MEMBER ALERT: AOPA will be closed for President's Day, Monday, Feb. 15and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. EST, Tuesday, Feb. 16.
You have probably heard the adage: “Safe pilots are always learning.” So honing your skills should be a top priority, but where to begin? Tap into ASI’s Safety Spotlights, which make it a breeze to find ASI’s free aviation safety education programs, neatly arranged by subject. Spotlights include courses, accident case studies, real pilot stories, quizzes, videos, and publications relevant to each topic.
Getting a handle on aerodynamics doesn’t have to involve dry textbooks and dense equations. But it does require a thorough understanding of aerodynamic performance during critical phases in flight. You may know an airplane can stall at any airspeed or pitch attitude, but do you really understand why? Get to know the true meaning of “Alpha” and “critical AOA” and learn need-to-know concepts that will help you avoid unintentional stalls and spins.
Just as we do a thorough preflight of the aircraft, it is as important for us to self-assess our ability to go flying. Understanding basic flight physiology and the effects of aging, illness, and medications are all important matters to consider before any flight. Learn more about these topics in this Safety Spotlight.
Poor decision making is the root cause of many—if not most—aviation accidents. Good decision making, on the other hand, is about avoiding the circumstances that lead to really tough choices. The goal is really very simple: Learn to make good choices every time you fly. This Safety Spotlight brings together relevant safety courses and quizzes to help you hone this single most important safety skill.
Whether you own your aircraft or rent from a local FBO, understanding what makes the aircraft tick is something every pilot should appreciate. Just like the effect of aging is different for people, the same is true for aircraft—their true age may belie what the factory age would have you think. This Safety Spotlight covers preventive maintenance, recognizing aircraft aging, and understanding and mitigating associated risks.
When was the last time you curled up with your aircraft’s POH or avionics systems manual? If it has been a while since you delved into your aircrafts schematics, you might enjoy a quick refresher with this Safety Spotlight. You’ll learn about the important elements of engine and aircraft systems, how to navigate beyond flying “direct to,” and ADS-B equipage.
Man-made obstacles, mountains, and other aircraft are just some of the things we don’t want to see close-up in flight. Learn more about the gotchas that could ruin your day and how to avoid running into objectionable objects.
Your aircraft’s information manual has an important section marked “Emergency Procedures”, including a checklist and expanded procedures information. But it won’t do much good snugly stowed in a seat back pocket, unless you read it and commit critical action items to memory. In addition, take advantage of this spotlight’s emergency procedures quizzes and safety videos, and learn from pilots who have experienced a real inflight emergency and lived to tell about it.
Whether you’re an active flight instructor or getting back into the cockpit, this safety spotlight is your one-stop source for the things that matter. Enroll in ASI’s online flight instructor refresher course (eFIRC), peruse CFI to CFI—ASI’s digital newsletter for the serious flight instructor—and examine ASI’s comprehensive analysis of accidents during flight instruction. Check out these important resources to hone your skills and elevate your career.
The Air Safety Institute wants you to “know before you go.” Whether it’s a quick hop to a nearby strip or an epic cross-country voyage, regulations and common sense require you to be well versed on the airspace ahead and to know how to obtain the big weather picture before takeoff. This spotlight’s courses, videos, and quizzes will help you navigate the flight service system and prepare for your next flight.
No one expects or intends to run out of fuel in flight. And yet, in the United States alone, an average of more than three accidents per week result from fuel exhaustion, starvation, or contamination. It can happen to you. Read on to learn more about avoiding these easily preventable accidents.
As snow blankets airplanes, tarmacs, and runways, you might wonder when you’ll be able to fly next. Cold temperatures, low clouds, and frozen precipitation present unique challenges, but don’t let this discourage you. The cold weather season often yields the best chances for a smooth ride. So don’t let cold weather ground you: Get prepared now with ASI’s award-winning courses and videos.
Whether you have hours of instrument flight experience or are new to flying in instrument meteorological conditions, you'll want to plunge in to this Safety Spotlight. Pick courses, quizzes, and presentations relevant to your next flight, then come back for additional IFR topics you'd like to brush up on before your next instrument proficiency check. Find important answers to your instrument flight questions all in one location.
By definition an airport is a place where aircraft can land and take off. And, it so happens there are more than 5,000 public-use airports in the United States. Although most are categorized as non-towered, there are some 600 airports that have an operating air traffic control tower. Do you worry about communicating with the tower or do you have trepidations about self-announcing on the Unicom? Whether you’re new to these environments, or just need a review, this Safety Spotlight refreshes your knowledge and improves your airport etiquette.
Do you know what to say before you press the “push-to-talk” switch? Fighting bouts of mic fright? Get a little help from the Air Safety Institute and avoid communication blunders with ASI’s courses, quizzes, and videos that will teach you how to use the correct vernacular in radio transmissions with other pilots and air traffic control.
General aviation pilots of all experience and certificate levels account for the majority of runway incursions each year—usually caused by miscommunication, failure to comply with signs and markings, or simply getting lost. As a result, not being in the right place at the right time can spell disaster for pilots and passengers. Be sure to review runway signs, markings, and taxi diagrams prior to your next flight with the resources provided in this Safety Spotlight.
It's been a while since you've flown, life can get in the way, but you still know that the left seat is where you belong. Maybe you're worried about remembering how to make crisp radio calls, or getting more in depth into airspace. Whatever it might be, check out this safety spotlight to help you prepare for your flight review and returning to the skies!
You’re eager to learn more, but how do you find the information appropriate for a particular stage of your flight training journey? The Air Safety Institute makes it easy with videos that show the finer points of takeoffs and landings, courses that will enable you to decipher the weather and airspace before your solo cross-country, and quizzes to check your understanding of the material. Whether you’re in need of a refresher on towered airport operations or proper radio etiquette, ASI has your back.
Of the millions of GA flights every year, only a few end with unplanned off-airport landings. Even though the odds of a crash are slim, the potential consequences are harsh—which is why smart pilots prepare and take basic precautions. In this Safety Spotlight you’ll learn the importance of briefing your passengers before each flight to help prepare them for an emergency situation, essential ingredients of a good survival kit, simple but effective ways to help searchers find you, the first steps you should take after a crash, and survival strategies while awaiting rescue.
It’s simple: Airplanes and thunderstorms don’t mix. These convective beasts can produce airframe-shattering turbulence, damaging hail, sudden and dramatic wind shear, blinding downpours, and strong, gusty winds—sometimes as much as 20 miles from the edge of a cell. The good news is that it’s not difficult to avoid these violent storms—if you know how to use the tools at your disposal.
At some point you may fancy flying an airplane that’s bigger, faster, and sexier than the old trainer you’ve come to know so well. But making such a transition requires additional instruction to learn new and often more complex aircraft systems and operating procedures. Is transitioning to another aircraft difficult? Are complex aircraft complicated to fly? Find out and challenge your knowledge.
In most years, nearly half of all weather-related accidents happen as a result of continued VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC)…and sadly, the vast majority of those accidents are fatal. Don’t be the next pilot to fall prey to descending ceilings and deteriorating visibility: Check out these free resources.
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