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Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Flying

There are few experiences available to humans that offer the exhilaration of total freedom and limitless vistas while saving significant travel time. Getting your pilot license and flying a private aircraft accomplishes these feats and then some.

Training for your pilot license is more accessible than you might imagine. View the world from above with us as we detail several ways “regular” people can and should learn to fly.

Stockton Propeller is a full-service propeller overhaul and maintenance facility with the function and performance of your aircraft as the height of our service. Stockton Propeller can perform needed propeller inspections to help ensure your airplane is in good working order.

We perform static balancing in-house to keep your aircraft in top-flight shape. Visit our website today to learn more and enjoy your flight.

A Pilot License for Every Flyer’s Dream

Portrait of confident pilot standing with stewardess and private jet in background at terminal

Pilot licensure varies tremendously. Selecting the type of pilot license you want depends largely on your flight goals. You can choose to apply for a private pilot license all the way up to a commercial license. You may even want to become a flight instructor if you’ve dreamt of flying as a career. 

There are several pilot designations between private and commercial. You can specialize in recreational and sport pilot certificates depending upon your purpose in flying and budget. In the classroom setting you will learn about aircraft propeller maintenance procedures

Dipping your toe in the flying world begins with a student license, for which you must apply. In addition to filling out the required paperwork and training eligibility with the FAA, you’ll also have to pass a medical exam. 

People in general good health typically can fly planes and other aircraft legally. However, if you have a chronic condition, you may want to check it against this FAA list to see if it may affect your pilot training eligibility.

If the FAA approves your pilot license application, it’s time to obtain a student pilot license.

Learn at Your Pace

Thankfully, the eligibility requirements for a student pilot license are pretty straightforward:

  • Be at least 16 years of age (14 if you’ll pilot a balloon or glider)
  • Have fluency speaking, writing, and reading in the English language (the Universal language of pilots and the flight industry)

Once you’ve applied for and obtained your student pilot license and your medical certificate, you can begin fight training.

Finding a local flight school in your area is pretty simple: Google “flight schools near me,” and you’ll get an array of options.

Join the Piloting Community

If you know another pilot, you might try to get a referral for a reputable school near you. Check on their comprehensive offerings, and be sure to compare costs between providers. This type of activity may not be the place to seek out the biggest discount, just saying. 

A happy professional woman pilot sitting at the airport.

Instead, look for experience, reliability, an excellent safety rating, and stellar reviews online or on social media. When learning to fly, you may want to gain more background on the pilot community. Try searching out and joining a few social media groups dedicated to flying and learning to fly in your area. 

When you join the piloting community, you’ll share unique skills and experience in common with a dynamic and daring group of people all over the world.

Learn new skills at every age

Your training will include ground-based classes to learn the science and physics of flight, safety procedures, emergency protocols. And you can expect to learn the rules and regulations of the airspace during this time.

You’ll also log flight time with an instructor to learn how to operate a single-engine aircraft. To gain licensure, you must log 35 hours of flight time in varied conditions and aircraft. You’ll also take written exams, pass the FAA check ride, and be a licensed driver.

The beauty is you learn at your pace, depending on your flight school’s training schedule. A typical student can earn her PPL in about three months!

Gain Confidence, Learn More, Fly Bigger Planes

Learning to fly means plenty of advancement opportunities for the hobbyist and professional alike. Once you’ve achieved your PPL, you can choose to maintain that foundational licensure. Or, advance your skills, experience, or career in flying with the following certificates:

  • Commercial Pilot License: Obtain this certificate if you wish to earn money as a pilot. PPL holders cannot receive compensation for flying.
  • Airline Transport Pilot License: To fly for commercial airlines, this certificate is required of all pilots.
  • Commercial Multi-Engine Land: Think of this certificate as an add-on to your PPL or CPL. You’ll cover different equipment and emergencies and how to navigate them safely.
  • Certified Flight Instructor: This level of training allows you to teach new students pilots how to fly.

There are several more advanced certificates available that you can add to your credentials as you gain experience and knowledge. With changing technology and climate, flight education and safety procedures evolve over time. Pilots must stay on top of new industry developments as they arise.

Flying is Fun, Relaxing, and Can Save Time on Travel

Of course, flying is an endeavor to take up with safety, education, and experience in mind. However, there are over 600,000 licensed pilots in the United States alone! 

Further, when you fly, traffic is much less of an issue. True, you’ll have to be watchful and communicative on take-offs, landings, and near airports. But, for longer flights, private air travel may be as safe as driving on the road.

No Ownership Required

Though many pilots own an aircraft, it’s possible to rent an airplane to log your hours or fly for fun. Typical rental rates run about $125.00 per hour, depending on the type of aircraft. You’ll want to check rental policies to find out if fuel and other fees may cost extra.

Co-ownership is also an option for pilots who want to fly, but not own and maintain an aircraft by themselves.

Call Stockton Propeller to Keep Your Airplane Flying Happy and Safe

Stockton Propeller keeps your propeller blades balanced and in top shape for safe and reliable flying time, every time you take off (and land, for that matter.) To get a repair quote or view our current inventory, visit Stockton Propeller today.

We lead the industry in safety, functionality, and customer service for every aircraft and pilot we serve.

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business flight

The Basic Aerodynamics of Flight

For those learning about the principles of aerodynamics, this article seeks to cover some of the basics. Like how does a propeller work on a plane, and what are the four forces of flight.

Aircraft are complex machines. Each part must work together not only to propel it forward but also to overcome gravity for it to fly. The four forces of flight include thrust, weight, lift, and drag.

If you are concerned that there is an issue with your propeller and want to have a propeller overhaul to optimize the aerodynamics, contact Stockton Propeller. Stockton Propeller is a full-service propeller overhaul and maintenance facility with the needed equipment and expertise to perform your needed maintenance and repairs.

Thrust

One crucial component of an airplane’s aerodynamics is the force of thrust. The propulsive force created by the propeller or rotor works to counteract the effects of two of the other four forces of flight — weight and drag.

Airplane wing and tail flying though a cloudy sky

Your airplane’s propeller generates thrust by utilizing the principle of Newton’s Third Law. Newton’s Third Law states that for every action, there will be an equal and opposite reaction. A propeller or jet engine pushing air to the rear will have the effect of moving the plane forward unless some other force halts it. 

The plane’s propeller will push enough air past it to cause the aircraft to move in the opposite direction of this force. The propeller must work with a high level of efficiency to provide the necessary thrust for takeoff and flight.

The amount of thrust needed will change throughout the flight. As explained below, the weight of the plane’s propeller is just one component of weight to overcome.

You must also accommodate the mass of the fuel needed to power the propeller flight. As the flight continues, fuel is consumed.  As the fuel is consumed, its mass is reduced.  As mass is reduced, less thrust is needed. 

Weight

Another of the four forces of flight is weight. Weight is the force caused by gravity.

This weight includes not only the aircraft itself, but also the mass of the cargo, fuel, pilot, and any passengers. Increased weight means that the aerodynamic forces of thrust and lift must also increase.Diagram of airflow over the wings of an airplane

In propeller flight, the weight of the propeller itself must be accounted for in the mass calculations. Also, weigh or estimate the weight of all cargo, fuel, passengers, and anything else loaded onto the aircraft.

If this weight is not accurately determined, it will affect the plane’s performance.  It will also result in miscalculating the fuel volume needed for the flight, and even the plane’s ability to take off safely.

If the plane cannot generate enough lift and thrust to compensate for the weight, then some weight must be removed. To reduce the excess load, replace materials with stable, yet lighter materials, or carry fewer passengers and less cargo.

Drag

Drag is a rear-facing force caused by the disruption of airflow over the wing, fuselage and other components of the plane. The force of drag must be overcome through the forward momentum of the aircraft. To reduce drag, you may also need to alter the design of the aircraft.

Think about the comparative wind resistance of something like a paper airplane vs. a cup held concave side toward the airflow. The pointed shape of the paper airplane allows the air to flow smoothly over its surface and wings. Paper airplane flying due to aerodynamic principles

On the other hand, the cup will catch the air and not allow it to flow past. Catching or trapping the airflow will result in much more drag. The plane’s shape will allow the air to continue in the direction it was initially flowing without much interruption.

When questioning how does a propeller work on a plane, consider the concept of drag resulting from all aspects of the aircraft. Examine the surface of the plane, as well as the position and shape of the propeller. Optimize the propeller blades to create the least amount of drag possible while creating enough power to propel the plane. 

Lift 

According to NASA, lift “is the force that directly opposes the weight of an airplane and holds the airplane in the air.” Every component of the airplane works together to counteract the effect of gravity on the plane. 

Even with an efficient propeller, a plane in propeller flight would not fly if the rest of the aircraft was not designed to generate lift. 

Lift is a complex and often misunderstood principle. Lift is the force produced by the changes in air pressure above and below the aircraft components, most specifically the wings. 

For lift to take place, a fluid or gas: in this case, the air around the plane is required. In addition to a fluid or gas, you also need a solid to deflect the flow — the airplane wings, flaps, ailerons, among others. The fluid or gas must also be in motion.Diagram of flow of air over a plane flying landscape

In order to understand how does a propeller work on a plane, you need to put the fluid in motion by propelling the aircraft through it.  Planes cannot take off without being powered to generate this initial forward momentum.

The curved shape of the wing creates lift by making the air move faster across the top of the wing and lowering the air pressure.  This reduced pressure results in less force pushing down on the wing while maintaining an upward force under the wing, creating lift.

How Does a Propeller Work on a Plane to Optimize the Forces of Flight?

The propeller, coupled with the engine, is what produces enough thrust to move a plane forward. Once the plane is moving forward, the remaining four forces of flight combine to provide the necessary lift to get the aircraft in the air.

These aerodynamic forces of flight, all working optimally together, result in an efficient and safe voyage.

If your propeller is not operating as efficiently as needed to optimize thrust, contact Stockton Propeller. Stockton Propeller is a full-service propeller overhaul and maintenance facility that can assess your plane and perform any necessary maintenance.

 

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business

What is the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)?

Every enthusiast group has its crowning organization, their keeper of the flame. For aviation enthusiasts, our keeper of the flame is the Experimental Aircraft Association, also known as the EAA.

The EAA is more than just an enthusiast group for experimental aircraft. It is a cornerstone in our community that serves everyone from the recreational pilot to the propeller shop with a stellar aviation blog you love reading.

The EAA has branches dedicated to antiques, aeronautics, warbirds, homebuilt projects, research, and more. The EAA will happily accept membership from anyone interested in aviation. The EAA is integral to aviation, so we need to ask what is the EAA, and why does it matter to you?

We are here to make sure that you will be ready to go for the next EAA event, be it a local Northern California air show or flying out to Oshkosh for their annual Fly-In. For any propeller related needs, Contact Stockton Propeller today.

Two young girls behinda safety tape on a tarmac at an airshow with a propeller plane in the background

The EAA and its Events

If you’re not a member of the EAA, you have probably experienced one of its air shows. EAA chapters around the country have been regularly scheduling airshows since its founding.

Today over 200,000 members across nearly 900 chapters in the United States can be seen piloting their aircraft for millions of spectators almost every weekend of the year. Tour flights are also available from several restored vintage aircraft including, a Ford Tri-Motor, B-17 Flying Fortress, and a B-25 Mitchell.

Since its founding, the EAA has hosted a yearly Fly-In Convention with the first convention being held months after its founding in 1953 at Curtiss-Wright airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

By 1959, the EAA’s annual Fly-In Convention had already outgrown its original convention site. A new location was found in Rockford, Illinois, until 1969 when it outgrew its second venue, and finally arrived at its current home in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Washington DC Capitol dome detail with waving american flag

Research and Legislation

When a group of aviation enthusiasts gets together in a room, it doesn’t take long to begin exchanging ideas. The EAA is the largest association of aviation enthusiasts, and research has gone hand-in-hand since its inception.

In 1971, the EAA Aviation Foundation made the first of its pivotal aeronautical research expeditions testing unleaded automotive fuel in airplanes. Since then, the EAA has worked with the FAA on the behest of aviation enthusiasts across the nation.

Some of their other research and legislation highlights include:

  • The creation of a Recreational Pilot Certificate
  • Alternative fuel research with the Florida Institute of Technology
  • Reform of third-class medical certifications.

From addressing the shortage of air-worthiness inspectors to getting the Hoover Bill passed, the EAA has been working with our government to help keep aviation accessible.

The EAA is one of the most essential lobbying organizations on capitol hill for recreational aviation enthusiasts in the United States, benefiting everyone from the local propeller shop to the ultralight enthusiast tinkering away in their hangar.

Preservation and Fostering the flame

Since the EAA’s founding, the preservation of aircraft has been one of their central tenants. Since its founding in 1962, the EAA Air Museum Foundation has grown into the world’s most extensive private collection of vintage aircraft.

The museum is not just a footnote to the EAA, when they had their first expansion to their headquarters, a museum extension and restoration hangar were at the top of the list.

Since then, they have created a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis, which visited 210 cities on the 50th anniversary of Lindbergh’s famous flight.

In 2003, the EAA also successfully recreated a faithful replica of the Wright Brother’s flyer that took flight on December 17th, 2003, 100 years to the day of their first flight.

The EAA plays a pivotal role in fostering aviation enthusiasm between free flights for kids and their Young Eagles program. Camps and scholarships are also offered to kids and teens to help usher in the next generation of aviation enthusiasts.

Flight academies are available with free introductory flights for adults who may be interested in flying themselves. The EAA knows that the youth is the future of our passion, and they are willing to do what it takes to make sure everyone who wants to get involved can get involved.

ultralight aircraft taking off against a blue sky

It is all about Recreational Aircraft

The EAA was initially founded in January of 1953 by Paul Poberezny from a rag-tag group of aviation enthusiasts in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The EAA quickly became the nation’s foremost aviation enthusiast group. Their award-winning magazine has been in print for members since 1958, and in recent years, they’ve added a podcast and an internet forum dedicated to recreational aircraft.

Aircraft building has always been an integral part of the backbone of the EAA, and a treasure trove of resources is available for the homebuilt aircraft community. Over 23 pages of plans for homebuilt aircraft are publically accessible on the EAA’s website. EAA members get access to a free version of Solidworks, which is available for computer-aided design when creating their designs. Hands-on assistance is available as well through workshops, volunteer service, and how-to tutorials.

For those that are more advanced in aeronautics, the EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize is available. It is awarded to EAA members who find ways to reduce the chance of in-flight loss of control incidents. This prize has created real-world safety advancements that save lives and make aviation easier for the beginner pilot.

Your local propeller shop is here to make sure you can reap the benefits of the EAA

Today the EAA Fly-In Convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, draws an attendance of 642,000 people from 93 nations! Although this is halfway across the country from Northern California, those with their own aircraft can easily make the trip, and Stockton Propeller is here to make sure you will be there.

We are here for your restoration, homebuilt project, or any other propeller-driven craft. Contact us today for your propeller related needs, and we will make sure you’re ready for your next adventure.