New to IFR? Small corrections….

Right now I’m writing to you in  the middle of a sim lesson with a new IFR student.  Shhhh! He thinks I’m watching…  Actually I am watching but, it comes back to me how every single new IFR student makes the exact same mistake, over correcting! 

It doesn’t matter what they are trying to fix.  They always just try too hard or try and correct too quickly.  If they are off heading by 10 degrees, they will roll hard into a 30 degree bank and go past the correct heading while losing 100 feet of altitude.  If they are low 50 feet they will pull up and go full power!

As in many things in life, go slow and go gentle.  My suggestion is whatever correction you do, cut it in half.  You’ll be surprised how much easier IFR flying is when you make small corrections.

What’s the best advice you ever gave or received for IFR?  Let me know in the comments and please share this blog with your friends!

Fly Safe!

Gary Reeves, ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI
FAA Safety Team
Chief Safety Officer, PilotSafety.org
http://www.PilotSafety.org

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One way helicopter pilots are smarter than airplane pilots…

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Simple, I’ve never seen a pilot try to hand prop a rotorcraft. In fact overall, I think rotor people seem to have a much greater respect of the danger involved when you get too close to a big spinning metal blade.

A 41-year-old pilot was killed after being struck by the moving propeller of his Piper Cherokee at Gillespie Field. The pilot and one passenger were taxing when the engine stopped running. The pilot got out and attempted to hand prop the airplane when the propeller started and struck him in the head. He later died from his injuries.

It’s not just the one example. There are hundreds of pilots who have been crippled or killed trying to hand prop. Even if you still want to, you need TWO PILOTS that are TRAINED in hand propping. The plane must be fully tied down or secured and its a very specific process.

The safest way to hand prop an airplane is to stop, go grab a sugar free Red Bull,wait for an external charger and, resist the urge to try it. I know you have to be there. I know you’re running late. I know you’re willing to lose an arm or be killed trying… Before you try it though, call your family and ask them if its worth the risk. Hey, why you’re waiting, go take a helicopter lesson!

ps. No I have not gone to the dark side, I still like airplanes.

Have you ever tried to hand prop? Did you know someone who got hurt? Let everyone know in the comments!

Fly Safe!

Gary Reeves, ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI
FAA Safety Team
Chief Safety Officer, PilotSafety.org
http://www.PilotSafety.org

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Mid-Air Psychic Now Open for Business…

The lesson started with these exact words…”We need to be really careful today, most mid-air collisions happen at non-towered airports on weekend days with good visibility.” That’s when the most people fly, and a lot of people don’t pay attention or fly the recommended pattern.  You really need to keep your head on a pivot and listen to other pilots.

Of course, I always say that before a lesson to a non-towered field, and I think sometimes they even believe me.  I promise you the student today will never forget.  As he turns crosswind another plane “inbound on the 45” wasn’t.   He was descending into the pattern aimed directly at our plane had no clue he was about to kill my favorite flight instructor(me, in case you were wondering)! Not saying it was close, but to the pilot of the other plane, you might want to check that loose screw on the tail…..

So if anyone out there needs some answers to love, money, your destiny, call me anytime at 1-900-FLYINGPSHYCHIC ($34.99 per minute for entertainment only)

What kind of close calls have you had?  Let me know in the comments!

Fly Safe!

Gary Reeves, ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI
FAA Safety Team
Chief Safety Officer, PilotSafety.org
http://www.PilotSafety.org

Follow our blog at https://pilotsafety.wordpress.com/

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Night Vision makes me se RED,

Night Vision makes me see red…

Red light is better for nigh vision in aviation, right?? Wrong a bright red light damages night vision as much as a bright white light! The color of light used inside an aircraft makes no difference at all! Well that’s not entirely true, after all a red or green light will make it hard if not impossible to read charts and important markings on your gauges…
The red light myth started from the photo darkroom and still is widely spread today. The best light to use inside an aircraft is a very soft dim able white light. Every 10 minutes or so keep turning it down to the minimum needed to comfortably read your gauges and charts. I hope this helps you come into the light!

Fly Safe!

Gary Reeves, ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI
FAA Safety Team
Chief Safety Officer, PilotSafety.org
http://www.PilotSafety.org

Follow our blog at https://pilotsafety.wordpress.com/

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Bad Day??

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Let’s see a show of hands…Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a bad day flying.  Messed up every radio call, couldn’t hold an altitude, all of your landings were best described as uuuuggggllllyyy..  Come on raise your hand I wanna see who’s brave enough to admit it..

OK now raise your hand again if you think I can actually see you… It’s OK no one ever described us pilots as a sane group…

So what do you do when the day is just bad?  If you’re the pilot try concentrating on the basics.  Focus on the basics.  Concentrate on your altitude and airspeed first.

If you’re the instructor, take the controls for a few minutes, let the student take a few deep breaths and relax.  Give them another chance.

Whether you’re the pilot or an instructor, sometimes, the best solution is to call it a day.  Tie up your aircraft, go get some food, maybe an adult beverage, some sleep and fly again tomorrow.  Everyone has an off day.  In ten years of flying I’ve noticed it always gets better on the next day with a fresh start.

What do you do when you or you’re students have a bad day?  Post your comments and suggestions below!

Fly Safe!

Gary Reeves, ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI
FAA Safety Team
Chief Safety Officer, PilotSafety.org
www.PilotSafety.org

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Fatigue in the cockpit

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Did you know that accidents at night are 200% more likely to be fatal then those during the day? There are numerous contributing factors, but one of the biggest ones is fatigue.

When you are tired 3 major things deteriorate. Critical thinking skills and reflexes are two almost every pilot thinks of. The third one, almost no one knows, is your vision! Night vision relies heavily on the rods in your eye. Unfortunately,unlike the cones, they are on your peripheral vision and give blurry and not focused images. The cones which require some light to function are in the center and give you clear color images. Fatigue leads to watering or dry irritated eyes and blurred vision.

As much as I love sugar free red bull, and if you know me you know I buy it by the case, there really is no substitute for being rested. So stay the night and go home in the morning, trust me you’re family would rather have you home tomorrow then not at all…

ps if anyone knows somebody at RedBull tell them they can paint my plane like a can if they want!

Fly Safe!

Gary Reeves, ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI
FAA Safety Team
Chief Safety Officer, PilotSafety.org
http://www.PilotSafety.org

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Cancelled for GOOD WEATHER!

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Just when you think you’ve heard it all…

A client, who was scheduled for an 8am flight, called me this morning a little after 7.  Uh oh I thought something must be wrong.  “Hey Gary, it’s Doug, have you looked at the weather?”, he asked.  I had and it was 1900 broken with 7 mi visibility.  He then asked, “umm, maybe we could reschedule to Wednesday when the weather looks a little worse?”

Yep, you read it right, the weather was just too good to fly…

Doug a really good pilot had just received his Instrument rating a few months ago, and every time the weather got bad, he wanted to fly with me, so he could experience actual IFR, to get better.  I have another client, who does the same thing.  What makes them want to pay for more training after they get their certificate?  Both are airplane owners and over 40.

It’s not just the maturity though.  They were both trained early on, that you never stop learning and just because you receive a certificate it doesn’t mean you know it all.

So join me in raising a glass and toasting Doug!  The first to cancel for GOOD weather!

Fly Safe!

Gary Reeves, ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI
FAA Safety Team
Chief Safety Officer, PilotSafety.org
www.PilotSafety.org

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