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.

Flight Maneuver Spotlight: Traffic pattern entry procedures

Standard traffic patterns are established at nontowered airports to provide a smooth flow of traffic from the arrival phase of flight through approach and landing. Here are the steps to follow to safely and efficiently join the pattern and get established on the final approach leg for landing.

Video Tip: Steep turns in flight

Steep turns are one of those core pilot skills - whether you're a new student pilot or an experienced pro, being able to complete this maneuver safely and smoothly requires coordination and good "seat of the pants" flying. Learn some helpful tips for making better steep turns in our latest video tip.

Video tip: training beyond the checkride

Earning a pilot certificate is a special accomplishment. It also comes with the responsibility to continue learning and refining those skills through practice. This week's tip shows how you can set personal goals to continuously improve your flying outside of the training environment.

Video Tip: Aircraft engine operating tips

Airplane engines are more sensitive than your typical car engine and require extra attention. This week's video tip looks at some tips for basic airplane engine operations to help you get years of trouble-free operation from them.

Video Tip of the Week: Why airplanes turn to the left in a climb

Airplanes seem to always want to turn left, especially in a climb. But why does this happen? In this three minute video tip, we dive into the physics in a way that makes sense for pilots. 3D animations and in-flight video show the effects of P-factor, gyroscopic precession and spiraling slipstream.

Soft Field Takeoff – HD Flight Maneuver Spotlight

The soft-field takeoff technique will be required when departing from runway surfaces made of grass or dirt and will allow you to keep as much weight off the nose wheel as possible during the takeoff roll.

Video tip: 6 rules for VFR cross-country flights

Getting out of the traffic pattern and going on a real trip is a lot of fun. It may even be the reason you’re learning to fly in the first place. But the same reasons these trips are so much fun - new places to see, a goal at the end of the flight - can lead to challenges if you aren’t prepared. Here are six rules to keep in mind when you’re flying VFR cross countries.

Video tip: How to use VFR flight plans

Pilots should get in the habit of filing and opening VFR Flight Plans when flying away from the local airport environment. Then, in the unlikely event that you have an emergency or off-airport landing, the authorities know to come look for you along your planned route of flight.

Video tip: accelerated stalls

Stalls seem pretty straightforward for most pilots, but stalls during a turn can seem quite different. In our latest quick tip, we look at these accelerated stalls. You'll learn why it's called an accelerated stall, how to prevent one, and why load factor is so important.

Video Tip: VFR communications

Talking on the radio can be intimidating for new pilots, but with a few tips in mind it doesn't have to be hard. In our latest video tip, we give you a few basics to remember so you can sound like a pro when you talk to tower or on the CTAF. If you know what to expect, you'll be a lot more confident.