Become a Better Pilot

Why You Should Always Use Flight Following

Flight following, also known as traffic advisories, is a service offered by ATC for pilots flying under VFR. A simple radio call to the nearest ATC facility will provide traffic advisories as well as information on weather threats ahead. Pilots may also receive suggested headings to avoid both. In spite of these benefits, many pilots still elect to fly without speaking to anyone, foregoing this free service.

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Engine Failure at Takeoff: What To Do Next

Having an engine fail right after takeoff while flying a single engine airplane is every pilot’s worst nightmare. It requires immediate action along with quick, life or death decision making. Assuming the engine cannot be restarted, the pilot has only two options; land straight ahead, or attempt to return to the departure airport. The objective of this tutorial is to explore the second option, which is the engine out return to the departure airport.

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Cessna 190/195

Post-World War II war surplus aircraft may have looked attractive based on purchase price, but operating costs were well out of reach of the average retiring military fighter pi¬lot, lieutenant, or captain returning from the war. Of course, the established general aviation manufacturers and dozens of upstart companies jumped into the light-plane business with enthusiasm. For its part, Cessna introduced a new model known as the 190/195. The new airplane was probably a much better machine than its sales record suggested.

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Cessna 340

The usual question is which used, pressurized twin makes the most sense for a pilot looking to transition to the imaginary safety of two engines? My vote usually goes to the Cessna 340. Today, the early 340s represent an impressive buy for the pilot looking for twin engine redundancy at a reasonable price. The earliest examples, 1972-1974 models, sell for about $120,000 and the last production 340s, 1982-1984 vintage, bring about double that.

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Cessna Citation 500

By today’s standards, the first Cessna Citation (originally named the Fanjet 500 and later rebranded as the Citation 1 and finally the Citation 500) was perhaps the ultimate entry-level business jet. In 1972, it was one of the first corporate jets to be authorized for single pilot operation and the first in what was to become the world’s most popular line of business jets. Cessna’s 500 series Citations brought on-demand jet travel to folks who otherwise would have been relegated to the airline’s timeline.

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