Video tip: what are AIRMETs and SIGMETs?

In a perfect world we'd always fly in blue skies with a tailwind, but unfortunately mother nature is an ever-present force that can deliver inclement weather from time to time. This week's tip takes a look at a few weather forecast products to help you stay away these conditions, like thunderstorms, turbulence, wind shear, icing and other in-flight weather hazards.

Video tip: Airman Certification Standards (ACS)

The Airman Certification Standards (ACS) spell out the performance standards that you'll need to meet during your private pilot test. It's important that you take time during your flight training to familiarize yourself with this document and use it to help gauge your progress. This week's tip takes a closer look at a few examples of the specific knowledge, skills, risk management elements and performance metrics found in the Private Pilot ACS.

Video tip: The aerodynamics of induced and parasite drag

During your flight training you'll learn all about the 4 forces acting on the airplane in flight, including lift, thrust, weight and drag. This week's tip takes a closer look at the aerodynamic forces that cause the rearward force of drag, including a breakdown of parasite vs. induced drag.

Video tip: How to determine the wind direction for takeoff and landing

When departing or approaching an airport, it's important that you choose a runway that allows you to takeoff or land into the wind. This week's tip looks at someone common wind direction indicators found on the ground at many airports, along with how to use the radio to tune into automated weather reporting systems.

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: how to take off in an airplane

Taking off is one of the most exciting moments of every flight, where you get to swiftly accelerate down the runway and lift off to leave the world below. This week's tips takes a look at the step by step procedure to accomplish this task in a Cessna 172, showing each control input necessary to fly a smooth takeoff on your next flight.

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.

Video Tip: Visual Approach Slope Indicators (VASI/PAPI)

Visual approach slope indicators use a combination of white and red lights next to the runway to help pilots verify they are flying the correct approach angle to the runway. This week's video takes a closer look at 2 types, VASI and PAPI, to show you how they work and what the various indications mean.

Video tip: how to land an airplane

Landing an airplane is one of the most challenging, yet satisfying tasks you'll learn to master on your path towards becoming a private pilot. This week's tip shows how to fly a stabilized final approach and help you visualize the steps necessary to transition from the roundout and flare to the touchdown.

Video tip: the Cessna 172 fuel system

It's important for pilots to have a good understanding of airplane systems to know how to properly operate their controls and troubleshoot them when things don't work as expected. This week's tip takes a look at the Cessna 172 fuel system to show each component and give you a better understanding of how all the parts work together.