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.

Video Tip: Starting the airplane engine

Starting the airplane engine is one of the first hands-on procedures you'll learn when starting your flight training. In our latest video tip, we'll show you step-by-step the procedure for starting the Cessna 172S fuel-injected engine.

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.

Video tip: S-turns across a road

During your flight training you'll practice several different types of ground reference maneuvers to help you understand the effect wind has on the airplane when flying close to the ground. Here we'll take a look at s-turns across a road, giving you a pilot's eye view on how to correctly fly the maneuver.

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 fly a Slow Roll with Patty Wagstaff

Join Patty in a segment from Sporty's Basic Aerobatics Course and see how much fun flying inverted can be, as she demonstrates how to fly a slow roll in a Super Decathlon over the beaches of St. Augustine.

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?