Video Tip: Night Flying

Night is simply one of the best times to fly–the air is smooth, the airport isn't as busy and the view out the window is incredible. This week's video takes a closer look at night flying and some best practices to follow to ensure your next flight in the dark is as safe as it enjoyable.

Video Tip: Why do airplanes want to turn to the left?

Airplanes seem to always want to turn left, especially in a climb. But why does this happen? In this three minute video tip, we dive into the physics in a way that makes sense for pilots. 3D animations and in-flight video show the effects of P-factor, gyroscopic precession and spiraling slipstream.

Video tip: inadvertent flight into instrument conditions (and how to get out)

Taking the time to thoroughly brief the weather before every flight will significantly decrease the odds that you'll inadvertently fly into instrument conditions as a VFR pilot. This week's tip takes a look at the actions to take though if you do stumble into the clouds or an area of reduced visibility, to help you safely return to VFR conditions.
Video Tip: Starting the airplane engine

Video Tip: Starting the airplane engine

Starting the airplane engine is one of the first hands-on procedures you'll learn when starting your flight training. In our latest video tip, we'll show you step-by-step the procedure for starting the Cessna 172S fuel-injected engine.

Video tip: how to calculate weight and balance

Take the time to compute the total weight of the airplane and center of gravity (CG) before every flight, based on the number of occupants, baggage and fuel and where each item is positioned in the airplane. This week's tip takes a look at how to compute a typical weight and balance calculation and how to verify the results are within limits.

Video Tip: Flying in and around special use airspace

Special use airspace includes military operations areas, prohibited areas, alert areas, warning areas, restricted areas and controlled firing areas. This week’s video tip explains how to identify their location and best practices for making sure you don’t accidentally fly into one.

Video tip: aircraft inspections and ELT requirements

Airplanes are held to high standards when it comes to maintenance and inspection requirements. This week's tip takes a look at the reason behind each inspection, how to verify they've been completed and the required paperwork to be on the airplane. It also takes a look at why digital 406 MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELT) incorporate GPS to improve their performance.
Standard Crosswind Pattern Entry

Video Tip: How to enter the traffic pattern at a nontowered airport

The FAA recommends standard traffic pattern flows at nontowered airports in an effort to maintain order and a safe environment for aircraft arrivals and departures. This includes specific instructions on how to enter back into the pattern after spending some time practicing maneuvers at a higher altitude away from the airport. This week's video tip illustrates several methods to do this, depending on the direction from which you're approaching the airport, in an effort to get established on the downwind leg at the published traffic pattern altitude.

Video tip: get a “big picture” weather briefing

Checking the weather is one of the few constants in aviation. All pilots do it, whether it’s a trip around the pattern in a Cub or a trip across the Atlantic in a Gulfstream. But merely getting a weather briefing isn’t enough; it has to be a good weather briefing to make the flight safer. So what exactly does a “good briefing” involve?

Commercial pilot video tip: Eights on Pylons

There are several new flight maneuvers to learn during Commercial Pilot Training. One of the new ground reference maneuvers is called Eights on Pylons, which involves flying a figure 8 pattern over the ground while varying the aircraft’s altitude in order to maintain a defined visual reference to preselected reference points, called pivot points, or pylons.