Tag Archives: Aviation Videos

Aviation Videos

I want to be That Guy

This blog is about General Aviation and Flight Training. So far I have been writing about flying lessons in an airplane, as this is what I have been involved in as a professional pilot and flight instructor. Even though before I got into airplanes, I used to fly gliders. And during my own flight training I got me an opportunity to sky dive, which was a total blast!

As a matter of fact, a few weeks ago I decided to drive down to the Lodi, CA airport, which is right off highway 99, and got some information on taking some professional sky diving lessons. I was hoping to be able to do this before I get back to working full time again. And today, a friend and a former student Christophe (from France) sent me a link to this cool Hang Glider pilot’s video on YouTube, and now I am thinking….:-)

I want to be that Guy – Nicholas Cage

How to Become a Pilot in the United States

Guest Post by Thomas F. Sullivan

There are many reasons to gain a Private Pilot License, also called a Private Pilot Certificate. The three main reasons are for recreation, business, or a stepping stone to the Commercial Pilot License. While many pilots in the United States get their flight training through the military, here we provide the steps needed to become a pilot by training at one of the many flight schools in America. Lets take a look at the steps which are needed in order to become a certified Private Pilot.

  1. The first step is a psychological step. You need to make sure you are in the proper mind set and have the proper attitude to learn how to fly. This means you should have a very good reason, at least for yourself, in terms of why you want to become a pilot. And a perfunctory reason will not work. The reason for this is because it takes unadulterated commitment on your part in order to gain a Private Pilot License.
  2. Along the lines of commitment, you will need to set aside a large chunk of time weekly for learning how to fly. You could just train on the weekend, but the draw back to this method is that learning to fly could take a long time, a very long time. Therefore, if possible, try to fly every good weather day, and therefore set aside time daily for flight training. It is very important you understand that the closer your lessons are to each other, the less money you will spend in the end. The national average in terms of the flying hours needed to obtain the Private Pilot License is 65 – 70 hours.
  3. Plan on spending around $8,000.00 USD to obtain the Private Pilot License. This includes instructor fee, cost to rent airplane, exams, books, and equipment. Some sources put the cost at about $7,000.00 USD. Again, the more frequently you fly, the lower the end cost will be. Assuming you are average in terms of number of flying hours needed (65 – 70 hours), plan on spending $7,000.00 to $8,000.00 USD.
  4. After you have decided that you truly want to gain a Private Pilot License, you understand the time needed, and you have worked out the financial aspect, you then can start to think about selecting the right flight school. When selecting a flight school, visit every flight school that is within a reasonable driving distance to where you live. The following two steps will help in your selection of a flight school.
  5. You need to decide if you want to become a tri-gear or conventional gear (tail wheel) pilot, or both. Do you want to take your check ride in a conventional gear airplane, or a tri-gear airplane. Today, most pilots take their check ride in a tri-gear airplane. But it should be noted that you will be a more proficient and a safer pilot if you are able to fly more then one type of airplane. This diversity includes being able to fly both tri-gear and conventional gear aircraft.Today, most pilots prefer to stick with a tri-gear airplane from start to finish, when getting their Private Pilot License. Select a flight school which provides both tri-gear and conventional gear aircraft for you to rent, so that you are able to fly both of these types of airplanes.You can train and take your check ride in a tri gear airplane, and later after you obtain your Private Pilot License, get a tail wheel endorsement. No matter how you slice it, the more different types of airplanes you can get checked out in and fly well, the safer you will be as a pilot.
  6. Also, in terms of flight school selection, you need to decide if you want to learn to fly at a FAR Part 141 school, or a FAR Part 61 school. In the United States, flight schools are required to operate under one of these two sets of rules, as laid down by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). One is really not any better then the other. Flight schools which operate under FAR Part 141 provide a more formal curriculum, with slightly fewer hours required for certification, and flight schools which operate under FAR Part 61 are less formal, and hours needed for certification are a little bit more.But since the hours needed in order to obtain the Private Pilot License almost always is much more then the required hours for certification (65-70 hours is the national average), there is really no advantage to learning at a FAR Part 141 school. Your decision in terms of FAR Part 141, and FAR Part 61, should really be dependent on the type of learning environment you prefer. Some students do better in a more formal environment, while others prefer a more laid back, less formal environment.
  7. After selecting a flight school, you then need to select an instructor. Select an instructor you feel comfortable with, both in terms of personality and flying experience. There are basically two types of instructors in the United States. One type is trying to build flying hours and has a desire to move on beyond instruction to a commercial flying job which is more lucrative. The other type of instructor is a career instructor who prefers to instruct, and is not really flying to build hours, but enjoys teaching new students. Career instructors on average tend to be older then hour building instructors. In terms of these two types of instructors, one is really not any better then the other, and selecting an instructor you believe you are compatible with is what really is important. You need to have a professional learning situation, where personality incompatibility will not interfere with the process of becoming a pilot. Selecting the right instructor is probably the most important component in learning how to fly.
  8. Finally, for most areas of the United States, plan on starting the learning process at the beginning of the summer. You need to have plenty of good flying weather in front of you before you start. If you start in the fall, you may end up having to stop due to bad weather and may need to wait until the spring to continue, which means more time and money. Plan on getting the job done within a few months in the summer. This holds true for most areas of the country, but not all. Of course, if you are learning to fly in the Southwest or Florida, then when you start is really not a factor.

So there you have it. The steps you need to take in order to become a Private Pilot. The most important considerations are proper mind set and attitude, commitment of time and money, type of airplane you want to fly, and finally flight school and instructor selection.

To quote Leonardo da Vinci:

“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return”

If you follow these steps, you can experience what only Leonardo da Vinci could only dream of, the archetypal dream of flight.

Thomas Sullivan, the author of this article, is a web developer and publisher who resides within the Boston, MA area. He is a Private Pilot, the creator of Intellego Web Publishing, and the creator and webmaster for Pilot Portal USA and Pilot Jobs.

Amazing NTSB (Animation) US Airways Airbus Crash Ditching in Hudson

NTSB’s investigation hearings of the Jan 15th, 2009 US Airways’ Airbus Flight 1549 bird-strike incident which led to the ditching of the aircraft in Hudson river have generated some potential recommendations – developing an on-aircraft anti-bird technology for rounding-up and wiping-out thousands of Canada Geese. At the hearings, Airbus test pilots supported Captain Sullenberger’s decision; to ditch the aircraft in the river instead of trying to make LaGuardia or Teterboro airports.

Airbus’ fly by wire system was commended for allowing Capt. Sullenberger to maintain the best airspeed for the ditching simply by holding the joystick in full aft position and letting the computers do the the rest; not letting the aircraft stall while he simply maintained the wings level.The hearings also reviewed and made public a rather compelling NTSB video animation with overlay-ed ATC audio and CVR content (textual). A board member’s call for more research into onboard bird-repellant or bird-deterrent technologies is supported by at least one study, conducted by Qantas and Precise Flight, which concluded that aircraft equipped with pulsed landing light system resulted in fewer bird strikes.

2004 Tests conducted by the U.S. Agriculture Department were less definitive; but further research (specifically, into flash frequency and light wavelengths) may be recommended by the NTSB.

First Black Woman Aviator in Aviation History

A role model in General Aviation Flight Training

The other day while browsing through African American Aviation History websites and blogs, I came across a name that I had heard many a times, but never got an opportunity (or simply being lazy maybe) to learn more about. So, I decided to spend some time, and read more about Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman (Jan 26, 1892 – April 30, 1926).

Bessie Coleman happens to be the first African American (Black) Woman pilot in the history of General Aviation. She also happens to be the first American (not the first African American, or Black female, but The First American of any race or gender) to hold an international pilot’s license. Now, who would have guessed that! Not me.

Early Life

Popularly known as “Queen Bess”, she was born in Atlanta, Texas and was the tenth of thirteen children to sharecropper parents, George and Susan Coleman.

Queen Bess began school at the age of six, used to walk 4 miles a day to an all-black, one-room school. Despite sometimes lacking even basic educational amenities, Bessie was an excellent student, especially at mathematics.

In 1901, Bessie Coleman’s life took a dramatic turn: George Coleman left his family. He had become tired with the racial discrimination that existed in Texas. He returned to Oklahoma (Indian Territory as it was then called), to find better opportunities.

When she turned eighteen, Bessie Coleman took all of her savings and enrolled in the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University (now Langston University) in Langston, Oklahoma. She just finished one term and ran out of money and was forced to return home.

Career Moves

Manicurist job in Chicago

In 1915, at twenty-three, Bessie Coleman relocated to Chicago, Illinois, with her brothers, and worked at the White Sox Barber Shop as a manicurist. This is where she started hearing the tales of pilots or aviators from who were returning home from World War I. They told her stories about flying in the war, and Bessie Coleman started to fantasize about being an aviator herself. At the barbershop, Bessie Coleman met many influential Black men, like Robert S. Abbott, founder and publisher of the Chicago Defender, and Jesse Binga, a real estate promoter. Bessie Coleman managed to receive financial backing from Binga and the Defender, which capitalized on her flamboyant personality and her beauty to promote the newspaper, and of course to promote her cause. She could not gain admission to American flight training schools because she was Black and a Woman. Even other Black U.S. aviators would not train her. Robert Abbott encouraged her to go study abroad, to France. French women were already flying at this time in history.

Flight Training in France

Bessie Coleman learned French language at the Berlitz school in Chicago, and then sailed to Paris on November 20, 1920. She learned to fly in a Nieuport Type 82 biplane, and on June 15, 1921 Coleman became not only the first African American woman to earn an international aviation license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, but also the first African-American woman in the world to earn an aviation pilot’s license and the First American to earn an international pilot’s license. Determined to polish her skills, she spent the next two months taking lessons from a French ace pilot near Paris, and in September sailed back home for New York.

Airshow Performances

Bessie Coleman soon realized that in order to make a living as a civilian aviator—she would need to become a “barnstormer” stunt flier, and perform for paying audiences. But to succeed in this highly competitive arena, she would need advanced lessons and build a reputation. Returning to Chicago, she could not find anyone willing to teach her, so in February 1922, she sailed back for Europe again. This time she spent the next two months in France completing an advanced course in aviation, then left for the Netherlands to meet with Anthony Fokker, one of the world’s most distinguished aircraft designers. She also traveled to Germany, where she visited the Fokker Corporation and received additional training from one of the company’s chief pilots. She returned to the United States with the confidence and enthusiasm she needed to launch her career in exhibition airshow flying.

In September 1921, she became a media sensation when she returned to the United States. “Queen Bess,” as she was known, primarily flew Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” biplanes and other army surplus aircraft left over from the war. In Los Angeles, California, she broke a leg and three ribs when her plane crashed on February 22, 1922. She made her first appearance in an American airshow on September 3, 1922, at an event honoring veterans of the all-black 369th American Expeditionary Force of World War I. Held at Curtiss Field on Long Island near New York City and sponsored by her friend Abbott and the Chicago Defender newspaper, the show billed Bessie Coleman as “the world’s greatest woman flyer” and featured aerial displays by eight other American ace pilots. Six weeks later she returned to Chicago to deliver a stunning demonstration of daredevil maneuvers—including figure eights, loops, and near-ground dips to a large and enthusiastic crowd at the Checkerboard Airdrome (now Chicago Midway Airport).

Fatal Plane Crash

On April 30, 1926, Bessie Coleman, at thirty-four, was in Jacksonville, Florida. She had recently purchased a plane in Dallas, Texas and had it flown to Jacksonville in preparation for an airshow. Her mechanic and publicity agent, William Wills, was flying the plane with her in the co-pilot seat. About ten minutes into the flight, the plane did not pull out of a planned nosedive; instead it accelerated into a tailspin. Coleman was thrown from the plane at 500 feet and died instantly when she hit the ground (she was not wearing her seatbelt). William Wills was unable to gain control of the plane and it plummeted to the ground. Wills died upon impact and the plane burst into flames. Although the wreckage of the plane was badly burned, it was later discovered that a wrench used to service the engine had slid into the gearbox and jammed it, causing the plane to spin out of control.

Legacy and honors

Her funeral in Jacksonville, Florida on May 2, 1926 was attended by 5,000 mourners. Many of them, including Ida B. Wells, were prominent members of Black society. Three days later, her remains arrived in Orlando, Florida, where thousands more attended a funeral at the city’s Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. Her last journey on May 5 was to Chicago’s Pilgrim Baptist Church. An estimated 10,000 people filed past the coffin all night and all day. After funeral services, she was buried in the Lincoln Cemetery.

Over the years, recognition of Bessie Coleman’s accomplishments has grown. Her impact on aviation history, and particularly African Americans in aviation, quickly became apparent following her death. In 1927, Bessie Coleman Aero Clubs sprang up throughout the country. On Labor Day, 1931, these clubs sponsored the first all-African American Air Show, which attracted approximately 15,000 spectators. That same year, a group of African American pilots established an annual flyover of Bessie Coleman’s grave in Lincoln Cemetery in Chicago.

In 1989, First Flight Society inducted Bessie Coleman into their shrine that honors those individuals and groups that have achieved significant “firsts” in aviation’s development.

A second-floor conference room at the Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, DC, is named after her. In 1990, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley renamed Old Mannheim Road at O’Hare International Airport “Bessie Coleman Drive.” In 1992, he proclaimed May 2 as “Bessie Coleman Day in Chicago.”

Mae Jemison, physician and former NASA astronaut, wrote in the book, Queen Bess: Daredevil Aviator (1993): “I point to Bessie Coleman and say without hesitation that here is a woman, a being, who exemplifies and serves as a model to all humanity: the very definition of strength, dignity, courage, integrity, and beauty. It looks like a good day for flying.”

In 1995, she was honored with her image on a U.S. postage stamp, and was inducted into the Women in Aviation Hall of Fame.

In November 2000, Coleman was inducted in The Texas Aviation Hall of Fame.

She is the subject of Barnstormer, a musical that debuted 20 October 2008 at the National Alliance for Musical Theater Festival in New York; the book and lyrics are by Cheryl Davis and the music is by Douglas Cohen.

In 2004, a small park in the Southside Chicago Hyde Park neighborhood was named “Bessie Coleman Park.”

Additionally, the Bessie Coleman park council was formed in 2005 as one of many responses to a serious increase in crime, shootings, and disorderly loitering in and near the park, at 54th and Drexel.

Notes
^ “Some Notable Women In Aviation History”. Women in Aviation International.
http://www.wai. org/resources/ history.cfm. Retrieved on 2008-04-10.
^ a b “Pioneer Hall of Fame”. Women in Aviation International.
http://www.wai. org/resources/ pioneers. cfm#1995. Retrieved on 2008-04-10.
^ “Texas Roots”. BessieColeman. com. Atlanta Historical Museum. 2008.
http://www.bessieco leman.com/ Other%20Pages/ texas.html. Retrieved on 2008-01-22.
^ a b c d e f Rich, Doris (1993). Queen Bess: Daredevil Aviator. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press. pp. 37, 47, 57, 109-111, 145. ISBN 1560982659.
^ Powell, William J. (1934). Black Wings. Los Angeles: Ivan Deach, Jr.. OCLC 3261929.
^ Broadnax, Samuel L. (2007). Blue Skies, Black Wings: African American Pioneers of Aviation. Westport, CT: Praeger. p. 17. ISBN 0275991954.
^ “First Flight Shrine: Bessie Coleman”. First Flight Society. 2009.
http://www.firstfli ght.org/shrine/ bessie_colman. cfm. Retrieved on 2008-01-22.
^ Texas Aviation Hall of Fame (14 July 2000). The Selection of Bessie Coleman for induction to the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. Press release.
http://www.bessieco leman.com/ Other%20Pages/ release_1. html. Retrieved on 2008-01-22.
^ Adam Hetrick (17 July 2008). “New Music: NAMT Announces Selections for 2008 Festival of New Musicals”. Playbill.
http://www.playbill .com/news/ article/119576. html. Retrieved on 22 January 2008.
^ “Bessie Coleman Park and Council”. Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. 24 March 2007.
http://www.hydepark .org/parks/ BessieColemanPar k.htm. Retrieved on 2008-01-22.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) and General Aviation

NextGen, ADS-B and General Aviation

The other day I wrote about how the JDPO is working hard to design the future of aviation, and how the NextGen is going to address the issues related to the safety, capacity and efficiency of the national airspace system while providing a flexible, expandable platform to accommodate future air traffic growth. You can read my article on NextGen Air Transportation System by clicking here.

JDPO is a group of government bodies, and the industry partners include Lockheed Martin, UPS, and a few other major aviation giants.

What I did not realize was that even General Aviation, and Flight Training institutes like the Embry Riddle (ERAU) are such an active partners in this program. As a matter of fact, after I saw this video I realized that as a matter of fact, this time around, this newer technology was handed over to the general aviation community even before the commercial airlines were able to get their hands on it.

In fiscal year 2006, the FAA approved funding for the implementation of Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) at eight sites. ADS-B is surveillance, like radar, but offers more precision and additional services, such as weather and traffic information. ADS-B provides air traffic controllers and pilots with much more accurate information to help keep aircraft safely separated in the sky and on runways.

Here is a link to my previous article on ADS-B.

ADS-B Applications for Aircraft

  • Enhanced Visual Acquisition: provides the flight crew with enhanced traffic situational awareness in controlled and uncontrolled airspace/airports.
  • Enhanced Visual Approaches: enhances successive approaches for aircraft cleared to maintain visual separation from another aircraft on the approach.
  • Final Approach and Runway Occupancy Awareness: reduces the likelihood of flight crew errors associated with runway occupancy and improves the capability of the flight crew to detect ATC errors.
  • Airport Surface Situational Awareness – Conflict Detection: reduces the potential for deviations, errors, and collisions through an increase in flight crew situational awareness while operating an aircraft on the airport movement area.

Avionics Technician Careers

The more I am learning about this, the more I worry about that who is going to fix all these avionics when they break down. There is already an extreme shortage of aviation mechanics, and these guys are not even trained to repair avionics! And to be able to repair avionics, one doesn’t even have to be an aircraft or aviation mechanic.

And, from my 20 some years of aviation experience, I know that the avionics technicians are much harder to find nowadays, and they make a lot more money as well. So I started to look around to see who all offer Avionics Training, and I was surprised to find that there are quite a few options out there.

One excellent option is Redstone College in the Denver area. Redstone and Lockheed Martin even have a joint scholarship program for Avionics Training. If I had the choice to go back in time, I know what I would do.

Sean D. Tucker with Oprah Winfrey (video)

Ok guys. The other day I wrote about Sean D. Tucker, the world famous aerobatic pilot, who also is an honorary Thunderbird and Blue Angel, and performs for the the Team Oracle, and was supposed to be on Oprah’s TV show. If you did not get a chance to get the courage, or time, to sit and watch that show, here is a YouTube video recording of the show for you.

And if you do not know who Sean Tucker is, you can click here and read all about him in my previous post. The show was nice; with Sean in it, of course. His competition this time, for the time and attention on the Oprah was Oprah’s new favorite pair of jeans. Obviously, we don’t have the jeans part in this video. If you really want to watch that segment, the one with her jeans, you can always go to YouTube and search for it.

Sean is the only civilian pilot that I know of, who has flown in formation with the Blue Angels, Thunderbirds , and the Canadian Snowbirds. He has many other awards, recognitions, and things like that under his belt.

He trained with Amelia Reid; the first lady of aviation of California at Reid Hillview airport, San Jose, CA. And BTW, so did Rod Machado.

We’ll talk about Amelia Reid and Rod Machado some other time. Now go ahead and watch the Sean Tucker and Oprah video, and leave a comment here if you wish.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B)

In one of my previous articles we talked about the NextGen; Next Generation Air Transportation System, and how it is working towards making the future of the air navigation in aviation industry better, safer and automated. We have also talked about how the future of aviation is getting more environment friendly and greener. If you have not read those articles, I suggest you read those as well to get the most accurate and complete information on this topic.

One of NextGen’s most promising initiatives with potential for broad operational applications is Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), a technology that could revolutionize air navigation and surveillance, and be the backbone of the future system.  In fact, some companies, such as United Parcel Service (UPS), are already using ADS-B in their operations, and are realizing savings in jet fuel and faster delivery schedules.

ADS-B uses GPS satellites and ground-based equipment to allow aircraft to broadcast their transmissions with greater frequency and accuracy than the current land-based legacy radar systems.  With ADS-B, pilots will see exactly what the air traffic controller sees.

The Capstone program is a long-term, highly successful application of ADS-B in a non-radar environment.  ADS-B, one of NextGen’s essential foundational technologies, will continue its development with the goal of deployment throughout Alaska.  Since initial deployment, general aviation accidents have decreased by 40%.  The practical information provided by this FAA program has also proven invaluable in guiding the development of NextGen.

The United Parcel Service (UPS) is using ADS-B in trials at its hub in Louisville, Kentucky. The company is realizing savings while simultaneously reducing the adverse environmental impact of its flight operations.  The traditional “step-down” landing approach requires planes to use high thrust to level off at different stages, resulting in more fuel burn and additional noise and pollution.  ADS-B allows for an improved landing procedure called Optimized Profile Descents.

Taking advantage of improved situational awareness, Optimized Profile Descents permit planes to constantly descend from cruise altitude all the way to touch-down.  Using Optimized Profile Descents, UPS reduced flight time, allowing more planes to land, while cutting back on emissions and noise.  Once ADS-B is fully implemented, UPS anticipates an annual fuel reduction of 800,000 gallons.  Furthermore, the company forecasts a 30% decrease in noise and an emissions reduction of 34% in the vicinity of airports (3,000 feet or below).

The FAA signed a Memorandum of Agreement with helicopter operators, and oil and gas platform owners in the Gulf of Mexico to improve air traffic control in the region.

Currently, most helicopters operating offshore in the Gulf cannot communicate or be seen by air traffic controllers, requiring pilots to rely mostly on visual flight rules.  As a result, helicopter service to offshore platforms is severely curtailed in poor visibility conditions.

With ADS-B equipment installed on aircraft and platforms, helicopters are able to transmit critical position information to the Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center, resulting in improved communications.  This allows for continued helicopter activity on platforms in poor visibility in contrast to periodic weather-related stoppages.

Network-Enabled Operations (NEO) refers to the ability to link together information from a wide range of sources.  It is a high priority for JPDO and NextGen partner agencies.  NEO provides a platform for interested parties to have consistent, up-to-date, secure, and simultaneous access to the same information.

Sean D. Tucker with Oprah Winfrey this Thursday

Sean Tucker,

well known aerobatic pilot from the bay area California is scheduled to be on Oprah Winfrey Show tomorrow. So, those of you who do not watch this show regularly (I know I don’t), tune in tomorrow and see what’s up. Or use your TIVO or something. Sean performs for Team Oracle, and is the only civilian pilot who has ever been authorized to and fly in close formation with the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels. He has received various awards in his amazing career, and honorary Blue Angel and Thunderbird are just the two examples.

Sean has trained with the legendary Amelia Reid. Here watch this video of Sean Tucker’s amazing performance. If you click on the links above for Thunderbird and Blue Angels, your can see videos of their performance as well.

UPDATE: If you missed the show, you can watch a video by clicking here. It was pretty cool to watch him with Oprah, and how he says that you become one with the airplane.

An Aircraft in each household – a dream or reality?

Aviation has completed over a century of dynamic growth and advancement, resulting in the present air transportation system dominated by the commercial airline industry’s hub and spoke system. The initial 50 years of aviation were a chaotic, rapid evolutionary process involving disruptive technologies that required frequent modifications. The second half century produced a stable evolutionary optimization of services based on achieving an objective function  of economical operations. In the ongoing 50 years of what I call Aviation 3.0, there is a potential for aviation to transform itself into a more robust, scalable, adaptive, secure, safe, affordable, convenient, efficient, and environment friendly system. Read more about environment friendly aviation initiative in my “Green is the future of Aviation as Well” article.

However, such a global optimization requires not only the ability to perform analysis of larger system of system impacts, but also the ability to consider new value propositions that involve different infrastructures and business models that those which are currently the norm of the present aviation industry. While many obstacles exist, including technology, regulations, and perception; the Aviation 3.0 has the potential to mirror other on-demand market revolutions that have taken place over the past half century.

Highly successful innovators like Henry Ford and even Wright brothers believed that aviation would one day be capable of reaching an everyday impact in our daily lives. Yet after many years of rather empty promises, ranging from road-able aircraft to a a helicopter in every garage, the aviation community remains transfixed in a highly centralized world of very expensive, and not cost efficient aircraft.

Pessimists of the personal aircraft vision say that the aviation market evolution has brought us to the logical solution. Optimists of the vision respond that government regulations and the conservatism of the aerospace community have inhibited the industry. Both are correct, and as is typically the case, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. However, with a long-term viewpoint of demand and utility, it seems inevitable that in the very near future small aircraft will have a far more significant daily impact in many of our daily activities.

Sport pilot regulations, training and certification of the pilots, and the sport aircraft are a result of such an initiative from the government and the industry. If you desire to experience the spirit of what I am trying to express here in this article, find some time during your busy lives, visit your local GA airport, and ask someone in one of those FBOs to arrange for a demo flight for you in one of their Sport Aircraft. And then come back here and give this article and second read. And leave me a comment here underneath.

The 5-Ts of IFR Flying

Like I mentioned in one of my earlier articles, we pilots like to use a lot of acronyms and memory aids to help us remember things in an easy and organized manner. Not that we are low on RAM or something, it’s just a way of filing and organizing information in our brains so it is easily accessible, and gets carried out as a well rehearsed orchestra with no chance of forgetting anything. Planned actions is another way of describing the usage of these acronyms.

One of the most commonly used acronym in IFR, or instrument flying, if called the 5 Ts:

  1. Turn – Turn to the Course Heading
  2. Time – Start the Time
  3. Twist – Tune the Radio (VOR etc) and/or Twist the CDI
  4. Throttle – Reduce the throttle; Go Down (descent) or Slow Down
  5. Talk – Talk to the ATC

The 5 Ts are to be carried out in the order or preference noted above. Note, that Talk is all the way down the list. In other words, if you remember the Aviate, Navigate, Communicate, Manage checklist, talking comes after we have the aircraft under proper control and it is going where it is supposed to go. A lot of novice pilots in training initially have the tendency to prioritize the talking part. No need to buddy. Talking is at the bottom of our list.

With practice, you’ll be able to carry out all these procedures as a second nature. And the key word here is practice. And this is where the chair flying or dry flying comes in very handy. We will talk about the chair flying in one of our future articles. Here, watch this video and see if this makes any sense. If not, watch it again, and again until it does. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments section below.