Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Welcome to FIG Aviation

Flying is a life-changing event. I want to help enhance your flying in any way possible. I have an aerobatic tailwheel aircraft and can offer you tailwheel experience and endorsements, aerobatics, spin and/or upset training. I believe a big injustice to many pilots is they don't get to spin, and have an unrealistic 'fear' of spins. Rather, I would prefer pilots experience spins and know they are very recoverable.

I also ferry aircraft to suit your needs.  Contact me at fly.fig.aviation@gmail.com

Monday, November 30, 2020

Latest Updates

- Flying is great - improve every flight -

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Master Index

- Flying is great - improve every flight -

Monday, September 14, 2020

My Morsels

We all know you can't consolidate the internet or hundreds of peoples' insights, techniques, lessons into a single document.  So, I will consolidate the things I've learned, used, and shared to keep flying upright.  First, I'll start with terms...

  • Terms
    • "Abeam the numbers" - see "perch".
    • "Back pressure" - pull back on the stick/yoke, or "Release back pressure" which is the opposite.
    • "Brick One" - meaning the very first inch (or brick) of the runway.
    • "Buffet" - when the aircraft starts to shake prior to a stall.  Not my term, but you can use it even without a stall warning horn/light.
    • "Chair fly" - to rehearse a maneuver (or anything) before you actually do it.
    • "Horn" - the stall warning horn - or however the aircraft is equipped
    • "Perch" - used for "abeam the numbers" (which is 4 syllables longer).  The Perch is when you are abeam the numbers, but it also instills the idea that you "jump" off the perch.  I.e., you start your descent.  Birds don't fly up from a perch, they jump off (down).
    • "Roll out" - means to reduce your bank (whatever it is) to zero, so as to roll out of bank.
    • "Unload" - lower AOA, push the yoke/stick forward (you're unloading Gs)
    • "VAPI" - used to reference VASIs or PAPIs.  They only differ in configuration, but the concept is the same.
    • "Walk around" - the preflight inspection
    • "Wire".  This is the term I use for the approach angle.  3 degrees, right?  The 'wire' is a line between you and your aimpoint.  Ideally, it is always about a 3 degree wire.  You are either above, on, or below the wire.
  • 1-2-3 From the Knee
    • I use this at the perch.  1 is carburetor  heat, 2 is set your power, 3 is 10 degrees of flaps.  I return to power to refine it, but after it's refined, I leave it alone.
  • Aimpoint vs Landing Point.
    • First of all, there is no 'landing point' unless you've declared it for a precision landing (which is good practice for any pattern).  Normally, the landing point is slightly beyond the aimpoint.  The aimpoint is where you would crash if you never changed your approach angle.  Since we transition to level, wait for the airplane to lose its lift and then roundout, we will certainly land beyond the aimpoint.  As soon as you transition to level, your aimpoint has served its purpose and you can say thank you as you fly past it.  You will land XXX (~400) feet beyond it.  If you wanted to land at brick one, your aimpoint could never be on the runway.  My aimpoint is very seldom short.  In fact, if there is a VASI/PAPI, it's an imaginary line directly across from the lights.  See my VASI/PAPI tutorial.  If there aren't lights, it's usually the first centerline dash after the numbers.  I only bring it closer if the runway is REALLY short.
    • Review the AIM discussion on runway markings
  • Crosswind controls on the ground
    • The text version in many POHs (such as shown here) takes a bit of mental effort - at least they do for me.  So here's my technique...
      • Conventional Gear
        • "Turn Into, Dive Away From".  It's that simple.
        • You turn into (stick/yoke into) a quartering headwind and dive away from (stick/yoke away and forward) a quartering tailwind.
      • Tricycle Gear
        • "Climb Into, Dive Away From".
        • Only difference is 1) back stick/yoke for the headwinds and 2) watch the "diving" away from so you don't overcome prop wash.  Such as in moderate tailwinds.
      • AOPA has another technique if it works for you.
  • Illusions
    • Runways:
      • If it's "WIde" you'll be "HI", if it's "narROW" you'll be "LOW" (where you typically end up on final, but not necessarily)
        • You're tying to make it look 'normal'
        • If they have VAPIs (VASI or PAPI) use them!
      • Slope - it's opposite of the slope
        • If it slopes down, you'll likely be higher (than you should be)
        • If it slopes up, you'll likely be lower (than you should be)
        • If they have VAPIs (VASI or PAPI) use them!
  • "Pitch for airspeed" - this implies an unmodified power setting and you can only maintain a speed with pitch (forward/aft stick/yoke).
  • Preflight / Walkaround:
    • The point here is to start from and end where you enter your aircraft.  Piper (and others) and Cessna are clearly different.  Both pics are from the POHs (with edits on the Piper):


  • Skid vs Slip
    • If you skid, you'll leave too much rubber on the road - TOO MUCH rudder.  You'll  leave a skid mark.
    • Slips then are the opposite - not enough rudder
- Flying IS Great - Improve Every Flight -

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Mountain Flying

I will teach you mountain flying if so desired.  You can contact me directly, use the "Contact me" form on each page, or go through Springs Aviation.  My availability is always on my AvCal which can help you plan your flight/visit.

If you want to fly in your own airplane, I fully support it, and think it's a better choice.  We've had people fly in from out of state to take the course so don't hesitate to do the same.

These are the the academics I normally provide:  "Mountain Flying - doing it safely"

This is the typical route:


Weather Resources:
  • Monarch Pass AWOS:  719-539-4436
  • Salida (KANK) AWOS:  719-539-5268
  • Bald Mountain AWOS:  303-512-4419
  • Buena Vista (KAEJ) AWOS:  719-395-2599
  • Leadville (KLXV) AWOS:  719-486-8441
  • Aspen (KASE) ASOS:  970-205-2482
  • Glenwood Springs (KGWS) AWOS:  970-524-7386
  • Eagle County (KEGE) AWOS:  970-524-7386
  • Copper Mountain AWOS:  970-968-1715
  • Wilkerson Pass AWOS:  303-512-4418
Other resources:
Flying is great...improve every flight!

Friday, September 11, 2020

New Pilots

Just starting out? Well, there is a lot to think about and a lot of questions. What do I study, what do I need to bring, how can I prepare, and so on. Here are some things I think are important to think about and should help you prepare to enter the world of flying.

  • First, get a medical.  Don't spend money on flights if you can't get a medical.  For the most part, they're pretty easy to attain.  If you're in the Colorado Springs area, I highly recommend Dr Limoge.  He has a very easy-to-use webpage for scheduling.
  • Things to read early on (these are all free)…
  • Make an account at IACRA
    • Next to the "LOGIN" button click "Register".
    • Click "Applicant" and then the "Agree to TOS and Continue" button
    • Fill out your data and click the "Register" button
      • Don't forget your password or your FTN
      • You will use IACRA for all other ratings in your flying career.
  • Charts (maps).  Most GA (general aviation) flying is done using 'sectionals'. You should know what a sectional is.
    • Here's the deal...you can go with paper or electronic products. Because the paper product cycle is now 56 days, I highly recommend going electronic.  This is the "EFB" or electronic flight bag. Sadly, you'll need a paper product for your checkride - the FAA lags technology.  Read more in "mobile device" below.
  • Internet! Use it!  Search any and all things you have questions about. Just make sure you cross reference things you learn with reality. The internet has plenty of non-reality.
  • Tools:
    • Flight bag: (don't overspend, just designate a bag/backpack to flying)
    • Headset: this can go all kinds of ways. My recommendation is NEVER buy the lowest.  Regardless of the brand, buy middle or higher.
      • Noise cancelling?  Personally, I rarely use it.  I have high-end headsets (Lightspeed, Bose, and David Clark, and in all cases, I don't use noise canceling).  I like hearing what's going on around me.
    • Mobile device (phone or tablet)
      • Here's where many people make a big assumption.  They say why.  They're implying to be used as an EFB (Electronic Flight Bag).  I highly support and EFB  (Foreflight, FltPlan Go, Garmin, etc.).
        • Furthermore, if you haven't used any EFB, I highly suggest FltPlan Go. First of all, it truly free and if you haven't used another EFB, you won't know the difference.  Use it!
    • Kneeboard (just search it and get any one with a clip)
      • Kneeboards are great for holding your checklist (or other docs) and for taking notes. When you watch your instructor take notes from the AWOS, ASOS, ATIS, you'll wish you had some paper.
      • This is what I use which is stupidly overpriced but welcome to aviation.
    • Charts/Flight Computer/Logs (this is an overreach comment).
      • Charts:  if you adopt an EFB, the charts will be taken care of
        • You can take care of all your chart issues by using an EFB.
      • Flight computers. Normally this is in reference to an E6B. I pray this will eventually go away, but until it does, get the cheapest one you can - usually made of paper.
    • Food and hydration
      • When you're flying, you're almost always dehydrated by default.
      • Bring snacks and bring water!
    • Fuel tester/sumper
      • Your choice.  If you rent aircraft, it is usually in the airplane.
      • Also, if you buy one, it only works for certain aircraft.
    • Sunglasses
    • Sunscreen
    • Hat/Glove/Layers
      • The climate changes rapidly as you ascend into the sky - or you could fly to a destination where the weather is decidedly different from your departure airport. How do I address it?  Dress to egress!  In other words, if you had to land without an engine, are you ready for it?
- FIG -

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Acrobatic Training

Acrobatic flight is one of the most exhilarating things you can do.  Beyond that, it helps you understand flight characteristics and realize that you can without question recover from a spin.

My syllabus:
  • Stalls
  • Chandelles
  • Wingovers
  • Aileron rolls
  • Loops
  • Loop plus rolls
  • Cloverleafs
  • Cuban eights
  • Immelmanns and
  • Spins!!!
I am still building my syllabus, but what's listed above will be the baseline.  You can most certainly expect to spin.  The spin is the biggest monkey on the private pilot's back.  I will show you that 1) it  is not only predicable, but 2) completely recoverable.

Never let spins control you.  You control them.


- FIG -