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Whether you want to learn to fly as a hobby or you’re looking to pick up a new type rating certification, everything begins at flight school. This is where every student learns the basics of flying and builds the foundation of the skills that they need to successfully pilot an aircraft. Thus, it’s imperative to take your pilot training seriously during the learning stage of your journey.

Being a student pilot has its own share of challenges as you work your way towards completing your course or getting your certification. To help you out with this, we’ve compiled a small list of essential tips that should help you out while in pilot school. Read on to learn more about them.

Be a Proactive Student

It always pays to be proactive if you want to get a leg up on your pilot training progress. You can expect to receive a lot of assignments, exercises, and review materials over the course of your training, and you should always make an effort to complete these ahead of time. Doing so will allow you to familiarize yourself with many of the step-by-step maneuvers in the cockpit and to try out some armchair flying before going on an actual flight.

Get Advice from Experienced Pilots and Instructors

Don’t be afraid to approach any of your instructors if you’re having difficulty grasping any of the concepts you’re currently trying to learn. You can also gain some valuable insight by simply talking to any of the senior pilots that you happen to meet and connect with at flight school. The stories that they share regarding their own experiences can be used to guide your training, especially if you happen to encounter something similar while completing your course.

Take Advantage of Flight Simulators

Many people tend to underestimate the value that a flight simulator can contribute to their training. However, many modern flight simulators can afford the same bracing experience to students as they learn the basics of flying. What’s more, any mistakes that novice pilots are expected to make can be easily and safely corrected in the controlled environment that flight simulators offer. Simulators can also help build confidence in budding pilots as they slowly learn the ropes and navigate various flight scenarios while safely on the ground.

Don’t Forget Your Ground Training

Not everything you learn in flight school is tied to an aircraft’s cockpit. Many of the valuable lessons that a pilot learns are tied to tasks and duties while on the ground. These include doing various pre-flight routines, checking the condition of the aircraft, studying the weather, and planning the flight path. Every student has to familiarize themselves with these important ground duties before even getting into the cockpit.

Similarly, student pilots need to have a good grasp of the various aviation concepts that they learn during classes. This is true for just about any course in any industry—whether you’re taking a web design course or working towards an engineering degree. As such, you need to be able to pass all the written exams to show that you have a sufficient understanding of the theoretical side of being a pilot.

Keep an Organized Cockpit

Maintaining an orderly cockpit is the sign of a disciplined and organized pilot. Keeping everything in the cockpit organized will not only give you easy access to the controls and instrument data, but it will also minimize any distractions that can compromise the flight. Therefore, make sure to check all the essentials well before the flight, including flight plans, navigational charts, your kneeboard, and others.

Study the Ins and Outs of ATC

Take the time to learn everything you can about Air Traffic Control (ATC). The controllers stationed here will become an intrinsic part of your piloting career as you communicate with them constantly once you’re in the cockpit. It wouldn’t hurt to talk with the people here as well while you’re on the ground. They can share some invaluable tips and offer a broader perspective of the airspace systems that they’re in charge of.

Always Review Your Post-Flight Instructions

The post-flight briefing is an important part of every flying lesson. This is where you’ll be able to gauge your overall performance as a pilot after each flight. The insights and lessons that you’ll learn here will be invaluable towards your advancement, so it’s imperative that you take careful notes of your briefing and see how you can improve.

Completing your flight training course or certification is a challenging yet rewarding endeavor that requires a lot of dedication and hard work on your part. Regardless of whether you’re getting a private pilot license or working towards a commercial pilot license, as long as you know how to take initiative and open yourself up to the lessons and advice from your instructors, then you should have no problems passing with flying colors.

A flight simulator is a piece of equipment that uses advanced computer technology to replicate the motions, sounds, and controls of a modern airplane. The simulator can reproduce how an aircraft maneuvers, how it reacts to the controls, and how it responds to weather and other external factors. All of these are highly valuable in preparing trainee pilots for real-world applications while keeping them in a safe and controlled environment.

While there’s no substitute for manning the cockpit of an actual aircraft, simulator training is instrumental in training a pilot to safely operate an aircraft under different conditions before they go up in the air. Training using flight simulators also has other benefits such as picking up several good habits that will help pilots become efficient aviators in the future.

If you want to learn more about these good habits that you can develop during simulator training, read on.

Correct Any Mistakes While on the Ground

One good habit you can pick up is learning from any mistakes that you make while using a flight simulator. If you make a mistake while flying like messing up a maneuver, you put yourself and your passengers at risk. In contrast, inputting the wrong coordinates or making other mistakes in a simulator won’t have any negative consequences. You can quickly start over until you learned everything safely on the ground.

Improved Flight Proficiency

While safety is an important factor in flight, you can only be an effective pilot if you’re proficient in the required skills. With a flight simulator, you can regularly practice what you have learned so far and continue to enhance your skills. The more flight time you have under your belt, the more opportunities you have to hone your skills. Flight simulators also make practice flights more accessible.

Compared to taking out an aircraft to fly each time you need a practice session, using flight simulators is more convenient and affordable. You don’t need to rent an aircraft or pay for its fuel for a practice flight. You just have to arrange a schedule with your pilot training school and practice flying with reduced costs.

Good Muscle Memory

Muscle memory is very important for pilots. Good muscle memory allows them to react appropriately to sudden changes without risking the safety of their passengers. And the only way to do that is to keep practicing.

Since you can quickly reset everything without fear of ill consequences, simulator training gives you the chance to build up muscle memory and know exactly what to do in specific situations. You can do the simulation over and over again until you’ve mastered the skill and knowledge that you need. This way, you won’t make the same mistakes when you’re up in the air.

Adept in Different Navigational Procedures

Another good habit you can pick up when using a flight simulator is you can become more confident with your navigational abilities. If you want to practice flying under instrument flight rules, you can do so without going to an airport. That’s because flight simulators can recreate almost any simulation, letting you easily practice an entire route. You can load a flight to a particular airport, with real-world runway layouts, accurate roads, terrain, and other airports. This way, you can anticipate what you need to do—from planning the flight paths to executing landings and take-offs.

While practicing using a simulator before going on an actual flight greatly benefits new pilots, it can help seasoned aviators too. If it’s the first time you’ll be flying to a specific location or airport, doing simulator training ensures you have a smooth and safe flight.

Safely Flying in Any Weather

If you’re used to piloting domestic flights, your experience may only be limited to operating an aircraft in local weather. But international flights expose you to weather conditions that you may not be familiar with. As such, you need to be prepared for it. Fortunately, you can practice safely using flight simulators.

Flight simulators can also recreate different types of weather over various kinds of terrain. It provides you with a controlled learning environment where you can build your skills safely. This way, you can practice the necessary techniques that will help you master flying in any condition, whether it’s windy, rainy, or even snowy weather.

Knowledgeable in Handling In-Air Emergencies

Like any machine, airplanes can experience mechanical troubles. Unfortunately, these issues don’t always happen when the aircraft is grounded. As a pilot, you need to be ready for any in-air emergencies like electrical malfunctions and buildup on the wings. In simulator training, you can practice maneuvers and gain the skills required to safely land an aircraft if something goes wrong in a plane during a flight.

Above all these good habits you can pick up, simulator training allows you to build your skill and confidence to safely operate an aircraft in different circumstances. Whether you’re an aspiring pilot or preparing for a licensing exam, consider the value of using flight simulators for your training. Find a reputable flight school that has regularly maintained and advanced flight simulators in its facility.

In the Philippines and many other countries, pilots are required to maintain a logbook. It’s a book where pilots write and record their flying hours and every flight they have flown. Some of the contents of a pilot logbook are the pilot’s flight time, number of landings, and types of instrument maneuvers they made. The logbook also contains the amount of simulator time completed since it also counts towards an aviator’s training.

Primarily, a pilot logbook shows that the aviator has met certain requirements and is crucial in getting a certificate or rating. It’s also a requirement when obtaining different types of pilot licenses. That’s why even new cadets in a pilot school need to maintain a logbook. However, logging flight details by hand and keeping the record clean and organized can be challenging to do, especially for first-timers.

If your goal is to be a professional pilot for aviation companies, it’s critical to keep your flight logbook clean and professional. To ensure that you make fewer cross-outs and mistakes, here are five practical tips on maintaining a proper pilot logbook.

Use the Same Pen Throughout the Logbook

Many pilots overlook using the same pen and color throughout their logbooks. What they may not realize is that it’s a simple yet effective method to maintain a professional-looking pilot logbook. Interchanging between blue and black pens can make your record appear disorganized. That said, be consistent with the pen color you use. Choose either a black or a blue pen, but take note that black ink on paper looks more professional.

In addition to your pen color, using pens with the same line thickness is better. Reading different entries written with varying thickness can create unnecessary emphasis and makes the experience unpleasant. That said, create uniformity in your logbook entries by using the same kind of pen. Buy your pen of choice in bulk or get a refillable pen. More importantly, never use a pencil to write in your logbook. It’s unacceptable and doesn’t look professional at all.

Choose a Format to Log Flight Times

Before you make your first pilot logbook entry, decide on the format you’ll use to log flight times. The two acceptable formats are hours and minutes and decimal hours. Between the two, the latter is more commonly used because it makes totaling flight time more manageable. To understand this format, each hour is represented with 1.0 and each minute is written after the decimal point, with the minutes divided by six. So if, for example, you need to log a flight time of one hour and thirty minutes, it must show up as 1.5. The 30 minutes must first be divided by six. With this format, you’ll need to do a bit of mental math or make use of a calculator.

While writing flight times in hours and minutes isn’t as common anymore, it fairly easy to do since the flight time is recorded in a straightforward manner. As an example, one hour and 30 minutes will be entered as 1:30. But you most likely need to use a calculator when adding the total flight times. Once you’ve chosen a format, use it throughout the logbook for a consistent look.

Correct Mistakes in a Straight Line

Sometimes, you might make mistakes inputting details in the flight logbook. When this happens, do the correction neatly. Instead of hastily writing over the error, cross it out with a single line across the log entry. Use a ruler to make sure the line is straight so it looks clean and professional. Then, indicate that the correct log is in the next line or written in the margin. Before writing the correct details, double-check it so you don’t make the same mistake.

Label Certificate Requirements with Tabs

Aside from the flights you’ve flown, your flight logbook will also show your certificate requirements and endorsements. These are important flight milestones and are often reviewed by interviewers and examiners.

If you want to impress them with a professional pilot logbook, place a tab for each date you’ve met a new pilot certificate requirement. Doing so will also help interviewers find your requirements and won’t have to flip through every single page. You can get tabs, page separators, and dividers in office supply stores. You can also use sticky notes as labels. It all depends on you. Just make sure to put the label on the correct pages.

Properly Store Your Flight Logbook

To protect your flight logbook from getting damaged, keep it in a clean and dry place. When exposed to humidity or moisture, your logbook can get ruined. As an extra precaution, you may want to place your logbook in a waterproof, resealable bag when you’re on the go. It reduces the risk of wrinkled pages, nasty ink smudges, or unpleasant smells.

Your pilot logbook is where you record your flight milestones and keep certificate requirements. Given its importance in your career as a pilot, you need to keep it clean and professional. Even if you’re a pilot in training, consider applying these tips in maintaining a proper pilot logbook. They will help you keep an organized logbook from your first day up until you reach your aviation goals.

No matter how illustrious the commercial pilot career may seem, you shouldn’t be blinded by its perks. The stripes on your uniform mean that you’re responsible for ensuring the safety of your passengers and your cargo, so you have to stay focused on your job. If you fail to deliver what is asked of you, you might face suspension or have your license revoked since deviating from the protocols set by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) is a serious offense.

Pilot deviations, whether made deliberately or unknowingly, can put everyone’s lives in danger, so you want to avoid making them as much as possible. However, even the most seasoned pilots aren’t free from making the tiniest mistakes that could jeopardize their flights. That’s why you should make the necessary precautionary measures to reduce your chances of committing a deviation.

Here are 5 tips that could help you minimize your risk of committing pilot deviations:

Give Yourself Time to Prepare for Each Flight

During your time in flight school, you learned how important it was to properly prepare for your flight training. It helped you remember the important details of conducting a flight, so you were able to pass your exam with flying colors. Since preparing ahead of time has aided you before, then why not apply it in your professional career as well?

Giving yourself enough time to create a plan for each of your flights will ensure that you have all the data, documents, and clearances you need to conduct safe and legal flights. It also allows you to study your routes better and the possible weather conditions you can encounter, so you can be aware of your surroundings when flying using Visual Flight Rules (VFR) or Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). What’s more, you can mentally and physically prepare for your flights without worry since you won’t feel rushed.

Increase Your Tolerances When Airborne and on the Ground

It’s better to be more careful than content when flying a plane, so it’s a good idea to give yourself a wider room for safety to avoid committing deviations. For example, if you want to make sure that you won’t accidentally enter the wrong airspace class, it’s a good idea to at least fly 500 feet above or under it to stay outside its zone. When it comes to carrying extra fuel, on the other hand, it’s better to bring more than an hour’s worth. It might be a bit much to be over-prepared for your flights, but you’ll gain peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared to handle unforeseen problems that can potentially get you into trouble.

Keep Communications Clear

Even though you’re the one piloting the plane, ensuring the success of a flight is a team effort. You, your co-pilot, the flight attendants, and the people in air traffic control (ATC) are tasked to keep everyone safe on the plane, so you need to work together to make it happen. That’s why having good communication is important.

Maintaining clear communications with your team makes the job easier for everyone. For example, when the communication channel between you and ATC is good, ATC can send you VFR and IFR traffic conditions more efficiently, giving you the information that you need to land safely. In turn, you can give out your calls sign and read back clearances and instructions as received to make sure that you and ATC understand each other. Failure to communicate with your flight team can be marked as a possible pilot deviation, which may give CAAP a reason to inspect your case.

Familiarize Yourself with the Aircraft and Its Instruments

You might think that you know your commercial aircraft pretty well after serving in the aviation industry for so long. However, letting your hubris get the best of you can cause you to trivialize some of the more routine flight procedures or how you use your aircraft’s instruments. That’s why, no matter how many times you’ve flown an aircraft, it’s always in your best interest to familiarize yourself fully with the plane’s operation and instruments. When you’re completely aware of how your plane operates, you can keep your focus on piloting the plane instead of fiddling around with its system while in the skies. Familiarity also teaches you how to use the instruments responsibly, preventing you from being fully dependent on certain features like the plane’s autopilot function or high-tech GPS.

Review Your Flight Plan

If you want to make sure that you won’t make any deviations during your flights, it helps to review your flight plans regularly. Studying these materials will help you remember to follow the rules and regulations set by the CAAP, get a good idea of the layout of the airport you’re heading to, and recall how your flight plans are supposed to go. This way, you’ll gain the confidence and drive to start and finish your flight without making a single mistake.

Safety has always been a top priority in the aviation industry, and as a licensed commercial pilot, you do your part to make sure that your plane, crew, and passengers leave and arrive at their destinations without harm. One of the best ways to ensure everyone’s safety is to minimize the risk of causing pilot deviations. With these tips, you can rest assured that your flight success rate is maintained and stay deviation-free.

Air travel has come a long way since the Wright brothers successfully flew and controlled an engine-powered aircraft. During the early stages of aviation, it was challenging simply to get a plane up in the air, carry people across long distances, and land in one piece. Today, commercial airlines have the ability to fly millions of people across thousands of miles and ensure that they arrive at their destination without a hitch.

Many of the aviation industry’s successes can be credited to the continuous technological advances being made in the sector. After all, the industry is always looking for ways to improve the different facets of air travel, including the construction of their planes, improving passenger comfort, and creating seamless online booking experiences through proper web design. Despite this, commercial aviation companies face long-term challenges when it comes to ensuring air safety and security.

Even when an airline owns a fleet of the latest commercial planes and employs well-trained staff members, it doesn’t guarantee that all their flights will always be successful. Several factors can cause issues during air travel, and many of them can even lead to serious aviation accidents. That’s why many aviation companies take the time to study most common reasons behind aviation accidents, so they can address these issues and improve flight safety. Here are four of the most common causes of aviation accidents and why they happen.

Pilot Errors

Being a commercial airline pilot has its perks. Not only do pilots earn a lot of money, but they also get to control a massive aircraft and travel around the world. Although the job is lucrative and a dream come true for many, it’s also a demanding one. Aside from battling the fatigue brought about by long-haul flights, pilots also have to be wary of night flight illusions that can impair their vision when flying in the dark. They also have to stay on their toes, so they can quickly and properly mitigate an alarming situation before things go awry.

Moreover, they have to be ready to bear the responsibility of transporting their passengers and crew safely to their destinations. That’s why student pilots enroll in the best flight schools in the world to learn how to conduct pre-flight checkups and fly a plane properly, so they can stay safe in the skies.

Even so, pilot errors make up approximately half of all aviation accidents. Since pilots are involved in every stage of a flight, a slight error on their part can lead to flight accidents. Not getting enough sleep, intoxication, and lack of experience can also result in disastrous flights. That’s why pilots have to take good care of their health and work hand-in-hand with their co-pilots to ensure a successful flight.

Air Traffic Control Errors

Flying a plane isn’t a job done by one person, but by teams of people who ensure that the aircraft gets to its destination safely and on time. Air traffic controllers, for example, are responsible for monitoring and directing the movement of aircraft in the skies, as well as ground traffic at airports. They handle multiple airplanes at a time, so they have to make the right decisions quickly to ensure the safety of the airplanes. Due to the number of planes and tasks that air traffic controllers oversee, they can get overwhelmed and get lost in the confusion. Without a functioning air traffic control team, airplane pilots will be flying blind and are at risk of crashing on the runway or colliding with another plane.

Airline Negligence

Commercial airlines also play an important role in keeping air travel safe. Aside from hiring qualified aviation professionals, their responsibilities also include providing crew members with enough training to ensure that the latest flight protocols are being followed. They also screen their employees regularly to ensure that their pilots, flight attendants, technicians, and other staff members are fit to work. Moreover, commercial airlines make sure that the aircraft in their fleet are well-maintained to avoid mechanical failure.

Due to their many obligations, airline companies can’t afford to be negligent. They are aware that even if they make the smallest of errors, they can affect the quality and safety of their flights. Nevertheless, the causes of many plane-related catastrophes can be attributed to airline corporate negligence. Some of the most commonly reported forms of airline negligence include the following:

  • Failure to properly maintain the aircraft in their fleet
  • Creating unsafe working environments for airline staff
  • Lack of pilot training and screening
  • Disregarding the standards set by the aviation industry
  • Substandard hiring practices

Inclement Weather Conditions

Among all the causes of aviation accidents in this list, inclement weather conditions is one instance that isn’t linked to human error. The weather can be unpredictable during a flight, and sudden changes in the atmosphere can make it difficult for pilots to control their planes. If the pilot doesn’t know how to navigate through heavy rain, snow, and strong winds, they’re placing the lives of everyone on the plane at risk. That’s why student pilots undergo extensive training to prepare themselves for flying in all types of weather conditions.

There are a lot of factors that can contribute to plane-related disasters. However, these disasters can be avoided if commercial airline companies are proactive in preventing aviation accidents. Through proper pilot training, aircraft maintenance and updates, as well as following good business practices, the chances of safe air travel increase drastically and ensure the safety of everyone.

Airbus S.A.S is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of commercial aircraft. You will see its aircraft used by many airline companies and plenty of pilots completing their type rating to fly the latest Airbus models. However, the success of this European aircraft manufacturer didn’t happen overnight. It took years of innovation and overcoming challenges to make Airbus the renowned aerospace corporation we know today.

If you want to learn more about the interesting history of Airbus, read on.

The Founding of Airbus

Before Airbus was founded, American aerospace companies like the Boeing Company, Lockheed Corporation, and McDonnell Douglas were the main players in the industry. Even if European aircraft were considered high quality and well-designed, manufacturers found it difficult to compete with USA-made planes. As a way to enter the competitive market, Airbus was formed in 1970 through a consortium of French and German aerospace corporations. Later on, they were joined by Spanish and British firms. Together, they created a market niche for short to medium-range, high-capacity jets.

The Airbus’s First Flight with the A300

Even before Airbus was founded, there have been discussions about French, British, and German companies forming an association to build better aircraft. This led to the production of Airbus’s first product, the A300. To ensure that the A300 had that competitive edge to penetrate the aviation industry, a driving force behind the A300 program, Roger Béteille, insisted on using a high-level technology in the A300. His effort soon paid off in 1972 as the first flight of the A300 took place and lasted for an hour and 23 minutes.

Despite the successful maiden flight, Airbus faced the challenge of convincing airlines that it has designed the most economical and innovative wide-body jetliner. To solve this problem, Airbus embarked on a six-week odyssey across the Americas to show off its newest aircraft to pilots and airline executives. And this tour proved to be very effective, with Eastern Airlines ordering 23 more A300s within six months after it received four aircraft of the same model for a trial run. Eventually, more orders for the aircraft started coming from all over the world. Global airlines like Lufthansa, Korean Air, Thai Airways, and South African Airways were some of Airbus’s first customers.

The Birth of the Airbus Family and Success

With the success of the A300, Airbus continued to design and produce better models like the A310, which also marked the start of a new line of Airbus aircraft models. The A310 is lighter and more fuel efficient—defining features that helped attract new customers. However, it wasn’t until the arrival of the A320 that Airbus became a global name in the aerospace industry. Featuring a single-aisle, Airbus’s newly designed aircraft had more than 400 orders thanks to its key advantage, the fly-by-wire technology. It helped improve flight controls and reduce the plane’s weight. Also, the A320 provided a wider cabin, allowing airline companies to install more spacious seats with a wider aisle. The innovative technology and considerable adjustments drew more customers to order the A320.

Soon after, Airbus launched the A321, a stretched version of the aircraft. In 1993, Airbus added two smaller versions, the A318, and the A319. This also completed the A320 family and established the company’s success. Since its launch in 1987, the A320 family has become the best-selling jet globally, with more than 14,000 airplanes ordered.

Airbus Goes Big

After much success and some challenges, Airbus finally said yes to going big with the A380. In 2000, Airbus launched the double-decker, A380, which is also the world’s largest commercial airliner. The company designed it to be a game changer and pave the way to luxury air travel with its spacious lounge and aisles for passenger comfort.

The End of the A380

Aside from Singapore Airlines which acquired A380 planes to be part of its fleet, Airbus soon found orders for the model quite hard to come by. With less than 300 planes sold since the launch of the A380, Airbus realized the future of superjumbo jets isn’t so bright. It also failed to finalize a crucial order from Emirates that was initially announced in 2018. The next year, Airbus announced that it would stop production of its flagship A380 model by 2021.

Airbus’s Continuous Growth

Although Airbus didn’t get the success it hoped with the A380, the company continued to manufacture more innovative and fuel-efficient planes. Relying on its commitment to quality and excellence, Airbus has become one of the major players in the aviation industry and continues to see many of its models in the service of different airline companies around the world.

The A320neo and the A220, for example, headline Airbus’s narrowbody line of aircraft. For its widebody fleet, the A350XWB and A330neo will occupy the skies.

Airbus’s 50th Year in the Sky

Last May 29, 2019, Airbus celebrated its 50th anniversary. And in the 2019 Paris Air Show, Airbus officially launched the extra-long range, single-aisle A321XLR. Since then, the model is getting a strong base of orders from customers all over the world.

The Future Awaits

Initially, Airbus’s goal was to showcase European ingenuity and dedication to quality. Because of this, the company strived to overcome challenges, continue to improve its technology, and design better aircraft. With the growing aviation industry and other competitive aircraft manufacturers, only time will tell the kind of future Airbus will have.