By AOPA ePublishing staff
Flying may be fun, but professionalism is the hallmark of any great pilot. If you’ve spent all or part of the winter on the ground, those first spring flights could leave you feeling, and flying, more like a little leaguer than an all-star—unless you take the time for spring training of your own.
Start by brushing up on your radio skills—using proper communications terms and techniques will mark you as a pro to controllers and your fellow pilots. “ Say It Right,” an online SafetyCast seminar from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, offers practical tips and advice about common mistakes, emergency situations, and towered and nontowered airport communications. Then delve deeper into the topic with the resources collected in the “ATC Communications” subject report from the AOPA Pilot Information Center.
Of course, it doesn’t matter if you sound like a pro if you don’t also operate like one. So spend some time reviewing the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Safety Advisors on operations at towered and nontowered airports.
And play it safe on the ground by taking the Runway Safety online course, then reinforce your learning and test your retention with Runway Safety Flash Cards, both from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
When you are ready to fly, be sure to review the airport taxi diagrams for your departure and destination airports so you’ll be familiar with runways and taxi routes before you power up or touch down.
March 5, 2008