Mind The Gaps »

Most pilots have heard warnings about the timeliness (or lack thereof) of Nexrad radar. Better expressed as latency, the weather you see on your tablet, smartphone or multi-function display from providers like SXM or the FAA’s ADS-B could already be 15-20 minutes out of date. It can’t be said enough: What you see on your Nexrad display is better described as a historical record and has little to do with what’s happening right now. More

The Pilot’s Lounge #140: Ready For Winter »

As he does from time to time, Dave, the proprietor of the flight school here at the virtual airport, sent out a mass email to his aircraft rental customers—students and certificated pilots—asking them to come to an evening gathering to socialize and discuss an issue of interest to all of us. The evening’s theme was getting ready for winter flying. More

Post-Maintenance Preflight Tips »

Aircraft just out of maintenance are more likely to have safety-of-flight issues than an aircraft in good condition flown on a daily basis. The extent to which an airplane coming out of maintenance will have an issue is proportional to the complexity of the work performed. Something as simple as adding air to a tire isn’t likely to cause a problem, but complex work—and work on several systems at a time— creates too many opportunities for mischief for us to ignore. More

Aviation Dream Jobs: Owning A Specialty Flight Training School »

When Charles Welden went looking for someone to teach him to fly his new seaplane, he had a very rushed and unpleasant training experience – not exactly what he had been hoping for. Being a flight instructor himself and believing that there was a market for real-world seaplane instruction done right, he opened WaterWings Seaplane School in 2001. More

Why Do We Stall? »

The record suggests our current approach to stall training isn’t preventing them. Shouldn’t that be one of its objectives? More

Game Time Decisions »

As shown by this accident report, significant convective activity in the area calls for the pilot to exercise conservative judgment and a review of the game plan. More

Risk Assessment Tools »

Thanks to the contents of the FAA’s new airman certification standards (ACS), which are replacing the practical test standards (PTS), most applicants for pilot certificates and ratings must now demonstrate that they can identify, assess and mitigate risk. Although the FAA and industry organizations have developed flight risk assessment tools (FRATs) to help pilots identify and manage risks, these tools often use a simplistic numerical scoring system that will produce a “go” decision when significant risk is still present. With a little more thought, analyzing risk can be more realistic and much more effective. More

Tiedown Tales »

As the oft-paraphrased aphorism goes, all is well when the ties that bind us are stronger than the stresses that can separate us. The same goes for parking an aircraft. When we properly secure it after a flight, it’s reasonable to expect it’ll be there when we return. More