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: 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: reducing drag in a Citation X and Cirrus SR-22

Airplane manufacturers go to great lengths to design the exterior surfaces to be as aerodynamically clean as possible to maximize performance. This week's tip takes a look at the drag-reducing features found on two of the fastest airplanes in both the jet and piston aviation segments.

Video Tip: Cessna 172 exterior preflight

One of the first things you'll learn as a student pilot is how to perform an aircraft preflight inspection. This week's video tip looks at the step-by-step procedures for the exterior preflight of a Cessna 172.

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: Fit for Flight

A big part of the go/no-go decision relates to your health and well-being as a pilot. This week's tip takes a look at various personal factors, including illness, fatigue and the effects that medication and alcohol can have on your decision-making before and during a flight.

Video tip: how to spot in-flight traffic

Collision avoidance skills are emphasized early on in the flight training process, and it's important that you make an effort to keep your eyes out the window as much as possible when practicing maneuvers. This week's video takes a look a few tips you can incorporate on your next flight to help spot nearby traffic, along with some new technology innovations that allows you to display nearby traffic right on your favorite aviation iPad app.

Video tip: Cessna 172 electrical system

The electrical system is a critical component of today's modern airplanes, distributing and supplying power to the lights, avionics and digital flight instruments. This week's tip takes a look at the various elements that make up the electrical system in the popular Cessna 172 training airplane.

Video tip: types of training airplanes

While you can technically learn to fly and earn your private pilot certificate in just about any type of airplane, you'll quickly learn that certain models are better suited for flight training than others. Here we'll take a look at the most common airplanes used for pilot training and some of the differences among them.

Video Tip: Touch and Gos

As you start to feel comfortable with takeoffs and landings after solo, your flight instructor may have you practice touch and gos during landing practice. This week's video tip takes a look at the maneuver and some factors to consider to help execute them properly.