How temperature inversions affect flying conditions

If you have ever flown over, or near, any big city on a cold winter’s morning you may have noticed a ‘dirty’ layer of air in your path. This is most likely an inversion layer, and without understanding the causes leading to its presence, it could challenge your piloting skills

IFR Alternate Aerodromes Explained

You may be thinking the obvious, that an alternate aerodrome is an optional aerodrome, selected by the pilot, just in case the paw-paw hits the fan…

What is RVR – Runway Visual Range?

RVR, or Runway Visual Range is something that you will usually hear on an ATIS report or see on the Metar when visibility is on the poor side, it is also the main criteria for instrument approaches, but what exactly is it?

What is the difference between Angle of Attack and Angle of Incidence?

There are two important angles, when it comes to wings, which determine whether the aircraft will in fact fly, and how it will fly – the angle of attack and the angle of incidence. The two can be confusing, so let’s clear them up:

Understanding how a Pressure Altimeter works

The pressure altimeter is not a fancy instrument, but despite it being invented by American Paul Kollsman, way back in 1928, not much has changed, It is, however, a rather important instrument, especially when it comes to terrain clearance, and poor visibility. As pilot, it is essential to understand how it works, the settings, and how it can lie to you…

How to Calculate the Crosswind Component ‘on the fly’

When crosswinds present themselves, these can quickly throw you off the runway if you are not prepared. Here’s how to calculate how much of a crosswind you have…

How to Become a Pilot in South Africa

It usually all starts with your eyes turned up to the sky, and a dream of flying those magnificent machines called aircraft. Practically, however, school career guidance councillors, if available, are often not informed on the process of how to become a pilot, so here is my suggested guide:

What is a Pitot Tube and What does it do?

Named after it’s 18th century inventor, French engineer Henri Pitot, this marvelous invention is still in use today…

Draining the fuel tanks – What to do if you find water?

Draining the fuel tanks is one of the first things we are taught to do in the pre-flight routine, but what do you do the day you discover a bit of water at the bottom of your fuel drainer?

What is Pressure Altitude?

Pressure altitude is the altitude in the standard atmosphere at which the pressure is the same as the existing pressure…

The Essential Radio Book

  • First Time Pass Rate 99% 99%


What students said…

‘A concise, well illustrated book that is simple and easy to understand. I passed my general radio exam first time!’ MD

‘I passed first time with 88%! I would definitely recommend the Essential Radio Book to other pilots.’ AN

I was struggling with the radio exam until I came across your book – so clear and simple, I passed with flying colours! VF

You may also Be interested in:

Snooping around hangars…

Caproni Ca 20

The Caproni Ca 20 is believed to be the first air-to-air fighting machine dedicated, to destroying enemy aircraft.

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Stampe-Vertongen SV.4E

The beauty of travel is that you get to see a whole new world of aeries that may not exist in your own country or even on your own continent! This particular Stampe had me a bit stumped - I spotted this one at an airfield in Chatellrault, France and thought it must be...

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Jim Davis’ Corner

Learning to fly a Green Aeroplane – or a J3 Cub if you prefer…

Many years ago Geoff Towill blundered into my little flying school in George. He was in his mid 30s and had tatty clothes and locks of unkempt hair hanging over his face. He had that slightly wild look of a dotty professor. “Can you teach me to fly a green aeroplane?” He asked.

“I expect so. What sort of aircraft is it?”

“It’s a green one.” Geoff explained

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Interview – 5 Minutes with…

5 Minutes (and a bit!) with Karl Jensen

An amusing interview with Karl Jensen – a former SAA airline captain. A true aviator and gentleman, who will never stop loving the act of flying!


‘Sluggy’ Lugg

Ever wondered what it must be like to have 44 000 flying hours? Just ask ‘Sluggy’ Lugg! Our video interview will have you in stitches…

The Flight of: The Bum

The Flight of: The Bum

The world’s largest aircraft – the Airlander 10, nicknamed the ‘Flying Bum’ because of its shape. The helium filled craft can travel at 150km per hour, and can remain airborne for 5 days!

Airfield Hangouts…

Brakpan – Benoni (FABB)

Brakpan is a town known for its interesting car mods and hairstyles, however, the airfield is an understated hub of activity and cool people. FABB is one of the oldest airfields in South Africa - it was built before OR Tambo, which explains why it sits nestled in OR...

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Parys (PAPY)

Every young pilot who has trained in the Johannesburg area, will have, at some stage, performed at least a touch and go here, and therefore it has sentimental value.

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Kitty Hawk (FAKT)

Why we like it: Nice ‘humpy’ runway, can be challenging the first time, but if you happen to have a bounce, you are usually out of the line of sight of the restaurant patrons…

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Found on YouTube



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