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 do VORs work?

In the age of GPS and iPad it can be tempting to look past the traditional forms of ground-based radio navigation like VOR and ADF in favor of direct-to navigation and moving map displays. It's important you still take the time to understand how to use these systems, since VORs serve an important role in the national airspace system and can provide a reliable source of backup navigation.

Video tip: Getting started in your instrument training

Adding an instrument rating will greatly expand the utility of your Private certificate and allow you to fly on days when the visibility is low and the cloud layers are close to the ground. This week's tip explains the steps you'll need to follow to earn your instrument rating and the new procedures and knowledge you'll learn along the way.

Video Tip: Touch and Gos

As you start to feel comfortable with takeoffs and landings after solo, your flight instructor may have you practice touch and gos during landing practice. This week's video tip takes a look at the maneuver and some factors to consider to help execute them properly.

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. 

Video Tip: Cessna 172 exterior preflight

One of the first things you'll learn as a student pilot is how to perform an aircraft preflight inspection. This week's video tip looks at the step-by-step procedures for the exterior preflight of a Cessna 172.

Video tip: how to get a modern weather briefing

While you can still call Flight Service for a traditional telephone weather briefing, most pilots prefer to use graphical weather products found online and in mobile apps to get a more contextual view of the weather before a flight. This week's tips looks at several free resources you can access online, including the Aviation Weather Center and the Flight Service website.
aerodynamics

Video Tip: Aerodynamics of a Wing Stall

During your flight training you will practice stalling the airplane to better learn the low-speed handling characteristics of the airplane, and how to recover if an unintentional stall occurs. In this video tip we'll look at how the airflow changes over the wing as it nears the critical angle of attack and eventually stalls.

Video tip: Understanding Pilot Reports (PIREPs)

Understanding certain critical weather information only available from airborne pilot reports (PIREPs) can help you avoid potential inflight hazards like turbulence and icing. Learning about...

Video tip: Aviation Safety Reporting System (the NASA form)

The FAA has an Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) program designed to gather data about incidents to maintain and improve aviation safety. The ASRS collects voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident and situation reports from pilots, controllers, and others. This week's tip shows how to participate in the system and the benefits it can provide should you inadvertently bend one of the FARs in flight.