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Class D Airspace: Everything You Need to Know

Class D Airspace: Everything You Need to Know

As a pilot flying out of a smaller airport just big enough to have a control tower, you will quickly become familiar with Class D airspace. This type of airspace is one that most general aviation pilots will encounter and need to be well-versed in.

How to Read a TAF (Terminal Aerodrome Forecast)

How to Read a TAF (Terminal Aerodrome Forecast)

For all the new pilots wondering how to read a TAF, you are not alone. Pull up a terminal aerodrome forecast, and you will quickly realize that the entire thing is written using codes or acronyms that must be deciphered and decoded. The good news is that TAFs and METARs use many of the same abbreviations, so once you learn one, the other will be much easier and quicker to grasp.

Class C Airspace: All the Details You Need to Know

Class C Airspace: All the Details You Need to Know

When talking airspace, the closer we get to the beginning of the alphabet, the more nervous some pilots become. Each class of airspace moving towards A is accompanied by extra rules and regulations that can seem intimidating.

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.

ILS Approach: Instrument Landing Systems Explained

ILS Approach: Instrument Landing Systems Explained

When you make the leap and decide to earn your instrument certification, one of the first new systems that your CFI will be introducing you to is the ILS, or instrument landing system. The ILS has been around and being used to help IFR pilots land for more than fifty years.

Circling Approach: How to Accomplish It and What is it?

Circling Approach: How to Accomplish It and What is it?

When we visualize our landings, we usually picture ourselves aligned with the runway centerline as we fly the final approach. Most of the time, that is exactly what the reality looks like, but what happens when we are flying an instrument approach and that approach is not aligned with the runway we wish to land on or conditions do not permit us to land on the aligned runway? Now what can we do? The solution is to execute a circling approach.

Special VFR Clearance: Everything You Need to Know

Special VFR Clearance: Everything You Need to Know

Perhaps this sounds familiar: you are at your local airport running your preflight and you notice that although the weather at your destination is excellent, and conditions en route are also good, some low clouds are lingering nearby. Everything is clear in your direction of travel, but the rotating beacon is on. Due to the clouds, the airport is now operating under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), and you were planning for a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) trip.

Dutch Roll: Everything You Need to Know About It

Dutch Roll: Everything You Need to Know About It

A Dutch roll – it sounds delicious, but do not start licking your lips and drooling over the thought of some new scrumptious pastry delight just yet. Rather than describing a dessert, the Dutch roll is the name given to a series of aircraft motions that in most cases pilots enter into unintentionally.

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.

Coffin Corner: Reaching Beyond the Limitations

Coffin Corner: Reaching Beyond the Limitations

The bearer of an ominous name, coffin corner sounds eerily spooky, but it need not be. The airplane behaviors within coffin corner are all governed by several known aerodynamic factors. Once the interaction between these factors is explained and understood, coffin corner becomes much more predictable and navigable for the skilled pilot.

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.