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: Flying with a constant-speed propeller

Airplanes with a high-performance engine typically contain a constant-speed propeller for greater efficiency. Learn all about their operation with our latest tip, including how to properly use the throttle, prop control, manifold pressure gauge and tachometer in each phase of flight.

Video tip: Faulty approach and landing recoveries

Not every approach and landing will be by the book during your training, and you'll inevitably encounter situations when you round out too high, overshoot the touchdown point or bounce after the initial touchdown. This is perfectly normal and learning how to recover from these scenarios will improve your confidence and help you make better landings in the long run. 

Video tip: How to handle crosswinds during takeoff

When planning for takeoff, it's best to choose a runway at the departure airport that is most aligned with the wind. Unfortunately, the winds rarely blow right down the runway, so you must learn how to accomplish takeoffs and landings under crosswind conditions. This week's tip looks at the control inputs required and performance implications when performing a crosswind takeoff.

Video tip: Flying airplanes with retractable landing gear

Many high-performance airplanes feature retractable landing gear that allows them to fly at higher speeds thanks to the reduced drag (and they look cool too). There are new operational considerations to learn when transitioning to this type of airplane, including the best time to raise the gear after takeoff and lower the gear before landing. 

Crosswind landings – HD flight maneuver spotlight

This crosswind landing technique requires you to modify your normal landing procedure by using a combination of rudder and aileron to keep the airplane aligned with the runway.

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.

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