Top 10 Flying Tips of 2011

Take a look at our most-popular flying tips of the year, and brush up on your pilot skills in the process.

9. Transitioning Through Class B Airspace Many VFR pilots are nervous about requesting transitions through Class B airspace. But a fear of keying the microphone and talking to a controller shouldn't stop you from requesting clearance through Class B airspace if it makes sense for a particular flight. Read more.
8. Rock and Sump Piston engines don't run well on water or anything other than what they're designed to burn. That's why it's important to sump your airplane correctly each and every time, which may mean doing more than simply pushing a fuel tester into a strainer. Read more.
7. Fly VFR Like IFR For those pilots who choose not to file an IFR flight plan for whatever reason, including the possibility that they are not IFR rated, there's a lot to be said for flying a VFR flight as though you were on an instrument flight plan. Read more.
6. Bug the Wind The heading bug is a great flying tool, particularly when you're flying IFR. But whether you have your instrument ticket or not, the heading bug can also be quite helpful on the ground on windy days, in any airplane, but especially if you're flying a taildragger. Read more.
5. Calculating Density Altitude with a Pencil Accidentally leave the flight computer and iPad at home? No problem. There's an easy way to calculate approximate density altitude without the aid of these gadgets, and it's a formula pilots should commit to memory. Read more.
4. A Lineup Check for Light Planes A lineup check takes but a couple of quick glances, and it's excellent insurance against being distracted into missing something important before commencing with one of the two most critical phases of flight.** Read more.
3. The iPad Learning Curve If you're about to make the switch from paper to digital charts, there are a few points to consider before taking the plunge. Read more.
2. Fly Without Airspeed It's not entirely uncommon for the pitot tube to get plugged by bugs or other airborne objects. A little practice will eliminate the potential panic as the airspeed unexpectedly indicates zero. Read more.
1. Vx vs. Vy Knowing how to use the best climb speed is a vital skill that comes in handy when airport obstacles need to be cleared on takeoff. Read more.
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