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: inadvertent flight into IFR conditions (and how to get out)

Taking the time to thoroughly brief the weather before every flight will significantly decrease the odds that you'll inadvertently fly into IFR conditions as a VFR pilot. This week's tip takes a look at the actions to take though if you do stumble into the clouds or an area of reduced visibility, to help you safely return to VFR conditions.

Flight maneuver spotlight: slow flight

Flying an airplane just above the stall speed in the slow flight configuration will teach you a lot about the handling characteristics and controllability at low speeds, which is a critical step in the development of your flying skills during flight training.

Video Tip: Night Flying

Night is simply one of the best times to fly–the air is smooth, the airport isn't as busy and the view out the window is incredible. This week's video takes a closer look at night flying and some best practices to follow to ensure your next flight in the dark is as safe as it enjoyable.

Video tip: What does angle of attack really mean?

You’ve probably heard that “you can stall an airplane at any airspeed and any attitude.” It’s true, but it sure doesn’t make much sense. In our latest video tip of the week, we tackle angle of attack, a critically important but often misunderstood topic. You’ll learn what it really means, how to visualize it in flight and what the new generation of AoA gauges shows.

Video tip: Aviation Safety Reporting System (the NASA form)

The FAA has an Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) program designed to gather data about incidents to maintain and improve aviation safety. The ASRS collects voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident and situation reports from pilots, controllers, and others. This week's tip shows how to participate in the system and the benefits it can provide should you inadvertently bend one of the FARs in flight.

Video tip: practicing power-on stalls

This week we go flying to see what power-on stalls are all about. Some pilots are nervous about this maneuver, which can require a nose high attitude. But with a good understanding of the aerodynamics and a preview from outside the airplane, you'll have the confidence to perform these stalls smoothly - and hopefully avoid an inadvertent one on takeoff.

Flight maneuver spotlight: normal approach and landing

The approach and landing is one of the most exciting and dynamic moments of every flight and a procedure pilots of all experience levels are always working to improve.

What the ATC controller sees – tech in the tower

You'll find that it's helpful to have a good understanding of the air traffic system from the controller's perspective. Understanding the technology involved will not only make you feel more comfortable working with ATC but will also allow you to fully take advantage of all the services and information they have to offer.

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.

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.
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