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There’s a huge amount of free info. on the web so take advantage of it as you fiddle with your new IPhone or tablet. Although the content is very USA orientated, the tips given on often remind one of neglected areas of technique and good aviation practice. They send a weekly topic with occasional publicity thrown in. It’s easy to unsubscribe if you don’t like it.

Learn about leaning and why you should be doing it.

It used to be that fuelling an aircraft was a relatively small expense along side maintenance and hangarage but that has all changed with rocketing cost of aviation fuel.

As a flight instructor one of the problems is when to introduce the skill of leaning the mixture of fuel and air, knowing that in most circumstances the engine is using more avgas than it needs. Both economically and ecologically this doesn’t make sense.

On the other hand it’s difficult enough to learn to fly without added complication of adjusting the red lever, so it often gets overlooked. But be absolutely clear that by the time you are starting to go cross country it should be part of your FREDA routine. If that makes you feel hard done by be aware that in some schools they insist on setting the mixture as part of Exercise 6 – Straight and level.

If you’re a qualified PPL and embarking on longer cross country flights and unable to lean efficiently, hang your head in shame and grab the nearest instructor.

Geoff Prout, CFI