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Category Archives: Ground School

CFI Brief: ATC Tower Light Gun Signals

A while back I was on a local area pleasure flight with a couple of friends showing off the sights in the club’s Piper Cherokee. I was so wrapped up in making sure my passengers were having a good time that I failed to immediately notice the illuminated low voltage light. By the time I […]

Procedures and Airport Operations: The Go-Around

Today we’re excited to announce a new fifth edition of our foundational textbook The Pilot’s Manual: Flight School (PM-1C). Flight School breaks down all the tasks required for Private and Commercial certification. Each chapter outlines the objective, consideration, application, technique, and airmanship of a maneuver as well as a visual explanation of the task and […]

CFI Brief: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark!

One of my favorite times to fly is during the night or in the wee hours of the morning while it’s still dark. Ever since my first night cross-country flight, I have enjoyed being in the skies when most people are at home sound asleep. Often, flying during these nighttime hours can be a much […]

Human Factors: Night Vision Adaptation

Flying at night? Several things can be done to help with the dark adaptation process and to keep a pilot’s eyes adapted to darkness. Some of the steps pilots and flight crews can take to protect their night vision are described in this excerpt from the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25B). Sunglasses If a […]

Navigation: Basic Radio Principles

A radio wave is an electromagnetic (EM) wave with frequency characteristics that make it useful. The wave travels long distances through space (in or out of the atmosphere) without losing too much strength. An antenna is used to convert electric current into a radio wave so it can travel through space to the receiving antenna, […]

CFI Brief: 14 CFR §91.211 Supplemental Oxygen

I hope you thoroughly read Monday’s post on oxygen regulations, if not you could be in trouble answering this two question pop quiz to start of today’s blog. NO cheating! 1. When operating an aircraft at cabin pressure altitudes above 12,500 feet MSL up to and including 14,000 feet MSL, supplemental oxygen shall be used […]

Regulations: Supplemental Oxygen

We’re talking regulations this week. Take a look at what we’ve covered so far. Today, we’ll go over the rules regarding supplemental oxygen under 14 CFR Part 91 with an excerpt from The Pilot’s Manual: Ground School (PM-2C), which has a useful chart to clarify the regulation. Crew oxygen requirements for operations under Part 91 […]

CFI Brief: Atmospheric Stability

Today we will take Monday’s post on temperature inversions a step further  with a discussion on atmospheric stability and the types of weather we can expect with a stable and unstable air mass. Atmospheric stability is defined as the resistance of the atmosphere to vertical motion. A stable atmosphere resists an upward or downward movement. […]

Weather: Temperature Inversions

Today’s post on temperature inversions comes to us from The Pilot’s Manual: Ground School (PM-2C). Temperature normally decreases with altitude. In the standard atmosphere the temperature is assumed to decrease by approximately 1.98°C for each 1,000 feet climbed in a stationary air mass. In practice, we can assume a decrease, or temperature lapse rate, of […]

CFI Brief: Unusual Attitude Recoveries

An unusual attitude in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) is a very unwelcome experience. Many years ago on a commercial cross country training flight with my instructor, I came very close to putting myself in an upset condition, or unusual attitude as it’s commonly referred to. The close call occurred on the last leg of our […]

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