5 most popular articles from 2020

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2020 taught us a lot about patience, perseverance and determination – a year like no other and one that many of us our happy to see fade into the sunset. We know from your participation at StudentPilotNews.com, that, during the challenging year, the general aviation community was a beacon of trust, stability and hope. We’re pleased to offer our 5 most popular articles of 2020.

Here’s to blue skies and tailwinds ahead…

1. Top 5 taxiing mistakes – Learning to move the aircraft around on the ground can be just as difficult as learning steep turns. And it’s nothing to be ashamed of because it’s common and taxiing is not natural. It’s nothing like driving a car, and can be frustrating zigzagging down the taxiway or making turns too sharp or shallow until you’ve mastered the skill. Here are the top 5 mistakes I see routinely at our home airport. An awareness of the most common mistakes will have you mindful and vigilant on your next flight. Continue reading.

2. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020: the next-gen VFR trainer – Head out to just about any airport in the U.S. today and ask a pilot what inspired them to learn to fly and you’ll likely hear one of the following three answers: (1) a family member is a pilot or is involved in aviation, (2) they caught the bug after their first airline flight as a child, or (3) a flight simulator game introduced the excitement and freedom of general aviation. Continue reading.

3. 10 aviation activities to get you through COVID-19 – Does the COVID-19 crisis have you down? Yes, unprecedented recommendations and orders have made it challenging to get that aviation fix, but blue skies are ahead and there are activities to participate in right now so that you’re ready to hit the ground running. These challenging times also foster creativity so perhaps our readers will share some additional innovative thoughts. After all, we are a tight-knit community who crave pilot interaction so here are 10 aviation activities you can participate in right now to help keep you connected. Continue reading.

4. VFR Flight Following, a pilot’s guide – If “flight following” is a new term, don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s not exactly a staple in many Private pilot training programs and is easy to bypass on the checkride. But let’s rectify that here and now because it’s a service that every VFR pilot should take advantage of and it could even be a life saver. Flight following is a relatively simple concept – it’s an aircraft flying under VFR that is taking advantage of Air Traffic Control (ATC) services. Functionally, it indicates the flight is radar identified by ATC and a number of advisories may be available from the controller. Continue reading.

5. 6 professional development tips for aspiring pilots – The aviation job market has never been stronger. As an aspiring professional pilot, the opportunities are limitless. As a result, enrollment in collegiate aviation programs and flight training academies is on the rise. Pilots are being lured from the high school ranks as well as those longing for a career change. If you’re one of the many thousands who one day aims to make a career as a pilot, there is plenty of advice and helpful tips to be mindful of as you begin your career path that are sure to pay dividends in the future. Here are six tips I wish I would have learned much earlier in my journey. Continue reading.

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It was his first airplane trip at age seven that made Eric decide to become a pilot. "While boarding the airplane, a flight attendant noticed my interest in the flight deck and urged me to go talk to the pilot. I give a lot of credit to that pilot for my career choice." He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and went on to an airline career. Eric now heads Sporty’s flight school and directs the University of Cincinnati’s Professional Pilot Training Program. In addition, Eric serves as a Captain in Sporty’s corporate flight department.