Authors Posts by Bret Koebbe

Bret Koebbe

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Bret is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s professional pilot program, and has been a flight instructor for over 10 years. During his time as a check airman for Sporty’s Academy, he has earned FAA Gold Seal and NAFI Master Instructor accreditations. Bret specializes in advanced avionics training, and especially enjoys working with students learning glass cockpit systems, WAAS GPS units, and iPad and Android tablets in the cockpit. He currently flies both professionally and for fun in a variety of aircraft, from Cessna Skycatchers to a Cessna Citation. Bret is also a Vice President at Sporty’s Academy, where he develops innovative new aviation training products in video, online and mobile app formats.

Video tip: maintaining your flight currency

After the checkride, you must maintain a certain level of flying activity to stay current in the eyes of the FAA. All pilots must meet with a CFI every 24 calendar months to complete a Flight Review, but there are also additional currency requirements you must meet when you want to bring passengers along with you. This week's tip explains the FARs related to pilot currency in plain English, including when you need to log your flight time.

Video tip: magnetic compass errors

The magnetic compass is the only "self-powered", north-seeking instrument in the panel and you'll find one in just about every airplane. It's not a perfect instrument though and has some inherent errors due to its design and construction. This week's tip takes a look at when you're most likely to experience these errors and how to compensate for them should you ever need to rely on the compass for primary navigation guidance.

Video tip: what kind of cloud is that?

Clouds are often referred to as "sign posts in the sky", and for good reason since they are one of the best visual indicators of what mother nature has planned for the weather. This week's tip takes a look at the various types of clouds, when and where they form and what kind of flying conditions pilots can expect when flying in and around them.

Video tip: iPads in the cockpit

Paper charts are now a distant memory for many pilots today as digital charts on the iPad have become the preferred method to view aviation data. This week's tip takes a look at the regulations surrounding the use of the iPad in the cockpit and how it should be used along with the traditional methods of preflight planning and navigation during your flight training.

Flight maneuver spotlight: steep turns

Welcome to our newest addition to Student Pilot News, the Flight Maneuver Spotlight series. Here we'll highlight the various maneuvers you'll practice during your flight training and be expected to demonstrate during your private pilot checkride. We're going to kick things off with Steep Turns this week.

Video tip: how to calculate takeoff and landing distances

Just about every airplane includes performance data in the Pilot's Operating Handbook to calculate the runway length required for takeoff and landing under various conditions. The FARs require you to determine these distances as part of your preflight responsibilities, but fortunately the charts published for today's modern airplanes make this task a breeze. This week's tip takes a look at how perform this calculation using the common "chase-around" style charts.

Runway braking action reports finally make sense

The FAA recently implemented a new system to help pilots better understand how snow and ice affect will affect braking on runways and taxiways, allowing both airport operators and pilots to use a standardized method to identify both the contamination type and how it will affect deceleration, braking and directional control.
nearby traffic collision avoidance quiz

How to spot nearby traffic like a pro

During the early stages of flight training you'll learn that keeping an eye out the window looking for traffic is a big priority as you learn to fly the airplane. Here are 7 tips to boost your collision avoidance skills and make sure you don't mix aluminum with another airplane in the sky.
iPad Screenshot

What not to miss when flight planning on the iPad

As your logbook starts to fill up and you gain experience as a pilot, you’ll soon develop a personal routine for how you plan...

Winter weather flying refresher

As the season transitions from fall to winter and the temperature is consistently below freezing, unique challenges are presented to pilots. Flight training doesn't need to stop in the winter though; in fact the colder months provide some great opportunities to expand your knowledge on weather and aircraft operations in less than ideal conditions.
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