Pilots Mechanics

Pilots as A&P Mechanics

Pilots as Mechanics: Should You Become Both? Becoming an aircraft mechanic is a rewarding career. So is becoming a pilot. So, why would anyone go to the trouble of becoming both? After all, you’ll likely choose one or the other for a career. There are many good reasons why people choose to train in both fields. For example, a professional pilot who has become trained as an aircraft mechanic is more likely to notice if something seems ‘off’ during flight. Just as an auto mechanic would notice a problem while driving, an A&P would notice a problem with flying. Likewise, a professional mechanic who is also a pilot knows exactly how the controls should feel or how the engine should … Read more Pilots Mechanics

Aeronautical Decision-making

Aeronautical Decision-Making at Epic

Aeronautical Decision-making Captain Judy’s Corner Early in 2020, our lives changed when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Governors and state agencies issued emergency orders for the temporary closures of businesses and organizations in an effort to reduce the spread of this virus. All segments of the aviation industry have felt the impact. Transportation was listed as one of the l0 essential services permitted to continue operations, which included flight training. The principles of aeronautical decision-making can be applied to this and other situations. Epic Flight Academy took immediate and proactive action to ensure all operations continued without interruption. Epic leadership went beyond the recommended advice provided by the Centers for Disease Control. (Note: The photo above was taken … Read more Aeronautical Decision-making

Airspace Classes

Airspace Classes and Special Use

Airspace Classes and Special Use Airspace Captain Judy’s Corner: Airspace Part 3 Introduction Knowledge of airspace classes is essential for all pilots. ICAO standardized these classes with rules and regulations. They include Class A, B, C, D, E, G, and special use airspace. Most importantly, these designations define clearance requirements, minimums, and dimensions. Pilots may need to adjust altitude and speed depending on the section of airspace they’re flying in. Also, ATC may require radio contact or communications. Because airspace categories differ, you must learn how to recognize them on charts. Furthermore, you must understand the detailed requirements of each. Besides, authorities established airspace classes to keep you safe. Above all, safety first! How I Learned Airspace Airspace may be … Read more Airspace Classes

Airspace Part 1

Judy Rice Tel Aviv Israel Preflight

Above: Captain Judy Rice in Tel Aviv Israel Conducting Preflight Security Clearances Captain Judy’s Corner: The Airspace ABCs – Part 1 We filed the Citation jet’s route departing from Yerevan, Armenia (UDYZ) to Tel Aviv, Israel (LLBG). During our pre-briefing, ATC informed us that, once airborne, we would receive more information. In other words, we expected an assigned, mandatory security stop before being allowed into Israel airspace. How are aircraft cleared for security before landing in Israel? Israel assigns all aircraft a security landing airport before entry into their airspace. This is required. We were to land and provide proof of information for our aircraft, crew, and passengers. After that, they would provide a special security code. This code was specific to … Read more Airspace Part 1

Turbulence

Flight Turbulence

Pilots experience different types of turbulence during flight. Understanding turbulence can help you better respond when you face this situation. Captain Judy’s Corner: What is turbulence? What is the definition of turbulence? The definition of turbulence is a sudden, violent shift in airflow. It creates up and down currents caused by irregular atmospheric motion. We were in the clouds, Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), and flying in an area without radar coverage. My first officer (FO) was busy programming the Citation jet’s system with the latitude and longitude coordinates instructed by Bangladesh controllers. I focused on leveling the Citation at FL390 (39,000’). Suddenly the FO pointed upward exclaiming, “Oh my!” I looked up in the direction he had been pointing right … Read more Turbulence

This Is Your Captain Speaking

This is your Captain Speaking

This is your Captain speaking… Captain Judy’s Corner: The Importance of Understanding the Ignition System You have envisioned sitting in the left seat announcing to the passengers, “This is your Captain speaking, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.” Awaking from your dream, you look over at the mounds of study material open on the desk. What do I need to know to become a pilot? Nothing as an Earthling prepares a student for the amount of what seems like alien knowledge and skills required to become a pilot. A few examples of this knowledge required to earn a certificate are the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) comparable to studying a legal document; then understanding weather as an amateur meteorologist; and, … Read more This Is Your Captain Speaking

Hurricane Preparedness

Nat Geo Hurricane Tracks over 10 years

10-Year Hurricane Track (2005-2015) Source: National Geographic Captain Judy’s Corner: Hurricanes – What’s in a name? Did you know that “Huracan” was the god of big winds and evil spirits worshiped by the Maya people of Central America? While people have been naming major storms for hundreds of years, meteorologist first named hurricanes by the latitude and longitude coordinates where the storm was located. This system of tracking was confusing to people seeking hurricane information. In the early 1950s, the U.S. National Hurricane Center started the process by naming storms according to a phonetic alphabet, such as: Able, Baker, Charlie. The first hurricane of each season was always named “Able,” the second “Baker,” and so on. Repeating names each season … Read more Hurricane Preparedness

Once Upon a Time: Filing a Flight Plan

Captain Judy Rice

Captain Judy Rice found the ICAO International Flight Plan form beneficial during her world flight. Captain Judy’s Corner: Once Upon a Time… Filing a Flight Plan This fairy tale began long before the FAA announcement for change to the form used by United States pilots when filing a flight plan. The purpose of a flight plan might be compared to going on a long drive to visit a relative. You let your relative know the overall anticipated travel arrangements, and you include approximate time of arrival. An overdue arrival would likely cause concern, and your relative will likely call you to make sure you’re alright. A flight plan is much like having your relative on the other end of your … Read more Once Upon a Time: Filing a Flight Plan

Thunderstorm Flexibility

Flying in thunderstorms

Captain Judy’s Corner: Flexibility is the Key to Safety in a Thunderstorm The Citation was at FL370 (37000’) when I saw a thunderstorm building in the distance. I was amazed to watch and feel this energy from a far distance. The cumulonimbus clouds were building higher than the jet’s altitude. The lightning brightened the darkening sky. Are thunderstorms really all that dangerous? Thunderstorms are part of summer weather in Florida, and most pilots here know. to respect them Thunderstorms are one of nature’s most powerful forces and a weather hazard that are dangerous for all pilots. Flying too close to these powerful beasts can end in disaster. Pilots must understand thunderstorms and all weather hazards. They need to know how … Read more Thunderstorm Flexibility

Go-Arounds

Go-Around Maneuver

Captain Judy’s Corner: Go-Arounds? That is the question! To Go-Around or not to Go-Around, that is the question. However, there are some questions pilots should ask themselves before making this decision much sooner than the final approach. Safe pilots should ask themselves, “Is the landing checklist complete?” and “Is the approach stabilized?” A good, safe landing begins before entering the airport environment with continued evaluation throughout the entire phase of landing. What are some examples of go-around situations? One go-around I recall, after having completed the appropriate landing checklists and while on a stabilized approach, was when a sudden gust of wind lifted my airplane into the air over the runway threshold. This destabilized my approach so the decision was … Read more Go-Arounds