Great links and resources on the web

for anyone interested in learning to fly!

To start things off, here's a link for a splendid layman's explanation of how an airplane flies (it includes a link to a NASA java applet that acts as a virtual wind tunnel allowing you to create various wing shapes and test the corresponding effects of lift/drag):

Here's where I learned!

Nice Air  San Jose, CA  at Reid-Hillview Airport (RHV)

A flight school in the San Francisco Bay Area called, Nice Air.  Click the picture of the building which appears above, to learn more!

Trade Winds Aviation Logo 

FAA Gold Seal CFI FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor - Cecil E. Chapman

I am a FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor and teach, primarily, out of  Trade Winds Aviation ( ) at Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose, CA. 

Trade Winds is an exceptionally well-managed flight training facility.  At Trade Winds we have the newest fleet of Cessna aircraft, the Cessna 172SP.  For those interested in learning to fly the newest 'glass cockpits' we have in our fleet some C172SP's equipped with the G1000 and another that has both the G1000 and the newest GFC 700 (the very latest Garmin autopilot that interfaces seamlessly with the Garmin 1000).  I encourage you to look at their fleet which you can see at , I am certain you will be most impressed with their fleet and facility.


Flight Instructor:  John Nauman, CFII

Winner of :  The Greatest Instructor In the World Award

..... :0)  okay, there is no such award, I made it up... but if there WAS such an award, I'm certain that John Nauman, CFII would have it!

Offers flight instruction for the following certificates/ratings:


I could easily dedicate a page or more on how I couldn't be more pleased with my flight instructor or recommend him more highly.  The person you choose can make a big difference in the your training (believe me on this one; I went through 5 instructors at ANOTHER flight school before I found Nice Air where I discovered John).

To learn more about my favorite CFI who teaches, primarily, out of Trade Winds Aviation click this link to his personal website:


Other Instructors

A great fellow who is also a CFI, CFII at RHV.  I haven't flown with him, but he seems like he'd be a great instructor to have!  Check out his website!

The National Association of Flight Instructors recently awarded Max Trescott the Master CFI designation, now held by only three CFI's in the San Francisco Bay area.

I recently had the opportunity to hear Max do a presentation during a Wings Safety seminar.  While I had known of him and his website I had never seen or heard him in-person.  If you get a chance to hear this fellow, he's a pleasure to listen and learn from.  While I've never had him as a flight instructor, I wouldn't expect that he would be anything less than absolutely, phenomenal in that regards, as well.  One of the locations he teaches out of is Squadron2 which is just 'down-the-isle' from the FBO that I fly out of.  It is clear after hearing him speak, why he has that Master CFI designation.

Max's website is a must-visit opportunity! 

Max has an excellent laminated guide for providing San Francisco Bay Tours which includes a colorful sectional on one side with important sights labeled as well as labeled arrows that show typical routes flown and associated altitudes.  On the back of the laminated aid, is text explaining departure instructions for popular local bay area airports when requesting "Bay Tour" from your local controller.  It also has helpful information for arrival procedures at the same airports listed as departure points...   and more.  I believe he charges a modest $15.00 for the aid and it is well-worth every penny!  I bought one as soon as I saw it at his presentation.  Local pilot stores will be stocking it, but if you don't see them there then email and arrange to get one of these SF Bay Tour Guides!





Click the picture of the guide to go to Max's information on the Bay Tour and how to get one of these great guides!



This CFI's site has a wealth of information on flying and learning to fly!  He also sells a great Ultimate Pilot Library CD available - updated Practical Test Standards, plus hundreds of other documents on CD, FAR, AIM, all up to date and including for the first time the new Airplane Flying Manual and Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Special price for NAFI, AOPA and EAA members.  He teaches out of Reid-Hillview, though I've never had him as an instructor.

Zdravko Podolski
Reid Hillview Airport
2575 Robert Fowler Way
San Jose, CA 95148

Other Great Aviation Links.....

It had only occurred to me recently that I didn't have a link to this website, despite the fact that I it is an incredibly valuable resource created by flight instructor, Gene Whitt.  It is a text only website, but it is a virtual 'treasure trove' of aviation information on learning to fly and beyond!

My West Coast Adventure

Where could I possibly begin with all that is wonderful about this superb online 'flying diary'?  I only recently 'discovered' it via an email from the website's creator.  Splendid accounts, exceptionally thoughtful design both in terms of ease-of-use and layout.  I could go on-and-on, but all that needs to be said is that you simply MUST see this website!

Descriptive text from the website:

"Pilots of the Caribbean is my personal website containing some of my aviation exploits in
and around the State of Florida.
I have compiled a list of pictures and a few videos to share with those that might have a common interest.
Please understand that this site is designed for broadband users, and that all others may experience lengthy downloads/page loads.
This is not a commercial site and it is purely a for fun website.
If there is anything that anyone would like to see added, I am always open to suggestions. "




I just recently discovered this 'gem' of a website.  This pilot has worked his way up from learning to fly to teaching others to fly as a CFI.  Great site and content!!!!  I found it very inspirational, 'cause I am headed the same route that he has already finished (i.e., to get my CFI).


Chris Houston's aviation photography web page is an incredible collection of aviation photos taken with his digital camera.  WOW!  You MUST check this out!


Great fellow pilot and CFI/CFII with a  website with LOTS of flying adventures including Angel Flight missions!

Synopsis copied from the website: 

"This site is dedicated to trips we have taken in our plane and destinations we have discovered in and around Southern California".


In the process of learning to fly you will be exposed to many instructional materials that speak to the mechanics involved in learning to fly, but you should also take a little time to read a few books that speak to the 'spirit' of flight, itself - the 'why' of why we are 'up there'. A couple of books I would recommend have their covers displayed following this text.  I know that they are available from Amazon and some of the other online book dealers, as well. 




AOPA, is a great source for a variety of types of information about aviation.  It was the first aviation organization I joined upon starting as a student pilot.   It has many resources for not only pilots, but information and support for those who are thinking about pursuing their lifelong dream of learning to fly.

The following text is excerpted from EAA's website

Today, aviation is competing with other recreational activities. Therefore, we want you to feel welcome. We must share the opportunities available and invite you to the multitude of EAA events that showcase aviation at its best. Whether you are interested in building, buying or owning an airplane; seeing the world's greatest air show performers; meeting aviation personalities; or just enjoy being around airplanes . . . EAA is the place for you.




Click the picture link to learn how to make your dream of learning to fly a reality!

A Collection of Links About Everything Related to Aviation

Airport Taxi Diagrams
To reduce runway incursions and improve surface navigation, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, in conjunction with the FAA Runway Safety Program Office, is pleased to provide airport taxi diagrams for the busiest U.S. towered airports.
AOPA Air Safety Foundation
This site includes interactive online courses and quizzes on a variety of safety topics.
Aviation Safety Connection
The website addresses fundamental safety issues related to pilot performance, including leadership, judgment, decison-making, and airmanship. There is no cost to subscribe.
Aviation Safety Reporting Program (FAA)
This advisory circular describes the FAA Aviation Safety Reporting Program, which uses the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a third party to receive reports.$FILE/AC00-46D.pdf
Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS)
The ASRS ("NASA forms") collects, analyzes, and responds to voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident reports in order to lessen the likelihood of aviation accidents.
Aviators' Model Code of Conduct
This site provides suggested practices for general aviation pilots to advance flight safety, airmanship and the general aviation community.
CFIT Avoidance Checklist
The Flight Safety Foundation designed this checklist as part of its ongoing effort to reduce CFIT accidents.
CFIT Awareness (FAA)
This advisory circular provides information on avoiding Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT).
Crew Resource Management Training (FAA)
This Advisory Circular (AC) presents guidelines for developing, implementing, reinforcing, and assessing crew resource management (CRM) training for flight crewmembers and other personnel essential to flight safety.$FILE/AC120-51e.pdf
FAA Aviation News
This link goes to the online version of the FAA Aviation News magazine.
FITS information
This document provides information on the FAA's FITS program for training in technically advanced aircraft.
Flight Review Guidance (AC 61-98A)
This link goes to the FAA's Advisory Circular 61-98A on flight review guidance.
Flight Review Guidance (FAA)
This link goes to a guide on "Conducting an Effective Flight Review"
Human Factors Information
This site is designed to help pilots understand how decision-making skills, attitudes, and personality can influence the safety of flight.
Mountain Flying Safety
This site promotes flight safety in the mountains by providing information on hazards associated with mountain flight.
NACO Digital Terminal Procedures Publication
This page provides a portal for searching, viewing, and downloading all the US Terminal Procedure Publications (TPPs), which are available in PDF format files.
National Aeronautical Charting Office (NACO)
The FAA's NACO publishes and distributes US government civil aeronautical charts and flight information publications. This site includes links to the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide.
Night Flying Tips
This issue of the FAA Aviation News contains an article with tips for safe operation at night (page 5).
Night VFR
This link goes to AOPA/ASF's tools and tips for safe night VFR flying.
This link goes to FAA's notices to airmen.
NOTAMS - Pilot Web
This site provides access to current NOTAM information derived from the United States Consolidated NOTAM Office at the FAA Air Traffic Control Systems Command Center. It does not substitute for a briefing!
Operations at Non-Towered Airports
This link goes to the Air Safety Foundation's safety information on operating at non-towered airports.
Personal Minimums Checklist (PAVE)
An easy-to-use, personal risk management tool, tailored to your level of knowledge, skill, and ability.
Plane Sense, General Aviation Information
Plane Sense, General Aviation Information, FAA-H-8083-19A
Practical Risk Management in General Aviation
This link goes to an FAA Aviation News article on practical risk management for general aviation.
Preflight Safety Checkup for Spring
This link goes to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's spring preflight safety page.
Risk Assessment Guide
This Personal and Weather Risk Assessment Guide will help you develop your own standardized procedures for dispatch and pilot in command responsibilities.
Risk Management Teaching Tips
This link goes to pamphlets on teaching risk management in GA.
Runway Safety Program (FAA)
This site provides information and tips for runway safety.
Runway Safety Video Training
This link goes to FAA's interactive runway safety course.
Safety Advisors Publications (AOPA/ASF)
This link goes to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Advisors, which describe aviation specific topics in areas such as weather, operations, and proficiency.
Security - AOPA Airport Watch
This link goes to the AOPA / TSA Airport Watch program page.
Security - TSA Information for General Aviation
This link goes to TSA's main menu for general aviation security information.
Security Awareness for General Aviation (TSA)
This page provides links to TSA's initial and recurrent security awareness training for flight school employees and independent flight instructors. - Midair Collision Avoidance Tool
SEE and AVOID military aircraft in your airspace by entering your airport identifier to ensure a safe flight-plan and avoid midair collisions.
Small Aircraft Transportation System (NASA)
The SATS Project is being conducted through public-private partnership and is jointly managed by NASA, FAA and NCAM (The National Consortium for Aviation Mobility).
Special Use Airspace
This link goes to FAA's SUA information page.
Stall and Spin Awareness
This link opens a PDF version of AC 61-67C on teaching stall and spin awareness.$FILE/AC61-67C.pdf
Terrain Avoidance Plan (AOPA/ASF)
This tool gives night VFR pilots or pilots in areas of less-than-good visibility with a procedure to avoid Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT).
TFRs - Graphical Interface (FAA)
This link goes to the FAA's new graphic site on Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs). It includes links to TFR maps and plain English text.
Transition Training
This link opens a PDF version of AC 61-9B on transition to more complex single-engine and light twin aircraft.$FILE/ATT4Q7X4/AC61-9B.pdf
Wake Turbulence Avoidance
This page provides the link to a PDF version of AC 90-23F on avoiding wake turbulence.
Weather Decision-Making for GA Pilots
This link goes to a weather decision-making guide for general aviation pilots.





































































Great source for Pilot training products (videos, software, books), and pilot supplies!  Most of the training supplies I bought came from King Schools.  John & Martha have a wonderful 'folksy' teaching style in their videos that allows you to be exposed to lots of information without feeling like you have an information-overload 'concussion' :-)

Call them and ask for a free catalog.  All their sales staff are pilots and very friendly to deal with!  Click on their logo to go directly to their website.

Rod's Private Pilot Handbook is a MUST have for your training library.  Check out his audio and video samples and I'll bet you end-up purchasing one of his humorous and informative videos.  In fact, I've found Rod's videos a great way to show non-pilots some of the joy of this glorious thing we call aviation and 'recruit' some new pilots into the 'flock'. 

I've had the pleasure of seeing him in-person during an AOPA Expo that I was attending and he was as nice a fellow in person (got to chat with him a little bit) as he projects in his videos/appearances.  In fact, he learned to fly at the same airport I completed my flight training at (i.e., Reid-Hillview Airport, in San Jose, CA).

In the process of learning to fly, you will be exposed to LOTS of information, but Rod's books and videos help make it an enjoyable learning experience.  What follows are some of Rod's books that I have enjoyed and strongly recommend (click on the books for more information from Rod Machado's website):


FUN! Rod Machado video's I'd recommend:









Click on the Hilton Software Graphic to go directly to the company website

Quite simply, if you have a SmartPhone or Iphone and are a pilot this software is a MUST have!  I use it and I LOVE it and you will too! .....   and no, I don't have any stock/investment in this company - I'm just a very pleased and impressed customer. :0)

The owner of this software company is a great guy and a fellow pilot and CFI/CFII!  His company, produces an exceptional product called WingX and it runs on your SmartPhone or Iphone and performs e6b calculations and SO much more!


Sporty's has a variety of pilot supplies and training videos/software.  Yet another great resource and good service!

Yeah, I know everyone thinks David Clark,,,, but you will find the quality of product, service and price exceptional.  In fact, if I were to recommend a first headset to get for your training I wouldn't hesitate to suggest the Lightspeed QFR Solo.  You can get it for less than $150 and the quality and comfort is exceptional.  Their customer service, I can't stress enough,,, is exceptional!  I'm a very happy customer!  Sorry to sound like an advertisement, but I think one should let others know about the companies that are going above and beyond the call of duty, when it comes to their customer service.  I'm currently using the 20 3G ANR headset for my primary headset and a 20XL ANR headset as a passenger headset.  I've become a great fan of ANR (automatic noise reduction), though I want to stress that it isn't a 'must' if you are just starting out.  The QFR Solo, served me well throughout my training as well as the Softcomm C-50 when I was just starting out.

Here's a link to the airport that I learned to fly at (same one Rod Machado started at too!).  It has information on the history of the airport as well as local services and some pictures.  There is also a link on the website where you can hear LIVE tower audio direct from Reid-Hillview Airport.

Flight Simulator Downloads for sims such as Flight Simulator X, FSX, FS2004, CFS3 and more including Aircraft, Scenery Add-ons and more. We also have Flight Simulation News, Information, reviews and now Aviation news and much more!



I haven't tried this website out myself, but it looks like it would be of interest for those who are into flight simulator programs.  Here's a cut-and-paste of the website's description of it's offerings:  "Fly Away, one of the most popular Flight Simulation Portals on the web - the next generation of flight simulation news and information sites. We have lots to offer at Fly Away, including the latest Flight Simulator news, product and hardware reviews, the latest downloads and updates for flight simulator and of course our bustling FS forums. "

Jeff is a great graphics artist AND a pilot!  One of the cartoon graphics I use come from his Cartoon Clipart CD which you can buy on-line.  He also has some great aviation wear and mugs with colorful graphics in the way that only The Wizard of Draws, can do!  Click the picture above to go to Jeff's site.

A new fledgling website, give it a visit!   Despite the name of the club/forum; the goal of its' existence is to be a resource for pilots, with forums that also focus on the needs and questions of pilots and student pilots, alike.  Check it out!


Click PilotGuy to fly home