Authors Posts by Bret Koebbe

Bret Koebbe

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Bret is vice president and senior flight instructor for Sporty's Academy. In addition to Bret's teaching responsibilities, Bret leads Sporty's video production and app development team and serves as editor of the popular iPad Pilot News online journal. As an airline transport pilot, Bret is a senior captain in Sporty's corporate flight department.

Video tip: cross-country flights using 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: takeoff and landing techniques from a short runway

You'll need to modify your takeoff and landing procedures when operating from shorter runways to obtain the maximum performance from the airplane. These techniques will allow you to shorten the ground roll and also provide additional clearance over obstacles if they are present near the runway.
Aircraft Engine - Feature

Quiz: Aircraft Engine Operations

Aircraft engines can provide thousands of hours of reliable service, provided that they are maintained and operated properly. From the pilot's perspective, this involves learning the best practices for power control, leaning procedures, cooling, and other operational considerations.

Video Tip: Convective outlook charts

The week's tip looks at the Convective Outlook chart, which provides both short and long-term planning guidance for determining the location and intensity of thunderstorm activity.

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.

How to file VFR Flight Plans using the new ICAO format

Starting today, all VFR flight plans must be submitted using the International (ICAO) flight plan form. While it may sound intimidating at first, it's actually a pretty seamless transition when using a mobile app like ForeFlight to file. Here's what you need to know.

Normal Landings – HD Flight Maneuver Spotlight

All pilots look forward to learning how to master the approach and landing since it is one of the most dynamic moments of every flight. Follow along with our 3D flight maneuver video to see how it's done.

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: 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.

Aviation weather video tip: When flying IFR isn’t an option

Sometimes terrain, icing, lack of instrument rating or proper equipment can make flying on an Instrument Flight Plan (IFR) not an option. But that doesn't mean you need to cancel a flight though just because there's weather along the route or it's not perfect VFR.