Video Tip

Video tip: seven bad radio habits

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Talking on the radio is an important skill for any pilot, but especially for instrument pilots where ATC interaction is what it’s all about. Sometimes it’s not what you say but what you don’t say that matters. In this video tip, we share seven things you should not say on the radio. From the improper use of “roger” to using too much information, don’t make these mistakes!

Video tip: IFR flight plans, fact and fiction

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Filing a flight plan is an important part of any IFR trip, but just because you put something down in black and white does not mean you have to fly it. As this video tip shows, some parts of the flight plan are fact, and some are probably fiction – keeping them straight is essential for safe flying. Just because you filed a certain alternate airport, or a specific altitude, does not mean you have to fly that if conditions change.

Video tip: talking with air traffic controllers

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Some pilots are afraid of Air Traffic Control (ATC), as if the voice on the other end of the radio is trying to catch pilots making mistakes. That’s just plain wrong, as this video shows. Controllers are humans just like pilots, and they’re actually there to help. Meet Eddie Albert from Cincinnati Approach and learn what controllers expect from pilots, plus some tips for getting the route you want in flight.

Video tip: staying cool under fire

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Have you ever heard a pilot on the radio sound really nervous about flying in bumpy clouds? It’s a normal reaction, but it’s not a good way to fly IFR. In this video tip, learn some ways to become more comfortable in such conditions, and how to react when everything is bouncing around. With some preparation and the right mindset, you can do it.

Video tip: Instrument approaches

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Single pilot IFR is hard, says well-known flight instructor Jason Miller, and the biggest challenge is to stay ahead of the airplane. In this practical video, he offers three tips for managing a flight, from airspeed control to autopilot usage. The goal is for your mind to arrive at the next waypoint before the airplane does.

Video tip: avoiding turbulence

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Nobody likes a bumpy flight, but forecasting turbulence isn’t as easy as forecasting IFR conditions or thunderstorms. In this video tip from Sporty’s Takeoff App, explore common causes of turbulence, plus tips for avoiding the worst rides.

Video tip: get the big weather picture

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Checking the weather before a flight is a familiar routine for pilots, but it’s not enough to just glance at a few METARs. In this video tip from Sporty’s Takeoff app, you’ll learn why a good weather briefing includes a look at the “big picture.” If you know where the lows are, and where the fronts are moving, you can fit the other details into your own weather hypothesis.

Video tip: your deceptive flying mind

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We celebrate the great stick and rudder pilots of aviation history, but in reality, flying is mostly a mental game. Sometimes it can even feel like your mind is working against you in the cockpit. In this month’s video tip, learn about four mental traps that can cause anxiety and even an accident if you’re not careful.

Video Tip: Behind the scenes at Air Traffic Control

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Air Traffic Control is there to help, but for many new pilots, the other side of the radio is a mystery. In this month’s video tip, we go behind the scenes with Air Traffic Control to learn what tools they use, how they see weather on their screens, how transponder codes work, and what services are available for VFR pilots.

Video tip: angle of attack

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Angle of attack is a hot topic in aviation right now, with the FAA promoting new indicators and flight instructors offering courses on how to fly it. But what does this phrase really mean? In this month’s video tip, we explore the essentials of AOA, from the aerodynamics to the avionics.

Video Tip: IFR approaches and fog

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In this month’s video, Rob Reider from Sporty’s Instrument Rating Course shares some valuable tips for dealing with fog and low visibility. You’ll learn the conditions that cause truly low approaches, how to predict them, and why certain types of fog are particularly dangerous.

Video tip: understanding IFR clearances

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In many ways, clearances define instrument flying – what is IFR flight if it’s not about flying specific altitudes and routes? In this video tip, we cover some of the basics of IFR clearances, including what “cleared as filed” really means and how to handle void times. Then we’ll dive into some of the finer points of ATC, including VFR-on-top and cruise clearances.

Video Tip: LPV approaches

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In this month’s tip, Jason Miller of The Finer Points of Flying explores the LPV approach, a type of WAAS approach that acts like a precision approach but technically is not. So how do you fly an LPV approach? How do you know when you can fly one? What indications should you look for on your GPS navigator? Watch this six minute video tip for some practical advice.

Video Tip: weather radar 101

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We see radar all the time, but how does it really work and what does it show? In this video tip, meteorologist Scott Dimmich dives into the details of NEXRAD, including: the difference between base and composite reflectivity, how to use echo tops, and what signs indicate severe weather.

Air Facts video tip: understanding airframe ice

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Fall flying weather is here, with shorter days and cooler temperatures. That means airframe icing will start to become a threat again for many pilots. This month’s tip is a great way to knock the rust off and refresh your memory of in-flight icing basics. Where do you find the most ice? What’s the difference between clear and rime ice? What are some avoidance strategies?