Sunglasses: what pilots need to know

Sunglasses make it easier to spot traffic, reduce fatigue, and protect your eyes from long term damage due to solar radiation. They can also provide some protection from debris during a bird strike.

FAA “from the flight deck” video: phraseology

Aviation has a unique language designed to ensure effective communication between pilots and controllers. Understanding and using these words and phrases properly is vital for avoiding errors and maintaining safety. For example, “roger” is not a clearance and is not an appropriate response to a yes or no question. It only means that the transmission was received.

Video tip: How to recover from a bad landing

Not every approach and landing will be by the book during your training, and you'll inevitably encounter situations when you round out too high, overshoot the touchdown point or bounce after the initial touchdown. This is perfectly normal and learning how to recover from these scenarios will improve your confidence and help you make better landings in the long run. 

Departing the airport traffic pattern – HD Flight Maneuver Spotlight

Standard VFR departure procedures are established at pilot-controlled airports to ensure that departing aircraft remain clear of incoming traffic as they climb out of the terminal airport environment.

How to fly the perfect chandelle

A chandelle is a maximum performance, 180° climbing turn that begins from approximately straight-and-level flight and concludes with the airplane in a wings-level, nose-high attitude just above stall speed. The goal of the Commercial pilot maneuver is to gain the most altitude possible for a given bank angle and power setting.

Video tip: practicing power-on stalls

This week we go flying to see what power-on stalls are all about. Some pilots are nervous about this maneuver, which can require a nose high attitude. But with a good understanding of the aerodynamics and a preview from outside the airplane, you'll have the confidence to perform these stalls smoothly - and hopefully avoid an inadvertent one on takeoff.

Ten airport signs, markings, and lights all pilots should know

Taxiing at larger airports can add new complexities to your flight, especially when visiting an unfamiliar airport for the first time. Here’s a review of ten airport signs, pavement markings and lighting systems you might encounter.

Can you fly with inoperative instruments?

While the regulations generally require that all instruments and equipment installed aboard the aircraft be in working condition, it may be possible to operate an aircraft with a piece of equipment not working if it falls within the scope of FAR 91.213 or the aircraft is operating with a Minimum Equipment List.

Webinar video: Flying with Datalink Weather

Datalink weather, either from ADS-B or SiriusXM, is an essential tool for almost all pilots. Once you’ve flown a cross country with in-flight radar, up-to-date METARs, and visual AIRMETs, it’s awfully hard to go back to flying without it. It makes flying safer, easier, and more comfortable – a rare combination - but only if you know how to use it properly.

Video tip: how to fly with the Garmin GFC 500 Autopilot

This week's tip takes a look at the basic features of Garmin's popular GFC 500 autopilot, including how to turn it on and use airspeed, vertical speed, altitude and heading modes.