At Home Ground School

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We will add more videos and articles as time goes by.  This is NOT meant to replace reading and class time with your instructor!  These are here just to help with topics which tend to be a bit tricky to understand.  These are NOT a replacement for book study.

FLIGHT CONTROLS

The flight controls are what will require the most understanding if you ever are to learn the finesse required to be a GOOD pilot, not just a person who throws an airplane around the sky and on to the ground.  Coupled with an above average understanding of aerodynamics, you will progress much faster if you thoroughly understand the mechanics going on here.

PITOT-STATIC SYSTEM

This is a bit tricky to learn from the books, so here is a good video to help you out.  

AERODYNAMICS

are going to be tested on a daily basis with your lessons.  They are probably the least understood and most under taught of all the topics.  Hopefully you took our advice and are reading "Stick and Rudder"! The rabbit hole is deep - do not hesitate to really dive into aerodynamics.  YES, you need to know this!

On this video, it is particularly important you understand the diagrams around 3:55 into the video.

STALLS

A terribly misunderstood and undertrained maneuver, yet one of the leading causes of accidents.  Once you completely understand that the airplane is NOT going to fall out of the sky (our only fully stalled airplane is the one sitting in the hangar!) you will gain confidence and comfort with stalls and approach them with the correct mindset to learn and be good at them.  I especially like this guy - he is the only other person I have seen teach to look at the side view, not the front.  We will teach you to watch your wing strut during slow flight and stalls to SEE that yawing motion.  Without yaw, you cannot spin.  And that is the point!

SPINS

From Rich Stowell himself:

PARE is pronounced the same as "pair" not "par." Additionally, the elevator action is a bit more nuanced than described (in a video I found). It is: Power - Off; Ailerons - Neutral; Rudder - Full Opposite (and held until spinning stops); Elevator - Neutral, where "neutral" is a direction, not an exact location. This covers upright and inverted spin cases. In the overwhelming majority of cases, however, the spins are upright. So "neutral" will be forward movement of the stick/yoke. How far? However far it takes to finish off the rotation. In the best case scenario, it may only require relaxing some back pressure; in the worst case, it could require forceful and full forward elevator. And the amount could vary even in the same airplane under different spin conditions. The elevator action in PARE is performed immediately after the Rudder action (i.e., full opposite and held) has been completed. When the spin is over, Rudder - Neutral; Elevator - Easy pull to straight and level (no more than you might apply for a steep turn). Also, while intentional spins are NEVER approved when in the Normal category, spins are not always approved in the Utility category! In the Utility category, manufactures have the option to conduct spin testing as if Normal category, or as if Acrobatic category. Some airplanes are Spins Prohibited in the Utility category, while others are Spins Approved. Follow manufacturer info and placards in this regard.

And No, you will not need to be taught actual spins.  But you DO need to be able to explain prevention and recovery thoroughly. 

ENGINES

Another topic that is very logical yet very elusive to many of our students.  Pilots are allowed under part 43 to do quite a few 'preventative maintenance' tasks, several of which we will teach you on our planes if you happen to be around when we are performing one of these jobs.  There is no reason you cannot learn about engines, and every reason you NEED to.

TRAFFIC PATTERNS

From your first discovery flight on, you will be flying in the traffic pattern.  At our airport, we are a "non-towered" airport.  As the busiest airport in the state though, it is imperative you bring your A game to this pattern!  We have ADS-B in and out in all our planes, but that does not mean you do not have to be 110% vigilant at all times for traffic. Remember not all planes will show up on the screen.  It is YOUR job to be safe, not someone else's. Learn the radio calls and the pattern well now, and you will accelerate your skillset levels in this phase of flight.