How can a rotary wing pilot get their fixed wing private pilots license?

Hello everyone! So I have been getting a number of calls lately on what the regulatory requirements are to get your private pilots license in an airplane single engine land if you already have a rotary wing license. According to ยง61.109, you are going to need 20 hours of dual training in an airplane and 10 hours of solo time in an airplane. You will still need to do all of the requirements of a normal private pilots course such as the three hours hood, three hours of night, three hours cross country and five of your solo hours cross country with the long one in there (150 nm). This can be done in about a week through my accelerated course with the check ride included. Please reference the following link

Feel free to call me anytime at 702-504-6376, talk to you soon!


Finishing up your private pilots license or instrument rating

Hello everyone! I get lots of email and calls from people who have started their private pilots license or instrument rating somewhere else but for many different reasons were unable or unwilling to finish off their training where they started. Many people think that it’s a bit odd to start training somewhere else then finish at another school. The truth of the matter is that upwards of 65% of my students have started their training prior to calling on me to finish them up. The average flight time that each student has accumulated prior to starting up with me is around the 20 to 30 range as well. Keep in mind that you have the right to go anywhere you want to complete your training if you do not feel like things are going the way at any time! Most flight training endeavors will lead to an average of six months, 65 to 75 hours of flight and a 96% drop out rate where as my program is a 95% completion rate, ten days and a 43 hour average time til completion. I even have a 95% first time pass rate to boot! If you would like to discuss your training options with me, please feel free to call me on my cell at 702-504-6376. Hope to talk to you soon!

Jamie Clabaugh

Accelerated flight training in southern California

Hello everyone!
Just a few thoughts on getting your private pilots license or instrument rating in the busy southern California airspace.
I get more than a few people calling me from SoCal asking if I can do the accelerated ten day pilot courses from one of the many airports located there. The answer to that is yes but there are going to be a number of factors that could conspire against us in getting your license there. Those issues include weather (mostly the marine layer), high density traffic, and finding an examiner when the time is right. So these are some of the negative factors working against us there but there are some positives that come from doing your training in SoCal…
The fact that it’s busy is a good thing if you plan on flying in busy areas such as SoCal. No matter where you fly after flying there, everything else will seem slow by comparison. The weather issue is good for teaching things like aeronautical decision making and to help teach you how to best deal with other than perfect weather conditions but doesn’t serve much good beyond that. The examiner issue is nothing but bad but we can always fly to a different area if need be.
If you plan on flying mostly in the southern California basin, there is no better place to learn than where you plan to fly. Please feel free to call me on my cell anytime at 702-504-6376 and we can further discuss your flight training options. Talk to you soon!

Jamie Clabaugh

Does accelerated flight training really work?

Hello everyone! I’m going to use this post today to address a lot of concerns that I hear from perspective clients on the effectiveness of MY accelerated flight training program. First off, I cannot speak for every accelerated program out there because we are different in our own little ways but I can address concerns about how I conduct my courses as well as the completion rates and the pass fail rates. I will also address my personal safety rates as well (knock on wood)!
So let’s start with the completion rate and discuss all the factors that make this completion rate attainable. For all the students who start their training through my program, about 90-95% of them will get on the airplane back home with their certificate in hand. In order to make this happen, a lot of preparation must be completed before prior to you showing up for your first day of training. First off, you will need to study for and complete the FAA knowledge test (written test). This can be completed without any instructor input whatsoever by studying from the sportys private pilot study buddy . Use the study buddy section until you have a good grasp on what’s going on then start to take practice tests from the study buddy until you score into the 80% to 90% consistently. Once you have that down and are ready to take the test, get a hold of me for an endorsement to take the test. The test can be done in just about every city across America that has a cats testing center and costs anywhere from $100 to $150.
In conjunction with the written test, you can schedule your third class medical examination at any time also by going to Its good to know if you’re medically disqualified for the ppl before you start your training!
After your written test is out of the way, we will need you to study from my private pilot study guide by visiting Please get to know this section quite well as this is the information that will be important to us for the most part.
You should also download foreflight onto your iPad or iPad mini as this is where we we will primarily be getting most all of our pre flight as well as inflight planning and weather.
If you complete these four steps, you will have upwards of a 95% completion rate and over a 95% first time pass rate on your first try. If you happen to not pass on your first time for some reason or another, you can usually retake the practical test that day and still leave with your certificate in hand.
As far as safety goes, we have only had one minor incident throughout my whole career conducting these accelerated courses (or any of my training for that matter). I had a student run off the runway and collapse a landing gear but nobody was injured and the plane was repaired a few days later at minimal cost.
I am only able to achieve the above completion rates due to a number of factors in addition to the aforementioned such as: maintenance- I have a top notch maintenance team whom i have been using for nearly ten years now and all of my aircraft are maintained to impeccable standards that are unusual in the aviation industry. If anything does happen to any of my planes, our team is on top of them immediately and returns them to service as quickly as humanly possible. Weather- flying out of las Vegas definitely has its perks, like the best flying weather in all of the united states! We can pretty much fly 364 days a year here for the most part so it’s usually not an issue at all! Experience- I have been conducting flight training for over ten year and have been doing primarily accelerated training for most of that time. I have amassed nearly 12,000 hours of time in the air!! So I know a little bit:) Examiners- I have been using the same examiners for years now and have a good working relationship with them so that we may schedule my students on very short notice (very important!).
All in all, it’s a very streamlined process when you use us for your accelerated flight training. With the proper preparation and a little bit of effort, you too can get back on the plane home with your license in hand in about ten days or less. Please feel free to call me on my cell at 702-504-6376 if you would like to discuss your options or set up a training date. Hope to talk to you soon!

Rebuilding my archers engine

Hello all! Just a few words on the status of our main training aircraft, the piper archer…
After a few good years of service and a few thousand hours or flight time, our archer is ready for an engine overhaul. It goes in the shop tomorrow to get taken apart and boxed up to be sent to the engine people so they can perform their magic. All of our compressions were mid seventies and only burned 1 quart every twenty hours! The oil stayed light brown for about thirty five hours after the oil change and runs strong but at the recommendation of our maintenance chief, we will overhaul her anyway due to concerns of time on the lower end of the motor. She should be up and running in the first part of may and we have a G-1000 diamond star available in the mean time for our accelerated courses. Talk to you soon!

My first rule of flying

Hello! So if your primary job is to ensure that people stay safe on their future aviation endeavors, it’s important to be able to break down virtually every every aircraft accident/incident to its absolute lowest common denominator. If I am teaching a large group of people and I ask the class the rhetorical question about the number reason that planes crash, most of the students will offer the explanation about how a pilot did this or a mechanic did that and so on. I have read tons of crash reports over the years and I can tell you that the main reason that planes crash is because they run into shit! So, the first rule of flying? Don’t run into shit! And by shit, I mean planes, mountains, weather, restricted areas, airspace or anything else that might ruin your day. Do not trust anybody other than yourself to keep you clear of other aircraft, clear of terrain and especially clear of weather! A lot of mid air collisions occurred on clear days where both aircraft were under ATC control. Most all of the mountain collisions in my region involved pilots who were under control of ATC as well. Under IFR conditions, ATC will vector you into the worst weather imaginable while vfr conditions might dominate the area so it is sometimes better to cancel IFR in flight to avoid these areas if possible.
I always teach my students to take what ATC says with a grain of salt and treat them as if they were a disinterested party in our affairs. After all, they are in a nice air conditioned room on the ground far removed from your situation and will not treat you with the same urgency that you would expect.
Keep your eyes moving at all times! Look for traffic, terrain, weather, airspace, drones, UFOs, engine gauges and any thing else that might conspire against you to end your flight early! Remember, stay alert stay alive!
Til next time, safe flying!

Breaking in a new aircraft engine

Hello everyone! Just a few thoughts on how to break in a new, rebuilt, top overhauled or otherwise rebuilt engine. I’m no engine expert but I have broken in many engines whom have gone on to live long healthy lives with compressions up in the high seventies! I work with my maintenance staff closely before and after every break in to ensure everything goes smoothly and there are no major issues arising from the new parts. Keep in mind that others in the aviation industry may have differing opinions from mine and that the views on this blog are strictly my own.
First off, you are going to have your mech start the engine to ensure that nothing is leaking and that every thing is running smoothly. After the cowl is put back on, you are going to need to fly a few patterns at about 2000′ with the engine power at no less than %75 for about 30 to 45 minutes then park the plane and inspect for leaks again. You’re going to run mineral oil for the first 25 hours and some prefer to change the oil at 15 hours (mineral) for good measure. For the next ten to fifteen hours, you will want to fly cross country with no pattern work or other types of training that will cause you to very the power settings drastically from cruise settings. You will want to avoid aerobatics as well.
For the first few hours you will notice that the oil temps will be a bit high and the oil consumption will be high as well. This is normal and is no cause for concern unless it gets worse or doesn’t go away after 20 hours or so. It should start returning to normal after ten hours or so in most cases. You will also want to avoid making any drastic power changes in the first ten to fifteen hours as well.
If you break in your engine how I recommended, your engine should last well past tbo and perform well for many years to come. Til next time!

Cross country scenario based training

Hello Eveyone, just a few random thoughts on why I think cross country scenario based training is far superior to the type of your training that you normally receive while obtaining your private pilots license or instrument rating. Typically, when you get your training for the two above mentioned courses, your training stays very near the home airport and doesn’t get you out into the raw elements that will give you trouble in the real world. Furthermore, that training does not incorporate many of the flight planning elements that are important to learn before you get into the real world (post flight training flying). The only way to prepare you for flying yourself in your own (or rented) aircraft from point A to point B is to undergo training that puts you into the real world while you are doing your training! Training that forces you to check your POH for runway distance data, training that forces you to do every calculation imaginable to ensure that your aircraft is guaranteed the performance necessary to depart the challenging airports that we visit during our training. Some of the airports include Catalina island, Sedona, aspen and San Diego intl. as we are always looking for a challenge! The weather we encounter along the way is an invaluable tool for training as well, the more the better! There are countless other reasons (too numerous to list here) to do most all of your PPL or IFR in our scenario based based training format. If you would like to discuss this more in detail, feel free to call me directly on my cell at 702-504-6376. Talk to you soon!


How pilots should talk on the radio

Hello again! Just a few words about the right way and the wrong way to talk on the radio as a pilot. You can pretty much break down your radio procedures using just a few simple rules that I have been preaching for many years to all of my students. The first rule is to keep it simple! Air traffic control just has a simple list of info they need from you upon initial call up, so just say exactly what they need to hear and it will make things much simpler. Here is an example of the wrong way- North las Vegas tower, this is Cherokee N2885kilo at the south shades, have information kilo and we’d like to go northwest bound… Way too many words added onto that, here’s an example on how I teach my students to do it- North las Vegas tower, Cherokee n2885kilo south shades kilo northwest. This is just a simple example of filling in the blanks, saying the least amount possible and freeing up the radio as quickly as possible. It’s also better because it’s less words to confuse you in the middle of your transmission as well.
Remember to say who you are, where you are, what you want and give the current atis upon initial call up as well. Sometimes it really helps to have everything written down before you key up if you are new to flying or you are in an unfamiliar area. Be sure to have a pen and paper ready in case ATC gives you special instructions after your initial call up. Also be sure to read back all runway assignments and hold short instructions as well!
There is quite a bit of stuff that goes into talking on the radios but if you keep it simple, you shouldn’t have too many issues learning how to use them properly. I have an extensive ground course in my accelerated program dedicated to using the radios that we cover before our first flight and it’s not uncommon for my students to be fully up to speed and conducting 100% of all radio traffic after the first day of training! That’s all for now, talk to you soon!

What it takes to become a pilot

Hello All! Just a brief post on what it takes to become a private pilot…
Becoming a pilot is no easy task and ironically the hardest part about any of it is just getting your private pilots license. Yes, it’s the most difficult training you will undergo as a pilot because of the simple fact that everything will be new to you as opposed to a regurgitation of other subjects you will encounter in your commercial or instrument rating. There’s also a lot of unusual elements involved with learning how to fly in your PPL training that just do not come naturally to people who have never flown before such as LANDINGS! You can reasonably sure that at least half of your training during the PPL will be just learning how to get the darn thing on the ground without injuring yourself or the airplane. Landing is not something that comes naturally to ANYBODY period! A lot of people out there tell me that they think they would be a good pilot because of X Y and Z and that they would learn how to land quick because they’re the top 1% of the population in intelligence or something like that but I’m here to tell you that nothing will make you learn to land the darn thing any faster than going out and doing a million landings!
So that’s one of the few things that will trip you up on your way to becoming a pilot, then there’s the issue of the radios… Don’t get me started on that one today. In my opinion, 90% of all the radio transmissions within class D airspace are incorrect anyway so maybe il use that for my next blog post. Brilliant!
So these are a couple of the many issues that will stand between you and becoming a pilot, there’s many more issues beyond that but to break it down in simple terms, you will need lots of hard work, dedication, a little bit of brains and lots of study time to accomplish your objective. My ten day courses are not a magic bullet for those who do not like to prepare for stuff and put in their dues so just be prepared for lots of hard work and you will be rewarded with your license and you will finally be able to call yourself a “pilot” along with all the others who paid their dues! So long for now!