Tips and technique

Tips and technique

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.

Steep Turns – Sporty’s HD Flight Maneuver Spotlight

Welcome to Sporty's Flight Maneuver Spotlight series. This week we're going to fly steep turns, a maneuver that will help both improve your flight control skills at a steeper bank angle and show the importance of keeping your eyes moving between inside and outside the cockpit.
Pilot talking on radio

The seven deadly sins of aviation communications

Learning how the ATC system works can take time, but fortunately it's fairly easy to avoid some common mistakes. There are a few things that can instantly make you sound less professional—let's call them the seven deadly sins of radio communication. These phrases should not be in your aviation vocabulary.

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.

Video tip: What does angle of attack really mean?

You’ve probably heard that “you can stall an airplane at any airspeed and any attitude.” It’s true, but it sure doesn’t make much sense. In our latest video tip of the week, we tackle angle of attack, a critically important but often misunderstood topic. You’ll learn what it really means, how to visualize it in flight and what the new generation of AoA gauges shows.

5 hacks for cockpit organization

Staying organized in the cockpit is essential for a safe and enjoyable flight. The rat’s nest of cables combined with unsecured gadgets can make your cockpit feel like you’re on the next edition of Hoarders. But before you call American Pickers or spend a fortune on even more products to get you organized, let me give you my top five hacks to keep you organized in the cockpit. And none will break your budget. 

Updated AIM effective June 17, 2021

On its standard publication schedule, an updated AIM was recently published with changes effective June 17, 2021. Changes include the following paragraphs: 1−1−9. INSTRUMENT LANDING...

“NORDO” – 5 tips for avoiding loss of communication

“NORDO” is a term defined in FAA Order 7110.65 (a.k.a. Air Traffic Controller’s Handbook) as an aircraft that can’t or doesn’t communicate by radio. ...

CFI Tips: Partial Panel Flying

In this latest installment of CFI Tips, Sporty's Academy CFI, Dustin Yockey, discusses partial panel flying and the importance of remaining calm, prioritizing positive...

Podcast: flight training trends and the life of an airline pilot

Why is flight training so strong, even after a pandemic that stopped airline pilot hiring? What do flight instructors wish students knew about learning to fly? What's it like to be an airline pilot? Eric Radtke answers these questions and many more, in the first episode of Sporty's Fast Five Podcast.