License to learn and a long cross-country

July 27, 1980.  I was lying on the wet ramp at the Morgantown WV (KMGW) airport in front of the Flight Service Station (FSS)....

Airman Certification Standards (ACS) – a pilot report

A new, enhanced version of the Practical Test Standards (PTS) is coming mid-June, 2016 for Private Pilot Airplane and Instrument Rating Airplane. The ACS is a good and necessary evolution of the PTS that’s sure to bring about greater synergy across all phases of certification by integrating the applicable components.

Quiz: Aircraft Engine Mixture Control

For some student pilots the mixture control is a thing of mystery. It gets pulled out to shut off the engine, so let's just...

Student Pilot and FAA Medical Certificates

As a student pilot, you will need a Student Pilot Certificate at some point during your flight training program. When you will need the student certificate will vary based upon the type of training that you are doing. You may also need an FAA Medical Certificate. The type of medical certificate you should obtain, if you should obtain one at all, depends on your flight training goals. Learn more in this post by Sporty's Academy Chief Instructor Jurgens.

Taming the crosswind

In recent weeks we experienced an uncommon and unwelcome pattern of cold air masses in the Midwest that not only brought winter-like temperatures, but...

Quiz: Wake Turbulence Avoidance

As an airplane wing flies through the air an invisible danger swirls in its wake. The aerodynamic phenomenon known as wingtip vortices leaves behind...
iPad Screenshot

What not to miss when flight planning on the iPad

As your logbook starts to fill up and you gain experience as a pilot, you’ll soon develop a personal routine for how you plan...

4 things to consider in a good flashlight

As you would expect, technology has vastly improved since the days of incandescent bulbs and massive batteries. But before you go buy a $5 case of flashlights at the local dollar store, there's more to a flashlight than meets the eye. And considering this basic device can be a lifesaver, be sure to consider these 4 things.

Quiz: Can You Identify These Airport Signs and Markers?

Getting around on the ground can be one of the most dangerous phases of your flight. In fact, the most deadly accident in history...

Finding a smooth ride – 5 things to look for

As a student pilot, my flight instructor spent a lot of time teaching me how to fly safely. But as I started flying cross-countries as a private pilot, I realized I had never really learned how to fly comfortably. Here are 5 things to look for as you seek out that smooth ride.