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Archive for the ‘Flight Training’ Category

Proper priming and starting procedure by Cessna (Video)

Textron has published the following video outlining the proper priming and starting procedure on the 182T, T182T, 172R and 172S Models. If you have ever been stuck on a ramp trying to start a hot fuel injected engine like I have, you’ll benefit from this video.

3-26-2015 9-24-36 AM

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Deadly Failure?

bosea20Check out this great lesson on loss of control in IMC conditions from Pilot Workshops and enter to win a Bose headset!

What happens when a simple piece of equipment fails in your airplane in low IMC? As you’ll see, it can quickly lead to a life-or-death situation. Watch the video below and take this IFR challenge. See if you can make the right decision and regain control of this flight.

Link to the lesson. Enjoy and good luck!

Commercial Pilot Check Ride

IMG_1635Finally, after almost two years of on and off training I passed my commercial pilot check ride.

A brief history:
As my friend Lou would say; ” So Mikey, why are you getting your commercial pilots license?”
The first answer that comes to mind (from the right brain) is that I have always enjoyed providing the service of air transport Read the rest of this entry »

Sean Tucker Living With Passion


Sean D Tucker Living With Passion.
This man and people like him keep me focused on what I need to do in my life. Positively inspiring!

A behind the scenes look at Sean D. Tucker. A film by Director Brandon Hess and Producer Tara Tucker, filmed at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

Learning lessons the hard way. Commercial Pilot Checkride gone bad

IMG_1635My life has been a bit of a blur lately. First it was my signoff for the commercial flight test back in June. Followed by examiner availability issues, then an annual inspection for the aircraft.

At the same time I needed to prepare for our flight to Oshkosh for EAA AirVenture 2013. I needed an Instrument Proficiency Check and to change channels back to my IFR cross-country flying methods (no lazy eights en-route).

I finally gave up on scheduling the examiner that my school normally uses and decided to call my local DE with whom I did my Instrument flight test.

We booked the test at first for last week, then moved it twice for weather but finally it all came together –or so I thought-.  Read the rest of this entry »

Commercial pilot training update: 6/24/2013

IMG_1635This update comes with some good news and some “not so good” news.

The good news is that my CFI was happy with my performance and signed me off for the check ride after our flight on Monday. The bad news is that we soon discovered that the airplane would not be available until some time next week (7/1 – 7/7) for the check ride. Read the rest of this entry »

Commercial Pilot training update 6/21/13: The final stretch.

Steep TurnSo here we are. After the “ups and downs” of my commercial pilot training, my CFI has given me the go-ahead and feels that I am just about ready for the check ride. No pressure.

We flew yesterday and I showed improvement with my last two maneuvers -lazy eights and eights on pylons-.

The lazy eights to the left look great, but the Read the rest of this entry »

Commercial Flight Maneuvers practice 6/1/2013

IMG_1547So, in this video I thought I “had it”. Good news is, I now know that I didn’t “have it nailed” but I have a better idea of what I was doing wrong.

It’s a learning process. You know you are close to mastery when you can “see” what you are really doing wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

Commercial Pilot Training Session 1

Hello fellow aviators,

It’s been a little while since I posted a flight log but the good news is that I have been flying.

Last month after my flight to Lou’s (cost a small fortune by the way) I started working on my Commercial flight maneuvers with a CFII friend of mine who has been encouraging me to get my CPL for over a year. Read the rest of this entry »

Pilot Professionalism by Robert Sumalt NTSB (Video)

Pilot Professionalism by Robert Sumalt of the NTSB at the University of North Dakota.

It’s a bit long but well worth the time. A must watch for any pilot weather you fly a Piper Cub or a Boeing 747.


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Commercial Pilot Written test passed!

I have some good news, no, I didn’t win the Mega Millions yet but I did pass the Commercial Pilot Written exam on Sunday with a 95%. I would have scored 100% but missed 5 (easy) questions. All performance / navigation / weight and balance questions answered correctly and not by memory (unlike my PPL). Read the rest of this entry »

Is learning to fly worth it?

As of late, I have been contemplating my future with regard to aviation. During the past few months I even considered giving it up. With the costs involved and constant demand from family / work it does get hard sometimes. Read the rest of this entry »

Zero/Zero by Charles Svoboda

This story was sent to me via a fellow flying cub and after reading it, I just had to share it with my readers! Enjoy!

Zero/Zero by Charles Svoboda

It happened sometime in 1965, in Germany. I was a copilot, so I knew, everything there was to know about flying, and I was frustrated by pilots like my aircraft commander. He was one of those by-the-numbers types, no class, no imagination, no “feel” for flying. You have to be able to feel an airplane. So what if your altitude is a little off, or if the glideslope indicator is off a hair? If it feels okay then it is okay. That’s what I believed.

Every time he let me make an approach, even in VFR conditions, he demanded perfection. Not the slightest deviation was permitted. “If you can’t do it when there is no pressure, you surely can’t do it when the pucker factor increases,” he would say. When he shot an approach, it was as if all the instruments were frozen – perfection, but no class.

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McGuire AFB Tour and C17 level D Simulator flight.

Now this was a trip well worth the time off from work (and the late night that followed making up for the lost time). A fellow flying friend of ours invited us to a VIP tour of McGuire AirForce Base (McGuire is now a joint services base but I grew up calling it an Air Force base so I am sticking to it for now :-)) Included in the trip was a chance to fly the C17 Level D Simulator and tour some aircraft. I had flown an AirForce simulator once before (the T6 at Randolph AFB TX), but it wasn’t level D (full motion for the non aviation readers) so I was looking forward to it! Read the rest of this entry »

PilotEdge professional air traffic control for flight simulators

Long Beach CA KLGB. Sitting on the south ramp I call ground and advise them that I would like to depart VFR to the practice area with information alpha.

They clear me to taxi and hold short runway 34L. I read back my clearance and take a look around. I haven’t flown at long beach before and can’t seem to figure out where that taxiway is (never a good sign :-)). Read the rest of this entry »

Pass Your Checkride

Pass Your Check Ride book review

The Private Pilot check ride can be one of the most stressful events in you’re flying career or it can be a somewhat relaxing or even fun event if well prepared.

The best advice I received when preparing my check ride was from my flight instructor. He said “just remember, the examiner doesn’t want to fail you, he just wants to make sure you know what you are doing and that you will be safe, so relax and fly like you always do.” He was right, but at the time all I could think was “Yea that’s easy for you to say, you aren’t the one going on the check ride” So what can we do to better prepare for the coming check ride, and what tools are available? Read the rest of this entry »

My 4 year old son’s first flight lesson

As some of you already know, my son and I have flown together a few times.
On Saturday the plan was to meet my friend Frank at the airport and follow him in his Cirrus SR22 up to Orange County KMGJ to drop off his airplane for it’s annual inspection. Long story short, he had mechanical problems and couldn’t make it, so Steven and I ended up going for a little “flight lesson”.
I had to edit some things out to keep the video at 15 minutes, but you get the idea.
Enjoy and please leave your comments.
Some thoughts on my son:
As long as he has the desire to go for it; he has a great opportunity to do some really awesome things in his life. As with any parent, I act as his guide and hope he finds the path that suits him best. I am planting seeds already. I ask him “do you want to fly F18s or F22s?” He answered me after this flight.. “Daddy, I want to fly to the moon” 🙂

Airspeed and Altitude control two schools of thought

As some of you are aware, there are two different schools of thought when it comes down to how we think about controlling airspeed and altitude in an airplane.

Some refer to it as Navy vs Air Force. I find that over the years I have become the “Navy” type of pilot.

Read the rest of this entry »

Aircraft Holding Pattern Entries Made Easy

Thanks to Jason Schappert of This is one of the best videos I have found on the subject.
My favorite method of determining holding pattern entries.
Just a few things I would add: (please let me know your thoughts and or tips)
1. Ask yourself “where am I in relation to the holding fix?” Are you proceeding direct to the fix? If so continue with the method mentioned in this video. If on the other hand you are on an airway and still need to make a turn before reaching the holding fix this method will not work out well. Wait until you are inbound to the fix before using this method. Read the rest of this entry »

Tailplane Icing: A NASA Study

I originally discovered this video at and found it quite educational so I figured I would share it with our viewers.

A number of years ago NASA conducted a study on tailplane icing and made this video for all pilots. It outlines some of the distinct differences in both the symptoms and recovery techniques used during a tailplane stall due to tailplane icing. You never know, someday you might need to know the difference.

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Alternator failure during IFR flight to Martha’s Vineyard in VMC

While in route to Martha’s Vineyard my friend and fellow flying club member Stephen and I experienced an alternator controller failure (basically a voltage regulator). It wasn’t a big deal since we were in day visual conditions and the engine does not require electrical power to operate. I have learned a few things from watching the video.. Read the rest of this entry »

Mattituck TMX 360 Engine Assembly Workshop

On Saturday March 13th I attended the Mattituck TMX 360 Engine Assembly Workshop in Mattituck NY. The original plan was to attend the event with some of my fellow flying club members but due to scheduling conflicts I went solo. Bad weather was forecast in the Northeast so I made the call early on to drive. The weather turned out to be quite bad so there were no regrets about scrubbing the flight. Read the rest of this entry »

My first IFR flight in IMC

IFR enrouteFinally some IMC!
After all of  my IFR flight training you would expect to see some actual IMC (instrument meteorological conditions) flight time in my log book, but after about 42 hours of IFR time there wasn’t much. Just a few flights at altitude in and out of the cloud layer, not what I would consider IMC. Well yesterday I made up for some of that. I didn’t think my simulated instrument time provided enough experience to just hop in the plane solo, takeoff into the soup and fly an approach to minimums; so I opted to fly with an instructor. After calling the flight school the dispatcher let me know that one of the instructors would head up to the airport in about an Read the rest of this entry »

IFR checkride

172sp panelI have been working on my IFR rating for about a year now and after a few months of pretty intensive training I went for my IFR check ride with my DPE (FAA Designated Pilot Examiner).
My first step was to sign up for the IFR ground school at American Flyers in Morristown NJ. I attended the IFR ground course and studied at night. After the 3 day course I took the IFR written exam and passed with a 90%. It wasn’t the 100% I was aiming for but I will take it.  Read the rest of this entry »

When in doubt GO AROUND

sbh crashA lesson to us all. Video of a crash at (SBH) St. Barthelemy Airport

How many landings have you done where that little voice in your head (put there by your flight instructor) kept telling you, GO AROUND, GO AROUND, GO AROUND? This is a good lesson to every pilot out there. I know after watching this accident I will be a bit more careful. The good thing about powered flight is that we “normally” have the go around option. Read the rest of this entry »

Emergency Landing caught on video

emergency-landingPOLK COUNTY (Bay News 9) — The Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In starts today and already there were some tense moments in the sky for a pilot headed to the event.
The pilot, Kyle Davis, 22, and his passenger, Joe Surowiec, were flying from Winter Haven to Lakeland Sunday when they experienced engine failure. Read the rest of this entry »

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Amanda Michelle (Younkin) Franklin 3/14/1986 – 5/27/2011 Click for information on Amanda