April 1, 2016| 1

Do You Know How To Give PIREPs?

John Peltier Pilot reports (PIREPs) are an integral part of the aviation meteorological network. They’re used to assess the accuracy of weather reported by automated stations and instrumentation. Other pilots use them to make important decisions on the ground and in the air. FSS uses them to brief pilots. ATC uses PIREPs to sequence traffic around u …

March 26, 2016| 811

Halley’s Comet and the Go No-Go Decision

Shawn Arena Over the years, I’ve had a lot of memorable flying experiences. And hopefully, by sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned, it will help other aviators in the future be able to make the decisions that will help them fly more safely. I hope you enjoy reading these stories! Making The Go No-Go Decision I don’t profess to be an astronomer or cosmic expert, but when the appearance of a celestial event like Halley’s Comet comes around, it does capture my interest. March 2, 1986 was right in the middle of the observation window to see Halley’s Comet, its last recorded appearance. Since I most likely won’t be around to see the next appearance in 2062, the 1986 event captured my attention. Some quick backstory to set the scene: I earned my private pilot certificate in April 1984, so by the time March 1986 rolled around, I began to feel like a ‘real’ aviator. The flight school I earned my certificate at was based at John Wayne / Orange County Airport (SNA) in southern California. During the last week of February, they hosted an aviation safety seminar (i.e. FAA Wings credit, type program). At the end of the session, a young (and eager I must add) flight instructor approached me and asked if I was interested in joining him and another student on an ‘observation’ flight of Halley’s Comet. They were to be flying a Piper Archer (N81918). Well, I was biased at that time to Cessna aircraft, because that is the aircraft type I was most comfortable flying. And besides, I make a terrible passenger in a small aircraft if I am not flying. Finally, add to that the fact that I didn’t know either of them really well. So, I kindly turned down his offer – a decision I would treasure for the rest of my life! Grace, Fate, Not My Time – The Result of My Go No-Go Decision Since March 2nd was a Sunday, the following day was a typical work day. About 10:00 AM I received a call at work from a friend […]

March 22, 2016| 1

Competency vs Proficiency: A Look at Flying Aircraft Safely

When Flying Aircraft, Exceeding Flight Minimums = Maximum Safety in the Skies! Margie O’Connor Competency versus Proficiency. Flying aircraft  competently means you have met the standards. Flying aircraft  proficiently means you’ve taken that extra step to gain a certain comfort level in the cockpit – you’ve refined and built your competenc …

March 21, 2016| 743

Quiz: How Do You Handle Aircraft Radio Communication Problems?

John Peltier You’re ten miles away from your home airport, inbound for landing, and you switch over to the AWOS for a weather check. Nothing. Must not be working. You get closer to the airport and dial up the control tower to inform them of your intentions. No response. After some troubleshooting, you determine that your radio is dead. What do you d …

March 17, 2016| 328

How to Get the Most From Online Flight Training

Dr. Mary Ann O’Grady Online flight training and aviation courses are designed to help pilots get off the ground (pun intended), and accredited online programs provide job skills training to high school graduates and college students who have an interest in pilot training. Distance learning aviation courses prepare pilots for the rigors of flyi …

March 16, 2016| 1

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Aircraft Icing?

Dr. Mary Ann O’Grady How much do you know about aircraft icing and the conditions that cause it?  Take this quiz, and see how well you do. Aircraft Icing Quiz Questions  _____ ice is lighter than _____ ice, has an irregular shape and a surface roughness that reduces aerodynamic efficiency. The three negative outcomes of aircraft icing on the airplane a …

March 15, 2016| 385

Flight Training Videos: How Relevant Are They?

Mary Ann O’Grady The term andragogy, which is defined as “the art and science of helping adults learn,” was used as early as 1833 but it was popularized in the United States by Malcolm Knowles in the 1970s (Whitmyer, 1999, p. 1). Originally, andragogy was contrasted with the term pedagogy, which focused on helping children to learn but over ti …

March 14, 2016| 598

Quiz: Do You Know These Five Aviation Acronyms?

Albert Antosca To those outside of aviation, pilots seem to have their own language, filled with acronyms, jargon, and incomprehensible terms. The more time you spend in the aviation industry , the more accustomed you become to this terminology. Do you recognize these aviation acronyms, and can you pass this quiz from memory? Questions – Aviatio …

February 27, 2016| 448

Aviation Degree Programs: Taking a Look at What’s Available

Mark Overman Getting started in the aviation industry can be a daunting task, especially if you’re a newcomer and have caught the aviation bug . Fortunately, there are great aviation degree programs that are tailored to both pilots and non-pilots. When selecting a training program there two main considerations we will discuss. The first is a question …

February 23, 2016| 961

Know the Signs and Symptoms of Hypoxia and Avoid Becoming a Victim

Margie O’Connor Whether just learning to fly or a seasoned aviator, hypoxia does NOT discriminate. It doesn’t care if you have 15 hours of flight time and you’re still aspiring to get your Private Pilot’s License or if you’re a seasoned aviator with 12,000+ hours flying for a major airline .  Hypoxia lurks just around the corner, threatening to …

January 1, 2016| 2

When Was the First Helicopter Invented?

Anders Clark Flying has long been a dream of humankind . And surprisingly, for as long as we’ve dreamed of wings, and airplane style flight, we’ve also dreamed of rotor-based, or vertical flight. Centuries of study were poured into the subject of flight, but it wasn’t until a little over a century ago that the first helicopter lifte …

December 23, 2015| 5

VORs: Avoiding Confusion with the TO / FROM Flag

John Peltier If there’s one area of the Instrument Flying Course where most students struggle, it’s usually on the subject of VORs. For some reason, VORs are very mysterious, and for some reason many students have no motivation to learn them thanks to the capabilities of GPS! VORs are still important to learn – not just because they’re on the FAA tes …

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