Archive for May, 2013

Finding Good Sport Pilot Flight Training

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
sport pilot trainingBy 

If you’re considering sport pilot training, we’d like to share some advice that will help you find a good training program.

In our new article Sport Pilot Training: Three Elements Of Good Sport Pilot Flight Training we discuss three important elements of a good sport pilot training program, including choosing a program that uses the kind of aircraft you want to fly. The following is just part of the article, click through to read the whole thing:

Aircraft choice is an area where the sport pilot is obviously more restricted than a private pilot. Sport pilots are only allowed to fly light sport aircraft, or LSA, which are aircraft that meet a certain standard, which on the surface, can seem complex. Generally, the standard is an aircraft less than 1320 pounds gross weight, with only two seats, and a maximum speed of less than 120 knots. There are several other restrictions, but generally it isn’t a mystery whether a plane is an LSA or not and there are a ton of LSA floating around.

There are two major categories of LSA: purpose-built LSA, like the Remos GX or Icon A5, and legacy LSA, like the Piper Cub or Aeronca Champ. While these two categories of LSA serve the same purpose, they cater to different people. The purpose-built LSA tend to cater to the fair-weather traveller. They are outfitted with the latest technology and aren’t exactly cheap, but they save money over traditional aircraft…read more >>

Click here to locate sport pilot training near you.

Related Articles:

Sport Pilot Aircraft – What Makes a Light Sport Aircraft Different?
Sport Pilot Training – Four Perks of Learning to Fly Light Sport
Learn to Fly Light Sport – Three Reasons To Start Your Training in an LSA

Are you about ready to quit your flight training?

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Well, before you do anything rash…read this.

I receive emails from frustrated student pilots that are getting ready to stop flight training.  From bright young people with a dream of flying for the airlines to intelligent professionals with PhDs in their 50s….they even start questioning their own intellect.  In fact, I was one of those student pilots once upon a time.

I knew I was smart (I had already graduated with an Aerospace Engineering degree), but I saw other student pilots, who were, what I considered at the time, a bit less gifted than I in the intellect department, trucking right on by me in their flight training.  I couldn’t understand it…what was I doing wrong?

Looking back, I know exactly what happened: lack of guidance.  When I started my flight training, I was completely in the dark about what it took to become a pilot.  Most, if not all, of the students in my class knew someone else who was a pilot.  They had a parent, an uncle, a roommate or someone they knew who either flew professionally, was a CFI, or was a private pilot.

If you ever start questioning yourself – STOP IT!  You can complete your flight training with just a bit more guidance.  Your flight instructor is there to teach you, but sometimes he/she may not be able, for whatever reason, to guide you.

A huge pilot community that will be more than willing to help is at your fingertips, thanks to the Internet.  Just search for pilot forums or any of the other websites, such as this one, with a mission to keep general aviation alive and provide a steady supply of pilots for the aviation industry.

Additionally, if you were born in any other country, you would probably not even have the option to learn to fly.  The price of flight training is absolutely exorbitant in other countries or not available to the general population.  Here in the North America, we enjoy a freedom that is unparalleled elsewhere and you should take advantage of it.

Have fun, and don’t despair.  An encouraging word is right around the corner.

Article Author:  Ruth Morlas is currently a corporate pilot who runs a blog helping people reach their dreams of becoming a pilot.  You can find her website here:

Seaplane Rating Training: The Process of Getting a Seaplane Rating

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
seaplane rating trainingBy 

If you’re considering seaplane rating training, but you’re not sure what all is involved in getting your seaplane rating, we’ve got an overview of the process that should help you not only find training, but will also introduce some of the skills and knowledge you will acquire during your training.

In our new article Seaplane Rating Training: Just Add Water we run down the major elements of seaplane rating training, including the amount of time required for training. The following is just a sample, be sure to click through to read the entire article:

While the time can vary widely depending on your background, many reputable training providers offer a 5 hour add-on rating course that can completed in a long weekend. This is typically adequate for a majority of pilots, but you may find you enjoy flying floats enough to take a few more days. It is also important to note that, unless your training provider has a relationship with an examiner, it may take longer to schedule your check-ride.

Seaplane flying adds variety and new skills to your flying that are unmatched by any other rating. The possibilities of seaplane flying are widely varied and exciting. Once you’re a qualified seaplane pilot, you can easily fly out to pristine wilderness, enviable fishing spots or taxi right up to the dock at your lake retreat…read more >>

Click here to locate seaplane rating training near you.

Related Articles:

Getting a Seaplane Rating – Is A Seaplane or Floatplane Rating In Your Future?
Seaplane Rating Training – Three Elements Of A Good Seaplane Rating Course

Giving Gifts to an Aviator

Monday, May 20th, 2013

By Chris Oquist

While this may sound strange coming from a pilot (I hope my wife and kids are reading), but gift-giving an aviator isn’t as hard as it may sound. We’re people, obviously, so treat us the same as you would a cowboy who loves rustic-themed décor. As a private pilot myself I love getting little trinkets and souvenirs that represent my love and passion: flying. While those RC helicopters aren’t really what I had in mind, the possibilities are endless in terms of holiday or birthday gifts that we will love. Some examples include a model of the first plane a pilot ever flew in as a kid or some aviation artwork for decorating the home. Other ideas for the aviator can include the following:

  • Bose A20Bose A20 Headset (pictured below right) – Yes, this is a hint, dear. The Bose A20 Aviation Headset is amazing. Much improved over the Bose X, the
    Bose A20
     includes Bluetooth capability and improved passive noise cancellation technology.
  • Aviation Doormat – I’m not sure what it is about doormats, but they are one of the best gifts a gift-giver can give, to anyone. The gift receiver probably doesn’t have a doormat or the doormat has worn out its welcome and the owner needs a new one. It’s not very expensive and provides good utility. Heck, the aviator may choose to throw it down on the floor of the plane for all to see.
  • instrument coastersInstrument Coasters (pictured right) – Coasters are a great companion gift, meaning they work well for “that extra something” if you need to get someone one last gift that isn’t expensive but isn’t just junk. Check out some examples to the right – pretty cool right? As an aviator I would love to get some coasters like these for a couple reasons. First it helps keep coffee stains off my desk, coffee table, and off an airplane’s dash. Second, they just look cool!
  • Electronics – This goes into a fairly broad category because you really need to know exactly what the aviator wants. One of my biggest pet peeves as a gift giver is to shell out a ton of money for something I think a person will love only to find out the person already owns the device or the model you bought is outdated and not as useful as the most updated version.
  • Art – Most pilots I’ve met are also deeply interested in history. Whether that military aviation or otherwise, anything having to do with old planes get pilots’ juices flowing. Above my bed board, you’ll find a large picture of the plane my father piloted during the Second World War, the P-51D Mustang. It’s a reminder of my roots and one of the reasons I love to fly. It is and will continue to be the greatest gift my wife has ever gotten me.

Like gift giving for anyone else, creativity is the key when getting gifts for an aviator. Sentimental gifts are the most meaningful. When gone for days on a flight assignment it is the gifts that family or close friends get for aviators that help us cope with being away from family and home. Give a gift that really means something to the pilot and I guarantee we won’t forget it.

About the author – Chris Oquist is a private pilot and web developer at Banyan Pilot Shop in South Florida. He is an avid blogger and article writer whose expertise includes the Bose A20 headset. As an aviation enthusiast, Chris is passionate about sharing his knowledge on all-things-aviation.

Seaplane Rating Training: Why Get a Seaplane Rating?

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
seaplane rating trainingBy 

If you need a flight review, you’re thinking of adding a rating, or maybe you’re just looking for something fun to, we’d like to recommend seaplane rating training. Getting a seaplane rating will not only expand and improve your piloting skills, but also open you up to a whole new world of flying possibilities.

In our new article Seaplane Rating Training: Three Reasons A Seaplane Rating Should Be In Your Future we discuss several reasons you should consider getting a seaplane rating, including the huge number of destinations available only to seaplane pilots. The following is just a sample of the article, be sure to click through to read the whole thing:

Seaplane rating training is an option for pilots of any level, airline pilots to student pilots, that adds plenty of variety to your flying. When virtually any sizable water surface becomes a landing area, you have variety no other rating or certificate can match. After you complete your training, even the most rugged, untouched wilderness is accessible to you via a seaplane. In fact, some of the most remote areas of the country, the kinds of places that are months hike away from civilization, are almost convenient with a seaplane. With almost 20,000 airports and millions of lakes and rivers across the US, a seaplane rating provides almost endless possibilities.

Considering the costs of seaplane rating training and its benefits, it is easy to see why it is such a popular way for pilots to build time and have a little fun. What isn’t so easy, with the sheer variety of exciting places to find seaplane flight training, is deciding on a place to complete your seaplane rating…read more >>

Click here to locate seaplane rating training near you.

Related Articles:

Seaplane Rating Training – Three Elements Of A Good Seaplane Rating Course
Seaplane Ratings – Just Add Water

Business Ideas For Commercial Pilots

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

business ideas for commercial pilots - Cessna Caravan

The Cessna Grand Caravan is popular with aerial tour operators

Good pilot jobs in today’s economy have become harder and harder to find. Landing a major airline job is difficult and applicants face lots of competitors who have been waiting in line a long time for each opening. Many new pilots have to settle for low paying entry level jobs and sometimes even need to find additional non-aviation jobs to pay the bills. Some wonder if there is anything they can do to build a profitable business in the aviation industry. There are many options available to the commercial pilot who is willing to put in some capital and a little risk. Here’s a few business ideas for commercial pilots.

Charters, Tour Operators, and More

One option in pursuing a business is to purchase your own planes and provide chartered flights for business, individuals, or celebrities. There are some businesses or executives that will hire one charter business to be their permanent carrier. With time and marketing, the number of clients looking to hire you could grow. Other pilots might start a tour business flying over scenic locations. With an aircraft, or a fleet of aircraft, there are many other options that can be pursued which include air taxi, agricultural spraying, flight instruction, emergency search and rescue, etc.

Banner Towing

Marketers out there still love to hire pilots to tow banners in front of large crowds of people or during events. Typically these pilots fly low and slow in a single engine airplane. Banner towing is a great way to build up hours to transition into agricultural flying as well. Towing a banner does require some extra skill especially when taking off and landing the aircraft.

Aerial Photography

The advancement of cameras combined with social media on the Internet has created the opportunity for many amateur and professional photographers to make a living in aviation. Pilots can either work for hire or can do their own photography/videography from the air.

Even though times are tough as a pilot there are options for the spirited entrepreneur. Whether you invest funds and time into a charter business, banner towing, aerial photography, or many other options, there are those waiting for your services and expertise.

As an author, Jordan McPelt writes about various subject matter including aircraft, pilots, business, airport safety, and low profile airport barricades. Learn more about airport safety and airport barricades at

Sport Pilot Training: Perks of Learning to Fly Light Sport

Friday, May 10th, 2013
sport pilot training - student and instructor in Cessna 162By 

If you’re looking into sport pilot training, but you’re not sure how it differs from private pilot training, we’ve got a collection of several perks of sport pilot training that should help you decide the best path for you.

In our new article Sport Pilot Training: Four Perks of Learning to Fly Light Sport we discuss several perks of sport pilot training, such as cost savings and no required medical exam. The following is just a sample of the article, be sure to click through to read the whole thing:

LSA of any type are usually light and easy to fly and the newer LSA offer advanced avionics that supplement their delightful flying characteristics. They can require a bit more attention than their larger counterparts, thanks to their quick response to control inputs, but make no mistake, LSA are great aircraft. Their light and efficient designs mean they don’t feel heavy or sluggish in the air, which manifests as lighter than normal stick forces required to maneuver. LSA’s ease of handling will enhance your flight training and your enjoyment of every flight. Furthermore, most new Light Sport Aircraft feature glass cockpits, which offers a more centralized and efficient display of the primary flight instruments.

As you can see, Sport Pilot and LSA are a great way to learn to fly. Further, if you’re primarily seeking a way to enjoy flying as a hobby, Light Sport is perfect…read more >>

Click here to locate sport pilot training near you.

Related Articles:

Sport Pilot Aircraft – What Makes a Light Sport Aircraft Different?
Sport Pilot Training – Why You Should Consider It
Learn to Fly Light Sport – Three Reasons To Start Your Training in an LSA

IFR Training – New ViBAN Visor Gets Good Grades

Monday, May 6th, 2013

ViBAN_in_useIf you’re planning on earning your instrument rating, you know you’re going to be spending a lot of time “under the hood” using a view limiting device to prevent you from seeing the world outside the cockpit. Unsatisfied with the current line-up of available view limiting devices for IFR training, the guys at ViBAN decided to come up with a better way to block the view through the cockpit windows.

The ViBAN visor, according to the company website, weighs just once ounce, is made of tough scratch-resistant material, and won’t cause that temporary white out effect when turning into the sun. The visor is all black and ViBAN claims the color is neutral and won’t irritate your eyes.

ViBANPlane&Pilot Magazine contributing editor Marc C. Lee recently earned his instrument rating and used the ViBAN… “First off, the ViBAN was the most comfortable visor of all of them. You know, I was flying 6, 7 hours a day, every day, and there is no WAY you could do that with most of the other visors. They either dug into your head, your temples, or the bridge of your nose. The ViBAN was feather light. To me that was it’s biggest strength. I also like the little velcro strips so you could customize the field of vision. Different seating positions and different aircraft have different fields of vision, so that little extra blocking material makes it so you can move it to other aircraft.And, of course, the color was great because it doesn’t distract your eyes. On a side note, I really liked the cloth strap to hold the visor on your head. It makes it super easy to flip it up above your eyes without doing a bunch of extra movements. All in all the best part of the ViBAN is that you just don’t notice it, and that’s the best compliment for an IFR visor. Plus it was super compact.”

The ViBan costs $39.95 and includes a 30-day money back guarantee, free USPS shipping, and a hard shell carrying case. For more info check out the ViBAN website here:


Seaplane Rating Training: Improve Your Flying with a Seaplane Rating

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
seaplane rating trainingBy 

If you’re looking for ways to build time or expand your horizons, you might want to consider a seaplane rating. Just in case fun isn’t reason enough, we’ve got list of several other reasons a seaplane rating will improve your flying.

In our new article Seaplane Rating Training: 3 Ways a Seaplane Rating will Improve Your Flying we run down several ways a seaplane rating will improve your flying, including requiring a practical exam and teaching a different skill-set. The following sample should get you interested, be sure to click through and read the rest of the article:

It may seem strange to view an exam as a plus, but consider the following: When you take a practical exam, the clock is rolled back on your Biennial Flight Review. Additionally, any time spent with a pilot examiner helps you get to know the examiner better. This in turn makes future exams less nerve-wracking. Finally, while a practical exam is required, adding a seaplane rating to an existing certificate requires no additional written exams. The net result is after a few hours training and an easy practical exam, you are certified to fly seaplanes and you’re a little less nervous about flying with an examiner.

Seaplane rating training really is great way to enhance your flying skills and take a little more enjoyment out of the experience of flying. For a little time and effort, you can open up a world of destinations and add a host of exciting aircraft options to your flying inventory…read more >>

Click here to locate seaplane rating training near you.

Related Articles:

Getting a Seaplane Rating – Is A Seaplane or Floatplane Rating In Your Future?
Seaplane Rating Training – Three Elements Of A Good Seaplane Rating Course
Seaplane Ratings – Just Add Water