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Sport-Pilot Training

Our pilot training articles are designed to help you improve your flying proficiency. Bone up on beneficial skills as well as the biggest mistakes to avoid as a pilot. Fly right with articles on topics such as dealing with ice and the most dangerous things you can do as a pilot.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Beware The Downburst


An insidious risk that can undercut airspeed and drive you into the ground



Beware The DownburstContrary to the advice that aviation usually allows you to make most mistakes only once, I’ve been fortunate in 50 years of flying to make virtually all the bad mistakes, in some cases more than once.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Challenging Runways


How to handle tough landings



Challenging RunwaysWhat makes some runways more challenging than others? The length? The wind? What you had for breakfast that morning? What?
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Box Is Yours


Competition aerobatics can make you a more precise and confident pilot



The Box Is YoursI was circling at 4,500 feet in the designated contest holding area for the Borrego Springs Akrofest while another competitor finished his routine in the aerobatic box.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Managing Risk: VFR Versus VMC


Are you prepared for when the weather deteriorates?



Managing Risk: VFR Versus VMCIt has been a long day on a long cross-country flight. The weather forecasts have not been very accurate—you’re reminded of a quote from an anonymous wag: "Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Demystifying ATC


How to work better with “the voice” in your headset



Demystifying ATCIt seems we all have a story, some event in our lives that brought us into the aviation trade.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pilot Careers 2010: A Brave New World


With the industry showing signs of life, preparation and training soon will meet opportunity for prospective pilots



Pilot Careers 2010: A Brave New WorldIt probably seems extraordinary to be discussing pilot careers at a time when the worst economic turmoil in 60 years has dragged the airline industry to near-collapse and an insatiable media has spotlighted every ugly aspect of the profession.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lessons Learned Part 2


The Lower 48



Lessons Learned Part 2After earning my private pilot’s license in Alaska in 1980, I wasn’t sure what was next. I loved to fly.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lessons Learned Part 1


Alaska vs. The Outside



Lessons Learned Part 1My first flight lessons might have been different than yours, but as with all pilots, those early experiences are still tattooed in my mind.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Is Glass Safer?


Making sense of the NTSB glass-cockpit report



Is Glass Safer?Earlier this year, the NTSB released the findings of a special study that they conducted comparing glass-cockpit aircraft and similar conventional, or “round dial,”-equipped aircraft.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Water, Wind & Floats


At Jack Brown’s Seaplane Base, getting wet is part of the fun



Water, Wind & FloatsBe prepared to have fun,” Frances Brown told me. That was one of those phrases I had heard before with little payoff.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dealing With Convective Weather


Some pilots simply lock their airplanes in the hangar when convective weather is about. Others learn to cope.



Dealing With Convective WeatherShortly after returning from a recent Grand Caravan delivery from Long Beach, Calif., to Seoul, Korea, I spoke at a LoPresti First Saturday event in Sebastian, Fla.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Myth (Almost) Of Tailwinds


Logic suggests you should have tailwinds roughly 50% of the time. Logic is wrong.



The Myth (Almost) Of TailwindsIt was late March 1994, and I was waiting for wind—again. Mooney Aircraft had loaned me a new TLS in January so I could set several world records flying between Los Angeles and Jacksonville, Fla.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Stretching Your Wings


Advanced training is the ticket to taking your flying to the next level



Stretching Your WingsOne of the most popular phrases in general aviation is “license to learn.”
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dream Makers: Everyday Pilots Reaching For The Sky


When passion and determination combine, anything is possible



Dream Makers: Everyday Pilots Reaching For The SkyDreams of flight are special. They beckon you from your earliest memories, and they’re insistent—always calling you to look up at the sky when an airplane passes overhead, or crane your neck at the nearest airport.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nonflying Aerospace Careers


10 dynamic career fields worth considering



Nonflying Aerospace CareersIn past years, we’ve called this section “Nonflying Aviation Careers,” recognizing that not everyone interested in aviation wants to be a pilot.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Uphill/Downhill Landings


Making sense of tricky landings



Uphill/Downhill LandingsWhat are the best conditions for landing uphill/downwind or downhill/upwind? It may seem dangerous to land into the wind but downslope on a snowy runway; yet landing upslope with a tailwind seems equally precarious.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

From Tailwheel To Turbine


Total transition training, the Gauntlet way



From Tailwheel To TurbineBill Stewart, until recently a lapsed pilot, sounds like something between a fighter jock and a kid in a candy store as he recounts his latest aerial exploits on the ramp at Chicago’s Aurora Municipal Airport (ARR).
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Learning To Fly 2.0: Cooler, Safer And More Fun Than Ever


Big changes in technology, manufacturing and design have changed the way we learn to fly



Learning To Fly 2.0:  Cooler, Safer And More Fun Than EverImagine it: You’re training for night cross-country flying. The evening is moonless VFR. Your weather briefing says your route is clear. The synthetic vision feature of your glass instrument panel displays everything—including the runway centerline—as if illuminated on a clear day.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Be A Great Pilot!


Top tips for all aspects of flight



Be A Great Pilot!The sheer enormity of the subject is a little intimidating. You probably could name several thousand characteristics of a “good pilot.”
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kings Of The Sky


Spend a day with John and Martha King and the hotly anticipated Cessna Skycatcher



Kings Of The Sky"So what are they like in person?” is the first question my pilot friends ask when I tell them I’ve spent a day with John and Martha King, the well-known founders of King Schools.
Monday, November 2, 2009

The Checkride Chronicles


A year in the life of a designated pilot examiner



The Checkride ChroniclesWho’s the judge beside you in the cockpit, deciding whether you’re worthy of receiving aviation’s highest honor (a license to learn)? Hopefully, it’s someone who’ll make your entry into the world of aviation less than turbulent.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Flying The Friendly Skies: No Better Time!


This may be the perfect time to achieve your aviation dream



Flying The Friendly Skies: No Better Time! Success in aviation always has been a matter of perspective. Student pilots hoping for an airline career in the ’50s attributed their lack of success to the oversupply of military pilots emerging from the Korean War.