(November 2011) Remember when the examiner handed you your temporary pilot’s certificate and said something on the order of “this is just a license to learn”?
Most of us begin, after pocketing our hard-won certificate and no longer under the aegis of our instructor, a period of self-taught learning as we experience the nuts and bolts of flying. Unfortunately, for too many, the school of hard knocks renders a sometimes-painful education from usually negative experiences.
The following online pilot training resources educational programs (in no particular order) will keep you up to date on changes to the regulations and best practices and put you in contact with experts from whom you can learn — without having to expose yourself to the painful hard knocks.
The Flying magazine website, flyingmag.com, has a host of continuing education offerings including: Flight School, which each month invites experienced instructors to weigh in on questions about training techniques; Tip of the Week (a recent tip discussed the value in pilots talking out loud to themselves); frequent instructional and technique articles; and two regular columns (I Learned About Flying From That and Aftermath) that provide valuable lessons of what not to do.
Pilot Workshops e-mails an online “tip” each week to people who subscribe free to its “Pilot’s Tips of the Week.” The tips, presented by a cadre of very experienced instructors, include an audio version of the texts.
The website provides a link to access the bios of the impressive experts who participate in the program. To subscribe to the free weekly pilot tips, go to pilotworkshop.com.
Flight Advisor Corner
Hobie Tomlinson, director of safety for Heritage Aviation, a designated pilot examiner and a member of SAFE, publishes a monthly e-newsletter called the Flight Advisor Corner.
As an example, in his July 2011 entry, which was the eighth in a series on human factors, he discusses “automation and risk management as additional critical components in accident prevention strategy.” In the offering, he compares six-pack steam gauge panels with the latest PFD (primary flight display) panels. Using a number of illustrations, Hobie points out the differences between the two systems. In summary, he writes: “It is important for pilots to maintain their flight skills.
Pilots need to retain their ability to maneuver the aircraft manually within the industry-accepted standards set forth in the appropriate FAA PTS. Maintaining your flight skills requires that the automation be occasionally disengaged to enable you to manually fly the aircraft. This regular practice of your stick-and-rudder skills will go a long way toward your ability to maintain an acceptable level of pilot proficiency.”