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I'm a partner at Boldmethod, as well as the chief tech geek and a writer.

I earned my solo wings in 1996 with the Civil Air Patrol at Pueblo Memorial (KPUB), and my Private Pilot Certificate in 1996 at Denver, Centennial (KAPA) in a 1973 Cessna 172.

The University of North Dakota taught me how to land in 30 knot winds and thirty below temperatures; I returned the favor by instructing there for seven years in Warriors, Arrows and Seminoles.

The classmates, students and instructors I met at UND have become some of my best friends. Most have gone on to the airlines and corporate flight departments - but some are at UND mentoring the next generation of aviation professionals. All of them have been invaluable in helping me write these columns.

Post UND, I worked as an intern, and later a paid intern, at Atlantic Coast Airlines. That opened the door to a job as a safety analyst at JetBlue - my first experience at a company who truly knew their core values. Safety, Caring, Integrity, Fun and Passion - they never asked us to memorize them, but I never met a team member who didn't know them by heart.

Colin Cutler and I started Boldmethod in 2006 - which grew out of a side business writing software for engineering companies. Since then, we've developed:

  • Software to monitor oil and gas pipelines,
  • General aviation training,
  • Software to manage nonprofit donations,
  • More general aviation training,
  • Emulators and training for the MQ-1 Reaper and MQ-9 Predator drones,
  • More general aviation training,
  • Training software for other military aircraft,
  • More general aviation training
  • And now, only general aviation training.

I do this because I love it. Because, aside from what I'm doing now, teaching at UND was the job I loved the most. So, if you've got an idea, suggestion or comment, pass it to me. If you're briefing one day and you think, "I really wish I had [this]," email me. We'd love to build it.

Oh, and please buy our Aviation Weather Products course. Every pilot should be able to easily read a weather report!

Aleks (aleks@boldmethod.com / @udri)

First kiss or testing the stall warning horn?
First kiss - or testing the stall warning horn? (Solo Encampment, Colorado Wing CAP, 1996)

New

  • You may have heard that center of gravity position affects your aircraft's performance - but do you know why? When we were flight instructing, the explanation usually involved lots of white-board diagrams - with lots of bad dry-erase art. So, to help rid the world of bad CFI art, we've released our first CFI tool - which interactively shows you how CG location affects performance.
  • Are you dreaming of a pilot job? Excited to pick up your first flight in a large aircraft as part of a flight crew? Before you make that jump, you'll endure the pilot interview - one of the most anticipated, hyped and studied events in a pilot's career.
  • NTSB safety alert: from 2000 to 2011, carburetor icing was a cause or factor in about 250 accidents - on average, causing or contributing to two fatal accidents per year.
  • Aspen-Pitkin County (KASE) serves an elite Colorado mountain town popular with a wealthy and famous crowd. Mountains surround the airport and, at 7,820' MSL, departure can be a performance struggle for any aircraft.
  • While the airline world has lots of visibility, corporate flying is a bit of an unknown affair. Departments are small, with a handful of aircraft and a tight-knit pilot group. Josh Ritter, a Citation pilot for Basin Electric Power Cooperative, gives us a look at life as a corporate pilot.
  • Ever wonder what it's like to be a Line Check Airman at an airline? Here's a breakdown of Andy Philbin's daily schedule when he's training new first officers.
  • While working with Andy Philbin on our previous post about initial operating experience, he hit on the topic of crosswind takeoffs. "The only things that I find they [new first officers] have difficulty with, as far as flying goes, is crosswind takeoffs and maybe landings" said Philbin. That surprised me - I figured that landings could be a challenge, but I thought takeoffs would be pretty simple.
  • We've all heard that training doesn't end with the check ride. While the saying is true for any pilot, it's especially true at an airline. Andy Philbin, a CRJ captain and line check airman for Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation, gives us look at initial operating experience and the training that happens after the check ride.
  • Looking for a job at the airlines? The requirements to become a first officer (second in command, or "SIC") have changed with the new "1500 Hour Rule" and are more stringent than ever before. I'll walk you through the new requirements to become an SIC, as well as how most pilots can get the experience necessary to reach their airline goals.