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Tag Archives: safety

Communication Procedures: Emergency Radio Procedures

How should you react to the unexpected? How should you ask for help? Today we’re talking about emergency radio procedures. This post comes from our textbook The Pilot’s Manual Volume 1: Flight School (PM-1B). Request assistance whenever you have any serious doubt regarding the safety of a flight. Transmission should be slow and distinct, with each word pronounced clearly […]

Regulations: “Minimum” IFR Training

Today’s post is short and sweet but a very important detail in your private pilot training nonetheless! 14 CFR 61.109 Aeronautical Experience lists the required minimum experience needed to apply for a private pilot certificate. §61.109(a)(3) states the required instrument flying time: 3 hours of flight training in a single-engine airplane on the control and […]

Weather: Fronts

Out here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re used to what’s generally characterized as “bad” weather. And since we’re setting regional rainfall records right now, let’s talk about weather. Specifically, fronts. As an air mass moves across bodies of water and land, it eventually comes into contact with another air mass with different characteristics. The boundary […]

Regulations: Recent Flight Experience

One regulation you need to be aware of as a new pilot is 14 CFR §61.57, “Recent Flight Experience – Pilot in command”. Here’s how Bob Gardner summarizes this regulation in The Complete Private Pilot: 14 CFR 61.57 Recent flight experience: Pilot-in-command. You may not carry passengers unless you have current experience, and that means […]

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: Ground Effect, Pop Quiz!

I sure hope you read Monday’s post on ground effect because today I’m throwing a pop quiz at you! Remember that ground effect occurs when flying within one wingspan or less above the surface. The airflow around the wing and wing tip is modified and the resulting pattern reduces the downwash which reduces the induced […]

Aerodynamics: Ground Effect

Thinking about your takeoff technique? Today we’ll consider the role of ground effect. Simply put, ground effect is the reaction of the airflow against the ground surface. Today’s post comes from our foundational flying textbook The Pilot’s Manual 1: Flight School. Here’s a basic overview: The cushioning of ground effect when the airplane is flying […]

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: 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 […]

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 […]

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