Eye of Experience #34:
The Biennial Flight Review

Depending on your viewpoint, the Biennial Flight Review (BFR) is either a curse or a blessing. Regardless, it is a fact of aviation life in the U.S. AVweb's Howard Fried examines how the BFR came into being, what the instructor's responsibilities are, why it's probably the most violated FAR, what it entails and more importantly what it doesn't. More

Eye of Experience #33:
What Now?

Congratulations. After many months of training and many dollars, you've just earned your private pilot's certificate. But many say that that piece of paper is only a license to learn, that "real" pilots go on to add an instrument rating or the commercial certificate as they embark on an aviation career. Nonsense, says AVweb's Howard Fried: There are plenty of worthwhile and enjoyable things a freshly-minted private pilot can do. Here are some ideas. More

Eye of Experience #32:
The Importance of VFR Skills

In the moving-map, GPS-approach-certified environment of today, many new pilots are encouraged to concentrate on obtaining their instrument ticket and on maintaining proficiency in the IFR system whenever and wherever they fly. Many think this is a good thing. AVweb's Howard Fried is not among them, however. For one, VFR navigation skills like any others deteriorate if they're not used regularly. And what happens when the electricity driving that hyper-expensive instrument panel takes a vacation? More

Eye of Experience #31:
Back to Basics (Again)

Some things never change. Among them are the proper ways to fly an airplane in various configurations and through various maneuvers. Whether straight and level in cruise, performing steep power turns or handling an emergency, there's a right way and a wrong way to fly. AVweb's Howard Fried explores some of these maneuvers, the proper sequence of actions and where the pitfalls are. More

Eye of Experience #30:
Who's Responsible?

Want to start a raging argument during your next hangar-flying session? It's easy just ask two people to define "pilot in command" and how to enter pilot-in-command time into a logbook. You're guaranteed to get two different answers, even from seasoned flight instructors. If a CFI can't figure out this stuff, what's a student pilot to do? AVweb's Howard Fried takes on this dilemma as he answers the eternal question: Who's responsible? More

Eye of Experience #29:
Sight, Sound, and Feel

Flying an aircraft is a learned skill. As with any skill, we depend on our senses sight, sound, hearing, touch, and even the sense of smell to help us perform it. But which of our senses are we using, and when? AVweb's Howard Fried explores how humans use their senses to "commit" aviation. More

Eye of Experience #28:
The Evolution of Flight Training

There are a lot of procedures in current flight training that have been inherited from the past. At the same time, new developments in flight training have not kept pace with new developments in equipment and airspace. Some of these older procedures are merely a nuisance, but the lack of emphasis on later developments can place newly-minted pilots at a disadvantage. AVweb's Howard Fried explores the many changes in flight training over the last few years and explains why current practices are some 20 years behind the state of the art. More

Eye of Experience #27:
A Medal for Dad

World War II transformed many men and boys from all across the U.S. into heroes. Most of these heroes were never properly recognized for their bravery and contributions. Others were formally recognized decades later. One such young man was Jerry Stannard, who flew the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt over Europe as part of the 48th Fighter Group. One day in September 1944, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. But he didn't receive it until 1993, almost 50 years later. Here's his story. More

Eye of Experience #26:
Freight and Specialty Flying

Most people think of the major and regional airlines when expressing a desire to become a "commercial pilot." But there are a wide range of flying jobs out there that don't involve flying for an airline, some of which can provide very satisfying careers. AVweb's Howard Fried looks at a few, including flying cargo as a "freight dog," crop-dusting and towing banners and gliders. What do you want to do with your career? More

Eye of Experience #25:
Making Perfect Landings

Despite the skill level developed in other operations, making perfect landings can be elusive for many pilots. It's sad but true: A pilot can fly smoothly around thunderstorms, never see the ground for hours, and break out after a perfectly-flown ILS only to have some difficulty in the landing and his passengers will come away doubting his abilities. What are the elements of a perfect landing? What about when ATC throws you a curve or two? AVweb's Howard Fried tackles these and other elements of the perfect landing. How many have you mastered? More