Flight Planning with ForeFlight, Garmin Pilot, SkyVector.com, FltPlan.com and more + GA News



There are many ways for a pilot to flight plan a trip. Traditionally, it was done with a paper map, pencil, and a plotter. But now there are many new flight planning tools available on the Internet and as smartphone apps for iPhone and Android phones.

We first talk about which percentage of listeners use each tool, then describe the most popular tools, and finally describe how user use multiple tools. Some of the tools described include:

  • ForeFlight
  • Skyvector.com
  • Garmin Pilot
  • FltPlan.com
  • OzRunways
  • 1800wxbrief.com
  • WingX
  • AOPA Flight Planner
  • DUATs
  • SkyDemon
  • NavPlan EFB
  • FlyQ EFB AirNav Pro
  • Mermoz

To reduce iPad discharge in flight, Greg Brown recommended turning the brightness down and this USB charger.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what what ADS-B portable receiver you own or plan to buy, and what you like and dislike about it.

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Instrument Pilot IFR Tips – Using GPS on a VOR or ILS approach, Foreflight + GA News


Last week we talked about briefing the approach and said one of the first things you should do is check to see whether GPS is in the title of the approach. For example, you might look to see whether the title is just VOR 21 approach or if it’s VOR 21 OR GPS. If it’s the latter, it’s obvious you can use GPS in lieu of a VOR signal for the entire approach. But what’s less clear is when you can use GPS for a portion of the approach if it says just VOR 21 and doesn’t have GPS in the title of the approach.

Although GPS receivers have been around for over 20 years, pilots are still unclear as to when they can use GPS on non-GPS approaches such as ILS and VOR approaches. As Max explains, the rules are different for VOR and ILS approaches. The regulatory basis can be found in FAA Advisory Circular AC 90-108, dated March 3, 2011, and in the AIM, the Aeronautical Information Manual, in section 1-2-3, sub-paragraphs c4 and c-5, updated May 26, 2016.

These tell us that for a VOR or NDB approach, you can now use GPS for the entire approach, even if GPS is not listed in the title of the approach. So in our example, if the title of the approach is VOR 21, and GPS is not in the title, you can still now use GPS for the entire approach, but with one caveat. The VOR or NDB signal MUST be in service, and you MUST monitor that signal for the final approach course.

But for an ILS or Localizer approach, as soon as you turn onto a localizer or ILS, you need to display course guidance from the Nav radio. On the Garmin 430/530, that means as soon as you turn onto the localizer, you must push the CDI button so VLOC is displayed. You can, if you wish, monitor RNAV (GPS) data as you fly along a localizer, but GPS cannot be used for primary guidance at any time while on a localizer.

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Instrument Pilot IFR Tips – Briefing the Approach, iPhone iOS 11 update + GA News


Everyone knows that when flying VFR, that a pilot’s priorities are to aviate, navigate, and communicate. But when flying IFR, pilots are often confused by their priorities when faced with a high task load while preparing to fly an instrument approach. 2008 National Flight Instructor of the Year Max Trescott explains that IFR pilots should prioritize these three things above all other activities. 1. Rolling out onto headings 2. Leveling off at Altitudes 3. Intercepting the final approach course Getting the ATIS, briefing the approach, talking to ATC and everything else are all lower priorities. Max then talks about how to brief an instrument approach while in cruise flight and setting up for an instrument approach.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight.

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Overcoming Checkride Anxiety – 14 ways to reduce your fears + GA News



Everyone feels nervous to some extent when they go for a checkride, so we share 14 ways to reduce your anxiety before and during a checkride. Checkride anxiety applies to student pilots in particular because it’s your first checkride. But it also applies to all pilots who think that someday they’ll go for an instrument, or maybe a multiengine, seaplane, glider, Commercial, ATP, or CFI checkride. Professional pilots working for a Part 135 charter company or an airline, also have to periodically be rechecked.

Here’s a brief summary of the 14 ways to reduce your nervousness about a checkride. Note: You’ll hear far more details about each one in the podcast.

  1. If possible, meet the examiner ahead of time.
  2. Clear the deck for at least a week before the checkride.
  3. Do whatever it takes to guarantee that you get a decent amount of sleep the night before the checkride.
  4. Make sure you have all of your paperwork in order.
  5. Become intimately familiar with the ACS oral section,
  6. Use a study guide like the ASA Private Oral Exam guide to help you prepare for the oral.
  7. Do a mock checkride with your instructor or another flight instructor.
  8. If there’s a gouge available, a report that someone has written about their checkride with your examiner, see if you can find it and read it ahead of time.
  9. Don’t get upset if you make some mistakes on your last flight before the checkride.
  10. Prepare for a long day; bring some food!
  11. When you walk in for your checkride, exhibit confidence, but not cockiness.
  12. Know that it’s OK to tell the DPE a joke.
  13. If you start getting nervous, and feel you’re not doing well, ask for a timeout.
  14. Go into the checkride with just the tiniest bit of indifference or apathy, so you won’t be too upset if you don’t pass.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight.

Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

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The CAA has launched a survey for GA pilots flying in U.K. airspace in an effort to encourage ADS-B usage by the flying community. The survey seeks information on the types of devices already used by private pilots and the devices they would prefer to use.

Hurricane Irma Evacuation Flight: Embry-Riddle CFI Veenen Udayan Interview



On Christmas Day, 2006, a tornado destroyed more than 40 airplanes belonging to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. But this year, as Hurricane Irma began tracking toward Florida, the University was prepared with an evacuation plan for its aircraft. Veenen Udayan, an instructor pilot at Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, FL, was a team leader for moving Embry’s 63 aircraft out of the path of hurricane Irma, and relocating them at the Auburn University Airport, and at Atlantic Aviation at the Birmingham Airport, both in Alabama. In this interview, he talks about Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and the flight planning and the advance coordination required with ATC to fit so many IFR aircraft into the system at one time.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight.

Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

Hurricane Irma Relief – Remote Area Medical – Stan Brock Interview


Remote Area Medical (RAM) is working to deploy it’s fleet of aircraft to Puerto Rico, which will be the forward base from which their Cessna Caravan will fly supplies to the islands hardest hit by Hurricane Irma. RAM was founded over 30 years ago, and has helped provide medical services to over 100,000 people. They are looking for volunteer pilots and healthcare professionals to provide services in underserved areas in the U.S. and the Caribbean. They currently need pilots who can fly their Caravans and their King Air 200. You can find the Remote Area Medical webpage here and their Facebook page here. In this episode, we interview RAM founder Stan Brock about the organization, and learned how doctors, dentists, optometrists, and pilots can help the organization by volunteering their time, or donating money.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight.

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Operation Airdrop’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts – Doug Jackson Interview


Twelve days ago, Operation Airdrop didn’t exist. What did exist was dozens of towns in Texas that were cut off from the outside world by Hurricane Harvey’s flood waters, downed trees, and power lines. After driving a trailer load of supplies to Rockport, TX, Doug Jackson wondered if general aviation airplanes could be used to fly in relief supplies to isolated communities. Twelve days later, over 200 Aircraft from Mexico and all over U.S. have flown over 500 flights and delivered over 250,000 pounds of supplies. All with small, general aviation aircraft. Now the focus of the operation shifts to Florida, where Hurricane Irma is still raging as this show is being released.

In our interview with Doug Jackson, he describes the catalyst for the organization–a moving encounter with a down-on-his-luck man with a sick dog–how the operation was set up in such a short period of time, and how pilots can donate money or use their airplane to deliver badly needed hurricane relief supplies. You can find the Operation Airdrop webpage here and their Facebook page here.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight.

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General Aviation Accident: How Glynn Falcon Survived a Crash in a Piper Arrow with its Ailerons Connected in Reverse


In July 2017, Glynn Falcon had a crash while taking off in his Piper Arrow at the Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose, CA. His plane was there for maintenance, and he was planning to fly it back to his home airport in Marina, CA. Immediately after rotation, he observed that the aircraft made an uncommanded roll to the left. Realizing he was unable to control the aircraft, he pulled the power, and the plane was destroyed in the crash. Glynn survived with minor injuries. In this episode, he describes the factors that led to the crash, and what he learned from his first flight instructor that helped him avoid what is often a fatal accident type.

Here’s what I teach my students from day one. When you’re checking the controls, take ahold of the yoke and stick and stick your thumb straight up. Then when you move the yoke or stick, your thumb will be pointing at the aileron that is supposed to be up. If you do that religiously, every time you do a run up, you’ll avoid ever taking off with the controls connected backwards.

And this is a mistake that even test pilots make. In 2006, the sole prototype of the Spectrum 33, which was a $3.6 million business jet, crashed on takeoff, killing both pilots. Witnesses reported that the plane entered a right roll and immediately cartwheeled when the right wing hit the ground. According to the NTSB, the ailerons were linked in a manner that reversed the roll control, such that the left roll input from the stick would have deflected the ailerons to produce right roll of the airplane, and vice versa.

Prior to the accident, the aircraft had undergone extensive maintenance, including removal of the main landing gear, which required disconnection of a portion of the linkage control systems.

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Unstable Approach Definition and Private Pilot Tips for How to Fly a Stable Approach + GA News


You’ve undoubtedly heard of a stabilized approach and know it’s helpful to have one prior to landing. But many pilots don’t know all of the elements of a stabilized approach, or the potential expense of an unstable approach. Last year, two pilots I know dug deep into their wallets to pay for damage resulting from landings that followed unstable approaches. Both considered going around, but didn’t. The pilots of an IFR charter fight into Akron, Ohio in November 2015 weren’t so lucky; everyone died after their unstable approach.

So what is a stabilized approach, and why does it matter? Cirrus Aircraft’s Flight Operations Manual gives a good description. It says: “A stabilized approach is characterized by a constant angle and constant rate of descent approach profile ending near the touch-down point. Stabilized approach criteria apply to all approaches including practice power-off approaches.“ It goes on to say that for VFR landings, an “approach is considered stabilized when all of the following criteria are achieved by 500′ AGL:

  • Proper airspeed,
  • Correct flight path,
  • Correct aircraft configuration for phase of flight,
  • Appropriate power setting for aircraft configuration,
  • Normal angle and rate of descent,
  • Only minor corrections are required to correct deviations.

A go-around must be executed if the above conditions are not met, and the aircraft is not stabilized by 500′ AGL.” This episode contains lots of tips to help you consistently fly stable approaches every time you fly the traffic pattern, including tips for long, straight-in approaches, which often lead to unstable approaches.

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight.

Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

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13 Fun Ideas for National Aviation Day + GA News


National Aviation Day has been around for more than 75 years, But it probably doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. Here are 13 fun ideas for celebrating on national aviation Day, which is August 19.

Franklin D. Roosevelt created National Aviation Day in 1939 by presidential proclamation. Originally it was to celebrate the growth and advancements made in aviation. But one can’t help wonder whether it was also a way to start getting more people interested in aviation got a time when Europe was just beginning to enter World War II. Today we face a different challenge, which is how to attract more people to aviation at a time when pilots are in high demand, but new student pilot starts are declining.

Here are 13 ways that you can celebrate today, or help get other people more connected to aviation.

1. Get someone else involved in aviation.

2. If you are a rusty pilot, get back into flying!

3. Fly in a new airplane type.

4. Watch an aviation themed movie.

5. Fly a flight simulator!

6. If you are a licensed pilot, fly somewhere new!

7. Visit an Aviation Museum

8. Fly a radio controlled airplane

9. Volunteer to help an aviation-related organization

10. Download and read an aviation book from your local library or from NASA

11. Go Plane Spotting

12. Thank someone who works in the aviation industry

13. Take an aviation course

Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight. Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the AviationNewsTalk.com website.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

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