Posts Tagged With: Gambia

9 Things That Can Be Easily Overlooked During Preflight 

Source: 9 Things That Can Be Easily Overlooked During Preflight | Boldmethod

(Thanks to Boldmethod for sharing)

1) Mandatory inspections

It’s important to verify that all required inspections are met for the aircraft you’re flying. You don’t want to compromise the safety of you and your passengers by flying an aircraft outside of its inspection windows, and you don’t want to have to explain why you flew an aircraft outside of mandatory inspections to the FAA, either.

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2) Required documents

At the start of each preflight, make sure your aircraft has all the required documents on board. Remember the acronym ARROW which stands for Airworthiness, Registration, Radio Station License, Operating Manual, and Weight and Balance.

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3) Fuel quantity

Never rely solely on the fuel quantity indicators. Make sure you visually check your fuel tanks to make sure you have enough gas for your flight.

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4) Pitot tube drain hole

You should always make sure that the pitot tube is open, as well as the drain hole. If you end up flying through precipitation, you want to make sure that your pitot tube is draining properly, so your indicated airspeed isn’t affected.

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5) Landing gear condition

Instead of skimming over the tire and saying “It looks good to me!”, make sure you actually check that the tire has proper inflation and that the tread isn’t worn down. It’s also important to make sure that the brake pads are intact, and that there isn’t any hydraulic fluid leaking.

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6) Bottom of the fuselage

While it may seem unneeded, it helps you make sure there aren’t any dents on the bottom of the aircraft, tail strikes, or debris from prop blast. You also want to make sure there isn’t any excessive oil dripping, and that the avionics antennas are still intact before you go.

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7) Contaminants on the wings

When it’s below freezing, it can be easy to overlook contaminants on the wing like frost and clear ice, which both have adverse effects to your aircraft’s performance.

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8) The propeller

Take your time to do a thorough inspection of the propeller. Make sure that both the leading and trailing edges of the propeller are smooth, and don’t have nicks or cracks. In addition to the visual inspection, you can also perform an audible test on composite props. Gently tap on the propeller from the hub to the propeller tip with a metal coin. If the tapping sounds hollow or dead, your prop could be delaminated, and you should have a mechanic check it out.

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9) Fuel filler caps

Double check them before you fly! If they’re not properly attached, you could risk fuel leakage from the top of the wing, which could make for a bad day.

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What else is easy to miss on preflight? Tell us in the comments below.

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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 

Boldmethod

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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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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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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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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Does Maneuvering Speed Really Protect Your Plane? | Boldmethod

It’s pretty much impossible to explain aerodynamics without heavily simplifying it. Aerodynamics is a field for engineers, based on differential equations that don’t have much use in the cockpit.

So, when someone says ground effect is a “cushion of air,” or airflow speeds up across the top of a wing because the “molecules flowing across the top and bottom have to meet up at theprimary trailing edge” – they’re really not hurting anyone, right?

How about this: When you’re flying at or below maneuvering speed, you’ll “stall before you break.” Sound familiar?

 

Source: Does Maneuvering Speed Really Protect Your Plane? | Boldmethod

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