Private Pilot Resources - Aviation Blog

I obtained my private pilot license in 2006. This site is dedicated to capturing little gems of knowlege I collected during training. Periodically I add items I find during research so that others might benefit from them. Please review the disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

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Location: San Jose, CA, United States

In 1999 a friend invited me to go flying and I was hooked. I live in the Bay Area about an hour south of San Francisco and fly out of Reid Hillview (KRHV). Please do get in touch and lets go fly!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Use Google Earth to visualize the flight

Especially as a beginning pilot it is easy to get lost. Features and landmarks look very different from the air and even from different altitudes. Last night I prepared for an upcoming flight to King City California from my home airport Reid Hillview. I found two great tools that allow me simulate my flight and get a picture of how my route and destination might look like from the air.

Google Earth ( is a free tool from Google that uses incredible satelite imagery to map every spot on the globe. It offers a very realistic view of how my approach to King City might look like. I also discovered features such as major landmarks that will be able to assist me in navigation. On my way from Reid Hillview (RHV) to King City (KIC) I'll pass a major mining operation. Great to know!! I was also able to preview alternate landing sites that I might have to find in case of any emergency. Some of them are small private strips, but because Google Earth labels all airports they were very easy to find.

The other tool is Microsoft Flight Simulator ( Here all depends on the maps you have loaded, speed of your PC and especially your graphics card. You can use flight simulator to actually fly your route. Again use the software to get feedback on your planning of checkpionts and waypoints as well as general terrain. What's really neat is that you can use actual weather to simulate flight conditions. Megascenery provides improved visual details for MS flight simulator via high resolution maps for select cities and areas.

A nice site to review information of the destination airport (aside from the airport facility directory that is to be checked in any case)


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