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Recent Student Achievements
Adam Silverthorne is a man on a mission. He came to San Diego from the Bay area to train with me and first started in  April with CFI training and returned in August  for his CFII. Adam was a great student and passed both checkrides  on  the first attempt. He's already busy as a CFI  and CFII with his flying club back home. Adam has combined his  passion for  flying with his computer background by creating a  useful (and free) pilot logbook app in use by over 1,000  pilots. If you're in the market for an electronic logbook, checkout Adam's product at If becoming a  flight instructor is in your future, checkout the details of my 5 day CFI and 4 day CFII program  at
Brisbane Australia resident, Allan Brooks came all the way to San Diego to get his FAA commercial      certificate. Allan works in the aviation field in Australia, as a manager of a company that trains flight  attendants for major airlines. Allan received all of his previous certificates and ratings in the United  States so wanted to continue his training with the FAA. I was fortunate to  meet his wife Jo who  traveled with Allan to train with Cesar Millan, the famous  dog whisperer based  in Phoenix Arizona.  Jo runs a successful dog training business back in Brisbane. They're an  energetic and engaging  couple and both left the United States with the  education they came for. Allan now has a commercial pilot certificate.
Marcus Vitale is another CFI graduate of Take Flight San Diego having passed his checkride in May 2015. A natural trainer, Marcus owns a business that trains hunting dog owners in the skills needed for to work together with their hunting dogs. Interestingly, the same strategies that work for dogs such as the building block method of skill progression, also works with people. Chck out his website at Marcus applied these skills towards his CFI training, acknowledging that dogs may be easier to train than their owners!  Nevertheless, he was successful in securing his CFI and is now teaching part time at a local flight school.  Congratulations.
Kevin Barton is a busy guy as the owner of specialty medical clinics in San Antonio. He also has found time to own a Lancair and Cessna 310 and to pursue his aviation passion - working quickly through private, instrument and commercial ratings. He enrolled in the CFI program with Take Flight San Diego to further enhance his aviation knowledge and to prepare himself to become an effective flight instructor. Kevin was successful in earning his CFI and returns to San Antonio to become the mentor of many an aspiring young aviator. Congratulations.
Rick Poinsett is a Golden State instructor who   needed to get his CFII for the new instrument program underway at Golden State. Rick  is recently retired from a career in the medical equipment business and now is engaged  as a full time in flight instructor. We picked a great week for his training as almost every  flight was solid IMC with a pervasive and thick marine layer. Here is a short video of a  partial panel approach on the LOC DME D to SEE, breaking out just at minimums. It was a great training week and Rick went to the checkride right on schedule and passed on the first attempt as expected. Congratulations on a great performance.

Other News

Flight Training Apps (my flight training video company) is currently working on the next app for the Garmin 650/750 and is a follow-up to the release of the Garmin 430/530 apps 5 years ago. The app will consist of a complete description of the touch screen receivers including setup and configuration and how to use all of the functions for both VFR and IFR flight. Like our other apps, there will be actual flight video, an interactive quiz, and other resources. Look for this app in the App Store, and on our website by December 2015.

Turn Your Lights On! These days, runway incursion avoidance is a big deal. The FAA is doing everything it can by educating pilots and controllers so we don’t run into one another on the ground. It’s such a safety priority that the FAA has made it a required task in the CFI PTS as well as dedicating an entire Appendix to the subject in the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. I find that most pilots are not aware of the relatively new requirements for turning on their lights and transponders during ground operations. Sometimes this gets pointed out during check rides - which is not how most of us like to learn new things. The Airman’s Information Manual has also grown in space dedicated to the subject, the details of which can be found in AIM 4-3-20 and 4-3-23. Recently, the FAA issued a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) further clarifying the somewhat ambiguous language in the AIM regarding transponder operation on the ground. The safety alert can be found at

So here’s the short version for those who don’t enjoy reading FAA prose. Prior to taxi you should turn on the following (you did remember to turn your beacon/anti-collision lights on before engine start – right? Transponder on set to altitude reporting ADSB enabled (if equipped) Taxi lights on Strobe lights on (unless it would adversely affect vision of other pilots) Navigation lights on When crossing a runway and prior to beginning the takeoff roll, landing lights should be turned on. Try this out on your next flight and make it a habit from then on. 

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