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.

Ask a CFI: Tips for Checkride Success from an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE)

Today we're talking with Todd Ritchey, a senior CFI at Sporty's Academy and FAA Designated Pilot Examiner. Todd shares his tips for how to prepare for the oral exam and practical flight test during the checkride and how to ensure you walk away with a successful outcome.

Video tip: explore the differences in airplane cockpits

While the good ol' Cessna 172 is still the most popular training airplane used by flight schools today, there are hundreds of other aircraft types that are also well-suited for flight training. This week's tip takes a look at some of the variations you'll find in these airplanes, including engine controls, switches, flight controls and flight instruments.

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.

Video tip: aircraft inspections and ELT requirements

Airplanes are held to high standards when it comes to maintenance and inspection requirements. This week's tip takes a look at the reason behind each inspection, how to verify they've been completed and the required paperwork to be on the airplane. It also takes a look at why digital 406 MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELT) incorporate GPS to improve their performance.

Video tip: get a “big picture” weather briefing

Checking the weather is one of the few constants in aviation. All pilots do it, whether it’s a trip around the pattern in a Cub or a trip across the Atlantic in a Gulfstream. But merely getting a weather briefing isn’t enough; it has to be a good weather briefing to make the flight safer. So what exactly does a “good briefing” involve?

Video tip: How pilots and ATC can benefit from ADS-B

The FAA is in the process of implementing a new system called Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B for short), which is designed to replace the ground-based radar system used by ATC to track air traffic throughout the US. This week's tips explains how the ADS-B system works and how you can also benefit from in-flight traffic and weather services offered by the system.

Video tip: practicing power-on stalls

This week we go flying to see what power-on stalls are all about. Some pilots are nervous about this maneuver, which can require a nose high attitude. But with a good understanding of the aerodynamics and a preview from outside the airplane, you'll have the confidence to perform these stalls smoothly - and hopefully avoid an inadvertent one on takeoff.

Video tip: Flying with a constant-speed propeller

Airplanes with a high-performance engine typically contain a constant-speed propeller for greater efficiency. Learn all about their operation with our latest tip, including how to properly use the throttle, prop control, manifold pressure gauge and tachometer in each phase of flight.

Video tip: Faulty approach and landing recoveries

Not every approach and landing will be by the book during your training, and you'll inevitably encounter situations when you round out too high, overshoot the touchdown point or bounce after the initial touchdown. This is perfectly normal and learning how to recover from these scenarios will improve your confidence and help you make better landings in the long run. 

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