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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, April 23, 2013

The Eyes Have It

The difference between “looking” and “seeing”

The Eyes Have ItWe're about to kick the sacred cow that is peripheral vision right in the butt and, in the process, probably generate a bunch of letters to the editor.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Logic Of Flaps

Flaps make pilots’ lives easier—for those aviators who know how to use them

The Logic Of FlapsBy any measure, flaps have almost no downside, but they're perhaps the least appreciated component of an aircraft.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Expand Your Iceberg

Plane & Pilot takes on AFIT’s 10-day instrument-rating program

Expand Your IcebergI was a stick-and-rudder pilot with very little knowledge of instrument flying. Steeped in flying wires, tube and fabric, I never thought I'd need or want an instrument rating.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Risky Business

Little-known tools that can help make your next flight safer

Risky BusinessHow risky is your next flight?
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

10 Flying Techniques From Great Aviators

Some of America's best pilots offer advice on how to fly smarter

10 Flying Techniques From Great AviatorsOne of the great joys of this job is that I've been allowed to interview and get to know some of the most interesting pilots in aviation.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Weather Avoidance Techniques

Staying Out of Trouble When it isn’t CAVU

Weather Avoidance TechniquesToday, a wide range of tools are available to help avoid those dangers, but each has limitations that must be understood in order to use them safely.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

10 Tips For VFR Flying In Marginal Weather

A few simple suggestions to help keep VFR pilots safe in marginal weather

10 Tips For VFR Flying In Marginal WeatherIt was the classic example of baby- bird stupidity.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Learning To Fly: All About Priorities

There’s a practical solution to every barrier in aviation

Learning To Fly: All About PrioritiesThe big secret in aviation is that just about everybody goes into it because it's more fun than should be legally allowed, and not because it's practical.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Transition To A Turboprop

MidWay between Piston Singles and Jets

Transition To A TurbopropWhile many private pilots dream about someday flying a light jet, the reality for most of us goes no further than a "high-performance" retractable single or light twin.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

IFR Strategies In Convective Weather

A tactical flight from coast-to-coast in a Columbia 400 from above the weather to underneath the overcast

IFR Strategies In Convective WeatherI just completed a trip from a coastal town in northern California, to Erie, Penn., and back in a Columbia 400.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

When To Abort

Aborting a flight—either on takeoff or in the sky— can be one of aviation’s most difficult decisions

When To AbortMention the word "abort" to a pilot, and you'll immediately summon visions of every pilot's nightmare— an engine failure on takeoff.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Say When

When you should retract gear, reduce power, stop climb, initiate descent and more

Say WhenI'm one of the world's luckiest pilots. On occasion, I'm allowed to fly some of the best new airplanes in general aviation.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Double Down

From Dream to reality: Moving Up from a single Engine to a twin story

Double DownI first fell in love with the Cessna 340 when my dad and I stopped at Harris Ranch for a steak salad on our way home from the Bay Area one day.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Consequences Of Mayday

If you survive a Mayday, everyone worries about what will happen later. Here’s the real story from a poster boy of Maydays.

Consequences Of MaydayIt's a notorious section of the North Atlantic known for high waves and vicious winds. It runs 600 miles from the coast of Iceland southeast past the Faroes and Orkney Islands to Northern Scotland.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Aviation’s “Little” Emergencies

How to handle those in-flight problems that aren’t necessarily life threatening

Aviation’s “Little” EmergenciesI had just departed Long Beach, Calif., in a Bellanca Viking, headed for the Reno Air Races, when black oil began flowing out of the cowling and onto the windshield.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Airline Pilots: Coming Up Short

Regional and foreign carriers are worried as industry projects deepening pilot shortage

Airline Pilots: Coming Up ShortIf you ask the average high-school student today about working as an airline pilot, you might get more questions than answers.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

30 Things Not To Do In The Pattern

A how-to guide that guarantees lousy landings

30 Things Not To Do In The PatternSo much of aviation education is built around doing things right.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Never Run It Dry

Keeping track of the time/speed/distance equation is only part of fuel management

Never Run It DryIt was the Christmas holiday, and I was on my way back from the Bahamas to Venice, Fla.