How to Manage Fatigue and Survive Nightshifts

Sleep is something none of us can escape from. For some it’s amazing, for others it’s annoying. Pilots, like many other people in other professions, often have to deal with staying awake while everyone else is dreaming away. Lots of recent research is revealing more and more about the effects of sleep (and the lack of) on our bodies and brains. So today, we’ll be looking at how to manage fatigue, and how we can Read more…

How does TCAS Work?

What is TCAS? The Ultimate Pilot Guide

TCAS is one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated systems in today’s global aviation industry. It has contributed a lot to the massively improved safety levels that have developed over time. It has proven itself over and over again, but is poorly understood at times. There is a lot going on within this system, and it can be very confusing due to all the technicalities and 234987 abbreviations in your average TCAS documentation! But don’t Read more…

The Fenestron vs Conventional Tail Rotors

The Fenestron is a fascinating type of anti-torque system. Single-rotorhead helicopters have to deal with the same issues that come with pushing a rotor disc around. There are a lot of different ways to deal with these issues though. We covered the NOTAR system in a previous article. Today we’ll do some comparing: Conventional tail rotors vs the Fenestron! What is a Fenestron? Fenestrons are shrouded tail rotors that offer operational benefits compared to conventional Read more…

Commercial Pressure in Aviation

Let’s Talk About Commercial Pressure in Aviation

Commercial pressure in aviation is a concept that most pilots are familiar with, especially in this day and age. Unfortunately, it’s still a massive problem in the aviation industry, and has even caused the UK CAA to publish this safety notice featuring commercial pressure. To this day, lots of accidents are still being linked to the fact pilots (or engineers) felt pressure to ‘get the job done’ without being confident they had the required variables Read more…

Causes of helicopter crashes

What are the most Common Causes of Helicopter Crashes?

Helicopter incidents, accidents, and even fatal crashes are unfortunately still way too common, especially compared to the fixed wing world. Every month or so there are still news articles featuring the latest unfortunate helicopter events. These are then followed by safety reports on how to prevent it in the future, but things are seemingly not improving as much as we would like. So what are the most common causes of helicopter crashes nowadays? What does Read more…

Pitot-Static Flight Instruments

How do Pitot-Static Flight Instruments Work?

Today we go back to basics! The bread and butter of a cockpit instrument panel or Primary Flight Display are the basic instruments. A big chunk of them work using air, the other chunk are mostly gyroscopic. The ones using air pressure are called pitot-static, which we are going to focus on. So how do Pitot-Static Flight instruments work exactly? For the cadets coming straight out of training this might be an easy one. But Read more…

What are the Causes and Effects of Dissymmetry of Lift?

Helicopters are fascinating flying machines. If you talk to someone with fixed wing experience about the effects of airspeed on a helicopter, they will look at you like you’re from a different planet. Fixed wing aircraft are for the most part inherently stable, while helicopters are inherently unstable. This means most answers to aerodynamics-related questions just create more questions. Most of these questions all come from the fact that airspeed does not affect all parts Read more…

What is a sonic boom

What is a Sonic Boom, and How Does it Affect Helicopters?

Sonic booms: not talked about very much, especially in the helicopter industry. However, the speed of sound and the effects of breaking it, has a massive influence on the design, procedures and aerodynamic of both planes and helicopters. So what is a sonic boom, and how does it effect helicopters as well? For clarity, the picture above is called a vapour cone, and is NOT the same as a sonic boom, but is related to Read more…

Calculating density Altitude

How to Calculate Density Altitude: A Step by Step Guide

Out of all the atmospheric variables we get to deal with as pilots, density altitude is by far the most relevant and important. You should really have it in the back of head when you enter the cockpit for the day. Knowing how to calculate density altitude is something a lot of pilots get lazy with over the years, as technology helps us more and is often only a few taps away. That’s why today, Read more…

6 Crucial Tips for Starting a Pilot Career

Becoming a pilot is considered a pretty common childhood dream. But of course, like any other career, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows at times. There is a lot to learn along the way, so today I’ll go over 6 crucial tips for starting a pilot career. I was (and am) fortunate enough to be surrounded by incredible professionals who have often shared their own mistakes and struggles for me and others to learn from. Read more…