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73 votes

How to avoid or cope with a bad day where my flying felt sloppy?

But my question is how do pilots stay at their A game The answer is they don't, and don't try to. I have ridden motorcycles most of my life and that was my first realization of being on some days, ...
Max R's user avatar
  • 3,790
35 votes
Accepted

What rules allow a student pilot to add oil to an airplane?

The FAA doesn't consider adding oil to be maintenance. The Hochberg (2016) interpretation says: The subject of adding oil is often debated; however, we note that it is not an item included in part 43,...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.7k
32 votes
Accepted

How were pilots selected and trained before the introduction of simulators?

Almost every pilot learns to fly in an actual aircraft, this is one of the reasons all trainers have dual controls. My first day out, ever, was in an actual plane, behind real controls, in the sky. ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
32 votes
Accepted

What are the pros and cons of buying a kit aircraft vs. a factory-built one?

The objective is very important. You don't build an airplane because you want one faster or cheaper. Neither is the case. The kit won't be cheaper, and it'll take 1 to 2 thousand manhours, minimum, ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
31 votes
Accepted

Do airline transport pilot trainees ever fly a passenger-less aircraft?

When pilots are trained for flying in an aircraft type they have not flown in before, they go through type rating, then line training. During the type rating, they learn where all the instruments and ...
Koyovis's user avatar
  • 61.7k
30 votes
Accepted

Can a 16 year old student pilot "pre-take" the checkride?

14 CFR Part 61.39 (a)(5) states that you can not take a checkride in the US until you are of age to hold the desired certificate. (5) Meet the prescribed age requirement of this part for the issuance ...
Dean F.'s user avatar
  • 16.5k
27 votes
Accepted

Is it OK to decorate a log book cover?

I don't belive there is any regulation against it. Keep in mind you may need to show the book to officials at some point so keeping it professional is not a terrible idea (1) Persons must present ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
26 votes

90 minute youth activity, what to do?

Play Flight Simulator on a PC or Console Youth love video games. They get excited when there's competition. Kids (and adults) are fascinated by large transport aircraft, often because everybody's got ...
user71659's user avatar
  • 6,614
24 votes
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Why do we still interpolate in performance tables?

I was in the technical publishing business (flight and maintenance manuals) in another life. Tables are used as an alternative to graphical plot presentations in flight manuals, and make it a little ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
24 votes
Accepted

Why not extend the downwind when first learning to land?

... final has a lot for me to handle all at once You don't need to extend your downwind, you need to prepare to land earlier in the pattern. To be honest, flying a longer downwind is not a great idea....
Robert DiGiovanni's user avatar
23 votes

What rules allow a student pilot to add oil to an airplane?

The FAA allows pilots to do maintenance themselves. It’s outlined in the following doc from the FAA as well as the full regulation here. I would say engine oil falls under: Lubrication not requiring ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
23 votes

Are glider pilots who are 14 or 15 years old more dangerous than those who are 16 when soloing?

I used to teach a summer camp for teens at an old glider club. It was an intensive 2 week course where the kids were brought to license at the end of week 2 (most of them). The kids were Canadian Air ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
21 votes

Is there a deterministic guide to landing?

Landing an airplane is neither art nor science, it is a skill. Like any skill requiring hand-eye coordination, muscle memory, reflexes, timing and judgement, it requires practice. It doesn’t matter ...
Michael Hall's user avatar
  • 26.1k
20 votes

I accidentally deviated from an ATC instruction as a student pilot. How bad was it?

(I recognize that this question is now 3 years old, but since GreenAsJade resurrected it...!) If we're speaking about controllers working at a tower at your own airport, it might be worthwhile to ...
AJ88V's user avatar
  • 341
19 votes

I accidentally deviated from an ATC instruction as a student pilot. How bad was it?

It's not really bad at all. How do we know? Because the ATC didn't intervene or question you. What emerges for me out of this report is that you need a new CFI. Getting angry at a student's ...
GreenAsJade's user avatar
19 votes

How can I easily keep track of my landing count during pattern work?

The trick my CFI taught me is to use your Course Deviation Indicator or ADF to keep track of landings. After your first landing, bug a course of 010. After your second landing, bug 020. You can reach ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 541
17 votes
Accepted

Are the first solo flights by a student pilot more dangerous?

There is no evidence to back the claim that the first solo ride of the student is more dangerous compared to the later ones. US NIH conducted a study on the accidents with solo pilots, which doesn't ...
aeroalias's user avatar
  • 100k
17 votes
Accepted

How can I easily keep track of my landing count during pattern work?

The other answers have provided some easy ways to increment your count without too much distraction, but if you are really "prone to forget [...] when things get busy" as you say, this might ...
Bianfable's user avatar
  • 55.9k
17 votes

What department does an airline pilot fall under?

Airline pilots do not work for airports, they work for the airline companies that use airports. They would not appear, or be counted in airport employee rosters or organizational charts.
Michael Hall's user avatar
  • 26.1k
16 votes

90 minute youth activity, what to do?

I'm both a pilot and an Eagle Scout, so I'd love to help your 90 minutes be spectacular. I would break this into three sections with hands-on demos, which will keep things moving, and expand their ...
Rivet22's user avatar
  • 199
16 votes
Accepted

Are glider pilots who are 14 or 15 years old more dangerous than those who are 16 when soloing?

There almost certainly aren't enough statistics to say anything one way or another. As of December 31, 2021, there were only an estimated 552 people with student certificates in the below-16 age group ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 15.6k
15 votes

What are the pros and cons of buying a kit aircraft vs. a factory-built one?

The big disadvantages of a kit: it will take you years to have an airplane ready to fly, and you'll be flying an airplane built by a novice builder. The main advantage of a kit: you (often) don't need ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 17.1k
14 votes

Do airline transport pilot trainees ever fly a passenger-less aircraft?

The answer depends on which country you are in. Under FAA regulations (and those countries that generally follow FAA rules), there is no requirement for you to actually fly the actual aircraft before ...
user71659's user avatar
  • 6,614
14 votes
Accepted

If I buy my own aircraft in which to earn my PPL, does my instructor need to be certified to fly the type of aircraft I own/am training in?

You are sort of correct. For the ground instruction for your basic Private Pilot Certificate, it would not really matter. For the actual flight instruction, the CFI has to be certificated for the ...
Dean F.'s user avatar
  • 16.5k
13 votes

How can I easily keep track of my landing count during pattern work?

Get a Tally Counter, and push the button once per landing. No batteries, nothing to fail, easy to use. Not much more you could ask for. https://tallycounterstore.com/finger-tally-counter-quantity-...
SnakeDoc's user avatar
  • 2,438
13 votes

What are the pros and cons of buying a kit aircraft vs. a factory-built one?

The other answers are good, there's a couple of aspects that haven't been covered that I'll touch on in my answer. Safety: Kitplanes have a higher rate of accidents overall than certified airplanes. ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 54k
13 votes

I am licensed as a Private Pilot, Airplane Multiengine Land, what do I need to do to be able to fly as PIC in a Single Engine Land aircraft?

No, you cannot. Just like an ASEL doesn't give you the ability to fly an AMEL, if you have an AMEL that doesn't give you ASEL privileges. Adding the ASEL shouldn't be that hard though, especially if ...
Ron Beyer's user avatar
  • 36.2k
12 votes

Why do we still interpolate in performance tables?

For most of the information in those charts there is not a single formula which would cover all aspects. The graphical way is the simplest and has other advantages, too: With a formula it is easy to ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar

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