Tips and technique

Tips and technique

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: 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.
Kid in airplane

Getting Back Into Flying

In my position, I talk to all sorts of pilots looking for flight training.  The largest group is not Private pilots looking to add...

Best-laid plans…

Things don’t always go as planned – a universal truth in life and readily apparent in aviation.  I experienced this first-hand on a recent...
Checklist

One checklist that works in every airplane

Do you fly the airplane, or is your checklist really the PIC? It may sound funny, but an awful lot of pilots are slaves to their checklists, blindly following them as if it’s a set of assembly instructions for a piece of furniture. You can and should do better.
Aviation cliche sign

6 aviation cliches that are true – and 3 that are not

Aviation is filled with "experts." These self-appointed sages never miss a chance to share their tips for safer flying, usually from the lofty perch of a rocking chair at the FBO. But not every cliche can be discarded. Most of them exist because there's a kernel of truth.
WINGS feature

Is WINGS the Answer?

First, I would like to say that I think that the FAA WINGS - Pilot Proficiency Program is a wonderful and valuable resource. It...

10 tips to get the most out of each flight lesson

Learning to fly an airplane should be a fun and enjoyable process, but you need to have a game plan to ensure that your flight training proceeds smoothly and efficiently. Here are 10 tips to help you get the most out of each lesson.
Pre-flight inspection

The dreaded pre-flight, and how to do it well

I've never liked the pre-flight inspection. It's like the salad course before a steak dinner--sure, it's good for you, but all it does is prevent you from getting to the good stuff. But if I could give some advice, it would be short and sweet: "Get over it."

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.