Building Awareness With the “Cooper Code”

Colonel “Jeff” Cooper, developed the “Color Code of Awareness” for the military to inspire self-assessment and vigilance. Warfighters know that situational awareness is just as important for success as physical skill or conditioning. A tuned-up awareness is critical for pilot safety too. “Fat, dumb and happy” is no way to fly safely. Unfortunately, we *do* … Continue reading “Building Awareness With the “Cooper Code””

Inspiring Excellence and Motivating Mastery!

Hopefully, every aviation educator has had a student who excelled, passionately taking every lesson further, expanding every thought or skill to a level of excellence. These learners seem like genetic anomalies, where we plant the seeds and watch an almost magical transformation. Other learners need to be dragged along, and never seem to fully flourish. … Continue reading “Inspiring Excellence and Motivating Mastery!”

Extend Your Skills! 60/90 Turns, Triple A Stalls

This blog presents some challenging flight maneuvers that build greater pilot proficiency, confidence and flight safety. It is essential to break out of our daily “comfort zone” or we will react incorrectly  – with the well documented “startle response” – when forced into an unusual attitude by surprise circumstances. Accident statistics reveal that unprepared pilots … Continue reading “Extend Your Skills! 60/90 Turns, Triple A Stalls”

The Basic Physics of Flight Control!

Basic center of gravity is critical to aircraft  control but this is another important concept  most pilots (and some CFIs) don’t solidly understand. And confusion about stability and basic flight dynamics seems to be at the root of many of our LOC-I accidents. To simplify all this concept for students, I call it “balancing the … Continue reading “The Basic Physics of Flight Control!”

“Ready For Anything?!”

During any emergency, luck certainly plays a role,  but positive pilot action is the essential ingredient for success. Being alert and vigilant – having prebriefed the possible failure modes – enables successful performance by preventing panic. Psychologists call this “priming,” a mental rehearsal of all possibilities and a state of readiness. This prevents “startle” from … Continue reading ““Ready For Anything?!””

Building a “Mindset of Professionalism”

It is difficult to define “professionalism” simply and comprehensively. This essential pilot attribute certainly requires personal integrity and commitment; to doing your best job, in the best way, every time (and even when no one is watching). But it’s not limited to a complex airframe or environment as is commonly asserted. You can be a … Continue reading “Building a “Mindset of Professionalism””

Expand Your Aviation Comfort Zone

As pilots we spend almost all of our time in a very small corner of the available flight envelope (perhaps less than 5%!) It is amazing and illuminating to watch a well flown aerobatic routine and see what a talented pilot and capable aircraft can safely accomplish. These highly trained pilots thoroughly understand the aerodynamics … Continue reading “Expand Your Aviation Comfort Zone”

Stall Spin on Final; Are CFIs (Partly) to Blame?

Sorry, but yes we are. Read on to see why and how we can fix this. We all know that stall/spin “upset” incidents on final (some of which become accidents) – close to the ground – are a major hazard and a killer of pilots and, unfortunately, also passengers. We know that the onset of … Continue reading “Stall Spin on Final; Are CFIs (Partly) to Blame?”

Savvy CFI: “Baked In” Human Pilot Problems!

We humans contain “baked-in” reactions driven by our land-based biology that are extremely dangerous in flight. Our human “operating system” evolved over thousands of years of terrestrial existence and contains some unique inbred vulnerabilities that serve us poorly once airborne. Providing humans flight training, the only kind I have done incidentally :), is largely a concerted … Continue reading “Savvy CFI: “Baked In” Human Pilot Problems!”

Flying Lesson: Scenario Training

Two scenarios from the airline world, and why they matter in single-pilot airplanes… Scenario 1 The First Officer of a Regional Jet operating under a code-share agreement to a major airline, who is also a FLYING LESSONS reader, related a recent experience. About 10 minutes after departing from a major hub airport a flight attendant … Continue reading “Flying Lesson: Scenario Training”

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