Category Archives: The Casual Classroom

Aviation is awash in weird terms and expressions that non-aviation people just don’t use much. For instance, consider the term, “relative wind.” Use the term around a pilot and they’ll nod and give every impression they understand entirely. Use it with a non-aviation enthusiast on the other hand, and they’ll scratch their head and start to wonder about your sanity.

Relative wind is critical to flight, so if you want to be a pilot, it’s important that you know what it is, and what it isn’t. So here’s the long and the short of it. Relative wind is the apparent speed and direction of the wind, based on your perspective. It is not the actual speed and direction of the wind. Read More →

New flight students need to know the basics. Old hands do, too. So whether you’re new to the flying game or an experienced pro, we need to learn, review, and expand on our knowledge base on a regular basis.

So let’s start with the basics, the four forces of flight. They are, in no particular order…

Lift, Weight, Thrust, and Drag. 
The lift part seems obvious. You need to have lift to fly. But how much lift do you need? Well, you need exactly as much, or slightly more than the total weight of the aircraft and everything in it. Read More →