sure you don’t get taken for a ride—especially by wake turbulence. Take this Air Safety Institute safety quiz to learn more. Log in to 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 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.
Highlights from AOPA Aviation Summit 2013
Hear from AOPA President Mark Baker as he kicks off AOPA Aviation Summit in Fort Worth, Texas; learn about a wounded veteran who overcame the odds to earn his sport pilot certificate, with a little help from Able Flight and AOPA; and catch up on the latest aviation products and news coming in from the show. AOPA Live This Week®, Oct. 10 >>
American Airlines seeks to hire 1,500 pilots in five years
American Airlines has announced a plan to recruit and hire approximately 1,500 new pilots in the next five years, its largest hiring effort in more than 10 years. Job postings were opened on Oct. 1, and the first new-hire class is expected to begin training this winter. The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier says it's able to hire new pilots thanks to a large aircraft order, an expansion of its international flying, pilot retirements, and the FAA’s new rest and duty time rules that begin in 2014.
Delta to roll out EFBs
Delta Air Lines said Sept. 30 that it will equip its 11,000 pilots with the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet, which will be used initially as an electronic flight bag to replace heavy paper-based flight kits containing navigational charts and aircraft operating and reference manuals. Device rollout to pilots flying the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 fleets will start in 2013 and all Delta cockpits are projected to be paperless by the end of 2014. The tablets are projected to save the airline $13 million per year in fuel and associated costs. They will employ Jeppesen’s FliteDeck Pro application. Delta expects to receive FAA approval for all phases of flight in 2014, following an extensive period of testing.
For more aviation career news, see the Flight Training website.
The single-engine Piper airplane with retractable landing gear that has just landed meets all the requirements for a plane spotter to classify it as a PA-28R family Piper Arrow, except for one visually distinctive detail: the placement, high atop the vertical tail, of the horizontal tail and its “stabilator” (combined elevator-stabilizer control surfaces). This is where knowing the evolution of the model helps date the aircraft to 1979, when the T-tailed Arrow IV arrived on the scene, available with either a 200-horsepower Lycoming engine or a 200-hp turbocharged Continental engine.
Jeppesen offers instrument test guide
Jeppesen has made available the Instrument Airmen Knowledge Test Guide, created to prepare for and achieve higher FAA knowledge test scores. It follows the Jeppesen textbooks by chapter, allowing students to learn faster with a greater understanding of each area of study. The guide includes full-color charts, a unique sliding mask for self-study, all FAA airplane test questions, FAA computer test information, and current information on airspace reclassification.
Gleim offers online communications course
The Gleim Online Communication Course is an interactive ground training course designed to increase pilots’ safety, knowledge, and abilities in the area of aviation radio communications. From small, nontowered airports to the largest Class B airspace areas, six Online Communication Course study units give students practical knowledge that allows them not only to participate in radio communications, but also to excel in them. The cost is $29.95.
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.
The value of experience
Many of you may not be aware that one of the many benefits of AOPA membership is unique to the aviation association world. AOPA is the only general aviation organization with a full-time staff of medical certification specialists in the Pilot Information Center whose primary role is to assist members with medical certification challenges. Read more >>
What new pilots need to know about insurance
You dreamed about becoming a pilot and are taking the steps to make that a reality. Often as we chase our dreams we don’t think about what might change based on that becoming a reality. Insurance, although not on the top of the fun list, is an important piece of the puzzle. Read more >>
Minimum autorotation rpm
When a helicopter is in autorotation (that is, gliding without the benefit of engine power) rotor rpm must be maintained. This is done when entering the autorotation by lowering the collective control. If the rotor rpm approaches an upper limit, the collective is raised to add pitch. This increases drag and slows the rotor rpm. A low rotor rpm situation is just the opposite, lower the collective pitch to reduce the drag and allow the rotor rpm to speed up. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a web applications developer III, financial analyst, staff assistant/PAC coordinator, and AOPA Live editor/graphic artist. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
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