Category Archives: San Diego Flight Training

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

Weather Inside And Outside Of The Cockpit

In the coming weeks, pilots can expect to see mountain waves in several snowy, mountainous regions. When wind flow is perpendicular to a mountain, as the wind velocity and altitude increase during an inversion below 15,000 feet, or a stable air mass layer aloft, mountain waves will occur. These atmospheric disturbances are characterized by lenticular clouds that alert pilots to their potentially deadly presence. It’s possible to predict mountain waves and other atmospheric disturbances with a high level of accuracy, though, giving pilots a chance to decide whether or not to fly under such conditions.

How to Check for Weather Conditions Before and During Your Flight
There are a couple of ways to check the weather for disturbances such as mountain waves before you fly, mainly through observations and weather forecasts. There are also online weather resources, including the Aviation Weather Center and DUATS.

Observations:
• Metar – Airman’s meteorological reports
• Radar Summary Charts – Reports showing analyses of precipitation surface with cold fronts, warm fronts and areas of high or low pressure
• Surface Analysis Reports – Focus on areas of high or low pressure, as well as cold or warm fronts
• U.A. – Real-time reports from fellow pilots (recommended)

Weather Forecasts:
• 12/24-Hour Prognostic Reports – Show where cold fronts, warm fronts and areas of high or low pressure are going to move
• F.A. – Explains reasons for weather forecasts in different areas
• TAF’s Terminal Aerodrome Report – Provides expected future weather for area surrounding airports (not available for all airports)


Deciding Whether or Not to Fly – Know Before You Go
In addition to mountains waves, thunderstorms are also a serious danger to pilots during this time of year. You should always be ready to change your plans or land if you’re presented with scattered storms, as the pilot did on a recent SR22 flight from San Diego, CA to Sarasota, FL, which is pictured below.


The pilot used an Avidyne radio and XM Satellite Weather to predict the weather and made the important decision to land.  In order to make a proper go/no go decision, it is necessary to understand the weather and where and how it is generated, so you can effectively predict whether atmospheric changes are likely to occur in the areas where you will be flying. Pilots who are proficient at flying in different environments may also be able to take more risks, whereas inexperienced pilots are in greater danger when flying into mountain waves and other atmospheric disruptions. Pilots should always look at weather observations and forecasts before flying, recognize their personal limits and the limits of their plane, and be ready to make adjustments during the flight if necessary.

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.

Whatever The Weather

Weather in Flight

For most people, checking the weather is a simple matter of sticking a hand out the window. Cold? Wear a scarf. Raining? Get a jacket. But for pilots, the weather report is not so straightforward. Weather conditions, good or bad, have a dramatic impact on how an aircraft needs to be flown, so knowing the weather in intimate detail is an essential part of the pilot’s job; pilots must work with the weather, never against it. Coast Flight Training embraces this paradigm and therefore spares no effort to make sure pilots know how to assess and respond to various types of weather conditions.

Gauging the Weather

Weather is described in two ways: what is happening currently (observation), and what is going to happen soon (forecast). Both types of information are useful to pilots, and are equally important to know. Both are available via a variety of reporting formats.

Observation:

  • METAR: The most common source of weather information for pilots worldwide, these are issued mainly by airports.
  • Radar summary report: Information about precipitation.
  • U.A. reports: Probably the best source, these are reported by pilots in the air and give real time weather conditions.

Forecasts come through a separate set of reports, including:

  • Terminal aerodrome report (TAF): Provided by some—but not all—airports, these are predictions for the local area in the immediate future.
  • Area forecast (FA): Explains the reasons for weather conditions.
  • 12 and 24-hour prognostic reports: Predicts where pressures and fronts will move.

Stay Informed, Stay Safe

Pilots must become comfortable reading these and other weather reports so they can stay abreast of the most current situations and fly accordingly. Before flying, check these reports and make a careful “go/no-go” decision. While in the air, continue to check for updates and adjust your flight plan whenever necessary. Know your personal limits and those of the aircraft so the weather can remain a friend and not become an enemy.

The Surface Prognostic (Prog) Charts are available at the Aviation Digital Data Services

Preventing Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is common among pilots and other related professionals in the industry of aviation. It is also known as Kinetosis or Travel Sickness. This is a condition wherein a conflict arises between visually perceived movement and the vestibular system’s sense of movement.

The most common symptoms of motion sickness are dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. Frequent yawning, being restless and a cold sweat which forms on the upper lip or forehead are some of the first signs of motion sickness. When the symptoms gradually build, an upset stomach will follow and with this, the patient will eventually feel like vomiting.

Motion sickness is normal and common among many people. Prevention is still the best cure for this kind of discomfort.

To prevent motion sickness, doctors are usually telling their patients to watch their food and drink consumption. Sometimes, food and liquids (including alcoholic beverages) will make you feel unusually full and heavy. Here is the list of Do’s and Don’ts to prevent having motion sickness during your travel.

  • In preventing nausea, you should avoid bringing in food that has strong odors.
  • Choose a seat where in you experience less motion. Let’s say in the middle of the plane where it is the calmest area of an airplane.
  • Never sit facing backwards from your direction of travel.
  • Avoid reading while traveling.
  • If possible, open a vent for source of fresh air.
  • Try over-the-counter medicine like Bonine, Antivert, and Dramamine to help in the prevention of having motion sickness.
  • Get enough rest before travel plans. This will help the body to fully recharge itself and handle stressors brought by travelling.
  • Do not smoke and avoid sitting beside people who are smoking.

Motion sickness is common and to prevent it is the best cure. For pilots, they are usually exposed with travelling stressors and are put under pressure. The tips given will make you comfortable during your flights and travels. Prevent motion sickness and make your flight experience a worthwhile one.

Coast Flight Training – Free 10 minute test Program

Learn the value of a Full Motion Flight Simulator with Coast Flight Training’s new Full Motion Flight Simulator. Experience the program for free in 10 minutes.

Flight Simulator

Flight Simulator Programs include:

1) 1 Day Currency Training

2) Emergency Procedures

3) Instrument Training

4) Instrument training in support of  private/instrument pilot ratings to reduce cost of certification

5) Partner in command course

These Simulator Programs were designed by Jeff Bushnell, a Retired  Air Force Colonel who’s 25 years in Air Force training and a background on C141 instruction and Flight Examination.

jeff

Schedule a flight, email us at info@iflycoast.com or call us 858-279-4359.

Coast Flight Academy – Why Montgomery Field

In a recent study complied by the Airport Journal, an industry leading publication, Montgomery Field (KMYF) in San Diego, CA was named the nations 11th busiest general aviation airport in the country, beating out other airports such as Orlando International, Dallas Love Field, and Chicago Midway. While many other airports decreased in operations, KMYF actually increased by 2% from last year, easily beating out the national average decrease of -6%.

KMYF is home to many private, government, business and general aviation aircraft, creating a diverse airport environment which is one of the reasons why Coast Flight Academy established at KMYF.   Furthermore, we are able to utilize the busy airspace for more comprehensive training.  It is widely acknowledged that students training at busy airports are better prepared for flying in general.  KMYF’s active environment is used to teach students how to handle a real world situations, meanwhile, simultaneously building their confidence and decision making skills.  Unlike many schools, Coast’s instructors welcome busy airspace because we know it will challenge our students and prepare them for real world flying after their flight training.

IFR Stabilized Approach Definition

All briefings and checklist should be completed before the commencement of the approach. An IFR approach is considered stabilized when all of the following criteria are met from the start of the approach and continue to touch down:

Ø Proper airspeed for the segment of the approach
Ø Correct flight path
Ø Correct aircraft configuration for the phase of flight
Ø Appropriate power setting for aircraft configuration
Ø Normal angle and rate of descent for the type of approach
Ø Minor corrections for pitch and power required to maintain stabilized approach
Ø Normal bracketing (+/-5°) used to correct for lateral navigation deviations

Do not change flap position after crossing the Final Approach Fix until the runway is insight and landing is assured.  If the requirements for landing from an instrument conditions are not met, a missed approach must be executed.

Precision brief elements
Ø Airport name, type of procedure and runway
Ø Transition to final (vectors or Initial Approach Fix)
Ø Applicable Navigation and Communication frequencies set and indentified
Ø Height of the Decision Altitude
Ø Missed approach point and the procedure

Non-Precision brief elements
Ø Airport name, type of procedure and runway
Ø Transition to final (vectors or Initial Approach Fix)
Ø Applicable Navigation and Communication frequencies set and indentified
Ø Rate of descent between fixes
Ø Height of the Decision Altitude
Ø Missed approach point and the procedure

The CAPS (Cirrus Airframe Parachute System)

Cirrus Airframe Parachute System

The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) is a whole airframe parachute that was developed by Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS) specifically for the Cirrus.  Started in 1980, BRS initially focused on parachute recovery systems for ultra lights and hang gliders.  Boris Popov, the company’s founder, started the company after suffering a partial collapse of his hang glider.  It was not until 1998, when used in the Cirrus SR20, that this system was used in a type certified aircraft.  Again, the impetus for its development for the Cirrus was the result of a bad experience.  Cirrus’ co-founder Alan Klapmeier helped push for the inclusion of the parachute system into the design of the first SR20 after having his own midair  collision experience early in his career.

The design of the system was one of the first major hurdles to overcome in creating a system suitable for the Cirrus aircraft.  Due to its weight it would need to have a very large surface area, but it would have to be compact and light enough to fit in the aircraft while still allowing enough room and weight for occupants.  The other major challenge was the envelope of deployment conditions that it had to be designed for.  Typically, parachutes are custom designed for a specific weight and deployment velocity. If you can imagine a skydiver parachute the conditions are fairly straightforward; the body types of skydivers do not vary more than 100 pounds and the terminal velocity of a human is fairly constant. Aircraft present a much larger envelope of conditions under which the parachute must function; weight can vary depending on fuel and passenger payload, but the velocity at deployment can vary tremendously; from a plane that is at the verge of stalling to one that is at max cruising speed.
How were these obstacles overcome?  Several unique design concepts helped to create a system that could deploy at a wide range of speeds, deploy quickly, and also ensure the safety of the occupants.

1.    Get the chute out quick. The surface area of the chute is massive to carry the load of the aircraft at speeds that will not injure the occupants.  In order to deploy such a large mass of fabric, it was important to use an active deployment system.  A rocket deployment system was chosen.  The rocket allows the quick deployment of the chute so that the system can be effective from a mere 400’ above the ground.  This system is very powerful.  If untethered, the rocket could reach altitudes as high at 10,000 feet.

2.   Make sure the chute doesn’t rip the wings off. If the parachute opens too quickly, the deceleration could tear the aircraft apart.  To solve this problem, a sliding ring is used to hold the chute cords close together.  As the chute fills with air, the ring slides down to let the material open wider. This simple system keeps the parachute from filling too quickly.

3.    Keep the occupants safe. Cirrus utilizes special shock absorbing seat cushions and landing gear to further cushion the occupants from impact with the ground.  The cockpit also features a carbon fiber roll cage and a slanted firewall to protect the pilot and passengers and further absorb impact energy.

The system does not end with the parachute itself though.  Training even has a part to play in the success of the system.  Pilots must be trained to recognize conditions that are acceptable for the system deployment and also realize the wide range of situations where deployment of CAPS should be considered.  Surprisingly, one of the outcomes of the system being a part of all Cirrus aircraft are the times when the system is NOT used but could have been used to save the life of the pilot and passengers.  One possible reason is that for the entire history of civil aviation pilots have been trained to react to emergencies without the option of having a parachute.  Other theories suggest that pilots think they can save the aircraft if they attempt to make it to an acceptable landing site or back to the airport.  Whatever the reason, Cirrus has taken the job of training pilots (and passengers) to use the system very seriously.  Even over the past few years improvements continue to be made to training materials and checklists to help ensure that pilots are offering themselves and their passengers the safest transportation available in civil aviation today.