What is the difference between currency and proficiency?

2022-02-21T15:24:58-06:00February 21st, 2022|

To exercise the privileges of a pilot certificate pilots must meet the FAA standards for both currency and proficiency. Currency means recent flight experience and proficiency is the level of expertise. FAA private pilot currency requirements are described in 14 CFR §61.57 Recent flight experience: Pilot in command. At least once every 24 calendar months pilots are required to have their knowledge and skills evaluated by an authorized instructor to ensure they are maintaining their proficiency and this is called a flight review - 14 CFR §61.56 Flight Review.

How does density altitude affect aircraft performance in the traffic pattern in winter?

2022-01-26T09:17:52-06:00January 26th, 2022|

Increased performance due to colder than standard temperature is a good thing, but it can take inexperienced pilots by surprise when the airplane leaps off the runway in less than 400 feet and reaches traffic pattern altitude with alarming efficiency! Better performance changes a few things that might come as a surprise to students and newer pilots. In addition to a shockingly shorter takeoff roll, climb performance will also be greatly improved in colder temps. So how does all this affect aircraft in the traffic pattern? The first factor is that when your takeoff ground roll is shorter, your climb out begins sooner. Combined with a much steeper rate of climb, you will reach the point of turning crosswind (300 feet below traffic pattern altitude) in a shorter distance than usual. When you make your turn to downwind you might find yourself already pretty close to the midfield downwind position. Because you covered less distance in the upwind leg, there will be a shorter distance than you might normally expect in the downwind leg. 

What is the difference between CTAF, UNICOM and MULTICOM?

2021-09-26T09:48:23-05:00September 26th, 2021|

UNICOM is a frequency pilots use to request airport information from a ground station which is monitored by FBO staff (not air traffic controllers). A Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) is a designated frequency used at, and in the vicinity of, non-towered airports by pilots to self-announce their position and intentions to other pilots in order to avoid traffic conflicts. The CTAF will also be used at towered airports when the tower is not operating. The MULTICOM frequency, 122.9 MHz, may be designated as the CTAF on the VFR sectional for some small, non-towered, airports where there is no UNICOM. This frequency should also be used for self-announcing procedures at any airport where there is no published frequency mentioned on the chart or in the chart supplement, including private/restricted airports.

How do you calculate a crosswind component?

2021-07-26T17:20:46-05:00July 26th, 2021|

Crosswind landings and takeoffs are required any time the wind is not directly aligned with an available runway heading. Even at larger airports with multiple runways the winds are rarely exactly aligned with any of the runways. But why do we care? Compensating for crosswinds with aileron correction is necessary to prevent an aircraft from [...]

What is pilot transition training?

2021-07-06T14:22:48-05:00June 30th, 2021|

Transition training in general aviation is necessary when you are going to fly with new or unfamiliar equipment or aircraft. It could be as simple as upgrading avionics or other equipment in an existing aircraft or as complicated as moving to a different make and model within the same category and class. Due to the [...]

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