Go-Arounds

Go-Arounds? That is the question! By Captain Judy Rice, Ground School Instructor   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.   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 […]

Density Altitude

Density Altitude After all, airplanes do not feel. Or, do they? The cockpit felt like a sauna in the Arizona heat. Not only was I enduring the summer heat, but so was the airplane. How might an airplane suffer from heat? After all, airplanes do not feel? Or do they? Flying on a cool Florida morning or evening, you will notice ample runway remaining before lift-off and how eager the airplane climbs. Fly on a hot, muggy afternoon, and the runway remaining before lift-off will be far less. The airplane would climb much slower, as well. Temperature, pressure, and moisture (dewpoint) in the air affects our airplanes’ performance: an increase […]

Ready for Attitude Flying?

Ready for Attitude Flying? I knew myself fairly well when I started flying lessons at age 40. Or so I thought. The long solo cross-country was when I discovered what I did not know. During that flight, I had not properly timed or verified checkpoints resulting in becoming completely off course. My drive home from this particular flight provided reflection on how to be a better pilot. I’d replayed each skill set. I flew the airplane well and used the checklist regularly but was consistently lost. What surprised me was how many times I said to myself, “That check point is only slightly off course.” I then recalled reading something […]