Unintended Consequences of Flight Training

  • Drinking more water to stay hydrated & to prevent dehydration prior to flights – started using a water jug that holds about 5lbs of water and have been drinking it constantly throughout the day. Something I have never really done.
  • More alert when driving my vehicles. I tend to drive a little more cautiously & definitely paying more attention with less focus on distractions.
  • Have a strong desire to eat healthy and too lose a few lbs. Maybe it’s because of the physical.
  • Forced to sit in my chair for hours at a time & I can’t get distracted easily.

Flight Equipment


  • Garmin GTX 320
  • Garmin GTX 327 – $500+
  • Stratus [ESG] – $3,000
  • Garmin [GTX 335] – $3,195
  • Garmin [GDL 82] – $1795
  • uAvioni [skyBeacon] – $1,849

iPad GPS

  • Dual XGPS150A – $100
  • Dual XGPS160 – ¬†$150
  • Garmin GLO 2 – $130
  • Bad Elf Pro – $150
  • Bad Elf Pro+ – $240
  • Bad Elf Plug in- $100


  • Foreflight Scout – $200
  • Foreflight Sentry – $500
  • Apparel Stratus 3 – $700
  • Dual XGPS170D – $500
  • Dual XGPS190 – $750
  • Garmin GDL 50 – $700
  • Garmin GDL 51 – $650
  • Garmin GDL 52 – $1150


  • Aspen Evolution PFD – $5,000+
  • GPS/NAV/COMM/MFD – $12,000
  • Nav/Comm – King KX 165 – $500-$2,000 (eBay)
  • 3M WX-10A Stormscope – $1,000 (eBay)
  • S-Tech System 50 2 axis Autopilot – $2,500 (eBay)
  • PS Engineering PM 1000 II intercom
  • Garmin GDL 88 ADSB – $4,000
  • SDI Fuel Totalizer
  • JPI Engine Analyzer
  • Standby Vacuum


Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)


  • Bose A20
  • David and Clark DC-ProX


Flight Maneuvers

  • Power on Stalls
  • Crosswind Taxi
  • Crosswind Takeoff and Climb
  • Crosswind Approach and Land
  • Steep Turns
  • Sideslip
  • Forward Slip
  • Basic Instrument Maneuvers
  • Rectangle Course
  • Turns Around a Point
  • S-Turns
  • Communications
  • Primary Flight Display
  • Preflight-Inspection Interior
  • Preflight-Inspection Exterior
  • Engine Starting
  • Taxiing Before Takeoff
  • Normal Takeoff Climb
  • Entering, Departing and Flying Traffic Patterns
  • Climbs
  • Descents
  • Straight and Level Flying
  • Use of Trim
  • Turns
  • Normal Approach and Landing
  • After Landing, Parking and Securing
  • Maneuvering During Slow Flight
  • Power Off Stalls

How the Engine Works

The power plant is the combination of the engine and the propeller which are designed to work together to produce thrust as well as to drive various systems that support the airplane.

Most small aircraft are designed with reciprocating engines. The name reciprocating engine is derived from the back and forth (reciprocating)  movement of the pistons.

Common means of classifying reciprocating engines are by cylinder arrangement with respect to the crankshaft. Radial, in-line, v-type or opposed. The method of cooling is liquid or air.

Cessna 172 Skyhawk and the Cessna 162 Skycatcher are horizontally opposed cylinders that are air cooled.



Aircraft Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance can be performed by a pilot on an airplane such as the Cessna 172 Skyhawk or 162 Skycatcher only if you are the owner of the airplane and you have a pilot certificate (Private Pilot certificate for Skyhawk & light sport or above for SLSA (Special Light Spork Aircraft) such as the Skycatcher

Preventative Maintenance is detailed in FAR Part 43 and includes:

Simple or minor preservation operations such as changing the engine oil, replenishing the hydraulic fluid, servicing landing gear bearings, changing a tire.

Replacement of small standard parts not involving complex assembly operations such as the landing lights or seat covers.

Those items listed in 14 CFR Part 43 Appendix A for Private Pilots or 14 CFR Part 65 for sport Pilots.

Preventative Maintenance does NOT include maintenance activities that must be performed by a maintenance technician such as

  • alteration of main sear support brackets
  • making engine adjustments that all the use of auto gas
  • repairing landing gear struts
  • repairing portions of the skin sheets by making additional seams

Records and Returning the Aircraft to Service

Pilots performing preventative maintenance must enter the aircraft’s maintenance records to include a description of the work, the date it was complete, the grade of pilot certificate (sport, Private pilot or higher) and the pilot’s certificate number along with signing the maintenance record.

Before and airplane is returned to flight after being services, it must be noted by the person making the entry in the airplane log book and that the airplane is acceptable to return to service.

Form 337 for Major Repairs and Alterations

Any repair or alteration to an aircraft that substantially affects the aircraft’s operation in flight requires that form 337, Major Repair and Alteration is completed. The aircraft must be test flown for an operational check of the maintenance or alteration performed by a private pilot or above without passengers and the entry must be added by the pilot to the aircraft’s maintenance records.



Special Flight Permits

A special flight permit is one type of Special Airworthiness Certificate that is issued for a specific flight and often called a “ferry permit”.

This special flight permit may be issued for an aircraft that cannot meet the current applicable airworthiness requirements but is otherwise capable of safe flight for the following purposes:

  • flying to a facility for repairs, alterations, maintenance or storage.
  • delivering new aircraft to the base of a purchaser or to a storage point
  • conducting production flight tests
  • evacuating an aircraft from impending danger
  • conducting customer demonstration flights in new production aircraft that have passed or completed production flight tests
  • excess weight operations such as extra fuel for flight beyond normal range (oceanic crossings)

An example request for a special permit may be:

  • aircraft does not meet airworthiness standards due to a broken or missing instrument
  • needs to be evacuated for impending severe weather such as an approaching hurricane

An additional example would be:

  • failure of required equipment such as one of the two fuel gauges where one gauge is installed for each tank and the other is working properly but there are no maintenance facilities at the remote location and the return home is easily within range for the remaining tank to be sufficient and both tanks are full.

Obtaining a Special Permit (Ferry Permit)

  • a request is submitted to the local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) (form 8130-6 online and may be faxed)
  • The FAA may inspect the aircraft or require you to have a mechanic/repair station inspect in which the inspection must be noted in the aircraft records.


Aircraft Inspections

The aircraft owner is responsible for ensuring that the aircraft is properly maintained and the the maintenance records show that the proper maintenance has been done.

The pilot is responsible for ensuring that the aircraft is in a safe condition for flight at the time the aircraft is flown.

Most aircraft are required to have an annual inspection although some aircraft manufacturers have FAA approval to chase inspections as opposed to annual inspections.

Annual Inspections

Annual inspection must be performed every 12 calendar months and it expires on the last day of the month that is was inspected.

These annual inspections are documented in the aircraft’s maintenance records and include the airframe log book, engine log book, and propeller log book.

The annual inspection is verified by a maintenance release for the aircraft’s return to service and well as a sign off by a maintenance tech with an Inspection Authorization (IA) from the FAA.

100 Hour Inspections

For aircraft that are used for hire such as charter flights or flight instruction, there is an inspection that must be performed every 100 engine hours (tach time). This may be exceeded by 10 hours to get the aircraft to the inspection point but not to perform flight training although the next inspection will still be required 100 hours from the previous time it was due.

These inspections must be verified by a maintenance release for the aircraft’s return to service, a sign off by a maintenance technician with an Airframe and Powerplant (A & P) license ( the 100 hour inspection does not need to be signed off by a IA).


The transponder must ben tested and inspected within the previous 24 calendar months meaning it expires on the last day on the month, 24 months later. Must be tested and inspected by a certified avionics technician. The transponder must be tested and inspected in order to use it anywhere. If you turn it on, it must have been tested and inspected within the past 24 months regardless of the air space you are in. This must be documented in the aircraft’s maintenance records.

Altimeter and Pitot Static System

The Altimeter and Pitot-Static System must be tested and inspected within the last 24 calendar months and is generally done at the same tome as the transponder. This is required in order to fly in controlled airspace under IFR (instrument flight rules)


The ELT battery must be inspected within the last 12 calendar months and the ELT battery must be replaced or recharged when the transponder has been in used for more than 1 cumulative hour or 50% of the battery’s useful life has expired (usually about every 2 years)

Airworthiness Directives

In addition to the above inspection items, Airworthiness Directives (AD) are legally required to be completed. The Airworthiness Directive is a document from the FAA that adds an inspection or maintenance action not covered under the annual inspection or 100 hour inspections. These are usually issued due to a problem identified or discovered in the field. These are mandatory and may require a one time inspection or continuous/periodic inspection and must be added to the aircraft’s maintenance records to indicate compliance with the AD.



Required Equipment

Certain instruments and equipment must be installed and operating for flight. Airplanes such as the Cessna 172 Skyhawk or Cessna 162 Skycatcher are manufactured with instruments, displays or other equipment installed. Other approved instruments or equipment may be added later and an airplane may still be airworthy with some of the original items removed or non-operational. The Pilot in Command (PIC) has the responsibility to determine airworthiness based on the Manufacture’s equipment list or the minimum instruments and equipment required by FAR 91.205

The Manufacturer’s Equipment list which is located in the Weight and Balance section of the FAA-Approved Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) or contained in the Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH) will indicate the items approved by the FAA-approved type certificate.

Minimum instrument and equipment required by FAR 91.205 will set for the the different flight conditions for day, night, Visual flight rules (VFR) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)

Required For Visual Day Flying

There are basic requirements for visual flying which include instruments for how high, how fast, and which direction including:

  • Altimeter
  • Airspeed Indicator
  • Magnetic Direction Indicator
    • a simple “wet” (“whiskey”) magnetic compass meets the requirement
    • most airplanes will have a gyroscopically stabilized heading indicator as either a stand along instrument or integrated into the electronic flight display

Instruments for indicating engine performance and operation:

  • Tachometer
  • Oil Pressure Gauge
  • Oil Temperature Gauge
  • Fuel Gauge(s)

Safety Equipment for the pilot and passengers:

  • seat belt for each occupant
  • shoulder harness in front seat (if manufactured after 1978 although older airplane may have retrofit)
  • emergency locator transmitter (ELT)
  • anti-collision light system (red or white & required if manufactured after March 1996)
Required For Visual Night Flying
  • all instruments required for day flights
  • position lights
    • red – wingtip
    • green – right wingtip
    • white – tail
  • anti-collision light system (older airplanes not requiring it for day must have for night)
  • adequate electrical source for all installed electrical equipment and radio equipment
  • spare fuses if the electrical system uses fuses (Cessna 172 Skyhawk and 162 Skycatcher use circuit breakers instead of fuses)
Other Possible Requirements
  • landing gear position indicator (for retractable landing gear)
  • coolant temperature gauge (for liquid cooled engines)
  • manifold pressure gauge (constant speed propellers, blade pitch can be changed)
  • oxygen equipment (high altitude flying)
Determine the equipment on your airplane

the equipment list is located in the Weight & Balance section of the AFM which identifies four categories of flight equipment RSOA

  • “R” – Required equipment (must be installed and operable)
  • “S” – Standard equipment (normally installed but not required)
  • “O” – Optional equipment (is neither standard nor required)
  • “A” – Additional equipment (added after aircraft certification)

Another place to look for the list of required equipment for your specific operation is in the Limitations section of the FAA approved Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) or Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH) for the (KOEL) Kinds of Operation Equipment List. This will tell you the specific instruments that need to be operating for your flight conditions such as day or night VFR (visual flight rules).

Inoperative Instruments and Equipment

In some cases the aircraft can still fly even if some of the equipment is not working properly. The FAA has defined rules for inoperative instruments and equipment in FAR 91.213.

The first step in determining if you can fly or not is to check to see if your aircraft has a Minimum Equipment List (MEL) which is a list of equipment that can be inoperative, yet legally able to fly provided the instructions in the MEL are followed. A MEL it obtained through the FAA. Most MELs are for large aircraft or a fleet of aircraft such as a secondary coffee maker in a Boing 757.

Most small general aviation aircraft do not have a MEL but the next step is to look at the Kinds of Operations Equipment List in the Limitations section of the AFM/POH.

You will need to determine if the inoperative flight equipment is listed as required for your flight. If it is required, you cannot fly until it is fixed. If it is not required, then proceed to the list of equipment in the regulations for the type of flight being conducted (FAR 91.205).

If the inoperative equipment is not listed in FAR 91.205, then it is not required for your flight but you must deactivate the equipment and placard/label the equipment a INOP (inoperative) before you fly.