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.

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 determine the wind speed aloft

As you begin to plan flights away from your home airport it's important to know the wind speed and direction at higher altitudes to help compute headings to fly and an estimated groundspeed for fuel planning. This week's tip takes a look at several online resources you can use to determine the upper level winds and how to interpret the textual winds aloft forecast.

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: 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.

Video tip: flying by the instruments

During your private pilot training, you'll need to log at least 3 hours with your instructor flying the airplane solely by reference to the instruments, typically while wearing a hood or view-limiting device. The goal isn't to make you proficient in instrument flying, but rather to help you develop the basic flying skills to return to VFR weather should you accidentally fly into a cloud or low visibility conditions.

Video tip: how thunderstorms form

Thunderstorms have a great ability to cause aircraft damage on the ground and in flight. Even airlines take extra precaution to divert around impending convective...

Video tip: How to use ADS-B in-flight weather

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is an integral part of the FAA's Next Generation Air Traffic Control system, and includes a free datalink weather component. This week's tip looks at the free in-flight ADS-B weather products available to pilots and the portable equipment needed to receive and display the data.

Weather Video Tip: Microbursts and wind shear

Microbursts are one of aviation's top weather hazards, and the intensity of the wind shear can spell trouble for even the most powerful airplanes. In this tip we'll look at the weather variables that can cause a microburst, how to look for the warning signs and what to do should you encounter one.

Video tip – Runway markings and symbols

Not all sections of the runway are created equal, and the FAA uses various symbols and markings painted directly on the pavement to indicate each segment's purpose. This week's tip takes a closer look at displaced thresholds, blastpads, EMAS and closed runway signage so you'll be well-prepared on what to do when you see them in person at the airport.

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