Interactive video tip: Flying with a constant-speed propeller

Airplanes with a high-performance engine typically contain a constant-speed propeller for greater efficiency. Learn all about their operation with our latest tip, including how to properly use the throttle, prop control, manifold pressure gauge and tachometer in each phase of flight.

Video Tip: How to use a mechanical E6B flight computer

Most students today prefer to use an electronic E6B flight computer when planning a flight or preparing for the FAA knowledge test.  The electronic E6B is actually the evolution of a mechanical E6B flight computer, often referred to as a whiz wheel. While the mechanical E6B may take a little longer to learn compared to its electronic counterpart, the learning process is a fun challenge.

Video Tip of the Week: rectangular course

The rectangular course is one of the most basic maneuvers pilots learn during flight training. While it may sound boring, there's a lot to learn from this simple pattern. In our latest Video Tip of the Week, we walk through each step of the rectangular course, with in-cockpit video and 3D animations.

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

Airplanes always seem to 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: 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.

How airplane engine turbocharging systems work

Many high-performance airplanes take advantage of turbocharged engines, which allow for cruise operations at higher altitudes into the flight levels. This video shows how these systems work, including the compressor and turbine components, intercooler, wastegate, and engine flight instruments.

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.

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.
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.

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.