Rusty Pilot Tune-Up No Video

Rusty Pilot Tune-Up

Follow a pilot through a series of proficiency-building flights that will help you raise your own game.

Where is YOUR Rust?

Most General Aviation pilots struggle to maintain a high level of proficiency over time. Life sometimes gets in the way, and a few months away from flying can seem like an eternity. Or, maybe you fly regularly—but it’s been a while since you did a long cross country, flew in highly-congested airspace, did airwork in the practice area, flew at night, or worked on specific skills you knew you were rusty in.

The fact is, most pilots are rusty in some areas at any point in time.

Traditional rusty pilot courses are too basic for most of us. They are designed for pilots who haven’t flown in many years (or even decades) and need to relearn everything before they can get back into flying. Those courses cover a wide range of topics, but there’s no focus on proficiency.

This course is different. Rather than taking a broad stroke approach, we wanted to help pilots identify their own unique areas for improvement, and give them the tools to knock off the rust in the areas they struggle with the most.

Purpose-Built Flights with Expert Analysis

We asked a few of the best instructors in the country to come up with tailored flying challenges designed to test a rusty pilot’s skills and bring their weaknesses in critical areas to the surface. They created seven flying challenges covering a wide range of pilot skills, techniques, and decision making.

You’ll follow our Rusty Pilot (Ty Shuff) through each flight. You’ll see him struggle, and succeed. You’ll watch him make mistakes, and recover. He walked away from each challenge with a lot to think about and work on—and you will too.

Each challenge ends with an expert analysis. Our instructors analyzed each flight in detail to see what went well, discuss the mistakes, and give practical feedback to help the pilot improve. By hearing the experts analyze the flights, you’ll discover how to reach (and retain) a higher level of proficiency.

Meet Ty: The Rusty Pilot

Ty Shuff is an Instrument-rated Private Pilot. Long before climbing into the cockpit of a real GA airplane, Ty spent thousands of hours immersed in PC-based flight simulation at home (using PilotEdge for ATC, and often streaming his flights on Twitch). A discovery flight out of Lawrence, MA quickly led to his private pilot license, his instrument rating, and lots of flights around New England in a 172, an Archer, and a 182.

But with a young child and the distractions of the pandemic, Ty found both his real-world flying and his simulated flying dwindling. After a few years, his skills were definitely in need of a tune-up. He was just the rusty pilot we were looking for.

Your Instructors

Bruce Williams is the owner of BruceAir, LLC, an aviation consulting, training, and pilot-services company based in Seattle, WA. He has been a pilot since the early 1970s, and is a certified flight instructor and FAASTeam representative in the Seattle area. He also instructs at Galvin Flying Services at Boeing Field.

Today, he focuses on training in technically advanced aircraft (TAA), the Beechcraft Bonanza series, and stall/spin/upset recovery courses in an Extra 300L aerobatic aircraft. He is the author of two books about using PC-based simulation to complement flight training, plus many features on a variety of training topics for well-known aviation periodicals.

Catherine Cavagnaro learned from one of aviation’s great instructors: Bill Kershner. At Ace Aerobatic School she uses a Cessna 152 Aerobat and an acrobatic Bonanza to help pilots understand their airplanes and explore unusual attitudes.

She writes the monthly Flying Smart column for AOPA Pilot Magazine and serves as a Designated Pilot Examiner in Tennessee.

Catherine was the 2020 FAA CFI of the Year, 2018 FAA Safety Representative of the Year, and in 2022 was inducted into the National Flight Instructor Hall of Fame.

Doug Stewart is one of the most experienced flight instructors working today, with over 13,000 hours of dual instruction given in everything from J3 Cubs to single-engine turboprops and twins. He’s a 12-time Master Certificated Flight Instructor, Gold Seal Instructor, and Designated Pilot Examiner.

Doug was the National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year in 2004, and is one of the founders of the Society of Aviation Flight Educators (SAFE). He’s a member of the FAA General Aviation Joint Safety Committee and has been doing FAA safety seminars since before there even was a FAASTeam.

Course Overview

Below are the challenge flights that our instructors created to test Ty’s skills, and provide guidance.

The core training videos focus on the instructor’s post-flight analysis of each flight with Ty. We edited them to deliver the most impactful lessons and takeaways from each challenge without having to watch the entire flight. You’ll see the detailed flight debriefs, along with the most useful inflight footage.

As bonus viewing we’ve also included the complete flight videos that Ty sent to the instructors. They include the preflight planning and weather briefing, the flight itself, and Ty’s self-debriefs. In total, there are 7.5 hours of raw flight videos for those who enjoy watching things unfold in real-time.

Why We Used a Flight Simulator

We had Ty fly these challenges using a flight simulator so the instructors would have more freedom and control in designing the scenarios. We added increased realism and the workload of radio communication by using live ATC services provided by PilotEdge. In addition, Ty used ForeFlight connected to the sim to provide additional situational awareness, often with real-world weather adding unpredictability. This gave him a safe yet realistically stressful environment in which to succeed … and fail.

We captured every screen on video, selected the best footage, edited it together, and added on-screen callouts and notes so you won’t miss a single detail.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I access the Rusty Pilot Tune-Up videos?
A: Your training is available online via a secure, password-protected website. You can watch it on any computer, tablet, or phone.

Q: Will my online access ever expire?
A: No. Once you register your login credentials, they will never expire. You will always have access to the program.

Q: Can I download the videos?
A: Yes, with your online access you have the option to download the videos in the program.

Q: Can I access the videos from more than one computer or device?
A: Yes, with your login info, you can access the site from any device as often as you want for personal use.

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WINGS Approved!

You can earn 6 WINGS credits for completing this program. It’s an easy way to stay current and advance within the WINGS program!

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Rusty Pilot Tune-Up

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