Tips to a better Chandelle

The chandelle is perhaps one of my favorite VFR commercial maneuver. It is a true display of a pilot’s coordination, planning and feel for the aircraft especially at minimum controllable flight. I have realized that there are certain errors training pilots usually make regarding chandelles and if corrected can lead to a perfect chandelle.

A little about the Chandelle

The chandelle is a maximum performance climbing turn beginning from approximately straight-and-level flight, and ending at the completion of 180 degrees of turn in a wings-level, nose-high attitude at the minimum controllable airspeed. This maneuver demands that the maximum flight performance be obtained with the airplane gaining the most altitude possible for a given degree of bank and power setting without stalling. This maneuver was developed during World War I by the French pilots. They would fly to enemy ground troops and toss their bombs out of the cockpit, and then perform the chandelle in an effort to avoid ground fire. Chandelles can also be used to get yourself out of a sticky situation if trapped between two mountains when mountain flying.

The tips:

  1. Ensure that you are properly set up for the maneuver, ensure that your airspeed is correct and that you are configured properly. Avoid rushing into the maneuver! A bad entry leads to a bad maneuver!
  2. Choose a 90 degree point that is visible and can be seen from far away. Eg. A long road
  3. Although it is a VFR maneuver and your eyes should primarily be outside, make a quick reference to your attitude indicator and note your max pitch up when arriving at your 90 degree point, DO NOT LET THE NOSE DROP!
  4. Remain coordinated throughout the maneuver! Use those feet!! In a chandelle some amount of right rudder pressure is needed because of the effect of the turning tendencies at slow airspeeds and high angles of attack. More right rudder pressure is needed in a left chandelle than a right chandelle.
  5. Do not enter the maneuver with too steep of a bank, this will result in not attaining maximum performance.


I hope some of these tips will actually help you in doing a better Chandelle!

Until next time…


Certified Flight Instructor- Check!

After six months of hard work, dedication and lots of lesson plans I finally broke the barrier and overcame the hurdle titled “Certified Flight Instructor.” It is indeed an accomplished feeling knowing that in my two and a half years of college I have met all the flight goals that I have set for myself back in August 2013. It was not an easy task earning my CFI certification but amidst all the late nights that I spent preparing for lessons and studying for all the subject areas, I can proudly say that it was undoubtedly worth it!

The day of my check ride I was surprisingly not as nervous as I usually am when I have a check ride coming up. I guess the words of my instructor “take your time and have fun, trust in your training” made all the difference. I was confident that I was prepared and if I could perform well on my mock check ride, I could certainly do the same for the actual check ride! I trusted in my training, believed in my ground knowledge and flying abilities and a part of the result is shown below!


What’s next?

I received a part-time job position as a flight instructor with F.I.T. Aviation! I’m really excited to begin a new section of my aviation career and I am looking forward to the experiences that are going to come along with it. As an aviation professional it is important to always seek self-improvement and not settling for the bare minimum. Although I will begin instructing, I plan to move on to get my Certified Flight Instructor- Instrument (CFII) certification and then eventually get my Multi-engine Instructor certification. The sky is not the limit, I am going above and beyond!


How Realistic is Destination 2025?



A fatality free aviation industry would be every aviators dream. However, a fatality free industry would mean a perfect world and a perfect world just does not exist. The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Destination 2025 vision predicts flights to take off and land on time, every time, without delay and also predicts that there will be no fatal accidents. The aviation industry is a very dynamic one as the needs of humans and society are constantly changing. Nothing in life is certain and unforeseen situations do arise. There are certain factors that humans cannot control such as meteorological conditions and unforeseen mechanical issues and because of this airline delays can still occur.

I believe that Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is a great concept and if implemented properly can save airlines and ultimately the aviation industry time and money. The NextGen initiative will also be more environmentally friendly as it will reduce fuel consumption and as a result will reduce the carbon emissions into the atmosphere. If NextGen goes on to be implemented throughout the rest of the world this would definitely reduce the carbon footprint from airlines around the world. Though I believe that delays may not be directly mitigated through the NextGen initiative, it most certainly can be reduced as aircraft will be navigating less through the airspace as they will be taking a more direct route to their destination. On the other hand, if there was supposed to be a glitch in this technology, airlines and the general aviation across the United States may have a bigger problem to face.

If a problem in the system arises and if ATC and pilots become too reliant on NextGen to the point where they fail to remember basic knowledge, a catastrophe could happen in the aviation industry that would be hard to fix. Another challenge that could be faced is the incorporation of human factors into NextGen. Human Factor is the relationship between man and machine. Creating NextGen is ultimately creating a new software system which means that humans will have to be trained to operate these new software. On the human factor side, people resist change and as a result they may not be as proficient in NextGen, and if they are less proficient in NextGen then the chance of human error increases likewise the possibility of an increase in fatal aviation accidents. On the business side, humans would need to be trained to understand this new system and as a result more money will be spent. Essentially pilots are going to need to learn this new system which will cost airlines money.

I like the fact that the FAA is taking a new approach on safety. I appreciate the fact that the FAA will manage risk by proactively identifying hazards and risk based on the continuous analysis of data. By doing this they may be able to reduce the amount of accidents due to human errors. Also safety would also increase if rules and regulation were implemented to address potential dangerous events rather than waiting until a fatality occur to implement those rules. It would be considerably cheaper to prevent an accident than to have one. With safety being increased there is an opportunity for airlines to save money.

The Destination 2025 has really good concepts and ideas as it relates to improving the aviation industry. However, I truly believe the outline needs to be scrutinized for potential flaws to make it more realistic, that’s just my 2 cents worth of input!

Aviation Pollution… Is that a thing?

With more than 87,000 flights in the United States per day, this industry is definitely one of the busiest industries not only in the US but also in the world. From I was in high school I wondered about the impacts that aviation had on the environment that we live in and I’ve asked myself the question “Is it doing more harm than good?” I have been getting into sustainability more recently, that I could not resist but to research how my profession is having an impact on the environment I am living in!

Although the aviation industry is of much convenience to the human race as it provides an efficient means of transportation, it also has a negative effect on the environment we live in. Aviation pollution has been prevalent since the birth of aviation and has been growing exponentially throughout the years. I have come to realize that aviation activities pollute the environment both directly and indirectly mainly in the forms of air and noise pollution. One of the primary ways in which pollute the air is by jet exhaust. Jets burn large amounts of toxic fuel, which produces carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, sulfates and other emission particles. These gases are also harmful greenhouse gases which contributes to the heating of the atmosphere. These particles are directly emitted into the atmosphere and as a result encourage global warming.  The emission of smoke from jet engines also has a negative effect on humans. The soot/ black carbon that are emitted from planes can cause respiratory illnesses in humans. The particles are so small that when inhaled can penetrate in the lungs and other organs in the body. The damage that it can cause to the respiratory system includes chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma and can also lead to the difficulty breathing. Some people argue the fact that soot also has a negative effect on climate change. Although I am not sure how true this may be it is said that he dark color of soot attracts and absorbs heat from the sunlight which causes atmospheric temperature to rise.

A more prominent issue that is widely spoken of in the aviation industry is the problem of aviation noise. Residents living in the communities around airports often complain about the effect of the noise created from the blasts of aircraft, aircraft flight paths/ approaches, and land uses around airports. Loud noises coming from aircraft can cause hearing impairment, annoyance and sleep disturbance to people living in communities around an airport.  To reduce the impact of aviation noise on communities many noise abatement procedures are being initiated to make the environment safer. Some airports have regulations that prohibit aircraft from landing after a certain time at night, this is done to reduce the number of sleep disturbances in the surrounding communities. Many flight training airports, especially in Florida, implement noise abatement procedures for training aircraft and I have done some of those procedures myself.

I ultimately believe that aviation pollution is something we cannot get rid of, but we can certainly reduce the impact that it may have on our earth!

Aeronautical Decision Making

The decisions a pilot make in flight often plays a huge role in flight safety. Effective decision making does not only occur in the cockpit but it begins from preflight planning and continues throughout the entire flight until the aircraft is parked and tied down. Aeronautical decision making (ADM) is defined as the systematic approach to the mental process used by pilots to consistently determine the best course of action in response to a given set of circumstances. In short, it is how pilots make decisions to ensure the best possible outcome of a situation.

Aeronautical decision making mainly consist of a four step process: defining the problem, choosing the appropriate course of action, implementing the decision and evaluation the outcome. I believe that if every pilot uses this four step process whenever faced with a difficult situation in flight this will greatly reduce the severity of the outcome. It is also important to note that when making decisions in flight a pilot must be able to quickly and effectively assess the situation and be able respond within the limits of his or her experience.

A part of aeronautical decision making is risk management which is identifying the hazards associated with flight, assessing the degree of risk and determining the best course of action. The degree of risk associated with each flight can be mitigated even before the flight begins. If you are a pilot you’ve most likely heard of the IMSAFE checklist. IMSAFE stands for: illness, medication, stress, alcohol, fatigue, and emotion. It is important for a pilot to use this simple checklist to determine if he or she is in good condition before flight.



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“Free-Paper Burn”

Happy New Year to you all! I hope that you had as great as a start to your year like I did!

“Free-Paper Burn”- A Jamaican expression meaning to come to an end of a vacation (time of being free) from school or work.

After not blogging for two weeks I must say it feels good to share my aviation experiences with you all again. I’m now back from my Christmas vacation and I had an awesome time back home in Jamaica! It was great hanging out with family and friends and just getting away from the hustle and bustle of school. I must say I do miss the beaches and mountains in Jamaica a whole lot and I cannot wait to return in the future! However, the journey to success continues and it’s now time to finish up the final preparation for my Certified Flight Instructor check ride.

I started reviewing my lessons plans and some of the harder topics to grasp and I have created a great tactic in order to cover all the material so that I can be ready for my check ride and pass it on the first go. This is probably going to be my hardest check ride yet, and as such I have to ensure that I’m extremely prepared for it.

Ready to get back in the Arrow!

I’m really excited to start flying the Piper Arrow again! I’ve only had one flight in the arrow before, and I can wholeheartedly say that it is definitely an easy aircraft to fly because of its controllability characteristics. After not flying for two weeks I’m just itching to start flying again!

Flying the Champion Citabria


What better way to close out the semester than to be doing 360 loops, spins, dutch rolls and aileron rolls throughout the skies of Florida! I finally did my spin flight this week and it was by far the most fun I have had flying an airplane. It was my first time flying the Champion Citabria which is FIT Aviation’s only aerobatic tailwheel aircraft in their fleet. Flying this aircraft made me feel like a kid again, its maneuverability and its aerodynamic capability was simply amazing.


The purpose of the flight was to learn the effects of a spin and how to recover from one. A spin is an aggravated aerodynamic stall where autorotation occurs which results in an aircraft making a downward corkscrewing path to the ground. A spin occurs when an aircraft is in an uncoordinated stalled condition. It is the Flight Instructors responsibility to not only know how to recover from a stall and teach their student’s stall recovery procedures. But it is also important for a Flight Instructor to stress how important it is to be coordinated in flight especially during a stall. The best way to be spin proof is not knowing how to recover from one but knowing how to never get into a spin.

My favorite part of the flight was doing aerobatic maneuvers that I have never done before like the 360 loop and aileron roll. What I initially thought were difficult maneuvers, I later found out that they were not hard at all! After doing this flight and seeing how much fun aerobatic flying can be, I definitely would love to do it again sometime in the near future.