Tips and technique

Tips and technique

How to pause, rewind and replay your flight lessons

It's no secret that the airplane cockpit doesn't provide the best classroom experience in the air. With new technology though you can easily record the audio, video and GPS flight track from each flight to better debrief with your instructor and get more out of each flight lesson.

The most commonly misunderstood regulations and procedures

I had the pleasure of hosting a popular online panel discussion earlier this year featuring designated pilot examiners (DPEs) and Chief Instructors from around...

How to make sure a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) never catches you by surprise

We've been fortunate over the past few years that the number of presidential Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) has been fairly limited. That will inevitably change...

Flying IFR – I follow rivers, roads and rails

In 1998 my Christmas present from my wife Rose Ann was a Magellan hand-held GPS.  It was a navigational miracle in a box not...

Ask a CFI: dangers of distracted flying (video)

Welcome to the third episode in our new video series, Ask A Sporty's CFI, where we talk to the 25 flight instructors we have on staff at Sporty's Academy to get their tips for safer and smoother flying. In this installment, hear from Chief Instructor Eric Radtke, who shares his thoughts on distracted flying and the importance of a thoughtful plan for taxi, takeoff and departure.

Video tip: inadvertent flight into IFR 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 IFR 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.

Ask a CFI: what should I do if the engine quits in flight?

Here we're talking with Charlie Masters, a senior instructor at Sporty's, who shares his tips on how to prepare for an off-airport landing. What actions should you first take after the engine quits? How do you set up for landing in a field? Charlie has answers.

Avoid “gearcreep” and stay organized in the cockpit

While I complain about gearcreep at home, I learned that I was the chief offender of gearcreep in the cockpit. Pens, Bluetooth GPS units, aux input cables, flashlights… the stuff that I found rolling around the passenger seat and on the floor after a recent night cross country had me convinced that a more organized cockpit would be in my future.

Time to change the clocks

It’s that time of the year again; time to change the clock back 1 hour. The end of daylight saving time marks very little...
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."

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