VOR Cone of Confusion

I recently got an email from a user of Nav Trainer asking what the red lines represent on the sides of the VOR station symbols.

Those red lines represent areas where the VOR signal is ambiguous and the VOR display is unreliable.

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Stop chasing the needles!

A very common problem with new pilots is over-controlling the airplane, or “chasing the needles.” For example, cruising at 5,000 feet, a new pilot might notice the altitude increases a little bit, so he abruptly pushes the yoke forward in an effort to correct the deviation. He pushes a little bit too much, and the aircraft, previously climbing, starts descending. What does our pilot do? He over corrects again, in the other direction, and the aircraft climbs again.
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New First Officer & ATP Rules Explained

The Congress and FAA recently made some big changes to the minimum requirements for First Officers in part 121 airlines and for the way pilots get their Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) licenses. These changes will affect you if you’re dreaming of an airline pilot career. In this post I’ll explain the new rules and how they may affect you.

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Deciphering RNAV approach minimas

GPS and RNAV approach terminology can be very confusing since modern RNAV procedures usually accommodate more than one type of navigational equipment (such as basic GPS, WAAS, LAAS or multi-sensor FMS) on the same chart. With older types of approach procedures, the specific equipment required is stated in the chart title. For example, you could only fly a “VOR RWY XX” approach with VOR equipment, or an ILS approach with ILS equipment.

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Top 6 ways to building your flight time

Building flight time is one of the major challenges you’ll face during your pilot’s career. In this article, I’ll cover some of the top ways to build your flight experience.

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Highlights of New FAA Runway Taxi Clearances

The new FAA runway taxi phraseology went into effect on June 30th, 2010. This article highlights the changes. Visit http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Notice/N7110.528.pdf for more information.

FAA ATC taxi instructions changes

The FAA announced today the following changes to standard taxi instruction phraseology:

Effective June 30, 2010, air traffic controllers will no longer use the term “taxi to” when authorizing aircraft to taxi to an assigned takeoff runway. With the change, controllers must issue explicit clearances to pilots crossing any runway (active/inactive or closed) along the taxi route. In addition, pilots crossing multiple runways must be past the first runway they are cleared to cross before controllers can issue the next runway-crossing clearance. One exception to the new rule is at airports where taxi routes between runway centerlines are fewer than 1,000 feet apart. In this case, multiple runway crossings may be issued if approved by the FAA Terminal Services Director of Operations. The elimination of the “taxi to” phrase will apply only to departing aircraft. Arriving aircraft will still hear the phrase “taxi to” when instructed to taxi to the gate or ramp. However, controllers in these situations still will be required to issue specific crossing instructions for each runway encountered on the taxi route. For more information on the change, refer to FAA Order N JO 7110.528, which can be found at: http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Notice/N7110.528.pdf

Brief instrument approaches like a pro

There’s no one-fit-all method to perform an approach briefing. A commercial operator may have a specific way to do it. But if you don’t work for one, you need to develop your own approach briefing technique. The key is to set the aircraft and review all important information in advance, so the workload won’t overwhelm you.

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Pilots will visit the M.D less often

Effective July 24, 2008, the FAA extended the validity period of pilot medical certificates. This change will allow some pilots to visit the aviation medical doctor less often.

The extension applies only to first and third class medical certificates issued to pilots under the age of 40. Under the old rule, a third class medical certificate, required for the operation as a private pilot, issued to a pilot under the age of 40 was valid for 36 calendar months (3 years). The new rule extends that period to 60 calendar months (5 years)

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Flight training in the 21st century


21st Century Flight training

Just a couple of years ago, the typical flight school airplane was using technologies that have changed very little since the 1950s. Even newly manufactured airplanes still had the standard six pack mechanical instruments. However, this changed dramatically when systems such as the Garmin 1000 and Avidyne Entegra quickly took over the General Aviation market. Today, you can find Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) with sophisticated glass cockpit avionics almost everywhere.

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