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Greetings Everyone:

Thank you for visiting my newest site. And thank you for letting me help you learn to fly or learn more about flying. In this site you'll find many resources that I hope will assist you in enjoying aviation. There are many articles under the Articles menu that answer questions you might have. My Blog also has something for everyone, including a minimalist flight training syllabus for instructors to videos on piloting techniques ranging from "When to Begin the Landing Flare" to interesting aspects of psychology such as "The Troxler Effect." So please feel free to explore, and if you have any questions, use the contact link at the top of the page to contact me. I answer all my emails personally. Sometimes it takes a few days to get to them all, but I do...eventually.

Sincerely,
Rod Machado

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Latest Posts

  • Risk Management? Really?

    Is the emperor naked? It sure looks that way. The illusion here is based on the FAA’s belief that student pilots can be taught risk management skills. Learning to manage risk, however, requires prerequisite knowledge that student pilots typically do... read more

  • How to Find a Good Flight Instructor

    Trust is the key. First-time passengers consider the pilot a custodian of their being. That’s why it’s important to act in a manner that develops trust. When introducing someone to aviation (as a pilot or instructor), be sensitive to their... read more

  • Speaking of Gravity & Falling Leaves

    In his book The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Gary Zukav states, “He begins from the center and not from the fringe. He imparts an understanding of the basic principles of the art before going on to the meticulous details....The master... read more

  • First Contact - Introducing Someone to Flight

    Trust is the key. First-time passengers consider the pilot a custodian of their being. That’s why it’s important to act in a manner that develops trust. When introducing someone to aviation (as a pilot or instructor), be sensitive to their... read more

  • Defining Objectives in Behavioral Terms

    Who among us hasn’t experienced some type of communication problem during flight training? I worry every time I ask a student to put the airplane on the numbers when landing. What if he heads for the airport elevation painted on... read more

  • A Gift That Keeps on Giving

    My neighbor Bob was fond of saying, “The best gift you can give is a gift that keeps on giving.” I always thought this was a profoundly significant statement, until he gave me a pregnant cat. Thank Bob. Oddly enough,... read more

  • Some Assembly Required

    Any activity, regardless of its complexity, can be dissected into smaller, easily learned parts. This is what got me through dance lessons and it would for you, too. “One, two, three, one two three, one....” Insert a few “I’m sorrys”... read more

  • Hand to Hand Instruction

    Airplanes with side-by-side seating offer instructors a wonderful opportunity to apply a unique teaching technique. Your seating proximity allows you access not only to your student’s flight controls, but to their arms and legs. Why not take advantage of this?... read more

  • Masking Your Preflight

    Preflighting an airplane can often become a mundane activity. And students are especially susceptible to this when, after many successive preflights, they fail to find anything wrong with their airplanes. You can help them maintain their preflight vigilance by using... read more

  • A Matter of Influence

    No written word nor moral plea Can teach our students what they should be, Nor all the books upon the shelves But what the teachers are themselves.   In the movie Angels With Dirty Faces, racketeer Rocky Sullivan (played by... read more

  • Advice for the CFI Checkride

    Here’s the best advice that I can give you in preparation for your CFI checkride. Show up prepared to teach. If the designee/inspector is doing his or her job, then he’ll be looking for you to do what’s expected of... read more

  • The Four “C” Note Lesson

    A friend recently took his first flight lesson at a Midwest flight school and paid $400 for 1.2 hours of dual instruction. Shocked? That’s what it cost him for a two-hour block of time (at $100 per hour for the... read more

  • The Minimalist Syllabus

    Doing and getting more with less!    This link takes you to a page where you can download a PDF of the FAA’s original private pilot syllabus published in 1971. This syllabus was found in the back of the old... read more

  • Reluctant Moms and Dads

    Why parents should let their children fly! Suppose I told you I could get your child to enthusiastically study geography, math, physics, chemistry, and psychology. After you had my head examined, would you be interested? Oh, and as a bonus... read more

  • The Cost of Learning to Fly

       At a recent aviation seminar, I listened to a fellow lament the substantial cost of learning to fly. He confessed to spending upwards of $14,500 to obtain his private pilot certificate. Ka-ching! To him, aviation was too expensive for... read more