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

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

Pilots as Mechanics

Pilots as A&P 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. This is a safety issue. 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 … 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

Airline Pilot Salary

Commercial Airline Pilot Salary

Epic Flight Academy students put in a lot of effort to become airline pilots. They make connections while at flight school that will stay with them throughout their careers. But the real question is… how much will they earn? How Much Is An Airline Pilot’s Salary? People choose an airline pilot career for a variety of reasons, first and foremost being their love of flying, and, besides, who wouldn’t enjoy the adventure of seeing the world? However, with the growing demand for commercial airline pilots worldwide, airline pilots’ salaries are an excellent reason to consider an aviation career. Have you have been thinking about becoming a pilot, but you’re concerned with how much pilots are paid? For the relatively small … Read more

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

Thunderstorm Flexibility

Flying in thunderstorms

Captain Judy’s Corner: Flexibility is the Key to Safety in a Thunderstorm Thunderstorm flexibility is essential for all pilots. The Citation was at FL370 (37000’) when I saw a thunderstorm building in the distance. I was amazed to watch and feel this energy from a far distance. The cumulonimbus clouds were building higher than the jet’s altitude. The lightning brightened the darkening sky. Are thunderstorms really all that dangerous? Every student pilot dreads the thunderstorm. Thunderstorms are part of summer weather in Florida, and most pilots here know to respect them. Thunderstorms are one of nature’s most powerful forces and a weather hazard that are dangerous for all pilots. Flying too close to these powerful beasts can end in disaster. … Read more

Ready for Attitude Flying?

Avoid Hazardous Attitudes

Captain Judy’s Corner: Avoid Hazardous Flying Attitudes Is it important to verify checkpoints? Hazardous flying attitudes can occur at any time. 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 … Read more