Ground reference maneuvers are an important part of private pilot training. I am about to tell you a trick that will make your ground reference maneuvers so much easier, but it comes with a disclaimer. Continue reading “The Secret to Perfect Ground Reference Maneuvers”
It can be fun to think about your flight as a mission instead of a trip, but this is a dangerous way of thinking.
When flying a trip: Continue reading “Your Flight is Not a Mission”
Class C airspace surrounds airports that are very big, but not as big as airports in Class B airspace.
It is shaped like an upside-down wedding cake but with fewer rings than class B airspace has.
For example, Lehigh Valley International (pictured below) has an inner ring that extends from the surface up to 4400 feet MSL. Continue reading “Class C Airspace”
I was on a progress check flight early in my commercial training and the Chief Flight Instructor decided to play a trick on me. I learned an important lesson from this flight.
We got the plane started at Chandler (KCHD) and he asked me to fly him to Gateway (KIWA). I noticed the 2 class D airspace areas are squished together with no space in between! Continue reading “Flying Between Towers”
I begin each flight review by asking the pilot what kind of flying he normally does. This often happens ahead of time, on the phone, when we are scheduling the review. I also want to know what licenses he carries, and I let him know that I want him to plan a cross country. I usually tell him where to plan right away but sometimes I want to think about it and I will call him back later.
I generally choose a destination a few hundred miles away that will require more planning than the typical private pilot cross country. I like to find a destination that will require a lot of airspace knowledge and some challenging terrain or a water crossing. Continue reading “How I conduct a flight review”
The rectangular course is a fundamental ground reference maneuver required for the private pilot license.
However, it is so fundamental and so critical to landing that it is often ignored as a ground reference maneuver. Instead, it is frequently considered only within the context of the traffic pattern. Continue reading “Rectangular Course”
The common answer to seeing the map while flying at night is the red flashlight. Red flashlights are great because they don’t mess up your night vision. However, when it comes to reading the map, red is a poor choice. Continue reading “Reading a map with a flashlight”
To enter class C or D airspace you only need to establish two-way radio communications. You will also need two-way communications to enter class A or B airspace, along with some other requirements. Continue reading “Establishing Two-Way Radio Communications”
In order to continue flying a pilot must stay current. This means keeping up with the medical requirements and doing some takeoffs and landings so that passengers may be carried. But the biggest part of staying current is the Biennial Flight Review.
This review must be conducted every two years. Specifically, it runs by calendar months, so if you had a flight review on July 15th, 2018, then it will expire on July 31st, 2020.
The review requires a minimum of 1 hour of flight training and one hour of ground instruction. Continue reading “What is a Flight Review?”
One of my favorite maneuvers when conducting a flight review is the steep turn. This innocuous looking maneuver provides a window into a pilot’s stick and rudder skill that allows me to quickly find areas of deficiency where the pilot being reviewed might need more work.
Please remember that the flight review is not a test and my goal is not to fail anybody. Rather, I want to find areas where the pilot is out of practice and try to give them a boost!
The steep turn requires a combination of just about all of the basic flying skills in one maneuver. It requires a pilot to: Continue reading “Steep Turns”