Your connection with the sky

Pilot Log – March 27, 2010

, March 29th, 2010

Saturday marked the first flight of my Ventus 2 bx 15-meter wingspan sailplane for 2010 - tentatively, a check flight to assess the preventative maintenance I did over the winter. The forecast was for a weak conditions, with blue thermals topping out at 3,900 msl and increasing cirrus cover throughout the day. A short flight close to the airport seemed like a good plan.

I put extra attention into my preflight check. Over the winter, I moved almost every instrument in my panel to a new position, tying to optimize my scan to quickly capture critical information (airspeed, vertical speed, position). It's not unusual to get a tube or wire misplaced, so I checked and double checked all instrument functions carefully. Read More >>

Airplanes and the Human Factor

, March 18th, 2010

It is a fact that, no matter how advanced today’s aircraft have become, there is still the human side of the equation to think about. Humans control the technology, but we're not as advanced as the machinery that we're operating.
Human Factors
Human factor is crucial to aviation, this is because humans remained the same throughout the improvements in the technology for aircraft. Thus, aeronautical companies like Cessna and Boeing are considering the human factor in designing aircraft. This way, an aircraft still advances to a level with new technology, but can still be tailored to fit the limitations of its human pilots. For one, they can avoid the occurrences of accidents that are commonly associated with human error.

One area to concentrate in is the cockpit. The cockpit is the most important part of any aircraft that is human controlled. Accidents can actually occur at the onset of an error that causes a pilot to panic, and confusing panels can make it hard for the pilot to react quickly. Read More >>

Starting Flight Lessons

, March 12th, 2010

Have you ever had the dream of flying but also thought that it is too elusive for someone like you? Flight is actually a gift that is freely available to anyone, as long as you have the determination and passion for the craft. Anyone can learn to fly, that is a fact. All one needs to do is just know how they can approach such a goal to make it real.
Flight training
Now, how does one start flight lessons? Here are some requirements that you first must comply with before you can start learning how to fly from a qualified flight instructor:

The Age Requirement

Anyone can learn to fly, as mentioned earlier. In fact there actually is no age requirement when speaking in terms of taking flight lessons. However there is a requirement when it comes to solo flight or taking your private pilot checkride (your final test). In the United States you must be at least 16 to solo and 17 to take your checkride. Don't let this deter you! I teach students as young as 13 and 14 so they can prepare to solo on their 16th birthdays!

How I Passed My Private Pilot Checkride

, March 8th, 2010

As a student pilot, one could feel that the world is his oyster when he’s up there flying in the skies... but only because there’s a CFI sitting right beside him. If he does something wrong, the instructor is there to back him up or even to cover his back. Your instructor will correct whatever mistakes you might make and give direction to avoid doing the same thing again. It’s like having a supportive parent in your childhood: there’s always someone to take care of the worrying for you.

However, life as well as being a pilot is not like that. Now, the question is: how do you prove to your instructor that you are good enough for him to let go of you? This is something I personally struggled with when pursuing my private pilot certificate.

However when it came down to it. I was ready for my private pilot checkride and passed with ease. It may have been years ago but the ideology hasn't changed a bit.

I Was Prepared

I knew what needed to be done, I had studied like crazy, and knew the cross country route he gave me inside and out. You need to be overly prepared for your checkride. Any question is fair game and you should be ready to answer. The main focus is your cross country flight plan. Know everything you can about it. Have backup plans, study the airspace along the route etc...

3 Things to Bring on Your Private Pilot Checkride

, March 5th, 2010

Alright so now you have reached the minimum number of hours needed for you to achieve private pilot status. You've studied for hours and put in all the required effort. So, what comes next? That would be your private pilot checkride.
Private Pilot Checkride
Keep in mind that you have invested a lot of time and money into your private pilot training, and there should be only one return for you to reap: the private pilot certificate. With that certificate you can now pursue your dream of conquering the skies and enjoying the rare gift of flight.

In order to successfully pass your test, you need to be very prepared. You would need to bring a few things with you during the day of your private pilot checkride. Consider these as your tools or your life lines during the practical examination. With these tools at hand, you are well equipped and ready to take on whatever things that come up during your checkride.

Here are three important things to have at hand when you are about to embark on your private pilot checkride.

Naked Airplanes: Inspections Keep GA Aircraft in Top Form

, March 5th, 2010

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Earlier this week, I snuck out of work early and met Don Weaver at Oakland County International Airport (KPTK) and took off for Ray Community Airport (57D), about 11 minutes away by Cirrus SR-22.

Don is the chief pilot for OptAir and, most importantly for me, is one of the aerobatic instructor pilots for the Acro Camp movie that I’m currently casting.  Don wanted to show me the Pitts S-2B that he’s lining up for the third and fourth days of the Acro Camp movie shoot. Read More >>

3 steps to a Perfect Solo

, March 2nd, 2010

Every student pilot knows that flying solo for the first time is inevitable from the moment he started to learn to fly. A student pilot can consider his first solo flight as a culmination of the effort and time exerted into flight training. That, however, still does not take away the stress or the anxiety that is usually attached to the thought of flying alone for the first time.

Your first solo jitters although normal are quite needless, however. A student pilot instead should enjoy his first solo flight rather than fear it, as it is the start of an enjoyable career in aviation.

Don’t Doubt Yourself

You have to remember, first and foremost, that you should not doubt yourself. Read More >>