How to Study

How to Study to Become a Pilot

Recipe for Success: How to Study to Become a Pilot Coordinating my hands and feet while manipulating the flight controls, rudder pedals, and at the same time focusing on flying the airplane was a big challenge. Forty years of life experiences had not prepared me for the intense focus and dexterity required while learning to fly.  My first training airplane was a tired Cessna 150 with basic analog instruments. In fact, we navigated with a magnetic compass and heading indicator. The communication radio was an old tube-style with a hand-held microphone. Headsets were not an option. The instructor had to yell guidance over the loud engine noise.  Math was not my strength. Cross-country flying was a nightmare. I was alway … Read more

Flying in Fog

Flying in Different Types of Fog

Foggy Facts “Caution, Sea Smoke approaching Ormond Beach.”  Lifting my view limiting device while on a practice instrument approach at Dayton Beach (KDAB), a solid wall of white clouds rolled over the ocean toward my home airport at KOMN. I immediately canceled my practice instrument approach with KDAB approach requesting direct to KOMN.  Fog is the most frequent cause of reduced surface visibility and is a persistent weather hazard. The speed with which fog can form makes it especially hazardous. In a matter of minutes, visibility can drop from Visual Flight Rules (VFR) to less than a mile. Fog can also reduce visibilities below Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) minimum approach requirements. Fog is composed of either water vapor or ice crystals. A … Read more

Approach

Flight Approaches

Technological Historic Approach Captain Judy’s Corner Looking from the Citation jet cockpit, Charles de Gaulle international airport (CDG) was off our right wingtip. The city of Paris was off our left wing. La Bourget airport (LFPB) was directly ahead. The stunning view took our breath away. We anticipated stepping back in time as we approached this famous airport. La Bourget conjured up images of 1927 with a lanky, tasseled-haired Charles Lindberg climbing down from his gray monoplane having just completed his historic nonstop flight from New York City to Paris.  Approach to Paris As we approached LFPB, we could have been on any instrument landing system (ILS) in the world with exceptions based on terrain. De Gaulle approach control stated in a … Read more

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

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

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 Part 2

LECU Fly & Fun Captain Judy

Above: LECU: Fly & Fun Flight School – Julio de Zavala and students greet Captain Judy Rice Uncontrolled Airspace Captain Judy’s Corner: The Airspace ABCs – Part 2 ATC approved our Instrument Flight Plan (IFR) as filed for the Citation jet. We were departing Le Bourget, France (LFPB). Our destination was Madrid-Cuatro Vientos airport (LECU). Once we crossed the Federal Information Region (FIR) boundary, ATC cleared us from FL320 (32000’ MSL) to 7000’ MSL. Next, they smoothly handed us over from the French airspace control to Spanish control.  Our descent took us over the Pyrenees mountains and two major rivers, the Ebro and Tagus. We saw Madrid from a distance, perched on a plateau of sand and clay. The breathtaking panorama revealed … Read more

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

Love at First Flight

Grumman AA1A maneuvers

Above: Maneuverability and handling characteristics vary from aircraft to aircraft. Pictured here is Captain Judy Rice in her AA1A. Captain Judy’s Corner: Love at First Flight – Handling Characteristics Make Every Aircraft Unique I initially trained in a docile Cessna 150 (C150) and a spunky Piper Tomahawk. I appreciated the C150’s stability and enjoyed the Tomahawk’s maneuverable handling characteristics. Shortly after completing my private pilot check ride, I noticed a cute little airplane practicing take-offs and landings. Looking to increase my experience, this looked to be a fun airplane to fly. I inquired at the airport office regarding this mysterious airplane. Three pilots owned the Grumman AA1A. One of the owners offered a flight and mentioned it was for sale. The AA1A’s light … Read more

The Need for Speed

Citation Mustang flown by Captain Judy Rice

Above: Captain Judy Rice stands next to the Citation Mustang in which she broke a world speed record. Captain Judy’s Corner: The Need for Speed Going for a world record! As the Citation approached Kangerlussuaq, Greenland (BGSF), I queried the Air Traffic Controller about their readiness as officiators for my Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), National Aeronautic Association (NAA) World Record Attempt. The controller responded, “Affirmative.” After landing, two airport officials assured the jet was fueled before giving a friendly wave as I taxied to the runway hold lines. After that, ATC cleared us direct to Reykjavik. In a heavy Danish accent, the air traffic controller remarked, “The clock is ready for your record-breaker, N178SF!” Kangerlussuaq, Greenland to Reykjavik, Iceland was a total of … Read more