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

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 Aircraft handling characteristics are important. 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 … Read more

Once Upon a Time: Filing a Flight Plan

Captain Judy Rice

Captain Judy Rice found the ICAO International Flight Plan form beneficial during her world flight. Captain Judy’s Corner: Once Upon a Time… Filing a Flight Plan This fairy tale began long before the FAA announcement for change to the form used by United States pilots when filing a flight plan. The purpose of a flight plan might be compared to going on a long drive to visit a relative. You let your relative know the overall anticipated travel arrangements, and you include approximate time of arrival. An overdue arrival would likely cause concern, and your relative will likely call you to make sure you’re alright. A flight plan is much like having your relative on the other end of your … Read more

Aeromedical Part 2: Hypoxia

Hypoxia Captain Judy Rice

Captain Judy Rice and Navigator Fred by their Cirrus SR22T during the National Tour Captain Judy’s Corner: Aeromedical Part 2 – Hypoxia “Are my lips blue…?” Hypoxia aeromedical awareness matters. The Cirrus SR22T effortlessly reached the altitude of 8,500 MSL. The turbocharged airplane had a built-in oxygen system for higher altitudes. The maximum altitudes along our 3-month national tour would not exceed 10,000 MSL. It seemed unlikely we would be using the Cirrus oxygen system according to oxygen requirements when flying 12,500 MSL for over 30 minutes as stated in FAR 91.211. We had reached our crossing altitude before approaching the Arizona mountain ridges. I focused on clearing the ridges with ample altitude if encountering turbulence. We were safely on … Read more

Aeromedical Part 1: Motion Sickness

Motion Sickness Aeromedical Conditions

Captain Judy’s Corner: Aeromedical Part 1 – Motion Sickness “I alerted my aerobatic instructor…” My earliest memory of riding in a car was leaning out the window for fresh air and positioning my head carefully into a brown paper bag while my stomach was churning. My parents reassured that eventually I would outgrow these queasy moments. At a very young age, I learned to avoid looking down, such as looking at picture books, if I were inside a moving vehicle. I also always had water, sat next to a window, and if all of these precautions did not work, then the brown paper bag was nearby. Can flying a plane cause motion sickness? My first experiences as a student pilot … Read more

Technology and Problem-Solving

Captain Judy Rice Madrid

Madrid, Spain: Captain Judy Rice with Madrid students Captain Judy’s Corner: Pilot Technology and Problem-Solving “Our fuel stop was forecasting ceilings (clouds) at the lowest landing minimums and a slow moving line of thunderstorms…” Pilots rely on technology and problem-solving skills. My crew met me in the lobby for a quick cup of coffee before checking weather and then pre-flighting the Citation. We had our flight plan on file from our departure: Regina, Canada (CYQR) to Churchill, Canada (CYYQ) for a fuel stop, and then to Iqaluit, Canada (CYFB). This would be our final destination on our second night of this world flight voyage. Our fuel stop was forecasting ceilings (clouds) at the lowest landing minimums. There was a slow-moving … Read more

Shared Goals, Shared Knowledge, Mutual Respect

Shared Goals and Knowledge

Shared Goals, Shared Knowledge, and Mutual Respect Captain Judy’s Corner What do shared goals, shared knowledge, and mutual respect have to do with a major airline, a world flight, and Epic Flight Academy? “Citation N178SF, do you need assistance?” The Sakhalinsk air traffic controller gave us a straight-out departure on Runway 19. I was flying left seat, and my first officer, Edwin, was busy with communications. I had almost thawed from the biting Russian cold. The Citation climbed effortlessly at 3,000 feet per minute. As we climbed through solid gray clouds, the advanced avionics technology displayed on our glass cockpit went blank! Both displays were totally dark, leaving us with no instruments or navigation aids. We were in the ‘soup,’ … Read more