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

What is yaw?

What is yaw?

We climbed effortlessly in the Citation Jet to our assigned altitude of FL380 (38,000’MSL). This light jet is controlled much like most commercial jets and with similar design features. One of the Citation’s smooth handling characteristics in a climb are the result of the yaw dampers. The Citation has vertical fins under the tail cone and an electronic yaw damper engaging automatically when the yaw is overpowering the vertical fins.  –Captain Judy Rice on her around-the-world flight What is yaw? The official definition is a twisting, or rotation, of a moving ship or aircraft around a vertical axis. Yaw describes an airplane, boat, or fish with the nose or front moving side-to-side through the air. Motion determines the meaning. Do … Read more

Future Flying Forecast

Article: Future Flying Forecast

Captain Judy’s Corner The future flying forecast may have seemed bleak one year ago, but fluctuations and furloughs are not forever. Bloomberg News, September 2001: “Thousands of workers losing their jobs at American Airlines. United Airlines reports the gravest times in its history. Eight of the largest airlines in the United States have implemented over 78,000 furloughs since the terrorist attacks. Prior to these massive furloughs, the airlines were reporting record employment.” Furloughs in aviation are nothing new. One of the earliest sequences of layoffs occurred during World War I (1914–1918). At the beginning and during the war, the demand for pilots far exceeded the training capabilities. Production of pilots and aircraft could not happen fast enough. After the war, … Read more

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

Approach Captain Judy’s Corner: Technological Historical Approach 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. We were about to make a technological historic approach. Coming into Paris As we approached LFPB, we could have been on any instrument landing system (ILS) in the world with exceptions based … 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

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 prior to … 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