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

Diversity in Aviation

Diversity Role Model Article

Captain Judy’s Corner: Finding a Role Model “You are a girl. Good girls do not fly.” My personal journey began with hearing these lies at a very young age. You may have heard similar words from a parent, teacher, or peer, as I had. I dreamt of flying for as long as I can remember. However, I kept my dream a secret, and self-doubt grew believing these devastating words. Your self-doubt might be growing, as well. Diversity in aviation has been a work in progress over the years. I would sit for hours looking at airplane picture books. At that time, women were not pictured in the cockpit. I found no photos of women flyers. Then one day, I discovered a … Read more

Summer Internship

A Sneak Peek of My Summer Internship at Epic Flight Academy By Cilia Salam Finding an Internship During the summer of 2021, I had the opportunity to do a summer internship with Epic Flight Academy. I had been trying to earn some work experience in the new normal of COVID-19 before I graduate with my master’s degree in the fall semester. At the beginning of the spring semester, I started applying and looking for internship opportunities. Like any other ambitious and enthusiastic ERAU aviation student, I was looking forward to an internship at a major airline. With uncertainty caused by COVID-19, the airlines had little to no availability for an intern. I ended up looking at local flight schools upon … 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

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

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! An aircraft speed record is no small thing. 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, … 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

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

Density Altitude

Density Altitude Article

Captain Judy’s Corner: Density Altitude After all, airplanes don’t feel. Or, do they? How does hot, humid air affect flying? The cockpit felt like a sauna in the Arizona heat. Not only was I enduring the summer heat, but so was the airplane. How might an airplane suffer from heat? After all, airplanes do not feel? Or do they? Flying on a cool Florida morning or evening, you will notice ample runway remaining before lift-off and how eager the airplane climbs. Fly on a hot, muggy afternoon, and the runway remaining before lift-off will be far less. The airplane would climb much slower, as well. Temperature, pressure, and moisture (dewpoint) in the air affects our airplanes’ performance: an increase required … 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