Tips and technique

Tips and technique

Flight maneuver spotlight: slow flight

Flying an airplane just above the stall speed in the slow flight configuration will teach you a lot about the handling characteristics and controllability at low speeds, which is a critical step in the development of your flying skills during flight training.

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.
Fuel gauges

Only the realistic survive

The unforgiving nature of aviation has serious consequences, consequences we should remember every time we enter the cockpit. If we're unrealistic about our new year's resolution, it probably won’t hurt us. Flying is a different story. There aren’t many second chances.

Video tip: How to avoid turbulence and find a smoother ride

During your preflight briefing, you observe that the air is clear and there are no storms in sight – does this mean you're in store for a smooth, enjoyable flight? Possibly, but you should also consider another weather factor that can have a big impact on the comfort of the flight on VFR days: turbulence. This week's tip takes a look at ways to avoid rough air and find a smoother ride on your next flight.

Use your iPhone or iPad to file, open and close VFR Flight Plans

Did you know you can file, open and close VFR Flight Plans through Flight Service right from your iPhone or iPad? Here's how to do it from 4 of aviation's top EFB apps.

Back to Basics – Weight and Balance

A recent news story told the tale of an aircraft accident where six adults had loaded themselves into a single engine Piper and taken...

Confidence on the radio is all about listening

For me, learning how to talk on the radio was a difficult element of my training. And I know from talking to other pilots,...
Pilot talking on radio

How to improve your pilot communication skills

Learning how to talk on the radio is important, but many pilots spend far too much time stressing about it. Improving your communication skills is mostly about feeling comfortable and confident. So how do you feel more confident on the radio? There’s not substitute for practice and experience, but there are some habits that can accelerate that process.

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.

How to master steep turns

Steep turns were my nemesis. While I didn’t fail an exam as a result, it was clearly a weak maneuver within my repertoire. Never...