September 24, 2003

You're in the Cockpit!

Another training day. The photo below (left) shows the ultralight aircraft that the young cranes think of as Mom or Dad. Find these things:

* the white costume on the seat, waiting for you to put it on;
* the horizontal bar across the front, used to steer and guide the plane;
* the propeller in the back, enclosed in a protective "cage;"
* the pilot's seat, exposed on all sides to the air.

Did you know that this whole aircraft weighs only as much as the pilot's seat on a 747? (That's about 350 pounds.) We invite you to be in charge today, with a little help from Operation Migration's Joe Duff. Joe was kind enough to tell us what the dials mean and how they're used. So get set to climb into the seat and think like a pilot!

 Ultralight ready to go. Look over the edge. You're airborne!

Study the page below, and then use the information to answer today's journaling questions!

Try This! Journaling Questions (You'll need Come In, Alpha-Kilo-Quebec!)

1. Read the altimeter. How many feet high are you AGL (above ground level)?
2. Which button would you push if you wanted to broadcast this sound to the birds?

3. Find the airspeed Indicator. How many miles per hour are you traveling through the air?
4. What instrument will you use (it's missing from the photo) to find your ground speed? What makes ground speed differ from air speed?
5. What is the name of the dial or instrument that tells how fast you are traveling up or down in feet per minute? Which can climb faster--the ultralight or a Whooping crane? How many minutes could it take a Whooping crane to climb to 4000 feet?
6. When talking to the airport, what letters would you use to identify yourself over the radio?
7. At how many RPMs is the engine turning right now?
8. If those are your legs in the photo, how can you tell that you aren't flying with the cranes today?

OVER AND OUT!