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: practicing power-on stalls

This week we go flying to see what power-on stalls are all about. Some pilots are nervous about this maneuver, which can require a nose high attitude. But with a good understanding of the aerodynamics and a preview from outside the airplane, you'll have the confidence to perform these stalls smoothly - and hopefully avoid an inadvertent one on takeoff.

Video tip: get a “big picture” weather briefing

Checking the weather is one of the few constants in aviation. All pilots do it, whether it’s a trip around the pattern in a Cub or a trip across the Atlantic in a Gulfstream. But merely getting a weather briefing isn’t enough; it has to be a good weather briefing to make the flight safer. So what exactly does a “good briefing” involve?

Video tip: How pilots and ATC can benefit from ADS-B

The FAA is in the process of implementing a new system called Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B for short), which is designed to replace the ground-based radar system used by ATC to track air traffic throughout the US. This week's tips explains how the ADS-B system works and how you can also benefit from in-flight traffic and weather services offered by the system.

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.

Use your iPad to simplify taxiing at large airports

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.

Video tip: Fit for Flight

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.

The first and last time I skipped the preflight checklist

"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.

5 flight planning resources you should be using

Flight planning today has never been easier for pilots, thanks to all the sophisticated mobile apps and wealth of up-to-date weather data available at our fingertips. Here are 5 flight planning resources outside of your favorite aviation app to consider while preparing for your next flight.

What the ATC controller sees – tech in the tower

You'll find that it's helpful to have a good understanding of the air traffic system from the controller's perspective. Understanding the technology involved will not only make you feel more comfortable working with ATC but will also allow you to fully take advantage of all the services and information they have to offer.

Runway braking action reports finally make sense

The FAA recently implemented a new system to help pilots better understand how snow and ice affect will affect braking on runways and taxiways, allowing both airport operators and pilots to use a standardized method to identify both the contamination type and how it will affect deceleration, braking and directional control.