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Flight Instructor Blog

Posted by on October 23, 2014 7 Comments

Dauntless Aviation Acquires Ask a CFI.com

Hello Folks,
At Dauntless Aviation (dauntless-soft.com), we’re a small company with a real passion for making aviation software and apps that make great pilots. For example, we take particular pride in that our GroundSchool series of FAA knowledge test prep titles don’t just provide a polished and efficient user experience that helps people pass their tests, […]

Posted by on March 9, 2014 15 Comments

Flying for hire

A pilot who has lost his medical asked if I could fly for hire with him. Are there any rules about giving instruction to someone who has last his/her medical and for that matter someone who has lost his/her certificate? Could we both log the time as dual given/received?
Otherwise if it was considered flying for […]

Posted by on June 26, 2012 2 Comments

Creating a Personal Currency Plan

We all know the standard currency rules here in the US: 61.57. (a) and (b). In order to take passengers, you need 3 takeoffs and landings in the previous 90 days. And in order to take passengers at night you need 3 night takeoffs and 3 night landings in the previous 90 days. Oh and […]

Posted by on June 20, 2012 1 Comments


Ever wondered what the NOTAM contraction “WIP” stands for? For instance, I was flight planning tonight and came across this NOTAM:
WIP stands for “Work in Progress” from this source:
Now you know!

Posted by on March 20, 2012 13 Comments

Foreflight Review

This review has been a long time coming. I’ve been using ForeFlight Mobile since version 2, and raving about it on Twitter the entire time. At this point, ForeFlight has been around long enough that you know their flagship product: an electronic flight bag, in your pocket, on anything that runs iOS.
On the iPhone, ForeFlight […]

Posted by on January 10, 2012 5 Comments

Vacuum pump failure while flying

One of my favorite things about running this website is experiencing the power and value of the community. Just as pilots learn valuable lessons from sitting at the airport and “hangar flying”, pilots here too learn from each other’s successes, failures and experiences. Although the site’s title is “Ask a CFI”, it could […]

Posted by on December 23, 2011 1 Comments

Santa’s Checkride

Even Santa has to get checked out before flight.  I bet he nailed his short field takeoffs and landings!

Posted by on September 1, 2011 0 Comments


Found this tonight while doing some preflight:
And I’m not sure why, but RCL took me a few minutes to put together.
RCL = Runway Centerline
So, decoding the above NOTAM.  At […]

Posted by on July 7, 2011 1 Comments

Some website housecleaning

Just wanted to pass on some general website housekeeping notes about askacfi.com.
I received an email tonight from a registered user indicating that he was having trouble accessing his account at askacfi.com.   If you are having similar issues, here is the problem.  A couple of nights ago, I ran a script to help remove the […]

Posted by on March 23, 2011 1 Comments

Wing Over Wendys

There is an interesting project at kickstarter.com that I thought was interesting and deserved attention at askacfi.com.
The project is “Wing over Wendys” and it is a book about a group of veteran combat war pilots and aircrew men and women from WW2, Korea, and Vietnam who meet every Monday morning at a Southern California Wendy’s restaurant […]

Posted by on February 13, 2011 0 Comments

Helicopter Training? Ask Away!!!

Hey everyone! I sent an email to Paul Tocknell (admin) about adding a Helicopter category to the list of question areas, and he was happy to put it up! I’m exited to talk to Helicopter instructors out there, and while not yet a CFI myself, I am an Instrument Helicopter Pilot (ASEL also) and LOVE the challenge […]

Posted by on February 11, 2011 0 Comments

“License” to Learn?

This article, which details the differences between certificates, ratings and endorsements, was graciously provided by Susan Parson of the FAA. This article originally appeared in the May / June 2008 issue of FAA Aviation News (now FAA Safety Briefing). You can download the current and previous FAA Safety Briefings on their website at: […]

Posted by on February 6, 2011 20 Comments

Barometric Altimeter Accuracy

The barometric (baro) altimeter, measures altitude based on a model of the atmosphere, in particular, how the pressure and temperature of the air changes with altitude, the higher the altitude, the lower the pressure and the lower the temperture. The standard pressure at sea level is 29.92 inches of mercury and the standard temperature is […]

Posted by on January 18, 2011 1 Comments

Cleaning Up User Registrations

I’m going through user registrations on askacfi.com right now and using a plugin to help me delete spammer registrations. If for some reason, I delete your account I do apologize. Please re-register.
Thanks for your patience, and if you have any other improvements you would like see made to the site, please let […]

Posted by on December 25, 2010 0 Comments

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to All and to All a Safe Flight.

Posted by on December 19, 2010 5 Comments

Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators (PDF)

About a year ago I did a search for “Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators PDF” and was amazed when my search turned up zero relevant results.  Here is a text produced by the US Navy and referenced by several FAA training documents and completely unavailable unless you purchased a copy from a private publisher!  Well, after […]

Posted by on December 3, 2010 0 Comments

Runway Pilot – Awesome Aviation Apparel

I’ve been flying professionally for 11 years now and one of the most important things that I’ve learned is the importance of staying comfortable in the cockpit.   When I worked as an aerial survey pilot, it was not uncommon to have 7+ hour legs.  That’s right, 7 hours in the same seat, flying over […]

Posted by on November 30, 2010 0 Comments

I don’t have to be the top answerer

I’ve noticed that I (Paul) have consistently been at the top of the answerer leader board even though I am not always a top producer of answers!  Just because it is “my” site, I have no pride with being at the top.  In fact, that’s kind of how I know the site has really succedded […]

Posted by on October 28, 2010 0 Comments

Bose A20 Review

Bose A20 Aviation Headset
Best Headset Ever Made?
I have been using Bose headsets for many years.  My first use of the Bose A20 headset was in the cockpit of a Beechcraft Bonanza 3 years ago and I have found nothing better since then.  I continue to use Bose A20 as my only headset.  I have a […]

Posted by on October 17, 2010 1 Comments

Scheyden Sunglasses Review

Overview: Scheyden sunglass, even though quite expensive, are stylish and functional.  (keep reading though to learn how Scheyden hooked up the readers of Ask a CFI.com with a  40%  coupon).
As a pilot there are a few accessories that are a must for flying. Then there are those accessories that are a must to look good […]

Posted by on October 16, 2010 0 Comments

Procedure Turn Practice

I just finished reading the “Take a Challenge” article in AOPA Flight Training magazine where they highlighted challenging airports various categories (weather, crosswind, terrain, altitude, etc).  After I got done reading this article, I thought of this procedure turn practice manuever my friend and fellow flight instructor Ed Quinlan shared with me.    Ed used […]

Posted by on October 7, 2010 56 Comments

How to Start a Flight School Business

Forward: My friend Howard Nock has started and operated several flight schools over the years. I asked him to write this article providing the general steps on starting your own flight school business. His experience and insight into the flight school industry is helpful for people thinking about starting their own flight […]

Posted by on October 7, 2010 0 Comments

Rethinking the Business of Flight Training

I’d like to start a conversation with any CFI’s and Flight School owners about rethinking the business end of flight training –perhaps via a ning network.  I’d like to have some conversations  about:
+current pricing & rates
+really investigating where our competition exists  (I maintain that it is other high-involvement recreation products like jet-skis and harleys.)
+How to retain […]

Posted by on October 7, 2010 2 Comments

One Pilot’s Thoughts on the Bose X

By Chris Findley, CFI, CFII
One of the great things about being a pilot is the high “gadget-factor”. There are gadgets for just about everything. There are iPhone apps that help your preflight planning. There are system monitors that tell you everything you never knew you needed to know about your engine. […]

Posted by on September 27, 2010 7 Comments

David Clark X11 Reivew

Overview: At first glance the X11 has an impressive presence on paper but, in execution and practical use, the X11 falls short of its competitors.
Conclusion: Comfortable but fragile. Horrible Support
David Clark is a well-known aviation headset maker with their distinctive sage green colored headphones. I have owned the H10-20 and, my personal favorite David Clark […]