6 Critical Elements To Determine Your Personal Minimums

It's the time of the season for giving and thankfulness, and this week's blog is a contribution to an aviation colleague who's partnership I am very thankful for.  If you've been flying first class with me at Clayviation for a while, you might recall a blog about...

What Pilots Need To Know About Drones

The FAA estimates 7 million drones to be buzzing around in the airspace system by 2020.   As a pilot, there are understandable concerns about what it means to have so many people sharing the same airspace.  Having functioned as both an airplane pilot and a drone...

How To Read A Terminal Area Forecast

It's not always too difficult to tell if the weather is good enough to fly - in the moment.  Looking up to a clear blue windless sky is a pretty good sign.  The big question with weather is often "what's going to happen next?"  On a recent flight to Nashville,...

4 Reasons To Call Flight Service Before You Fly

With today's plethora of technology, making a phone call before a flight for a weather briefing seems like an unnecessary step - on the surface.  After all, programs like Foreflight can give you a step by step briefing of weather, notams, forecasts and more.  But even...

A Long Cross Country Flight

This past week, I took a cross country flight from Thomson, Georgia to Nashville, Tennessee. You might wonder how one state over qualifies as a "cross country," but just like running cross country in high school doesn't mean coast to coast, so it is with aviation. In...

How To Read A Sectional Chart

Looking intently over the instrument panel directly in front of us, my seven year old son and I went back and forth. "Is that it?" He called, pointing over one way. "No, I don't think so," I replied. "There! Those lights - is that it!?"  He called back. "Those look...

The Hundred Dollar Hamburger

Much like touching the top of a mountain with your hand when reaching the top, or planting a flag on the moon, the Coke was the same sort of symbolic checkpoint.

How To Use A Manual E6B Flight Computer

What Is This Thing? It might look like you need a degree in Rocket Science to have any business trying to figure out an E6B, but you don't. It's actually quite simple once you understand how it's laid out and a couple basics.  There are seemingly limitless functions...

A Pilot’s Guide To Renting Airplanes

One of the first things people ask me about being a pilot is if I own an airplane.  My answer?  "I wish I did.  Well, kinda."  You see, it's not assumed that a pilot owns an airplane like it is that a driver owns a car. I think of it more like a house. There are times...

How To Read A METAR Aviation Weather Report

A METAR, or aviation routine weather report, is an hourly surface observation from a weather station, usually at an airport. It gets its name from the term Meteorological Aerodrome Report, but boy is that a mouthful. In a nutshell, it's what the weather is doing at...

12 Must Have Aviation iPad Apps

I tried to explain to my seven year old how incredible the iPad he was playing on was. It might be commonplace to most of us by now, but the technology we have at our fingertips is remarkable. In my most genuine "back in my day" sort of rant, I reminisced on tape...

How To Start Flight Training And Build Your Flight Bag

Maybe you are curious about flight training - you love the idea of being a pilot but don't know if you have what it takes (Read the Clayviation blog What Does It Take To Become A Pilot?).  Perhaps you've always wanted to do it but just don't know how to take the first...

What Does It Take To Become A Pilot?

The sun burst into the cockpit, nearly blinding me as I leveled off to land just above the runway on final approach. Using the visual cues that I could, I hoped for the best as my otherwise graceful approach to land settled down on the runway - a lot harder than I...

Does An Airplane Drop Like A Rock?

How And Why Airplanes Fly (Instead Of Falling) Have you ever wondered what would happen if you were flying on an airplane and all the engines stopped working?  Would you just start falling? A fear of flying is fairly common.  For some, it's the smaller space. Others,...

It’s Always Sunny Outside

The airplane windows faded to a hazy white as I climbed up into the cloud layer. It was my very first time in the clouds.  I had just taken off from Peachtree City Falcon Field (KFFC) on a gray, rainy day.  The kind of rainy day that just rains lightly.  Constantly....

A Pilot Is Born

I peered out of the window into the darkness below. The only indication that anything aside from a black void was below us were the sparkling lights of cities and towns as we flew over them. I was still in the first few hours of my initial pilot training over a decade...

Sharing Flight With A New Generation

My son was right next to me as I called the airport to cancel the flight. "It's a no go today.  These clouds just won't let us in the air." Reid is just weeks away from turning seven and he has never been flying.  Not on a commercial airline, and not with me, a...