Tips and technique

Tips and technique

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: 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.

Top 5 taxiing mistakes

Learning to move the aircraft around on the ground can be just as difficult as learning steep turns. And it's nothing to be ashamed...

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.

Slow Flight – HD Flight Maneuver Spotlight

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.

Snow on the runway? Here’s how to interpret runway condition codes

An important consideration when planning a flight to an airport at below freezing temperatures is the possibility of snow or ice on the runway and whether the conditions are suitable for your particular airplane and operation. Here's what to look for when checking field condition NOTAMs and the meaning of each runway condition code.

Flying with the iPad as your digital copilot – new webinar recording

Sporty's recently hosted a webinar presentation on iPad proficiency on the flight deck including a wide range of practical topics on flying with the...

6 bad habits to avoid as a student pilot

We asked the pilots here at Sporty’s what they thought student pilots should avoid. We’re talking about bad habits that can get in the way of your goal of earning your wings. Here are the six bad habits to avoid when you begin your flight training. 

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.

Preflight Like It Matters

A thorough preflight is critical. When you learn to fly, one of the first things that your flight instructor will teach you is what to look for on the airplane before your go fly. Performing a preflight inspection of the aircraft is often one of the first things that your instructor will "solo" you on as well.