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Category Archives: Aircraft Systems

CFI Brief: Cold Weather Operations

We are well into fall and winter seems to be fast approaching, I am ever reminded by all the holiday décor already up around town. For the majority of us, baring you lucky few down south, we will notice drops in temperature and for many areas across the United States temperatures can drop well below […]

Aircraft Systems: Fuel Contamination

Fuel contamination is a preventable event. Today, we’ll take a look at what the new edition of the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge has to say about it. Accidents attributed to powerplant failure from fuel contamination have often been traced to: Inadequate preflight inspection by the pilot Servicing aircraft with improperly filtered fuel from small tanks […]

CFI Brief: Torque

Today’s discussion is on torque. An airplane of standard configuration has an insistent tendency to turn to the left. This tendency is called torque, and is a combination of four forces: reactive force, spiraling slipstream, gyroscopic precession, and P-factor. Reactive force is based on Newton’s Law of action and reaction. A propeller rotating in a […]

Aircraft Systems: Landing Gear

Back to basics this week on the Learn to Fly Blog. Today, we’re talking about landing gear. This post is excerpted from the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. The landing gear forms the principal support of an aircraft on the surface. The most common type of landing gear consists of wheels, but aircraft can also […]

Aircraft Systems: GPS

The GPS can be a great aid for situational awareness in VFR operations. Today, we’ll introduce the basics of how the system works. We’ll go more in depth on using the GPS in future posts. Learn more about the GPS and more navigation systems and instruments in The Pilot’s Manual Volume 2: Ground School. Precise […]

Aircraft Systems: Engine cooling and exhaust systems

A few weeks ago we started talking about how your engine stays cool while producing intense heat. We’ll follow up that post this week with more on an airplane’s cooling and exhaust systems. Check out the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge for more on this and other easy-to-read descriptions of need-to-know flying subjects. While the […]

CFI Brief: Icing Systems

Temperatures have started dropping up here in the Northwest and the leaves have all but fallen off the trees. With the official start to winter a little more than a month away, what better time than to have a quick Brief on ice, particularly those systems which prevent us from falling to earth looking like […]

Aircraft Systems: Oil Systems

We’re staying warm this week, but we’ll be talking about ways to keep your engine cool. Today’s post is on your aircraft’s engine oil system. Look for follow up Ground School posts in the coming weeks about your engine’s cooling and exhaust systems. And be sure to check out what we’ve already covered in regards […]

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 […]

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