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Overshooting and Undershooting 'Engine-Out' Landings
Posted: 4/7/2017
Overshooting and Undershooting 'Engine-Out' Landings


On too many occasions, I find applicants tend to overshoot (too high on the proper glide path) when executing a simulated engine out approach and landings especially, the no-flap. 

It is interesting to me that the tendency is to OVERSHOOT the desired glide path (be too high). What is even more interesting (and distressing) is that, on too many occasions, applicants fail to use devices and methods to correct to the proper glide path. Often, I ask “Are you high or low?” and they reply that they are high. I wait for them to use the flaps, “S” turn, slip, or, if there is adequate altitude, execute a 360 degree turn to loose excess altitude to establish the proper glide path. 

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Posted in: Flight Training



Ask The CFI: Pitch or Power For Airspeed?
Posted: 3/2/2016
Ask The CFI: Pitch or Power For Airspeed?


Whether we should control the airspeed of our aircraft by using pitch or power is a hotly debated topic in the flight training community. One school of thought is that we should use power for adjusting our airspeed, the other thinks that pitch should be used to control our airspeed. While it might be instinctual to use power to increase our speed like we do in nearly all other motorized vehicles, I am going to outline why in my experience as a flight instructor and pilot, that it is easier to understand and control our aircraft's speed using pitch, not power.

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Posted in: Flight Training



It Breaks My Heart
Posted: 11/17/2015
It Breaks My Heart


It is the applicant who has no plan for an emergency on takeoff that breaks my heart. Or the one who can’t demonstrate to me how to properly recover from a stall or perform an effective emergency descent or other safety related tasks. A lack of knowledge or abilities results in a letter of disapproval. There is no shame in failing a test, but training is required and must be taken seriously. My job, as is the job of the instructor, is to do our very best to keep the student from making the headlines. Not to crash or have an incident.

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Posted in: Flight Training



'Check-Ride Errors' Trend for 2015
Posted: 6/15/2015
'Check-Ride Errors' Trend for 2015


Marc Nathanson is the FAA Boston Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE). His role with the FAA is to administer Practical (flight) and Oral (1-on-1 knowledge) pilot exams for a wide range of pilot certificates and ratings. He has taken the time to share with us some of the current trends he is observing during his recent check rides.


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Posted in: Flight Training



Part 61 vs. Part 141
Posted: 3/20/2015
Part 61 vs. Part 141

One of the questions I always received as a flight instructor was; “What’s the difference between Part 61 and Part 141 training?” Well there are a few key differences that I wanted to discuss to hopefully shed some light on this otherwise confusing industry and hopefully lead you to making the decision that is right for you. The FAA provides some of this information, but some of it will be from my years of experience as a professional flight instructor. But, first I think it’s important to discuss why there are any differences to begin with.

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Posted in: Flight Training



Private Pilot Requirements (Part 61)
Posted: 1/12/2015
Private Pilot Requirements (Part 61)

§61.102 Applicability. This subpart prescribes the requirements for the issuance of private pilot certificates and ratings, the conditions under which those certificates and ratings are necessary, and the general operating rules for persons who hold those certificates and ratings. ...read more

Posted in: Flight Training



Private Pilot Requirements (Part 141)
Posted: 1/11/2015
Private Pilot Requirements (Part 141)

1. Applicability. This appendix prescribes the minimum curriculum for a private pilot certification course required under this part, for the following ratings: (a) Airplane single-engine. (b) Airplane multiengine. (c) Rotorcraft helicopter. (d) Rotorcraft gyroplane. (e) Powered-lift. (f) Glider. (g) Lighter-than-air airship. (h) Lighter-than-air balloon....read more

Posted in: Flight Training



Practical Test Tips - How to Deal With Hazardous Attitudes
Posted: 10/21/2014
Practical Test Tips - How to Deal With Hazardous Attitudes

"Attitude is everything". I first heard this in Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) at Reese AFB in Lubbock, Texas in 1971. One of my classmates exhibited an attitude that was too strongly type A. He had an inflated ego, which was trying to make it clear to everyone that he would become an excellent pilot, better than all of his classmates. Needles to say, this did not endear him to his peers as we were all trying our best, yet found a way to keep our egos in check. It was my instructor who told me and my briefing table mate that we needed to keep our egos in check. That no one wanted to hear how good we were, or could be. That we had to prove ourselves through our actions.

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Posted in: Flight Training



What's The Rush?
Posted: 9/4/2014
What's The Rush?

An applicant for the Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate rating rushed trying to insert the airport code for the airport he was to fly his first instrument approach into the GPS. US airport codes that are to be inserted into GPS begin with either the letter “K” or a number. The letter “K” is to be omitted when entering a code that begins with a number.

The airport where he was to execute the procedure began with a number. In his rush...

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Posted in: Flight Training



Get My Drift?
Posted: 11/14/2013
Get My Drift?

When landing, not only is it hard enough to flare at the right altitude to land on the main wheels (tricycle gear) or all 3 wheels (tailwheel aircraft), but we also have to cancel out that pesky drift as well. Yes, some aircraft have built in cross wind landing gears such as the B-52 bomber and the Cessna 195, but the aircraft you fly most likely does not have this luxury. So, you must stop the drift that results from crosswinds when you land!

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Posted in: Flight Training



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