License to Learn

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License to learn

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

Reasonable people can disagree about how to fly an instrument approach, with both sides of the argument having some merit. This applies to a discussion I had with an experienced instrument flight instructor about how to descend to the minimum descent altitude (MDA) on a nonprecision instrument approach. We disagreed over two approaches to approaches. The constant airspeed technique (my recommendation) has a pilot making a descent to the MDA, leveling off, and flying to the missed approach point (MAP). If the pilot has the required visibility and identifiable runway environment, he descends and lands, but only after reaching the visual descent point (VDP).

License to learn

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

An FAA-designated pilot examiner once told me about the most anxious private pilot candidate he ever experienced on a checkride. Aside from sweating and mumbling during the oral exam (the applicant, not the examiner), the ultimate demonstration of in-flight nerves began when the examiner requested a steep turn.

Predict the future for pleasure

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

Aviation is an enterprise whose front end is loaded with warnings, caveats, regulation, and a dizzying supply of do's and don'ts (mostly don'ts). Not even a Houdini can escape this saturation of safety information. Don't get me wrong. Safety information is good, but too much good can be bad.

License to Learn

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

Electric airplanes, synthetic vision, and iPad accessories these things, abundant at this year's EAA AirVenture.

License to Learn

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2011

Albert Einstein gave us E=MC2, one of the most venerable of physics equations. It's an equation that allows us to understand the relationship between mass and energy. Aviation also has its venerable equations, and one of my favorites involves no math at all. This equation expresses the relationship between attitude, power, and performance. It's to be taken seriously, but not literally. It reads: Attitude + Power = Performance (A+P=P).

License to Learn

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2011

There are only three things that can get me to run out of the house and gaze skyward. The first is a UFO mother ship.

License to Learn

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2011

Do you know what magic is? It’s pretty simple. It’s the exact opposite of what a (good) teacher does.

License to Learn

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2011

Several months ago, I wrote “License to Learn: The Limited Flight Instructor Certificate” (February 2011 AOPA Pilot). The article produced many positive comments, but one fellow wrote to express his dismay about permitting private pilots to become limited flight instructors (or sport pilots to become sport pilot instructors).

License to Learn

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2011

Every few years, I find my way to Reno, Nevada, to attend some aviation function. This year I was there for the Women in Aviation International (WAI) conference.

License to Learn

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2011

At a recent aviation seminar, I listened to a fellow lament the substantial cost of learning to fly. He confessed to spending upwards of $14,500 to obtain his private pilot certificate.