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Pilot Shop Blog — Aircraft

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How to Read an Altimeter (Complete Guide)

How to Read an Altimeter (Complete Guide)

A cockpit can be outfitted with all the gauges in the world, but if a pilot is not comfortable reading them and using that information to make an informed decision about flying the aircraft, what is the point? An altimeter is one of those key gauges that every pilot must be competent using.

GUMPS Check: Checklist that Every Pilot Needs (Crucial)

GUMPS Check: Checklist that Every Pilot Needs (Crucial)

Pilots just love their checklists, don’t they? Part of being a pilot is managing and methodically working through a series of checklists designed to keep us safe through each phase of our flight. We know they are vital and that properly following the checklists significantly cuts our risk of preventable and potentially catastrophic critical fails.

Aircraft Vertical Speed Indicator (VSI): How Does it Work?

Aircraft Vertical Speed Indicator (VSI): How Does it Work?

The airspeed indicator tells a pilot their horizontal velocity, and the altimeter advises pilots of their current altitude, but how does a pilot know how fast that altitude is changing? For this you need to consult your aircraft’s vertical speed indicator (VSI).

Aircraft Inspection: Guide to Keeping Your Plane Safe

Aircraft Inspection: Guide to Keeping Your Plane Safe

If your car breaks down while you are driving it, you can simply call for roadside assistance and wait for them to show up. Even if the engine quits, all you need to do is coast to the side of the road and park on the shoulder until you get towed to the shop. With airplanes on the other hand, mechanical, electrical, and component failures have the potential to be much more catastrophic. There is no breakdown lane to wait in when your propeller stops turning at 10,000 feet. Avoiding the problem in the first place is critically important, and one way to do that is with aircraft inspections.

Adverse Yaw: What Is It and How Do You Prevent it?

Adverse Yaw: What Is It and How Do You Prevent it?

Unless they remember their ground school training, new pilots may be surprised at how their aircraft reacts as they engage their ailerons to make a turn. They may be caught wondering why if they were making a turn to the right, the aircraft suddenly seemed to have a mind of its own and pivoted to the left first. Sounds like it is time for a refresher on the topic of adverse yaw.

7 Types of Airplane Drag That Affect Your Plane

7 Types of Airplane Drag That Affect Your Plane

What is one of the likely culprits for decreased fuel efficiency? Drag, we are looking at you. Drag is a backwards horizontal force generated by resistance as the plane moves through the air. It is one of the four aerodynamic forces of flight and is opposed by thrust.

Grumman Goose G-21 (From Private to Military Plane)

Grumman Goose G-21 (From Private to Military Plane)

In 1936, Leroy Grumman of Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation was approached by a group of ten wealthy New York aviator-businessmen. These men were looking for someone to design and build a replacement plane for the unwieldly Leoning Air Yacht they were currently using as a commuter aircraft between home and work.

Mooney M20 (Everything to Know on the Low Wing Speedster)

Mooney M20 (Everything to Know on the Low Wing Speedster)

“Make it strong. Make it simple. Make it fast.” These are Mooney Airplane Company’s words to live by as they design their legendary aircraft. The Mooney mentality has developed quite a following with Mooney aficionados - self-described as “Mooniacs.”

Rans S7 Courier (Economical Light Sport Aircraft)

Rans S7 Courier (Economical Light Sport Aircraft)

“Little planes with big personalities.” This is how AOPA describes the RANS Aircraft family of planes. One of the standout features of the RANS family is the uniqueness of each line. The S-21 Outbound has a different purpose than the S-20 Raven which feels unique compared to the S-19 Venterra or the S-7 Courier.

Diamond DA20 (Perfect Flight Training Aircraft)

Diamond DA20 (Perfect Flight Training Aircraft)

“Sporty. Sleek. Exciting. Yet surprisingly affordable.” This is how Diamond Aircraft Industries describes their DA20 Katana. When student pilots, CFIs, and flight schools consider their choices for trainer aircraft, the list naturally includes traditional time-honored classics like the Cessna 150, Cessna 152, and Piper Cub, but another prime contender for the perfect flight training aircraft is the much newer and currently still in production Diamond DA20. This Austrian-designed tricycle gear plane checks the boxes for the performance and handling characteristics pilots are looking for in a two-place trainer with the added bonus of an attractively sporty style.

De Havilland Beaver DHC-2 (Best Bush Plane in History)

De Havilland Beaver DHC-2 (Best Bush Plane in History)

Canada is home to plenty of rugged wilderness that just begs the adventurous pilot to come explore it. With towering mountain summits presiding over turquoise blue lakes and an abundance of wildlife, the lure of the Canadian wilderness is all but impossible to ignore, so perhaps it is only natural that a Canadian company was the maker of arguably the best bush plane in history – the De Havilland Beaver DHC-2.

Piper Arrow (Specifications and History)

Piper Arrow (Specifications and History)

Piper Aircraft got its start in 1927 with the Taylor Brothers Aircraft Manufacturing Company out of Rochester, New York. The Taylor brothers – Clarence and Gordon – started the company to produce their Taylor Chummy, a two-place high-wing monoplane design.