Monthly Archives: February 2015

CFI Brief: W&B Terms

Part of your preflight duties as a pilot will be to determine the weight and balance of the aircraft. Trying to takeoff and fly with an aircraft over max gross weight or out of balance can cause drastic consequences on the airplane’s ability to fly. Below are some of the terms that will be important […]

Aircraft Performance: Introduction to Weight and Balance

This week we’ll introduce weight and balance. This post is excerpted from Bob Gardner‘s textbook The Complete Private Pilot. It would be nice to have an airplane in which we could fill all of the seats and all of the baggage area, fuel up to capacity, and take off safely without worrying about loading, but […]

CFI Brief: 1-800-WX-BRIEF

With increasing technologies and access to the internet it may seem to some that a telephone weather briefing is a little outdated. For some it may be, but for others it’s a great opportunity to speak to a weather briefing specialist to learn about the conditions along your route of intended flight. 1-800-WX-BRIEF (992-7433) is […]

Weather Services: Weather Briefings

This week, we’re thinking about weather briefings. This post comes from the FAA’s Aviation Weather Services, available from ASA in print, PDF, and in a combo-pak with Aviation Weather. Prior to every flight, pilots should gather all information vital to the nature of the flight. This includes a weather briefing obtained by the pilot from an approved weather source […]

CFI Brief: Knowledge Exam Updates

New FAA Knowledge Exams were released February 9. The Private Pilot test saw the most significant changes this test cycle. Questions being deleted covered outdated topics including automatic direction finder/nondirectional beacon (ADF/NDB); Radar Summary Charts; the En Route Flight Advisory Service (EFAS); medevac; and transcribed weather broadcasts (TWEB). The FAA will also delete from the […]

Weather: Temperature Variations

This week, we’re taking another look at weather and focusing on its cause: the heating and cooling of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere. More on what every pilot needs to know about weather can be found in the FAA handbook Aviation Weather (AC 00-6A). The amount of solar energy received by any region varies with […]

So, Where in the Pattern is the Upwind?

Takeoff and climb out is not the upwind. Yup, I know lots of people call the “upwind” in the traffic pattern as they climb after takeoff, but they are actually calling “upwind” in the wrong spot. And being accurate when you tell people where you are in the traffic pattern can be important. I’ll admit, […]

Procedures and Airport Operations: Nontowered Airports

Your flights normally begin and end at an airport. An airport may be a small sod field or a large complex utilized by air carriers. This week we’ll be thinking about the two types of airports: towered and nontowered. These introductions to the two airport types come from the FAA textbook Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical […]

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