Free Pilot Tutor .org

UTC - 1407 Z  















Welcome to

I assume you are a student pilot or a private pilot working on your instrument rating. In either case, I think I can help you with some of the concepts you need to understand.

I created the Pilot Tutor to help Certified Flight Instructors (CFI) explain concepts of flying an airplane.  I recommend the CFI review these lessons with the student.  Otherwise, the pilot should use the Pilot Tutor to reenforce ideas presented by the CFI. 

Even if you are an old flyboy, I think you will find this to be a good refresher. They say a safe pilot is always a student. So run through a couple lessons and see if they don’t jog a few memories.

And it's FREE.  I didn't do this to make money.  I don't even want to sell your e-mail address to some list, so you don't have to "register."  Just review the lessons and be a better pilot.  If you see an advertisement that is interesting to you, please click it.  That helps me pay to keep the Pilot Tutor on-line.


What is

Many students have a hard time understanding some of the concepts of flying.  And why not?  Many of the forces you learn about are invisible.  You can't see lift, but you have to understand how it makes the airplane fly.

Your instructor, with all the models and whiteboards, can only explain so much.  Even the best instructors sometimes have a hard time getting the point across to a student.

The Pilot Tutor is a collection of interactive lessons to help you better understand these concepts.  Each lesson uses animated graphics to provide a step-by-step explanation.  The lessons cover numerous subjects, such as: Wake Turbulance, DME Arcs, Pitot-Static System, Coriolis Effect, Aviation Weather, Pilotage, Wind Correction, and the Magnetic Compass.


Who should use

The Pilot Tutor is specifically designed for student pilots and private pilots working on an instrument rating.

Any pilot can benefit from the Pilot Tutor.  It can refresh and clarify some of the concepts you may have forgotten.

Every pilot should review a few lessons to help me ensure thier accuracy.  Remember, you may be in the same airspace as pilots who used this trainer.  Help me give them the best information.  Please.

I have also seen a lot of visitors coming from Radio Control (RC) airplane and virtual airline sites.  The tutor can help with many aspects of flight.


Who should not use it?

Anyone who is does not have access to a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI).  This site is intended to augment the CFI not replace them.  Always discuss anything you learn here with your CFI.

Radio Conrol pilots and virtual pilots are exempt from this recommendation.




YES!  This site is absolutely free and will remain so as long as I have a choice.

INSTRUCTORS:  Feel free to tell your students about  They may catch on quicker.

STUDENTS:  If you find useful, please tell your instructor to come visit.

You can help


If you would like to help me keep this site free, you can donate something to help me out.

Thank you.




How does it work?

The tutor has a menu of categories accross the top of the screen.   Allow your cursor to hover over any category and the lessons menu will appear. For instance, if you want to learn about weather, just move the cursor over "Weather" in the menu.

Each category contains several lessons.  The lessons titles are listed on the lessons menu.  Click on a lesson and start learning.  So, after changing to the weather category, you could click on "Clouds" to see the lesson about clouds.

Within the lessons, use the "NEXT" and "BACK" buttons to move through the lesson.  Read the text on the left of the screen and watch the animation in the graphics area.

To see a sample of the pilot tutor screen, click on the small screen shot to the right.  A larger image will open in a new browser window.

Pilot Tutor Screen Shot

What are the categories?

The categories currently in the Pilot Tutor are:

  • General Information
  • In-Flight
  • The Aircraft
  • Weather
  • VFR  (Visual Flight Rules) 
  • IFR   (Instrument Flight Rules)

What are some of the lessons?

The lessons cover a wide range of information the pilot needs to know and understand.  Here is a partial list of some of the lessons:

Airport Lighting, Airport Markings, Density Altitude, Lift, Drag, Wind Correction, Wake Turbulence, Pitot-Static System, Left Turning Tendencies, Traffic Scan, Magnetic Compass, Traffic Patterns, Morse Code, Compass Turns, Timed Turns, Holding Patterns, Pilotage, Dead Reckoning (Ded Reckoning), and more.

Best viewing


The tutor is best viewed in full screen mode.  Click on "View" then "Full Screen", or press F11.

If you want a closer view of something, right click on the Tutor and select "Zoom."

You must have the Macromedia Flash player  installed to view the lessons.  If you do not, you will be prompted to install it when you start the tutor.  Or go to Macromedia to get the free player.




What's New

I added a new form to the "Airport Markings" lesson based on a comment from John.  Thank you for bringing this error to my attention.

I made some changes to the text of the "Magnetic Compass" lesson based on comments submitted by Zvi. I would like to thank him for telling me about the incorrect wording.

I just put a new version of the Tutor on-line.  I had a couple complaints that the text was too small to read, so I increased the size of the text.  I also changed the menu system.  There is no longer a knob and buttons.  Now there is a regular menu of catagories at the top.  Hover over any catagory and the lessons menu will appear.  Let me know what you think.

I have added a new page (Off-Line Tutors) to this website.  I will be developing shareware that can be used without being connected to the Internet.  The first off-line tutor is Morse Code for Pilots.  This software works on the same concept as the morse code lesson in the Tutor.  Additionally, you can change the phrases to something that makes more sence to you.  It is fully functional.  There are nag screens which can be removed by registering it.  I'm charging $14.99 for the registration.  I use PayPal to collect the money from your credit card or PayPal account.  I hope you all like it.

I have recently relocated to Bangor, ME.  As you probably know, hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast of Mississippi pretty hard.  If you provided any assistance or donations after that storm, I want to thank you on behalf of all the gulf coast residents.  I do not have a job and am trying to get another web site off the ground, so my responses to this site may be slow.  Please be patient and I'll get to you as soon as I can.

I have just added a page of conversion tools.  Currently, you can convert between temperatures (celsius and farenheit) and distances (statute and nautical).  Access this page from the main menu above.

Yes, you are in the right place.  I have moved the Pilot Tutor web site to a new server.  I have recently attained my Microsoft certification, so I want to start making this web site more interactive.  Right now, the site is basically unchanged.  In the near future I'll start adding new features.  Hopefully, you all will find the new features useful.

I added two new lessons to the "VFR" category.  The "Pilotage" lesson explains how to navigate by reference to ground landmarks.  The "Dead Reckoning" lesson explains how to navigate by calculating heading, speed, and time.

There is a new lesson in the "VFR" category. "Ground Reference" explains the principles of flying around a point. This is a maneuver which is reguired for the private pilot's license.

There is a new lesson in the "Weather" category labeled "Coriolis Effect." This lesson explains this phenomena that causes weather to move west to east and hurricane spin counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere.

I just added a lesson on "PiReps" to the "Weather" category. This lesson explains the Pilot Report and how they are filed.

I've added a lesson in the "In Flight" category, titled "Intercept Procedures." This lesson explains the proper procedures if you are intercepted by military fighter aircraft.

I've started working on the "Weather" category. Just added a lesson on "Clouds." This lesson explains formation of clouds, stable and unstable air, as well as classifications of clouds.



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Copyright @ 2005 Joseph Murphy