Flying Tips

"Flying Tips" is advisory in nature and is not intended to substitute or supplement the flight information recorded in the AIM/FAR.

Consult with a CFI, Certificated Flight Instructor.


31. HALT! High Altimeter Low Temperature. Low ambient temperatures during flight cause erroneous higher than true altitude indications. Confirm correct altimeter setting.

30. When entering the pattern of an airport where its TPA (Traffic Pattern Altitude) is unknown, add 1000' to its Field Elevation.

29. Airport Field Elevation is the highest point located near the threshold of an active runway. It's marked with a white dot on the APD (airport diagram).

28. When taxiing around obstacles, look at your shadow. Keeping your wingtip shadow separated from obstacle shadows ensures safe clearances.

27. When flying a retractable, confirm 3 green, down, and locked. Sliding on your belly leads to an expensive runway-rash.

26. After refueling a light GA aircraft, confirm quantity with a fuel-level probe. Arriving short of your planned destination is hard on your body and the airframe.

25. When in doubt, ASK! Uncertain of ATC's instructions? Exercise, "Say Again". Fly safely by understanding each others’ intentions.

24. In a "fixed-wing" aircraft, be sure to have two wings. If one is missing, you'll have a "broken-wing" aircraft.

23. Before departing IFR, remember CRAFT. Clearance limit (destination airport or intermediate fix), Route of flight, Altitude, Frequency (radio for departure), Transponder (squawk code).

22. On an ICAO standard runway, each painted stripe at the threshold represents 25'. If you count 6 stripes on one side of centerline, runway is 150' wide.

21. When contacting ATC remember, Who you want, Who you are, Where you are, What you want. Sound like a pro, keep it simple.

20. Just because "it fits", doesn't mean "it lifts". Live to fly another day. Perform a proper Weight and Balance calculation!

19. When established on LOC and about to intercept GS, be stable and configured for LNDG. Otherwise, a MAP might be in your forecast.

18. An easy-to-remember preflight checklist. CIGAR TIP Controls, Instruments, Gas, Altimeter, Run-up, Trim, Interior, Propeller.

17. When confirming control-surface position, grab yoke with left hand, and thumb up. Rotating yoke points thumb towards UP aileron.

16. Required aircraft documents, remember ARROW. Airworthiness certificate, Registration, Radio station license (if operating outside the U.S.), Operating handbook, Weight & balance.

15. Landing in a crosswind, remember "One-Wing-Low". Lower upwind wing before touchdown. Skidding or flipping WILL be expensive.

14. Ice on wings, thin as a sheet of sandpaper, distorts airflow. Losing lift hooks you up with a date with Earth, permanently!

13. During pre-flight inspection, be mindful of fuel contamination. Know your grade! A silent engine leads to a loud "landing".

12. While in flight remember, "Aviate, Navigate, Communicate"... in this order. Especially in an emergency!

11. Got Ice? FIKI (Flight into Known Icing) certified? No? You'll soon experience fantastic vertical speed performance, straight down.

10. Before starting a propeller-driven aircraft, do your neighbor a favor and CLEAR area. It keeps our fellow pilots and furry friends in one piece.

09. When landing, touch-down main wheels first, not on the nose, lest you strike the propeller and/or porpoise. Not cool.

08. Before taxiing out towards the runway remember to remove the "control lock". An attempt at rotation while speeding down the runway can lead to more than just embarrassment.

07. During engine run-up, confirm flight controls are "Free and Correct". You don't want a potentially fatal "surprise" in flight!

06. Before closing doors and taxiing out, check seat-belts are in aircraft and not hanging outside. Avoid damage when shutting door.

05. When in controlled airspace and flying VFR (Visual Flight Rules), "squawk" (transmit) "1200" from your transponder.

04. If on direct collision-course with a converging aircraft, turn "Right" and fly perpendicular to your original course-line.

03. Avoid a mid-air collision; remember "Red-Right-Return". If ahead you see two lights, green-left & red-right, you're converging.

02. During ground operations, taxi your aircraft no faster than a slow jog or brisk walk.

01. When landing, don't forget to "roundout" & "flare" (rotate nose slightly above horizon, touching-down near stall speed).