Monthly Archives: October 2015

CFI Brief: Traffic Alerts

Cessna 1 – 2 – Alpha – Sierra – Alpha traffic 1 o’clock in three miles same altitude southbound. What, traffic? I’m pretty sure traffic doesn’t start till like 5 o’clock—3 mile backup, maybe there’s an accident? Well there’s no accident, but there’s a good chance there will be if you have no idea what […]

Communication Procedures: the Transponder

Today we’re talking communication procedures, specifically your airplane’s transponder. This post comes to us from Bob Gardner‘s The Complete Private Pilot. Although the transponder has no microphone or speaker, it is a means of communication with ground radar facilities. Interrogation signals transmitted from the ground are received by your transponder, and it replies with a […]

CFI Brief: Four-Stroke Piston Engine

The majority of general aviation aircraft use what’s referred to as a reciprocating engine. Mechanical energy is created through the back and forth movement (hence the name reciprocating) of pistons located in each cylinder which in turn drive a crankshaft that is directly connected to the propeller creating the required thrust. In the figure below […]

Aircraft Systems: Flaps

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve talked specifically about your aircraft so let’s focus again this week on aircraft systems. Today, we’ll review flaps. This post has been excerpted from the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Flaps are the most common high-lift devices used on aircraft. These surfaces, which are attached to the trailing […]

CFI Brief: ICAO Flight Plan Form

The FAA proposal to implement a standardized flight plan filling using the International ICAO flight plan form will soon take effect. As I mentioned last week, the FAA has removed all U.S. format flight plan questions from the knowledge exams. New updated question relating to the ICAO form will eventually replace those questions that have […]

Navigation: Automatic Direction Finder

This Thursday, we’ll pick up where we left off with flight planning last week, but today we have a post on another cockpit navigation aid: the automatic direction finder (ADF). This post is excerpted from the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Many general aviation-type aircraft are equipped with ADF radio receiving equipment. To navigate using […]

CFI Brief: Airman Testing, October Test Roll

The October Airman Knowledge Test Roll has been released and information is now posted to the FAA website. You may be asking, test roll? What is that? Throughout the year, the FAA goes through a process of evaluating Airman Knowledge Tests. Part of this evaluation process is determining the need to remove questions that may […]

Aircraft Performance: Takeoff Distance

Today we’re talking about takeoff distance. The majority of pilot-cause aircraft accidents occur during the takeoff and landing phase of flight. Therefore, a pilot must be familiar with all the variables that can influence aircraft performance during these critical phases. This post is excerpted from the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. The minimum takeoff distance […]

CFI Brief: Logging Instrument Approaches

Federal Aviation Regulations and rules can get confusing, particularly those pertaining to instrument flight rules (IFR). One in particular I always found confusing, and at times up to interpretation, deals with when a pilot may log an IAP. As you know, logging instrument approaches is an important aspect in abiding by 14 CFR 61.57(c) which […]

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