PilotWorkshops.com Acquires ZD Publishing and their Pilot-Friendly GPS Manuals

Here’s a copy of a press release regarding our recent acquisition of ZD Publishing: PilotWorkshops.com Acquires ZD Publishing and their Pilot-Friendly GPS Manuals Nashua, NH – Feb 5, 2013 – PilotWorkshops.com LLC has purchased the assets of ZD Publishing including copyrights and inventory of ZD’s 21 different Pilot-Friendly GPS Manuals. Written by ZD Publishing founder John Dittmer, an ATP-rated CFI, …

Flying to Sun-n-Fun with Wally

Each week, I review our Pilot Tips before we publish them on the internet. I always appreciate the advice that our instructors have to offer, as I know our subscribers do as well. Whenever I have a chance to fly with one of these expert aviators, I jump at it. So when Wally Moran asked me to join him on …

Listen Up ATC

While returning from Sun and fun in Lakeland Florida last month on an IFR flight plan, I was disappointed to hear several lectures from the ATC controllers to the enroute pilots. Yes, it was extra busy as it was Sunday the last day of the show and there were lots of planes out there trying to get some attention. But …

VSI – Use a fortune teller to improve your flying

Most of our instruments tell us where we are – not where we are going to be.  For example, the altimeter tells us we are at 7000 feet or the airspeed indicator tells us we are at 120 knots.  However, one of our instruments can see into the future. No, this is not a fancy computer with lots of data, …

Split Flap Emergency

This is a guest post from Jim Reed (Lt. Col. USAF Ret.) author of, “Turning Final, A Life Complete” Here is an example of an unwritten rule that I have used for years: If you’ve just done something and everything falls apart, put everything back where it was. As simple as it sounds, most folks won’t do that unless they …

Stall Training

There has been a lot of talk recently about stalls. For example, the recent reports about the Airbus A-330 that crashed in the Atlantic between Brazil and Paris. Here apparently we had an airplane inadvertently flown into a deep stall by the pilot and for whatever reason he continued nose up inputs until the airplane crashed. Then there is the …

Air Force One Go Around!

As my good friend Bob Martens is fond of saying, the Go Around is the least practiced maneuver in Aviation. During initial training as student pilots, the instructor teaches us the Go Around.  The Practical Test Standards (PTS) require us to demonstrate the Go Around/Rejected Landing maneuver.  The FAA objective for the task is “Makes a timely decision to discontinue …

Airplane Taxi Tips

The recent taxi accident between an Airbus A-380 and a regional jet at JFK serves as a reminder that taxiing our aircraft can be a dangerous endeavor. Just think about the potential of all that fuel in the wing of the A-380 had it been ruptured. Now I don’t know where the A-380 was in relation to the center line …

Let’s fly like the Professionals

It is no secret that the airlines, corporate and military aviation have a much better safety record than general aviation. And it is also no secret how they do that. They fly by the book, use standard procedures, do gobs of training and have flight dispatchers to provide planning and enroute support. That’s great you say, but they also spend …

Aviation Check List

GUMPS is not enough! Yesterday, I read about another general aviation inadvertent gear up landing. I wonder if the pilot used a written check list for landing? While doing flight tests or training in complex aircraft, I often see the pilot use the printed check list religiously for pre flight, starting and run up. Then off we go. After completing …

Wind Sense

Brian Riis recently wrote about situational awareness and provided many good suggestions. One of the items he mentioned was to be “wind aware”. I would like to offer some additional ideas to improve one’s wind awareness. I often fly with pilots who seem oblivious to the wind until it starts to give them a problem.  Developing wind awareness will help …

Student Controllers and Student Pilots – Part 3

Last time, we talked about the common factors that a both a Student pilot and a Student Controller face during the process of learning to fly or control traffic. After the classroom (and simulator portion), On-The-Job (OJT) training starts for both of our Students. A certain number of hours of OJT are assigned to Developmentals (Student Controllers) based on previous …

Student Controllers and Student Pilots – Part 2

Last time, we talked about the similarities of training Student Pilots and Student Controllers. For the purpose of this discussion, we will only discuss the facility portion of the training. Prior to assignment to a facility, a Developmental will go through the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City and possibly a college level program known as a College Training Initiative (CTI) …

Student Controllers and Student Pilots Part 1

Did you ever wonder where and how Student Controllers learn their trade? Well, the process has many parallels to the way most of us learned to fly. That is not surprising considering the same agency oversees both processes. Controllers and pilots (except Sport Pilots and certain others) are both required to obtain Medical Certificates; all Controllers must hold a Second …

Emergency Procedures

OK pilots, this is one where we have a clear choice. Would you rather conduct your first ever engine out landing in a field with trees on both ends with all of your loved ones on board, OR prepare yourself for this same event with a CFI in the next seat? Tough one, huh? The good news is that engine …

PilotWorkshops Launches IFR Mastery Series

PilotWorkshops.com has introduced a new product for IFR pilots that provides online, scenario-based training. The IFR Mastery Series is designed to improve technique, knowledge and overall safety for the IFR pilot. FAA  WINGS credit is available for completing the training. Each month, new topics are explored in depth.  The pilot is placed in a realistic IFR scenario. They are provided …

Directional Gyro: Don’t Set It Here

How many of us have been told to always be sure and set the directional gyro (DG) when we are in position on the take off runway? Why there? Well, the instructor would say, because we are now on a known heading and therefore the DG will be accurate right after takeoff. This procedure worked fine in the days before …

Airplane Yoke Control

Yes I know, never say never, but here goes anyway. Never push the yoke forward when near the ground. Sorry, but I just heard of yet another aircraft damaged on landing. Most likely caused by the pilot pushing the yoke forward after a bounce. The pilot reports that he bounced and he thinks he pushed the yoke forward. The next …

Pilot Attitude Check

We all know that proper aircraft attitude is important for getting our aircraft to do what we want it to. But it is our mental attitude that plays a major role in the type of pilot that we become. A proper mental attitude can do more for your flying ability than almost any kind of training available. This is true …

ARE WE PRACTICING THE RIGHT STUFF?

Recently a Cirrus crashed while attempting to execute a go around. In another accident, a Grumman Tiger overshot a four thousand foot runway and crashed into a lumber mill beyond the end of the runway. In both of these situations, the airplane was clearly capable of doing what the pilot wanted it to do but because of poor airmanship an …

My personal story and PilotWorkshops.com

For those who have been receiving our weekly pilot tips, you may recognize my name from the bottom of the emails. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and thank you for being part of our online community. I founded PilotWorkshops.com in May of 2005. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, but it has been an …

Professionalism – On Being a Cockpit Skeptic

Professionalism in aviation has been in the news a lot recently. FAA Administrator Randy Babbit has spoken on the need in light of several recent high profile events such as the Colgan crash in Buffalo and the NWA overshoot of its destination. One of the hallmarks of a professional aviator is being a skeptic – a healthy skeptic. Or in …

“Hold Short of Runway 23!”

How many times as a pilot, have we heard that phrase? Well, as of June 30th we will be hearing it a lot more. The FAA instituted a change to the Air Traffic Controller’s handbook (the 7110.65) that changes the way taxi instructions are issued. Previously, a taxi clearance (as we all know from the FAA written test questions) allowed …

Want to be a better pilot?

Bob Martens has recently written about maintaining proficiency through the use of more frequent training and I strongly agree with his thoughts. Nothing is better than practicing maneuvers and procedures to keep us sharp,  I would like to offer another route to broadening you flying skills beyond the usual flight review maneuvers by suggesting you try a little dual instruction …

California adds major fees to CFIs and schools

Max Trescott posted this on his blog. If you are in California, check this out: California Regulations From Max’s blog: “To quote a story by EAA, “Each instructor would be charged an initial application fee of $5000 and a $3500 renewal fee every three years. If the instructor has a second location an additional fee of $1000 would be assessed. …

Emergencies and ATC Part 2

Last week, we talked about an Air Carrier incident during which an emergency was declared. Shortly after that, we learned of another Air Carrier that had a fire in the cockpit and declared an emergency while at cruise altitude. Details can be found on the NTSB web site.  This incident is a near textbook example of how to handle an …

Landings

I know for a fact that none of us plan on having any aircraft accident anytime soon. But, if we do, it’s pretty clear when it will occur.  Yup, in the landing phase! So armed with this information, what are we doing about it? Let’s start with this question.  Do you want your landings to be consistently “good” or consistently …

Emergencies and ATC

Declaring an emergency is one of the easiest actions a pilot can take. FAR 91.3 spells it out very clearly. “The pilot-in-command of an aircraft is directly responsible for and is the final authority as to the operation of that aircraft. In an emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot-in-command may deviate from any rule in 14 CFR Part 91, to …

Recurrent Training. Are You Getting Yours?

OK, everyone open up your log books.  Everyone that would like to show off all their recent training flights take a step toward the front of the class. How come no one is moving? How long has it been?  Weeks, months?  Longer?? The truth of the matter is, few us get nearly enough training.  When was the last time you …

Professionalism in the Cockpit

Professionalism in the cockpit is a big topic with the airline industry these days. Just this week, the FAA  reminded airline pilots to “evaluate their personal practices” regarding use of devices such as lap top computers and cell phones while on duty. In addition they said operators need to create a “safety culture” that reinforces the importance of controlling cockpit …