Your connection with the sky

Performance, Navigation and E6-B, Oh My!

, August 31st, 2010

by Chris Findley, CFI
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As you approach your solo you will likely feel that your training has become repetitious.  You will spend a good bit of time on stalls, slow flight, steep turns, slips, and landings.  As you now move into the post-solo phase of your training, a new series of lessons will be a welcome change.  Now your training will focus on performance and navigation as you prepare for your cross countries.

“Performance” basically refers to knowing the limitations and the capabilities of your aircraft.  In the air you will learn how to perform maximum performance takeoffs and landings in order to fly off of or land on short or soft (grass or other unimproved surface) fields.  Your ground lessons and study will pick up again with learning how to load your aircraft safely.  Read More >>

Why You Should Learn To Fly

, August 19th, 2010

When most people think about learning to fly they envision freedom in flight but there are some other reasons why you should learn how to fly. There is a social fabric to this industry if you are an amateur or a professional. In addition to flying with friends and colleagues there are many advantages to flying.

Traveling for business is a time consuming and expensive process further compounded by tight security at major airports, delays and the time to and from major airports. With a small plane many times you can get much closer to your destination landing at a smaller regional airport and then have the added luxury of leaving when you are ready and not the designated departure time. Many small regional airports will even offer free ground transportation to your destination within a reasonable proximity without additional costs. Read More >>

Learning to Fly: What Will I Fly?

, August 10th, 2010

by Chris Findley, CFI

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What is available at your local airport might vary, but it will likely be one of about four airplanes.  Probably the most common is the Cessna series of trainers, particularly the 152 and the 172.  These high-wing, single engine planes are among the most popular entry-level aircraft ever built.  Their proven design dates back to the 1940s and the Cessna 172 continues to be in production today.  The 172 is a 4 seat aircraft that flies at about 120 miles per hour.  It’s little brother is the 152, which is a smaller 2-seat version.  Both of these trainers are very forgiving and easy to fly.  More pilots have learned to fly on the 152/172 combination than any other plane in the world. Read More >>

Why Fly and Why Sim?

, August 4th, 2010

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Dear AOPA members, I know I have been AWOL for some time. The reason being a very hectic and sometimes even dramatic life over the past year. But I'm back and blogging again, in various places! One such place is right HERE at Let's Go Flying, and another one is Why Fly Inc., of which I am co-owner and the tech wizard now, as well as contributor.

And we need READERS! So come and have a look when you have a passion for flying, or just want to know why OTHERS have a passion for it. It is totally FREE!

That's what Why Fly is all about. And in that sense it is really complementary to organizations such as AOPA and EAA, aiming for the exact same goal: getting people to love flying!

Back to flight simming.........

So what’s an armchair pilot?

Or, come to think of it, why would I want to write about that?

‘Armchair Pilots’ are what many flightsimmers call themselves. They ‘fly’ on a monitor (TV screen) attached to a desktop computer. Using, predominantly, Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, they can mimic real flight, learn manoeuvres, practice, or just fantasize about being a pilot … from the chair at their desk … and, sometimes, from a more-than-real, home-built-cockpit!! Read More >>

Learning to Fly: Turning Your Hobby Into a Business

, August 4th, 2010

Let’s face it. Pilots learn to fly because they want to fly. That’s all there is to it. The desire to learn flying stems from a dream to touch the skies and live amongst them even for just a short time. However, as time passes, some of these aspiring aviators do realize that their hobby has a potential to earn them some cash. Quite a bit of cash actually.
Airline Captain
That’s the reason why some people who initially just dreamed of flying are now leading fruitful lives that are giving them serious earnings from something that they just initially took into as a hobby. You, too, can earn money from your passion for aviation and can turn your hobby into a business. What are the options an aviator can have on a career in aviation?

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Commercial Pilot

One road that private pilots opt to take after flying as a private pilot for awhile is to become a commercial pilot. Specifically, you won't be flying for the big names like just yet. You can get other small jobs to build hours. My first job flying was "traffic watch" we simply flew a 172 and spotted traffic accidents. This is a common path pilots take while working up the time to fly for a major carrier. Read More >>

A Primer on Personal Minimums

, August 4th, 2010

by Chris Findley, CFI

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“What is the weather predicted to do while we are flying?  And will the changes that occur be beyond your capabilities?”

My student arrived on time and, after exchanging pleasantries, I asked him about the weather. It was a local flight, but I had been on my student to begin sharing in the decision-making process. I had begun to sense that he simply relied on my level of comfort and advice to make the decision to fly or not.

“AWOS says the ceiling is 3000 feet, with the wind 260 at 6.” he said, already heading for the flightline.

“Whoa…hang on.” I said. “You have to understand that weather is dynamic, not static. It’s always changing. What is the weather predicted to do while we are flying?  And will the changes that occur be beyond your capabilities?”

He looked at my blankly for a minute.  I explained, “Say we take off  and 2 things happen: 1.) The ceiling begins to drop as a warm front begins to pass, from 3000 to 1600 feet and 2.) As it does that little westward wind becomes 12 gusting to 18.  Would you,  particularly where you are in your training, want to take off solo in those conditions?” Read More >>

How To Succeed In Your Flight Training

, August 4th, 2010

We all know that flight training is an investment. We put our money into flight training and wait for the returns that we expect from our training and that is our private pilot certificate. Thing is, the returns in flight training is not literally something you wait for, but they are things that one has to work on in order to achieve. You need to take some steps to ensure that you get to achieve success in your flight training so that the money you spent for the training would not go in vain.

Make no mistake about it. Success in flight training can be difficult to achieve. You have to spend a lot of time and perhaps develop some habits that you might not have before in order to succeed in your flight training. Here are some tips that you might want to take into consideration for your flight training.

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Make the Most Out of Your Instruction

There’s no doubt about it. You bring yourself closer to success when you make the most out of your instruction. Fly as much as you can and listen closely to your instructor so you can pick up some knowledge that will be helpful down the road. Read More >>