Category Archives: Cirrus Flight Training

CIRRUS AIRCRAFT’S SAFETY AWARD

The award was given by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s (AOPA) Air Safety Institute (ASI). George Perry, ASI’s Senior Vice President, commented, “Over the past decade Cirrus has earned one of the best safety records in the industry, and we are proud to acknowledge their work.” He also shared that in working openly with its owners group, Cirrus has “brought their accident rate to less than half the
industry average.”

While Cirrus is now known for their safety via the Cirrus Airframe
Parachute System (CAPS) and Cirrus Approach systems, that has not always been the case.

The CAPS was put into place in the Cirrus SR20 and SR220 aircrafts
several years ago as a result of frighteningly high accident rates for the two aircrafts. It was revolutionizing technology, and Cirrus thought that by adding the whole frame parachute, they would be able to save far more lives.

They were right! As a result of the CAPS system, over 135 lives have been saved to date. However, this didn’t come without a huge effort on Cirrus’ side to educate its pilots.

When CAPS was first put into place, it was speculated that there was a spike in Cirrus accidents because Pilots felt more comfortable knowing they had the parachute system if anything should happen. But, as Cirrus discovered, there was a lack of knowledge regarding how to use the CAPS, which didn’t have the results Cirrus was hoping for.

After recognizing the new statistics, Cirrus knew they had to do what they could to educate pilots. The Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association worked diligently to create a system of encouraging CAPS use and celebrating pilots for using the technology, rather than questioning them every time. Additionally, Cirrus created the ‘Cirrus Approach’ safety program to integrate safety and CAPS procedures into regular Cirrus training.

As a result of the Cirrus Approach, the aircraft industry saw the decline in fatal accidents each year steadily increase. The height of the accident peak was in 2011, with 16 fatal accidents in SR20s and SR22s. By 2014, the number of fatal crashes decreased to three, which is remarkable considering the spike in Cirrus Aircraft use.

The Cirrus Approach system of encouraging pilots to “pull early, pull often” has helped the world to see the safety precautions put in place. In 2015 Cirrus’ CAPS was publicized when a pilot flying his SR22 over the Pacific Ocean was filmed using it. The pilot realized mid flight that there was a fuel tank issue, and he would have to utilize CAPS in the middle of the water. The U.S. Coast Guard caught the incident on camera, and the Cirrus Approach was proven beneficial.

The world saw CAPS in action again just months later when Bill Simon, the CEO of Wal-Mart, and two passengers were forced to deploy the parachute after losing oil pressure. This too was captured and quickly spread on social media.

These widespread CAPS success stories are just two of the numerous incidents in which the system has saved lives. By constantly placing safety at the forefront of design, and regularly training pilots, Cirrus has been able to lower the number of aircraft fatalities exponentially.

Cirrus is proud to be the first recipient of the Joseph T. Nall Safety Award, and looks forward to continuing to work on safety and innovation for the aircraft industry.

7 Reasons Why Private Pilots Should Get an Instrument Rating

An instrument rating is an advanced type of aviation certification enabling pilots to fly rather than be grounded even during cloudy weather and other weather conditions that cause low visibility. The Instrument Flight Rules Rating (IFR) training requirements include 30 hours of pre and post flight ground school, 40 hours of instrument flight training, 50 hours of PIC Cross-Country, and the successful completion of an instrument written exam. It is an excellent addition to a private pilot’s certificate, which by itself leaves the pilot limited to flying only during Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions. Aside from the obvious, though, there are many additional advantages that come with an instrument rating. Here are seven good reasons why an instrument rating ultimately makes for a better pilot:
cirrus-plane

1) Better Planning Pre-Flight

It’s typically true that a pilot with an instrument rating will be better at pre-flight planning than a pilot without an instrument rating. The training prepares pilots for alternates, deviations, hazards, fuel stops, and more.

2) Heightened Pilot’s Intuition
Pilots with an instrument rating also tend to be more forward-thinking, as opposed to less skilled pilots who are always in the present moment. Being a couple steps ahead, with split-second reaction times, is always a good thing in the sky.

3) IMC Flight Preparation
Flying inadvertently into Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) can be tricky, but with an instrument rating pilots are better prepared for the unexpected limitations to their visibility due to unpredictable weather and clouds.

4) Improved Accuracy
Pilots with an instrument rating are known to possess an improved level of accuracy because IFR training gives pilots an opportunity to learn more precise flying techniques in terms of power changes, pitch, heading, altitude, and airspeed.

5) More Instrument Knowledge
Completing IFR training provides pilots with a more in-depth knowledge of the instruments and other technology in their aircraft as well, which makes them a superior pilot in a variety of circumstances.

6) Weather Predictions Become 2nd Nature
Pilots tend to improve their ability to notice and predict weather conditions once they’ve gotten an instrument rating. The required training includes a heavy focus on the ins and outs of weather reporting and weather theory, as well as exercises to build specific skills such as recognizing frontal passages, ice, thunderstorms, and more.

7) You’ll be a Traffic Pro
And finally, once you have finished your IFR training, you will also improve your ability to find nearby traffic with a high level of accuracy and understanding of the leading pilot reporting terminology.

If you’re ready to get an instrument rating in addition to your private pilot’s license, there is no time like the present. Coast Flight offers an Instrument Flight Rules Rating Program that prepares private pilots for clouds and other bad weather in an accelerated format. Pilots build their confidence in a complex and busy airspace and are only certified when they have reached an airline-standard of skill for flying in little (or no) visibility. After getting an instrument rating, pilots are also qualified to begin a commercial pilot’s certification program.

ForeFlight

ForeFlight Mobile has released Version 4, the latest version of its popular app for the iPhone and iPad, to help guide pilots on the ground and during flights. The ForeFlight software application has been popular among pilots of small planes since its initial release, and Version 4 promises to offer even more helpful tools for flying such as a new airspaces feature, integrated FAA “green book” A/FD, navigation log, personal waypoints, plates organizer, and more. The technology isn’t perfect yet, but the latest version is a good additional resource to supplement the knowledge and on-plane tools that every pilot is working with.

The Pros of ForeFlight Mobile HD Version 4

Many pilots rave about ForeFlight for the instant access to A/FD, airport intelligence, flight planning, high quality weather and service providers, as well as its customized system for radar, satellite data and visualizing charts that assist in flight or at the airport. It offers a Download Manager that provides the latest data on a 28-day cycle, flight planning tools, and enhanced weather forecast imagery.

Version 4 does provide some striking enhancements, which are particularly helpful in the following areas:

  • Able to check airspace, fuel prices, NOTAMS, TFRs, weather, and wind aloft
  • Approved source of FAA chart supplements
  • Downloads approach plates, diagrams, IFT charts, and VFR charts for the entire U.S.
  • GPS moving map
  • File flight plan
  • Provides accurate airport information
  • Weather information on board
  • With a Bad Elf external antenna you will have GPS while in flight
  • IFR and VFR charts available
  • FBO information is available for every airport in country, it will have the contact numbers and the current fuel price.

Emergency Procedure Refresher Course

An in-flight emergency can occur at any moment. And depending on how long you’ve been flying, the skills and procedures you once learned about how to react in an emergency situation, may not remain clear in your memory years later. Even if you feel fairly familiar with emergency procedures, there is never such a thing as being too prepared for an emergency. For this reason, Coast Flight Training is offering an emergency procedure refresher course. After just one day, you will be far better off in any emergency flight situation than you were before.

The day is broken up into two hours of ground school and four hours of simulation, where you will be given the chance to react to an emergency in a very real and impacting way. The simulator time will be broken up into two lessons that airlines use to train their pilots. The course will involve both practical and real scenario lessons.

During the course, your instructor will go over routine emergency procedures, as well as abnormal procedures. You will be provided with methodology to handle any emergency in the most efficient and effective way possible.

The many benefits of a simulator course in handling emergencies include:
Inexpensive Cost. The simulator costs much less when compared to emergency training with an actual airplane.
Valuable Experience. Participants are allowed the opportunity to react to an engine failure and other hazardous situations. Participants are also able to have the experience of being in a real-time flight situation. You will learn quick decision-making skills, and have the option to terminate or avert flight.
Learning From The Past. Participants are able to experience and react to an example accident that has actually befallen other pilots. In the program, students are able to learn from their mistakes and access the procedures that would have made for a successful flight.
Memory Refresher. The course keeps skills fresh and ensures that you are adequately prepared to handle any emergency.

PREPARING For TAKEOFF

As senior Trevor Rogers was taxied onto the Montgomery Field runway, he took a deep breath.

“Montgomery Tower, Cirrus six-three-zero-sierra-foxtrot holding short two-eight right for an eastbound departure,” he said into his radio.

“Six-three-zero-sierra-foxtrot clear for eastbound departure two-eight right,” the tower crackled back.

And with that short exchange, Trevor was granted permission to fly the Cirrus SR-20. He leaned forward, closed his preflight checklist, and pulled onto the strip. As he began to pick up speed to prepare for takeoff, his face tensed slightly in anticipation. “When you’re taking off, it’s like, ‘Well, there’s no turning back now,’” Trevor said. “For the most part, once you’re going [on the runway], you have to get airborne. You can’t just stop and turn around.” Turning back isn’t something that Trevor would do though, not after all of his hard work. For him, earning his private pilot’s license last July was just one step in his ultimate dream of becoming a fighter pilot in the Air Force. “I’ve wanted to be in the military since I was little,” he said. “But when I was little, flying [didn’t seem like] a reality. When I actually went to the [Air Force Academy’s] summer seminar though, it became a reality.”

For a reality though, it was one that didn’t come easy. While earning his license, he had his grades to keep up and flight school, which dominated a large chunk of his time. And, since Trevor hopes to earn for a spot in the Air Force’s highly competitive Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) program after college, both his high school and college GPA need to be near perfect.

“It’s going to be really stressful,” he said. “I’m not going to be able to have as much fun necessarily because I’ll have a lot of work to do. It will be all worth it in the end because I’ll have a guaranteed job in the military serving my country.”

Trevor is stepping up to the challenge though. Ending the year with his GPA above a 4.0, his license gained, and even an $18,000 AFROTC scholarship, all that is left for Trevor is to keep moving forward and to keep doing what he loves—flying.

Westview High School Yearbook. Anne Yilmaz 2012

Features and Benefits of The Cirrus Perspective By Garmin

Cirrus caused a buzz in the aviation world in 2008 when the aircraft manufacturer finally launched the much-awaited Perspective. The Cirrus Perspective by Garmin is a standard cockpit. It employs many of the same underlying technologies as the G1000 system, but is designed solely for Cirrus’ specifications. It offers numerous benefits and new features that Cirrus pilots will surely appreciate.

These are the most exciting features and benefits of the Cirrus Perspective by Garmin:

  • Autopilot Control Yaw Damper: The yaw damper reduces rolling and yawing oscillations caused by Dutch roll mode, and the new version has an intuitive autopilot control system.
  • Flight Management System: The FMS in the Cirrus Perspective by Garmin is a more user-friendly version of the computer system that automatically performs many in-flight tasks.  It basically gives the pilot a keypad like your computer.
  • Flight Path Indicator: This technology provides a clear display of the path the airplane is on at any given time.
  • HSI Display: This display shows a predetermined course for the pilot, which replaces the gauges and other hardware that pilots have traditionally relied on to create a mental picture of the situation their airplane is in.
  • New Autopilot: The Garmin autopilot offers a blue level button.  The will level the wings, recover unusual attitude and provide flawless instrument approaches.
  • Synthetic Vision: This new virtual reality display system for cockpits uses 3D technology to give pilots a clearer and more insightful understanding of the environment in which they’re flying.
  • Terrain Avoidance Warning System: The TAWS is highly reliable and efficient, as it automatically warns the flight crew of potential collisions with terrain, giving the crew plenty of time to react before danger strikes.

This is truly the safest cockpit option available in general aviation!

How To Plan For Winter Flying

Winter is a popular time to travel.  Everyone wants to visit to family, friends, go skiing all in different areas of the country in a short holiday season.  Although winter weather conditions can create higher risk challenges, many pilots can’t help but to continue experiencing the wonders of aviation during the winter months.

If you plan on flying on your own this winter, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience, as long as you take a few extra precautions and spend a little more time planning.

Tips for Safe Winter Flying

  • Proper preflight planning is crucial – imagine all the possible worst-case scenarios before you head out onto the runway.  Remember that icing levels are lower this time of year.
  • Check all pilot reports before flying for icing conditions, airport closures, cold fronts, cloud locations and other issues that could affect your flight.
  • Air traffic during the holidays is often much worse than any other time of the year. Take this into consideration and allow for extra time to get to your destination.   Expect runway delays, and runway closures due to snow and ice.

  • If you are taking any passengers, make sure to brief them of potential scenarios and the potential for delays due to weather, airport closures and heightened air traffic.
  • Remember that temperatures in the atmosphere could dip as low as -30 degrees, and that turbulence is often much worse in the mountain areas that are popular winter destinations.
  • Get proper night training before flying with passengers in the wintertime, because the sun sets earlier and you may be forced to fly at night. In order to get night-current with your training, you must complete a minimum of three takeoffs and landings to a full stop at night within the past 90 days.

Preflight Checklist for Small Airplane Pilots

Before taking flight in the winter, the last precaution you must take is going through this additional pre-flight checklist for cold weather conditions:

  • Confirm that the heat works and that the heater is not leaking.
  • Check that all de-icing equipment is working properly.
  • Prepare instruments for holding.
  • Pre-check the safety kit and update the kit if anything is missing. Make sure you have a good knife, fire starters, a signal mirror and medical supplies in case of an emergency.

Understand Your Icing Charts

In order to avoid plane stalling, rolling, pitching or, in the worst-case scenario, total plane failure, it is necessary to study your icing charts before you fly if there’s any remote possibility of cold weather conditions during the course of your flight. There are several different options to help you understand what the potential for icing is. According to aviationweather.gov, there are four types of icing charts:

  • Freezing Level Graphs – These graphs show altitudes where the air temperature is freezing, and include charts and area forecasts showing freezing and moisture levels to help predict the potential for future icing.
  • Icing SIGMET Charts – A forecast tool that shows severe icing; abbreviation of Significant Meteorological Information.
  • Pilot’s Reports of Icing – This is a precise and constantly updated resource for pilots, providing accurate information about what’s happening right now in the sky. Pilots let fellow pilots know where they were flying, what altitude they were flying at, whether they went through any ice and, if so, how intense it was.
  • Supplementary Icing Information – The CIP and FIP are additional resources, but they’re only recommended for professional meteorologists.

Coast Hosting Event October 22, 2011

http://iflycoast.com/fast_planes/

Stop by Coast on October 22, 2011 and check out the latest from Cirrus and Porsche.  Sit in both cockpits and experience the power!  Limited flights available with reservations.  Event is free to attend, flights are $175.  All profits will go to Rady Children’s Hospital.

Food and drinks will be served.

Coast Flight Training Announces 98% Initial Pass Rate

During initial training, Coast flight training students experienced a 98% pass rate. This high pass rate is a testament to the quality of the company’s experienced & knowledgeable flight instructors & the innovative flight training methods employed by Coast Flight. Nathan Linder recently passed his IFR checkride in a Cirrus SR22. Two days after the checkride, Coast Flight Training President, Will Dryden, instructed Linder on flying to Mexico, making it possible for Linder to take his wife on a surfing trip to beautiful Cabo San Lucas. It’s just one more way in which flight training makes a big difference in the lives of Cirrus pilots!

How Coast Instructors Make Students Comfortable With Radio Communication

Will Dryden is the President and founder of Coast Flight Training. He is a career instructor with both Master Flight Instructor and Gold Seal Certified Flight Instructor designations. Will founded Coast with the focus of breaking aviation flight training paradigms (www.iflycoast.com).

The perfect way to reduce students’ anxiety about radio communication is to start by explaining to them that the air traffic controller they’re talking to is most likely wearing shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, and sipping a cup of Joe. He or she is nothing to be afraid of. The job of the ATC is to keep the pilots safe and help them when they have questions.

A common mistake instructors make is telling students that ATC radio calls have to be perfect and in a particular order. Instead, the instructors should encourage students and be positive. And while instructors should initially avoid fixing their students’ communication mistakes, it’s important that the students can rest assured that the instructor is there to back them up and can finish the call for them, in case they are having trouble.

Here are some simple steps to improve students’ radio calls:

  • Let the student talk on discreet pilot-to-pilot frequencies, without the pressure of talking to a controller. Have the student call “in the blind” to get used to hearing his or her own voice in the headsets.
  • Use a full motion simulator with an intercom system to practice radio calls under simulated circumstances.
  • Prior to each flight, go over what needs to be said to the controllers during airport operations by role-playing until the student is comfortable with the wording.
  • Teach the student to anticipate what communication is coming and how to respond to or initiate it.
  • For some students, it helps to let them write down exactly what to say on a cheat sheet, but this technique should really only be done during their first couple of flights.

Radios are often difficult for students. Air traffic controllers talking fast can be intimidating, creating a psychological “mountain” for the student. Reminding students that they’re just talking to that guy in the Hawaiian shirt enjoying his coffee can generally ease a lot of the pressure, and by identifying themselves as “student pilot” will alert the ATC to give them the extra attention they need and deserve.