mFC Podcast | Episode 14 | Night Flying, Changes to the FAA Written Exams, ATC Update

Night flying over north Nashville...

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This week’s mFC show is all about night flying!  For many students this is a time of excitement.  They can’t wait for this new experience.  Others it seems are pretty anxious about what awaits them after dark (cue scary music!).  Really, night flying is a blast and it is a lot of fun.  So I offer some basic considerations about night flying and some things to remember as you enter this phase of your training.

I also talk about the changes happening with the FAA written exams which are already being seen in the ATP, CFI FOI, and Instrument pilots tests.  While it is good that we’re moving away from a “memorize and go” approach, I think it would be helpful if the FAA would assist instructors as to the types of changes occurring and offer some input on best ways to prepare students for the exam.  I don’t think it’s right to completely overhaul the test and just surprise people.  (Which is what is happening.)

I also talk a little about the recent instances of Air Traffic Controllers falling asleep on the job.  There’s a great commentary on this over at JetWhine and I’ve linked a couple of articles up as well.  Obviously, there are some changes needed (and I don’t think firing the head of the program was necessarily the best move, but I digress) in scheduling and workload management.  But I also appeal to us as pilots to support the controllers, the vast majority of whom are conscientious, courteous, patient and professional.   So hopefully the FAA can make the changes needed in order to make an already great air traffic system even better!

Resources from Today’s Show:

Virgin Galactic Looking for Pilot-Astronauts

FAA Revamping Knowledge Tests

Test Scores Affected by FAA Changes

JetWhine: Controllers Need to Wake Up

Changes to Controller Scheduling

Preparation Key to Night Flying

“Night Flying” from Flight Training Magazine


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