Red Tails

Epic Red Tail Project

Captain Judy’s Corner: Epic’s Red Tail Project “Aircraft on final for runway 9, winds favor runway 27. Red Grumman departing runway 27.”  Over 25 years ago, and I still vividly recall the departure at this Class G, uncontrolled airport. The incoming white aircraft never acknowledged my radio call.  Every year, runway incursions, traffic conflicts, mid-air collisions, and near misses occur. The FAA FAST Team reports an average of 30 mid-air collisions in the United States each year. Mid-air collisions are generally reported below 8,000 feet AGL, within 30 miles of an airport, and involving aircraft with communication equipment.  Radios are not required equipment in Class E, Class G, or at uncontrolled airports. The FAA advises playing it safe and making … Read more

NOTAMs

Decoding NOTAMs

Decoding NOTAMs: Hanoi to Hong Kong Captain Judy’s Corner The Citation jet was ready for departure at Hanoi, Vietnam (VVNB) with a destination Hong Kong (VHHH). Weather was agreeable along our entire route. The NOTAMs were an issue. Acquiring the most current weather and NOTAMs can be challenging when flying international. For example, each country will have a different responsible agency to contact for this information. Once the pilot locates the agency, they must often pay a fee and apply for ramp access to the facility. Airlines provide this information to the crew. General aviation pilots can pre-purchase this information through a commercial contractor or locate the agency on their own. During our 2015 World Flight, we pre-purchased these services. … Read more

PIREPs

Cross-Country Adventure PIREPs

Captain Judy’s Corner: Cross-Country Adventure with PIREPs Sunrise brings the promise of perfect flying weather! Today is a satisfying day to apply your knowledge to practice with the long solo cross-country. Therefore, your private pilot check ride prep will follow.  You arrive at Epic Flight Academy obtaining a final review on weather before departure. There are ample computers in the flight planning area connected to Aviation Weather. The METeorogical Aerodrome Report (METAR), Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF), graphic weather, radar and satellite imaging, prognostic charts all indicate departure, enroute weather, and destination are visual flight rules (VFR). There are currently no pilot reports, also called PIREPs, along your route. A call to 800-WX-BRIEF Flight Service Station (FSS) briefer verified the VFR online … Read more

FAA Medical Deferral

Appealing an FAA Medical Deferral

Captain Judy’s Corner: One Flight Student’s Recipe for Success in Dealing with an FAA Medical Deferral This month, Captain Judy Rice spotlights Epic flight student Bryce Dawson‘s recipe for success in navigating challenges with his FAA medical deferral. Captain Judy interviewed Bryce for this inspirational article about one student’s journey to become a pilot. Combine the following ingredients and adjust for best results: Determination Patience Supportive friends and family Highest quality flight training facility Background December 23,1997, Paul Dawson, risk insurance agent, and Paula Dawson, public school teacher, welcomed their firstborn and named him Bryce. Brother Connor came along 23 months later.  The Dawsons raised their children with their same high standards for work ethic, determination, and professionalism. The children knew only … Read more

Airspace Classes: Captain Judy’s Corner

Airspace Classes and Special Use

Part 1: Security Clearances We filed the Citation jet’s route departing from Yerevan, Armenia (UDYZ) to Tel Aviv, Israel (LLBG). During our pre-briefing, ATC shared we would receive more information once airborne. 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 our aircraft. Therefore, it must be included when radioing Israeli air traffic control at the time of our requesting … Read more

What is turbulence, and why is it so scary?

Flight Turbulence

Does turbulence shake you up? It shouldn’t! Pilots experience different types of turbulence during flight. Understanding turbulence can help you better respond when you face this situation. What is the definition of turbulence? Flight turbulence is something most passengers hate. What is turbulence? The meaning of turbulence is a sudden, violent shift in airflow. It creates up and down currents caused by irregular atmospheric motion. You can also define turbulence as that sudden jerking you sometimes feel in an airplane! So, what does understanding turbulent flow have to do with safe flying? 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 … Read more

Gift of Knowledge

Gift of Knowledge

Santa arrived early this year at Epic Flight Academy delivering the Gift of Knowledge!  On Saturday, November 6, Epic celebrated its 6th annual Aviation Scholarship Awards and Fishing Tournament. Each year, Epic awards scholarships to deserving high school students. The fishing tournament is a fun event for industry partners that generates funds for future scholarships. The scholarship awards ceremony is combined with a career fair. Epic partners included Cessna/Textron Aviation, Air Wisconsin, United Airlines, Piper Aircraft, SkyWest, Southern Airways Express, Piedmont Airlines, Republic Airways, FEAM Maintenance & Engineering, and New Smyrna Beach Outfitters.The career fair was well attended with students gathering information and asking many questions about career opportunities.  As the day progressed, hungry appetites were met with wide assortment of … Read more

Diversity in Aviation

Diversity Role Model Article

Captain Judy’s Corner: Finding a Role Model “You are a girl. Good girls do not fly.” My personal journey began with hearing these lies at a very young age. You may have heard similar words from a parent, teacher, or peer, as I had. I dreamt of flying for as long as I can remember. However, I kept my dream a secret, and self-doubt grew believing these devastating words. Your self-doubt might be growing, as well. Diversity in aviation has been a work in progress over the years. I would sit for hours looking at airplane picture books. At that time, women were not pictured in the cockpit. I found no photos of women flyers. Then one day, I discovered a … Read more

Airfoil

Learn about airfoil

What is an airfoil? The definition of an airfoil (or aerofoil in the UK) is a structure with curved surfaces, such as an airplane wing, fins, and horizontal stabilizer, designed to provide the best ratio of lift to drag during flight. The meaning of airfoil is the same for all aircraft. Let’s consider the stubby, short wings of my Grumman compared to the long, flowing wings of the Epic Flight Academy’s Cessna 172SP. You may wonder how my little bird would have enough wing to leave Earth’s gravity. You can compare this to an egret flapping frantically to rise a few feet from the sand. Its tiny wings are capable of supporting what appears to be an oversized body. However, … Read more

Cross Country Flight Planning

Cross Country Flight Planning Training

Captain Judy’s Corner: The Art & Science of Not Getting Lost Cross country flight planning is something every pilot must know. Even though it was 30 years ago, I vividly recall soloing in the Cessna150. Exhilarating, yet terrifying, describes this memorable day. There was nothing in life that prepared me for the intensity. My flight instructor assured I was ready. I knew I was ready, but I was anxious all the same. Leaving the airport environment on a solo cross country was as exciting and distressing. I prepared, studied the routes, check points, and unfamiliar destination airport environment. Nonetheless, I consistently got lost.  Preparing a Navigation Log What helped me throughout learning cross countries? It was understanding how to prepare … Read more