New private pilots are used to flying into smaller airfields and in uncontrolled airspace, but when your flight plans take you to a major city with a large, busy airport, you will need to know how to navigate the crowded skies and runways. That’s right, it’s time to brush up on your Class B airspace knowledge.
An aviation headset is one of the first pieces of equipment proud new student pilots will purchase. Not only does a headset serve as a communications device, but it also provides noise reduction and noise canceling features. These functions reduce background noise and cabin noise as well as decrease the risk of hearing loss over time.
When we think of the pilot in command, to us that usually means the person who is actually in the left seat flying the aircraft. This generalization is often true, but the details of who counts as the pilot in command (PIC) and when pilots can log pilot in command time, especially on a multi-pilot crew are not always that straightforward.
Imagine you arrive at the airport planning a quick hop to the rustic mountainside cabin you reserved for a weekend getaway. The only problem? The runway is socked in with fog as thick as pea soup, and it doesn’t look like it will be dissipating any time soon. Now what?
A safe, precise landing is the goal of every pilot at the end of their flight, and one of the keys to nailing that perfect landing is approaching it at the proper rate of descent.
It’s the worst-case scenario that none of us want to think about. During a winter flight, we had to make an emergency landing in a remote location where there is no cell service. Our radio was damaged in the landing, and the battery in the portable radio is dead. We were flying VFR and did not file a flight plan, so no one with the FAA will know we are overdue when we fail to arrive at our destination. Now what?
Ask a racecar driver what their top speed is, and it is an easy answer. No calculations required. The same applies to a sprinter or marathon runner. Airspeed in the world of aviation, however, is a more complex topic. We have not just one type of airspeed, but many, and each has a different purpose.
The need to see our surroundings is non-negotiable when flying under visual flight rules (VFR). Without proper visibility, pilots are at increased risk for collisions on takeoffs, landings, and mid-air. Therefore we must fly solely in areas with visual meteorological conditions (VMC) and avoid instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) when flying VFR. To promote safe flight, the FAA has established weather minimums and airspace visibility requirements that VFR pilots must observe.