Alternate airports are a required part of an IFR flight plan when your destination’s weather is forecast to be below 2000 and 3. But the filed alternate is almost never used in the real world. This video tip, from Sporty’s Instrument Rating Course, explains why and offers some tips for making safe, stress-free diversions if the weather doesn’t support your original plan.
Instrument pilots spend a lot of time thinking about approaches, but that usually means glideslopes and GPS procedures. Often overlooked in such discussions is the lighting system you hope to find at the end of the approach. This video tip, from Sporty’s Instrument Rating Course, explains what all those lights mean and how pilots can use them to transition from instrument flight to visual flights.
Around major airports, vectors to final on an instrument approach are the norm. But outside radar coverage it’s common to fly a procedure turn to start an approach. This video tip reviews the basics of this maneuver, including when it’s required, what shape these turns take, and why the winds aloft matter. It’s a great 3-minute review for any instrument pilot.
Instrument approaches get a lot of attention, whether it’s the intricacies of WAAS approaches or the unique missed approach procedures at mountain airports. Most pilots spend far less time considering the instrument departure, which is equally demanding. In this video tip, taken from Sporty’s Instrument Rating Course, you’ll review the key elements of an instrument departure, when to file one, and what the difference is between an ODP and a SID.
Circling approaches are pretty rare these days, but at some airports they are the only option. While flying the approach to minimums is the same as a straight-in approach, what happens next leaves no room for error. This video breaks down the circling approach, including when it’s required, how close to stay to the runway, and what to do if you lose sight of the airport.
Transitioning to a glass cockpit sounds intimidating to some pilots, but it doesn’t have to be. It mostly means learning how to fly the Primary Flight Display (PFD). This video tip, from Sporty’s 2019 Garmin G1000 Checkout Course, explores the basics of the most popular glass cockpit system.
Are glass cockpits harder to fly than traditional round instruments? They don’t have to be. The whole point of systems like the Garmin G1000 is to be more reliable and safer. In this new video tip, learn three habits for mastering glass cockpit flying, from using bugs to interpreting trend lines. With a few tricks, you can learn a lot from a glass cockpit with a quick glance – and stop chasing the tapes.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.