This is going to be brief, but if you are just getting into flying airplanes, what I am about to share will better prepare you to be in the right headspace. Science tells us that when we prepare ourselves mentally, painful realities can be easier to swallow. So here it is:
EVERYTHING in aviation will ALWAYS 1) take longer than planned or expected, and 2) will be more expensive than anticipated.
It doesn't take a big imagination to visualize what this might look like, but here are a few examples:
Sometimes you will feel like you can outpace or outsmart the Golden Rule, and you might - occasionally and temporarily. But it will always come back around, and for the sake of your sanity, its always best to go into any aviation-related activity with this Golden Rule in mind so that when it inevitably proves to be true over and over, your expectations have already been set to anticipate and (hopefully) accept it.
I grew up playing Microsoft Flight Simulator. I was first exposed to Flight Simulator 98 on my dad's computer, and soon graduated to MSFS 2002, and then later MSFS 2004 (my computer was never powerful enough to run FSX when it came out). I was the nerd who, in 5th grade, would sit for 5 hours as I "flew" to Hawaii on a Friday evening after school (years later I would actually create a course on flying private jets to Hawaii because I couldn't find one anywhere else). I had logbooks, and I completed the old AOPA online training courses and printed the certificates. I had printed approach plates in a binder. As far as I was concerned, I was a professional 5th grade pilot, with a limitation on my certificate stating "Personal Computer only." Girls probably weren't impressed, but all my mom's girlfriends thought it was adorable. A win? Beggars can't be choosers.
You can imagine my horror, then, when years later, on my first day on the job as a certificated commercial pilot - dropping skydivers out of a Cessna 206 - I completely destroyed a brand new tire during landing and found myself sitting helplessly on the runway in a puddle of disbelief and humiliation.
If you have ever made an oopsie while flying someone else’s airplane - particularly if it is one that handicaps the airplane on the runway - you will know the feeling I am talking about. Your stomach drops through the seat. You feel hot, and your eyes get wide, and you don’t know what to say. You can’t believe it. “This can’t happen - not to me!”
As pilots, we train for all kinds of incidents and emergencies, including engine fires and engine failures. There is a beautiful saying, which sums up pilot training better than any other: “We don’t rise to our hopes; we fall to our training.” In other words, hope is not a strategy. You will probably revert back to whatever training you had, but you probably won’t magically inherit Bob Hoover’s energy management skills when your engine fails. If those abnormal maneuvers and procedures were taught thoroughly and practiced sufficiently and recently, those are what you are likely to execute.
But when was the last time your CFI had you practice blowing a tire on landing and ending up unable to move? When was the last time your CFI even talked about that? No one told me what to do if I experienced something like this. There was no training to fall back on here. This wasn’t something that had been practiced. And yet, there I was. Picture a Cessna 206, which is slightly larger than a 182, sitting lop-sided on a runway, unable to move because its left main tire was shredded. The engine is still running. Inside sits a stunned pilot, whose years flying a virtual Airbus to Hawaii was supposed to prepare him well enough that there would be no incidents or accidents - certainly not on day one!
I never thought I was god’s gift to aviation, and I was conservative with my flying. I was safe and studied hard. I was humble, but all the indicators pointed to the fact that I was competent enough: My instructors had only good things to say about me during training. I never failed a test or checkride. I was able to prepare for and pass two separate checkrides in a single day (commercial multi followed by commercial single-engine). I was reasonably confident in my abilities as a pilot, and because flying was my life-long dream, I made sure to do what I had to in order that I could be the best pilot I could possibly be.
So how on earth could I be the guy who blows a tire on the first day of his professional flying career?
This is the point I want to get across to up and coming aviators, because it is something that I see all the time on message boards and forums. Shit happens. Period. We all make mistakes, we all screw up, we all get caught off guard or complacent. Sometimes it is truly not our fault, and sometimes we had something (or everything) to do with it.
In my case, here is what happened. In the month prior to this incident, I had been doing a lot of multi-engine flying in a Piper Apache while training for my multi-engine commercial checkride. The brakes on twin-engine aircraft are quite robust because they need to be able to stop a fairly massive wad of metal, particularly if on a short runway. My training airport had a runway of under 2500 feet, so I was used to laying into those brakes pretty well!
The Cessna 206 I was flying during this incident was extremely, extremely light during landing, for a number of reasons. Skydiving businesses want to fill their airplanes with as many jumpers as possible. Each drop costs them a fixed amount in pilot time, fuel, and aircraft wear, so the more people they cram into the aircraft, the more money they make per flight. They are constrained not only by the physical size of the aircraft and FAA maximum passenger limitations, but by aircraft maximum takeoff weight limitations. Aircraft performance is affected by weather, and on hot days, a runway might not be long enough for a fully-loaded aircraft to takeoff. So in order to keep the aircraft as light as possible - and to allow for freedom of movement - they remove every seat in the aircraft except the pilot seat.
They also minimize the amount of fuel on board. Daytime VFR fuel minimums require 30 minutes of fuel remaining every time you land. And in order to keep weight down, in addition to the 30 minutes of fuel, the aircraft will only bring enough gas for 1-2 runs at a time.
On this particular day in May, I was finishing the last run before needing to add fuel. The airplane was empty except for me and a little over 30 minutes worth of fuel.
I was landing on a 3,400-foot runway, which had a taxiway turnoff halfway down the runway, at about 1,700 feet. For some reason, I wanted to make that bisecting taxiway upon landing. My memory recalls that upon touchdown, I laid into the brakes - as I had been doing on the Piper Apache - and immediately I heard a squealing sound for about 2-3 seconds, followed by a “pop” sound and an awful aircraft vibration and slight yaw to the left.
What I suspect happened was that I may have been on the left brake during touchdown. Or, the aircraft was so light that any intense brake pressure might have been enough to fully lock up the brake, and I literally burned a hole straight on through the locked up tire after applying too much brake pressure, too fast.
Whatever happened, the evidence is undeniable: I messed up. Pilot error strikes again.
The airport is a quiet, un-towered little airport in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, and thankfully no one was in the pattern. The first thing I did was turn off the engine and make a radio call, warning anyone in the pattern that I was stuck on the runway. The skydiver operator heard this radio call, and told me over the radio that they would come out and help. What I saw next was an army of skydivers rushing the field, heading towards me. I will never forget that sight.
I will also never forget the endless (and well-deserved) hell that the skydivers and owners gave me as 7 or 8 of us lifted the left wing up off the damaged tire and pushed the airplane off the runway and onto the taxiway. I felt like crawling into a hole and never re-emerging. Some pilot I am, screwing up like this on my first day. Time to surrender my pilot’s license, I’m not cut out for this, and I have no business flying anything more than a computer desk.
A new tire was placed on the aircraft, and we were back in business. The owner of the company was so gracious. I offered to pay for the cost of the brand new tire that I had destroyed, but he refused to allow it. He told me that it was incredibly important that I get back in the airplane and move on. He undoubtedly had skydivers lined up to jump and no pilot around to fly the airplane except me, so it made sense that he would ask me to fly again that day, but I felt that his encouragement was genuine and that it really was important for me to get back on the horse so that I wouldn’t dwell on this incident.
So I did. I got back in the airplane, and made a few more runs. No further incidents. Since those days, I have moved on to flying Citations, CJs, Hawkers, and Challengers, and with the exception of a blown tire on takeoff in a Hawker (caused by an unplanned 5-day stay in -50F weather in Arctic Canada on our way home Amsterdam...an incredible story for a later date)...no blown tires since!
When you make a mistake while flying - and you WILL - that is okay, because we are all human. When you don’t live up to your own high expectations for yourself while flying - and this WILL happen - that is okay too. As I sit here writing this on my layover in Dallas, Texas, I recall greasing the landing in strong crosswinds yesterday. It was textbook perfect, and I felt most pleased with myself. Days before that, on a clear, zero-wind day, I slammed that airplane into the ground so hard I think I left dents in the pavement. Not my best work at all. But bad days happen, and all pilots - professional and weekend warriors alike - should become comfortable with this fact. We all screw up, and the important thing is that we 1) acknowledge our contribution to the event, 2) learn what we can from it, and 3) get back in the airplane and move on.
As far as I am concerned, time is THE most finite resource we have as humans. As of 2020, the average human lifespan is about 636,000 hours. Read that again: your life will last, based on averages, only 636,000 hours, and you will be asleep for a third of that! That leaves about 420,000 hours in your life to be awake and conscious, doing what you love, with the people you love...and doing what you must to make ends meet.
For this reason, in whatever it is I am doing, I charge for my time. To that end, my policy with student pilots is simple: you pay me when I am giving any of those limited 420,000 hours to you. This means that from the moment of our agreed upon meeting time, to the moment I have put my signature in your logbook, you are paying me. I find this approach reasonable because I am NOT out to gut anyone's wallet. In fact, I do everything in my power to help a student's dollars go as far as they can (see my article: How To Save Money During Flight Training). I love being efficient with my time and money, and I love helping others do the same.
When I was actively instructing throughout the Willamette Valley in Oregon between 2017 and 2019, I charged $50 per hour as a freelance CFI to students that I acquired through my own marketing, and $40 per hour as a 1099 CFI for a local flight school who found students for me. This was all Part 61. I also worked as a W2 part-time employee for a flight college, instructing under Part 141, and for that I was paid about $23 per hour. This difference in wage between freelance CFI and W2 employee CFI is unfortunately just a reality in the flight instructing world. Naturally, I did what I could to do more freelance work and less work at the college. I found these amounts to be fair for a CFI (not CFII or MEI) with about 500 hours total time.
I began learning to fly as a senior in high school. Though I was absolutely blessed to grow up in an upper middle class household - an extreme advantage, no doubt - my parents did not pay for my flight training. I worked two jobs after school and on weekends, and over the course of 10 months and 42 hours of flight time, I was able to obtain my private pilot’s license. Working for minimum wage meant I had to make each and every penny go as far as possible. I was fortunate to work with an instructor who gave me a discount on her time...but in exchange, the expectations were high: I needed to show up prepared and ready to go.
I made a bone-headed comment to my CFI when I was 17 and learning to fly. I don't remember exactly what I said, but it was along the lines of my instructor benefiting from training me in the form of hours and experience. She put me right in place, and for good reason. I absolutely cringe when I think about what I said, especially now that I have lived through the process of becoming a CFI. Acquiring all of the certifications and paying for all of that flight time throughout training was expensive and a lot of work, and instructors should absolutely be paid well for the experience they bring to the table and the service they provide.
Having said that, I am very sensitive to the money-strapped student pilot. In fact, I am happy to give a good rate to students I work with who are in a situation similar to mine, to help pass along my first instructor’s generosity and keep flying as accessible as possible to. If they communicate to me and are upfront - and if they show up early and very prepared - I will do all I can to keep their costs minimized, even if that means I don’t get paid quite as much.
Even if a student is not strapped for cash, I try to be efficient with all of my students. I let them know during our first lesson my policy: I begin charging from the moment of our agreed upon meeting time, to the moment I have put my signature in your logbook. If the student is running late, I still charge from our agreed upon time. My policy was especially important when I was commuting 45 minutes each way to the airport. In that situation, I wasn’t going to charge for my commute time, as it was my choice to live and work where I was. But I was going to charge for all the time I was at the airport on behalf of my student.
I am adamant that my students understand that starting from the time that it becomes apparent to me that they can competently fuel and preflight the airplane on their own, I encourage them to book the airplane slightly early so that they can show up before our meeting time, preflight, fuel, and be ready to fly the moment I arrive. Here’s the thing: I like making money in exchange for satisfying and challenging work, but I have no interest in being paid to give up any of my 420,000 hours of life watching a competent student perform a mundane preflight. Further, students need to get used to performing preflights on their own, and this independence will only develop with my absence. In any case, I’d much rather show up, have a quick talk about what we will be doing that day, make a quick walk around the airplane, double check oil and fuel caps myself (ALWAYS do this as a CFI - a lesson I learned the hard way), get in, shut the door, and fire up.
I also am adamant about letting my students know what it is we will be working on during the next lesson, and I do my best to supply this information well in advance. It is my hope that the student reads up on (or watches videos regarding) the maneuvers or lesson content so that when we do meet, my student can ask good questions, or at the very least, has been exposed to the maneuver. I find that reviewing this content on their own time is a much better way to prepare them than discussing the content in-depth just before going flying. The student will have other things on their mind and probably won’t retain the information as well as they might if they had read up on it the evening before.
A quick note on my expectations of students. My favorite teacher of all time was my algebra 2 and physics teacher in high school. He’s a great guy, but he also had extremely high expectations for his students. As in, there really was absolutely no excuse for not learning the material. He spent every one of his lunches in his classroom, willing to help guide students to the answers to their questions (no spoon feeding though), and he hung around for a few hours after school every day to offer that same help. He provided deadline dates weeks in advance, so that we could plan appropriately. He never budged on rounding up grades (89.9?% for the term? That is a B, and was not rounded up to an A)...unless he had seen you in his class each day at lunch and after school, working your tail off. Then he might give you the benefit of the doubt. To this day, I credit him with exposing me to the life-changing concept of absolute personal responsibility and ownership when it comes to learning.
I take this approach with flight instructing. I have high expectations of my students, and I give them every resource they need to be successful, including my phone number to call at any time of day to ask me questions, free of charge. My job is to keep the student safe in the air and help guide them along the process of obtaining their pilot’s certificate, and federal law prohibits me from endorsing any student for a solo flight or checkride if I do not feel they are knowledgeable, safe and competent. And I genuinely do care about their success. As previously stated, I charge for my time, but my job description is not to spend my time poking, prodding, or babysitting someone who isn’t motivated to do the work that is required. Flying an airplane is a massive responsibility, and if a student doesn’t have the motivation to put in the time and effort, that student just won’t have the knowledge necessary to pass any evaluations and they will weed themselves out in an unfortunately expensive manner.
If a student insists on paying me $50-$60 per hour for me to spoon feed them paragraphs from the Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, that is easy money for me and I will do it once or twice until they (hopefully) realize that it’s a horrible use of their time because being spoon fed information is an incredibly inefficient way to learn (If you are interested in my take on how I recommend studying, I wrote an article on this as well). Based on my experience, this student is not likely to be successful in achieving their goal if they remain on this trajectory. But I digress.
I am not militant or without reason with my charging policies. For example, as the experienced professional, if the forecast weather for our lesson (an uncontrolled airport, prone to patchy fog, with no weather reporting) at 6am the next morning was looking questionable, I either cancelled the night before, or made the judgement call to continue as planned. If I showed up the next morning and the airport was socked in, I did not charge the student, as that was my responsibility. As students progressed in their training, I then put this judgement call on their shoulders as a form of a lesson, and hopefully they had been studying meteorology and noticing local weather patterns. I let them decide, based on the forecast for the next morning and their knowledge of local weather patterns, if we should cancel in advance or meet as planned. If I disagreed with a decision to meet as planned the next morning, I let them know as much. If they were so confident in their abilities as to override my call, that’s fine - but they’d be on the hook for my time if they were wrong (to this day, no one has overridden my call...but I have certainly been wrong in my forecasting!).
If I showed up and there was a maintenance issue, I did not charge the student. If there were unforeseen life circumstances or events that could not have been predicted by my student and they were late or had to cancel, I was reasonable with these and took them on a case-by-case basis.
There was a particular incident where I had been working with a student on XC planning. This student wanted to do a long flight from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, all the way up to Bellingham, Washington - WAY more than 50 miles! This was one of those situations where this flight was one he wanted to make regularly once he had his certificate, as his sister lived in Bellingham. I thought this was a great opportunity to expose him to XC flying on a route he would actually fly on his own, through Seattle Class Bravo airspace and over water. It was one of those “many birds, one stone” kinds of flights. He was a great stick and rudder pilot, and at only 17 years old, his enthusiasm reminded me of my own when I was learning to fly at that same age. However, unlike me, this student had the amazing fortune of having his training paid for by his parents. Lucky guy! Seriously, he was very fortunate and I was happy for him. But at times, it did become apparent that he wasn’t pinching pennies quite like I had to.
The night before his XC flight, he called me around 11pm. We had planned to meet the next morning around 6am. At the time of his call, he had questions about things like calculating wind correction, magnetic deviation, etc. After talking for about 45 minutes, I reminded him that he needed to have all these calculations completed by the time we met in the morning. The flight - one way - was over 250 nautical miles, which means a lot of VFR checkpoints that require calculating. I also let him know that if he did not feel this was possible, we could call off the flight, no problem. The goal was for this flight was to be a good learning experience. In hindsight, it was probably not the smartest thing for me to allow a student undertake such a long flight for their first dual cross-country flight. That was my mistake, as I allowed my better judgement to be overridden by my student’s enthusiasm. Still, he was far enough along in his training that it was time for him to start being responsible for making go/no-go decisions in regards to how prepared he was to complete a flight. But he insisted he wanted to continue as planned. “Okay,” I said, “see you in the morning.”
When I arrived the next morning, my student had not been able to complete the calculations for more than a few of the many checkpoints along the route. In fact, he spent over 2 hours working on his calculations at the airport that morning until he was ready to fly. He knew how to perform the calculations pretty well, so he didn’t have many questions for me, which meant that he was paying me $50 an hour to sit and watch. The total bill for my time that day was nearly $400, and a significant portion of that was for my time spent doing absolutely nothing.
I share this story because I think it is a good example of how this policy is reasonable and fair to everyone. If you do the work and show up prepared, you will save money. If you don’t, you will pay more because it boils down to this: anyone giving up their precious and limited time on behalf of someone else should be compensated appropriately for it - ideally for an amount that both parties feel is fair. In my case, I found my policy to be fair, as did practically every student I worked with. The few who took issue with my policy were welcome to find a different instructor, and I did not take that personally at all. I hope and encourage everyone to charge a fair price for their time, in whatever profession they work, as time is the ultimate non-renewable resource.
RELATED: Are you an Oregon-based flight school or CFI? OregonFlightSchool.com may be interested in partnering with you! Check it out.
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I've been flying since 2010 and as a result of having earned my various ratings during a time when technology is changing so rapidly, I have had the opportunity to work with just about every single ground school course out there - including Sporty's and King. They were okay, but I always felt that for the money, I wanted something better. I wanted supplemental materials - ebooks, guides, etc. - that would compliment the course and aid in my learning of the material. I wanted a program that I could buy once, but could revisit in the years to come and always have access to the most up-to-date information. I wanted an aviation education experience so comprehensive that it might mirror taking college courses. Well, I found that course and it is what I consider to be the best private pilot ground school course on the market, and its the only one I ever recommend to my student pilots now.
If you ever grew up playing Microsoft Flight Simulator, you might remember that the program used to offer virtual flight lessons with voiceovers from an instructor named Rod Machado. In fact, this was my first ever experience with a flight instructor. Microsoft made a fantastic decision in choosing to work with Rod. He used humor and plain english to help deliver the educational content of the lesson. He made learning to fly on the flight simulator FUN, even when the result was crashing the airplane.
Well, Rod Machado has created what I consider to be the best private pilot ground school course that money can buy. It checks every single box in my list, and for that reason, I recommend his program - and ONLY his program - to my students. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to watch the preview video, or read on to learn about more of the specifics:
Here is the real kicker, and why I truly feel this is the best Private Pilot Ground School course: Most ground school courses focus solely on preparing you to pass the written knowledge exam only, similar to those SAT or ACT-prep courses used by high school students to pass a standardized test. The knowledge you gain from most other ground school courses is is to be applied to answering a 60-question multiple choice test, but its not very practical or usable knowledge.
Rod's course is different: Rod provides an all-encompassing, fully comprehensive ground school that will not only prepare you to pass the written knowledge test, but it will help you LEARN material that you will actually use in the cockpit. This can replace most of those $50-$75 per hour ground sessions with your CFI, saving you a lot of money that you can then use to actually fly. If you are concerned about saving money, enrolling in this this course is actually the best thing you can do. It will guide you step-by-step like an instructor would, but it won't cost you over $50 per hour.
Here's just a sampling of the topics found in this course.
Here are the notes taken from a full 2019 Online Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC). Note that all FIRCs are different, and content can and is changed over time. The goal of this post is to give instructors an idea of what they might expect to cover when taking a FIRC.
During recent recurrent and single-pilot exemption training in the Cessna Citation CE-500 series, I was lucky enough to get train in one of my employer's airplanes. This was my first official recurrent training event, and my initial type rating training up to that point had been in simulators, so it was exciting to experience training in an actual jet. I will discuss a few of the most exciting and interesting parts of the experience below.
Stalls in a Jet
My instructor gave me the following instructions for each and every stall recovery. These instructions are also the exact same as one would follow for a missed approach:
One of the coolest things about this training was that I was able to see for myself that my AOA indicator actually works as described. The AOA indicator (above photo) in the CE-551 is calibrated to indicate a stall at just above .8, which is the boundary between the yellow and red zones of the indicator. Like clockwork, as the airplane hit .8 AOA, a quick (1-2 seconds) buffet shook the plane and the nose dropped fairly rapidly. My instructor reinforced the idea of pitch control by showing that all one had to do was gently lower the nose and the airplane would resume flying. By this, he meant lower the nose by a relatively small amount, and then HOLD that pitch - and what this looked like was the airplane had broken the stall with the nose still well above the horizon! I found out that by an excessive lowering of the nose, pitching up to recover induced a secondary stall very quickly - even if done gently.
No need to dive towards the ground here. The Citation recovers very easily from stalls of all kinds, including clean stalls, approach stalls, departure stalls, and stalls done while in a bank. Anyone who can recover from a stall in a Cessna 150 or 172 could easily do so in a Citation.
Simulated Dual Engine Failure and Glide to a Deadstick LAnding in a Jet
Here was a fantastic exercise in energy management. My instructor had me overfly an airport at 10,000 feet above the runway, aligned with the runway, and using the zoomed-in moving map on the GPS to fine tune my position. not long before arriving over the numbers, my instructor had me pull the throttles to idle and pitch to hold altitude and slow down so that I would arrive over the numbers at exactly 40 knots. Once over the numbers, still 10,000 feet above the runway, I was instructed to begin a 30-degree bank to the left and use pitch to hold EXACTLY 140 knots (I was able to hold it +/- 3 knots most of the time).
Recall the Commercial Pilot Steep Spiral maneuver, and that is very close to what we were doing here, except instead of steep turns at a constant radius around a point on the ground, my goal was to hold 140 knots in a descent and continuously circle so that at the completion of each turn, I was once again over the numbers, pointing straight down the runway. This meant that I had to correct for wind by adjusting my angle of bank. What this looked like on this particular flight, with wind from the west (over runway 35), was a 20-25 degree bank for the first half of the turn (slower ground speed due to the crosswind-turned-headwind) and a 35-40 degree bank for the second half of the turn (higher ground speed from the crosswind-turned-tailwind).
Using this technique, we were losing almost exactly 2,000 feet per circle that we flew. The first two circles were done, and we were now 6,000 feet above the runway. Going into the next circle, my instructor had me fly into a 50 degree bank, which counterintuitively reduced my rate of descent to only about 1,000 feet per circle. Even though a higher angle of bank increases rate of descent in feet per minute, the much shorter radius of the turn meant that the turn was completed so much faster that by the time we had finished one circle, we had only lost about 1,000 feet.
I flew this 50 degree bank circle once, and then returned to the 30 degree bank circle. After that, my instructor had me complete one more 50 degree bank circle so that I would arrive back over the numbers at about 2,000ft above the field.
Let me summarize this, since you may be lost:
Beginning of Maneuver: 10,000ft AGL, 140 KIAS
Circle #1: 30-degree bank, 2000 ft descent
Circle #2: 30-degree bank, 2000 ft descent
Circle #3: 50-degree bank, 1000 ft descent
Circle #4: 30-degree bank, 2000 ft descent
Circle #5: 50-degree bank, 1000 ft descent
At the end of this 5th circle, I was 2000 feet above the runway, still 140 KIAS.
Below is a screenshot from ForeFlight of the track log so you get a better idea of what the maneuver looked like.
I then flew a slightly tighter than normal traffic pattern - still holding the all-Important 140 indicated airspeed - and flying a rounded base and final leg, I managed to glide the airplane to a gentle touchdown. Throughout the base and final legs of the approach, I used a combination of pitch, landing gear, and flaps to increase drag and slow down so that I touched down at an appropriate speed, just under Vref. I never once had to add power.
It wasn't the prettiest execution of this maneuver that my instructor had seen. In the heat of the moment, I ended up about 10 knots slow (about 130 knots indicated) while on downwind. This 10 knots was enough to really screw up my glide ratio, and I lost more altitude than I should have as a result. This meant that I had to keep flaps retracted a bit longer than I should have, and I was slightly lower than I should have been. But, the end result was the same - a no power glide to landing from 10,000 feet. This screw up of mine was a good teaching moment because it showed me just how much losing a measly 10 knots can affect my glide.
This maneuver reminded me quite a bit of the steep spiral to a power-off 180 that we did during commercial pilot certification...except on this occasion, I was in a jet. The point of this exercise, my instructor said, was that a dual-engine flame out and a glide to landing in a Citation is not a death sentence.
Use of COVID-19 Vaccines by Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers
The COVID-19 public health emergency has driven extraordinary global efforts to develop an effective and safe vaccine. Some of the vaccines in clinical testing are using novel technology, such as mRNA. The vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech has been made available to the American public under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
After careful review of available data regarding safety profiles, the FAA Office of Aerospace Medicine (AAM) adopts the following policy as both safe and operationally responsive to this unique situation:
Holders of FAA-issued Airman Medical Certificates or Medical Clearances may receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine; however, a 48-hour no fly/no safety related duty interval must be observed after each dose.
AAM will monitor the patient response to Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and may adjust this policy as necessary to ensure aviation safety. Additional vaccines will each be evaluated as EUAs are issued.
If you are looking for the cheapest, most affordable ATP-CTP course, you will do yourself a favor by checking out this list of all FAA-approved ATP-CTP providers. Go through the list and search each school individually to see what their prices are. Some will indicate the price of their ATP-CTP course, while others will force you to send them a message.
As of October 2020, prices range from $2,900 to $5000+ for the courses. We would have listed each school and their prices, but prices are subject to change. Here are the 3 cheapest as of this writing:
ATP school, at $3800, is an honorable mention because 4 of the 7 days of training can be completed online, saving you quite a bit of money in hotels.
GlobalOneTraining has an ATP-CTP course for $2900 if you complete training by the end of 2020, but we are not sure what the non-discounted price is.
Looking for a Bend Oregon Private Pilot Ground School? Look no further.
We've partnered with Rod Machado, one of the world's most well-known flight instructors, to offer an interactive online private pilot ground school! The advantages of this ground school are numerous:
This highly animated, interactive eLearning course is one of the most comprehensive, private pilot ground training programs on the market today. Its 26-course modules span 40-hours of highly educational, fun and interactive aviation ground training. The depth of material covered in this course is what you'd find in your traditional single-semester, college aviation ground school, at a fraction of the cost.
Included at the end of each lesson are FAA-like knowledge questions to reinforce what you've learned. Compared to nearly every course I have tried, this is the most fun and enjoyable course to study. No more reading dry, stale, study material when you can learn in an enjoyable, interactive manner. At the end of this course, you'll be provided with a graduation certificate and endorsement to take the private pilot knowledge exam.
Here is the real kicker, and why this particular course is recommended: Most ground school courses focus solely on preparing you to pass the written knowledge exam only, similar to those SAT or ACT-prep courses used by high school students to pass a standardized test. The knowledge you gain from most other ground school courses is is to be applied to answering a 60-question multiple choice test, but its not very practical or usable knowledge. Rod's course is different: he provides an all-encompassing, fully comprehensive ground school that will not only prepare you to pass the written knowledge test, but it will help you LEARN material that you will actually use in the cockpit. This can replace, or at least minimize those expensive, $50 per hour ground sessions with your CFI, saving you money that you can then use to actually fly.
Here's just a tiny sampling of the topic-tiles found in this course.