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Testing Tuesday: Class C Airspace Requirements

FAA Airspace

It's Tuesday again, and that means another installment of Testing Tuesday at Smart Flight Training!

I hope these question and answer sessions are helpful for you, but I'll be honest: I'm doing these for myself, too. I needed to continue to work on my CFII (Certificated Flight Instructor - Instrument) knowledge, and this seems as good a place as any to make sure my knowledge is strong as I move closer to that goal that, I'll admit, I've already missed the deadline I set for myself.

With that said, let's get on to today's question:

What minimum aircraft equipment is required for operation within class C airspace?

  1. Two way communications and Mode C transponder
  2. Two way communications
  3. Transponder and DME




Click here to display the answer...

Well, hopefully this Testing Tuesday post was helpful. This was a question I myself missed when I was originally studying for my Instrument Rating knowledge test, so it was good to review this and make sure I don't miss it again and can teach it to my future instrument students accurately and well.

Please let us know what you think about our Testing Tuesdays, and let us know if you have a question you would like answered - maybe something you missed on your own knowledge tests along the way, or something you were asked during the oral portion of a checkride. Let's make this more social, more interactive, more interesting! Try to stump me, try to stump the rest of my readers! You shouldn't have much trouble stumping me, but my readers are smart, so that will not be an easy task!


Andrew Hartley is a certificated flight instructor and commercial pilot in Columbus, OH.

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Testing Tuesday: Wake Turbulence

It's #TestingTuesday - prepare yourself and learn to fly smarter!

Wing Vortices

What wind condition prolongs the hazards of wake turbulence on a landing runway for the longest period of time?

  1. Direct headwind.
  2. Direct tailwind.
  3. Light quartering tailwind.




Click here to display the answer...


Andrew Hartley is a certificated flight instructor and commercial pilot in Columbus, Ohio.

ABOUT TESTING TUESDAY: Each Tuesday, Smart Flight Training will post a sample question that a pilot might expect to see on an FAA Knowledge Test or hear during the oral portion of a checkride. A little known secret to saving money and time during your flight training is PREPARATION! Hopefully Testing Tuesday post will be one small step in helping you live up to your side of learning to fly by being prepared when you meet with your flight instructor, saving you money and time! Good luck on the below question – click the link at the bottom to see the answer and explanation!

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Blogging in Formation – Consider Ownership

For this month's Blogging in Formation series, we formation bloggers are guest-posting on each other's blogs, just to shake things up a little.  Smart Flight Training has the honor of hosting iFlyBlog's Brent Owens.  Enjoy the read... I certainly did!

 

Ercoupe Co-Ownership

photo of the author sitting in his 1946 Ercoupe with his partners (1994)

Here we are at the beginning of May and winter has finally released its firm grip and we can really focus on getting out there and enjoying our passion of flying.

I love May because it ushers in the air show and fly-in season for much of the Northern Hemisphere. From this point forth there will be a lot of folks burning AvGas from now until late fall.

So with that in mind, it might be time to think about abandoning the rental game and become a full-fledged airplane owner.

It might seem like a daunting task, but it’s really not rocket science. It comes down to a few simple questions and a little bit of homework.

Let’s walk through it.

The first and most important step is to know what you plan to do with the airplane. You need to be really honest with yourself on this. Do you just fly locally or do you need a full-IFR cross country family wagon? Do you want to do aerobatics? Do love going fast or does low-n-slow sound more appealing?

Your budget will drive some of this decision-making. You might really want a fast XC machine, but if the budget won’t allow you might shift gears go a completely different direction. If the budget is a concern you can also consider partnerships. Co-ownership can really make the cost of ownership a lot easier to swallow.

So with mission and budget settled, the fun part begins. This is the hunt for the machine that fits these two parameters.

I could spend hours (or days) looking through Trade-a-Plane or Barnstormers.com. As you narrow in on what you want, you need to get forensic with your research. This will keep you from purchasing a lemon.

After you have settled on the Make/Model and you know what to look for and what to ask, it’s time to get serious and create a short list of airplanes for sale that you’ll actually inquire about.

That list will vet down to less than a half dozen final candidates that you might go see in person.

If you are pretty sure you are going to purchase a particular airplane, it gets more detailed. You need to do a pre-purchase inspection (including all the aircraft documentation), do final negotiations on price, draw up a sales contract (optional), complete the bill-of-sale, arrange for getting it home, register the airplane with the FAA and your home state, and get trained to fly it. AOPA has an excellent guide with all the details here: https://www.aopa.org/Pilot-Resources/Aircraft-Ownership/Tips-on-Buying-Used-Aircraft.aspx

Seems like a lot of stuff, but it’s not as hard as it looks.

Wouldn’t you love to start out the summer right with a nice airplane at the airport waiting for you to jump in at a whim and go flying?

Have a great flying season!

By Brent Owens

 


Brent: Thanks for the great post! I know I have considered getting together a small group of pilots and buying something like a Cherokee 180 or Cessna Skylane - a good training platform for private & instrument, but also something that can be used for long weekend trips. It's been a dream of mine for a long time to own a plane - even if it means I have to share it!

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Testing Tuesday: Traffic Avoidance

Each Tuesday, Smart Flight Training will post a sample question that a pilot could expect to see on an FAA Knowledge Test or hear during the oral portion of a checkride. A little known secret to saving money and time during your flight training: PREPARATION! Hopefully Testing Tuesday post will be one small step in helping you live up to your side of learning to fly by being prepared when you meet with your flight instructor, saving you money and time! Good luck on the below question - click the link at the bottom to see the answer and explanation!

During a night flight, you observe a steady white light and a flashing red light ahead and at the same altitude. What is the general direction of movement of the other aircraft?

  1. The other aircraft is crossing from the right to the left.
  2. The other aircraft is flying away from you.
  3. The other aircraft is crossing from the left to the right.

Click here to display the answer...

As always, I hope this Testing Tuesday question was helpful and thought-provoking! If you have any questions or concerns about this answer (or have a question that you would like to see on an upcoming Testing Tuesday post), contact us and let us know!


Andrew Hartley is a certificated flight instructor and commercial pilot in Columbus, Ohio. He likes when google answers his stupid questions because it means he's not the only one asking google stupid questions.

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Solo – A Blogging in Formation Post

Tailwheel

What does it mean to solo?

14 CFR Part 61.51(d): ...a pilot may log as solo flight time only that flight time when the pilot is the sole occupant of the aircraft.

Like all of the Federal Aviation Regulations, the above is an incredbly dry statement. It defines when you may log solo flight, which is an important step to obtaining your pilot certificate.

There are lots of other regulations pertaining to solo, defining even further what solo flight means to the FAA, to your instructor, and to you:

61.51(e)(4)(ii) states that you must have a current solo flight endorsement (as laid out in part 61.87). Got that?  Good.

61.51(i)(2) lays out what you must carry with you when you solo as a student pilot during cross-country flights: your logbook and your student pilot certificate/medical (and any other record required by that section of the regulations).  Got them all?  Fantastic.

61.87 lays out all the things you must do before solo to even be eligible to solo in the first place:

  • demonstrate satisfactory knowledge on a knowledge test given by your instructor
  • review any incorrect answers from the test
  • receive and log training in certain maneuvers
    • surface operations including taxiing & runup
    • normal & crosswind takeoffs and landings
    • straight & level flight and turns in both directions
    • climbs & climbing turns
    • traffic pattern procedures, including entry & departure
    • collision avoidance, windshear avoidance, and wake turbulance avoidance
    • descents (turning & not turning) in high- and low-drag configurations
    • flight at various airspeeds
    • stall recognition, avoidance, and recovery
    • emergency procedures
    • ground reference maneuvers
    • approaches to landing with simulated engine malfunctions
    • slips to land
    • go-arounds
  • You must have received an endorsement on your student pilot certificate to solo the specific make and model of your aircraft from your instructor
  • You must have received an endorsement in your logbook to solo from an instructor who has given you the above instruction within the last 90 days
  • etc. etc. and on and on - you have to know these regulations, as they define precisely what solo flight is and when you can legally perform solo flight.

And that is that, right?  That's what solo flight is - a flight by a person who meets all the above criteria and is the sole occupant of an aircraft during flight.

But does that truly answer the question of what it MEANS to solo?

Aviation has a knack for knocking the wind out of its participants with all the limitations and restrictions and constraints and conditions that the regulations lay out for everyone who wants to set foot in an airplane and leave the ground.

But there's a reason, I think, that the word solo was chosen to be used for the first time a person flies sans instructor, and it is not simply because the dictionary defines it as "a thing done by one person unaccompanied, in particular;" which, of course, it is.

But solo also has a beautiful connotation in the arts - music and dance, in particular, where a dancer or musician or singer steps away from all the others who have been there alongside for that song, that concerto, that period, and - on their own - does something beautiful.

Unaccompanied.

Notice I have not said "alone." A solo of a musician is not them alone, but is a piece of a larger composition. The solo stands out BECAUSE it is related to the rest of the dance or the song, not because it is separate from it.  The solo artist takes courage from the other artists who have helped support her up until that point, and she steps out on her own but not alone to add her voice, her motion, her music to the overall piece.

All the months and years of practice shape the artist to be ready and able to make that step - and so it is as a pilot.

The hours you have studied and practiced with your instructor have led you to this point, where you get to step out - on your own but not alone - and take flight.

Unaccompanied.

And like the solo artist, you - the solo pilot - know the technical pieces (as the musician knows the fingering of his instrument or the dancer the placement of his limbs for balance, you know the power settings and sight picture of your instrument - the airplane). You play the throttle to get the hum of the engine you are familiar with, and set your pitch to get the perfect balance of airspeed and lift and hear the exact right tone of the wind over the wings.

You are an artist of the air, and while you know all the regulations that got you to this point, right now you are simply free, and flying, as it should be. The checklists run through your head, and the crosswind component for your runway is in your mind, and you're thinking "red over white" as you slide down the glidepath on final approach, but your heart is beating faster than ever, and you can't wipe the smile off your face, because this feeling is like nothing you've ever felt.  The safety net is gone, and you've never been more nervous, or scared, or READY for anything in your life.

And maybe you miss a note, or place your foot wrong and slip a little, or forget a word. But that bounced landing was YOUR landing - and whether you believed your instructor when she said "That was all you" is immaterial now, because that WAS all you, and whether it was bounced or beautiful, it was YOUR landing and no one can take it away from you. Because your supporting artists are all down there, and you are up here, on your own.

Unaccompanied.

So I'll leave you with this, Captain:

Aviation loves to boast about the individualistic nature of its participants. Solo makes it sound like you finally got away from everyone else and did this thing alone. But that is as far from true as it gets.  You got here through the help of your instructor and other pilots who encouraged you, motivated you, and rooted for you (whether you knew it or not).

For all the independent, self-reliant, individualist image aviation puts out there, we really rely on one another, and want to see each other succeed.  We are an incredibly helpful and supportive family, we aviators.  You might be solo, but you're never alone.

Just unaccompanied - sometimes.

 


This is a Blogging in Formation post. Check out the rest of the Formation Bloggers in this month's series: "Solo."

April 1:
Andrew Hartley - Smart Flight TrainingBlogFormation_Wings
Karlene Petitt - Flight to Success - Near Midair!
April 2:
Rob Burgon - Tally One
Chip Shanle - Project 7 Alpha
April 3:
Eric Auxier - Adventures of Cap’n Aux
Ron Rapp - House of Rapp
April 4:
Brent Owens - iFLYblog
Mark L Berry - marklberry.com/blog

If you like what you see, share us with your friends: #blogformation

 

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