Kevin Morisette, CFII
Sacramento Flight Lessons
Kevin Morisette, CFII
Flying over Lake Tahoe - Sacramento flight training

Flight Training

Diamond DA40 with Garmin G1000 glass panel

Private Pilot, Instrument Ratings, Commercial Pilot, Recurrency

Kevin Morisette is a Certified Flight Instructor providing flight training in the greater Sacramento area. I provide primary training as well as advanced instruction including instrument ratings or commercial pilot training. I have a professional "day job" and enjoy instructing part-time as it's a passion of mine.

Kevin Morisette is a Certified Flight Instructor providing flight training in the greater Sacramento area. I provide primary training as well as advanced instruction including instrument ratings or commercial pilot training. I have a professional "day job" and enjoy instructing part-time as it's a passion of mine.

Don't forget to check out the Frequently Asked Questions page for tips on taking flight lessons.

Safety bulletin - Know how to disable your autopilot when it fails

Technically Advanced Aircraft The FAA released a safety bulletin (SAFO 18014) concerning several fatal accidents from autopilot mishaps. The file can be downloaded here. Be sure you know the airplane specific procedures for disabling the autopilot quickly when you have an autopilot or runaway trim failure.

San Francisco redesigned airspace effective Aug 16th

San Francisco Airspace effective Aug 16th 2018 The San Francisco bay area has redesigned airspace effective August 16th 2018. The Terminal Area Chart/TAC can be downloaded here. Also, there is an FAA webinar that explains the airspace changes and new transition routes here.

Apply instrument rating experience toward Commercial pilot requirements

Complex aircraft Are you currently working on an instrument rating? Thinking of obtaining your Commercial pilot certificate later? If so, be sure your CFII logs your flights properly so that they can also meet the aeronautical experience required for the Commercial. FAA legal interpretation explains that the logbook entry must include that it also meets the requirements of FAR 61.129(a)(3)(i). See legal interpetation here.

Complex Aircraft No Longer Required for Commercial/CFI checkrides

Complex aircraft The FAA has just released a notice that no longer requires a complex aircraft for the Commercial or Certified Flight Instructor practical tests (checkrides). However, you do still need to meet the experience requirements before you go for the test. For the Commercial that still means having 10 hours of complex aircraft time and a complex endorsement. A complex aircraft is one having flaps, a controllable pitch propeller, and a retractable landing gear.

What are your thoughts? Please comment below. In some cases the student may have complex time already, even in other multiengine aircraft, but not have the availability of a complex single engine plane nearby.

More information can be found in the FAA notice here.

The Commercial Pilot Airmen Certification Standards is updated with Change 3 reflecting the required equipment for the test as is the Flight Instructor Practical Test Standards (with change 6).

Advisory Circular 90-66B Updated

On March 13th the FAA updated Advisory Circular AC 90-66B that deals with operations at non-towered airports. One change to note is that it now reflects the same update as the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (PHAK) as seen in the image below:

Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge Traffic Pattern Entry This shows another acceptable method of entering the traffic pattern from the non-pattern side. The first method is shown in the first figure below: overflying the pattern at least 500 ft. above the traffic pattern altitude (TPA), clearing the traffic pattern before descending to TPA, and then doing a "teardrop" to enter on the 45 degree entry. The other method that they now show is crossing mid-field from the non-pattern side to the traffic pattern side and then joining the downwind while yielding to other traffic.

What procedure do you typically use, and what are your thoughts? Please comment below.

A couple of other things in this advisory circular to note:
  • They do not recommend the phrasing "any traffic in the area, please advise" (the AIM advises against this as well)
  • Not using the color of your aircraft as a replacement for your N-number/callsign
For more information, see the FAA advisory circular here.

Graphical Forecasts for Aviation & Cloud Tops

Graphical Forecasts for Aviation Cloud Tops

Last month the NOAA's Aviation Weather website retired the Area Forecast (FA) weather report. This report was filled with hard to read acronyms but contained valuable data such as cloud tops. Cloud tops can be very important if you are an instrument pilot that is looking to climb above the tops to clearer weather.

At the same time the Area Forecast was retired, they released Graphical Forecasts for Aviation which does contain cloud tops. Simply choose the "Forecast" button, "Clouds", and then "Tops" in the map view.

The Instrument Pilot Knowledge Test has also switched to questions regarding the Graphical Forecast, as can be seen in the Knowledge Test Supplement.

Ice Induced Stall Pilot Training Video

A very good video on Ice Induced Stalls from the FAA that was updated recently. The angle of attack at which an airfoil stalls can be lower when it is contaminated with ice, thus the pilot may not even hear a stall warning when the plane starts to stall at a lower airspeed than normal. Also, extending flaps changes the downward airflow over the horizontal stabilizer, increasing the angle of attack. Recovery from a tail stall is opposite of a wing stall as you would need to pull back on the yoke.

Check out a few of our new articles:

Constant Speed Props

Constant speed propeller governor With a typical constant speed propeller the engine RPM is set by the propeller control lever in the cockpit which is connected to the propeller governor that is mounted on the engine. The governor along with the propeller hub can change the propeller blade pitch (the angle of the blade with the plane of rotation). Continue reading...

Logging time as a safety pilot

A common question that often comes up is how to log time while acting as a safety pilot for another pilot who is flying under the hood in simulated instrument conditions. First, in order to act as a safety pilot, you must possess at least a Private Pilot certificate, have a current third class medical, and have the appropriate category and class rating (ie: airplane single engine land). Continue reading...

Instrument Rating Training

Looking to get instrument rated or are you already instrument rated and need a safety pilot to help maintain your proficiency? Contact me for further details or questions. Photos below were taken flying an instrument approach into Sacramento Mather Airport in a Cessna 182 with an instrument student.

Flying an IFR instrument approachFlying an instrument approach in a Cessna 182

Flying to Truckee and Lake Tahoe

The first photo is enroute to Truckee Tahoe (TRK) and the second was taken flying into South Lake Tahoe airport (KTVL) near Fallen Leaf Lake.

Mountain flying at Lake TahoeMountain flying at Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake

Clarification on logging instrument approaches for currency

Cessna 172 wing view with clouds Previously pilots would question whether they could log an instrument approach for currency if they broke out of IMC conditions while on different segments of an approach (ie: prior to the final approach fix). In a FAA InFO document, they clarify when you can actually log it for currency.

Here are some general guidelines from the document:
  • "The pilot must be established on each required segment of the IAP to the minimum descent altitude (MDA) or decision altitude/decision height (DA/DH)"  However, the missed approach segment is not required to be flown, although the FAA does recommend to practice flying the missed approach.
  • If flying in simulated instrument conditions, you "must continue to MDA or DA/DH" under simulated instrument conditions.
  • In actual instrument conditions, and you are still in actual conditions (IMC) when entering the final approach segment. If you transitioned to visual conditions prior to the final approach segment, you would not be able to log the approach for currency.

Sacramento Flight Training and Flight Instruction

Flying a cross country with one of my students there was low visibility on one side of the Sacramento valley with smoke from the fires in the foothills. One picture you can see the source of the fire and another is looking at the Sutter Buttes peaking up through a smoke layer. We were at 4,500 ft. at the time.

Sacramento flight lessonsLincoln flight training

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