The 7 Hardest Parts About Becoming A Private Pilot

Everyone knows that crosswind landings are usually challenging for student pilots. But beyond landings (and money!), there’s a lot about learning to fly that can be pretty tough. Here’s what you should be ready for.

The 7 Hardest Parts About Becoming A Private Pilot 

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Everyone knows that crosswind landings are usually challenging for student pilots. But beyond landings (and money!), there’s a lot about learning to fly that can be pretty tough. Here’s what you should be ready for…

1) Aircraft Systems
One of the toughest topics for private pilot students is aircraft systems. As less and less people grow up working on cars or around machinery, there’s diminishing knowledge behind what makes that engine turn.Want to know more about the systems and equipment in your aircraft? Dig into your POH and read section 7. Better yet, find a local A&P at your airport and have them walk you through a few systems with the cowling off. Getting hands-on with the equipment behind closed panels is a great way to learn how your airplane flies.

2) The National Airspace System
It’s more than identifying lines of airspace on a sectional chart. You’ll need to know what weather minimums exist at different altitudes (day and night), what your equipment requirements are, and what your communication requirements are.
We can help – give our National Airspace System course a try.

3) Learning Regulations
There are hundreds of FAA Regulations that govern how, where, and when you can fly. Some of them can be pretty confusing. As a student pilot, you’re just as responsible for adhering to the FARs as any fully certificated pilot. Keep yourself out of trouble and learn those regs!

4) Aerodynamics
A huge part of learning to fly is understanding the physics behind how it all works. But how can a strong foundation of aerodynamics save your life? One simple example is the lift to drag ratio for your airplane. At L/D max, or the best lift to drag ratio, you’ll find an approximate best glide speed.

5) Decoding Textual Weather
Whether it’s a METAR or PIREP, it’s your responsibility as a pilot to maintain your skills for decoding textual weather.

Need a refresher? Give our Aviation Weather Products course a try.

6) “Radio Talk”
Learning how to actively listen for your callsign in busy airspace with dozens of airplanes on-frequency is tough. Adding that to learning the correct verbiage provides quite the task for brand new student pilots. Here are some things you shouldn’t say over the radio.

7) Getting Into “School Mode”
First and foremost, getting your brain into a “school mode” can be tough, especially if you haven’t sat in a formal classroom setting in years. Learning to fly is undoubtedly fun, but there’s also a lot of work outside the cockpit.

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Boldmethod’s Top 10 Stories Of 2016

2016 was a quite a year at Boldmethod, and we have readers like you to thank for it (thanks!).  So to wrap up 2016 and get ready for 2017, here are our 10 most popular stories of the year. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

10) Pitch For Airspeed, Power For Altitude? Or The Other Way Around?

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You’re high on the glideslope. How do you correct? Do you pitch down, or do you reduce power? Read story…

 Source: Boldmethod’s Top 10 Stories Of 2016, According To You | Boldmethod

 

9) How To Fly An IFR Departure Procedure With A “Climb Via”

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ExpressJet gave us a flight crew and a jet for the day (how cool is that?). So we went out and flew one of the more confusing things in instrument flying: a departure procedure with a “climb via”. Read story…

 

 

8) How To Survive An Engine Failure Immediately After Takeoff

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An engine failure is always something that will get your blood pumping, but there’s one place where it can be particularly pulse-pounding… Read story…

 

 

Source: Boldmethod’s Top 10 Stories Of 2016, According To You | Boldmethod
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Rules of Thumb Every Pilot Should Know 

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When to Abort a Takeoff: The 50/70 Rule

A general rule for GA aircraft is if you haven’t reached 70% of your takeoff speed by the time you’ve reached 50% of the length of the runway, you should abort your takeoff.

Read the full article here.

Why do you need 70% of your takeoff speed by 50% of the runway? As you accelerate down the runway during takeoff, you start chewing up more feet of runway for every second you’re rolling down the pavement. If you haven’t achieved 70% of your takeoff speed by the time you’re halfway down the runway, you may not have enough pavement left to get to rotation speed and lift off.

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The 1 in 60 Course Correction Rule

The 1 in 60 rule states that if you’re off course by 1NM after 60 miles flown, you have a 1 degree tracking error. Time to correct that heading!

Another tip: If you’re 60 miles away from a VOR, and you’re off course by one degree, you’re off course by one mile. Last thing: if you fly a 60 mile arc around the VOR, you’d fly a total of 360 miles…talk about a long instrument approach!

Here are the other rules, and how to use them.

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Source: Rules-Of-Thumb Every Pilot Should Know | Boldmethod

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How To Make A Perfect Crosswind Landing | Boldmethod

You’re picking up ATIS on your way in to land. The winds are 23 knots, 40 degrees off runway heading. And your passengers are expecting a landing they can walk away from.

Crosswind landings can be one of the most stressful things for pilots, especially if you haven’t practiced them in awhile. And whether you’re a new pilot just learning to fly them, or a 20 year pilot who hasn’t gotten a lot of practice recently, a little review can go a long way.

When it comes to crosswind landings, there are a couple methods you can use: crab, and wing-low. And there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Flying The Crab Method

With the crab technique, you fly final approach crabbing into the wind to prevent drifting left or right of centerline. You maintain the crab all the way to your flare, and just before touchdown, you step on the rudder to align your nose with the runway, and use ailerons to prevent drifting with the wind.

The crab technique can be an easy way to maintain centerline on final approach, but it requires quite a bit of judgement and timing to “kick out” the crab just before touchdown. This is the same technique that jets use to land. But there’s a big difference between a 737 and a single-engine piston, and that’s inertia. If a 737 isn’t perfectly aligned with the runway on touchdown, it straightens itself out as the wheels touch down, and it keeps rolling smoothly down the runway. But if your 172 isn’t aligned with the runway at touchdown, you’re going to jump and bounce across the pavement until you are aligned with it. So unless you’re out practicing your crab-to-landing a lot, it can be a tough method to perfect in a light plane.

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Flying The Wing-Low Method

In most cases in light aircraft, the wing low method is an easier way to accomplish a smooth touchdown in a crosswind landing. To fly the wing-low method, you use your rudder to line your nose up with the runway, and ailerons to correct for left/right drift all the way from final approach to touchdown. Essentially, you’re slipping the plane through the crosswind in order to keep yourself lined up with the runway from final to touchdown…

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Source: How To Make A Perfect Crosswind Landing | Boldmethod

 

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Load, Balance and Performance notes. — s4337253 — peter singhatey

Load Factor Operating above the maximum weigh (wt) limitations compromise the structural integrity of the aircraft and impairs performances… Load factor is the ratio of max load that the aircraft can sustain to the gross weight of the aircraft… measured in G’s (the acceleration of gravity)… excessive G-forces can be experienced in steep turns or […] […]

via Load, Balance and Performance notes. — s4337253 — peter singhatey

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The 5 Most Common Checkride Failures For Private Pilots | Boldmethod

Checkrides can be scary, especially your first one. But there’s good news: a lot of other people have taken them, and you can learn from their mistakes.

Source: The 5 Most Common Checkride Failures For Private Pilots | Boldmethod

1. Weather: Who loves weather reports and forecasts? Not too many people. Unfortunately, you’ll need to know it all. METARs and TAFs aren’t so bad, but when you start digging into AIRMETs, Winds Aloft forecasts and Area Forecasts, things can get ugly. Need some help getting prepped on weather for your examiner? We can help with this one too.

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Should You Use Trim In A Steep Turn? | Boldmethod

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So whether you’re learning to fly, teaching people to fly, or just trying to keep your skills sharp, the question is still the same: should you trim in a steep turn?

First off, trimming your plane is almost always a good idea. It helps relieve your control inputs, keeps your plane going in the direction you want it to, and helps keeps your passengers from using their sick-sacks in flight (you remembered to pack those, right?!).

But steep turns aren’t normal, every day wings-level flying. They’re a specific maneuver intended to help you understand how your plane behaves when your wings aren’t level. And things like attitude control, accelerated stall, overbanking tendency, AOA/load factor, and power requirements are all part of the mix when you’re executing a steep turn.

And hopefully by learning all of those things, you’ll recognize what your plane can, and can’t, do when you get into a situation that could require a lot of bank, like a tight base-to-final turn.

So should you use trim to help yourself on your next steep turn? Before you decide, it helps to understand the most common problems when it comes to steep turns, and then figure out if trim will help you eliminate them.

Problem 1: Over Controlling The Turn

Over controlling is one of the biggest problems in steep turns. If you over control, you’ll be constantly chasing airspeed and altitude, and your flight path will look like a yo-yo…

Source: Should You Use Trim In A Steep Turn? | Boldmethod

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10 Most Common Causes Of Fatal Aviation Accidents | Boldmethod

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The FAA is continuously trying to improve safety, and as part of that, they’ve released their top 10 causes of fatal GA accidents, with a specific accident for each type.

10) Thunderstorms Or Windshear.

Weather is obviously one of the most hazardous parts of flying. This photo below is a Cessna 210 that flew into a level 6 thunderstorm. The pilot at the controls was Scott Crossfield, an accomplished Naval test pilot, and the first pilot to fly twice the speed of sound. Before he departed, he received a weather briefing, however he didn’t get weather updates during his flight. The airplane broke apart in-flight, with wreckage found at three different locations…

Source: 10 Most Common Causes Of Fatal Aviation Accidents | Boldmethod

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9 Flying Experiences Every Pilot Should Have | Boldmethod

There are some experiences that no pilot should miss out on. Here are a few things to check off on your pilot bucket list.

1) Aerobatic Flying.  Straight-and-level flight is nice, but seeing the world upside-down is unforgettable.

2) Complex Aircraft.  While you may never need a complex aircraft rating, it’s a worthwhile experience nonetheless. Find a local instructor to try it out. But please, don’t forget to lower the landing gear!

3) Gliding.  Flying without an engine is not only peaceful and quiet, gliding teaches you some excellent flying skills. You’ll learn about using thermals and air currents to your advantage…

Source: 9 Flying Experiences Every Pilot Should Have | Boldmethod

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Why Do Aircraft Engines Have Two Spark Plugs Per Cylinder? | Boldmethod

 

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When it comes to spark plugs, are two really better than one? Most car engines have just one spark plug per cylinder, and that seems to work just fine. But when it comes to airplanes, dual spark plugs are important for 3 major reasons.

1) Reliability.  First off, reliability plays a major role as to why your aircraft’s engine has two spark plugs per cylinder. Picture this: you’re flying along in cruise, and your magneto fails. If you had a single ignition system with only one spark plug per cylinder, your engine would stop running. And your prop? Depending on your airspeed, it would either slowly windmill as you started descending toward Earth, or it would stop completely.

Remember the saying that a propeller is a big fan that keeps pilots cool, and when it stops, pilots start to sweat? There could be some major sweating from that kind of failure.

But that’s not the only problem. Let’s say you had a spark plug stop working in-flight. If you only had one spark plug per cylinder, you would lose more than 25% of your power, if you were flying a 4-cylinder engine. And if you’ve ever flown a small single-engine plane, you know that a power decrease like that could mean the difference between cruising and not being able to maintain altitude.

When it comes to spark plugs, are two really better than one?

Source: Why Do Aircraft Engines Have Two Spark Plugs Per Cylinder? | Boldmethod

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