“Professional” Development

I’ve been acquiring some professional development in aviation the last couple of months, so I thought I would fill you in on that, and how you can find the free learning opportunities I have. I put “professional” in quotation marks, not because the presenters weren’t professional, but because I’m not. I’m not a professional pilot, just a student, but I’m treating my aviation studies like a job and want to be the most professional and safe pilot possible. I’m working my way backwards on telling you about the webinars and MOOCs I’ve taken, starting with the one I did today.

“Best Tips, Tricks and Sites for Self-Briefing”

I’ll start out by filling you in on a free webinar you can attend, that I (virtually) attended tonight (Wednesday, November 30) and enjoyed. I registered earlier and watched tonight, but there are some more opportunities coming up, so you haven’t missed out. I read about it in that email the FAA sends. It was called, “Best Tips, Tricks and Sites for Self-Briefing” and was given by Delia Colvin, author of aviation books and video classes on weather. You can read a description of the free webinars available here.

When I saw the webinar’s title I knew I should take it. I’m not a weather nerd, and I kind of glaze over when the weather is on TV. This is not best practice if you’re a pilot, and calling WX Brief for the weather seemed like information overload. Learning more about weather, and fast, is a priority of mine. I wrote in another post about my weather study so far and gave some resources that helped me. I’ll continue to add to those resources as I come across them.

In the webinar Colvin went over the types of briefings you can get: standard, abbreviated, update, outlook, and how you should get a good weather overview BEFORE you call 1800WXbrief. She gave a good list of resources to use to check the weather and discussed what we should be looking for on satellite images. She discussed AIRMETs, checking VAD Winds (Velocity, Azimuth, Display), winds aloft, and reviewing the current weather. Her “Top 10 Tips to Get a Better Weather Briefing” will be how I conduct my wxbrief calls from now on.


One important thing I would like to point out about the webinar, is that it was NOT boring. Delia Colvin’s incorporation of her personal experiences as ATC and accident investigation stories that were relevant to the discussion made it interesting and memorable. After the class she also emailed several handouts that will be useful. One of the handouts is the notes for the webinar and includes everything she covered.

Upcoming Free Webinar

I plan on registering for her next Free Webinar “Six Steps to the Perfect Preflight Brief.” It looks like some of the information may be an overlap, but in my opinion, review never hurts. During the webinar she gives a short and painless plug for her book and on-demand videos to learn more about the weather. If you have attended the webinar you can get them at a discounted rate. I will probably buy that at some point in the future, as some of what I learned today was a little over my head/ out of my experience level, and I need to study basics more before moving on to anything more.

How it works:

To register you just go to the website and fill out a short form. Then click on the link in the email at the start time for the webinar. During the webinar, if you have any questions you can type them and they will be answered. I was redirected from the FAA’s website to her website, so you sign up that way too, or follow the link below. I went to the one on the left and hope to do the one on the right.

Fly-Rite Free Webinars

Free Webinar Descriptions


I will write soon about the other learning opportunities I’ve been taking advantage of so you can see if you’re interested in them too. Other resources you can look to for webinars are The AOPA, EAA, and The 99s.

What I’m working on this week:

I’m going to needlessly check the weather when I’m not about to go flying so I can get some practice interpreting all the abbreviations.

No lesson this week. 😦


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