Tips and technique

Tips and technique

Expand your thunderstorm forecasting skills

Thunderstorms and clusters of thunderstorms often intensify and weaken constantly over their lifecycle, and the threats they pose can rapidly evolve over time. Even with the volatility and uncertainty surrounding convection, products like the Extended Convective Forecast Product are helpful for determining how thunderstorms may impact your flight.

Soft-Field Takeoff – HD Flight Maneuver Spotlight

The soft-field takeoff technique will be required when departing from runway surfaces made of grass or dirt and will allow you to keep as much weight off the nose wheel as possible during the takeoff roll.

Ask a CFI: how can I incorporate the iPad into my flight training?

Welcome to Ask A Sporty's CFI, where we talk to the 25 flight instructors we have on staff at Sporty's Academy to get their...

If faced with an engine failure, remember your ABCs

While complete engine failures are not common, the stakes are high which is why pilots train extensively for such occurrences and why they get evaluated as part of a checkride. If faced with an engine failure, or training for your next engine failure with your instructor, act quick and decisively by remembering what you learned in kindergarten – your ABCs.

Avoid “gearcreep” and stay organized in the cockpit

While I complain about gearcreep at home, I learned that I was the chief offender of gearcreep in the cockpit. Pens, Bluetooth GPS units, aux input cables, flashlights… the stuff that I found rolling around the passenger seat and on the floor after a recent night cross country had me convinced that a more organized cockpit would be in my future.

Steep Turns – Sporty’s HD Flight Maneuver Spotlight

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.

Outsmart winter with these cold-weather flying tips

The winter flying season is officially here, which means we have a new set of challenges to deal with while flying in sub-freezing temperatures. 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.

Flight Maneuver Spotlight: Traffic pattern entry procedures

Standard traffic patterns are established at nontowered airports to provide a smooth flow of traffic from the arrival phase of flight through approach and landing. Here are the steps to follow to safely and efficiently join the pattern and get established on the final approach leg for landing.

Closed for the season: how to navigate the partial government shutdown

While the initial government shutdown has ended and most services restored, another shutdown looms and the following article will help you navigate the affected...

Ask a CFI: dangers of distracted flying (video)

Welcome to the third episode in our new video series, Ask A Sporty's CFI, where we talk to the 25 flight instructors we have on staff at Sporty's Academy to get their tips for safer and smoother flying. In this installment, hear from Chief Instructor Eric Radtke, who shares his thoughts on distracted flying and the importance of a thoughtful plan for taxi, takeoff and departure.