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.

Flight maneuver spotlight: crosswind takeoff

Welcome to the latest edition of 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. Each maneuver includes step-by-step instructions, performance standards and common errors. Study them while on the ground or print them for quick reference in the airplane.

Video tip: get to know your altimeter

The altimeter is a flight instrument that provides accurate altitude information to pilots and relies solely on outside air pressure. This week's tip explores how the altimeter works, the various types of altitudes you need to know about and potential errors you may encounter while referencing the altimeter.

Video tip: How ADS-B works

The FAA is in the process of implementing a new system called Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B for short), which is designed to replace the ground-based radar system used by ATC to track air traffic throughout the US. This week's tips explains how the ADS-B system works and how you can also benefit from in-flight traffic and weather services offered by the system.

Video tip: cross-country flying with pilotage and dead reckoning

The cross-country phase of private pilot training is an exciting time where you'll learn the flight planning steps and flying techniques required to fly longer trips between two airports. While it might be tempting to navigate directly to the destination airport using GPS, it's important that you first learn how to fly the trip first using the fundamental navigation techniques of pilotage and dead reckoning.

Video Tip of the Week: Class B airspace

Class B airspace surrounds the busiest airports, which means there are some important restrictions to remember anytime you're operating within it - or underneath it. In this week's video tip, we review how Class B airspace works, what you need to do to fly legally in it and how to stay safe. Take four minutes and get current today.

Flight maneuver spotlight: forward slips

This week's flight maneuver spotlight focuses on the forward slip, a procedure you can use to increase the descent rate during the landing approach without increasing airspeed.

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.

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.