Hazards Associated with Microbursts

Summer is here, and although there will be plenty of perfect flying days, pilots should be prepared for volatile weather, such as thunderstorms, which can pop up quickly and unexpectedly. While there are many hazards associated with thunderstorms, this article specifically addresses microbursts. Formation When a thunderstorm develops, the updraft can be so strong that it suspends large a...
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Interactive E-6B Flight Computer Available Online for FREE

Every pilot will use a variation of the E-6B flight computer for flight planning calculations. The traditional E-6B is primarily used during flight training, as many pilots opt to use online flight planning apps post training. While some students use electronic E-6B computers, the manual E-6B flight computer has some significant advantages, including lower cost and reliability without power. The m...
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How to Confidently Communicate on the Radios

Many pilots struggle with radio communication. This task is often overlooked when people decide to become pilots, but the struggle is not just limited to students. Just like learning any other language, it may initially be challenging, but once you memorize the vocabulary and develop a keen understanding of “radio grammar,” speaking on the radios becomes second nature. Here are some tips to help a...
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The Basics of Straight-and-Level and Slow Flight

One of the first maneuvers student pilots learn is how to fly straight-and-level. For a given airplane configuration, this maneuver is successful when the pilot can control the airplane with minimal altitude and heading changes. Except for basic instrument maneuvers, straight-and-level flight is not actually listed as a specific task in the Airman Certification Standards; however, it is a fundamen...
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How To Stay Proficient During Quarantine

The United States was responsible for nearly 1 billion airline passengers (domestically and internationally) in 20181. We've already seen the how that efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic are significantly affecting air travel. There is a growing concern among pilots regarding job security. Airlines are expected to take a $113 billion hit2 due to the lack of passengers and grounded aircraft. A...
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Sharing Flight Expenses

The FAA published Advisory Circular 61-142, on February 25, 2020, with guidance for pilots who may share flight expenses with passengers consistent with the Federal Aviation Regulations. The new AC 61-142 expands on the previously issued AC 120-12A, Private Carriage vs. Common Carriage, to clarify some ambiguities and provide modern applications. Private Carriage vs. Common Carriage Common c...
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The National Weather Service Marks its Sesquicentennial

The National Weather Service (NWS) is one of the primary sources for weather information used by pilots and dispatchers to plan and monitor flights. Weather information is a fundamental element in the lives of aviators, and has been since the first aviators took to the skies. The NWS we know today was originally called the Weather Bureau, created by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1870, 33 years bef...
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Overcoming Your Fear of Stalls

New student pilots often become apprehensive at the mention of the word “stall.” Without knowing what to expect, a stall can be misinterpreted as an aircraft falling out of the sky with no hope of recovery. Experienced aviators understand that this is not the case and are comfortable practicing stalls. Once you understand the aerodynamics associated with being in a stalled condition, you will have...
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STEM Aviation Education Soars at FETC 2020

Miami, FL – The 40th annual Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), which was held January 15-17, 2020, brought educators from around the world together to marvel at the latest classroom technology. According to FETC, “[the] conference has gathered the most dynamic and innovative education leaders and professionals from around the world for an intensive, highly collaborative exploration ...
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Recovering From Bouncing and Porpoising During Landing

Landing an aircraft smoothly without waking the passenger in the back seat is one of the greatest feelings as a pilot. In addition to executing complex maneuvers in the air, consistently landing an airplane smoothly is something that never fails to impress our skyfaring peers. But to get to that point with our landings, it takes a complete understanding of the environment and aircraft, plus regula...
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Practical Guide to the WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program

The FAA’s WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program is a great way for pilots to stay current and legally able to fly, but even better than that, it helps pilots stay proficient. Unfortunately, many pilots are not aware the program exists or don’t know how to use it. So, let’s take a look at the WINGS program and learn how to use it effectively. What is the WINGS Program? The WINGS Pilot Proficiency P...
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Celebrating the E-6B’s 80th Birthday

As the E-6B flight computer turns 80 years old in 2020, we pay our respects to the device that has helped millions of pilots plan their flights for eight decades. With the advent of electronic flight bags, modern navigation equipment, and portable electronic devices, the E-6B flight computer is often regarded as an old-fashioned tool used only for FAA knowledge tests and cross-country flight plann...
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