Home Authors Posts by Bret Koebbe
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.
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.
We're right in the middle of thunderstorm season here in U.S. and convective weather hazards are a top consideration for pilots when making the go/no-go decision. 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.
The magnetic compass is the only "self-powered", north-seeking instrument in the panel and you'll find one in just about every airplane. It's not a perfect instrument though and has some inherent errors due to its design and construction. This week's tip takes a look at when you're most likely to experience these errors and how to compensate for them should you ever need to rely on the compass for primary navigation guidance.
Clouds are often referred to as "sign posts in the sky", and for good reason since they are one of the best visual indicators of what mother nature has planned for the weather. This week's tip takes a look at the various types of clouds, when and where they form and what kind of flying conditions pilots can expect when flying in and around them.
Learning to move around on the ground at large airports with complex runway and taxiway layouts can at first be intimidating, but with proper preparation and some help from the mobile apps like ForeFlight, you'll find that it's really not that difficult to monitor your position and find your way to the runway or parking.
Standard VFR departure procedures are established at pilot-controlled airports to ensure that departing aircraft remain clear of incoming traffic as they climb out of the terminal airport environment.
Power-on stalls, often referred to as departure stalls, are practiced to simulate a scenario that could occur shortly after takeoff, where the airplane is at an excessively high angle of attack with the engine at the maximum power setting. You'll learn how to look for the early warning signs, as well as how to execute the proper recovery procedure.
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.
"Lunken tower, this is Cessna Eight Eight Uniform, our windshield is covered with oil, we're returning for immediate landing." I'll never forget making that radio call 14 years ago, and today I can still visualize the oil-soaked windshield as vividly as the day it happened. Even more memorable is how one small, easily-preventable oversight led to this in-flight emergency.