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Chris Findley is a flight instructor in the Nashville area and founder of He majored in Professional Flight Management at Auburn University where he earned his Commercial, Instrument, Multi-Engine and CFI ratings. After a 15-year hiatus from flying Chris returned to flying and instructing. About Chris Findley, CFI

A Twist on the Sunday Drive: Fly!

June 17th, 2010

by Chris Findley, CFI

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One of the greatest gifts of flying is flying for the sheer joy of it.

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The “Sunday Drive” holds an iconic place in American life.  Like front porch swings, sidewalks, and town squares, a family drive in the country on Sunday was a mini-getaway for the family.  There was no rush, no elaborate plans, no particular agenda.  It was using the car for more than the normal weekday commute.   It was about using the car for leisure, for recreation.

The notion of the Sunday Drive has all but disappeared from the American consciousness.  As the pace and pressure of modern society has increased, our intentional use of leisure has diminished.  It is pretty rare to see people simply taking a walk in a park, or chatting with neighbors across their back fences, or just getting away together for a little while.  But today’s Private Pilot can renew this age-old and forgotten tradition of the Sunday drive, but with a twist–the Sunday flight. Read More >>

4 Keys to Better Takeoffs

June 11th, 2010

By Chris Findley

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There’s a certain thrill most pilots feel when they taxi onto the runway and line up on the centerline for takeoff.  It’s the beginning of a great transition—from a ground-based reality to an air-based reality.  It’s the gateway to flight and one of the first maneuvers a new pilot learns.

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However, in many ways, it is often neglected as a maneuver.  It is often treated as simply a mechanical action and, other than dealing with a crosswind, not much thought is put into the takeoff.  Many pilots simply, line up, go to full power, reach takeoff speed, and haul back on the yoke.  For some reason takeoffs become can very Cro-Magnon, “Come plane. Now we fly, ugh ugh.”

We are pleased with ourselves when we make a nice landing with gentle finesse.  We should aim to have a similar finesse with our takeoffs.  Hint:  If you rotate (begin your climb) with such force your passengers grunt, you may want to make some adjustments to your technique.

There is as much technique in a good takeoff as there is in any maneuver.  Here are a few keys to better takeoffs:. Read More >>