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Why We Fly?
By Rod Machado Pop psychologist Leo Buscaglia once said, “When you learn something new, you become something new.” This is a vivid description of the benefits of learning to fly. Students, in the throes of flight training, are constantly... read more
Airport Holding Markings: You Can Fool Some of the People...
By Rod Machado Here's the scenario: From your present position shown in the graphic above ATC says, "....taxi to Runway 19R via taxiway Whiskey, hold short of Runway 19R at Whiskey Eight." (The beginning of Runway 19R is located at... read more
GONE: Slow Flight at Minimum Controllable Airspeed
In its 1965 Flight Training Handbook, the FAA dedicated over two pages of text to explain the concept of flight at minimum controllable airspeed (MCA). Today, the most recent edition of the FAA’s How to Fly an Airplane Handbook offers... read more
How to Be a Good Student
By Rod Machado Every student wants a good instructor. That’s given. What’s often not understood by these same students is that good instructors also want good students. The problem is that no one teaches students how to be good students. Sorry, but... read more
How to Sabotage Your Flight Training
By Rod Machado Are you interested in sabotaging your flight training experience? OK, then let me help. Here’s how to do it. Before you begin your flight training, demand to fly with as many different instructors at the flight school... read more
What General Grant Can Teach Pilots About Anxiety
By Rod Machado When Bob stepped into his Cessna 172 on a recent Sunday morning, he had no idea how difficult it would be to apply power for takeoff. No, his airplane was fine. His anxiety level wasn’t. He sat... read more
May the G-force Not be With You
By Rod Machado This is a actual letter I received from a student pilot along with my reply. Dear Mr. Machado: I don't know what to do. I'm a student pilot whose instructor insists that the turbulence we feel during... read more
It's Time to Speak Up
“Hey Rod, tomorrow I’m taking my little airplane out to see what it can do. I’ll see ya later.” Those were the last words I ever heard my best friend speak. I never saw him again. The next day,... read more
The Forgotten Mechanic
The Forgotten Mechanic Here’s today’s riddle: Name something that all pilots need and use all the time, often don’t know by name, and depend on completely for the safety of every flight. The answer isn’t obvious, and neither is this... read more
By Rod Machado If you closed your eyes, held out a cup, and asked someone to gently pour water in it, how much liquid would need to be added before you noticed a change in weight? One drop? Probably not.... read more
It’s a Long Way Down, Isn’t It?
Psst! Psst! Come here. Come a little bit closer. I’ve got something I want to ask you, and I don’t want anyone else to hear. Are you afraid of heights? It’s probably embarrassing to admit it, but if you’re like... read more
A Foot in the Mind
By Rod Machado Psychologist Robert Ornstein, in his book Evolution of Consciousness: Origins of the Way We Think, talks about a person he knew as Jim. Jim’s reputation was based on his ability to get others to do things for... read more