Authors Posts by Bret Koebbe

Bret Koebbe

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Bret is vice president and senior flight instructor for Sporty's Academy. In addition to Bret's teaching responsibilities, Bret leads Sporty's video production and app development team and serves as editor of the popular iPad Pilot News online journal. As an airline transport pilot, Bret is a senior captain in Sporty's corporate flight department.

Video tip: get to know your altimeter

The altimeter is a flight instrument that provides accurate altitude information to pilots and relies solely on outside air pressure. This week's tip explores how the altimeter works, the various types of altitudes you need to know about and potential errors you may encounter while referencing the altimeter.

Video tip: how do VORs work?

In the age of GPS and iPad it can be tempting to look past the traditional forms of ground-based radio navigation like VOR and ADF in favor of direct-to navigation and moving map displays. It's important you still take the time to understand how to use these systems, since VORs serve an important role in the national airspace system and can provide a reliable source of backup navigation.

Quiz: Brush Up On Communications

How much do you know about communications, ATC clearances and non-towered airports? Take our quiz to find out.

Video tip: pilot’s guide to airport services

Most of your flight training will focus on the essentials of flying like stick and rudder skills, navigation and communicating on the radio. One item that's often overlooked is what to do after landing on a cross-country flight and taxi up to the airport parking area. This week's tip takes a look at the resources available to you at the FBO and some advice on how to take advantage of them.

Video tip: the pilot’s operating handbook (POH)

You'll find a "how-to" manual on every airplane that describes how to operate that particular model, called the pilot's operating handbook, or POH. This week's tip takes...

Turns Around a Point – HD Flight Maneuver Spotlight

Ground reference maneuvers provide the opportunity to refine your flying skills by learning to fly the airplane over a predetermined path over the ground while compensating for the effects of the wind.

Video tip: cross-country flights using pilotage and dead reckoning

The cross-country phase of private pilot training is an exciting time where you'll learn the flight planning steps and flying techniques required to fly longer trips between two airports. While it might be tempting to navigate directly to the destination airport using GPS, it's important that you first learn how to fly the trip first using the fundamental navigation techniques of pilotage and dead reckoning.

Video tip: takeoff and landing techniques from a short runway

You'll need to modify your takeoff and landing procedures when operating from shorter runways to obtain the maximum performance from the airplane. These techniques will allow you to shorten the ground roll and also provide additional clearance over obstacles if they are present near the runway.
Aircraft Engine - Feature

Quiz: Aircraft Engine Operations

Aircraft engines can provide thousands of hours of reliable service, provided that they are maintained and operated properly. From the pilot's perspective, this involves learning the best practices for power control, leaning procedures, cooling, and other operational considerations.

Video Tip: Convective outlook charts

The week's tip looks at the Convective Outlook chart, which provides both short and long-term planning guidance for determining the location and intensity of thunderstorm activity.