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 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 2

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

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 Love at First Flight

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 The Need for Speed

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