Episode 3 – Ground school – the ACS and FAR/AIM

plane spokenEpisode 3 is here! This week, we go over the basics of ground school, and I give you three essential book recommendations to form the ‘core’ of your studies. I have the best flight lesson of my life (night training), and we explore the ACS – the syllabus of all Private Pilot checkrides – so you know what to expect.  Continue reading “Episode 3 – Ground school – the ACS and FAR/AIM”

Review: The Complete Private Pilot (Book)

The Complete Private Pilot (Bob Gardner) is the book I used to prepare me for my flight lessons, knowledge test, and oral portion of the checkride. It is an accessible book which walks you through each of the major learning topics you need, taking you by the hand and leading you from zero knowledge to an excellent, rounded understanding of the basics in twelve easy-to-digest chapters. Read on to find out why I recommend this book, even if you haven’t yet decided that learning to fly is right for you.  Continue reading “Review: The Complete Private Pilot (Book)”

Aircraft stalls – do you really understand them?

airflow around stalled airfoil
Credit: Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), resized

Aircraft stalls are one of the most misunderstood phenomena of aerodynamics amongst student pilots. In fact, even qualified pilots often struggle to truly understand the aerodynamic stall. Read on to dispel the myths and gain a solid understanding of this important concept. Continue reading “Aircraft stalls – do you really understand them?”

Episode 2 – Learn to Fly FAQ

Welcome to Episode 2! This week, I answer all of the questions you might have if you want to learn to fly.

I cover topics such as which certificate to go for, how to choose a plane to learn in, and what you can expect from the exams. Don’t miss my tip of the week – how to chose a flight instructor. This is the most important decision you will make when you start to learn to fly. Enjoy, and as usual if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

In the podcast, I talk about a web page which shows the differences between the different types of entry-level pilot certificates. Here is a link to that page: http://www.aopa.org/advocacy/advocacy-briefs/quick-comparison-of-pilot-certificates

Know your POH, folks!

I am a regular lurker on /r/flying over on reddit, and today I read a scary story about a pilot experiencing an apparent engine failure in a Cessna 172. Fortunately, the emergency ended as well as they can, with the pilot achieving a normal landing at a closed airfield – with no damage to the plane or its occupants.

Although it must have been a frightening experience, the pilot kept his cool and lived to fly another day. However, things could have easily turned catastrophic, as with any power loss event. Reading through the thread, it became apparent that this was an easily avoidable incident, caused by pilot error, that could have cost him his life. Continue reading “Know your POH, folks!”

Independent research by the BBC shows that ‘serious near misses’ have doubled over four years

In a news article released today, the British Broadcasting Corporation has published alarming statistics about near misses reported in UK airspace. 

Since 2013, the UK has seen an overall increase in reported near misses of 60%. Serious incidents, known as “category A airproxes”, doubled. This is against a backdrop of a general increase in aviation traffic, although the number of reported incidents is growing proportionally faster than the boom in air traffic.

Also of note was the fact that the UK had nearly 100 reported incidents of aircraft near misses with drones – a statistic that has grown from zero reports in 2013.

Episode 1 – Pilot

This is the pilot episode of Plane Spoken. Are you interested in learning how to fly, but don’t know where to start? This 10 minute podcast will tell you everything you need to know!

After listening, if you have questions about how to get started with flying, or want to know more about what it takes, email the show. In Episode 2, we’ll be going through listener questions. Thanks for listening!