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How to Quickly Calculate Your Rate of Descent

A safe, precise landing is the goal of every pilot at the end of their flight, and one of the keys to nailing that perfect landing is approaching it at the proper rate of descent. Compared to some of the other types of pilot math, rate of descent calculations are very quick and easy. They can be performed mentally or by hand as you set up your approach. What is a rate of descent? An aircraft’s rate of descent, or descent rate, is the rate of decrease of vertical height per unit of time. In the United States, descent rate is measured in feet per minute. Why is knowing your rate of descent important? A consistent descent rate during landing allows...

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How to Get Wi-Fi on a Plane (Guide)

Commercial cross-country flights may be long and boring, but there is one little feature that can all the difference. It has the power to distract you and make life in even the cramped middle seat of the coach cabin somewhat less arduous. What is this incredible invention? Wi-Fi. The availability of on-board internet is a selling point for passengers, and airlines are working rapidly to outfit as many of their aircraft as possible with Wi-Fi generating devices. Someday, Wi-Fi may be just as much of a given as beverage service, but for now, passengers are often left wondering whether their next flight will be Wi-Fi enabled, how to get wi-fi on a plane, and how much in-flight Wi-Fi costs. Which...

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How to File a Flight Plan: Step-By-Step Guide

It’s the worst-case scenario that none of us want to think about. During a winter flight, we had to make an emergency landing in a remote location where there is no cell service. Our radio was damaged in the landing, and the battery in the portable radio is dead.  We were flying VFR and did not file a flight plan, so no one with the FAA will know we are overdue when we fail to arrive at our destination. Now what? VFR pilots who have an aversion to paperwork may find it may be tempting to think that filing a flight plan is a task reserved for IFR pilots only, but is that position wise? What is a flight plan?...

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