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Flight Instructor Blog

Posted by on August 12, 2009 4 Comments

General Aviation’s Impact on Iowa (with Video)

I have usually made a point not to report on aviation news on this site.  There are many other great places to get that kind of information but there was a headline that made it into my inbox today and I just couldn’t resist to share it with you.  We all know how badly general […]

Posted by on August 6, 2009 0 Comments

On Landings Part II

FAA-P-8470-49 Accident Prevention Program “On Landings Part II”
The FAA and GAMA released a series of “Accident Prevention Program” pamphlets highlighting various critical subject areas in general aviation.
This is part 2 of 3 in the Landings pamphlet series. Enjoy.

Posted by on August 6, 2009 0 Comments

On Landings Part I

On Landings Part I – FAA-P-8740-48
The FAA and GAMA released a series of “Accident Prevention Program” pamphlets highlighting various critical subject areas in general aviation.
This is one of the more “famous” pamphlets that was released and it was originally designed to supplement the “On Landings” audio-visual presentation (which I am still tracking down).
This is Part […]

Posted by on August 6, 2009 1 Comments

Sample Approach Briefing (Video)

In this video you will see a sample arrivial and instrument approach flight crew briefing.  This video is courtesy of the FAA’s Runway Safety Office. This bonus video was included in the Runway Safety Collection DVD and the segment “Was that for us?”

Posted by on August 6, 2009 0 Comments

Takeoff Crew Briefing (Video)

This video is a demonstration of a sample takeoff crew briefing.  This can also be referred to as a pre-depature briefing.
This video comes from the FAA and is part of the collection of Runway Safety Videos which explores risk, and prevention strategies while operating in the terminal airspace and on the surface of airports.

Posted by on August 6, 2009 0 Comments

Initial Crew Briefing (Video)

This video is courtesy of the FAA’s Runway Safety Office. This video, entitled “Initial Briefing” is designed to showcase a sample flight crew initial flight briefing. This video was included as a bonus from “Was That For Us?” as part of the FAA’s Runway Safety Collection DVD.

Posted by on August 6, 2009 4 Comments

Icing for General Aviation Pilots (Video)

This video presents practical information to help pilots avoid ice, detect ice, minimize exposure, and safely exit icing conditions during each phase of flight. The effect of icing on performance and handling is also discussed.
Realistic scenarios follow two pilots, Rona and Greg, from preflight planning through the approach and landing phases of flight. Rona is […]

Posted by on August 6, 2009 1 Comments

Tailplane Icing (Video)

This video provides information about ice-contaminated horizontal stabilizers. It presents a physical description of the tailplane icing problem, symptoms of ice contamination, and suggested recovery procedures.

Posted by on August 6, 2009 0 Comments

Icing for Regional and Corporate Pilots (Video)

This video is intended primarily for pilots of turboprop aircraft. It discusses ice protection systems, how ice accretes on the aircraft and symtoms thereof, the effects of ice on both the performance degradation and handling qualities, suggested recovery techniques from a roll or pitch upset and finally, the hazard of Supercooled Large Droplets (SLD).

Posted by on August 2, 2009 1 Comments

ATIS: “ASDE-X System Operational”

I was listening to an ATIS (automated terminal information service) broadcast recently and something about half way through the report caught my attention.  The automated voice for the message sounded to me like it said “FDX system operational. All aircraft operate transponders with Mode C on all taxiways and runways”.
I had never heard of the […]

Posted by on July 23, 2009 3 Comments

Why does manifold pressure increase during a prop check?

This is a follow-up question to an earlier post entitled “What is Manifold Pressure ?”
You might also see this question printed in the August 2009 issue of Downwind Magazine.  Ask a CFI will be a regular contributor to this exciting new aviation publication.  So keep your flight training questions coming because there is a good […]

Posted by on July 14, 2009 15 Comments

What happens when an aircraft is struck by lightning?

This is one of those questions that everyone has asked at one point or another. Whether you are a pilot or a passenger, we all have wondered what would happen if the airplane that I’m flying would suddenly be hit by lightning?
In private pilot ground school we learned that friction causes drag.  What we may […]

Posted by on July 10, 2009 4 Comments

What is an APU?

If you look closely at commercial aircraft, you might notice something that looks a bit like an extra engine. Consider the CRJ-900 for example. It clearly has only two engines, but take a look at the tail. It has an additional jetpipe which surely resembles a third engine.

Posted by on June 17, 2009 7 Comments

What is Specific Range?

“What is meant by the term ‘specific range’?”
This is the question that I asked David Wyndam of Conklin and de Decker after coming across this term while looking at some aircraft comparison performance tables.
The performance tables listed the specific range for various airplanes in both long range and high speed cruise.  For instance, the specific […]

Posted by on June 11, 2009 16 Comments

Sample Takeoff Briefing

Before Takeoff Checklist
Throttle: 1700 RPM
Magnetos: Checked
Carb Heat: On
Carb Heat: Off
Throttle: Set-800 RPM
Flight Instruments: Set
Takeoff Briefing….huh???
A common problem that I see in many of my students (both primary and advanced) is the failure to adequately brief the takeoff and departure segments.  This is a critical and common mistake with many pilots.  Richard C. Cushing summarized the […]

Posted by on June 9, 2009 23 Comments

Zulu vs. Bose

I’ve written before about how much I enjoy my Bose X headset. How I think that it is the quietest, most comfortable headset I’ve ever worn.  But I’m here to say that Bose better look out, because Lightspeed Aviation is giving Bose a serious high-noon headset showdown with it’s latest entry, the Zulu.  I’ve […]

Posted by on June 8, 2009 10 Comments

Why does the Cessna 421 have a reduction gear on the prop?

Marty emailed me tonight asking:
Why do they gear aircraft engines to slow down the prop? In a C-421, why not let the prop spin at 2400rpm in cruise instead of gearing it to about 1800?
Hi Marty,
You’ve asked a good question and one that I asked myself when I first started flying Cessna 404s (which have […]

Posted by on June 8, 2009 1 Comments

How to calculate your headwind or tailwind

Here is an easy enough question that came in from Dennis:
How do I calculate a headwind or tailwind?
This calculation is very easy using a mechanical flight computer such as an E-6B . The E-6B is a circular slide rule that has two sides: the computer side and the wind side.  The computer side which contains […]

Posted by on June 7, 2009 4 Comments

Paper Airplane Demonstration Template

Flight instructors are taught the importance of using visual aids when preparing a lesson.  Statistically, most people are visual learners.  There is nothing more frustrating than trying to teach a certain concept to a primary student and not having a good airplane model around to use as a visual aid.
A good friend suggested that I […]

Posted by on June 7, 2009 1 Comments

What is your on-course heading?

This is a question about a question!
Pilot Mike writes:
Thought I’d throw this one over your way to see what your thoughts are. Hangar flying this question has yielded several different answers from both IR pilots and CFIIs… You are departing an airport on an IFR flight plan; the route is “direct” to your destination. Upon […]

Posted by on June 2, 2009 2 Comments

Airplane Single Engine Rating Time Requirements

This has been a pretty busy week for me as I am currently in Wilmington, DE at my yearly recurrent training event at Flight Safety.  My recurrent training is something I definitely look forward to each year.  It is a wonderful opportunity to not only re-learn the things I have forgotten since last year but […]

Posted by on May 22, 2009 1 Comments

What the heck is a Q-route?

This is great follow-up question to a previous post, “Can you use a q-route below FL180?”. The question came to me after posting a link to that post on my Twitter profile.
So what the heck is a Q-route?
Well.  There are primarily three types of airways:
1) VOR Federal airways – This is the airway system that […]

Posted by on May 21, 2009 13 Comments

Can you use a Q-route below FL180?

David asked the following:
“Hi, I have a question about Q-routes. I understand they were developed for class A airspace. However, the Q100 airway out of Tampa, Florida has a 6000 foot MEA and a 1500 foot MOCA. Can you use this airway assuming you have /G and say fly at 7000 feet on an IFR flight plan?”
Great […]

Posted by on May 21, 2009 8 Comments

Cessna 152 POH

Are you looking for a Cessna 152 POH in a PDF format? Well you’re in luck.
Well technically, this isn’t a POH but a PIM.  The difference?  The POH, or pilot’s operating handbook, is the official serial-specific document that is required to be onboard prior to each flight.  The PIM, or pilot’s information manual, is the […]

Posted by on May 17, 2009 11 Comments

What the fastest way to reinstate my CFI?

Mike writes in asking:
I am an out of work, corporate pilot who has let his CFI expire . I am applying for a job that requires a valid CFI license. I have not instructed for some time. In your opinion, what is the most cost effective and painless approach to re-instating my license?
Hi Mike.  There […]