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: Flying airplanes with retractable landing gear

Many high-performance airplanes feature retractable landing gear that allows them to fly at higher speeds thanks to the reduced drag (and they look cool too). There are new operational considerations to learn when transitioning to this type of airplane, including the best time to raise the gear after takeoff and lower the gear before landing. 

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: 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.

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: How to take off and land in a multiengine airplane

Earning a multiengine rating can open up a world of adventure, from reliable cross country travel to new career options. Our latest video tip includes a segment from Sporty's new Multiengine Training Course, to give you a feel for the steps to safely operate a multiengine airplane on a normal VFR flight, from startup to landing.

Video tip: how to fly with the Garmin GFC 500 Autopilot

This week's tip takes a look at the basic features of Garmin's popular GFC 500 autopilot, including how to turn it on and use airspeed, vertical speed, altitude and heading modes.

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.