Flight Training

Flight Training (24)

…Look Where I’m Going As my wife says when we have a collision in the kitchen (usually I’m mixing the cocktails and she’s making snacks), “Why don’t you watch where I’m going?” “Sorry, but you didn’t announce your position and intentions.” Similarly, I recently received a vivid lesson about watching out for conflicting traffic, specifically where my eyes should be looking while in the landing pattern. And surprisingly, the lesson I learned is that I really don’t need to watch where I’m going. As with my dear wife, I have to watch where the other person is going. Thousands of words are written each year about setting up for a good landing, beginning with your entry into the pattern through lining up on final. It’s all standard stuff: be at the correct altitude and speed; set yourself up at the right distance from the runway as you turn on the downwind leg; be aware of the wind for any drift correction. Maintaining that perfect distance down to the runway means you could glide to a landing if you suddenly become a glider. Fly parallel to the runway until the end of the runway is 45 degrees behind you (that’d be…
An aircraft door or window popping open in flight is usually not as big a deal as the movies and popular media would like you to believe. The sound of an aircraft’s door or window popping open is certainly startling and that alone can make some pilots over-react with some unfortunate results. If there is any real danger to an open aircraft window or door it is pilot panic. These openings usually happen during or after takeoff and the noise can be dramatic and loud. Just fly the airplane and continue unless you are at a very slow speed on the runway. If you are slow just come to a stop, close the door or window and taxi back for takeoff. Inflight openings are rare, but are usually no problem. Here are some things you can do if your aircraft door or window pops open in flight: · You could try to close it by opening your side window or vent (if you have one) and slamming the offending door. · If you can’t close it simply return to the airport and land. · If that is not possible right away because you are flying on instruments or for some…
December 2015 Transitioning to a tailwheel airplane can be an enjoyable, satisfying challenge. But it can also be so frustrating you might wish to take up canoeing rather than continue with the training. In the end it will be worth the frustration and the challenge as you’ll become a much smoother, more coordinated and accomplished pilot. Your future passengers will appreciate it, too.
Flying floats is one of the most exciting forms of flying, and it might just be the closest to barnstorming that a pilot can get in today's world. May 2015- Earning your Single Engine–Sea rating can be as simple as training at a quiet lake in Florida, or as challenging as finding the most demanding location in Alaska where you'll need to combine float flying and mountain flying skills to successfully complete your training. In my 50-plus years of experience, it's a combination of where you train and how you train that really counts. After observing, teaching and examining an almost countless number of pilots, I believe that pilots don't simply rise to the occasion; they rise to their level of training and practice. Refresh your memoryFloat training allows you to be introduced to new skills and techniques. You'll also get a good refresher on skills you already learned, but may have forgotten.
A brief walk around Alaska's online aviation weather camera program. May 2015- A few months ago, the FAA announced the deployment of its all-new Aviation Weather Camera program. I was curious, so recently I took a look around the site—and I have to say, it's incredible. The design of the site is so simple, I felt like a power user on my first try. The FAA explained it this way: "This new route based information tool (RBIT) features navigational planning on an interactive map with easily accessible images and other weather data." In short, it's almost unbelievably intuitive.I watched the video tutorials (all are between one and three minutes long—and worth the time) in addition to clicking around by myself to discover how the tools work. Here's a quick overview. A graphic interfaceCruise over to alaska.faa.gov using your favorite browser. The map interface will be familiar to any users of Google Maps: you move around the map by clicking and holding the mouse button to get "the hand," and zoom using the mouse wheel (or the slider bar in the upper right edge of the map). Terrain and satellite views are available; choose your preference in the upper right.Each camera…
Aeronautical decision-making (ADM) is decision-making in a unique environment—aviation. It is a systematic approach to the mental process used by pilots to consistently determine the best course of action in response to a given set of circumstances. It is what a pilot intends to do based on the latest information he or she has. Click the link below to download PDF
Single-pilot light aircraft operations require good raining, sound procedures, excellent motor skills—and an awareness of our own cognitive bias. April 2015- Flying offers so many possibilities. As pilots we can pull our aircraft out of the hangar virtually anytime we want and sail to any horizon. It's a privilege that comes with immense responsibility. When we deploy our aircraft, we have tools to keep us safe. Combined with our training, these tools can take much of the risk out of operating aircraft. The term fail-safe is often used to describe many of our critical light aircraft components, and our Cessnas are built with intelligent systems that consider human factors and have ample safety margins. In many cases there are redundancies so if one system fails, another takes over. But what about the system between our ears? That system is responsible for thousands of tasks and decisions each and every flight. Fortunately for us, it works remarkably well. Through disciplined use of procedures, good training and excellent motor skills, we can maintain very high levels of safety. But our brains aren't without fault. Cognitive biasThere are several areas where our old dependable noggin can let us down in a big way.…
"If you're at 65 percent of power or so, 50 degrees rich of peak probably won't get you in trouble, and will give you close to maximum power for that manifold pressure and rpm. But the fact is that 50 degrees rich of peak will produce the absolute hottest possible temperatures for all parts of the engine." -John DeakinAdvanced Pilot Seminars
Important things to consider about multi-engine aircraft and training. March 2015- The multi-engine rating is often a step in the training progression for pilots that are considering a commercial flying career. But it's also an important step for single-engine General Aviation pilots. Often these pilots would like to challenge themselves and take their experience to the next level. For many GA pilots, a multi-engine rating is a big feather in one's cap and one way to experience something more like "big time" aviation.No matter what category you fall into, a multi-engine rating is serious business. For those pilots that are considering a multi-engine rating and/or plan to move up to a larger twin engine airplane, I would like to pass along the knowledge I have garnered in my 46 years in aviation. RequirementsGenerally, all a pilot will need to begin working on a multi-engine rating is a private pilot certificate. However, I would recommend at least 400 hours of single engine experience and an instrument rating before you consider a multi-engine rating. You must know how the airspace system works and be able to operate within it.Per the FAA, the minimum requirements for earning your multi-engine rating are set in…
From understanding splash lubrication to reduced braking action, winter flying is just... different. February 2015- Ready or not, winter is in full effect across the northern United States. Several important operational considerations will ensure you have a safe and enjoyable winter flying season. It's important for all pilots, regardless of their location, to keep in mind that winter flying means making adjustments in your flying routine, starting with preflight.Here is a refresher provided by the chief pilot and director of flight operations at New Century Air Service (NCAS) located at New Century AirCenter Airport (KIXD) in Olathe, Kan. PREFLIGHT ANDGROUND OPERATIONSEngine preheatingPreheating is the most critical aspect of winter operations. It has been estimated that one cold-soaked engine start (starting an engine with air temperatures below 30 degrees F with no engine preheating) is the equivalent of nearly 500 hours of engine time and wear. Camshafts, pistons and cylinder walls are particularly susceptible to wear caused by insufficient lubrication during cold starts.Most aircraft engines rely on splash lubrication; a splash system is one that depends upon the reciprocating engine to "splash" oil through the engine. When the oil is thick or the engine isn't preheated well, splash systems can't adequately…
March 2005 Back when the idea was first born a good number of years ago, the concepts known collectively as "cockpit resource management"—CRM, for those of you who enjoy acronyms—was suddenly the single-minded thought of government agencies and airline managements on how larger airplanes should henceforth be operated.There were lots of mandatory touchy-feely training sessions given over to this new concept which, basically, told the old heads in the left seat to start paying some attention to the younger heads in the crew who sat on the right, sat one row further back, or walked up and down the aisles in the cabin of those big jetliners.
February 2005- There is no flying decision harder to make or more second-guessed than aborting a takeoff. It is the most time-critical choice you make in the pilot’s seat and it has some of the largest and most dire consequences if you get it wrong.
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