Reset that Night Currency Charlie
Sometimes, you just need to get out and fly a bit for fun. With a non-committed morning ahead of me and an opportunity to sleep in, it was a good night to take Charlie for a spin and reset some … Continue reading
Keep Our NTSB/FAA Folks at Home this Weekend…
Pop quiz time. If you are an FAA Air Safety Inspector or NTSB Accident Investigator, pick three of the following six days you would choose to be on call for accidents. A. Christmas Day B. Easter Sunday C. New Year’s … Continue reading
Mid-Life Annual, Checkup, and Return to Service for Charlie
Charlie returned home today after what I am kind of thinking of as a “mid-life checkup. This year’s annual we dug in a little deeper than most require, did a couple upgrades, and generally tried to make sure her mid-life … Continue reading
Are Changes to the ATP-CTP Course Needed to Increase Pilot Training Production Efficiency?
The ATP-CTP course pilots complete as they transition from being certificated as a commercial pilot to being employed by airlines is not doing what it was intended to do. In some ways it is serving as a hurdle to the … Continue reading
TSA Flight Training Request Numbers Show Continued Training Industry Service to Non-U.S. Pilot Training Needs
Flight training to non-U.S. citizens remains a large part of the flight training community in the United States. This is something that FSANA gets and I work look at each year, with data provided by the TSA. The interest is … Continue reading
A couple G1000 approach process videos that might help CFIs/Students review…
Here are a couple videos that were forwarded to me that just might be good review for people flying in G1000-equipped aircraft (or taking practical tests!) … Continue reading
Private Pilot and Commercial Pilot FAA Knowledge Allowed Test Times Reducing Starting April 24, 2023
The FAA has recently notified the industry that there will be reductions in the allowed time for applicants taking the Private Pilot Airplane (PAR) and Commercial Pilot Airplane (CAX) FAA knowledge tests. Administrated at PSI-operated authorized testing sites, these two … Continue reading
Aircraft Deliveries in Flight Training Context – with 2022 Numbers
Aircraft are a critical component of the business infrastructure of flight training. If we look back in history, we used to produce LOTS more aircraft per year. But times have changed. If we look at the graph below, we see … Continue reading
Just “How Many” CFIs are We Making Lately?
I had a question asked a day ago regarding some of the data I have been publishing. It was, “I see some CFI certification issuance data you have put out, but I did I miss where you put something out … Continue reading
Off to the Annual for Charlie. TLC efforts underway.
After an icy-slushy crusty mix of weather the day before, it was time to take advantage of a few hours of good afternoon weather and a dried-off runway to get Charlie to where her annual inspection will happen this year. … Continue reading
Female Pilots, CFIs, R-ATPs, and International Students. Oh My!
Some of the less commonly followed airman certification data points includes how we are doing with increasing the number of females pilots, how our CFI certification numbers are tracking, and a personal curiosity, what percentage of ATPs are being issued … Continue reading
ATP Issuance and Pass Rate Data Through 2022
A request on a Facebook comment for what the pass rates on ATP certificate issuances got me wondering. I hadn’t previously been tracking this, just generally out of a perception that it was pretty stable and high generally. So, this … Continue reading
2022 Airman Certification Events by DPEs Record Setting?
The flight training industry knows that the training system has been putting out as much training and testing as humanly possible. Some might question if we are doing too much at the expense of safety for the result of numerical … Continue reading
2022 Pass Rates on Pilot Certification Start to Slip Downward
The pass rates on practical tests for initial issuance certificates, specifically the private pilot, the commercial pilot, and the flight instructor certificates went down in 2022 for the first time in the past few years. And it went down on … Continue reading
Michigan FAASTeam Representative of the Year
A special thanks to the Michigan FAA Safety Team for the honor of Grand Rapids district and Michigan FAASTeam Representative of the year honors! … Continue reading
MI FAASTeam Presentation – Non-Towered Airports Operations, Conflicts, and Remedies with Jason Blair and Andrew Focks
The following is a screen record of the slides and audio from the 2023 Michigan Aviation Safety Forum (MASF) MI FAASTeam Presentation at Eastern Michigan University on February 11, 2023 – Non-Towered Airports Operations, Conflicts, and Remedies with Jason Blair … Continue reading
CFI Logging Training Scenario
Your student wants to use their aircraft, in this case, a Bonanza, to fly some of his friends to their boat in the Bahamas. There are 6 seats in the plane. The owner/student is not able to be PIC of … Continue reading
ATP Certificates Issued in 2022 Show Increases; but Maybe a Plateau Point
The volume of ATP certificates issued in the United States is something that directly relates to our ability to provide pilots for commercial airline operations. As a base certificate requirement, only pilots who meet this certificate level can be employed … Continue reading
2022 CFI Endorsement Activity Stats – By The Numbers
It’s that time of the year when a data point is shared relating to how many instructors sign off applicants for certificates and ratings in the FAA system. Looking back at 2022, the flight training industry has felt great pressure … Continue reading
Generalist or Specialist Pilots for Commercial Service?
Should pilots be trained as generalists, with a broad set of base skills, and then made into specialists for specific conditions and operational environments? Or should we be training pilots to specialize in a specific role and not worry about … Continue reading
2022 Paul and Fran Burger WINGS Sweepstakes Entry Deadline, Dec 31, 2022 (TODAY!)
Have you earned a phase of FAA Wings this year? If you did a practical test with me, you probably did. And whether it was on a practical test with me, another DPE, or you earned a phase of FAA … Continue reading
Chasing the ATP Number, Forgetting about the Skills
What is more important? The number of hours a pilot has to be an airline pilot or,r having the skills and proficiency as a well-rounded pilot? I can’t help but notice that what we say is more important versus what … Continue reading
The Most Dangerous Place in Aviation – The Icy Airport Ramp?
So, last winter I remember vividly the moment when I was laying in bed after a visit to my chiropractor thinking, “the most dangerous thing to me losing a medical might just be an icy airport ramp.” Ok, so a … Continue reading
Pilot Certificates are Not Participation Trophies
Every generation seems to think the next generation doesn’t work as hard, isn’t as talented, or doesn’t have the same motivation that their generation did when they were younger. I don’t think that has been any different in aviation training … Continue reading
Just some random Stinson flying videos from September 2022
Surprising data about training aircraft allocation and availability.
When you ask most people where they think most pilots train to become airline pilots, they will answer “at a college or university.” The data I have accumulated so far indicates that less than 20% of the aircraft we referenced … Continue reading
Charlie visits with other Stinsons…
Aimee and I took the opportunity this year to bring Charlie to visit with some other Stinsons (and their caretakers) a the 2022 Stinson Summit in Quincy, Il. After a quick flight over from 35D to KBTL to finish up … Continue reading
There are worse ways to get to work.
Most people get to work in their land-based vehicles. That isn’t always the case for me, especially since most days I am going to an airport anyway. It is a pretty special thing to have an airport greet you as … Continue reading
ID’ing Still Critical on Approaches – Take the Hints
Not long ago I was on a flight during which we were setting up to fly an ILS approach at South Bend, IN (KSBN). The aircraft had a glass panel, a G1000 to be specific, and the approach was programmed … Continue reading
U.S. ATP Certificates Issued by Month (2017 – 2022)
In a continued effort to track ATP pilot certification numbers, I am sharing with readers the current status of production over the past 5 years on a monthly basis of ATP certificate issuances in the United States. The table below … Continue reading
Wings Industry Network Launches New E-Z Wings Site to Make Wings Credit Easier
The Wings Industry Network has released a new application that makes it easier to issue, request, and administrate FAA Wings Credit in the FAA Safety Program. CFIs, DPEs, and students can access this site at https://www.ezwings.net. You create an icon … Continue reading
The Other TFRs [to consider than just Presidential or stadium TFRs]
A quick video discussing a variety of TFRs that goes beyond the most commonly covered presidential or stadium TFRs. I put this together quick after taking screen shots from around the country over the past few weeks of some examples … Continue reading
If you Have Said This, You Probably Shouldn’t be Doing Your Checkride
Checkride [practical test] day is something that people look forward to, prepare for, and are nervous and excited to get completed. There is pressure. Pressure to perform, to get it done, and finally have that certificate or rating for which … Continue reading
Just a landing video at KBEH on 06-02-2022
Be Good Enough to be Hired When There Isn’t a Pilot Shortage
There has been much discussion and banter about there being a pilot shortage. Some will say there isn’t, or that it isn’t a shortage, it’s a pay issue. You can call it whatever you want, or characterize why the current … Continue reading
Holiday Weekends = Aircraft Accidents. Don’t Add to the Statistics.
Holiday weekends mean accidents for general aviation pilots. It happens every year. Many of the FAA Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASIs) that I have talked with would rather be tasked with being on call on New Year’s Day, Christmas, or Thanksgiving … Continue reading
Is Where You Are Going Really Where You Are Going?
Programming the correct things into your navigation system is pretty darn important. The wrong information in the navigation system gets you to the wrong place. And unless you are just looking for an adventure, or to get ATC grump, going … Continue reading
A little night currency, and another annual in the books for Charlie
With a forecast of a week of lousy flying weather ahead, it was a calm evening before the storm to take advantage of for a little night currency with Charlie. It didn’t take long for this, the second flight after … Continue reading
CFI Pass Rates On the Rise…Correlations with Past Regulations Changes?
One of the data points that stuck out to me this year in the U.S. Civil Airman Statistics relates to a continued jump in pass rates on initial CFI practical tests. A test for a certificate that has historically been … Continue reading
Not to Forget About the Aircraft Mechanics; What Data Tells Us About Those that Keep Our Planes Flying
I like looking at pilot certificate data. Those of you that read this blog probably already know this. But what about mechanics? Airplanes don’t fly, at least for long periods of time without mechanical attention. Our pilot population is aging, … Continue reading
2021 FAA Airman Cert Data Trends – Highlights and Insights
Each year that the FAA releases statistical data on U.S. airmen certification efforts, I, and probably a very small number of other people in our industry get excited. We dork out over the data and try to parse it in … Continue reading
Jason and Jim Bahamas 2022 Flying
How Many CFIs Endorse Applicants for Practical Test, with the 2021 Numbers
Ever wonder how you compare to other CFIs when it comes to how many applicants you sign off for a practical test in a given year? The good news is that in a general sense we can help you figure … Continue reading
ATP Certificate Issuance Uptick in 2021
The aviation industry is without a doubt in need of pilots to serve in the front offices, airline flight decks, that transport people and goods throughout the United States and internationally. There was a certain downturn in 2020 and a … Continue reading
VOR Scenario Training and Testing Questions Considering Changes as the FAA Transitions to VOR MON
Many of us have memorized the minimum VOR service volumes for various VOR types, Terminal, Low, or High as a part of our training or the training and testing we provide. But those days are changing. As the FAA navigation … Continue reading
Updated FAA Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3C) Available
The FAA has recently released a new Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3C). DPEs, CFIs, and students should check it out in their training and testing efforts. Some of the updates in this version include adding information about the FAA Wings Program, … Continue reading
When that Hold Doesn’t Look Quite Right – Be Ready for the Non-Published Hold
Imagine you are a good CFI sitting around the airport while your student is flying the flight demonstration portion of their instrument practical test with a DPE, and, as you watch the FlightAware track generated by the ADS-B the aircraft … Continue reading
Charlie Travels and a Bath
Its always better when you get to fly to work, right? Well, Charlie let me do that for 4 days this past week thankfully. The weather behaved, checkrides were scheduled and got to happen as planned, and timing made sense … Continue reading
New FAA Aeronautical Chart Users’ Guide Effective June 17, 2021
Recently the FAA issued a new edition of the FAA Aeronautical Chart Users Guide which became effective June 17, 2021. Produced by the FAA, the guide is good for new and experienced pilots alike as a reference for all FAA … Continue reading
FSANA Survey of Training Provider Safety Efforts
The Flight School Association of North America (FSANA) (www.FSANA.com) is seeking feedback from CFIs and flight training providers about what is taught to instructors, how line staff are empowered to take actions that might affect safety, and how training providers … Continue reading
FAA DPERWG ARAC Report Delivered
A few who know me know that over the past year and a half I have had the opportunity to be a representative of the aviation training and testing industry on an FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee focused on recommending … Continue reading
Back to Service from the Annual for a Summer Flying Season
A quick post-maintenance flight home from the annual, and Charlie rests again in her hangar ready for another season of flying. Nothing major on the annual this time, just a little welding on some cracks on the exhaust before she … Continue reading
What did the 2020 FAA FAA US Civil Airman Statistics Tell Us?
With a year of uncertainty behind us there were questions about pilot certification numbers that many in the industry were asking. Did we keep training the next generation of pilots in 2020? How did flight training operations fair with shutdowns, … Continue reading
A Lost Year of Full ATP Pilot Certificate Production?
Some things you just can’t get back. Like time. And time is what it takes to train pilots. About mid-way through 2020, as the country managed its responses to COVID-19, most regional airlines stopped hiring new pilots due to reductions … Continue reading
Tune 121.5 for Intercept You Say?
Lately I have been asking fellow pilots and applicants on practical tests an interesting question. One that hopefully they never need to know the answer to, but one that if they do need, can make a situation much better. The … Continue reading
Activating the Navigation Frequency Critical for Safety, and Passing a Checkride
Flying an approach will typically take a pilot along a specific path that keeps them clear of obstacles and aligns them with an intended landing point. When things work correctly or are properly conducted. When that isn’t the case, a … Continue reading
Charlie for Some [Cold] Flights!
After much work from some great friends who worked the maintenance hiccups, I have now had three successful, albeit cold, flight with Charlie and I in the last week. Phew! Time for us to start venturing out again and sharing … Continue reading
A Busy Pilot Training Sector – What FAA Checkride Volume May Indicate During COVID Effects – Updated Data
Involved in flight training in the United States and feel like it has been a super busy summer? You aren’t alone. This year has felt very busy for many flight training providers, instructors, and pilot examiners around the country. There … Continue reading
FAA Updates Knowledge Test Databases
The FAA recently updated a number of the FAA Knowledge Test databases. Of particular note was updates to the Fundamentals of Instructing database of questions to incorporate changes from the Aviation Instructor’s Handbook (FAA-H-8093-9B) that was updated in May of … Continue reading
Effects of Airline Volume Reductions/Pilot Furloughs on ATP Pilot Certification Activity, and Future Supply
We all know that airline passenger travel and overall airline flight operations have declined significantly during the effects of COVID-19. What we don’t know is the overall long term effects on the aviation industry that will be lasting, and potentially, … Continue reading
Some Data Points on Tracking FAA Certification Activity During COVID-19 Effects
It is far too early to tell a great deal from FAA data available, but with a little help from some data shared with industry members from a couple of FAA offices, we can certainly see that the impact on … Continue reading
The Updated FAA Aviation Instructor Handbook (June 2020)
Training CFI applicants? Working to make sure you as a CFI have the most up-to-date information for your teaching efforts? Then make sure you have the most current version of the FAA’s Aviation Instructor’s Handbook. The biggest changes to this … Continue reading
Dateline 6-7-2020 – 1 Year to the Day Charlie had a “Hiccup”. Happily, after much work, Charlie has returned to her hangar after some successful flight tests, after much work! A freshly overhauled carburetor (that really seemed to need it … Continue reading
2019 Airman Certification Data Released – Data Key Points
Every year when the FAA issues the previous year’s Airman Certification Statistics, I get a little giddy. I know. I’m a dork. But someone has to be, so it’s me. Well, and there are a few others in our industry … Continue reading
Bring Back the Solo Dollar!
When I soloed, I didn’t get my shirt cut, water dumped on me or dunked, a bell rung, or a bottle of champagne (I was 16, so that probably would have been a bad idea). I got a dollar. But … Continue reading
Finding Knowledge Test Codes on Updated Knowledge Tests – ACS (AKTR) Codes
In January of 2020, the FAA began a transition to knowledge tests that will no show AKTR codes as areas found deficient instead of the previously used LSC codes. Airman Certification Standards (ACS) Codes on AKTRs “If the applicant takes … Continue reading
Some Reasons the Pilot Shortage May Be Worse Because of COVID-19
COVID-19 has put a major hiccup into our aviation system. Professional pilots are not flying and training providers are shut down and their customers have had to stop training. This is going to make the pilot shortage we have seen … Continue reading
Aircraft Buying Quick Tip #4 – Don’t buy until clear title can be proven.
The broker or even the last owner may have no idea if there are any title liens on an aircraft. In many cases I have seen aircraft title searches turn up old liens that were either incorrectly or never cleared … Continue reading
Aircraft Buying Quick Tip #3 – Don’t assume that all ADs were complied with because the last annual said they were.
Not every mechanic knows every make and model well, and not every mechanic is as diligent in their research or has as robust of software to check all ADs on all components of the aircraft. Some of these ADs can … Continue reading
Tracking FAA Knowledge Test Data – Updated for 2019 Data Set…Most Testing on Upward Trend
Tracking FAA testing volume is one way to help determine what our flow of pilots looks like and what it might look like in the upcoming years. Two major pieces of this include the practical and knowledge tests. While the … Continue reading
Aircraft Buying Quick Tip #2 – Don’t trust a clean oil filter.
While helping another client this past year, I noticed that the aircraft looked like it had recently had an oil change when we dumped the filter. I got curious, asked that it be run for a while, noted the nervousness … Continue reading
Aircraft Buying Quick Tip #1 – Don’t automatically let the shop the broker recommends do the pre-buy inspection.
I always recommend that buyers engage a non-interested party to conduct a pre-buy. Remember, the broker is looking out for the best interest of the seller, not the buyer. This could mean bringing your mechanic with you when you look … Continue reading
ATP Certification Numbers Show a Slight Increase in 2019
ATP pilot certification trends continue to head upwards with the 2019 numbers. That’s a good thing for filling the needed seats in U.S. airlines. Remembering that there was a major change in certification requirements in the past decade, we were … Continue reading
An Aviators Field Guide to Buying an Aircraft and An Aviators Field Guide to Owning an Aircraft released by ASA!
Sometimes, you gotta pat your own back! And on your own birthday, why not, right? Well, I certainly have to pat the back of the publisher that helped make a cool project happen. Collecting all my notes from working with … Continue reading
As a CFI, How do I compare in my number of CFI signoffs to other CFIs in 2019?
Ok, want to know how many other CFIs signed off as many, or more applicants for practical tests than you did in 2019? I can give you a little data that might put the work you did last year in … Continue reading
What’s an Appropriate “Location” for Your Practical Test
As an examiner, having an appropriate location to do a practical test is not always a guaranteed thing even though it is something that is fairly important to the overall success of the practical test. I know to some readers … Continue reading
FYI RE Airman Knowledge Tests – Will Require FTN Starting Jan 13, 2020…
FYI RE Airman Knowledge Tests! From a recent communication to DPEs, but important also for all flight instructors, the following communication from the FAA was indicated: Important changes to Knowledge Test Reports! Effective January 13, 2020, any applicant that wishes … Continue reading
Five Tips for DPEs to Provide Better Customer Service
Pilots for whom DPEs conduct practical tests aren’t just applicants, they are also customers. As a DPE, there are many things that can be done to help improve the practical test experience, allay some concerns, and enhance the professionalism of … Continue reading
10 Questions from Checkrides I Never Expected…
Sometimes the questions I get asked on practical tests (checkrides) leave me a little befuddled and confused, even a little surprised that they are actually being asked. But, yet, they still get asked. Just for fun, I thought I would … Continue reading
Things YOU Can do To Make the Checkride Smoother for Your DPE (and you)
Practical Test (checkride) day is stressful enough. Any number of things can make it easier or make you more prepared, but as you do get ready, there are a few things many FAA Designated Pilot Examiners (DPEs) have noticed that … Continue reading
UPDATED Data – How Much Time to Become a “XXX” Pilot…
Continuing the effort to track “how much time it becomes to get a _______________ pilot certificate/rating”, I have collected some more data from some additional examiners around the country and increased the sample size. It has even allowed some data … Continue reading
The Portal Through….
Sometimes, you just get that lucky gap. On a recent flight, we found ourselves trying to go west through a big wall of thunderstorms climbing to altitudes over FL400, definitely higher than we could fly in the Twin Cessna. So, … Continue reading
How Much Flight Time Does It Take To Make A Pilot? – The truth the numbers tell…
So how many flight hours DOES it take to get a private pilot certificate? Or an instrument rating? Or even a commercial pilot certificate? Well, the FAA does gather this data on the application forms that it collects when a … Continue reading
Retest for that FAA Practical Test on the Same Day? Why Perhaps You Shouldn’t.
You just botched that short field landing on your private pilot test. Ugg. The examiner issued you a notice of disapproval. What do you do now? Ask the examiner to let you try it again? Well, they can’t let you … Continue reading
[Sporty’s] Tips and Tricks to Pass Your Checkride with DPE Jason Blair
Check out the webinar I did for Sporty’s (www.Sportys.com) on Tips and Tricks to Pass Your Checkride … You can also find many more videos from Sporty’s on their YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDZjCZ1CA_I8VQW0zOxSBPw … Continue reading
Charlie Visits a New Airport, Stays a Bit, and is Getting a Little Maintenance.
Sometimes, it’s better to put a plane on the ground. It can be a hard decision, but on a recent Friday it was the exact right decision. Flying around for the afternoon with a friend in Charlie, we found ourselves … Continue reading
Holiday Weekends = Flying = Higher Than Average Accident Rates: Don’t Be that Pilot
Every major holiday weekend in the summer, starting with Memorial Day, including the Fourth of July, and ending with Labor Day weekends results in higher than normal General Aviation accident rates. It happens every year. Without fault. Folks I know … Continue reading
CFI/Pilot Training Pro-Tip -Turn On The Lights
Imagine its an IFR day, not terrible down to the minimums IFR, but certainly IFR enough that you need to establish on the approach, transition beyond the final approach fix, and expect to break out somewhere along the approach to … Continue reading
FAA 20 Year Forecast Notes Effects on Regional Airlines and ATP Certification – Training Capacity Not A Factor Included
Releasing its 20 Year Aerospace Forecast, the FAA has again highlighted important considerations for the aerospace industry. Noting growth in the U.S. domestic passenger carriage sector over the next 20 years, the FAA credited positive economic indicators and lower overall … Continue reading
RTS with an April Fools Day Annual – Charlie Flies into 2019….
RTS – Returned to Service Charlie. Well, winter is long in Michigan, and there is no rush to get an annual done when you drop the plane off to your mechanic at the end of January and it is just … Continue reading
Wings Credit for an FAA Practical Test? Request it from your DPE/CFI!
The FAA Wings program through the FAA Safety Team (www.FAASafety.gov) is a national effort to “improve the Nation’s aviation accident rate by conveying safety principles and practices through training, outreach, and education; while establishing partnerships and encouraging the continual growth … Continue reading
Three Logbook Tips to Save You Heartache
There are lots of tips I could give you about doing better logging of your flight time, but there are three that could save you a big chunk of heartache if things go wrong. All three of these relate to … Continue reading
Common CFI Checkride “Administrata” Errors
The CFI practical test is definitely known as one of the hardest, longest, most grueling practical tests pilots take. As I have been giving them over the last couple of years, there are a few things that are standing out … Continue reading
Data Highlights and Potential Industry Considerations from 2018 FAA Airman Certificate Data…
Ok, my wife says I am really a dork because I got excited when I saw that the 2018 FAA Airman Certificate Data was posted publicly. I told her that I couldn’t be the only person who thought it was … Continue reading
Charlie Checkrides (2018)…
Why drive when you can fly? Especially when you are going to an airport anyway! I didn’t do it every time I could over the past year, but one of the reasons we bought Charlie was to make the travel … Continue reading
Flying the Approach in GPS Mode instead of VLOC – Why it may be better, as long as you do it correctly…
Flying a VOR approach? Asking yourself why you would do this instead of doing a GPS approach (assuming your aircraft is equipped with an IFR GPS system)? Well, the answer might be because there isn’t a GPS approach to the … Continue reading
Government Shutdown Effects on FAA Pilot Testing (etc.)
Round three of government shutdowns affect on FAA pilot testing activities. While some of the information is still coming on on the effects, this has been experienced before (in 2013, and a short version in January of 2018). Back in … Continue reading
Considerations for Flying Political Candidates in Accordance with FEC and FAA Guidelines
So, you have an aircraft (or are renting one) and want to help a political candidate fly to some meetings, rallies, parades, or any other type of event in furtherance of their election efforts. There are some rules here that … Continue reading
CFI/Pilot Training Pro-Tip – Don’t Announce “Engine Out” on the radio unless it’s real…try “Short Approach”
“Airport XXX Traffic, Cessna N1234 Engine Out Runway 27.” Yup, that was the radio call I heard. Obviously, location and aircraft number have been changed to protect the pilot, an instructor, who made this call. When I hear this on … Continue reading
CFI/Pilot Training Pro-Tip – Lower Volume on Radio Two When Listening to ATIS/AWOS/ASOS
“Sorry _______ approach, can you say that again? I missed your call while I was listening to the ATIS.” Or, worse, you hear “Aircraft N1234, third call, descend to 3000 and turn to 360 degrees.” It is common for pilots … Continue reading
CFI/Pilot Training Pro-Tip – Practical VOR Check Tips
IFR pilots (or applicants on practical tests with me) will readily tell me the different types of VOR checks available, and many will even be able to find designated points they can use, but fewer apply some of the more … Continue reading
Early Pilot Career Advice – Don’t Create Barriers to Mobility
So, what’s the best advice I can give a pilot who is in the early stages of their career? Well, it is kind of simple. Be mobile. Your first professional flying job is just that. The first one. There will … Continue reading
FAA Publishes Final Rule on Aviation Training Devices; Pilot Certification, Training, and Pilot Schools; and Other Provisions
The FAA has released final rules that offer changes to training and pilot certification requirements that will offer new flexibility in flight training and certification provision. The biggest change that will affect most flight training providers is the matching of … Continue reading
Sod Runway Season – Tips for using sod runways
‘‘Tis the season for landing on sod (grass) runways in much more of the country than it was just a few months ago. With the spring and summer weather comes a desire for many pilots to land on runways they … Continue reading
The Pre-Flying Briefing on FAA Practical Tests – What Examiners Should Do and What Applicants Should Expect
The Pre-Test Briefing on FAA Practical Tests – What Examiners Should Do and What Applicants Should Expect
Taking Oral Questioning Beyond Rote to Applicant and Correlation on FAA Pratical Tests – What Examiners Should Do and What Applicants Should Expect
FAA Removes Requirement of Demonstration of Complex Aircraft on CFI Initial and Single-Engine Initial Commercial Pilot Practical Tests
Today the FAA published FAA Notice N8900.463 which specifically addresses a change in policy in the Commercial Pilot ACS and the CFI PTS documents to allow for completion of a practical test without requiring demonstration of a complex aircraft on … Continue reading
Dangers of Relying On Oxygen Systems in Middle-Altitude Flying
“What’s the highest you have had this plane?” It’s one of the most common questions I get when I tell someone I fly a friend’s Cessna 340. As if there is some special badge of accomplishment I get if I … Continue reading
Myths and Complaints About Designated Pilot Examiners Discussed
As someone who has been acting as a DPE for a significant period of time and still currently provide CFI services to clients, I hear all kinds of assumptions and myths about DPEs. After recently encountering a few of these … Continue reading
Government Shutdown Effects on FAA Testing/Training
UPDATE 2:30pm 1/22/18 – A short term funding extension has been passed so tomorrow things should be back up and running. As long as no other shutdowns develop, it should be back to normal operatons. Deja Vu all over again. … Continue reading
Local Airport Conditions Information (and a Lack Therof) During Winter Operations
While we all may be starting to wish Old Man Winter will take his leave of us soon, we still have a couple months of operating our aircraft, and Wings of Mercy trips during the colder season. This season brings … Continue reading
Landing Where Seaplanes Go…but on Wheels (or Skis)
‘Tiz the season for cold weather flying, and in a few cases, pilots may find the opportunity presents itself to do a few landings on a frozen lake or two! For pilots from the further north, the question of whether … Continue reading
CFI Staffing Availability for Flight Training Providers in Consideration of Certification Trends and Compensation Practices
Flight training as a business has been going through changes in the past few years. In some respects, it is growing up and becoming a more stable, more mature business offering training for students seeking career pilot employment. These changes … Continue reading
Whenever you send a new aircraft for its first maintenance work after you buy it, it is always a fear that you are going to find a bunch of things that need attention, and as a result, can get expensive. … Continue reading
11-3-17 Stinson Flying
Selling the Dream of Flying in a Past Era – Insights from an old airplane marketing brochure.
Showing a pilot looking out the slid back window, soaring above clouds, with what would appear to be “the kids” in the back seat, the “great new Stinson Voyager” presents itself as the plane for the “everyman” (and I mean … Continue reading
A new home, and new life (for Charlie).
The 545am weather check showed major improvement from the day before, so it was time to get up and get on the way for the last leg of the trip to bring Charlie back to her new home, Allegan, Michigan … Continue reading
First Journey with Charlie…almost home.
So, the plan to get home looked like this. Unfortunately, the storms to the west moved in on Saturday evening, and by the time we were to leave on mid-morning Sunday, they covered most of the route, so it changed … Continue reading
I don’t think anyone really gets to own an airplane. Instead, I think you become a caretaker of a machine with a soul. You adopt it, become its protector and promoter and if you do a good job it takes you on adventures. … Continue reading
Changes to AC on Currency Requirements and Guidance for the Flight Review and Instrument Proficiency Check (AC61-98D) Open for Public Comment
The FAA has proposed changes to AC 61-98D, Currency Requirements and Guidance for the Flight Review and Instrument Proficiency Check. This a good opportunity for the flight training community to review the document and any proposed changes and then provide feedback … Continue reading
Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) Recommends Removal of Experience Requirement for CFIs to Train New CFIs
A recent recommendation of an FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) proposed that the FAA change long-standing requirements under FAR 61.195(h)(2)(iii) that a CFI must have been a CFI for more than 24 months before they are authorized to train … Continue reading
9 Free Subscriptions to Help an Instructor Stay Up-To-Date
A good instructor must stay up-to-date on what is happening in the aviation training industry to be able to provide quality training to their students. The hard part is finding resources that keep you up-to-date, without having to go digging … Continue reading
Tracking Recent ATP/Commercial Pilot – Initial Certificate Issuance Statistics
Below are some recent data points in tracking commercial pilot and ATP pilot initial FAA certificate issuances. The source of the data is derived from FAA original certificate issuance by each period data and has been compiled to the current … Continue reading
[Sporty’s] How to Prepare and Pass Your Checkride – Tips from a Pilot Examiner (Jason Blair)
Check out the webinar I did for Sporty’s (www.Sportys.com) on How to Prepare and Pass Your Checkride – Tips from a Pilot Examiner… You can also find many more videos from Sporty’s on their YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDZjCZ1CA_I8VQW0zOxSBPw … Continue reading
Commercial ACS Final Documents Available – Effective June 12, 2017 (Private and Instrument ACS Updates also available)
The FAA has released the new ACS standards for the Commercial Pilot Certificate along with updates to the Instrument and Private Pilot ACS. These documents become effective on June 12, 2017. All parties involved with receiving and/or providing training and … Continue reading
Student Pilot Certificate Issuance Numbers Down Since Change to Plastic Student Pilot Certificates
In accordance with federal guideline changes, on April 1, 2016, the FAA was required to issue plastic student pilot certificates, breaking from the historically issued joint FAA Medical/Student pilot certificate. Whenever a change like this happens, it is always interesting … Continue reading
FAA Data Shows Declining Trend in ATP and Percentage of US AMEL Pilot Certification
Recent data from the FAA empirically indicates that we are experiencing a declining trend in US Commercial Multi-Engine pilot and ATP certificates being issued. There are many motivations for whether people choose to become pilots and seek professional employment in the … Continue reading
UAS (Drones) Exempt from Mode C Veil around Class B Airport? – Asked of and Answered by FAA…
In multiple discussions over the past year or so, the question of the Mode C veil around a Class B airport applies to “drones” has come up. With a lack of an ability to definitively Here is what was asked: … Continue reading
Scenic and Uneventful.
Scenic and uneventful. The best way I like to describe a ferry, transfer, or delivery flight, especially one of significant distance. If it is scenic, it typically means it is VFR and the travel can continue, and if it is … Continue reading
FAA Requests Instructors Sign Off Applicants in IACRA as Soon as Ready for Practical Tests
An FAA/Industry group has been working to decrease delays in scheduling of practical tests that are being experienced in some regions recently. As this work continues, an effort to better understand where and why some of these delays are being experienced … Continue reading
Easily Look Up FAA Knowledge Test Codes Free at www.FAATestCodeLookup.com
Tired of trying to look up FAA Knowledge Test Codes for your student or applicant in a pdf file or on a scrolling website? So was I. So, I created a website that does it for you with help from … Continue reading
Beyond the Purchase Price of an Aircraft – Considering and Calculating the Real Cost of Aircraft Ownership and Operation
Determining how much it costs to buy, own, and operate an aircraft isn’t just about the initial purchase price. There is much more to consider, including things like maintenance, hangar costs, insurance costs, any loan costs you may have, or … Continue reading
Finding the Correct Aircraft Code for IACRA Applications – A Search Link
Ever have a hard time determining the correct aircraft model, make, or code to enter into IACRA for an applicant’s practical test? I know I have! Some aircraft are much harder to find than others, so here is a little … Continue reading
Calculating Descents from Higher Altitudes
One of the major benefits of flying higher, is that you get to descend for a longer distance, using less fuel, and typically at a faster speed across the ground. But taking advantage of these longer descents takes a little … Continue reading
Generic LSA Aircraft Codes for IACRA When Aircraft Not Found
In a recent practical test, I ran into the IACRA challenge that the aircraft to be used for the test, in this case, a Flight Design CT, was not available in the list of aircraft for the applicant in IACRA. … Continue reading
FAA Clarifies Interpretation of ACS material to allow use of non-installed equipment for navigation demonstrations on private pilot practical test
Designated Pilot Examiners have experienced discussion debating what was intended in the private pilot airman certification standards (ACS) for use when demonstrating use of an installed electronic navigation system and demonstrating use of installed navigation equipment function and displays under … Continue reading
A ceiling is not a ceiling is not a ceiling.
For those of us who have flown IFR actively, we know that sometimes a 500′ overcast ceiling will allow us to easily get down an ILS approach to our destination airport when sometimes the same reported 500′ ceiling on an … Continue reading
DME Arcs, The Case Against Them (at least for Practical Testing requirements)
UPDATE – June 2017: With the implementation of the updated Instrument pilot ACS standards that become effecitve June 12, 2017, the DME arc is no longer required to be demonstrated on an instrument pilot practical test. It is required as … Continue reading
Cessna 421 Strikes Light and Continues with Takeoff
Rebuild, Refurb, and Overhaul – Not the Answer to Our Future GA Aircraft Needs?
We have a major problem brewing in the GA aviation sector: we are going to run out of planes. Through the 1950’s, ‘60’s, and ‘70’s, aircraft manufacturers pumped out thousands of aircraft that the general aviation flying public bought and … Continue reading
ATC Query Helps Pilots Land on Correct Runway
Ever line up to land on a runway you have been cleared for only to find out that you were slightly off and it was the wrong runway? I’ll admit it, I have done it. Ever not notice it until … Continue reading
Near tragedy due to complacency in oxygen system procedures
A friend recently texted me a picture. It was a flight track screen shot of a plane a contact of his was onboard when they experienced a catastrophic pressurization system failure. The flight was a demonstration flight for a Citation … Continue reading
Forecasting ATP Pilot Certification Flows – Decreases Expected Based on Testing Trends
A couple of short years ago, the certification process for ATP pilots changed. We are all familiar with the reasons and what the changes were, but we are starting to see data that can help forecast some of the effects. … Continue reading
Avoiding Other Traffic by the Lake
As the weather gets better in the spring and summer months, many of us fly more for pleasure than during the winter months. A fantastic pleasure flight that many of us do near the Great Lakes is to fly the … Continue reading
Step by Step Process for Issuance of Student Pilot Certificates Using Updated FAA Student Pilot Certificate Procedures
Changes to the issuance of the FAA student pilot certificate now allow CFIs to issue student pilot certificates. Click here for a pdf that is a step by step walk through of the process for the student and the CFI. … Continue reading
Airman Certification Standards (ACS) Becoming Effective June 15, 2016
Get Ready for the ACS – Airman Certification Standards! These represent exciting improvements are on the horizon for airman testing and training. Effective June 15, applicants for the private pilot certificate (airplane category) and the instrument rating (airplane category) will … Continue reading
The Unique Consideration of Personal Minimums in Public Benefit Flying
When we fly as pilots in volunteer organizations such as those that fly patients for medical treatment, veterans for memorial services, wounded warriors, or even animals to places of new homes, we do so with the trust of those people … Continue reading
‘Tis the Season for Carbon Monoxide in Flying
While this winter has been warm to start, it will get colder. And winter flying increases the likelihood that pilots will experience carbon monoxide while flying. The FAR/AIM details some information in section 8-1-4 (Click here to see more – … Continue reading
Super Pilot Chad and Examiner X – How a Checkride Should NOT Go…
We did this video a couple years ago to use with a presentation at the AOPA Summit in Palm Springs, but I thought I would share it in a public forum now. This wasn’t a real checkride, obviously, but it … Continue reading
Check Those NOTAMS – Know Before You Go if Your Intended Approaches are Active
Over the past month, I have on at least 3 occasions noted prior to flights that the approaches I would normally have intended to use for my destination airport were Out of Service when I checked NOTAMs. This was able … Continue reading
Perspective on Airline Reliability
I was talking with an acquaintance not long ago who was complaining about a commercial flight that had arrived 20 minutes late and how much of a problem it was and it got me thinking. Twenty minutes is actually … Continue reading
Practice the Glide….
Gliding is for gliders, right? Well, it’s not just for them. Something I notice in many checkrides I give and I know is the case for many pilots is that they don’t really know how to “glide” the aircraft they … Continue reading
Out of the Air for Two Weeks, but Planning a South America Trip Again?
It has been a long time since I wasn’t in the air for more than two weeks. In fact, it may have been more than a decade since this happened. Wow. Wonder when the shivers of withdrawal will start? They … Continue reading
Reflections and Tips from Recent Practical Tests
I would like to share a few reflections and tips from recent practical tests I have given. In most cases, the tests I have given are proof of fantastic candidates who are dedicated to learning and progressing as pilots, but … Continue reading
Ok, so the GPS Was Doing What it was “Supposed” to Do, Just Not What I “Would Want” it To Do
Well, the GPS was working properly after all on the flight from the previous post (Normally when a pilot had a depiction of 3.9 nautical DME miles from a Class D airport and hadn’t talked with the tower on a … Continue reading
Normally when a pilot had a depiction of 3.9 nautical DME miles from a Class D airport and hadn’t talked with the tower on a practical test, I would have failed them….but…
In this case, things weren’t exactly as they seemed, and a little more detail is required, and it brought up a very interesting question. What if your GPS data is not depicting correctly. If you look at the first picture … Continue reading
Solving the Pilot Shortage – New Solutions Developing As the Shortage Develops
The question of a pilot shortage continues to draw comments from all sides of the discussion, showing that interests instead of fact may be what are gaining media press, clouding the real situation from real analysis. The Air Line Pilots … Continue reading
Ferry flight for 337 on hold…maybe to revive at a later date….
Well, with more information in hand, the trip may happen in the future. While a number of things remained outstanding for our original proposed date of departure, the day came and went without solution, for good reason. We have since … Continue reading
Why a ferry flight through central Amazonica is not as good as of an idea as the coastal route…
Just an odd follow up…I think this speaks volumes why I would have chosen a coastal route. … Continue reading
337 Trip Plug Pulled?
With less than a week to go before the proposed departure, the question of is it time to pull the plug on the trip looms. A pilot must know when to say no right? And if too many things are … Continue reading
Less than Two Weeks Out for Ferry Flight…and a Route
Wow. Less than two weeks to launch.The goal is launch on Sunday, May 3rd. I am pretty certain it is going to by very fast and there is much yet to do. Much has been done, but a trip like … Continue reading
Getting the Weather En Route the Old Fashioned Way Still Works – Flight Watch and Flight Service En Route
Ever find yourself flying en route on a long leg and start wondering if those storms you were watching before you left had moved at all? How about if the ceilings had come up enough that you could plan for … Continue reading
Good flight to Michigan in the 337…now to prep everything to go back south…
Had a great flight today in the 337. A nice climb out of Jacksonville up to 10,000 MSL and I headed enroute using GPS direct (and I’ll be honest, the autopilot most of the way) to Knoxville for a half … Continue reading
When your gut tells you not to leave your overnight bag at the hotel…trust your gut
Ok, so a slight change of plans. The plane is mostly good go to, but we are now going to bring it up to Michigan for the few weeks before our planned departure to deal with the minor discrepancies I … Continue reading
337 Looks Good to Go…only a couple minor discrepancies…
AFter a thoroughough pre-flight and a review of the logbooks…she looks good to go. Annnual is good through the end of May and pretty much everything works. Only discrepancies were a beacon bulb that isn’t working now and will be … Continue reading
Enroute to a 337 Check out…for me and for it…
Starbucks and Chic Fil A secured…time to drive to Jacksonville to check out the 337 and to get me checked out in the it. Next stop… Jacksonville. … Continue reading
To Ferry or not to Ferry…
The job…. Ferry a Cessna 337 from Jacksonville, FL to Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is something that I have never done before, but want to expand my pilot experiences and said I would do when the offer was made to … Continue reading
Where is the Best Weather for Flight Training (In the United States)
Weather is a major factor in the ability for pilots to safely and successfully conduct flights. It is the same for pilots seeking training. We all know that cancelling training flights slows down training, can result in increased training costs, … Continue reading
Runway Safety – Multitasking….A video from in the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s Runway Safety Online Course
Here is a video from in the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s Runway Safety online course….with a special appearance from Jason Blair. Check out the full course at: http://www.aopa.org/lms/courses/runway-safety/ … Continue reading
Runway Safety – Communication Breakdown….A video from in the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s Runway Safety Online Course
Here is a video from in the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s Runway Safety online course….with a special appearance from Jason Blair. Check out the full course at: http://www.aopa.org/lms/courses/runway-safety/ … Continue reading
Runway Safety – The Big Picture….A video from in the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s Runway Safety Online Course
Here is a video from in the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s Runway Safety online course….with a special appearance from Jason Blair. Check out the full course at: http://www.aopa.org/lms/courses/runway-safety/ … Continue reading
Stop. Go. and Confess to Avoid Runway Incursions.
A couple of the biggest accidents in aviation history have been the result of “runway incursions” where more than one aircraft were on a runway at eh same time due to confusion, missed clearances, or just human error. Avoiding runway … Continue reading
Turns around a point – to the right you say?
“Ok, so let’s do a turn around a point next.” Common words I say to a student as an instructor and as a DPE examiner. This is most commonly followed by the student or applicant setting up at an altitude … Continue reading
Why (I Think) You Should be Staying for the Summer Semesters if You are Flight Training at Western Michigan University’s College of Aviation
Flying in the summer months at Battle Creek, Michigan is, on average, almost 40% more likely to result in experiencing weather conditions that allow flight training to be successfully completed. Flying when the weather is better allows more flight training … Continue reading
“I just don’t feel like I’m inspired to fly,” a good friend of mine said in a conversation we had not too long ago. We were having a long conversation about the state of General Aviation when we came to … Continue reading
Discussing the Area Forecast
Remember those vague Area Forecasts (FAs) that you try to interpret and figure out what portions of what areas the un-decoded text is talking about as you think about alternate minimums, cloud ceilings over an area bigger than a TAF … Continue reading
The Tough Job of Being an FAA ASI
One of the most thankless jobs in aviation has to be that of an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI). This cadre of experienced aviation professionals has made the choice to work for the government bureaucracy that is the FAA and … Continue reading
Finding the Freezing Level…
Fall flying brings us all back to needing to worry about icing on our flights, but still gives us warm enough days that flights in IFR conditions may sometimes still be able to be completed. We all know that icing … Continue reading
Flight Training and Pilot Supply a Priority for Big Industry Players
A global pilot shortage continues to grow, airlines airlines in the United States (with regional airlines being hit hardest) continue to feel the pilot shortage. On a global basis, Asia and the Middle East continue to see the largest growth … Continue reading
One Mistake from Infamy…
Vehicle ends up in pond. Everyone gets out safely. Can you imagine this making national news if it were a car? Even a bus? Probably not. But if it happens with a jet it will be major news. Don’t believe … Continue reading
Not Every Phone Briefing is the Same…
Not every phone briefing you get is the same. Not every briefing you get is complete. If you don’t know what you are missing, you might miss something important. In some cases, getting a local briefer can be important to … Continue reading
CFIs – More of Us, but We’re Getting Older – What’s it Mean?
In 1999, there were 79,684 flight instructors according to FAA records. By last year, there our numbers had risen to 98,328, an increase of 23% in just 10 years. This however isn’t necessarily an indication that we have a greater … Continue reading
Trinkets, Tokens, Memories, and Dreams…
Little things motivate us in aviation sometimes. Sometimes they motivate us to stay engaged when we might not otherwise do so. It is these little things that sometimes keep people from giving up on dreams, leaving a reminder for us … Continue reading
United States – Former Pilot Training Provider to the World?
The United States has been the world leader in training pilots for many years, but the words “has been” might be more applicable in the near future than we might desire. As airlines expand in international markets, a strong desire … Continue reading
Two Pilot Training Paths – Professional Pilots and Pleasure and Business Pilots
In our first century of aviation, many professional pilots got their training at local airports. A few went away to “schools” that offered promise of jobs and career prospects, and during times of war, many were trained in the military, … Continue reading
Wanted: The Perfect Training Airplane for the Next 50 Years
The last twenty years or so aviation training has seen aircraft used that, well, worked. They haven’t been ideal. We have used old airplanes, airplanes that cost a lot, airplanes that are too big, and in some cases aircraft that … Continue reading
Down the Wrong Path – Did Light Sport Aircraft Hurt Forward Progress in GA?
Sometimes when you choose between two paths in the woods, you choose the path less taken. Sometimes this is the wrong path. General aviation has chosen the wrong path when we started walking down the road toward Light Sport Aircraft. … Continue reading
Is GA Aircraft Manufacturing a Boutique Business? – Considerations of Consumer Aircraft Buying Power
New aircraft are expensive. I doubt anyone will disagree with this statement. But exactly “how” expensive are they and are they “affordable” for Americans? And has their cost in relation to consumer buying power relegated modern GA aircraft manufacturers to … Continue reading
Proper Documentation Means Better Aircraft Maintenance – Documents Aircraft Owners Should Have
Owning an aircraft comes with additional responsibilities beyond that of just being the pilot that flies the plane. The owner of an aircraft is responsible for ensuring that it is maintained and operated in accordance with FAA inspection requirements. Most … Continue reading
I still don’t know why I learned to fly, but for some reason I almost feel like it was always in my blood. Perhaps it was, even though when I began, I didn’t know it. Yesteray I received a letter … Continue reading
What the Government Shutdown Means for FAA Knowledge/Practical Tests
We all are hoping that the government shutdown will be over soon, but in the mean time, a few things that are important for instructors and examiners to know: FAA Knowledge Tests Halted – FAA knowledge test providers have been … Continue reading
Determining the True Cost of Aircraft Rental
Aircraft rental and instruction rates are too low in many places around the country. I know, this sounds blasphemous and like I am advocating that companies raise their rates just so they can make more profit. There is no doubt … Continue reading
Goodbye to the Flight Bag…
The image of the senior pilot carrying his big flight bag full of charts, plotters, headsets, and other goodies is one that remains strong in my mind from my initial days of flight training. The big flight bag full of … Continue reading
Keeping Pilots Active, Growing Aviation, New Student Completions Isn’t All We Need
New students and their completions isn’t the only answer to the dropping activity levels we have seen in aviation over recent years. Over the past two years, much has been highlighted about instructors need to “do a better job” at … Continue reading
What if we had to deal with a user fee for GA?
The argument over user fees for general aviation activities doesn’t seem to be going away. The President keeps putting them back into his budget proposals. Outside the U.S., user fees have had significant effects on GA activities in other countries. … Continue reading
Solving the Pilot Shortage – Other Options?
Just three months from now, the United States aviation system is poised to experience one of the most significant regulatory changes in its history; the deadline for implementation of the requirements of Public Law 111-216. On August 2, 2013, along … Continue reading
Be Your Fellow Pilot’s Keeper
We discuss aviation safety regularly in the aviation industry, promoting safer operations, discussing previous accidents, helping pilots make the self-evaluative decisions that are intended to make them safer pilots. But what is our communal role? Do we have a greater … Continue reading
Would I Stop at My Own Airport?
I think I might be an airport snob. I know, it is a weird statement to make, but I will explain. I have historically flown a significant number of hours in my aircraft each year for business and personal travel, … Continue reading
The Last Mile
Travelling by use of general aviation (GA) aircraft is extremely effective for pilots who take advantage of the benefits. Many times our job as an instructor is to convince our customers that becoming pilots is a logical choice, a useful … Continue reading
Wanted: A Methodical Means to Close Towers
Discussion surrounding FAA Control Tower closures as a result of sequestration has dominated the transportation community recently. Some of the concerns and opinions are valid, while others could be characterized as fear-mongering. In any case, sequestration cuts will likely result … Continue reading
How Much Should Pratical Tests Cost?
This is much debated at the national level. In Michigan, we are currently charging $350.00 for most checkrides (private, instrument, commercial, etc) and $500.00 for CFI checkrides. For most examiners, a practical test takes roughly 5 hours from start of … Continue reading
The State of the Flight Training Industry
This week we heard President Obama discuss the State of the Union. This got me thinking about the state of the flight training industry, so I decided to take a stab at my own version of a “State of the … Continue reading
What’s in a Tail Number?
N7801U – that’s the first plane I ever flew. It was a Cessna 150. I soloed in it too. I didn’t get my private pilot certificate in it, that was in N13527, a Cessna 172. I also did my instrument … Continue reading
Just How Useful is VFR Flight?
As an instructor and pilot examiner, many times when I train or test private pilots, they ask me if they need to get an instrument rating to really be able to fly for travel. I started thinking about the question … Continue reading
Flight Training Capacity in the Context of Recent Legislation
An Examination of the Impacts of Reduced Training Capacity, and the Declining Rates of Airmen Certification by: Jason Blair & Jonathon Freye To download a pdf of this paper click here. Executive Summary Industry forecasts predict that the North American … Continue reading
I Drove to Work Last Week
I drove to work last week. It’s a new thing for me. It’s only the third time I’ve really done it in the last two-and-a-half years. The trip takes me from roughly Grand Rapids, Michigan to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It’s a … Continue reading
EAA Webinar: How to Pass Your Checkride
Check out the webinar I did for EAA on How to Pass Checkride … … Continue reading
The Thin Line: The Difference Between “Simulating” and “Creating” an Emergency
by Jason Blair Originally published in NAFI Mentor Magazine, April, 2008 Click Here to View a PDF of the Article As instructors, we have the duty to provide training to our students that simulates potential emergency situations. Our intent is … Continue reading