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: how to recover from unusual flight attitudes

There are 2 unusual attitude maneuvers you'll practice during your private pilot training, simulating the scenario of inadvertently flying into IFR conditions and ending up in a nose low descending or nose high climbing pitch attitude. This week's tip shows how to recognize either condition and use the flight instruments to recover to straight and level flight.

Video Tip: Night Flying

Night is simply one of the best times to fly–the air is smooth, the airport isn't as busy and the view out the window is incredible. This week's video takes a closer look at night flying and some best practices to follow to ensure your next flight in the dark is as safe as it enjoyable.

Steep Turns – Sporty’s HD Flight Maneuver Spotlight

Welcome to our newest addition to Student Pilot News, the Flight Maneuver Spotlight series. Here we'll highlight the various maneuvers you'll practice during your flight training and be expected to demonstrate during your private pilot checkride. We're going to kick things off with Steep Turns this week.

Video tip: it’s all about airspeed

Nearly every airplane has an airspeed indicator and it's arguably the most important flight instrument in the panel. This week's tip takes a look at how it works, the various types of airspeeds you need to be familiar with as a pilot and what the markings mean on the face of the instrument.

Video tip: inadvertent flight into instrument conditions (and how to get out)

Taking the time to thoroughly brief the weather before every flight will significantly decrease the odds that you'll inadvertently fly into instrument conditions as a VFR pilot. This week's tip takes a look at the actions to take though if you do stumble into the clouds or an area of reduced visibility, to help you safely return to VFR conditions.

Video Tip: Starting the airplane engine

Starting the airplane engine is one of the first hands-on procedures you'll learn when starting your flight training. In our latest video tip, we'll show you step-by-step the procedure for starting the Cessna 172S fuel-injected engine.

Video tip: how to determine the wind speed aloft

As you begin to plan flights away from your home airport it's important to know the wind speed and direction at higher altitudes to help compute headings to fly and an estimated groundspeed for fuel planning. This week's tip takes a look at several online resources you can use to determine the upper level winds and how to interpret the textual winds aloft forecast.

Video tip: how to calculate weight and balance

Take the time to compute the total weight of the airplane and center of gravity (CG) before every flight, based on the number of occupants, baggage and fuel and where each item is positioned in the airplane. This week's tip takes a look at how to compute a typical weight and balance calculation and how to verify the results are within limits.

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: turns around a point

Flying in circles over an open field won't get you to your destination any faster, but it will teach you a lot about how the wind affects the airplane in flight. In our latest Video Tip of the Week, we walk through how to fly the Turns Around a Point maneuver, with in-cockpit video and 3D animations. Even if you're already an experienced pilot, this maneuver is a great way to keep your stick and rudder skills sharp.